The Welsh Open – through no real fault of its own – has become the poor relation of the world ranking circuit, so much so that it’s now worth less in points and money than all the other tournaments.

This is a shame because when it was held at the Cardiff International Arena it was one of the best events on the pro tour.

It had moved from Newport in 1999 in what proved to be a successful attempt to upgrade its image but returned there in 2005 – via the Welsh Institute of Sport – to cut costs.

The irony is that some of the snooker we’ve seen there over the last few seasons has been excellent. The O’Sullivan v Hendry final of 2005 was superb, we had Andrew Higginson’s great run in 2007 and Selby v O’Sullivan in 2008.

Last year, Ali Carter produced a terrific final session display to beat Joe Swail 9-5 in a match played before a packed Newport crowd.

Wales is a snooker country. It has produced many a fine player, from Ray Reardon to Doug Mountjoy, Terry Griffiths to Darren Morgan, Mark Williams to Matthew Stevens and several others too, including current Welsh no.1 Ryan Day.

The announcement that totesport.com will sponsor the tournament – the first it has had in seven years – is a boost to an event that currently loses money and is in danger of being axed.

The draw this year seems lopsided to say the least. Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui are all in the bottom half.

Neil Robertson, Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire are among those in the top half which, on paper, looks easier.

Of course, snooker isn’t played on paper and predicting a likely winner come January 31 remains as fraught as ever.

It’s good to see Tony Drago qualifying right from the first round, a tremendous effort by the veteran Maltese cueman.

Judd Trump was among those who came through from Prestatyn and he tackles Selby, who will be hoping history can repeat itself and he can win the Welsh title fresh from capturing the Masters, as he did two years ago.

For all the innovations and talk of different events, snooker’s bedrock remains the ranking tournament circuit.

With only six events this season, any player regarding the Welsh Open as unimportant should think again.

The tournament will be shown on BBC Wales, the BBC website and Eurosport.


Anonymous said...

good luck to all those sportsmen in this contest who can behave like an adult. (That will be everyone except Ronnie)

i think the winner will come from the top half, as i think the finalist from that half will have had an easier path and easier matches.

Dave, if youre "in the box" with Mike H, please remind him that not all doubles are cross doubles. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

They are in Mike's eyes 5:57pm lol..

shaun said...

well said 5 57 I would also like to wish good luck to tony drago for the welsh open and come ballrun bingham all the best against ex practise partner o sullivan

Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

You probably won't approve this one but it's in the right spirit. I have started a blog that combines the gambling and snooker themes. I've also posted a prediction thread for Newport. It's at snookerbacker.wordpress.com , even if you just check it out yourself, I'm a huge snooker fan and used to be a decent player, anything that increases people's interest in the way your blog has might help get us back up to the place we all want the game to be.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for including my post Dave. All the best for the week in Newport.

Anonymous said...

Will the final be on the red button again?

stuartfanning said...

Usual BBC Wales commentary team for the We;sh Open on BBC2 Wales.


Just to remind people that BBC2 Wales is available on Sky channel 991.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if it will be on interactive and if there will be a choice of tables? On BBC Wales.

Edward said...

Why is it only shown on BBC Wales? Appreciate it is physically being played in Wales but there are no more Welsh players than at any other ranking event so why does the BBC think that only Welsh viewers will be interested? Interested in your take on this.

Anonymous said...

It is on BBC Wales in you have Sky or on the BBC website, not sure about the red button.

Ray said...

Does anyone know what the full breakdown of prize money is at the Welsh Open this year? I can't find it anywhere.

Dave H said...

The prize money is on worldsnooker.com.

With regard to Edward's question, the Welsh Open came into being (off the back of the old Welsh Professional) to provide BBC Wales with a sporting event played in Wales that they could show. The BBC network have never shown any interest in showing it around the UK, although you can now watch it via Sky as others have pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Im going to watch Eurosports coverage instead of the Welsh just to try to see if Dave corrects Mike on the doubling issue.

Janie Watkins said...

Full prize money and lots of other info, including all the latest cuefacts are on global snooker

Anonymous said...

"Usual BBC Wales commentary team for the We;sh Open on BBC2 Wales."

Oh no, that means we're going to be subjected to John Evans again...

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the annual embarrassment of Welsh commentator John Evans when he interviews the winner and runner-up after the final a week today.
The powers that be seem to believe that this shambolic ritual in no way devalues the play that has preceded it.

Anonymous said...

