So Judd Trump won the fourth European Tour event of the season in Sofia, Bulgaria with a 4-0 victory over John Higgins.

I won’t wax lyrical about Trump any more on here because he will take out a restraining order against me. However, he demonstrated terrific confidence and poise to comprehensively outplay Higgins in the final.

It will be a satisfying win because Higgins has won all of their previous key meetings, including the 2011 world final and the finals this season in Shanghai and at PTC4 in Gloucester.

Higgins looked to be the one player who had the beating of Trump, the new world no.1. He still may in the future of course but he was simply blown away tonight.

It was a full house on Sofia and they clearly loved every minute. At the Masters last season I met Oleg Velinov, the chairman of Bulgarian snooker and the organiser of this tournament.

He told me then it was his dream to stage a professional event in his home country. Well, he did it and it was a success.

The question now is how big these European events can become. Or maybe it should be whether they should become any bigger.

There’s no law to say tournaments have to be a week long with the same old formats. These short PTCs with their best of sevens are refreshing to watch, although players will obviously hope prize money rises in time.

This week attention turns to the qualifiers for the UK Championship. This is an event with a great history and of course carries huge ranking points.

The defending champion in York will be Judd Trump. Qualifying for him is now a distant memory.


Claus said...

And he almost hit a max as well. What a guy.

Anonymous said...

Dave, what do you think will happen to these PTCs once the prize money list becomes the official ranking system? Can't see them having much impact on top 16 positions, and I can't see them surviving without the participation of the top players. It will be a shame if the "European renaissance" grinds to a halt because of a ranking system.

Anonymous said...

No problem with tournaments like this staying at 3 or 4 days - but they are going to need to find a lot more money to keep the players interested once the money list comes in.

Delighted that Sofia was a success but they should be aiming to find 4x as much prize money for each of the EPTCs.

Graeme said...

Was lucky to be at the final.
Judd was simply awesome and his aggressive style was magic to watch. Totally froze Higgins out.

Anonymous said...

See. No one cares a bit if Ronnie is playing or not. Once again we had a top class tournament with packed house. Well done Trump and Higgins for being a credit to the sport.

Anonymous said...

Your comments are spot on. The European PTCs are great entertainment - well done to Barry Hearn (or Steve Davis?) who suggested this format.

I would make one change to all PTCs - make the final best of nine. Why - because we've had at least two 4-0 finals this season. The crowd are all hyped up and it's over in an hour. Best of nine with an interval should produce a more balanced match between 2 players in form.

Keep the events 3 days, it complements the longer tournaments.

As for the UK PTCs do the players need them now the calendar is so busy? If you keep them then make them Eurosport covered events. Hold them in venues & towns not normally associated with snooker - there are lots of small-medium halls in the UK with tiered seating.

Anonymous said...

Before I email Eurosport, did any other viewers experience problems watching the snooker on the Eurosport Player on Sunday (but found it was ok on Friday & Saturday)?

Ron Florax said...

Speaking for myself, some deserve to become ranking events, some may deserve it, but it might not always be the best way to go. I've been playing and going to the PHC in Fürth for many years now, and I think that tournament would actually be devalued by turning it into a ranker, as that would only bring 32 players and no chance for amateurs to play. I, at least, always thoroughly enjoyed playing in and hanging around the venue. So many matches to see, and a chance to see just about every pro player, as well as some pretty decent 'amateurs'.

jamie brannon said...

I'm fine with these tournaments being of this length but still prefer a longer tournament as it allows the narrative to build better.

Snooker will survive without O'Sullivan, but it will miss the best player to watch that there's been, just like tennis will miss Federer when he finally retires to one of his homes.

Can't wait for the UK, and Trump will be the favourite but Higgins' best could still the Bristolian's audacity.

I like Stuart Bingham's price at 28-1, he's been playing the best snooker of his career the last two years. The stage could be set for him to enter the 'big three' league.

Anonymous said...


i dont miss him one bit , so dont try to speak for everyone.

terrible attitude, great player, good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Bingham doesn't have a shot at the big three. He tends to win events where motivation is somewhat lacking in the top players, which highlights a commendable attitude, but he's not going to beat a fully focused top player at the UK.

Anonymous said...

Why bring O'Sullivan into almost every thread? He wasn't there so doesn't deserve a mention.

Anonymous said...

i disagree 739. i reckon he will beat someone in the top 8 at the uk

Anonymous said...

Yeah you right PTCs aren't good enough for ronnie lol no wonder he's thinking about quitting. These events are just pathetic and are just an embarrassment to the sport, why should a top pro like o'sullivan be penalised for not playing in silly events like these. This is why hendry retired why should he be playing in small crowd. Hearn needs to wake up and sort it out its ashame because I love snooker and he's just wrecking the sport in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

re 2:37 how can it "wreck the sport" when it is seeding new tournaments in new countries like Bulgaria?

Anonymous said...

2:37, your talking thro your brown pocket!

Anonymous said...

Bulgaria exactly just says desperate. You ask all the top players they hate PTCs can't wait for this order of merit to come in. To many top players are walking away

Graeme said...

Just watched UK qualifying on World Snooker site via live streaming (well done Jimmy White btw).
What a pleasure to watch with just one full view camera.
No switching, no second guessing, no pockt cameras, no watching the object ball coming to rest in the ball tray.
Every aspect of every shot.
Producers take note !!!

Anonymous said...

Total prize fund for Sofia was €76k (about £60k). Great for them that they had a good tournament, but nowhere near enough if you want the top players to keep coming.

Before Hearn took over snooker was a feathered bed for a small number of players (10-12 tournaments a year, all in the UK except maybe 2 all expenses paid trips to China). I can remember there being an outrage when the prize money in the Malta Cup was cut to PTC levels (having been eaten away at by the cost of travel and hotels for the players) and it promptly fell off the calender never to return.

Players have embraced the playing opportunities offered by the PTCs, but we shouldn't lose sight of what the very top players regarded as 'normal' until very recently. When a money list comes in there will be little or no incentive for the top players to travel the breadth of Europe for an event with a £60k prize fund - the people organising EPTCs need to seriously up their game and raise more prize money - otherwise the last 2 years will become a footnote in the game's history.

Graeme said...

...well, would have been well done Jimmy had it been best of 7. Thought it was job done at 4-2.
His opponent fortunate to fluke black ball to pull back to 4-3 then a fortunate run of the balls to snooker Jimmy in the next from which he made a frame winning clearance.
Good to see Jimmy still in there fighting. Still has the game.
Just wasn't to be today.

Anonymous said...

He had (still has) a 5 year plan. The climax of that will be the money list, combined with a handfull of ex-ptc events transformed into full rankers, with a big enough prize fund. He will have doubled the amount of proper big tournements then. Well done Barry!