The Championship League returns today for its fifth staging with a Premier League place once again up for grabs at the end of the eight groups at Crondon Park golf club in Essex.

I can’t improve on pro Snooker Blog’s excellent preview of the event so will lazily link to it here.

However, a word on the competition as a whole. I’ve heard people question the point of it. Well, the point of it is that it makes money, and there is no reason to axe a profitable event. It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of other tournaments.

It makes money for the players, the organisers, the bookies, the production company, the referees, the venue, the commentators, the table fitters and anyone else I’ve forgotten.

Most top 16 players have once again entered. Why wouldn’t they? What else would they be doing the week before the Masters than practising for it?

Better to get good solid match practice against other top players and be paid for it.

John Higgins, Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott have not entered but can of course all practice together.

The players are invited according to their rankings but can defer until a later group, as Mark Williams and Neil Robertson have by choosing to play in group 2 rather than 1.

The Championship League has a strange atmosphere because it has no atmosphere: there is no room for spectators and, as it’s set up to be bet on, there could be machinations if there was a crowd as streams are typically 10-15 second behind live action.

Also this week, the Hainan World Open qualifiers take place in Sheffield with 16 spots available for the 32-man final stages in February.

A long term deal to stage the tournament in China is expected to be announced today.


Anonymous said...

have people stopped posting on your blogs?

the last one was at 17 replies for days...

kimball said...

Oh no, we are here this year too!

kildare cueman said...

I think its a nonsense event really. If profit is the only criteria then four man exhibition tournaments featuring O'Sullivan and Trump could be held every week.

Championship league is just about justifiable at the moment, but as new events arise and the calendar becomes more crowded then surely, along with the English PTCs, it will be first to go.

jamie brannon said...

I hope we get a series looking back at the Masters through the decades. The UK one was enjoyable.

Although understand you will be busy with commentary and eating those much talked about breakfasts!

Claus said...

It speaks volumes about the importance of the PTCs that there is no mention at all about yesterday's final where Maguire won the title. Even on the sport's number one blog. Matt was pretty much alone in mentioning it.

These spectator-filled events in Germany are pure gold for the sport, absolutely excellent again dear Germans, but the PTCs as a whole get largely ignored.

When even the very best of the PTC (crowd driven german events) get zero attention perhaps Barry should take notes. Things surely need to change (scrap the PTCs and make real events in Europe instead).

Anonymous said...

I personally think its great..it certainly in its first year boosted ali carter and joe perrys career..they both had greaT RUNS IN THE CRUCIBLE. why isnt fergal o brien playing in it considering he is is top 32 neither is ken,being from Ireland wanted to cheer on the Irish lads..to sum up its great match practice and the players earn a few grand and eat well while they are there..whats wrong with that?

Dave H said...

I wasn't wilfully ignoring Maguire's win, just didn't have time to put anything together

Anonymous said...

Do the betting sites really pay enough to meet the cost of the streaming, commentators, the venue, refs and the £200k prize fund?

Anonymous said...

Strip away the PTC's and put one strong televised event on every month. That would be better as the players don't like PTC's, the fans don't care, and they don't get reported anywhere outside a snooker orientated website.

Anonymous said...

I like the ptc's