Do you remember the days when nothing used to happen for about four months after the World Championship finished?
Snooker is now clearly moving towards becoming a year round sport and activity on and off the table in the wake of the great Crucible marathon has been pretty much continuous.
The latest is that World Snooker has issued entry packs for the first four events of the Players Tour Championship, which will be played along the same lines as last season.
Once again it’s £100 to enter, £10,000 to the winner of each with 2,000 ranking points also going to the title winners.
However, prize money for the grand finals next March has increased by £50,000, with the eventual winner now receiving £70,000.
Four of the British PTCs will be played at the Academy in Sheffield and the other two at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
In the entry pack, World Snooker state that the first EPTC in Germany in August will be broadcast by Eurosport. In fact, the plan is for all six EPTCs to be televised, which would be a great boost for snooker fans.
I’m told there have been ‘discussions’ over possible streaming for the British PTCs, but such a deal would have to make business sense.
The EPTCs, particularly with TV coverage, have the potential to grow into bigger events.
The British PTCs were not to every player’s taste, especially playing in the sterile cubicles in Sheffield with no room for spectators, but it’s the chance to win £10k in three days, it's invaluable match practice and it’s a way of gaining some confidence and momentum.
It’s better than being sat at home moaning that there aren’t any tournaments.
Anyone can enter the PTCs and now amateurs will be able to join the professional circuit in 2012/13 directly from the order of merit as the top eight, regardless of pro or amateur status, will earn promotion.
Of course, expenses mount up and it’s more time away from home but Barry Hearn is being true to his word and vision: the opportunity is there, whether players seize it is up to them.
The first PTC tournament of the new season takes place next month.
It marks the start of what looks certain to be one of the busiest campaigns professional snooker has ever seen.
More details of how to enter the PTCs can be found here.