As expected, Power Snooker has been variously greeted across a spectrum ranging from those who found it all a bit of harmless fun to those who thought it was the greatest affront to humanity since the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

I would say I was somewhere in between.

The half hour format is ideal for TV because they get to schedule matches and not worry about overrunning.

The powerball is an interesting innovation and I found the action perfectly watchable.

I’m not sure there needs to be a 50 point bonus for a century because this creates such a gulf in the scores that a close finish is unlikely. There were a couple of tight finishes yesterday but not as much tension as there could have been.

The 20 second shot clock invites mistakes and players are yet to fully think through how to approach the game, understandably as it has only just been launched.

Tactically, the player ahead would be best advised to keep the colours on the table as long as possible because the best chance of scoring is when the powerball is in play.

Power Snooker gave Ronnie O’Sullivan a chance to showcase his extraordinary natural talent. I was genuinely pleased for him that he seemed to enjoy it so much considering how low he has often been even after winning at proper snooker.

But one of the appeals of snooker is the variety it produces and Power Snooker is much more repetitive on first viewing.

It’s good to have the crowd interacting with play but while some good natured banter is fine, a baying mob of boorish drunks chanting and shouting while the players are down on their shots is not.

Why on earth would snooker want to encourage such behaviour? Would golf? Would tennis? Would any sport?

It’s always a festive atmosphere at the darts but the audience is told to shut up if they get too rowdy and they do so. At Power Snooker, the referees were instructed not to intervene when the crowd got raucous.

A balance can be struck. I recently watched the 1989 Irish Masters final between Alex Higgins and Stephen Hendry, which I’d never seen before. Played in the bearpit surroundings of Goffs, the atmosphere was tremendous with most spectators of course supporting Higgins but many also cheering for the then 20 year-old Hendry.

At one point late on, Hendry approached the table and the noise got a bit much. The referee, the late John Street, expertly handled proceedings by turning to the crowd and saying: “Thank you ladies and gentlemen. He knows it’s his turn.” There was laughter and then there was silence and the match continued.

Attending snooker events certainly needs to be made more attractive but the game has to also retain a bit of dignity.

I’ll be interested to hear what Barry Hearn thought of Power Snooker. It wasn’t his idea but he gave it World Snooker’s official seal of approval.

Hearn is a populist and an innovator but he is also shrewder than most and he elected not to personally invest in the consortium behind the venture. Will he do so now?

More pertinently, does Power Snooker have a future at all? As ever, the market will decide. It will depend on TV ratings and the financial outlay of staging further events.

The players seemed to enjoy it and I’m not surprised: they were playing for £35,000 for a maximum of 90 minutes work. I don’t blame them for lapping it up.

But traditional snooker has emerged unscathed from this new innovation.

These variants – and a number have come and gone over the years – generally end up reminding fans what it was they liked about established snooker in the first place.

Power Snooker was never intended to replace proper snooker. And it won’t.


David Caulfield said...

I think there's a place for four or five tournaments scattered throughout a year.

It's entertainment. The matches that were close in the quarter-finals got very exciting towards the end. I don't mind so much the chanting while down on a shot, but there were a few occasions in the evening session - particularly with Shaun Murphy involved - where the crowd through some personal insults in. There is no place for that at all!

I liked it and I am not concerned about it replacing snooker because it won't. Just enjoy it for what it is, a day's entertainment.

Anonymous said...

If Power Snooker has a future and I believe it does.
Ronnie will be getting a new trophy cabinet set up.

Anonymous said...

"...but while some good natured banter is fine, a baying mob of boorish drunks chanting and shouting while the players are down on their shots is not."

Couldn't agree more. Also, I found the whole thing had a really seedy feel to it (the Power Girls? Really? I thought we were in 2010). I cringed through a good portion of it. This doesn't feel modern or exciting, it felt like something out of a dodgy pub in the 80s.

I didn't mind the game itself, but the event surrounding it was awful to watch.

Anonymous said...

