17.8.11

PREMIER LEAGUE RETURNS

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.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's unfair that people sneer at the premier league. I think it's a great event and shot-clock snooker is the most exciting form of the game in my opinion. People should stop being such blind traditionalists and embrace different forms of the game as each form has its own pros and cons. Watching a player ponder a shot choice for a minute and a half might bring about a welcome build-up of tension, but it can also bring about a less welcome slow build-up of boredom.

Anonymous said...

was a great event years ago

recently boring as it was set up for speedy gonzalez to win time and again.

now the format is worse on paper but that may help stop speedy winning. heres hoping...

Anonymous said...

@1:14pm you mean there is actually someone out there who prefers shot clock to real snooker? Don't tell me...you're a devout ROS follower!

Anonymous said...

I suppose technically the "best" player under this format (a 20 second clock and ball-in-hand) is actually Nigel Bond. Why isn't he in the expanded line-up? Was there some concern that he might go on and win the event? Let's face it, under the new qualification rules then Ronnie isn't guaranteed to be in the event next year unless he defends his title.

TrevorP said...

I think the premier league was one of the major titles until they messed about with it this year.often heard players mention it as the 5th major after world,uk,masters and the now defunct grand prix.the changes have turned this great event from a non ranking major to a snooker variant it is ruined imo.

TrevorP said...

Bond is not in it because he did not win one of the major titles last season.

wild said...

i like the changes because its defied its status.

it was never a 5th major cash doesent give it major status.

it was a knockabout entertainment on a thursday night.

wild said...

trevor

and jimmy won hmmmmmmmm ? lol

Anonymous said...

"Bond is not in it because he did not win one of the major titles last season."

And yet Jimmy White is...

Anonymous said...

@6:36pm Jimmy White is in it because he won the World Seniors Championship.

Anonymous said...

6.36

......because he won a title last season.Simples!

Anonymous said...

Jimmy White won the seniors title!

Anonymous said...

Bond isnt in it because nobody wants to look at him.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy White has earned his place amongst snooker legends. He deserves to be there even if he isn't the form man anymore. I'd rather watch him than Stephen Maguire or Shaun Murphy.

The whole Premier League thing is just a joke. Money spinning for the top players, without as I've mentioned before on this blog the competitive edge which makes people drawn to the game - the real will to win like at the Crucible or the Masters. It's just not there with the Premier League hence it's just not as enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

@710

So did Bond. Jimmy won his title against a bunch of old fuddy-duddies, whereas Bond won a Tour event.

Anonymous said...

Nigel Bond is the only player on this plannet thats won a tournament with a 20 second shot clock and hes not invited in to a tournament with 20 second shot clock ???

Anonymous said...

Are the draws randomly made or is there some system to who plays who? I mean, it would make sense to have two players from the top five seeds against two players from the bottom five (thus meaning that each of the top five seeds would be drawn to play each other in a final every week) but this doesn't seem to be the case.

Anonymous said...

The entries, as far as attractive name goes, was logically based on tournament winners. But if we have had more anonymous winners i.e. Higginson/O'Brien/Campbell I doubt Barry Hearn would have selected the players on this basis. He is a clever man and I'm sure the format will be subject to change continually. Nothing wrong with that. In a set-up such as this it is fair to pick the big names to entertain us.

finn said...

Jimmy should retire rather than continue his sad embarrassing decline in the public gaze. The way this tournamnet has been manipulated to allow him to play is ridiculous.

Mal said...

For those saying Jimmy won the seniors and that's why he is in..

Let's suppose that Jimmy White won the 20 second one frame shoot out tournament and Nigel Bond won the seniors... Would Nigel Bond have been then selected for the premier league? Wouldn't have thought so - but I'm sure the selction would have been Jimmy for winning the one frame shoot out.

I think for any event, the qualification criteria should be set up before and not after the event.

Anonymous said...

its on a seeding basis with Ronnie being No 1 and Jimmy being No 10

Time said...

Finn,

Think what you like about him being in the PL but his demise his hardly sad and embarrassing. Jimmy is almost 50 and is still hovering around the world's top 50 in the rankings having qualified for a lot of last season's ranking events. Just because he isn't as good as he was 10 years ago doesn't mean his demise is sad and embarrassing.

You making a comment like that is sad and embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

finn said...
Jimmy should retire rather than continue his sad embarrassing decline in the public gaze. The way this tournamnet has been manipulated to allow him to play is ridiculous.

