Barry Hearn, the chairman of World Snooker Ltd, has sent a strongly worded letter to all members of the professional circuit in which he criticises those players who have opted not to play in the new Brazilian Masters.

Hearn takes the unusual step of naming all the players who turned down an invitation for the event, which is due to be held in September.

He writes: “The fact that Mark Williams, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Allen and Matthew Stevens have all declined their invitation to the Brazilian Masters is very, very disappointing.

“A year ago all these players were moaning about lack of tournaments and yet now I am getting excuses ranging from “I think I’m worth a few more bob” to “I do not want to be away from the wife and children!”

“It is time for all players and in particular the top players, who have so much to gain, to understand that snooker is a sport not a hobby and they are professional sportsmen not part timers.

“This tournament could open up the whole of South America and it needed the support of all the top players to get us a major ranking event next year. Frankly, the commitment is just not good enough.

“I know it is a long trip coming so soon after Shanghai but they were the only dates available so we had no alternative. Nevertheless, it is time some players realised their responsibilities to the sport if they want to share in the future success.

“So let us start by behaving like professionals please – there is a massive amount of effort going into revitalising snooker and it is very demotivating to see that the support from the so-called “stars” is not really there.

“On another negative note, I am disappointed to see that Judd Trump is intending to play Ding Junhui in a televised match in China at the same time as the final of the Brazilian Masters.

“I am disappointed that they are not playing in Brazil, but more disappointed that they have not read their players’ contract which prohibits any Pro Tour player playing in a event that is not sanctioned by World Snooker.

“The organisers have now applied for a sanction belatedly and providing they adhere to our terms, we will not unreasonably withhold it, taking into account that they actually agreed to the terms of this match prior to the players’ contracts being signed.

“These exceptional circumstances will not exist in the future and all Pro Tour members are reminded that they cannot play in any televised match, anywhere in the world, without the sanction of World Snooker.”

I can understand Hearn’s frustration. He and his team are trying to build a global circuit and by most measures are doing a good job.

He is genuinely mystified by the attitude of some of the players because he has not encountered it in any other sport and thinks nothing personally of getting up at 5.30am and driving up the motorway to do a deal, or flying around the world for business and flying back the next day.

On the other side, though, players are having to suddenly adjust to playing much more snooker, a lot of it in far away places.

Brazil is only a few days after the Shanghai Masters and does not carry ranking points. Players may feel that it is not worth their while and there is no point exhausting themselves at a relatively early point in the season.

I would agree that in future years, with so much travelling, the calendar should be structured more sensibly.

But this is failing to see the bigger picture. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy: ask not what snooker can do for you but what you can do for snooker.

When Hearn promoted an exhibition in Brazil in 1985 between Steve Davis and the national champion, Rui Chapeu, an audience of 40m tuned in to watch on television.

South America is a new, potentially exciting market. There may not be sufficient interest there to sustain a ranking tournament but there’s certainly now less of a chance if the game’s star names don’t pitch in and try to get something going out there.

You’ll notice two players who are going to Brazil – Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry, who at their respective peaks barely had a day off with tournaments and exhibitions.

They saw it as what it was: their profession. They also saw promoting snooker, and, yes, making good money from it too, as their responsibility.

I think one sentence of Hearn’s letter is worth repeating, so I will:

“It is time for all players and in particular the top players, who have so much to gain, to understand that snooker is a sport not a hobby and they are professional sportsmen not part timers.”

Most people reading this now who are in full time employment get no more than six weeks holiday a year and earn considerably less than top snooker players.

If snooker had had a calendar such as the one for this season for the last ten years then I would defend the right of players to pick and choose events.

But at this time when the game is being rebuilt, they really need to realise that it is in their hands as to whether it reaches the heights many of us believe is possible.

If it doesn’t, then it won’t be Hearn’s fault.


Rita Ramos said...

Totally agree with that. They have to keep promoting snooker in other countries that aren't UK. I'm from Portugal and here most of the people can't tell the difference between a pool and a snooker table - snooker isn't sufficiently known. But when you watch it, you have to agree that is an amazing sport! And people only watch whats promoted. So I think players have to contribute to the divulgation of snooker around the world!

John McBride said...

I’ve always believed that when making changes in any business Dave, the right expectations have to be created & communicated concisely the people that you are expecting to live with those changes. Did Barry Hearn create the right expectations? Well I remember him saying that he wanted to make our game a Global one.

I think, to be honest, he might have caught a lot of the players on the back foot here by introducing these changes so quickly & caught them unaware of how damn good this man Barry Hearn is.
All in all, the message is clear, with your last two sentences summing things up both realistically & perfectly if you don't mind me saying so…..

Anonymous said...

anyone who declined the offer to go NO MATTER THE REASON should be banned from the masters!

Anonymous said...

maybe ronnie will actually go having said he wont, as opposed to saying he'll go to a tournament and then not going?