Before the event I was a bit sceptical but rather enjoyed it.
The plan is to have half a dozen PS tournaments next season.
Credit also to Murphy and Selby who have commuted between Gloucester and London to be in both PS and EPTC.

Anonymous said...

Boring Boring Boring Boring

There was nothing to get excited about i switched off after 30 minutes there was nothing left seen one Match seen them All.

The Rules was stupid made no sense what so ever even the Refs was Clueless.

what makes cuesports a world wide hit is the simplicity in the Rules that Rubbish was anything but Simple To understand.

Getting new fans in to snooker how the hell they gonna do that with that Rubbish ??

a new fan turn the channel on get a massive headake and Turn Off.

it has no future and this time next year people will be asking Power Snooker ? what was that.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree the shouting out from the crowd demeans the sport, it can still be fun and entertaining without people doing that, it was embarrassing just gave a yob-ish impression of the game and it does put players off.

Daniel Mason said...

The game itself, crowd interaction and all, was a bit of fun. Nothing more, nothing less.

But I agree with the comment above that the event as a whole was tacky beyond belief. One of snooker's strengths is that it's a dignified sort of sport. That went out the window the moment the 'Power Girls' appeared. The set design was just as bad. It's lowest common denominator stuff.

You don't modernise snooker by effectively playing it in a seedy nightclub.

Anonymous said...

Good idea having the table on a raised platform.
It's something conventional snooker should look at for the odd event.
Why are so many people going all Mary Whitehouse over Power Snooker?
It's different,it's fun and having a bigger variety of formats to bring in new audiences should be welcomed.

Anonymous said...

On the actual game; I enjoyed the speed of it and liked the power play section which was exciting to watch.

However in several games the last 10 minutes was a bit dull due to one player being well ahead. It's ok if the player is on a break but if players are exchanging safety shots or missing balls, the clock seems to countdown very slowly. When there's no competition even if it's just for 10 minutes, you lose interest. At least a long safety battle in normal snooker actually matters!

On the set-up, I like a little crowd involvement but I felt it was too much at times and off putting to viewers at home who didn't get all the jokes made in the arena. And I didn't like the Power Girls; they had no purpose & it just seemed really sexist.

It seems snooker wants to gain rowdy rauctious football type fans who boo whenever players play a safety shot rather than a more diverse dedicated fan-base.

Anonymous said...

I predict in 3 years time the Ronnster will make more money on the Power Snooker circuit than he will getting to the Quarters or Semis of the majors.
It was Ron's big moment,he stepped up to the plate and delivered.
He and PS are perfect for each other.

Anonymous said...

I thought is was great and I thoroughly enjoyed the format.

I would like to see a few more 'characters' being invited that can play along with the crowd. Players like Mark Williams and Nigel Bond have great senses of humour.

Didn't think that Clive Everton was the right man for the commentary. Sid Waddell would have been a better choice.

kildare cueman said...

Best of 3, ten minute segments might produce more close finishes.

Anonymous said...

There are no characters in the game any more I am sad to say.

Anonymous said...


there wont be any power snooker circuit.

it was boring after 30 minutes imagine a tour of it.

it would be available on the NHS instead of sleeping tablets.

David Caulfield said...

Sid Waddell? give me a break!!!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see all that much but too me Power Snooker is just a bit of harmless fun. Could have done without the moronic chav noise from the crowd and the out of place, strip clubby feel of the Power Girls but otherwise it seemed like a fun event to me. Proper snooker has come out unscathed and Power Snooker can only strengthen the traditional game.


Anonymous said...

The "Power Girls" were totally redundant. Who needs this sort of "Page 3" crap in a snooker tournament? It's sexist and does nothing to bring the game into the 21st century.

I'm sitting on the fence re. the chavs in the crowd. I have to say, the chanting of "Ding Junhui, m'lord" to the tune of Kum By Yah was brilliant.

