Shaun Murphy is probably as confused as the rest of us as to why his form seems to be so inconsistent.
Three seasons ago, he was Mr. Reliable, a regular at the business end of tournaments.
That consistency helped Murphy bed himself into the top four and underlined his reputation as a big occasion player.
But Murphy then lost his opening match in the first four tournaments of the 2008/09 season – before then winning the UK Championship.
His form has similarly yo-yoed ever since. He played very well indeed against Ding Junhui in the Premier League a few weeks ago – pocketing £7,000 in a single evening – but was poor beyond belief against Matthew Stevens in Shanghai and outplayed by Dave Harold in the World Open.
Last night, Murphy won the second European Players Tour Championship title of the season in Bruges after a frenetic three days of snooker.
His record in such events outside the UK is good. He’s won two Paul Hunter Classics in Germany, the Malta Cup twice, the World Series grand finals in Portugal and a World Series title in Ireland.
John Parrott was a little like this and the link between the two is that Murphy, as Parrott was, is a great pro. He doesn’t treat foreign trips as holidays.
Murphy, like any top player, wants to win every tournament he enters. But I’m sure he would also like to rediscover his consistency and cut out the early exits.
The Bruges event marked the halfway point of the PTC and I’m told it attracted decent crowds.
Some players have a few issues with the new series. Snooker fans have a big one: they can’t watch it.
Hopefully that will soon change. Web streaming or even some TV coverage would draw an audience given the quality of the fields. All of this is apparently under discussion.
As for the top 24, it looks like 6,500-7,000 points will be enough to qualify for the grand finals, which appears likely to feature big names and lesser lights in equal measure.
The winners from the change to the ranking system were Jamie Cope and Peter Ebdon, who join the top 16, and Mike Dunn and Martin Gould, who advance to the top 32.
This makes it even more absurd that Ebdon, Dunn and Gould have signed an EGM requisition form to replace the WPBSA board supporting Barry Hearn's new regime with directors and an agenda already rejected by the membership.