Well done to Ding Junhui who has tonight beaten Jamie Jones 4-1 to win the fifth Players Tour Championship title of the season in Sheffield.

Ding is not eligible for the grand finals next March because he hasn’t played in the requisite number of PTC tournaments but will still gladly accept the £10,000 first prize and 2,000 ranking points

If my maths is correct – which it usually isn’t – then Ding leaps from eighth to fourth as a result of this victory, so his endeavours have been well rewarded.

There have now been seven winners on the PTC/EPTC series, four from the top 16.

The action continues next weekend with PTC6 but despite the understandable complaints last season that there weren’t enough tournaments to play in, there are already some groans that these new events aren’t of sufficient prestige.

Tough. That’s where snooker is right now and it’ll take time for things to turn round.

A better attitude would be to regard it as a chance to make money and stay sharp.

I can understand a few legends of snooker not being wildly enthused by the PTCs but the younger players and those down the rankings should be thankful for the opportunities.

Snooker fans had their already depleted reserves of patience tested still further over the weekend as they tried to keep up to date with the scores.

worldsnooker.com’s much vaunted new live scoring facility packed in early on and did not work again, although there was not a word of explanation as to why not.

Following the scores from afar reminded me of those ‘magic eye’ pictures the newspapers used to print back in the 1990s.

You remember: you’d stare solidly at them for 15 minutes until, finally, you got a headache.

Technology can, of course, malfunction, but the governing body’s scoring has failed so many times over the years that you wonder if an ancient curse has been placed upon it.

But here’s an idea in the meantime: there’s this new fangled thing called Twitter which apparently is vaguely popular. Barry Hearn’s PDC darts organisation posts results and updates on there all the time.

Is there a reason why World Snooker can’t do the same?


Matt said...

They could give me £20 for petrol and I'd do it to be honest. They know where I am!

Redandblackblog said...

I read that Allen article the other day and thought what a whingeing such and such. I wouldn't be surprised if Doyle put him up to it but either way a potential £10k for two days practice, effectively, isn't bad. I would love to be able to earn that sort of money for playing snooker.

David Caulfield said...

Regarding those players, some people are never happy eh.

No live scoring really is a joke though.

Well done to Ding anyway!

Maza said...

When I read the bit when you said some players aren't happy with it, I was intrigued. Then I clicked on your link and realised it took me to the 110sport website and just laughed and quickly closed the tab. I'm not reading some agenda driven drivel.

P.S Yes, livescoring would be good. Although I'm not some hardcore fan that checks the net all day anyway. I usually look at the scores at the end of the day. However, I agree with your twitter point. Sheeesh. That has made it as easy as pie for the organisers if they want to utilise it.

P.P.S. Well done Ding.

Anonymous said...

This season the Murphy,Robertson,
Ding,Selby generation is taking
a stronger grip on the trophies,
can the 'old guard' of Ronnie,
Higgins and Williams respond as the
season progresses ?

Glad to have these PTC tournaments
the vast majority back them,those
who whinge are in the minority and will subsequently slip down the rankings unless they take a more positive approach to them.

They should do Twitter score updates,though Global without Janie are still doing a fine job.

Anonymous said...

Global without Janie was reliant on World Snooker this week like the rest of us and they bombed.

Anonymous said...


id be sending out P45s to World Snooker staff tomorrow morning if i was Barry Hearn.

Betty Logan said...

Does this 6 PTC criteria just apply to the top 24 on the order of erit, or to everyone who can conceivably play in the event? Surely this isn't a 24 man field, there will be 8 more places up for grabs so I was wondering how those are decided and if not entering enough PTCs would bar you from the 8 remaining places. It doesn't make sense to potentially bar your world champion, biggest box office draw who is notorious for not entering low money events, and your biggest selling point to Chinese broadcasters.

I'm betting the lineup will feature Ronnie, Robbo and Ding regardless of how many PTCs they entered.

kildare cueman said...

I can understand the top pros gripes about the PTC's.

The reason they are top pros is that they can perform on TV with big money at stake.

This advantage is eliminated in the confines of the academy, where no cameras and vastly reduced prize money are the norm.

They are more or less obliged to play in them to protect their ranking status, which Im ok with but surely two top pros in a tournament should have more than two spectators.

It must be difficult to stay focussed when you've won multiple world titles, whereas a new pro has all the motivation in the world, by getting a pop at the big guns.

Live matches should have a live audience. Matches played behind closed doors are not befitting for a professional sport.

Anonymous said...

Re: Betty

I don't think so. The Grand Finals is carrying ranking points, you must follow the rules which is very clear.

Anonymous said...

i think the twitter suggestion is a bit silly. just my opinion dave.

i have never used these types of sites.

if the ws site goes down completely, then yes that would be a good suggestion, but if live scoring is down, then a redirect to a page update every 20 minutes or so ON THE WS website would be very easy to do and update and then the pages be removed a few days later.

nobody then needs to leave the official site (unless its down completlely.......)

