The ninth Players Tour Championship event of the season is underway in Antwerp in Belgium, with the big boys coming in tomorrow.

The right and wrongs of the PTC series have been endlessly debated so I’m going to concentrate on the actual snooker, which is supposed to be what it is all about.

One of the undoubtedly positive aspects of the PTCs is the varied cast of characters you get to watch, veering from all time greats to complete unknowns and all those in between.

I dare say we’ll see Bjorn Haneveer, who is hanging up his cue after the tournament. Put simply, Bjorn can earn more commentating for Belgian Eurosport and his carpentry business than playing snooker.

But he goes out on a high...a meeting on Saturday with a certain James Warren White on home soil.

It’s terrific to have snooker back in Belgium, something of a hotbed for the sport 20 years ago before – guess what – the old WPBSA fell out with the then promoters.

John Parrott, Mike Hallett and James Wattana all won the old Humo Belgian Masters before the European Open was taken there, first won by Jimmy White in 1992.

Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry also won this ranking event on Belgian soil before the country was effectively abandoned by the governing body.

Haneveer never quite broke through in the way he threatened to do. He was an excellent amateur and did get to a couple of last 16s in ranking tournaments but never got higher in the world rankings than 53rd.

The new Belgian hope is Luca Brecel, who like many a young player who is talked up by others has to try and shrug off the weight of expectation being placed on him.

All of the televised PTCs have so far been won by top players. It seems that a crowd and the lights and cameras really do make these less of a leveller.

Eurosport’s coverage begins tomorrow at 11.45am UK time and the TV table is also available on the Eurosport Player, liveworldsnooker.tv and various streams.


Anonymous said...

i like belgian chocolates

oh, and monique too.

looking forward to this event

Anonymous said...

Hi snooker fans around the World its great to watch live snooker on the Internet. Go to www.liveworldsnooker.tv to watch it live,
cheers Leonard from CANADA

Anonymous said...

The UK Championship is the first taste of snooker terrestrial viewers will have had since May. For a revamped calendar, a seven month gap of main TV action isn't great. The October BBC tournament being taken away leaves a huge gap. Little non-televised TV tournaments don't hold any interest to the public. Snooker would be in a better state with the fans if it scrapped the WHOLE PTC tour just to put that one BBC tournament back on the calendar. Fact.

Anonymous said...

7.52. Please dont end your absurd argument with FACT when its not actually a fact. I am a fan and you have no right to represent me. I much prefer snooker now to what it was pre Hearn. fact.

Anonymous said...

814 i think 752 was just saying he sent his comment by fax machine. im not sure but thats what i thought. FAXED

kildare cueman said...

Have to say I love the EPTCs. Wall to wall coverage of many different matches is far preferable to Hazel Irvine asking the same boring questions over and over.

I would like to see the prizemoney increased though. Theres not a huge amount of upgrading required to have them on a par with the likes of the German, Welsh and Australian tournaments.

If the prizemoney was doubled with a 30k first prize and the ranking points inceased by 50 percent, they would be very significant, or tier two rankers. This could be financed by dropping some of the Sheffield tournaments.

Betty Logan said...

It depends how they're financed; presumably the sponsors and broadcasters will pay less if there are fewer tournaments, so doubling prize money by halving the number of events may not viable. I still think the best option is to have the PTCs double up as qualifiers which will reduce expenses, and the qualifier and PTC money can be pooled.

Anonymous said...

not a bad idea betsy, though it wouldnt be just as easy as written word but it could be sorted to work in some fashion like that

Anonymous said...

Is total prize money for this tournament £50,000 or €50,000 (£43,000)? Total prize money for the Welsh Open is £200,000, so still quite a big difference, but its not beyond the bounds of possibility that a couple of EPTCs will get to this level if their profile increases and they can get more from sponsorship / TV?

jamie brannon said...

I have some memory of Quinten Hann winning a Belgian Masters in 1997, he beat Patrick Delesemme, I think. I'm sure I read about in the first Snooker Scene I read.

Anonymous said...

you should be on mastermind jamie if your memory is that good. youre better than google!

jamie brannon said...

I'm not saying I'm right but just thought I'd throw it out there. I noticed Delesemme didn't feature in this Antwerp bunfight.

Anonymous said...

jamie you missed my point.
and i wasnt slagging you