I do, of course, pontificate a great deal about snooker and much of this is done from the comfort of my own sofa.

However, you can’t really get a handle on what’s happening in the sport unless you go along and see it close up. Yesterday I was in Sheffield for the last day of qualifying for the World Open.

The general atmosphere was pretty relaxed all things considered. Most players seem to be embracing the new era and relishing the additional playing opportunities.

Not all regard the set up at Sheffield as perfect but overall seem willing to make the most of it.

There was an unusual situation yesterday in that some members of the top 16 were required to qualify for the final stages of the tournament.

Only one of those in action was successful. While Marco Fu got through, Ryan Day, Mark Allen and Liang Wenbo were all beaten.

We’ll never know if they would have won their matches had they been played before the cameras, not least because the shorter format levels the playing field a little, but I could understand it if they were unimpressed by having to go to Sheffield.

There were no crowds so the atmosphere was flat and there was a sense that they were on a hiding to nothing.

Still, well done to those who did make it through, including Davy Morris, who will make his TV debut in Glasgow.

Morris had lost six times in the final qualifying round of ranking events. “People don’t realise but the standard is so high and you need a bit of luck,” he told me.

Luck was something Mark Davis believed he had on his side after beating Jamie Jones 3-0 to qualify, although after 19 years of toil in the qualifiers few would begrudge him some running.

Davis has joined the top 32 for the first time and is now pressing for a place in the top 16.

“I don’t know what it is, really, other than that I’ve been working hard on my game and the mental side,” he said.

“I always knew deep down that I was good enough to get results but you have to prove it.

“The balls are going for me at the moment and I’ll make the most of it because I know it can all turn round.

“If you win a 5-4 it can be a springboard but if you lose one it can dent your confidence. That’s how narrow the difference can be.”

Not all players seem to understand the way the new ranking system will work. Others are already studying the list with a jeweller’s eyepiece. They have Janie Watkins on speed dial and are regularly checking the updates on Pro Snooker Blog.

It’s easy to say it’s too early in the season for this but it was ever thus. It is, after all, their career and the circuit wouldn’t be the same without outright anxiety about the rankings and endless speculation backstage about how some decision or other will favour some and disadvantage others.

You’ll never get rid of the idle chat and the rumours and the griping because that’s part and parcel of the circuit and always will be, and not just among the players.

The difference now, though, is that there are the actual events to accompany it.

The snooker juggernaut moves on to Furth in Germany for the Paul Hunter Classic this week.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the offer Dave. DM

Anonymous said...

Mark Davis heading for the top 16. Joe Perry just left.
Whats the nett difference?
Answer; None. zzzzzzzz

Monique said...

The difference, and it's huge, is that now many players feel there is hope, there is a real opportunity to be a pro, which means being able to make a decent living in snooker.

Sonny said...

Dave - can you explain why World Snooker STILL don't have a comprehensive provisional ranking list on their website and we are still relying on poor Matt from Prosnookerblog to tell the world what is happening?

I've understood how the new system works from day 1 and it is very easy if you are already familiar with how the previous ranking system worked.

I am pretty amazed that Barry Hearn of all people hasn't acknowledged this PR disaster and done something about it because it is so easily rectified. I could do it myself in a couple of hours if I had the inclination so why can't those who provide the official ranking list on the official website do the same?

Dave H said...

I can't explain it but the list as presented on worldsnooker.com is misleading.

It would be like under the old system not having a one year provisional list but just adding points to what is effectively a three year list and then dropping an entire season's points after the World Championship.

Sonny said...

That is what they're doing now you mean? I agree it's totally the wrong way to go about it. I have just checked the WS website again and they do appear to have removed all references to a structured "provisional" points table and now just have a list of player names in rank order with points not showing how they worked them out, and a new "current seeding list" which is another list like the last but without points. Still not good enough!

Honestly, it's just a case of making a provisional list like they used to do, but remove the tournaments from the calculations which are going to be removed at the next update and go from there. That way you have a starting point so people know where they are and what they have to do, and then you simply add on points as you go and then everyone will know where they stand after each event. What's the problem?

Betty Logan said...

The world snooker list is almost there - it just takes a genius to realise they need to drop the points from the first three events on their current list and they're home and dry.

Anonymous said...

When they do eventually sort out their site, users should continue to use pro snooker for their info.
That would teach these so called "major" sites a lesson and reward those that are making an effort.