Anonymous said...

i actually agree with mark allen and dont think he was moaning, and not a lot of groaning either.

he was stating his opinion and was being quite objective and fair, explaining his reasoning while still admitting that what he didnt like about them, suits others and so its a case of making a choice and moving on, which is what he is doing.

good article, regarledd of whether you like 1 1 0

Anonymous said...

I can understand true legends of the game like Davis and Hendry for not wanting to enter the PTC's but i'm not going to click on the 110 sport link because i'm only going to have to listen to either King or Allen whinge about how these events are beneath them.

The PTC' are brilliant for the yooung guys, how long would it have taken Jamie Jones to reach a final without them?

As for live scoring, Hearn had better have a good explanation up his sleeve....


Anonymous said...

those who advise Mark Allen should point out to him that the PTC is an opportunity to reach a final and win a title.

As he has yet to do either in a ranking event or the Masters his gripes will do him no good.

For players like Hendry and Ronnie to not be enthusiastic is much more understandable.

Anonymous said...


The Finals is a 24 man tournament in March.

Criteria is

Play 3 PTC and Play 3 EPTC

then it goes on the PTC Table so as it is you got to be in the Top 25 to qualify for the finals because Ding cant play in it despite being in the Top 24 so now top 25 comes in to play.

Anonymous said...

Allen has mentioned he's not a fan of the PTC events before but I like the fact he's also saying he will go into each of the PTC and EPTC events looking to do his best and also mentioning that there is 'professional pride' involved too.

Well done to Ding on his win. Seven winners from seven events shows the quality involved.

Betty Logan said...

This 6 tournament criteria is ridiculous - if Ding finishes top it will make a farce of the whole thing! If you can get into the last 24 by just playing in 2 out of 7 events, then you shouldn't be penalised for excellence. I thought Barry Hearn was against rewarding mediocrity, which is exactly what he's doing if the order of merit isn't actually decided on merit!

Speaking of mediocrity, the PTC is ideal for players like Allen who are good enough to win stuff but really need to start cutting their teeth on a few finals. No point moaning about the lack of major events if you can't reach a final.

And while I'm on the subject, why a 24 man field? Why not 32 or 16?

Anonymous said...

The criteria was set well before the PTC start. Therefore you cannot complain it now and I think even Ding Junhui have no word on this.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think they should make an exception for Ding because of the visa issues he had. All they would need to do to get Ronnie in would be to change the criteria wording from 'play' to 'enter'.

Anonymous said...

a 24 man field means if you look safetly inside the top 24 you got a incentive to carry on get inside the Top 8 seeds meaning you enter the competition in the second round Less Matches to Win and more Money and Ranking Points Guaranteed.

Betty Logan said...

It's irrelevant when the criteria was set. It was also made clear that the there was no maximum prize before the World Open, but the fact the decision was made before the World Open doesn't alter the fact it is a dumb idea, and it doesn't mean I can't call it a dumb idea. How is not allowing one of the best players in the PTC to enter the grand final not a dumb idea?

Anonymous said...

The criteria may have been set before the start but it doesn't make it right.
If overseas players are to be encouraged they should be allowed to qualify for the 24 in any way they choose.
Its a lesser tournament without Ding attending the finals.

Dave H said...

Everyone knew what the rules were. Ding chose not to play in the requisite number of tournaments, therefore he shouldn't be in the grand finals.

I'd take the 'visa problems' excuse with a pinch of salt too.

Anonymous said...

well said dh

id say betsy is being dumb, calling it a dumb idea.

i wont mind if either dingy or ronald miss out. their choice!

Betty Logan said...

No-one is saying an exception should be made Dave, what we are criticising is that such criteria should ever have been put in place to begin with. If Ding can do in two events what most player can't do in 7, do you think it is a good system to have in place? If Ding tops the order of merit do you not think it ultimately undermines the event if the ptc winner does not go through to the grand finals? Do you honestly think a criteria that does not actually reward players on the basis of how well they perform, but rewards players who put in average performances in lots of events is good for the game and should be retained for future seasons? That is really the issue at hand.

Dave H said...

I wouldn't disagree that the criteria should be changed for next year, but no exceptions should be made this year.

Sparky said...

If there hadn't been a "must-enter-6-events"-rule, many of the top players wouldn't have bothered entering more than two or three of the events, and then these tournaments wouldn't have drawn any more interest than last year's Pro Challenge Series.

I think these top-class player fields is a good way to raise the snooker interest in mainland Europe, where people are actually allowed to watch the matches...

Anonymous said...

Betsy,I think you're 20 times more bothered about this than Ding or anybody else for that matter.
With Ding not at PTC Finals,it will simply give another player an opportunity to shine.
Ding has just won 10 Grand for 3 days work has climbed back into the Top 5 of the rankings and claimed another title at a crucial stage to maintain his resurgence
so he's not that bothered about missing the Finals Betsy.
3 PTC and 3 EPTC minimum is fair enough,combined with the ranking points on offer and reasonable prize money,it's all part of the package to guarantee participation.
I'm sure Ding will make a quicker start in the PTC's next season.

kildare cueman said...

