This tournament seems to be being treated as a brand new event. I vaguely recall it was actually staged last season and won by Neil Robertson, who is nevertheless not being regarded as defending champion.
Of course, the format was different in 2010/11: best of fives up until the final, which was best of nine.
Given the trek to get there, this would surely have been too short a length of match and so the World Open has now fallen into the accepted format for ranking tournaments in China: best of nines up until the best of 11 semis with a best of 19 final.
I have no problem with any of that, unlike the wildcard round which seems to go against everything Barry Hearn believes.
He has stated - correctly - that sport should be a meritocracy. Those who have qualified for the World Open have done so on merit, so to have to play unknown and likely very dangerous local invites is a slap in the face.
The one caveat to this is that Hainan is a new area for snooker (outside the invitation event won last year by John Higgins) and support has to be built up.
However, regardless of the rights and wrongs of wildcards it is a spectacularly bad decision to play them all on the same day, as is happening on Monday.
Shortly after Hearn's ascension to the reins of power, and recognising his genuine efforts to build bridges with the media, myself and a colleague met with a World Snooker representative to discuss a few ideas for improvements in how tournaments are run, with particular regard to formats.
One thing we impressed on them was the need to hit the ground running: to start events with star names.
Not all TV viewers follow the intricacies of the circuit. If you tune into a tournament on day one and don't recognise any of the players you could be forgiven for believing it isn't a major event at all and therefore not watch a single further minute all week.
Television is the sport's shop window. The top players are its star attractions.
At least two last 32 matches should be played on Monday to provide pulling power for broadcasters. This could easily be done, indeed was at last season's China Open following our suggestion, but was forgotten at the Shanghai Masters and has been forgotten again this week.
The knock-on effect is that the last 32 is concertinaed into two days and well known faces are thus forced to play on outside tables.
Sorry, but this isn't good enough. I will support any new event, evangelise the sport in the face of any doubter and fully support Hearn in his attempts to globalise the game, but more thought needs to go into scheduling.
Put simply: why should a top player, who has climbed the rankings through the force of their own hard work and hard won results, schlep all the way to Hainan Island and play a match in a cubicle which nobody back home will see while an invited player enjoys full TV exposure in a match which, pride aside, means nothing to them?
There is TV and streaming coverage on Monday but the World Open starts properly on Tuesday with the last 32: a seven day tournament which lasts six days.
There is, of course, not actually a full field. Ali Carter and Ronnie O'Sullivan have withdrawn, affording byes to Marcus Campbell and Tom Ford respectively.
Otherwise it's the usual faces and the winner will most probably come from the group of ten or so players who are the main candidates for any big title.