Shaun Murphy will play Peter Ebdon in the first round of the second Players Tour Championship event on July 9.

There’s no protection for players in the PTC depending on where they’re officially ranked. Each tournament from now on is seeded based on the independent order of merit, hence Mark Williams is at the top of the draw where he faces Michael Holt, who is ranked 24th but lost in the first round of PTC event 1.

After the inevitable teething problems of the first event, the WPBSA has made some changes that should hopefully prevent a repetition of the 3am finish that occurred last week.

Four matches in the last 128 will be played on the qualifying day, scheduled sessions are now two hours long rather than 90 minutes and play will start an hour earlier at 9am.

But most crucially the tournament director now has it in his discretion to start matches earlier than the ‘not before’ time if a table is free and both players are happy to play.

This is eminently sensible and should ensure less of a logjam, although as I said the other day: the length of snooker matches can only ever be estimated.

This new tour was always going to be trial and error but it’s noticeable that entries are up on the first tournament, which proves that the players have welcomed Barry Hearn’s first significant innovation since taking control of World Snooker.

Event 1 attracted 73 members of the main tour. Event 2 has seen 81 enter plus 83 amateurs meaning a field of 164 compared to 148 for the inaugural tournament.

The players are getting what they asked for in the shape of more opportunities. In turn, most of them are embracing the chances they are being given.

It makes all the ballyhoo surrounding Hearn’s ascension seem even more ridiculous. What his tenure has so far delivered is what everyone wanted in the first place: more snooker.


Anonymous said...

Id say Ebbo and Del Hill have lost all credibility now. They were the ones that created all the ballyhoo in the first place, to protect their own selfish interests

Anonymous said...

hopefully come events 3 and 4 in August the main tour entries will be 90+

Anonymous said...

Mark King's another one. Here he is today on worldsnooker.com: "It’s brilliant to have more tournaments now and more chances for the players to make ends meet."

If he had got his way Hearn would have lost and these new events wouldn't be on.

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how increasing the session times to 2 hours will make any kind of difference. The matches will still be just as long. Allowing the Tournament Director to start matches earlier than scheduled is better but there was a backlog last time so there weren't any tables to start them. Best of 5's for first and maybe 2nd round could have also been introduced.

Anonymous said...

best of 5s is a possibility for the last 128 and qualifying but keep best of 7s for last 64 onwards.

but i think they are doing the right thing by seeing how starting 9 am with totally roll on roll off will get us not forgetting 4 last 128 matches is also being played on Thursday.

so at least 4 matches would have been completed by 10am on friday unlike PTC 1.

Anonymous said...

They've also made it clear there are no seats for the public

At least they are listening now: a great step forward!

Anonymous said...

"They've also made it clear there are no seats for the public"

the snooker viewing public have got to feel part of the PTC and therefore with no tickets or cameras there LIVE SCORING is the only true interaction with these events.

but as we know PTC1 Proved a shambles with Live Scoring. getting that to work properly should be near top of the WSA Agenda so that we can be part of the PTC..

Anonymous said...

What's the point of having a snooker tournament which people can't watch with absolutely no media interest?
OK the players pick up a few quid but how are these "Mickey Mouse" events promoting snooker?
Why not put all the prize money into 2 new "proper" ranking events?

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secrete is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr X 10:30 am Hi Dave
I think it is a bit early Sir to knock Ebdon and big Del or to wave any flags for Barry and Matchroom snooker.
Next year or month at this time it could be a different story the discipline cases on hold will positively create more problems than any quick fix tournaments.

The transfer of the John Higgins case to “Outsiders” is only a gimmick and will probable be on reflection postponed further.
John and his “Camp” will probable ask or demand that the Alleged match fixing case be tried first and why they were allowed to continue there trade and livelihood but denied John. Mr Hey You

CHRISK5 said...

The entry levels have improved from main tour players - 81 of 96
is a superb strike rate.

The noteable players who have yet to enter any PTC event (so far) are .....
Neil Robertson,Ding Junhui,Mark Allen,Stephen Hendry,Liang Wenbo &
our good friend Steve Davis!

Mark Allen is the most surprising name missing - he has the talent to be a Top 8 player next season -
but,only if he puts in the effort
required & enters more events.

And ofcourse the 'Nugget' - who must be busy rehearsing his interviews with Hazel !!

