What is the point in the WPBSA having discretionary wildcards for the main tour if they are not going to show any imagination in doling them out?

Today the governing body has announced that David Gray, Ian Preece, Andrew Norman and Joe Jogia will receive the four remaining places on the circuit.

Jogia finished top of the PIOS but he wasn't a member of his national association - a condition of entry. However, he did the business on the table and I think it's right he - and Chris Norbury, who finished ninth on the PIOS - are on the tour.

But Gray, Preece and Norman have been chosen purely because they were the next three players on the one year list. This is not what the concept of wildcards is supposed to be about.

This was a golden opportunity to promote much needed young talent. I have nothing against the three players and wish them all well but the fact is they did not do enough last season to stay on the circuit.

Surely three newcomers should have been given the chance to show the snooker world what they could do or at the very least three younger players who came off the main tour after only one season.

Take Vincent Muldoon. He had a few decent results last season but, starting out with minimum points, it was always going to be hard to stay on.

Now he's back on the PIOS while three experienced players - who had two full season's points - are given yet another go.

Remember the 'Hotshots' PR campaign?

That was supposed to be focused on getting youngsters involved in snooker.

What a shame the WPBSA doesn't seem interested in getting young players onto the main tour - even when it had the perfect chance to do so.


Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous decision. Gray in particular should be made to graft his way back onto the tour and work for his place. Why give the places to players that can't hack it? Muldoon is a good shout.

Another barking mad decision by the crettins at the top.

Matt said...

Nothing to add, I agree entirely.

Anonymous said...

what a shame world snooker chose not to take the top three on the one year list who only had one chance or indeed look overseas to further broaden the game internationally

Monique said...

Or just look over the channel...

Janie Watkins said...

I'd have gien Muldoon, Craigie and maybe Jamie Jones another season.

it is far too hard, under the present system, for young players to gain a toe hold, and gain experience, in one short season

and at the moment, with only 6 events on the calendar, this season will be even harder.

Read Global snooker news to see what my colleague Neil Tomkins thinks of it all!

Anonymous said...

'Hot Shots'?

another classic example of world snooker doing what they think is the right thing to do rather than understanding what they should be doing

more money wasted ...

Anonymous said...

What 'young talent'? There is none, that's why these players were chosen. If there are any 'emerging stars' that are good enough they'll get there by winning games. That's how the current elite got where they are - talent. If you can't win matches at a lower level what chance do you have against the best?

Matt said...

That's not fair really, there are young players winning matches but unlike when ROS/Higgins and co were coming through and the tour was opened up, there are relatively few places now.

RichP said...

Agree with you Dave, I could see logic if those names were crowd pullers i.e a Jimmy White but they're simply not. And one of those names has other focuses in life so why the hell they opted for him i'll never know. It's always going to be hard giving out these wild cards but they could definately of been more innovative.

Anonymous said...


theres young talent but different to the times Ronnie and co and Hunter came through when the tour was open its now a close shop and with this desition it looks like the WSA want to protect current members instead of promoting future stars so they even close the door with cast iron padlocks on youngsters.

if they not going to use Wild Cards for the future of the game they might aswell give Alex Higgins,Tony Knowles and even Ray Reardon Wild Cards.

Anonymous said...

new players on the main tour should be given 2 seasons anyway, and the relegation system adjusted to suit.

Anonymous said...


totally agree with that.

or use the 1 year list on who stays or goes off tour because on that list every player starts the season on 0 points.

Sammy said...

This is a disaster!
I'd have Lisowski, Muldoon and maybe Reanne Evans.

Sammy said...

Actually maybe I should of got it.
I'm better than Gray.

Anonymous said...

Reanne Evans.

why not ..

shes a Multi World Ladies champion suerly thats a Wild Card criteria.

nothing in the rules that sais it has to be a man.

Give the ladies game a boost.

Anonymous said...

What poor judgement and imagination from the governing body. I would rather them have given Chuang another crack of the whip, after all he reached the Crucible at the age of 17 (the only other people to do so are O'Sullivan, Hendry and Trump) and won a wildcard last season, and this season he was the only first rounder to reach the last 48 of the UK - demonstrating his class where it matters i.e. in the longer frame matches.

From what I've picked up, Gray hasn't applied himself and deserves no hand outs. OK he once won a ranker and was ranked inside the 16 but he never stood out from the crowd and it sounds like he's only got himself to blame for falling off the tour and should have to fight for his place.

What with Drago and Wattana finding their way back the least the committee who decide these things could do is show some imagination and give the wildcards to those who could make the game more popular.

Speaking of which, the Masters wildcards should be two of the following three: Liang Wenbo, Jamie Cope, Judd Trump. Let's see if they go for Doherty/Davis/some other has been.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so opposed to the players who have been given the wildcards?

These guys have proved themselves over the course of a season so don't they deserve a chance? Are there any players who are better than them?

It's all fine and well asking for young players to be 'fast tracked' to the main tour, but if they are not good enough to win against 'lesser' players then what chance do they have against ROS, et al?

Chris said...

World Snooker have released an article on their website, with a reason why they have picked the players they have:


"Welshman Preece, Bristol's Norman and London's former Scottish Open champion Gray (pictured) WERE THE HIGHEST-RANKED PLAYERS ON THE ONE-YEAR RANKING LIST NOT TO HAVE RETAINED THEIR PLACES AUTOMATICALLY."

I've have put the important part in capitals.

