I do, of course, pontificate a great deal about snooker and much of this is done from the comfort of my own sofa.
However, you can’t really get a handle on what’s happening in the sport unless you go along and see it close up. Yesterday I was in Sheffield for the last day of qualifying for the World Open.
The general atmosphere was pretty relaxed all things considered. Most players seem to be embracing the new era and relishing the additional playing opportunities.
Not all regard the set up at Sheffield as perfect but overall seem willing to make the most of it.
There was an unusual situation yesterday in that some members of the top 16 were required to qualify for the final stages of the tournament.
Only one of those in action was successful. While Marco Fu got through, Ryan Day, Mark Allen and Liang Wenbo were all beaten.
We’ll never know if they would have won their matches had they been played before the cameras, not least because the shorter format levels the playing field a little, but I could understand it if they were unimpressed by having to go to Sheffield.
There were no crowds so the atmosphere was flat and there was a sense that they were on a hiding to nothing.
Still, well done to those who did make it through, including Davy Morris, who will make his TV debut in Glasgow.
Morris had lost six times in the final qualifying round of ranking events. “People don’t realise but the standard is so high and you need a bit of luck,” he told me.
Luck was something Mark Davis believed he had on his side after beating Jamie Jones 3-0 to qualify, although after 19 years of toil in the qualifiers few would begrudge him some running.
Davis has joined the top 32 for the first time and is now pressing for a place in the top 16.
“I don’t know what it is, really, other than that I’ve been working hard on my game and the mental side,” he said.
“I always knew deep down that I was good enough to get results but you have to prove it.
“The balls are going for me at the moment and I’ll make the most of it because I know it can all turn round.
“If you win a 5-4 it can be a springboard but if you lose one it can dent your confidence. That’s how narrow the difference can be.”
Not all players seem to understand the way the new ranking system will work. Others are already studying the list with a jeweller’s eyepiece. They have Janie Watkins on speed dial and are regularly checking the updates on Pro Snooker Blog.
It’s easy to say it’s too early in the season for this but it was ever thus. It is, after all, their career and the circuit wouldn’t be the same without outright anxiety about the rankings and endless speculation backstage about how some decision or other will favour some and disadvantage others.
You’ll never get rid of the idle chat and the rumours and the griping because that’s part and parcel of the circuit and always will be, and not just among the players.
The difference now, though, is that there are the actual events to accompany it.
The snooker juggernaut moves on to Furth in Germany for the Paul Hunter Classic this week.