Eight invited Asian wildcards face the eight lowest ranked qualifiers on day one of the Sanyuan Foods China Open.

Gone are the days when this was an extended practice session for the main tour players. The Chinese invitees are very dangerous, not least Tian Pengfei, who faces Mark Davis in the first TV match.

Tian was on the pro circuit last season and beat Andrew Higginson in the campaign-opening Shanghai Masters.

For reasons unknown, Tony Drago's match with Shi Shuamgyang has not been put on one of the two main TV tables by the organisers so the fast potting Maltese won't feature in Eurosport's opening day coverage.

Drago has had an outstanding season and proven that though, yes, it is tough to survive as a first season professional it's not impossible.

He won four matches to qualify for the Welsh Open and another four to get to Beijing.

Another veteran campaigner, James Wattana (it doesn't seem that long since he was the young up-and-coming dangerman) has also qualified and tackles Au Chi Wai.

Bjorn Haneveer is Belgium's best ever player, although young Luca Brecel - currently defending his EBSA European under 19 crown in Malta - may in time assume that mantle.

Haneveer plays Yu Delu, a stalwart of the wildcard round, for the right to meet Marco Fu in the first round proper.

The wildcard day is not, let's be honest, one that is usually remembered fondly but it's still good to have snooker back on our screens and the top players get the tournament well and truly going on Tuesday.


Janie (EBSA Media) said...

Young Luca Brecel has opened the defence of his European Under 19 title with 4 wins and not dropped a frame yet!

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being lambasted for blatant plugging, on my blog which I won't give the address for I have also done a short preview on both this whole event and tomorrow. But YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT IF YOU DON'T WANT TO!

I think Pengfei has a great chance and I will be taking him to beat Mark Davis, the Chinese seem very shrewd in how they pick who their players play and who they qualify to play. I disagree with wildcards being introduced late on in ranking events but while we're stuck with them we just have to get on with it.

It would be interesting to know Dave if there is any draw as such for these as they do seem to suit the home players a little bit too much to me.


Anonymous said...

i wont be going to your site snookerbacker as you wouldnt have mentioned it on here if you werent interested in diverting traffic.

Anonymous said...


Good to see you've kicked off the blatant plugging of a very dubious coaching method. Now we have to contend with the blatant plugging of a betting blog. When will these chancers ever learn to do some advertising themselves instead of relying on others hard work and foresight to do it for them?

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hello Dave
How are you! Thanks lad for my postings and showing “Political Courage” against the establishment. There is a whingeing BBC article on funding by John Higgins and his snooker troop in Glasgow.

John is asking why the game and “Sport” of snooker is being denied funding. John is apparently out with the loop with this inside knowledge.
Snooker forfeited and annulled its heritage and copyright for short term gain in the 19-90s.

Snooker will never get funding as the game has no entertaining value except to “Us” few thousand snooker addicts that will watch excitedly the snooker cue being chalked.

Why John! Doesn’t W/S or Scottish snooker demand that an annual permit is required to coach snooker? A mere 3 or 4 % from coaching earnings would create a Tobacco size subsidy and would benefit every country worldwide without sponsors or snooker funding. Mr hey you

Dave H said...

I'm sure the draw is conducted in an above the board manner as befitting the best traditions of the sport

Anonymous said...

wtf has fine art and coaching got to do with this blog subject?

cos i dont know


Matt said...

Sounds like Sam Craigie is doing well too Janie, good to see him doing well.

It will be interesting to see if there are as many upsets as last year. Can't imagine it but stranger things have happened.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese should bever be underestimated
Mark Davis might struggle against his wildcard, especially after his outlandish comments regarding Barry Hearn the other day.
Surely the vote will be 63 versus 1on 5th May.

Anonymous said...

That's good to know Dave as long as it was all above board....


Anonymous said...

Diverting traffic lol! Dave has kindly put a link on here as I have to here. What a ridiculous comment. There really are some very cynical people around these days.

I'm just a snooker fan, plain and simple. For other fans there are some great pictures from China on this link.


Anonymous said...

anyone know what match is Live this afternoon?

Dave H said...

Bjorn Haneveer v Yu Delu

Anonymous said...

keeping oo mentioning ur blog wen comentin is more than link swap.
Poor mans david hendon backer. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dave H
Are tomorrows live matches, Williams v Cope & Higgins v Fergal?

Dave H said...

Higgins yes. Williams isn't on one of the two TV tables so it's either Fu or Maguire.

Anonymous said...

Dave you observed on twitter that somehow this wildcard round is grossly unfair. Not the only thing that was unfair this season in the chinese tournaments. Liang Wenbo allowed to play his qualifs for the ShM at the venue added to the commercial value but also and foremost solved his visa problems. Other chinese players weren't that lucky and missed the season opener. Which certainly jeopardised the chances of the newcomers on the MT with just 6 rankers in the season.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Dining Method
A secret is no longer a secret once it's shared. It's gossiping.

Hi there Dave, how are you lad?

I remember a time when I was round at dear old Joe Davis' house. We were settling down to an evening of television featuring our favourite programme, Harry Worth. As we were tucking into a lovely Victoria sponge washed down with a drop of Earl Grey, he said to me "A natural at snooker is a person that has forgotten the player he copied from." When I asked Joe to expand on this he said "look at this delicious cake, with its eggs, flour, sugar, cream and strawberry jam. It's complete, but made with natural ingredients." This is one piece of advice we should all follow closely. Mr Hey You and his Rockteady Cue

Anonymous said...

I think you're mistaken about Tian Pengfei being on the pro tour last year.

Anonymous said...

Liked the closing lines about Bjorn's carpentry from yourself and Mike this afternoon Dave. Very good.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr 5:57 PM, Hello Dave
Thanks for the plug mister Cream Bun. I think laddie that you’ve had a look at some “Fine Art” material. Thanks again for the plug.

The natural ingredients in your cream buns remind me of the daft expression of used by stupid coaches when they can’t access a student’s strong points.

Natural Ability Sir! Is enjoying three meals a day with cream buns without biting your tongue off. Mr hey you