Interest is said to be high for the new Bahrain Championship with tickets apparently selling very quickly.
"People from as far as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been constantly contacting us trying to book tickets in the fear that they will be sold out soon - that's how much interest there is for this championship," said Shaikh Abdulla bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, the president of the Bahrain Snooker Association in an interview with the Gulf Daily News.
"I am very pleased with the response from the public so far, and am looking forward to more tickets being sold over the next few days as the championship nears."
Shaikh Abdulla did, however, admit that the withdrawal of world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was a blow.
"We are all disappointed and shocked of his withdrawal but the event will still have many of the world's best players and it will still be very competitive with a lot of great snooker to be played," he said.
Crowds make a huge difference to the perception of any tournament.
If it's a packed house with a good atmosphere it makes it attractive to those watching on television.
There's nothing worse than tuning in to find there's hardly a soul in the audience.
In a sensible move, World Snooker have switched Marco Fu's match with Dominic Dale from Sunday morning to evening to fill the gap left by O'Sullivan's no show.