Betty Logan said...

The "snooker viewing public" don't go and watch the proper events so why would they bother going to watch the PTC?

John F said...

7:32 pm

It's not even the second event and you're already whinging - It's a brand new regime with some brand new tournaments. It would have been nice had everything been sorted out for PTC 1, but give it some time and hopefully things will sort themselves out - the live scoring HAS to be the first problem tackled.

Also, these aren't exactly "Mickey Mouse" events. I follow darts, and Hearn is simply repeating the dormula used there for snooker - these events will culminate in the PTC finals, which I'm almost certain WILL be televised.

These events might not promote snooker to the fans, but they are definitely promoting the game to amateur players - when was the last time amateurs got a chance like this? They couldn't even compete in the World Championship under the Walker regime.

Also, it will be interesting to see if the German events get some wider coverage (e.g. German media).

Ultimately, these events are more for the players than the fans. Hopefully, we might get live streaming, but I think that will be as far as things go with the PTC events.

Greg P said...

Anon 7:32, if nothing else these tournaments will give the pros real match practice against other pros, which will keep them sharp and therefore, by the time we get to the televised tournaments they should be closer-fought and more entertaining, and less of a lottery.

Anonymous said...

John F said...
7:32 pm

"It's not even the second event and you're already whinging" -

I'm not whinging I'm simply wondering what purpose a snooker event which bars spectators and carries zero media interest (apart from here and Global)serves.
It keeps the players active and gives them more money (deservedly) but even the fact that it's crammed into 3 days gives it the feel of a "Mickey Mouse" event.
OK the 24 man play offs will be worth following but I personally would prefer 2 ranking events - one of which would be in Europe (alongside Germany).

Anonymous said...

you''re missing the point 8.35, the purpose of these events is not to get media interest (that's what the ShootOut and the 24 man finals are for). The PTC's do what they say on the tin-that is to get the players playing snooker again.

Anonymous said...

Get the players playing snooker? If nobody is interested in the actual tournament why play it? Would new ranking events not allow the players to play more (meaningful) snooker, while at the same time help spread the game to new audiences?

Anonymous said...

Who says nobody is interested?

Only you. Many others are.

Anonymous said...

im interested in them.

it was exciting weekend of snooker last week the only downside was the difficulty in following it because of Live Scoring breaking down all the time.

that needs sorting.

Janie Watkins said...

Forgive me if tis has been mentioned regarding event 2 - but I had a couple of the "amateurs" and their parents talking to me today and they pointed out that their lads play on Thursday in the Amateur round and if they win don't play again until Saturday according to the schedule for event 2.
Bearing in mind they need to win the second match on Saturday to get into the money, they're going to be well out of pocket this event, because at the barest minimum they need to have 2 nights accommodation.
If they're playing early Thursday they probably need to stay Wednesday night to and if they're playing into the small hours on Saturday night they'll have to stay Saturday night as well.

This seems poor scheduling compared to Event 1.

I'm sure people will argue that this is a Professional Event and their needs should and will be catered to as a priority by world Snooker.

But I think it's been a great innovation to encourage the Amateurs into these events.

It would be a shame to price them out of it after just two events.

Anonymous said...


its the same squedual but because there are 36 matches in qualifying compared to 22 in PTC1 that means 4 qualifiers will not be able to play until Saturday.

with the other 32 playing friday.

Betty Logan said...

I'm slightly bemused by the complaints about costs, as if getting into the professional game should be free...A couple of nights costs (basically £100 in a Travelodge) plus maybe £30-£40 in petrol for 12 events is only about £1600, plus another £1200 in entry fees is less than £3000 a year. If you go to university you'll be paying that in tuition fees for each year of your course, and then there are accommodation costs on top of tuition fees.

Amateurs who want to be amateurs should stick to amateur events and maybe avoid the PTC, but if you're serious about pursuing a professional snooker career I think £3000 a year is quite a low financial commitment to be honest.

Janie Watkins said...

Everything is a low commitment to your future if you happen to have the money.

Anonymous said...

but she does have a point Students has to pay something like that and it isn't as if they have to play its their choice at the end of the day.

they have a chance here for future earnings if they want it but you have to spend money to make money.

Anonymous said...

If you're not winning £3000 a year in prizemoney as an amateur, you're probably not ready to taking on the pros