Paul Hunter was among the first players to support the German Open, a pro-am which has now become a PTC and which will be staged once again this week as the Paul Hunter Classic.
Paul was a favourite in Germany just as he was everywhere else. It’s six years now since he died but over the next few days he will once again be remembered.
The EPTCs are now branded as the Betfair European Tour, with an overall sponsor but still part of the Players Tour Championship and with a slightly increased prize fund.
The venue in Furth usually attracts many spectators. Germany has taken snooker to its heart with enthusiastic but respectful crowds.
Stephen Maguire, already a winner and runner-up in PTCs this season, has not entered and neither, of course, has Ronnie O’Sullivan but it is otherwise a high quality line-up.
The PTCs feature star names, experienced professionals, newcomers and amateurs so there is a real mix of both achievement and standard.
Michael Leslie, a young Scot newly qualified for the professional circuit after winning the European under 21 title, will play John Higgins, a player he has long looked up to, in the first round.
Another new pro, Sean O’Sullivan, faces Mark Selby and, for the amateurs, there is the chance for TV exposure against other well known faces.
There is only one TV table but this alone has in the past meant that a top player usually wins the title. Last year in Furth it was Selby. Judd Trump won in Antwerp and Neil Robertson in Killarney and Warsaw.
The German snooker public, as anywhere, have their favourites but they seem to love the game first and foremost and I’m sure they’ll be treated to some high quality snooker over the next few days.
Eurosport’s live coverage starts on Friday morning.