Tony Drago, relegated from the professional circuit after 23 years, is to continue on the Pontin's International Open Series.

The top eight in the end of season PIOS rankings will be promoted to the 2009/2010 main tour, although the field looks to be very competitive so Drago will have his work cut out.

It's good to see him carrying on. He has always had great enthusiasm for snooker and, even though his form has declined in recent years, he's still capable of odd moments of brilliance.

This dashing Maltese player had at times in the past made Ronnie O'Sullivan look like Eddie Charlton. Drago once won a frame in only three minutes - a record.

The fact that he's on the PIOS obviously means he won't be receiving a WPBSA wildcard. The discretionary place went to Liu Chuang, although Drago was hopeful he could be in the frame if any more became free.

He has had a few run-ins with authority in the past due to his emotional, at times combustible personality but the same can be said of O'Sullivan and World Snooker appear to be acting as his personal PR firm.

Regardless of how he fares, Drago is carving out a lucrative career in 9-ball pool but snooker is his first love and many will wish him well as he battles with newcomers and old stagers on the game's secondary tour.

(Incidentally, Drago's opening round opponent in the first PIOS event next week is Robbie Williams, who is presumably loving angles instead.)


Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm a little surprised at this, considering Tony is focusing on pool, not snooker, these days.

The fact that he's on the PIOS doesn't mean he'll be playing in every event.
Whenever there's a big pool tournament coming up, he would be foolish not to choose that instead of struggling for no money at Pontin's.

As I said before, this last season was his best season ever, in both snooker and pool, in terms of lifting trophies. He was voted MVP on the Mosconi Cup team, won the Eurotour French Open and the International 10-ball Championship. He probably made more money in pool last year than he's done since dropping out of the last 16 in snooker.

Anonymous said...

I personally think it's great. It's nice to see people continuing to play purely for the love of the sport instead of for monetary reasons. It's not an easy commute to work for him and he ahs in the past slated playing at Pontins, but still a nice thing I think.