How many players will enter the first event of the new Players Tour later this month?

Or, to put it another way, why would any player not enter it?

Each event carries a top prize of £10,000 plus 2,000 ranking points to the winner.

It will be played on templated tables at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, not on “tables with pockets like buckets where the outcome is just a lottery,” as Mark King claimed last week. The matches will be best of seven. Most ranking event matches are only best of nine.

The PTC also provides additional playing opportunities – something the players have been asking for, quite rightly, for a long time – and the chance to qualify for the big money televised finals towards the end of the season.

To do so, players must enter a minimum of six of the 12 PTC tournaments and finish in the top 24 in the order of merit.

The first event is open to all 96 players on the main tour and any amateurs who wish to have a go. If, as seems likely, there is a surplus of amateur entries then a qualifying event will whittle the field down to 128.

The PTC is not designed to propel snooker back into the limelight. It has been devised purely for the players to do what they do best...play.

Nigel Bond told the Sheffield Star this week that Barry Hearn is “only interested in the elite.” If that was true, he would have ploughed the money being used to stage the PTC into invitation events for the very top players.

The middle and lower ranked players should be over the moon at this additional playing opportunity because it is mainly them who will benefit. No more six week gaps between matches and the chance to earn a lot of money – if they do well on the table.

Some players spoilt by years of being glad-handed around the big arenas may feel the new events are beneath them. Well, they could always sit at home doing nothing while the rest battle for the £10,000 first prize – to most of us a pretty good return for three days work.

The entry fee is £100. Players are guaranteed £200 for winning just one match.

Snooker players are supposed to play snooker. If they do it well they will be handsomely rewarded.

The game should not be – and won’t be from now on – about ‘guarantees’ and doggedly digging in to protect a ranking position.

It should be about ambition and effort. Players should aspire to climb the rankings, not just hang on grimly.

Despite the lies spread by his enemies, Hearn has already announced that the 2011/12 season will still consist of a 96-player circuit.

The PTC will play a part in this because the top eight players who don’t finish in the top 64 in the main rankings will qualify.

The model has worked well on the PDC darts circuit – also run by Hearn – where prize money has increased dramatically.

The regular match-play the PTC will give players should enable them to build up form rather than have it dwindle away in the long gaps between ranking events.

Another charge levelled at Hearn of late is that he’s “only interested in gimmicks.”

There are no gimmicks in the PTC. It’s a series of snooker tournaments in which those who do well will be nicely rewarded.

If I were a player who has spent several years feeling like a part-timer I would be grateful for the opportunity and my entry would be in the post before the ink had dried.


android said...

Couldn't agree more. This kind of tour, with ranking points regularly available throughout the season, is what snooker has been crying out for for years. Now that they have it, a few players with an excessive sense of entitlement are complaining rather than competing.

If it's done right, the PTC has the potential to generate local interest and a few events could become money-makers for the sport before too long.

southerner said...

Doesn't anyone know who has entered, yet?

mathmo said...

Hi Dave,
Do you know if they are going to let the public watch the PTC events? i.e. are there tickets available to watch it?


Dave H said...

I don't know but I'd say it's unlikely

Anonymous said...

I would like to wish Scotland's newest Pros, Anthony McGill & James McBain, all the best in their attempts to make it to the top!

John McBride said...

Nicely put Dave, even the be-grudgers of our great game will have trouble finding negativity in this.

jamie brannon said...

Anyone know when the next snooker on UK television will be?

Anonymous said...


Can I assume John Higgins will not be allowed to enter until he clears his name?


mathmo said...

Thanks Dave. Just any chance to watch Drago or White is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

Well said Dave. But surely this should be open to the public. Web streaming at the very least.


Great idea this tour.

Just watch the new talent shoot up the rankings like they never could before.

The match practise gained will raise the overall standard and will create a few new stars.

High profile celebrity players like O'Sullivan could probably pick up a guaranteed rather than a possible 10 grand, by working during the time it takes to win a PTC event, but again, one has to weigh up the value of practise and rankings against money.

I am incredulous at the comments of Bond and King.

Both these players have done quite well financially from snooker, especially when you weigh up their contribution to the entertainment value that is vital to attract sponsors and tv viewers.

