We need Ronnie O’Sullivan to bring his uniquely entertaining brand of snooker to the fore in Glasgow today and breathe some life into the Grand Prix.

The tournament has not yet hit the heights but O’Sullivan can change all that if he turns it on against Jamie Burnett.

The omens are good for the world no.1: he has beaten Burnett 5-0 the two previous times they have met.

For some reason, the Grand Prix has not been the happiest of events for O’Sullivan. He has won it only once and in 2005 was completely outplayed 9-2 in the final by John Higgins.

Still, not for the first time the game looks to him to provide some inspiration.

This afternoon’s other match pits Mark Williams, still recovering from his wrist injury, against Stuart Bingham.

Tonight, another injury case, Stephen Maguire, who is nursing fractured bones in his shoulder, tackles the experienced Nigel Bond, who was runner-up 19 years ago.

And Ricky Walden will look to make it three wins out of three against Mark King.

The big shock yesterday was Shaun Murphy’s 5-4 defeat to Barry Pinches. Murphy needed yellow and green in the eighth frame to win 5-3. In the end, Pinches made an excellent clearance in the decider.

Stephen Hendry remained focused throughout his 5-2 victory over Matt Selt even if the four times Grand Prix champion was not at his imperious best.

Credit to Peter Ebdon for the way he turned things around against Liang Wenbo.

The crowds picked up after Sunday attracted less than 100 spectators.

It will surely be a big attendance for O’Sullivan today, who takes centre stage after the second round draw is made at 1.30pm.

TV times:
BBC2 1.30-4.30pm, 7-8pm, 0.50-3.40am

British Eurosport 2 1.30-5pm, British Eurosport 7-10pm
Eurosport times in other countries vary, check your local listings

The BBC website (in the UK) and the Eurosport Player has live coverage from both the tables.


Anonymous said...

To be honest I hope O'Sullivan doesn't pull in the crowds because if he does it will just feed his ego and make him think he IS snooker.

Anonymous said...

Though there were a few more there the crowds are pretty embarrassing for the game at the venue. I think it's a culmination of things but I don't think the random draw helps one bit. People generally like to plan ahead and buy tickets for matches that they want to watch. With this format it isn't possible until the last minute. The format should be scrapped and whoever thought it was a good idea named and shamed. I can't remember a tournament with less atmosphere in living memory. The players must feel embarrassed getting the Rob Walker treatment (who also looks uncomfortable) then coming out to a ripple of claps and a snoring grandma. I'd also considering moving the tournament to another city, perhaps try somewhere like Liverpool which very seldom sees top class action and never a ranking event, close enough to Manchester / Lancashire to attract larger crowds and plenty of city centre venues.

Anonymous said...

I hope the overly enthusiastic MC doesn't cock up the open draw as he did last time when sensationalising the possibility of a Parrott/Davis clash and forgetting the claims of Parrott's opponent Ali Carter.
All this did was to gee up Carter and demoralise JP before the first ball was struck.
On a separate note, how a Parrott versus Davis match up would titilate anyone under the age of 90 is anyones guess.

Dave H said...

It's nothing to do with the format. The crowds at the SECC last year were good and, anyway, the times of the matches involving top 16 players in the first round were announced two months ago.

Anonymous said...

I love the random draw!

Anonymous said...

That someone could dislike ROS to the point of wishing he doesn't pull the crowd is beyond me. The audience is dramatically low and the event has no sponsor. It can't be commercially profitable if nothing changes.
I'd say it would be in real danger to be axed next year if it wasn't for the BBC. And even that wont last forever...
Would that please you?

Anonymous said...

So Dave, what you are saying is that it's more likely to be the venue? I disagree with you on the format, while the last 32 was known a while ago, none of the matches really set the world alight and I think they should have started with 16 rather than 32 on one table. I'd be interested to know how many advance tickets for later on in the week are sold in comparison to other events.

Anonymous said...

The crowds last night were embarrsassing. Was it the Allen/McCulloch match on the other table last night? It looked like there was about 6 people at most watching them. If the crowds don't turn up it looks like this event will be the next one to be scrapped.

Anonymous said...

I still think if sessions aren't sold out, WS should give a few dozen tickets to the University and get extra people in. Used to be students would go anywhere to get in from the cold. Or is it that nobody knows the tournament is on?

Dave H said...

It's about marketing and promotion. A few posters around the city would be a start.

Last year I suggested going round snooker clubs offering ticket deals. Same with the uni.

Has this been done? If not, why not?

Anonymous said...

I think it got off to a bad start with a clash against the Old Firm match on Saturday.

It's no contest in Glasgow between snooker and football, and the fans certainly wouldn't have been rushing from the football to sit in silence at the Grand Prix in the evening either, they were out painting the town green or blue!

It's also another case of too big a venue for this stage of the event. Newport suffers the same effect., vast amounts of seats and spectators often site a long way back so they can get a view of both tables, well out of sight of the tv cameras.

Personally I think the Grand Prix should go back to The Guild Hall at Preston and Scotland should have its own clearly marketable event - aka Scottish Open, like the Welsh Open.

jamie brannon said...

I love Ronnie, but it is a worry that in the UK he carries most events until the last weekend. It is like Bolt in the Athletics who carries that sport at the moment. I agree the Guild Hall would be good or why not back to the SECC? Why is not there anyway?

Anonymous said...

Janie "I think it got off to a bad start with a clash against the Old Firm match on Saturday", this match was played on SUNDAY.

Eric said...

I am very, very surprised about the way in which today's draw took place. This could have been easily faked (no, I am not saying it IS, but it COULD HAVE BEEN).

