Next season’s Premier League will feature ten players split into two groups of five.

The players have been chosen based on this season’s major events.

So far the field features:
Ronnie O’Sullivan (defending champion)
Judd Trump (UK champion)
Neil Robertson (Masters champion)
Stuart Bingham (Australian Open champion)
Mark Selby (Shanghai Masters champion)

They will be joined by the winners of the World Championship, World Open, PTC finals, China Open and the Championship League, the Premier League’s qualifying event.

If any of these are won by players already qualified then the field will be filled up by invited players (presumably Ding Juhhui, the Welsh Open champion, is leading this list).

All this is good news for Bingham, who will make his Premier League debut later this year, a rightful reward for winning a ranking title.

Selby, who missed out this season despite being world no.1, also returns to the competition.

The league reverts to a six frame format after this season’s experiment with semi-finals and finals each evening which was not, in fact, a league at all.

The top two players in each group will advance to the semi-finals, which will be played on November 24 and 25.


Anonymous said...

Eh, why does the Welsh Open champion get shafted over the Australian Open champion? Didn't Barry Hearn watch the Welsh Open? Rob Walker upgraded it to a 'major' championship, third only to the World and UK. If The Guardian find out that the only tournament winner not to get an invite is the only one won by the Asian guy they'll go mental over "institutional racism" in snooker.

Anonymous said...

Why no place for Darren Morgan?

Also have the dates for this been announced? Just be interesting to know if Barry plans to keep a 6-8 week 'window' with no ranking events in order to enable the best players in the game to take part in one night exhibitions in unfashionable English towns?

In all seriousness, if any of the EPTCs are going to become full ranking events and there are going to be further ranking tournaments in China / Singapore / India it is going to be increasingly difficult to justify having 6 weeks of PTCs in the cubibles at the Academy just to facilitate the Premier League.

Sparky said...

Is there any good reason why they choose the Australian Open to be a qualifying event, but not the Welsh Open, with it's longer history?

Eric said...

Looks a bit arbitrary to invite the winners of the Australian Open and the PTC Grand Finals, but not the winners of the German Masters or the Welsh Open. Judged by ranking points at stake, the latter two are not less important events.

Anonymous said...

Here come the comments about the PL being all about RoS. Boring already!

It's a good thing, the PL. I think (hope) in the next few years it will grow into a more respected event, adding something to the expanding tour.

Trevorp said...

Dave can you clarify the statement made about the miss rule for this tournament.it states that "the current miss rule will be in operation".does that mean the miss rule in traditional snooker or the rule that was in this seasons pl 3 misses and ball in hand comes in to play ?.it is open to debate the way its stated

jamie brannon said...

Don't get how the PTC Finals are considered more important than the Welsh Open, which is a full blown ranking event.

Anonymous said...

surely ding should be included for his welsh open win..its more credible than ptc final is it not..in saying that its good the ptc winner gets invited as its an additional prize..the overall winner of the ptc will earn about 100k...good to see it return to its previous format 1000 a frame and a century..good incentive to knock in those centuries..

Dave H said...

Re: the miss rule

By 'current' miss rule I assume they mean the one they used in the PL last season (which several players didn't seem to understand)

Mignon said...

Dave said: 'By "current" miss rule I assume they mean the one they used in the PL last season.'
That's my take too but the wording is ambiguous. It should be clarified as soon as possible.

I don't understand why Ding should not be in the PL. Really unfair. Borders outrageous.

JIMO96 said...

2 groups of 5?

Uncertainty over invite criteria?

Taking up too much of the calendar?

All of the above points to an obvious solution....make it a RANKING EVENT!

16 groups of 6 (or of 8 when the tour expands), top 2 advancing to the next phase, with ranking points for frames and for progress. Sky could still pick and choose matches for venues, there'd be no more ambiguity over the selection progress and it would actually MEAN something.

Does this idea have any potential Dave?

Dave H said...

I don't think so.

I've always thought the same thing about this event: as promoters, Matchroom can invite whoever they like and have whatever format they like. It's been going 27 years so they must have done something right.

Btw, it's starts on August 16.

Matt said...

Re: miss rule I assumed it was the traditional miss rule, purely because the PL didn't actually use the miss rule last season, but like everyone else I'm just guessing.

Matthew said...

