Good news for snooker fans: the first ranking tournament of the new season gets underway shortly.

The Northern Ireland Trophy has moved from November to August. Hopefully, it will be as well supported as it was last year.

It will be interesting to see what sort of form the players are in at the Waterfront Hall bearing in mind many of them haven't played competitvely for several months.

Last year, Dominic Dale - a player for whom practising is never a chore - won the season's first event, the Shanghai Masters.

The bad news for Mark Selby and Stephen Hendry is that I am tipping them as the men to follow in my new column on Betfair.

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