Sparky said...

The organizers are doing what they can to spice up the event, though.

According to the tournament's official website, http://www.brazilmasters.com.br/site/index.php?lang=en

the event will carry ranking points, and will include the 12 top ranked players in the world, plus the legendary STEVEN Davis.

Snooker Oracle said...

Hearn with his usual refreshing honesty. Snooker doesn't deserve him.

No surprise Murphy or Selby not on the shamed list. Those two have an exemplary attitude to the new era.

JIMO96 said...

Totally agree with the hard line Barry is taking.

But he should have done it long before this. If he'd taken a tougher stance over O'Sullivans multiple no-shows, then maybe the "named and shamed" players above would have given more consideration to the Brazil trip.

Anonymous said...

Whats this?
Who'd have ever believed it?

Anonymous said...

I am a main tour player and believe this sort of behaviour is down to the top 16 being overpaid and overprotected in the rankings by previous WPBSA boards.
Hardly surprising when you had a player manager of 10 of the top 16 players wielding power!
Cut their guarantees and change the seeding system and you would see a very different attitude IMO.

NewsBrain said...

He might have to introduce sanctions for players who do not bother to turn up.

It is a stunning attitude, not known in any other sport. Worse still, there were hardly any tournaments before BH.

Totally agree - snooker does not deserve him and when he walks away the same idiocy will come back.

Not sure why men proficient with using a stick to pot balls all seem to be so dumb.....(with a few notable exceptions)

Anonymous said...

Thumbs Up to Barry Hearn for listing the player names who do not wish to play in the Brazilian Masters. Their execuses are like something from the bible stories. He is trying to make Snooker Global and the top players are not helping. I am very disappointed with all the players but especially Mark Williams

Anonymous said...

Strong stuff but well said Barry. So pleased that my faves, Murphy and Selby, are going. I hope one of them wins the World Champs next year. Can the no shows be fined?

Anonymous said...

He should pay Higgins, Williams and O'Sullivan appearance money. If you've got them you've got a top flight tournament. You can't expect them to work for the same pay as a Selby or a Carter.

Anonymous said...

“These exceptional circumstances will not exist in the future and all Pro Tour members are reminded that they cannot play in any televised match, anywhere in the world, without the sanction of World Snooker.”

Since when?

Wasn't this the basis of the TSN/Hendry/Williams challenge to World Snooker in 2001?

Or has it changed?

Or does Barry ignore Court decisions?

Anonymous said...

817 posting nonsense to get people to react....

Witz78 said...

110% agree with Barry as per normal, hes always on the ball and talks sense and these top players are muppets personally for not making the most of these new opportunities, a trip to Brazil too, plus the potential knock on effect their presence could have done for the game in new pastures.

7.23 / anonymous player

what changes to the seedings / qualification etc do you propose then?

Ive plenty of theories as to what needs changed still.

In summary....

1) Fairer ranking points for the tour newcomers - you might disagree with that depending upon where your ranked though ;)

2) A more level qualifying set up rather than the teired set up where the higher you are the less qualifiers you play

3) Id either abolish minimum points per events all together, no win = no points, at least this way it would do away with the farce of the top 16 getting between 500-1,000 more points than those ranked lowest, before a balls even potted in any event. Thats just an example of protecting the elite.

4) Id make the rankings as rolling as possible, why half heartedly implement the new "rolling" rankings. If Golf and Tennis can be updated every week then why should snooker only be 4 times a year, reward those who deserve to be higher instantly and vice versa those on the slide.

Anonymous said...

of course Barry Hearn got involved with snooker because he got nothing better to do just bored out of his brain.

he is doing this for Higgins and Williams and the next bloody generation they all get apearance money but they call it price money ok it might not be massive but please explain where the money going to come from ?

snooker is being built up from rubble unless players muck in and help build it what hope is there ?

Anonymous said...

Snooker players craved to travel the world and compare themselves to golfers when there were no tournaments under the Walker regime.
Now they have a circuit worth playing in they have exposed themselves as classless and in some cases brainless fools who believe strongly in their own self importance.
There are of course exceptions, Selby and Murphy spring to mind.
I think Barry has named the culprits, one of which is the bewilderingly daft Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Anonymous said...

yes players have come over very badly under the new regime.

they got comfterble doing nothing it became a snooker culture turn up to a few events a year then take it easy with a round of golf.

and last season Stephen Hendry did but i think he has accepted his lot now and going to do the hard yard to at least give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Hearn and also Witz re the tiered rankings.

You have to have one hell of a bad run to get knocked out of the top 16. They are overprotected and only have to win an odd first round match to stay in the Elite.

Why do you get so many points for losing in the first round? Its absurd.

Anonymous said...

