So I’ve been at the second event of the Players Tour Championship in Sheffield today.

The first thing I saw walking into the English Institute of Sport was a youth in a comedy fat suit wearing a bright red wig and oversized glasses that made Dennis Taylor look like Martin Gould.

I wondered idly if Barry Hearn’s critics had it right and snooker’s new boss really was dumbing down the game.

But it turned out to be part of a school sports day which, for reasons unknown, was conducted largely in fancy dress.

Away from the blaring music and a starting pistol so loud it made me briefly wonder if an unhappy blog reader had decided to take their revenge, snooker’s great, good, not quite so good and downright unknown were locked in endless battle.

Play started at 9am, proof that such a time does exist for snooker players. It’s the sort of event where egos should be left at the door. If your table isn’t free you have to wait. No point complaining, no point remonstrating.

This is a roll up your sleeves and get on with the job era, very much in Hearn’s own image.

The opportunity to play has been created, it’s up to the players whether to embrace it or not.

Most of them have – 81 out of 95 professionals entered this event – and seem to be enjoying the chance to play for more money, ranking points and opportunities to keep their games sharp.

And it’s relentless. Pretty much the moment a table becomes free it is brushed and then the next match is on.

These events would soon collapse into chaos were it not for the experienced hand of the WPBSA’s ground staff, in particular tournament directors Mike Ganley and Martin Clark.

They need to be across everything and are – MBEs have been handed out for less.

This series will develop and grow. I suspect different venues will be found in time so that players don’t need to have their post redirected to Sheffield.

The new worldsnooker.com live scoring system, when it is launched, will be a vast improvement on the old version and help fans follow matches ball by ball. Streaming is also on the cards but these things don’t happen overnight.

It’s nice to come to a tournament and find so many people in a good mood. Most here seem to be looking to the future, even those players who were sceptical of Hearn’s plans.

As Fergal O’Brien put it: “It’s a clean slate. We’re starting again. Snooker players are supposed to play snooker and that’s what we’re doing now.”

And there’s plenty of snooker to play as the season unfolds.


CHRISK5 said...

The PTC's are win-win & will work.

More oppurtunities to play,
decent prize money on offer,
carrying ranking points that add that competitive & meaningful element & then ofcourse,the big TV Finals event - that WILL garner exposure & publicity.

All we need now is a fast,reliable
live scoring system from World Snooker & yes...dare I say it,
a singular,transparent ranking list
of truth !!

Anonymous said...

World Snooker.com is doing a really pathetic job of updating Results.

These Events has to have better online coverage than this,its HOPELESS.

jamie brannon said...

What I don't get is some players are into the fourth round, but others are not even started yet.

Janie Watkins said...

Happy Birthday Dave

such a shame you couldn't spend it in Sheffield!!!

Janie Watkins said...


They play down the draw in two halves

So first day played bottom half of draw, right through to Last 16

Today we're playing top half of draw down to last 16

Then On Sunday it's Last 16 down to final

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave

Does the new scoring section mean world snooker are going to get a new website or just a better live scoring system?

I really am enjoying these PTC events.

The only thing that annoys me (and i understand, due to logistics) is the playing one half of the first, second, third round, and then the other half doing the same.

It gets to a point on the saturday, where I don't know who is coming and going!

All for a good cause tho.

Thanks, Joe

Janie Watkins said...

Anon 6.07 - YOU don't know who's coming and going - I've just managed to get two rounds muddled up!

It does make sense for the players and their costings.

Because if they play right through and / or lose they can go home.

To get through an entire 128 round takes 2 days so everyone would have to sit around for at least one extra day and have accommodation etc

We're trying to keep it as clear as we can over on Global but if it all goes wrong just blame heat exhaustion - cos it's absolutely sweltering in here

Anonymous said...


any chance global can make it a tad more easier with regards the results section, i go up and down, up and down, getting dizzy.

As for the draw link to worldsnooker i dont even bother looking, that could definitely be simplified surely.

Thanks, joe

Anonymous said...

without globalsnooker and im not exagirating the PTC would be a non event for fans.

having latest scores section on the scoresheet makes it easier than it was in the first PTC.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Janie.

Yup i understand the logistical nightmare for players and global snooker. You do wonderful job. I don't know of any other sporting organisation or body, where the official website is none-existent for its own game and the media/fans have to rely on a another one. Incredible.

Just one final point. Now some 1st round games have been brought in to play on the thursday after the premlimary round, does this mean that they have to hang around on friday before resuming again on saturday or do they play all four days?

Thanks, joe

Anonymous said...

I agree. There's no excuse for a governing body not to have awebsite that contains proper match reports, interviews with players, video interviews, live scoring, streaming, podcasts etc etc.

All it takes is someone with a bit of imagination and hard work. They have the resources to do all this what they don't have is the passion.

Anonymous said...

i think its safe to say Barry Hearn is on the verge of a website overhaul.

im just amazed its taken Barry Hearn to come in for this to be pin pointed absalutly woefull neglect in all aspect of snooker over many years.

Dave H said...

It was Barry Hearn's decision to take down the live scoring because it was an embarrasment - a correct one in my opinion because it brought nothing but derision on World Snooker

I've seen a mock-up of the new version coming soon...it's very, very good!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Wonderful news and no-wonder it was taken down - useless!

What makes me laugh with the world snooker website and scoring is that any tournament has maximum of 8 games or less going on. And it breaksdown.

Over at the tennis or golf - official websites/otherwise - hundreds upon hundreads of games and all updated live every minute. Just look at Wimbledon on the first day.

It just made me laugh that an official organisation can be this inept and useless.

I knew Hearn wouldn't take long to do something with it.

Lets hope he brings all forms of tournaments(premier league?), buying tickets and streaming onto it.

If he is going to do it, do it RIGHT this time.

I take it the contract with PA will go as well dave?

Thanks, Joe

Dave H said...

They don't have a contract with the PA, just an agreement that their content can be lifted

All personal bias aside it hasn't done anything for snooker in the media other than reduce the amount of it

Anonymous said...

the question is why has it taken Barry Hearn to Take down Live Scoring lol

the amount of time ive told them it was useless ive lost count.

its a pity they not done it long time ago now with the PTC its more essential than ever.

jamie brannon said...

Barry Pinches has become the 33rd player to reach 100 century breaks. Well done to Barry who practices a fair bit with Jamie Cope at the Reardon club.

Anonymous said...

well said Jamie!!

(and i am one of those who usually berate your posts, but credit where it is due...)

CHRISK5 said...

Jamie - What a surprise,you follow the list that has your mate Ronnie in a comfortable 2nd place with
598 centuries !

Ranking Titles,World Titles,
Career Titles is also worth following - but ofcourse,he isn't quite as high as 2nd on those...
so just ignore them ! LMAO

jamie brannon said...

I follow the other lists and Ronnie is a more than respectable third in both (although in overall titles I may be wrong).

The centuries count has always interested especially now that the cricketing centuries of centuries list is basically obsolete as there is not enough first class cricket played for anyone to reach a ton of ton's.

CHRISK5 said...

Jamie - I do like cricket,but this isn't the place to discuss it.

In overall Career Titles,Ronnie
is on 45 titles in 3rd place.

But is some way adrift of
Davis on 92 & Hendry with 78.