Perhaps if the game was played with pockets like buckets, King might have won a tournament or two by now.

The aspect of this series that satisfies me most is the potential shake up in the rankings.

No more must we endure the situation where the steady income pro, hovers around the bottom of the top 16 all year, then courtesy of a favourable seeding, wins a match against a nervous qualifier, playing for his life.

Under the previous system, Bond and King may have kept their ranking until Steve Davis became the first 80 year old to qualify for the crucible.

They might have to win a few matches now.

doney said...

this sounds like the best and fairest direction to go in. It gives the unknown players a chance to have a go

RichP said...

I wonder if they'll be betting on it?

Dave H said...

Jamie - the Shanghai Masters in September is on Eurosport.

Alpha - Higgins is suspended so no.

1.43pm - it may be open, I just know that thetre isn't much room for seating. Not to say there won't be some streaming.

Anonymous said...

Well said Dave. Please let us know who does and doesn't enter. Sounds like a great event, wish we could watch it but I assume you will provide us with all the results!

Anonymous said...

Great post Dave, good to see somebody talking sense.

jamie brannon said...

Okay, September looks rammed then as the World Open is on the BBC. Added to that the Premier League starts then, can't wait to see the fixtures for that as I would love to have a date in the West Midlands, it is time we had some snooker back in Birmingham again.

The busy September I have referred too shows that already Hearn is getting things going. In my opinion he has introduced the odd gimmick, but not at the expense of 'real' snooker. If this remains the case then I think Hearn can take us to the promised land!

Anonymous said...

do we have any idea as to how they will fit in 127 matches over 3 days?

Is it a 16 table set-up?

If so I'm guessing:

Friday - round 1
Saturday - rounds 2,3 and 4
Sunday Quarters, Semis and Final

CHRISK5 said...

I think the PTC events will be
over-subscribed with entries.

After all,it's in the players own
interest that they get ranking points,money quickly & hit the
ground running so to speak.

In theory - of the 20 events carrying ranking points -
the minimum requirement is to participate in 13 events.

However,I think most of the tour professionals will
enter about 17-18 events on average for the season as a whole.

I think most of the top players who also qualify for the PTC Finals
will probably do all the 20 events available.

Staying at home moaning & groaning
would be too costly for a
variety of reasons.

The middle-lower ranked players
have 'never had it so good' !

Anonymous said...

Regarding Higgins entering: Hearn said it would take days or weeks and not months. Now we are in the months category. What is up with that case??

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Hi Dave
How are you! Thanks for the posts. The jolly ole game has changed quite a bit in the last six or seven months.
I wonder Dave how many members recall the “Initial” reason for the change. It was the demand by Ronnie O to Sir Rodney and the old board for “Entertaining Snooker”.

Little did Ronnie know that his request would turn into an opportunity by Barry to play “Snooker Politics” and enlarge Matchroom enterprises?
I wonder if Barry’s election pledge of “Transparency” and “Complete Honesty” will in time find time to create Ronnie’s Entertaining Snooker.

Amazingly Dave there is “Entertaining Snooker” out there but Ronnie has only experienced the pace factor of “Never sit back and admire your last Strike”. The game must always have continuity as if a Snooker Break was one complete shot.

The approach to the shot, the timing and the execution of the shot is still Snooker Mysteries to the bold Ronnie O. Mr Hey You

CHRISK5 said...

Dave - Are the Top 16 still going to enter events in the Last 32 ?

Or are the Top 16 gonna be required to start at the Last 64
stages ? (which is what
the system was in the 1980s)

Anonymous said...

Dave - it smacks of double standards for Higgins to be suspended yet Maguire, Burnett, Lee have all been allowed to keep playing and earning money. Police have deemed the former two as being worthy of passing evidence to the Procurator Fiscal to assess whether criminal charges should be brought. Higgins at worst has only casually mentioned the idea of throwing games, yet is prohibited from playing while the others are free to play notwithstanding the fact that they might have committed far more serious offences. Surely Hearn can act retrospectively and suspend those three as well?

Ali said...

