Tom Ford won his second PTC title and the first on television with his 4-3 defeat of Martin Gould in the 11th tournament of the series in Sheffield last night.

It wasn’t a great final but it was a confidence boosting achievement by Ford, a player who has long threatened to break through in a big tournament.

In fact he has nurdled his way up into the top 32, a position he has consolidated with wins in the qualifiers and now has the PTC grand finals to look forward to.

Ford beat Judd Trump and Graeme Dott en route to the final and in the end he finished off well in the decider.

There were the usual online sneers and snipes at the event from people whose main contribution to the sport seems to be to run it down and look only for negatives.

Yes, it was a rather low key affair but it was never originally intended to be played in Sheffield. It was a fallback which ensured television coverage.

And Eurosport’s figures on Saturday were extremely high, which proves that there is a great appetite for any sort of snooker and that the more tournaments that are shown, the more this appetite remains.

Trump is bringing people to the sport, of that there is no doubt. Whenever he plays the figures go up.

But it also seems to be true that viewers want to watch snooker and that who is playing does not necessarily matter.

This has been one of the positives of the PTCs: it has illustrated the strength in depth which exists in the game.

Ford was not among the favourites at the start of play but he took his chance and well done to him.


Ray said...

Eurosport are doing a marvellous job overall to preach the gospel of snooker. It's not perfect (e.g.with the timings) but there again is anything? The only thing that grates a bit is Mike Hallett calling every double a cross double. Please somebody have a word.

Dave, thanks for all the hard work you've put into this year's blog. Your total passion for the game always shines through. Your insightful pieces are thoroughly entertaining and informative. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Can't wait for the Masters.

kildare cueman said...

I used to envy sports like Horse racing and football with their week to week coverage. We're nearly there now, and the PTCs are an integral part of that package just as championship football is part of that overall package.

The last few tournaments have all featured what I consider to be some of the game's most watchable players reaching finals. Trump, O'Sullivan, Allen, Gould, and even Ford, who I have long been a fan of.

Of course there are minor issues within the game to be sorted, but since my first taste of TV snooker in 1979 I have never felt such a feeling of anticipation and optimism for the future of the game.

Am already looking forward to seeing next years calendar

Witz78 said...

Sods the Masters. Its the early New Year action from Crondon Park that real snooker fans are desperately waiting for now.
Who knows what 2012 will bring, in 12 months time how much closer to reality will Hearns vision of a global sport playing 24-7, 52 weeks a year, ok maybe 50 wks a year....be? Time will tell. My top 6 significant moments of 2011 in no particular order would be Trumps emergence, Hearn putting the critics in their place, Williams numerous bottle jobs, Twitter enhancing the snooker fans world, Hendry finally dropping out of the elite and the success of the Shootout silencing the critics.

Anonymous said...

well done fordy

dave, any chance we could see those figures and perhaps a short compare post with trends?

Anonymous said...

Nurdled is the best word I've read all year.

Dave H said...

I'm afraid I don't have the actual data, it was just what I was told

Also, Trump's semi-final against Robertson at the UK attracted one of the biggest figures of the year

Anonymous said...

no probs dave

ill take your word as youre stright

Anonymous said...

while were here....ive read more vulgar things on Ronnies twitter

tasteless and classless!

jamie brannon said...

Is it true then that Walden can still relegate O'Sullivan from the top 16?

Also, Janie Watkins seemed to think O'Sullivan would only have to qualify for the China, Welsh and World Opens, but Dave I noticed said he would be involved in qualifying for the World Championship. So a little confused with the whole situation.

Holt's remarks come across as man jealous of the attention that O'Sullivan recieves, although most of it is fully deserved for what a fantastic player and fascinating character he is.

Yes, his repeated threats to retire are boring, but also it should deduce a shrug of ambivalence rather than getting annoyed with it.

jamie brannon said...

Here is my 2011 snooker awards:

Player of the Year: Judd Trump. He eclipses Higgins for being more consistent throughout the twelve months, and for helping to popularise the game for the next generation.

Tournament of the Year: World Championship. In fact, the greatest tournament I've ever witnessed. It felt like a water-cooler moment for the Hearn revolution. A fantastic standard of play, classic semis and final, and the Trump X-factor.

Match of the Year: Ding v Trump, World Championship semi-final. An incredible barrage of breakbuilding and potting from the two best players to emerge in the 21st century, culminating in some visceral tension and drama.

It just edges the supreme UK final.

Commentator of the Year: John Parrott. Underrated member of the BBC team, who avoids waffle and provides a reasoned view on where players sit in the pecking order of now, and the pantheon of history.

Referee of the Year: Jan Verhaas. The Dutchman has been setting the benchmark since his debut in 1993.

Performance of the Year: Judd Trump. I'm picking his quarter final win at the UK Championship against Maguire. It was a performance that was strong in all departments, but said to me that he has made us re-evaluate what is safe and what is not.

Overall, it has a been a seminal year for the sport, principally because the biggest two events on the calendar were exceptional, but also for the fact that Barry Hearn has got us believing that snooker has not peaked in what it can acheive.

Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, Martin Gould, Stuart Bingham and Ding Junhui are the players that should be most pleased with 2011.

However, fans of Ali Carter, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Jamie Cope, Liang Wenbo and Stephen Maguire will be a lot less satisfied with how these players fared.

Dave H said...

I did not at any point say that O'Sullivan would have to qualify for the World Championship

jamie brannon said...

Dave, thought I'd read a tweet saying that if he dropped out then he would miss the cut-off point point for the World Championship as well as what Janie mentioned. Sorry if I mis-read it.

It seems to me that Walden could only displace Stephen Lee after the final PTC event in early January.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that Twitter has proved the well worn theory that snooker players are in general, complete numpties.

Witz78 said...

Ronnie WILL have to qualify for the WC whatever happens with Walden in the last PTC.

Hes gonna be starting the next ranking period in 18th at very least 2,150 pts off 16th and likely more.

With just 2 small 5,000 pts ranking events Wales and Germany to be played before the WC cut off, even 2 quarter finals prob wont be enough for Ronnie as that would only get him an extra 3,600 pts. And bear in mind Ronnie has only made 1 quarter final in the last 10 ranking events, so its really do or die time for him.

However as he himself says on Twitter, whats the big deal about being IN the top 16, surely winning events is more important than being just happy to be in a protected elite with the guarantees that provides. And with the proposed flat 128 system in the pipeline Ronnie has a point.

Dave H said...

My tweet said he would have to qualify for the World, Welsh and China Opens, which are the three ranking events seeded before the World Championship

Anonymous said...


ronnies point is foolish, but hey it points the spotlight at him, so....

"i dont care if im not top 16, winning events counts"

you pointed out, 1 1/4 final in ten events

ok hes won lots before that, but here and now (not including the mickey mouse events [set up to suit him]) hes not top 8 unless he plays near his todays best

and hes not close to winning proper events

so, egg on face ronnie, yeah its about winning AND YOU AINT DOING THAT IN THE REAL SNOOKER WORLD

id love to see him have to qualify

needs a rest so doesnt bother going to PTCs...but then may have to go to extra qualifiers. priceless