Noone wants to travel all the way to Brazil for an event, they should have held it in the UK and all the top stars would play. I've said it before and will again what's the point in going to all these lengths to make snooker a global sport - it is what it is and it's great for the UK to be its home - it doesn't have to go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

What Hearn needs to do is hit the top 16 where it hurts- there is no need for them to be automatically seeded through to the final stages of any ranker (apart from the Worlds) anymore. The system of having 64 players in the first round of a ranking event (as opposed to 32)was the norm from the 80s to 1999/2000.
As for the Brazil event, under Rodney Walker the players whinged non stop about not having enough tournaments, now they've got what they've been asking for and suddenly they're too "tired"! All the players named above have shown themselves to be selfish, ungrateful and greedy. Higgins and Williams especially should be ashamed.

wild said...

"Noone wants to travel all the way to Brazil for an event, they should have held it in the UK and all the top stars would play. I've said it before and will again what's the point in going to all these lengths to make snooker a global sport - it is what it is and it's great for the UK to be its home - it doesn't have to go elsewhere."


snooker is growing all over the world in countries that we never expected even 10 years ago. now we need to jump on that and try and tap in to it the problem is players are too thick to understand that and unless they wake up the chance is gone.

John F said...

Brazil has the potential to be the new China if Hearn does things correctly. Massive population, strengthening currency and economy, and South America's biggest TV market.

As usual, some players are incapable of seeing the bigger picture.

I notice Igor Figueiredo is in the draw for this as well - does anyone know exactly what he'll be playing this season? I'm wondering if a good Brazil run might give him the finances to play a bit more of the Main Tour?

Anonymous said...

Witz 78 8.42
Seems like you me and anon 12.07am have the same train of thought . Just want to see more opportunity for all players to move more freely up the ranking list . Would like to see a 1 year list too with 20 tournaments per season can't see why this can't happen. For the record I am ranked in the top 50 and would like to see the starter points system abolished , its a joke .

Anonymous said...

Dave can Barry actually do anything ie impose fines or bans? If not do you think he might change the rules so that he can?

Anonymous said...

The snooker pros need support from their families as well. I bet most of the top players aren't going because their wives were probably moaning too much about them being away from home.

John H said...

by their very nature invitation events are invitational- if personal circumstances cause someone to turn down an invitation to any happening in life it is their choice. It is unfortunate that a significant number of top 16 players have turned down the invitation but to label them foolish for doing so is unfair-
If one or two had declined it would be a different matter but for so many to turn it down would make me want to know the reasons and what lessons must be learnt to secure all the top players for an event in the future. When the matchroom stable was at its height back in the late 80s Mr Hearn on occassions did not accept invitations for his leading players to events that did not produce the required fee he thought they were worth. In the end these are professional sportsmen earning a living from the game and they can choose to accept or reject all invitations to events and exhibitions as suits them best. Of course it would be better for the game to have all the top ranked players playing when new countries put on an event, but at least those going are presumably committed to giving their best in Brazil which is better than someone turning up and keeping it as short as possible to ensure a swift return home, or worse still pulling out at short notice when they are included in the draw and publicity.

greeksnookeracademy said...

Snooker is rapidly growing worldwide during the last few years and World Snooker Ltd is capitalising on that. Eurosport, current champiions and also younger players have played their part. It seems that the majority of the players try to assist in any way they can. It would be fantastic however, if we had more 'big names' competing in Brazil and also elsewhere in the near future.

mg147 said...

Barry´s 100% right!
The top players aren´t too clever, are they? (hardly surprising..I mean, drop out of school at 12 or something and turn snooker pro, what can you expect?).
Sadly, who will be interested in this tournament now? I know I can´t care less! (hope Steve or Stephen wins it though! :)

Claus said...

The named players are tipping over tables and hiding from the bullets whizzing past their heads! Barry is really coming out guns blazing here and there is no place to hide this time.

This is what some people were criticizing Barry for not doing earlier: going after the no-shows. Now they have been outed. Let's see what the outcome of this will be. Because snooker is being rebuilt in many ways I suppose Barry has a valid point. Tweet, Ronnie, tweet!

Anonymous said...

Its all true but he has to consider the calendar. To play within some weeks in thailand, australia, gloucester, premier league and brazil is a bit overdone. Paul

Anonymous said...

A no show is different from a no entry. Players need a good reason to withdraw, they don't need a good reason not to enter. I would also like a bit more clarification on these "golden handcuff" contracts too, in respect of the Williams/Hendry lawsuit. Has Barry found a loophool in the ruling, or are his contracts in contempt of court??

Anonymous said...

I am a player and I feel trapped by Hearn as I want to play on tv in china and can't without a sanction !! How has ferguson allowed him to take our playing rights , he was on the board last time 110 sport won the court case and must know its wrong.

kildare cueman said...

A slight tweak to top players' contracts may be all thats needed here.

1. Make it clear that players must play in all introductory tournaments in new territories.

2. Withold 20 percent of all prizemoney until the end of the season, when it will be returned pending participation in said tournaments.

