The grand finals of the Players Tour Championship is yet another event which simply didn’t exist until Barry Hearn took the reins of World Snooker.

The treadmill of PTCs hasn’t been to every player’s liking but the 32 who have qualified for the final stages have no reason for complaint. The first prize is £100,000.

And it’s a terrific field comprising many big names plus a smattering of less familiar faces equally deserving of their places in Galway.

This includes two amateurs. Li Hang qualified through the Asian PTC order of merit and Joe Swail by reaching the Paul Hunter Classic final.

It’s hard to think of Swail, a mainstay of the circuit for two decades, as an amateur. Actually, I’m not sure technically that he is because he is still on the ranking list and thus a WPBSA member. Whatever, it’s good to see him back.

The seedings are worked out not from the ranking list but the two orders of merit so top players are not necessarily kept apart. Therefore, John Higgins will play Ali Carter in the first round.

With ranking points available, the various machinations for places on the list ahead of the seedings revision for the Crucible, which takes place after the China Open, will be underway, with these 32 players able to steal a march on their rivals.

The titles have been shared around over the past couple of seasons but shared around primarily among the same faces. With the shorter best of sevens perhaps the PTC grand finals represent a chance for a lesser known name to shine, although regardless of the format the pressure of one table in a big arena with crowds and live TV remains as tough as ever.

Galway is a lovely place and crowds built steadily last year, although six matches a day may be a bit much for some spectators.

All the matches are live on British Eurosport2 for UK viewers with Eurosport International also showing extensive live and recorded action.


Ron Florax said...

Purely out of interest with regards to Swail, still ranked, therefore can be considered a professional. Can he therefore earn ranking points, or is that exclusively for Main Tour members?

jamie brannon said...

This event should be more frames, but the unique way the field is comprised and, in turn, how the draw then pans out makes it an interesting diversion from other ranking events.

Anonymous said...

As every PTC event is best of 7 from the opening rounds until the final, the players through to the final stages have reached there on this format and therefore the final stages should also be best of 7. It would be an injustice to extend the frames for the final stages to favour the higher ranked players. Looking forward to the event.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to it.

The only change I would make would be to make the final best of 9.

Not only is Galway a party town, the event is at the university and the final will be on St Patricks Day. What a party atmosphere it should be.

I hope Dave & team will be at the venue like last year.

Anonymous said...

Dave - has a full entry list for the Worlds been published? Interested to know if the Outlaw has entered the 'Clapped out club', there are a few other decent pros who still have a world ranking and could therefore have a bit of a run in the qualifiers - including Jason Feguson (would be great if he entered and then conceded a frame with reds still on the table, meaning he would would have to haul himself in for a disciplinary)

Dave H said...

I don't know but apparently it's the last year they're having that round for coaches/members.

Anonymous said...

Any sponsor for the Worlds yet ???


Anonymous said...

The Worlds qualifying line up will be issued shortly after the China Open.

Anonymous said...


People in the audience watching not playing on their smart phones

A sponsor to fund the prize money

No flies buzzing around the table

No photographers putting the players off


Anonymous said...

8:25 - World Snooker are trying to get maximum publicity for the new sponsor - by announcing it on the same day as the result of the Stephen Lee case:)

Anonymous said...

Somewhat disappointing crowds it looks like so far in Galway, although I'm sure it will improve as the week progresses. I don't think it helps at all that the start of PTC Grand Finals clashes with the start of the Cheltenham Festival. The irish especially are renowned for their love of racing and even more so for the Cheltenham Festival. I'm sure there are those who would have attended but this meeting would always come first. Going forward, simply reschedule this great snooker event either side of mid March to avoid the clash.

Anonymous said...

Who is the person commentating with Mike Halett, at the moment?

Sounds a new voice to me.

Dave H said...

Tim Peters

Anonymous said...

ta dave for telling mr mallet the right name for a double....

ive only been posting that on here for 2 years

though many have jumped on my banwagon


Ray said...

Yet again it's really dispiriting to see a tournament so poorly attended and I don't suppose the players are jumping for joy either. It's not much better than playing in the cubicles in Sheffield.
Perhaps World Snooker should let people in for free up to the quarter finals to try and get a better atmosphere.
Trying something is better than doing nothing at all.

Anonymous said...

The crowd was great tonight. People work during the day so it's not surprising it isn't decent until the evenings.


Hi David. A great first day's play, in my view.

Gould .V. Ford. Gould started well, with a 100 break. He should have won frame two. He lost it. From there, Ford played well, to win, 4-2.

Hawkins played well, to beat Li Hang, 4-0.

Neil Robertson did well, to come from 2-0 down, to beat Jamie Burnett, 4-2.

Joe Swail played superb, frm 3-0 down, to beat Stephen Maguire, 4-3.

Mark Allen played great, to beat Mark Davis, 4-0.

A quick-fire and solid, first four frames, in the match between Mark Selby, and Jack Lisowski, were equally shared. Frame number five was slower. Lisowski wins a safety battle. He makes a great 96 break, to win the frame, and go one up, with two to play, at 3-2. From there, Selby geats the first chance in frame number six. He makes a 32 break, losing position, then playing safe. Lisowski makes a safety error. Lucky to get away with it. After Lisowski makes another safety error, Selby pots a good red to a middle pocket, and makes a break of 63, to win the frame. it's 3-all.

In frame seven, the decider, Selby misses the first long red. Later, he gets in again, only to play safe again, in the end. Lisowski makes a four-ball plant, to get in. He later misses a slightly tough black. Selby pots a good red. He makes 16 from it. Edgy stuff. Lisowski attempts a pot, missses and leaves Selby in. He misses again. As does Lisowski, at his next turn at the table. He messes up position. Lisowski pots a long red and plays safe. A Slow-urning decider. Selby goes in-off. Lisowski misses again. Selby misses a plant. Lisowski makes 24, before missing a red. Selbymesses up position and plays safe. Selby, later makes a foul, in trying to escape from a snooker. Lisowski, later, lays another snooker, Selby hits it, aster three attempts. Lisowski misses a long pot and flukes a snooker. Selby successfully escapes, but, leaves Lisowski a chance. Lisowski makes 25, to win, by 4 frames to 3, at just before 12 Midnight Selby is out.

I can not wait for more, tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Many of them would rather be watching the Cheltenham festival during the day with the clash of dates.