9:20 AM
------------

best post on here in months

(i like jimmy though)

Anonymous said...

barry hearn has been excellent once again for snooker

having said that, to treat fans as stupid by saying this reason for picking players and expecting them to believe it is stupidity itself.

just say, i pick who i like!

Anonymous said...

Nigel Bond is a very good snooker player and has been for 2 decades...out of millions playing the sport.

hes great socially too.

pity some people dont like him as he doesnt smile much while doing what he treats as a job...or that he doesnt sit playing with spoons while not at the table.

Anonymous said...

what is the obsession with nigel bond? Jimmy is a legend and is the most popular player to pick up a cue. He should be playing in everything. The public pay these players wages not the half dozen bond fans. Its Hearns tournament. He can play who he likes and is not bound by any stupid rules or idiots saying this should be this way or that way. The likes of dreary Bond shouldnt even be allowed on the tour never mind the premier league. He wrecked the buzz in the sky shoot out by winning it.

Anonymous said...

Stupid comments about Nigel Bond above. He does deserve to in the Premier League. It seems harsh to me.
You could also make a case for someone like Barry Pinches. Won a PTC event last year and that's tough.

finn said...

1.08
What is sad and embarrassing about stating the truth? I'm a Jimmy fan but everytime he plays in front of the cameras nowadays he totally flunks. Yes he maintains a top 64 position, but it's not like he's ever going to break the top 32 again. The sooner people get to grips with this, the easier the inevitable post match disappointment becomes. Furthermore, at times in the past year I have found his self indulgent and self promoting tweets rather tasteless. For example the night of the World final promoting his legends tour incessantly alongside his sliding doors company.
Good luck tonight anyway Jimmy ... I look forward to the 'but I've been playing well in practice line'

wild said...

2.08

say that then instead of some bollocks about World seniors.

Witz78 said...

yeh i think in future Hearn should just say the 10 in the Premier League are....

and not give a reason.

Personally i wouldnt have a shotclock event like the Premier League without the likes of Ronnie, Jimmy and Drago automatically invited every year.

Its a bit like hvaing a go slow tournament without the likes of Selby, Ebdon and Rory involved.

Sonny said...

2:08pm - typical PL fan!

Personally I think the days of the PL taking up most Thursdays for several months and therefore stopping new full ranking events being scheduled should be numbered when looking at future seasons. It's had its time, the results are meaningless, no one cares who wins, it's just entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Lol, I bet the criteria would soon change if Selby and Ebdon won rankers and Rory the Championship League this season.

wild said...

its a fun event lets treat it as such and not try and sell it as a major and invite the teletubbies if that what he wants.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
what is the obsession with nigel bond? Jimmy is a legend and is the most popular player to pick up a cue. He should be playing in everything. The public pay these players wages not the half dozen bond fans. Its Hearns tournament. He can play who he likes and is not bound by any stupid rules or idiots saying this should be this way or that way. The likes of dreary Bond shouldnt even be allowed on the tour never mind the premier league. He wrecked the buzz in the sky shoot out by winning it.

2:08 PM
------------

i dont believe the arenas were empty last fet times when jimmy wasnt playing, or that vieweing figures were bad.

seems people didnt vote with their feet, that disgruntled that he wasnt in it then.

he wasnt missed and isnt very good any more.

still he used to be excellent and can play fast and with lots of fizz on the cuball, so he gets a space.

JOKE!

Anonymous said...

finn

your post at 316 beat the other best post you did earlier

crass and tasteless is what hes become.

once a fav of mine. now hes cringeworthy.

Anonymous said...

id love that slow tourney 355

as long as those involved arent covering their heads with towels, doing a uri geller, tweeting the life out a door company etc then id enjoy good hard matchplay.

id not care if there wasnt a century made in 4 minutes or that players played safe so as not to lose instead of whacking balls about at 100mph

Anonymous said...

So who would we have in the slow tourney?

Selby, Ebdon and McLeod go without saying. King and Harold would be a couple more obvious choices. Maybe Dott (who while can be fluent usually gets bogged down), Fergal, McManus, Gunnell, Walden. It sounds like hell, but I kind of want to see it in a weird masochistic sort of way. We could get Skoda to sponsor it.

Anonymous said...

id get the re record not fade away video tapes maker to sponsor it

Anonymous said...

I'd have Robertson, Fu and Bond in it before Dott.

Anonymous said...

the whirlwind couldnt have blown out a candle flame last night.

just proves he was a wrong pick, imo.

Witz78 said...

851

so was Robbo a wrong pick too then on the basis he also lost 3-0?

questions have to be asked of Robbos attitude to the sport since the World Open last season.