Actually ignore me, I'm getting mixed up with the Shoot Out, brain can't handle all these formats it seems. You're probably right then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Here come the comments about the PL being all about RoS. Boring already!

It's a good thing, the PL. I think (hope) in the next few years it will grow into a more respected event, adding something to the expanding tour.

12:36 PM

only YOu were the first to mention him.

*egg on face. FAIL !!

Anonymous said...

id rather they did it TWO nights a week, therefore reducing the amount of "weeks" to get to the final stages, thus leaving the calendar for real snooker.

Anonymous said...

Jim are you serious? 16 groups of 6 or whatever would go on all season because there would be 240 matches; two matches a night would still require 120 nights so it clearly isn't a feasible idea.

JIMO96 said...

I didn't say a word about televising ALL THE MATCHES, anon 6:48. You could play a complete round of matches in 1 night (48 matches) at different venues, but still only have 2 of them on Sky.

But Why? said...

Ding will be there anyway unless every remaining event has a different winner.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking perhaps a nice premier league line up 2012 might be:

1. Hendry
2. Ebdon
3. Higgins
4. Davis
5. Dott
6. Lee
7. Davis Mark
8. O'Sullivan
9. Maybe person from crowd make it interesting?
10. Wattana
11. Drago
12. Small

garymoss87 said...

Finals weekend in Grimsby, apparently

Anonymous said...

yes - Matchroom can invite whoever they / Sky Sports want, but the provisional calender for next year shows a 2 month gap (23 September to 1 December) with no ranking tournament - presumably this is mainly to keep space free for the Premier League?

Anonymous said...

JimO96 your idea is a poor one. The Premier League has always been a high class invitational and it should remain so.
However it does take up too many weeks of the calendar and I believe that a 2 nights a week idea is a good one.
And the reason Ding hasn't been automatically invited as Welsh champion is probably so that the players treat the World and China Opens seriously knowing that the winner will receive a PL place, rather than just as Crucible warm ups.

Anonymous said...

anon@10.13. Thats actually a 5 week gap, unless your name is Jamie, in which case it is 2 months

jamie brannon said...

Liang Wenbo's form is of serious concern. He looked like a player who cause some serious damage, but is now struggling to even get to a venue.

Anyone got any theories on this sudden loss of form? All the more surprising given his age.

Nice to see Jimmy White qualify, tempered only by the fact that he will still have to negotiate a wildcard, which is grossly unfair.

Anonymous said...

What is grossly unfair Jamie is that Chinese players can't qualify for a tournament in their own country, at least Jimmy has got that option. If I were Ding I would tell them where to shove their PL invite if they think Bingham is a better prospect in the tournament than he is.

Gerard said...

Wenbo has other priorities: he became a father. Travel doesn't make it easier.

kildare cueman said...

The first few times I saw Wenbo, he was an outragous potter of a ball, but little else.

Thats all very well when you're buzzing but when the long ones arent going in, theres nothing else to fall back on.

Theres no reason to think that he wont slip away into obscurity. Hes just not good enough in the balls and is tactically poor.

kildare cueman said...

There is a possible compromise that may appease the host nation(s) and make it a bit fairer.

Instead of qualifying down to 16 players, just play down to 14. Players ranked from 17-30 would meet the 14 qualifiers for the right to travel.

The eight wildcards would play each other on the first morning with the 4 winners playing off at night.

The two surviving wildcards could then join the 14 qualifiers to play against the top 16.

Its not ideal but it would reduce the risk of a player travelling halfway around the world to lose to a local wildcard.

Anonymous said...

Next year's calender is interesting - the World Open is the seeding cut-off for the Worlds. Also there is another 'potential ranking event' in March (presumably in China as it is in the week after the World Open).

There are only 4 PTCs (and the description of the seeding cut offs suggests the PTCs will now be seeded?) and 6 EPTC events. But with the exception of an unconfirmed 'International Championship' pencilled in for 28 October - 4 November, the whole of October and November is kept clear of ranking events (presumably to accommodate the Premier League)

Its not quite a scandal - but if the calender does expand to include more and more overseas ranking events it is going to appear increasingly ridiculous to keep the calender clear for weeks at a time to allow the Premier League to take place.

Anonymous said...

Still, taking a week out of calendar for the Premier League is infinitely more justifiable than taking a week out of the calendar for "Golf Day".