3. Abolish the medical note exemption. Snooker players are not employees. They are paid according to matches won, not by salary.

4. Invitation events must be block booked. i.e, The Masters and PL along with two new events. You enter all 4 or none at all.

5. In ranking events, let players ranked 33-96 play a qualifier with those ranked 1-32 playing the winners.

6. If you lose your first match, you recieve either no points or points equal to those who lose their first qualifying match.

7. Reduce the rankings for Sheffield PTCs. If a top player wants time off they can skip a few PTCs, which in fairness, were only introduced to give players match practice and an extra earning opportunity.

Ray said...

It seems as far as most of the players are concerned it goes in one ear and out the other.Sadly the state of snooker at a local level is looking decidedly unhealthy.
There's 3 clubs in my area (S.Wales - always a hot bed of snooker)that have been going for years. Recently one of these got rid of all bar 1 of their snooker tables in order to put pool tables in. The other 2 have also drastically reduced the number of snooker tables in favour of pool tables. It is so depressing.
It seems to me the current players won't be satisfied until BH gives it up as a bad dream.HELP!!!!!

Dave H said...

The player above raises an interesting point: to what extent are snooker players free agents?

The contract to play as a WPBSA member is essentially a contract of employment. It's the same as in many other sports and the reason a Liverpool player can't turn round and say that, for the next two weeks, he will play for Chelsea instead.

However, it is true that the sanction rule was withdrawn after a court action by Hendry and Williams and I would be interested to know in what terms it has been restored and, indeed, whether any player will challenge it.

Dave H said...

Incidentally, any player who has concerns about this and possibly solutions but does not want to be openly quoted can contact me at snookersceneblog@aol.com and will be assured that their anonymity will be protected.

wild said...

"I am a player and I feel trapped by Hearn as I want to play on tv in china and can't without a sanction !! How has ferguson allowed him to take our playing rights , he was on the board last time 110 sport won the court case and must know its wrong."

as a player you cocked up for many many years voting in rubbish people so as a fan i dont give a toss about your rights anymore you relinquished that by running this sport in to the ground.

now i dont mean you persanally you might be too young but collectively players has no more rights.

just get on with it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Wild, the Third Reich is no longer around for Barry Hearn to introduce snooker to, so he has to consider player rights.

As for these contracts, the previous ruling was when the game was under player ownership, so the judge probably took that into account. Now Barry owns 51% of the game, he does have a right to protect his commercial product. I mean, he's not a stupid man so I doubt he's sticking two fingers up at 700 years of English common law here, but I would be interested in knowing why the ruling no longer applies.

tatannes XI said...

mg147, is that clever to think sportsmen are dumbs since they left school early ?

Things are going really fast in snooker.
Brazilian Event's draw is anyway very attractive and not very different than Shanghai's last 16 last year !
Become a ranking one and a better schedule & no problem at all.

The ranking system needs some evolution (no revolution).
Anyway, there are many more ranking events and PTC give a lot more opportunities to climb the rankings quickly.
A monthly update is better & quite easy to apply.

players entering events should receive points even if they lose their first match.

Anonymous said...

Why is Barry mentioning Mark Allen? He is in the Brazil Masters draw. Has he withdrawn after all?

Anonymous said...

However, if the top players are missing, the other players have a greater chance to come so far that their prize money sufficient to pay their own travel and accommodation costs.

Anonymous said...

Barry Hearn is right.

Anonymous said...

Seifer Almasy said...
Barry Hearn is right.

6:39 PM

too right he is

also, he should have stamped on ronnie taking the piss out of him / WS before now.

Witz78 said...

anon 8.25 (top 50 player)

yeh i agree with that on a 1 year list as this would mean the newcomers werent restricted by half of their total coming from a points addition that has nothing to do with them.

Or if we have to keep the 2 year rankings, then come the end of the season the newcomers should have the starter points deducted and the actual seasons points they earned doubled.

Also the minimum points should be the same for all in events, your already at an advantage being higher up in the rankings, albeit youve worked your way up to there, but it should be up to you to prove you deserve to be there, not relying on more minimum points per events to keep your head above water.

likahokeith said...


Noone wants to travel all the way to Brazil for an event, they should have held it in the UK and all the top stars would play. I've said it before and will again what's the point in going to all these lengths to make snooker a global sport - it is what it is and it's great for the UK to be its home - it doesn't have to go elsewhere.
No wonder why snooker was in decline before.

All of sports need globalism, for example tennis, football, golf basketball etc. If snooker still camp in UK, what shall we do when snooker become unpopular in UK?

Anonymous said...

Losing to a player ranked 96th is a bit different to losing to a player ranked 17th, so let's not pretend first match losses are apples for apples. A top 16 player gets more points for winning their first matches because they beat tougher players, so they should get more loser points by the same logic. Nearly everyone in the top 16 got there under a more restrictive system, and at least you can move up the ranks four times a season now.