Anonymous said...

Sunny @12.06- Never mind ws not having the provisional rankings posted. They haven't even updated their ptc order of merit after event 3.
Surely someone that speaks to Hearn, must read this blog and let him know about these shortcomings.
Or else he just doesn't care.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a Walker trademark. Come on Barry.

Anonymous said...

The rankings have overnight become formulaic and comprise the best and worse of every player in the game.
Phase one will be the difference between current form over classic form while phase two will define the men from the boys.
The final "push" will see highly ranked incumbents drop down the list and the respective groups will either love or hate the current figureheads in the sport, blaming everyone but themselves for their possible demise.
This could play into the hands of budding board members who may gain votes by commiserating with "unfashionable" former stars.
I predict a riot while the form players make hay in the sunshine.

Janie Watkins (OnQ Promotions Media Officer) said...

We're in the middle of three events now so the rankings really are changing by the minute at the moment.

We have Shanghai half way through, the World Open, and of course we've got the first EPTC at the weekend.

I dunno about speed dial but one player rang five different people yesterday to get my number to check his ranking.

He'd checked his position at mid day with me before leaving Sheffield, by the time he got home he'd gone into "panic" mode in case someone had potted a ball. I will spare the player his blushes by not mentioning who it was!

As the matches unfolded yesterday the race for the Top 16 at the first cut point (end of World Open) changed about six times.

That's how tight it is and the forthcoming EPTC in Furth this weekend is going to have a massive impact.

At the moment I have every sympathy with World Snooker, Global snooker, Matt at ProSnookerBlog and every other anorak.

I could send the rankings to Global to publish but there's really no point at least until after the EPTC.

Anonymous said...

The rankings are updated on pro snooker blog as each event or qualifying school finishes. Thats the only list the players need worry about.

I just can't understand the problems with WS re their website. What sort of an imbecile have they in charge.

There are thousands of unemployed youngsters out there that could set up a spreadsheet that would change the rankings automatically as the results came in. End of.

Matt said...

Thanks Dave for the plug and everyone else for the comments.

I can only really echo what has been said above insofar as I do not see the point of the WSA website publishing the rankings as they are at present. Players such as Ryan Day and Dave Harold are in for a shock if they are relying on that.

I don't mind doing them anyway to be honest, I've always liked having them completely up to date with the latest qualifying points included anyway, a habit picked up from the old Global days!

Anonymous said...


What the hell does your entire post actually mean?

CHRISK5 said...

Anon 12.09 am - The 6.29pm post means that confusion & contradiction reign supreme.

Janie Watkins on speed dial ?! LMAO

No doubt Janie is basing those figures on Global & World Snooker.

World Snooker still have John Parrott on their 'revised' list !

The Pro Snooker list includes premature starter pts.

Snooker Scene Magazine 'bottled it'
on showing an updated list in the
August issue after PTC 2.

If I was a player - I wouldn't bother checking the rankings - It's
a waste of time until either list
is confirmed as cosha,legit,

Then again,the Rankings Scandal
becoming an issue is a superb achievement in itself !!

John Higgins doesn't know his ranking &.....neither does anybody else !

Great soap opera.

Dave H said...

How exactly did we bottle it by printing the PTC order of merit after PTC2?

Anonymous said...

Erm Chris, do you even understand what the point of your post is? Higgins is number one until the end of EPTC2!

Anonymous said...

CHRISK5 doesn't understand how the new ranking system works until now.

CHRISK5 said...

Simple,the PTC Order Of Merit list
is truthful,clear & transparent.

However,the updated Provisional Ranking List was what I was referring to.

Surely,after early October & the
revised list - everything will
be clear as to how the list proceeds from then on. (in terms of numeric calculations that
fans & anoraks like to do themselves)

I don't blame SSM for not displaying an updated ranking list,
more diplomatic to stay neutral
on the issue until anything is
confirmed as correct.

Anonymous said...

Don't encourage that chrisk idiot by interacting with him. He was adamant that the list published by global and world snooker were the correct list, despite having it explained to him by everyone on the blog that the pro snooker was correct.
Global and ws have now dropped their lists and that plonker is now back on to try and cause more confusion by implying that there is uncertainty and/or, scandal regarding the system.
He should be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 5:12pm - chrisk5 is a clown of the highest order.