The Wyldecrest Welsh Open is now the third longest running ranking event on the circuit but despite its heritage has ended up the poor relation of the circuit.
Its top prize of £30,000 is the lowest of any of the seven ranking events and there are only 5,000 ranking points available to the winner.
But Wales is a snooker hotbed and has produced a number of world beating players down the years – Reardon, Mountjoy, Griffiths and, of course, Williams.
One of the problems with the perception of the Welsh Open is Newport itself, particularly in recent years with all the building work going on outside.
To walk into a venue and have to trek past a swimming pool full of kids and pensioners doesn’t exactly scream ‘classy.’
The Cardiff International Arena was a better venue but much more expensive. I used to enjoy it there when it was played over just five days because it gave the event great momentum, although this was only because a caravan exhibition had been booked into the venue earlier in the week.
But if you’re watching on TV, who cares where it’s held? And it’s all the same star names in this tournament as all the others.
There are two important changes that affect the profile of this year’s Welsh Open.
The first is due to the new ranking system. Newport represents a last chance for players to get in the top 16/32/48/64 ahead of the next revision of the list, which will decide the seedings for the China Open and, of course, the World Championship.
The other is the introduction of best of sevens in the first two rounds. This will mean that every match will be played on a televised table.
We saw at the World Open that, despite dire predictions to the contrary, the best players win regardless of the format.
Why? Because it’s still the same game with the same pressures and the best players handle them the best.
My only concern with the best of sevens is that the public may feel short changed in the evening session, which features just one match on each table.
These things are usually dictated by broadcasters but a couple of 4-0 results could mean just an hour’s play.
What is interesting about the best of sevens at the qualifiers is that it was veterans and old war horses that made it through, not young guns, with the exception of Jack Lisowski.
So we have Rod Lawler, Dave Harold, Marcus Campbell, Nigel Bond et al taking their places in the main draw.
The draw contains a brutal top quarter featuring John Higgins, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Shaun Murphy, as well as Ricky Walden, Matthew Stevens, Ryan Day and, to the delight of many fans, Jimmy White.
Mark Williams is the man of the moment having just won the German Masters but Marco Fu, who he beat in the semi-finals in Berlin, is a tough first round opponent brimming with extra determination as he can secure his top 16 place in Newport this week.
Welsh players invariably falter on home turf, with the exception of the two years Williams won the title.
Hopefully Neil Robertson will avoid calamity and make it to Wales unscathed.
BBC Wales are host broadcasters and Eurosport have extensive coverage, at times of both tables.
The Welsh Open trophy - a piece of slate - is not the most aesthetically pleasing but this is a tournament with history and deserves respect.
It's true that snooker is now looking to new markets in Europe and beyond but Wales has an established base of players and fans, who will hopefully turn out to support their home event.