Anonymous said...

Dave - just to put this in some sort of perspective, what were the players being offered to go to Brazil - was it the same as the Wuxi Classic (Business Class flights + hotels + £4k)?

Anonymous said...

However, in any real sport a player does get to choose which events to enter and Hearn can hardly be surprised that an overseas nobody event is being shunned with the lack of ranking points.

I think it is poor from a number of players but I certainly don't see it all 1 way. The anti Ronnie lot need to get lost as well, it isn't just him and he does more than his fair share for the game elsewhere.

Witz78 said...


you sound like either a player keen to preserve their status or someone who doesnt want to move with the times and let the sport be more of a level playing field.

If the top players are good enough they should be able to beat their opponents without needing the safety net back up of decent losers points.

Someone in the 65-96 rankings bracket who wins their opening match in every ranking event still gets less points than someone in the top 16 who could LOSE all their matches. Surely that aint right?

If this season has the 9 rankers pencilled in then a 65-96 ranked guy would get 7,670 points for winning their 9 opening round games compared to 8,260 that a top 16 guy would get for losing all their opening games.

Im not daft, i know the games are harder at that stage, but theres no way thats fair. Its just protection of the elite and restricting talent rising. It certainly doesnt happen in other sports like tennis for example. Win and be rewarded, lose and face the consequences.

Anonymous said...

There's no logic to your argument witz. Someone who wins the 64-96 round is by definition a 64-80 performer (an 82 average rank). A top 16 player losing their first match is by definition a 32-96 performer (an average 64 rank). So yes, a top 16 player losing their first match should get more points than a 64-96 player winning their first match.

Anonymous said...


What nonsense. Losers, at any level, should receive minimal points for entering the event and not be rewarded just because they have a higher rank.

Anonymous said...

Seifer Almasy said...

The anti Ronnie lot need to get lost as well, it isn't just him and he does more than his fair share for the game elsewhere.

11:13 PM


spoken like a blinkered ronnie fan

Anonymous said...

With all of the recent troubles in the major English cities wouldn't it have been a marvellous gesture for all of our leading snooker players to unite.
A start would have been to play in the Brazilian Masters to showcase the fact that not everyone from our shores are lawless thugs.

Witz78 said...


it makes more sense than your nonsense non-argument

of course someone higher up the rankings should be a better player etc but what then entitles them to more points if they aint performing and winning. Snooker should be a results based business and if you dont win you should face the consequences.

This current system doesnt create a level playing field and equal opportunity.

The top players if there that good, should be able to win their opening matches anyway.

There already in a priveleged position, albeit theyve earned it, by qualifying for the venues, getting more guaranteed money per event, having a higher profile etc but i dont see why these should be helped to stay there at expense of those below them.

Anyway the 65-96 v top 16 comparison shows the extremes but doesnt always get the argument across best.

You just need to look at the various teired levels of the rankings and the increasing minimum points per events, which offers a form of protection and an unfair disadvantage to those below them.

wild said...

competition gets harder the higher you go so for a player losing first match playing Paul Davison to recieve the same points as player losing first match against Martin Gould is hardly fair and just a get up quick scheme.

the structure as it is could be altered but not in that stupid way witz says.

i think the best way is how they did it for the German Masters

Round 1 33-64 v 65-96
Round 2 Winners playing
Round 3 17-32 v 16 Round 2 Winners

but players losing first match higher up the rankings should not get same points as players playing rookies down the bottom standards are higher and more experiance.

tatannes XI said...

the best way to keep pro players involved is a one year ranking system.
There are enough tournaments by now.

last year, Ronnie (27), Mark Allen (23), Hendo (25), Jamie Cope & Marco Fu should then have lost their TOP16 rank to Stuart Bongham (12), Matthew Stevens (8), Stephen Lee (11), Judd Trump (3!!) & Martin Gould (9).
Neil Robertson finished 16th.

Gunnell, Lawler, McCulloch, Pettman, Haneveer & Couch lost their place to Guodong,Highfield, Chuang, Song, White & Woollaston.

players should earn some points even if they lose PTC first round.

qualifying system is hard but with a one year ranking, you climb really faster.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the solution to any perceived inequality is to flatten qualification; the German Masters was a step in the right direction, but I would make the qualification tiers all 64 man fields, with a holdover for the top 8/16 depending on venue space so you still get the top players at the venue. You would have to make an exception for The Crucible but basically you make qualification more realistic for low ranked players, rather than flying off to Never Never Land with witz.

Anonymous said...

As I understood it that all Players have to pay for their own transport/flight costs to tournaments now???
This is something that Barry Hearn instigated.

