The Partycasino.com Premier League returns tomorrow, which means the first chance to observe and assess its new format.
The league now features ten players and each night consists of two best of five frame semi-finals followed by a best of five final.
The Embassy Theatre in Skegness hosts the opening night, which will as usual be televised live by Sky Sports.
World champion John Higgins plays Jimmy White in the first semi-final and Neil Robertson faces Matthew Stevens in the second.
The shot-clock remains but is reduced to just 20 seconds.
Nobody has played better under the shot-clock than Ronnie O’Sullivan, the nine times Premier League champion who has won five of the six tournaments held under the 25 second limit.
Can his dominance continue?
Under a much more cut-throat format, O’Sullivan may be more vulnerable. These matches are really very short.
However, the other side of that coin is that his ease with the shot-clock could be even more apparent – and the unease many of the other players feel even more obvious.
Some people sneer at the Premier League but it is in fact one of snooker’s most successful events, having run since 1987.
It also fulfils an important function in bringing live snooker to various parts of the UK not normally served.
This is more important now than ever as there are fewer top snooker tournaments played in Britain than at any time in the lifetime of the league.
Full details here.