So what’s happening in the snooker world?
Pot Black is no more. Having been revived in 2005 it has been axed from the calendar.
Viewing figures on the BBC fell to just 700,000 for last year’s event but this was largely because England were playing Australia in the rugby World Cup quarter-finals live on ITV at the same time.
Pot Black was a bit of fun and a chance to observe the players in a more relaxed setting than normal.
It was held twice in the plush surroundings of the snooker room at the RAC Club in London. Last year it relocated last year to the soulless Sheffield City Hall.
There was no reason given for this but there has long been a maxim in the snooker world that appears to have applied here: if it ain’t broke, break it.
I don’t know if World Snooker offered the Pot Black format to another broadcaster but it could be slightly expanded to include more players playing one frame matches over the course of a day. Perfect for Sky Sports or Setanta I would have thought.
There was such an event – though non-televised – in 1991. It was called the One Frame Knockout and was won by Darren Morgan.
However, for some bizarre reason the final was made into a best of three.
Again: if it ain’t broke, break it.
The World Series is to include a qualification process – open to anyone – from next year.
This will give lower ranked professionals and interested amateurs the chance to play in the 2009 events.
Organisers are also considering what many may feel are controversial changes to playing formats and the dress code. John Higgins is answering questions directly on their forum every day this week.
Whatever you think of the proposals, every credit to John and Pat Mooney for actually engaging with snooker fans in this direct way.
I forgot to mention the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth last week as it was unfortunately overshadowed by the Northern Ireland Trophy.
It was won by Shaun Murphy, who beat Mark Selby in the final, and included a top class field. It was also brilliantly supported by German snooker fans.
Steve Davis, who played in the event, said last week that “China and Germany are the two biggest growth areas for snooker.”
I still don’t understand why there isn’t a fully fledged professional tournament in the country.
The Home Internationals are underway at Pontin’s, Prestatyn. These are traditionally a breeding ground for young talent although there are also some well known old stagers in action in the seniors event.
Speaking of which, watch this space for news of a brand new tournament featuring some very well known names of yesteryear.
Details are still being finalised and, when they are, I shall reveal more.