I think the format for the ptc was designed with the journeyman pros in mind.

The big boys have the masters, pl, etc. and the ptc afforded the opportunity for players lower down the rankings to earn money and points.

When the calendar has evolved to the point where a world tour is in operation, the top 16 will probably be playing elsewhere when the ptc's are on.

Anonymous said...

I think the onset of a Pro Series Challenge paints a veritable gloomyfest of a picture for the overall growth of the sport.

Anonymous said...

the criteria should include a minimum amount of events and have to travel to get in the finals.

for example a Sheffield player going to Sheffield ptc at weekends isn't enough he has to make the trips to Europe.

but how id do it is a minimum of 4 EPTC and 2 PTC we must get top players promoting in europe

But playing 5 EPTC and 1 PTC also fits the criteria.

Anonymous said...

well said sparky

make these guys enter the majority so they can play in the biggie.

if they dont, tough poop.

dont change it next year either (dave) for that reason only.

if 10 of the top boys get to a quarter and last 16 then theyre almost guaranteed and might not enter latter ones as sparkers said and that isnt good for latter venues in the series.

keep it as is and if they dont want to play, tough cheddar for missing the main one.

Anonymous said...

Allen has mentioned he's not a fan of the PTC events before but I like the fact he's also saying he will go into each of the PTC and EPTC events looking to do his best and also mentioning that there is 'professional pride' involved too.
Well said, Allen is getting a lot of stick here for admitting he does not like the events. he is still entering them and giving them a go and is being honest. I bet there are more players than not who don't like them but have to enter to protect their ranking.

Anonymous said...

I always have a question mark about Ding's "visa problem". As far as I know he was on holiday in Maldives and rest at his home town during the first 3 PTC.

jamie brannon said...

No exceptions should be made, but the rule needs changing, don't see why it was implemented to be frank.

The whingeing is beyond belief, at least with Ronnie he is just having a laugh, most of the time, but these lesser players are actually being serious. I could understand it if they were taking the place of major events, but they actually provide the sort of match practice that will hopefully enable them to play to a better standard in the principal events.

One gripe, something needs to be done so we can watch these events both online and in person. I was contemplating going to qualifying next year for the World Championship and hope something will be in place by then.

shaun foster said...

i agree with betty its ridiculous it should not matter one jot as long as you get enough points.i would certainly have a few quid on it being changed for next year

Anonymous said...

Last year the players were moaning that there were not enough events. Now there are and some players believe that it is not the right type of event to enter.
If Ding, Robertson and O'Sullivan miss out it doesnt' matter to me. It just means they were not good enough to make the top 24 or they didn't care enough to give up 6 measly weekends in the first place.
They should work on sorting out the live scoring/ streaming before they change the format.


Anonymous said...

No British snooker fan can be happy with these events. We can't watch them, or even follow them properly, and because they have to be crammed into 3 days the whole table format at the EIS has had to be altered. This means we can't get to see the World qualifiers in person.
A few lower ranked players might like them but they do nothing for snooker in the UK.

kimball said...

Whatever, visaproblem or not, a welldeserved holiday and probably his first.
If he wins one or two more E/PTC,s ,
how ridicules is the rule then!
All tournament winnners should be automatically qualified.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, ronnies not the brightest bulb in the box to be able to just be having a laugh. he only opens his mouth to change foot.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Ding's visa issues and if it was simply an excuse then the rules should also apply to him. I do have some knowledge about UK Border Agency regulations though and I know they are becoming more and more stringent where visas are concerned, making some very strange decisions along the way. I think kimball's argument that all tournament winners should qualify automatically is a logical one.

kildare cueman said...

I agree with Dave, in that the rules must be strictly adhered to, in the first year at least.

If that means that O'Sullivan, Robertson, Higgins, Ding, and a host of other big names don't appear in the finals, then so be it.

They play in every tournament, ranking or otherwise, and there is an argument that the unusual line up of the PTC finals, will in itself, create an interest that is not normally there.

It is an opportunity to give the tournament a sense of uniqueness and an individual feel - more or less one of Hearn's objectives at the start of the campaign.

We now have the world, UK, world open, masters, PTC finals,sky shootout and regular rankers portraying different traits and formats, and next year the world team and maybe more overseas events.

This is infinitely preferable to an unending series of best of 9's, which almost 30 years later, had become jaded and unimaginative.

I can see Ding anytime. Roll on the PTC finals, where I can see a host of new players for the first time.

Anonymous said...

dont talk rubbish kimball

if Ronnie, Higgins, Robertson and Ding won in that order then they could simply not bother turn up to the rest and fans who want to see them cant because theyve turned up at one only and won it.

getting to the big finals is a REWARD for getting the top 24 of thos who have played in the HIGH MAJORITY of the events

they are not tieing players to every event in case circumstances arise, so theyre given a little leeway.

being able to win the first and not bother yer arse showing up for the rest is a slack way to run things and would dis-serve the fans.

i like the rule fina as it is

Anonymous said...

Live scoring is back this morning but not showing how much is left on the table now.