Has there been an announcement on the Rankings structure?
Will it be more like tennis and a 52 week rolling rankings?

Or is it being kept as it used to, for now?

Dave H said...

Chris - that's up to the TV companies so my guess would be no

9.53 - possibly but Hearn wasn't chairman when their cases came to light. The time being taken over the Higgins affair suggests its isn't quite as clear-cut as the original newspaper report suggested

Ali - I shall be discussing the new ranking system on here later this week

CHRISK5 said...

Dave - Thanks,I probably expected
that the televised ranking events
would stay the same so the Top 16 get TV coverage in the last 32.

My question was more aimed at whether this would also remain
the case in the PTC events ?

We shall see soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Mr X @ 7:02 pm, Hello Dave!
The answer to your query Mr X on the John Higgins case is an “Imponderable” and may never be answered nor the alleged “Match Fixing” case of many moons ago.

A definite “Maybe” is long over due Sir but the “Commercial Rights” and the51% must be confirmed first as the out come of the disciplinary cases may sound a “White Wash” Therefore creating a demand to the WPBSA to take a vote of confidence by the pro membership.

The person you should ask Mr 5:02 is your union man Steve Davis at W/S in Bristol. Steve along with Barry pledged the “Transparency” and “Complete Honesty” slogan that ousted the Honourable Sir Rodney. Mr hey You

Dave H said...

Ah yes, the honourable Sir Rodney who negotiated himself a contract that's meant the WPBSA has had to pay him £92,000 for being voted out. I'm sure none of the players would have wanted to play for that.

Chris - I think all the players come in right from the first round.

Anonymous said...

7 43 hey u .are u really sugesting ronnie has no idea what hes doing .lol.i think the great joe davis u keep spouting on about would have needed 40 start off him. as regards the higgins thing he is on tape saying he would throw a frame .whereas burnett has only been accused of it and not said it. i dont think the higgins matter will be resolved quickly as barry said cus john even if guilty will obviously try to save himself and that can only drag out through the courts. ive watched the tape i think he may need O.J .Simpsons man.

Anonymous said...

would be nice for once if a chairman really got involved in every aspects of the sport . only ever saw sir rodney giving out the trophy at the odd final. not exactly hard work. never once saw him come to the qaulifiers in prestatyn and staying in a £25 a night chalet.lol with only one heater working.im talking from experience.dont think sir rod even knew pontins existed.

Sonny said...

This article = nail on the head

Anonymous said...

killdare 2 24. cant agree with your comments on bond a ranking event winner and world finalist.he has won quite a few games lately. mark king is a bit like m. holt likes to be heard but even so a little unfair he has his ranking by right.king was very noisy at the meeting think hes just excited he has barry hearns phone number.

Anonymous said...

hi dave,

the PTC tour looks great - like the darts. But whereas all the top pros turn up, can we really see the top players turning up? Just look at those shoddy tournaments started this time last year by the then board. Only Maguire could be bothered to turn up. Am not saying O'Sullivan wouldn't turn up for them, but probably not until the season started.

Which puts me to point 2: when is the start of the season? I can never work it out. This recent win for Murphy was pre-season tournament or proper? Its on the official calender, but has no resemblance for ranking points/invatational tournaments like the masters.

just going back to the vote. most of the top 16 interviewed at post match press conferences at sheffield last month were all for hearn. so i take it, Hendry,Ding,King,Ebdon and i presume the rest - lower ranking players - were part of the 29? Do you have an idea, Dave?

one final point. It does make me laugh how everyone - steve davis - was all against the round robin grand prix a few years back. now that tournament and others will change and folk have a had a change of mind; snooker media included. V.fickle indeed.

thanks, joe

CHRISK5 said...

If Snooker Scene Bloggers was a
political party.....

Mr Hey You would definetly be the
Boris Johnson amongst us !!

He makes us all look good by comparison !!

Hello Joe - Good to see you back.

If you click onto Wikipedia's
reliable 2010/2011 season guide,
the snooker season started with
the Austrian Open,with the
Wuxi Classic as the 2nd listed
event so far.

Anonymous said...

