So what’s happening in the snooker world?

Pot Black is no more. Having been revived in 2005 it has been axed from the calendar.

Viewing figures on the BBC fell to just 700,000 for last year’s event but this was largely because England were playing Australia in the rugby World Cup quarter-finals live on ITV at the same time.

Pot Black was a bit of fun and a chance to observe the players in a more relaxed setting than normal.

It was held twice in the plush surroundings of the snooker room at the RAC Club in London. Last year it relocated last year to the soulless Sheffield City Hall.

There was no reason given for this but there has long been a maxim in the snooker world that appears to have applied here: if it ain’t broke, break it.

I don’t know if World Snooker offered the Pot Black format to another broadcaster but it could be slightly expanded to include more players playing one frame matches over the course of a day. Perfect for Sky Sports or Setanta I would have thought.

There was such an event – though non-televised – in 1991. It was called the One Frame Knockout and was won by Darren Morgan.

However, for some bizarre reason the final was made into a best of three.

Again: if it ain’t broke, break it.

The World Series is to include a qualification process – open to anyone – from next year.

This will give lower ranked professionals and interested amateurs the chance to play in the 2009 events.

Organisers are also considering what many may feel are controversial changes to playing formats and the dress code. John Higgins is answering questions directly on their forum every day this week.

Whatever you think of the proposals, every credit to John and Pat Mooney for actually engaging with snooker fans in this direct way.

I forgot to mention the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth last week as it was unfortunately overshadowed by the Northern Ireland Trophy.

It was won by Shaun Murphy, who beat Mark Selby in the final, and included a top class field. It was also brilliantly supported by German snooker fans.

Steve Davis, who played in the event, said last week that “China and Germany are the two biggest growth areas for snooker.”

I still don’t understand why there isn’t a fully fledged professional tournament in the country.

The Home Internationals are underway at Pontin’s, Prestatyn. These are traditionally a breeding ground for young talent although there are also some well known old stagers in action in the seniors event.

Speaking of which, watch this space for news of a brand new tournament featuring some very well known names of yesteryear.

Details are still being finalised and, when they are, I shall reveal more.


Monique said...

Awww Dave ... not a litlle word about the Belgian Open that will be staged September 19-21 in Duffel near Antwerp? It will feature John Parrott, Shaun Murphy, Ken Doherty, Graeme Dott, Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens and Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire, Mark Allen, Dominic Dale and Tony Drago amongst many others. Not a bad field ... John Parrot was the winner of the last Belgian Masters in 1990 (beating Jimmy White). Kind of ... a defending Champion.
The event is organised by snookerstars, the same guys who organise the PHC.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced Pot Black really worked over a one-day format. The whole tournament seemed to be over before it began. Much better to do a pre-recorded series and screen it over a week if it was going to be on the BBC.

As for Germany, a simple solution would be to make the Paul Hunter Classic a ranking event. This would surely be a more effective way (financially speaking)of bringing the pro circuit to Germany rather than starting from scratch.

But as you say, if it ain't broke, break it, I suppose.

The seniors tournament that you allude to sounds intruiging. It'll be interesting to see how that works out.

Sam T

Anonymous said...

@Sam The Paul Hunter Classic would lose its unique atmosphere. All the people (amateur and pro players and the crowd) want the tournament in this way, with the mixture of relaxed atmosphere between all people and the exciting matches. I suggest, come to Fürth next year and enjoy it! :-)

Dana said...

Fully agree, the Paul Hunter Classic is great event full of great snooker (there were many centuries), full of fun (still see Murphy and other pros support standing Juniors agains another pros in the Speed Cup :-D) and I mean nobody would want to change it into ranking event

Anonymous said...

I think the new tournament about the players of yesteryear which Dave said may be announced soon sounds great! I hope it actually is a tournament that WS doesn't give up on. Good news too for the World Series qualifying, maybe one I could try my luck on, who knows?