All balls were numbered, but who tells me that ball No. 1 actually represented Neil Robertson? Only Rob Walker did after looking on his list. He also could have said any other name after the lord picked the No. 1 ball and no one would have known. (Or did I miss something here? Was known in advance which number was which player?)

Why not put the player's names on the balls? Then there can't be any suspicion of a fixed draw.

Once again: I don't believe this draw is in any way fixed, but why do it in such a clumsy way (again...)?

Anonymous said...

Also Eric this has been a very poor tornament so far and what happens Higgins v o'sullivan came out in the draw, still o'sullivan had to win his match which he did, but as you say very clumsy draw. When this draw is made in the fa cup the teams come up on screen with the numbers on why was'nt it done today?

Anonymous said...

I've just watched the video back and they did the same last year, no sign of a list of players with the numbers aside them.

However it did throw up Higgins vs. Hendry which some might consider quite convenient as the event being in Scotland.


Black_cat from TF said...

There you go, the wonders of the random draw: Higgins/O'Sullivan in round 2.
This system is a mockery of things. And empty seats are another way to prove it.
And, Anon 9.05, I hope O'Sullivan pulls the biggest crowds since the invention of the concept, because I can't believe that a genuine snooker fan would be so uninterested in the terrible situation the game is right now as to wish poor attendance at tournaments just because it suits their dislike.

Also, Eurosport is extracting the urine out of European snooker fans, by showing some U-19 football thingie in the time alloted for snooker. (No, I don't have the BBC. No, I will not pay for the Eurosport player since I already pay cable. Yes, there are other means. Ahem. And yes, that's another story. Sorry.)

Anonymous said...

@Black_cat from TF

Eurosport have to give preference to the events that have the most spectators.

Anonymous said...

the game is in trouble its obvious to me people know about the event cos its on the BBC and all they do is promote where the event is ,i think that people just think other players are boreing to watch and everyone wants to see ronnie , the simple fact is that i am sorry to say but the games becoming boreing ! Sorry if that seams harsh but thats my opinion

Claus Christensen said...

They should ask someone like Pat Mooney for help on advertising and such. Surely there is a way to do proper promotion.
Next month we have a match in Copenhagen between Higgins and Selby. Almost all tickets, VIP and normal, were sold immediately on the first day. Now it is completely sold out. Thanks to eurosport and Henrik Kaj Hansen for getting the word out.

Janie said...

Oh sorry Anon - was it Sunday - it's all a blur to me!!

Well either way, fans would have spent their dosh out for that match and that would have cut out a large proportion of potential crowd on Sunday and no doubt had knock on effects to both Saturday and Monday.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain why the tournament was moved moved from the secc seeing as the crowds were so good? Anyway if they can't get big crowds in tomorrow afternoon ans thursday afternoon considering the matches on offer then the game is in big trouble.

Dave H said...

The BBC requested the date change, hence the change of venue

Anonymous said...

The BBC have a lot to answer for.
Clive Everton has been hardly used all week and seems to have been replaced by a giggling Beavis of Beavis & Butthead fame.

Anonymous said...

The venue of the Kelvin Hall is central, definitely more central and accessible than the SECC but the week they have chosen is not the best one for scheduling. Also, the marketing has been very poor.

The Masters Club in Glasgow where John Higgins and Graeme Dott practiced regularly has also recently closed and people would often come in there to play and see leaflets for the events - the only main club left in Glasgow now is the Q Club (which I'm pleased about as the atmosphere and tables are good).

Anonymous said...

To all those that say 'if this doesn't happen then the game is on trouble', just where have you all been? The game is in dire straits now!

Less than 100 people on a Sunday. How bad do you want it to go before you will say that the game is definitely in trouble? Less than 30? 20? Lower?

If there are no sponsors next season then say goodbye to more ranking events and basically the tour. On the plus side it will just be like the 70's again with only one ranking event!

Mal said...

I think the SECC is undergoing major construction works currently and will be for a while for the 2014 commonwealth games in Glasgow as the National Scotland Arena will be built there.

But, why not Preston?

Personally I think the random draw is good - Those of you on TSF can listen to John Higgins opinions of it and he seems to like it. (perhaps that was before the draw!!)
But, the draw leaves the potential for an all top 16 QF line up

Anonymous said...

ive been at both televised draws.

ive been in the players lounge and at the arena during practise of the draw.

the players names are well known and stay the same number.

the same players in the practise one in the arena today just before the live one had the same players in the same numbers.

there were about 300 folk in there who all witnessed that, tho i doubt most were paying that much attention.

quite a few were noting the numbers down for the practise, as well as taking the real draw down.

i know its not being said it definitely was fixed, but i and many others there could vouch for it being totally random and the numbers constantly asigned to the same players.

go KING !!

Anonymous said...

There was two pre runs of the draw. Although not ideal in anyway whatsoever, the crowd were told the numbers of certain players and there is no possibility that it was a fix.

The actual nembers represented the match number for the first round and anyone with access to Global could have got the numbers. Again not ideal, but fair.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough but why could'nt the bbc show the numbers the players were, instead we had wee Hazel goin off before the draw about Jenson Button.

SupremeSnooker.com said...

Incidentally, it looks as though the BBC's coverage of the Hendry- Williams match will be severely disrupted by live coverage of David Cameron's conference speech.
Meanwhile, BBC1 will be showing an ancient episode of Murder, She Wrote at the same time.

stuartfanning said...

I think World Snooker want one tournament in Scotland and one in Wales, with sponsors or without. As these two tournaments are unsponsored WC will put up the money although surely they must rely on good ticket sales!

Anonymous said...

It's almost a game waiting for Hazel's latest excuse for empty seats each time it happens. And Clive Everton hinted that lack of atmosphere affected the standard of play in the Perry/Pinches match, which sounds like a vicious circle.