Anonymous said...

Attitude isn't really the problem, it's focus. Snooker players don't tend to be very good at juggling family life. Look at what happened to Williams once he became a father in 2004, and it wiped out three seasons for John Higgins. Barry Hearn should impose chastity on them, like Yoda did with Jedi Knights.

Anonymous said...

Witz78 said...
851

so was Robbo a wrong pick too then on the basis he also lost 3-0?

-----

no

my post at 851 never mentioned the scoreline.

Seifer Almasy said...

The shot clock is the one event where we see natural talent as the major positive rather than gamesmanship and plodding uselessness.

The truth is that the reason Higgins and other plodders don't do well is because they cannot think fast enough. The clock should be embraced in 1 half of the tour because it benefits flair players and the traditional game benefits the Higgins types.

That is a fair tour. Like tennis has 3 different surfaces that test different players. The only reason that more people aren't for it is the sheer hatred by some people to change and to Ronnie personally. In time, shot clock ranking events will arrive so get used to it.

Anonymous said...

another blinkered and biased view from one of the most disliked snooker forum posters there is.

Anonymous said...

If we are going to embrace "flair players" we should also embrace tacticans too. If you are going to use the clock in half the tournaments, then thick 70s rugs should be used in the other half of the tour.

Seifer Almasy said...

then thick 70s rugs should be used in the other half of the tour.
-------

I am all for that. But be aware that tactical games exist in the shot clock game too, it is just HARDER to do it because you have to think faster.

Snooker needs diversity like Tennis because at the moment it is stagnated and biased to 1 type of player, and most people these days do not like the traditional game as much as fast flowing Snooker from flair players. It is the Ronnie's and Trumps who are the bread winners for this sport.

For too long we have embraced stagnation and static ideology. Sadly Hearn seems to be trying to find a middle ground by reducing the format to best of 7's etc... even UK has been reduced. That isn't helping talent or the cream to rise to the top, it is creating lottery winners and dumbing down the game.

Need a new approach people.

Anonymous said...

Seifer Almasy said...
then thick 70s rugs should be used in the other half of the tour.
-------

I am all for that. But be aware that tactical games exist in the shot clock game too, it is just HARDER to do it because you have to think faster.

Snooker needs diversity like Tennis because at the moment it is stagnated and biased to 1 type of player, and most people these days do not like the traditional game as much as fast flowing Snooker from flair players. It is the Ronnie's and Trumps who are the bread winners for this sport.

For too long we have embraced stagnation and static ideology. Sadly Hearn seems to be trying to find a middle ground by reducing the format to best of 7's etc... even UK has been reduced. That isn't helping talent or the cream to rise to the top, it is creating lottery winners and dumbing down the game.

Need a new approach people.
--------------

i disagree with all of that.

Seifer Almasy said...

12:57 AM

The voice of an anonymous man who has no point of view of his own, and can only retort with "I disagree" is not worth listening to in the slightest. It is your type of closed mindedness that doomed this game for years.

Anonymous said...

If you want to avoid stagnation then you don't rig the format to suit any type of player. It's what turns an event mickey mouse, and any serious snooker fans sees the Premier League for what it is. On modern day cloths you get fast games that are as free-flowing as a virgin on her wedding night, and you also get grindfests. We're still yet to see any evidence of the fast snooker=big audience theory...

Anonymous said...

Seifer Almasy said...
12:57 AM

The voice of an anonymous man who has no point of view of his own, and can only retort with "I disagree" is not worth listening to in the slightest. It is your type of closed mindedness that doomed this game for years.
--------------

my name is Craig

from one closed mind to one empty one....

Yours, Craig

Anonymous said...

Just on another point Dave, I heard that Taio Cruz is a big fan of snooker and may be visiting the Crucible next year, possibly to sit in the seat once sat in by Prince Naseem Hamed. Do you know if this is true?

No offence or anything, do you know who Taio Cruz is?

Dave H said...

I have a little familiarity with the Cruz oeuvre

Anonymous said...

I had to google him, but it's good for snooker when fashionable people show up at the events. David Cameron is a snooker fan, World Snooker should send him a free ticket for the Masters.

Anonymous said...

"David Cameron is a snooker fan, World Snooker should send him a free ticket for the Masters."
____________________________________

how many free gifts does he send out ?

Anonymous said...

Quite a lot actually; your state benefits don't grow on trees you know.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the economy would get a little better if Cameron was to pay for tickets and not get freebees all over the place?