Witz78 said...

yeh id go with that set up too Wild

at least then the newcomers down arent wiping each other out in round 1, they are all getting a chance to prove themselves against established guys on tour.

plus in a sense it means being inside the top 32 is ultra important in the sense that your seeded and enter the qualifying in the final round as opposed to the dogfight in the previous 2 rounds.

ultimately id favour a fully flat qualifying set up with probably a tour of 80 players which is more sustainable at the moment given the prize money.

on this basis id go with

qualifying round 1 - 17th seed v 80th seed, 18v79, 19v78 etc

qualifying round 2 - 17/80 v 48/49 etc etc

so thered be 2 qualifying rounds only and for all players outwith the top 16 so itd be a level playing field and the issue of players recieving higher minimum points in qaulifying wouldnt be an issue.

Also it would be a simple case of win a game and you earn money, lose and you dont so the top 48/80 would earn money for an event. Once things improve there could be a minimal prize for those losing in 1st round of qualifying.

kildare cueman said...

Nobody is denying that top 16 players shouldn't receive more cash and better seeding.
It is ludicrous however, to suggest that they should receive multiples of points for losing than a low ranked player who wins matches.

For a player to reach the top 16, he has to do well in virtually EVERY tournament and then hope that an existing top 16er loses virtually all their first round matches.

Its tough to get there but once you're in its hard to go back out. There will never be fluidity of rankings as long as the insane system of awarding huge points for losing your opening match exists.

Apparently the argument in favour of this is to ensure that "stars" are present at the TV stages. Well there aren't too many stars appearing in Brazil this week, so maybe its time to open the floodgates and change the ranking system where the next batch of stars will come through and be professional sportsmen. The current pampered part timers can get washed away with the Walker regime.

wild said...

having top 16 players at a venue is fair and what sponsors and promoters need. theres just to much good players around to justify just having top 8 there then rest qualify.

at the moment you got Ronnie not in the top 8 in the world.

you got to give realistic goals for players getting in to the top 16 is the guaranteed milestone..

the top 8 at the moment is pretty strong it has to be said and breaking in to that will prove hard even trump with China Open win,WC Final and 2 PTC Wins only scrapes in to the top 8.

Anonymous said...

In the late 80s, when the WPBSA announced they would be taking the ranking event circuit outside England for the first time, Barry Hearn's immediate response was fairly negative to say the least.

Sure enough, in 1989, when Thailand, Hong Kong, Dubai and France all staged ranking events for the first time, Steve Davis didn't play in any of them.

Barry kept all of his players, which at the time included many of the biggest names in snooker, out of the first ranking event in Dubai.

I'm not saying he was right or wrong either then or now, but he's certainly changed his tune over the years.

Dave H said...

The reason his players didn't go to Dubai was because the WPBSA nicked the contract off him: it had been his tournament previously

You're correct about Davis's actions, but these were motivated by snooker politics, not money

Anonymous said...

Dave what's the record number of comments for a post? Are we nearly there?!

Dave H said...

There have been some posts with over 100 comments, usually about John Higgins or Scottish amateur snooker and their various wranglings

Anonymous said...

Yes, the debate in the comments is a pleasant read. 13 viewers a day... more like 1,300 in my estimation.

Anonymous said...

Dave, where do you stand on the tiered loser points? Same/no points for everyone or dependent on the level you lose at?

Dave H said...

I'm not sure I stand anywhere on it.

However, I do remember the days where the winners of ranking events got 6 points (!), 5 for runner-up, 4 for losing in the semis and so on.

Things felt a lot simpler then.

Anonymous said...

The old ranking/merit point system probably worked better. In that system ranking points were only earned by beating top players. That meant a couple of good runs could put you into the top 16 pretty much straight away (if it had operated on a rolling ranking system), since your other performances in qualifiers would effectively be ignored, unless you were on equal ranking points. Merit points would still recognise that you lost against a higher calibre of player, but not at the expense of achieving against a high calibre player. I know John Parrot preferred the old system and some other players did too; the points you get from reaching a semi get wiped out by a couple of first round defeats, it penalises failure rather than rewards success. Same principle applies to qualifiers, a semi-final finish with any luck these days would move you to the next 16 tier, but you would still be ranked below the top 16 first match losers. With the ranking/merit point system a couple of good runs would see you zoom up the rankings.

Anonymous said...

I feel the country is in need of a snooker resurrection from grass roots level.
Many of these looters and anarchists could channel their agrression and attention into playing snooker in local clubs in places like Clapham, Battersea and Croydon.
Sent coaches out with initiatives for would been lawless thugs and everyone gains.

Anonymous said...

dave where do you stand in pants v boxers?

(ones with snooker prints of course, just to keep us on topic)

Anonymous said...

You mean there are pants and boxers with snooker prints? Fantastic! Where do the top 16 stand on this vital issue? More importantly what's Barry Hearn's view?

