Perhaps World Snooker's new motto is 'ask and ye shall receive.'

On July 24, I wrote this.

Today, World Snooker announced this.

Not everyone is convinced the open draw is a good idea but I think it will create great excitement.

Also, to clarify the last time this happened: Bob Chaperon WAS NOT the only winner under this format at the British Open.

He won it the first time it was used in 1990. However, in 1991 the winner was the then world champion, Stephen Hendry. In the final he beat Gary Wilkinson, who went on to win the World Matchplay title later that year while Jimmy White and Steve Davis were the losing semi-finalists.

The champion the last time it was used in 1992 was White. He beat James Wattana in the final and the losing semi-finalists were Ken Doherty and Davis.

So the idea that all the seeds will go out is nonsense, not least because the top 16 are playing qualifiers in the first round as normal.

As in any tournament, the cream will rise to the top.

There may be shocks, but they happen at every tournament. Whoever plays the best during the week will win.

An open draw is far preferable to the round robin format of the last two years. True, the public will not know when, for example, Ronnie O'Sullivan is playing in the last 16 but there is of course no guarantee he will get through the first round anyway.

This format DOES NOT distort the rankings. Everyone outside the top 16 has to qualify in the usual way. It's only an open draw from the last 16 onwards.

This may add some additional interest to the Grand Prix and, for this reason, I applaud the BBC and World Snooker for giving it a try.


Anonymous said...

I think it's great news and should prove exciting. I wonder what has prompted World Snooker to be so uncharacteristically inventive and imaginative? Maybe to distract from the lack of announcement about the promised new tournament...

Anonymous said...


I think this is good news for the Grand Prix and the spectators at Aberdeen and the viewers watching on the BBC and British Eurosport.

My only thought is, why don't World Snooker take 64 players to Aberdeen (the top 32 and 32 qualifiers from Prestatyn) and carry out the FA Cup style draw from the last 64 which could result in World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan playing defending Grand Prix Champ Marco Fu in a re-run of last years final in the opening round and the possibility of two players who have just been promoted from the PIOS playing each other.

Surely this would create more interest from the outset but, at least it's a step in the right direction and a sure improvement on the last two years when I re-collect reading in Snooker Scene last December that Phil Yates couldn't keep track of what was going on! What hope was there for the rest of us!


Anonymous said...

I don't really see the need for this, seeded draws work well enough for me, not as though we get loads of one sided matches in the early stages is it?

I do however agree that it will be miles better than the rubbish that was the round robin format.

One other point that I've felt for a while, and you've reminded me of it with the following comment:

"True, the public will not know when, for example, Ronnie O'Sullivan is playing in the last 16 but there is of course no guarantee he will get through the first round anyway."

For me, the way matches are arranged needs to be a lot more flexible, more in line with how tennis and darts go about things. A days play should be drawn up when it is known who plays who, and from this the pick of the matches should be played at a time that most suits spectators and the media. i.e. ronnie plays evening session.

Anonymous said...

I will regret the round robin. In my opinion it is the fairest format, rewarding consistency. It also gives qualifiers, in particular the young ones the opportunity to play more tournament matches and to meet the top players meaning gaining invaluable experience. The "dead matches" problem can be solved by implementing an appropriate rewarding system, being points or money.
So no ... sorry.

Dave H said...

Ryan - I don't disagree with that but they apparently wanted everyone to know who was playing when in the first round. Also, it offers the top 16 a bit of protection.

As with most of the decisions taken in snooker it's a compromise.

Anonymous said...

I would say that Ronnie O'Sullivan will be playing on the showtable as is usually the case in these ranking events.
The open draw would have no effect on the scheduling.
It matters not who Ronnie is playing or indeed, as the case has been in the past, it hasn't mattered a jot whether someone like Shaun Murphy was world champion as they were put out on a cubicle style set-up to accommodate the rocket.