Just wait until some Chinese player without much English wins the Welsh Open.

The interview with John Evans afterwards will be up there with the Moon landing as one of the greatest moments in television history.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget folk's it's Burn's night.

stuartfanning said...

BBC2 Wales is also on Freesat channel 971.

Anonymous said...

the info asked for is on the world snooker site.

why do we keep getting someone trying to get us to go to globalsnooker instead of the official site (when the info asked for is on the official site)?

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Janie Watkins, Hello Dave
Global Snooker seems a rather grand name Janie for a parochial snooker blog post. It may not be your choice of title Janie therefore apologies are maybe in order.

The fact lass that you use other blogs to advertise is not wrong, but should be unnecessary, though a great reflection on the strengths of other titles like the Dave Den blog of Eurosport.

Please don’t take offence Miz Watkins. Snooker in my opinion doesn’t deserve you and some others that are working under restraints.

Like Snooker coaching Janie, you shouldn’t criticise without a clear answer. The name “Janie Watkins” should be enclosed and intertwined prominently somewhere in G S. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
There seems to be some discussion or discord with Mike Hallets “Doubles”.

The Fine Art method is; never ever play a shot as a double, play it as a pot. First choose the address on the cue ball. Second choose the point on the cushion as if a pocket and treat the shot as a pot not a double.

Snooker amnesia is in all players. “I’ve always known that, but just forgot. Mr hey you

Anonymous said...

hey you

mike refers to all doubles as "cross doubles"

even when it is a "straight double" he says

"he may go for the cross double"

which to 99.9% of snooker players is not what it is

for someone who was a great snooker player, he certainly isnt a very good commentator. he says sorry about 1 in 4 predictions of shot choices he makes (yes ive studied it)

jamie brannon said...

Online coverage is throughout the UK, but doesn't seem to be on the red button this year. I think the winner may well be a longer price than we expect. I will have a punt on Ryan Day as he should make the quarters and with the home crowd support and being in the weaker half all are plusses for this talented cueman.

mathmo said...

"why do we keep getting someone trying to get us to go to globalsnooker instead of the official site (when the info asked for is on the official site)?"

Well because global snooker:
(a) is more reliable, frequently the worldsnooker site would take a lot longer to report on matches although it has improved of late.
(b) tells us the frames scores and breaks over 30.
(c) informs us of prize money, the highest breaks etc. unlike worldsnooker.com

The only benefit worldsnooker.com gives is livescoring that I can see.

Anonymous said...

Thanks mathmo for attempting to answer what i asked but unfortunately you missed the important part of the question which was about the info asked for....

your reply didnt answer the specific question at all.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave
There seems to be an opening in snooker blogs for something better than merely offering the on going scores and the size of breaks.
There is also the same opening for commentators to boost rating and more importantly to boost advertising revenue of sponsors.

Why doesn’t Janie and others instead of reporting a thirty break; in stead tell the punter or the viewer the reason, or the possible reason why the player “Broke Down” on thirty.
The world out there Janie is open for change, but more so very very impatient and thirsty for snooker knowledge.

There is a silly myth in snooker that only the top players can say why a pot is missed and was unsuccessful. There is no reason why any Joe blog can’t give his opinion.
The blog or TV commentator may sometimes be wrong but snooker “Know How” can’t be expanded without first an introduction. Mr hey you
PS. There is no copyright restrictions on the current coaching method. DM

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave! An extension to the 11:42 post for Janie.
How are you! Concerning the reasons that pots are missed and shots are unsuccessful is never the player aiming wrong with the cue ball.

Players never aim wrong; though most players and viewers assume they have done. Snooker technique of the future will register to the player and to keen students watching the “Probable” reason why the shot was unsuccessful.

The commentator or coach that remarks that the “Player is moving on the shot” is 100% wrong if he does not also say what caused the movement and the possible “Cure” or answer.

The advice to “Keep your head still” is only an observation and to the student meaningless without some detail. There is no secret in snooker Janie that cannot be found out.
Mr hey you.

Anonymous said...

Out with the shear banality of both Messrs Morgan {give me a haspirate for my 'eadache}and totally uninspiring {atmospheric} Evans. The lack of entertaining commentary by these two is exacerbated by the lack of technical backup that seems to be readily available in other major snooker events. We actually pay for this. Thank goodness the game play can be enjoyed in the silence that is available when these two, in particular, are crucifying the spoken language. PROGRAMME PLANNERS PLEASE LISTEN.