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly agree with the 5.27pm post - the old ranking system was much easier for the fans to follow, it protected players at the top elechons a little better, which is what any sport should do, and makes it clear that only exceptionally good and consistent players will break into the top 16. The new ranking system changes so much it can't be taken seriously, after every tournament it's 4 or 5 new bodies into the top 16 and it can't be taken as seriously.

On the Brazil tournament, as an earlier poster said, it is an invitational event for a reason - players can choose if they want to play or not.

Dave H said...

To those asking about Mark Allen: he has pulled out and has been replaced by Martin Gould

Anonymous said...


barry thinks they hold the (brazil) nuts in well

wild said...

some are missing the point here.

in terms of the development of the sport on to a bigger scale Brazil is easily in the top 3 or 4 most important tournaments this season. if it works out well who knows the doors it might open for players and the sport its a real shame top players cant be bothered to try and give it the best possible chance with only 2 of this years WC Quarter finalists going.

Anonymous said...

The more I see of the somewhat formulaic current ranking method it makes me believe the game is top heavy in tail waggage of the slightly rabid dog in question.
Namely the spirit of the former greats is nullified by the corporate measures of the very best and the epitome of mediocrity in equal measues.

Anonymous said...

9.37 you use a lot of words to say absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

I think he's saying that the ranking system safeguards mediocrity and that many of the top players are short-sighted when it comes to developing snooker's long-term fortunes. It was a bit like doing a cryptic crossword though. Everyone say hi to Clive Everton!

Anonymous said...

dave write another story this ones not getting 100 comments

Anonymous said...

Apparently they are planning a ranking event in Syria very soon. Hopefully, all players will attend.

Anonymous said...

I think 9.37 just plucked a load of words from the dictionary and strung them together as a wind up. Its obvious from his grammar and spelling that hes not the brightest.

Anonymous said...

youre not perfect yourself 1202 in a glass house

jamie brannon said...

I'm stunned that this has got 85 comments. It's not a non-issue but doesn't seem that important.

An event featuring Mark Sleby, Shaun Murphy, Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry should do pretty good business.

The last three paragraphs that Dave writes hit the nail on the head. If this wasn't a new event then wouldn't see the fuss about players missing it as you don't get Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray turning up at every event by any means.

Anonymous said...

I think the issue, Jamie, is that even your average internet thicko can see how important this event is in the context of developing the game. Brazil is the doorway to South America, just as Germany is key to Europe. In an untested region you probably just have one shot at establishing the game, and if the event doesn't sell because all the big names have skipped it then there is a good chance it will be the next Bahrain rather than the next German Masters. The short-sightedness is pretty staggering. John Higgins was instrumental in bringing in Hearn, and has opted to not support the most important venture of the season. Ronnie actively appealed for someone to come in and initiated these changes, but he looks like he preferred the Walker way after all, because he's had no interest in all the new events apart from Power Shite.

If Hearn realised he was going to get this little support I fully believe he wouldn't have signed up to the cause. He honestly thought he would get the support from the game's key players that he consistently received from his own players in the 80s. I mean he talks tough, and we say he's too soft on the leading players but does anyone ever recall him threatening Davis, Griffiths and Taylor with disciplinary action in the 80s to get them to do what they should be doing? He shouldn't have to rely on disciplinary measures. The best thing that could happen would be for Selby to grab the top spot and Murphy to bag anothert world title, and at least then Hearn can sell the world champion and number 1 for these events. If he can get Trump to see things his way too, then he can just focus on the new generation of players.

Claus said...

At least the brazilians will get to see Stephen Hendry lift a trophy. Not too shabby, I'd say.

Anonymous said...


this is not tennie

theyre not comparible

unless your name is jamie

Anonymous said...

The reason it got so many comments is that people are genuinely dismayed at the non appearance of the top players at such an important promotion for snooker.
Also, any thread featuring Hearn is a big interest point.

Anonymous said...

No need for such debate on this.
However, a ranking event in Syria would go down perfectly. There can be no excuse for any player to drop out!

Anonymous said...

anon 4.40

there are some internet thickos that are out doing themselves in thinking the brazilian masters isnt that important some are even more thick than others :)

Anonymous said...

@829 They're probably professional players.

Anonymous said...

5.27 pm
Regarding the old merit / ranking points system .
Under that system a rookie/ lower ranked player could win 30 matches in 10 tournaments gaining 30 merit points and would be lower ranked than a top 16 player winning 1 match in ten events gaining 1 ranking point !
That would be a return to the dark ages , think about the stats before posting please !

Anonymous said...

If you can't beat the top players you shouldn't be above them. It's pretty simple really.

Anonymous said...

cant understand Stevens decision not to play. Its not like hes inundated with offers. His non appearance will surely cost him his place in next years prem league.

jamie brannon said...

It's important to grow the sport in Brazil but feel that even without the absentees that can be acheived with the field the event does have.

A lot of new events in sport might only have a few top names to begin with but they often then set the trend for other big names to follow.