12 34 . already posted about this it was invite only and in china . snooker is not new to asia so its a waste of time. not for 8 players though! 96 members .this is so what barry needs to realise. stop pretending we need to sell the game in places weve been going for 20 years.we went to dubai for 5 years in the late 80s early 90s .dubai duty free was one of the few we had who signed for more than a couple of years. again i will repeat myself stop making out we need to have these invites for a chosen few its not new out there. 96 members barry who have given u %51 but want u to represent %100 of the members.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should travel to Germany if you want to see a tournament of the (E)PTC. ;-). Tickets of PHC (Fuerth) are available on www.snookerstars.de , Hamm and Ruesselsheim will follow.

Anonymous said...

Further to queries about be able to spectate at PTC events, I have copied below my comment posted on another item:

""Apparantly all PTC and ALL Ranking Qualifying Events at EIS Sheffield are going to be Friends and Family ticketed only - no room for spectators. I was informed of this by World Snooker at Bristol.
Can you imagine a World Championship final qualifying round match over 19 frames Steve Davis v Ken Doherty with just 10 friends and family watching!!
Seems a bad start to the New Era - a lot of us used to go to qualifying events and really enjoy the experience.
Why are you driving people away already Barry?
Please at the least put the final 2 qualifying rounds of UK Champs and World Champs on at the Badminton Hall EIS as before.""

A lot of genuine supporters will be very disappointed by this.

Anonymous said...


If you posted an entry form before the ink had fully dried then it may smudge and the whole thing could become indecipherable similar to a spoiled ballet paper.
Unwise I would suggest especially given the exciting times ahead.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered that the Chinese organisers might only want the top players rather than names nobody has heard of or cares about? This culture of 'looking after the members' has to stop. Players should earn their place, not expect it as a right.

Anonymous said...

Snooker © The Fine Art Method
A secret is wasted if not shared
Dear Dave H, how are you!
The Honourable tag Dave was meant as a general adjective not a praiseworthy person. I honestly think that Barry and Steve would have doubled the amount for Sir’s quick exit; plus the fact that it sets a higher barometer for the next dismissals.

The £92,000 to get rid was reasonable Dave considering some bank managers demands for just keeping a tally.
The hustle and bustle that’s going on is good for snooker and the High Ranked members; and of course the David Hendon blog, but is without calendar detail on points still long neglected.

That was good of you Dave to make nice excuses for Barry’s hesitation on disciplinary issues. But the full frontal response by Barry on TV to the John Higgins “Expose” was maybe “A trifle Hasty”?
Many of the past punishments meted out will of course have to be “Corrected” Mr Hey You..

jamie brannon said...

The Higgins affair surely needs sorting before the start of the ranking events though as Jamie Cope could be in the top 16 if Higgins was given a permanent ban.

As what happens if during the season, Higgins receives his ban, would Cope be given the privleges of a top 16 player as someone would have to be the 16th seed in events.

Betty Logan said...

Presumably a suspension means Higgins can't enter events so Cope won't have to play qualifiers once the entry date has passed if he's the 16th seed. It will be a bit hard on Higgins if his suspension ends after the qualifiers but before the main event though, perhaps they'll give him a wildcard.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Chrisk5!

Yup, I know of the Austrian tournament won by Trump v Robertson.

I've had a lovely rest and is now getting ready the season ahead. thanks.

Are we any closer to finding out whether Burnett/Maguire et al will be charged by Police? And, as Hearn said his man on the board will deal swiftly and urgently with Higgins are we any closer to finding out whether Higgins is banned for good or returns? Because, as I've been told on here, the season has, er, started, what is happening with ranking points and Hearn, who had Higgins, as one of his men to lead the new fandango of snooker forward, must be wanting closure soon, what with posters, programmes to market the new season. Any idea, Dave?

Also, is Hearn keeping the WSA base at Bristol, seeing as Prestatyn has finally been pulled for qualifying events (thank god!)?

And is someone finally going to sort that website out...?

Thanks, joe

Anonymous said...

chrisk5 .no the snooker season has not started cus of the austrian open .as i said before certain players would not be invited to this because brandon parker may not put u in it cus u might not have voted for barry. brandon is now going to get a slice of the cake .i think its %12 .