Anthony Hamilton was unusually outspoken this evening after beating Scott MacKenzie 10-2 in the final qualifying round of the 888.com World Championship here at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield to reach the Crucible for a 12th time.
Hamilton is ultra laidback and uncontroversial but said he had been motivated because he considers the World Championship to be one of only two ‘proper’ tournaments on a circuit that features only seven ranking events.
“Apart from the Masters, the World Championship is the only proper tournament we’ve got,” he said.
“They are the only two sporting events we have. The others are just a pile of sh*t, playing for £30,000 first prizes. They’re tinpot. You only get 12 people in the audience.
“At the Crucible, you know it’ll be full of people who want to watch you play. Plus, they’re chucking cash at you.
“It’s a shame we don’t have the calendars they have in golf or tennis. This is what it’s all about for us.”
Actually, only the Northern Ireland Trophy carried a first prize of £30,000 this season, but it is certainly true that prize funds are lower than they were a decade ago.
That said, surely Hamilton considers the UK Championship to be a ‘proper’ tournament?
And the two ranking events in China are well attended and popular, even if the prize money is not as high as many of the players would like.
Still, whether you agree with him or not, Hamilton is perfectly entitled to his view.