However, looking at from the point of view of growing in a continent where there is no established fanbase can see it is more of an issue than I first stated. However, in my defence, I did say Dave was right about players not picking and choosing like they do on the ATP Tour, that's why his last three or four paragraphs said.

Anonymous said...

336 makes a good point

hope next years PL players only come from the boys from brazil

im trying to get you by 100 dave

Anonymous said...

Stevens will probably have to win the Premier League or the Championship League if he wants to play in it again, pretty much like he had to this time.

Anonymous said...

interestingly the non acceptance of invitations by certain current top players creates the opportunity for an investor to build on the tournament next year to attract more of the top players. If the public in Brazil are relatively unfamiliar with the star names (I suspect they know Davis and Hendry) then who is actually in the field aside from having a few with the title 'former world champion' is fairly irrelevant as long as some good snooker is played! It is the appeal of the game of snooker itself and not the appearance or otherwise of certain players by which the tournament will stand or fall and determine future interest in Brazil. Their are more than enough 'stars' there to make for a mouthwatering invitational tournament of top quality snooker.

Anonymous said...

not being a pro myself.i couldnt cut it..but i knew that so it wasnt my goal.even though being a decent player, but i remember though while playing as a kid, it was a dream to become a professional,,to earn some decent money ,to be on tv,the fame,the admiration and to be someone...to be there up near the top of the wonderful game.im wondering have they forgetten that is what their thoughts were.?.. there are tens of hundreds,maybe more, of other players who sweated and toiled,to be up there,near the top, who didnt get a trade to earn money because they wanted to be in their positions,and then they had no skill to fall back on when they DIDNT make it as a professional..i know loads of them,,,and they driving taxis ,cleaning cars and working now in factories,and doing the jobs that they didnt really want to do....ok they didnt quite make it,,and there maybe sarcastic remarks or thoughts in reply to this,like, tough !,but remember boys how lucky you are,and look at your houses and your standing in the game.and the fame and buzz it gave you when you walk out in to the arena and being asked for your autographs..and just remember....its because of snooker you are where you are..and without that fame you probably wouldnt have the families you,ve got..!!!...so give the sport what it gave you.and thank your lucky stars that you not earning 10 grand a year..and have some pride and respect for the people who are trying to make it great again.so give the man who is trying to give you more so you can earn more a fair crack ,because if you dont you,ll lose him..and then there be no more wages but if you dont want to support the game that made you who you are,,pack it in..!!!...you just dont realise how lucky you are..best wishes..an avid follower from Wales

Anonymous said...

1210 i disagree entirely

you cant just put a poster up saying two multiple world champions and the rest can really play good snooker and will show you....

that doesnt wash with people

even brazillians who are newbies

Anonymous said...

i see barry was online at 109am...

Anonymous said...

Hearn doesn't have to use disciplinary measures. He can just say to the absentees that if they don't want to play in the Brazilian Masters, then he'll assume they don't want to play in the Alexandra Palace Masters...

Anonymous said...

that wasnt barry hearn online at 1.09 ...that is someone who beleives barry hearn can bring more to the game than anyone else has for many years..and he,s thinking outside the box to do this..if i remember rightly he started taking the game to the far east years ago..and look at the response it has there now..so support him and dont forget where they come from..!!!.south wales fan,

Anonymous said...

It's a shame Barry did not moan the same way when players opted out of their commitments at WPBSA events to play in Matchroom events...

Anonymous said...

Why is it a shame 1.09. Is it because you think so?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hearn doesn't have to use disciplinary measures. He can just say to the absentees that if they don't want to play in the Brazilian Masters, then he'll assume they don't want to play in the Alexandra Palace Masters...

3:28 PM


if youd read the previous comments before posting you would have seen that id did that thinking for you already

Anonymous said...

1036 has a very very good point

however, things are much different these days and no matter what foot the shoe is on these days, this moaning about not attending to support a new official event is correct.

Anonymous said...

i didn say anyting about a shame,,,(1.09)....south wales fan...

Anonymous said...

How popular is snooker in Brazil? Is snooker broadcasted there and how are the viewing figures? Some mentioned the German Masters but the popularity of snooker here started with Eurosport. They broadcasted it in Germany again since the early 2000s and the viewing figures were very good (for a fringe sport like snooker is in Germany). Then Paul Hunter and Matthew Stevens were invited to a small tournament and it was a success and it developed into the "Paul Hunter Classics". At that time the people here were happy to see professional snooker live. There were just a few top ranked players and the majority were Top 32 but we were gratefull to see those players. Players like Steve Davis, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry then started to do exhibitions all over the country and you could see there was demand in this country and it was for sure you can fill a hall if Germany gets a ranking event. I know snooker has a history in Brazil but back to my question, is there currently great demand for snooker? Otherwise I think it should be promoted a bit more but not with a proper tournament with all Top 16 players in front of empty seats. I don't think that would be good promotion.