I disagree with what WS has done. As has been mentioned many times before in this post, WS aren't using the Wildcard system correctly, the idea isn't to allow people just below the 'relegation zone' to come back on. The idea is to promote younger players or players that missed out that deserve a place. OK, all the professionals have got there, and all the players competiting are obviously better than most, but what did Preece, Gray, Jogia (OK, I can understand his place) and Norman do to deserve a place?

Also, before I read the article and when I heard the news, I knew that the news here would be about the younger players not getting a place, and I thought 'what about the HotShots campaign? It is so obvious that WS don't, and never did care about the HotShots garbage (It shouldn't be garbage, but it was). WS shouldn't forget about the experienced pros but they should think more about the game rather than going down the easy route of picking the highest-ranked relegated players. I bet it took them 5 minutes to decide the Wildcards.

WS also state:

"1. The winner of the European Under-19 Championship, 14-year-old Luca Brecel, is too young to be offered a place on the Tour.
2. The winner of the Oceania Championship, Glen Wilkinson, declined to be nominated for a place.
3. There is no World Under-21 Champion as that event was cancelled."

Fair news, they can't do much about the above, interesting to see the Wilkinson delcined his place. There are many more deserving youngsters, not just Luca Brecel.

I also agree with Anon. at 3:05, that new players should be given two seasons at least. And also points mentioned about the circuit being 'locked closed', they come up with the 'HotShots' excuse for helping younger players but then they try to shut everything up, giving them hardly any chance of getting anywhere to be honest.

Off topic: Blimey, I've read the ridiculous news that Rodney will be 'at a dinner' instead of snooker's big chance to promote itself and put the rumours and comments right from people after Ronnie's comments at the Masters and other factors (it isn't all Ronnie's fault, if not any, he was saying his opinion) right and sort it out. Why is he not there? Our sport will be laughed at even more. This wouldn't happen with any other sport. It would have been a great debate, I hope it still it one, just without the most important guest. Not only have I heard that but I've heard the disappointing Wildcard news. I could cry for our sport, it's so sad, and no, I'm not over-reacing (well, I might be).

Also, well done to Sam Baird for qualifying for the pro tour. Sam comes from my area, I hope he does well for his, and my association, WEBSF. www.websf.co.uk

Rant over.

Sammy said...

I've gone mad, someone plaease get rid of Rodney and employ soemone decent!!!!

minime said...

Hi,my thoughts are that WS will always get stick on the wild card choices.

Maybe they could of picked 2 'young' and 2 'experenced' players

If they pick young players then they are lambs to the slaughter for a year,i feel they need time on the PIOS to toughen up from the ups and downs of the different mental pressures the players undertake.yes they can pot off the lampshades,but apart from both tours having 6 pockets on the tables, it is a massive change to go from ameteur/PIOS level to the main tour.

You can't create new charicters for the game if they are losing at pontins in the 1st & 2nd rounds out of site of TV exposure!

On the other side of things you got players like Gray & norman etc that have rose the ranks in different era's with steady improvement for it too unravel last season.
Who's to say some of them have'nt suffered illness/enjury/berevement/financial problems during the last season and shot there season.

Just because you dont hear some players complaining about losing means that its purely down to bad form.so maybe wild cards have some scope to turn around a promising players faultered progress.dont forget that most top 32 players have been pro 10-15 years since the blackpool norbreck days that are now starting reap the rewards.

Marco Fu 12 year pro and hes still classed as the new star of the last couple of years.Perry also etc

lastly the biggest problem is the tour system,theres too many good players for a 96 tour.

In a well orgonized tour it should be 128 at least and the last 64rd onwards should be played at the tv venue to allow the lower ranked pros to find there feet on the big stage,as once again the step from pontins tables to venue tables with TV is huge as well.

I know snooker lacks money and sponsors to expand but golfers who just make the cut in tournaments dont play on different course conditions to tiger woods just because they are new/journeymen.snooker is one of the few sports that the top stars play in better & different conditions then their fellow equal professionals so its know wonder that qualifiers struggle to quickly adapt when at tv venue.

Just my 2 pence worth,im a long time reader on here and a long time follower of snooker that hangs about competitions to support playing friends so i can see both sides

Anonymous said...

Reanne Evans?

What a pointless, sexist idea that would be.

Not to mention the fact that she wouldn't stand a chance. Alison Fisher was a much better player, and she never got anywhere near qualifying for any ranking event during the years she was on the circuit.

If Reanne or any other lady wants to compete with men on equal terms, she should expect to have to earn it through her achievements against men, not by coming through the very weak fields on show in women's events.

To be fair to Reanne though, I've not heard anything to suggest she does expect any preferential treatment herself.

Anonymous said...

Re isnt that far behind Alison if you compare them at the same point in their respective snooker careers.

Certainly Alison got a lot better but if you compare them at similar ages and lengths of career theres not too much in it.

Anonymous said...

think the person who said otherwise has went on holiday or is avoiding this blog today...

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe everybody that has posted is in agreement with the wild card for Joe Jogia. I am absolutely disgusted by this.
He enters a comp that clearly states on the entry form that you MUST be a member of your NGB but does not join. It is then discovered he was ineligible to compete on the PIOS - so what does the Governong body do ? it gives him a wild card!! Talk about a kick in the teeth for the EASB - no need to join - if you do well on the PIOS you'll get a wildcard -what a joke!!
And if I had the time and inclination - which I don't as I'm slowly losing the will to live with snooker - I would be interested to work out the effect that Joe's ineligible wins had over other players vying for a MT place.
Off topic - does anybody know what has happened to the forum on GSC - don't here any news now!!
Val O'Neill

Anonymous said...

Breathe Val. Deep breaths.