Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the Malta Cup.
Actually, that isn't quite correct. He didn't want to play in the first place and was entered without his knowledge by his management company.
Malta has never been a favourite destination for O'Sullivan (I've no idea why as it's a lovely place) but I understand his main reason for not going is that he doesn't wish to spend a week away from his family when there is a tournament - the Welsh Open - starting the day after the Malta final.
It looks like clumsy scheduling but there is method in this madness: a gap has been left for an eighth ranking event in the Middle East.
However, the signs are that this won't take place this season.
Some will criticise O'Sullivan but he has a right not to play if he doesn't fancy it and isn't to blame for being entered into a tournament without knowing about it.
It is, though, a blow to people who have already booked tickets for the Portomaso event on the understanding he would be playing.
The fear now, of course, is that other players who didn't wish to play and have found themselves in the draw will also pull out, which would cause huge problems bearing in mind the event is played using a round robin system and the players in each group have been carefully selected based on their rankings.