I loved watching it, the game is great, but they need to drop the girls and the chavvy atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

The first thing I saw was the closing stages of the O'Sullivan/Brecel match. The balls had run scrappy and O'Sullivan was so far ahead that he was clearly going to win anyway. The result of this situation was about 5-10 minutes of balls being bashed around the table fairly aimlessly, with no tactics or tension of any sort. All of which set the tone for much of what followed.

Soon after that, we were treated to a fairly lengthy interview with Michaela Tabb. In what other sport does this happen? This is just the sort of twee nonsense with which the BBC have turned so many people off their coverage of the game.

Speaking of referees, it was clear that they lost track of what was going on at times. They frequently called the wrong scores, and although they often corrected themselves - which in itself looks embarrassing enough - there seemed to be times when, unless I'd really missed something, the wrong score was awarded and never corrected.

There was also at least one occasion when a miss was called, and the referee was heard admitting she had no idea where to replace the balls. All of these mistakes may be down to the nature of the game, they may be down to the refs themselves. Either way, it didn't look good.

The time limit also added to the whole mockery. Allowing only 20 seconds, with no time-outs, frequently resulted in players rushing to play any old shot, which just makes the whole thing look ridiculous.

The tackiness of it all was beyond belief. The huge logos on the table, the Power Girls, the incessant rambling of the louts in the audience. Is this really what we've come to?

And all that's before you actually get to the central concept, which looks like it was thought up in about 3 minutes. What exactly is the logic behind points counting double for two minutes after a particular red is potted? Why are so many bonus points awarded for a century, which in reality might only be a break of about 60 anyway?

Think about this example - suppose a player is on a break of 72, then he pots the black during a Power play, from the Power zone. He gets 28 points for potting the black, plus 50 more for bringing up the century, and the break goes all the way from 72 to 150 in one shot. What nonsense.

All of this is before we even get on to the many other flaws in the whole thing - the way in which it was all presented by ITV, the absurdity of the set and the arena, the big pockets and dodgy cloth etc. etc. etc.

And don't be so sure this won't damage real snooker. The whole thing gave the impression of a sport so desperate to get on television that it'll do anything for it. Don't be surprised to see a string of Sport on TV and Sporting Opinion columns making that point in the very near future. Don't be surprised either if it puts ITV off the idea of showing proper tournaments.

And as for the tiresome, predictable nonsense about it being "fun", "entertaining" and "different" - snooker is fun and entertaining. That's why millions of people watch it on television. And why is it automatically assumed to be a good thing if something is "different"?

Hopefully the whole thing will never be repeated, and it can go into the dustbin of history alongside TimeFrame, TenBall, the red and blue shirts carry-on at the British Open, round-robin stages in ranking events, random round-by-round draws for major tournaments, Young Players of Distinction, Rory McLeod appearing in promotional clips for tournaments he isn't even playing in, etc. etc. etc. In short, all of the things which have been inflicted upon us over the years in the name of answering a question which nobody asked.

Isn't it interesting that all of these things have come and gone - most of them after a very short time; most of them now largely forgotten. But after about three and a half decades - and a multitude of great moments and memories - proper, gimmick-free, genuine tournament snooker continues to outlive them all.

Roll on the UK Championship.

Johan said...

6:27 anonymous:

I 100% agree with your comments; I watched it (also because Brecel, a friend of mine made his first appearance on TV) and hoped for something new exiting... but (luckily) this will certainly not replace any good old snookermatch and I'm sure the purists will agree.

Was good for 1 evening of entertainment and Ronnie's pocket money...

Anonymous said...

I think that if Power Snooker is to have any future,it will need quite some refining.
The crowd noise was ridiculous,but then again,some of the idiots may be the same ones that frequent the masters at Wembley every year.

Anonymous said...


No wonder Ron was happy

He had pocketed more than a years wage for the average man almost for just truning up.

Should just call it RonnieSnooker

Maza said...

Just dropping by to say I enjoyed it.

Will be pleased to have it back.

Anonymous said...

627 you just put into words exactly what i think too. thanks.

Anonymous said...

For those that didn't like this, why did you watch it? There's a gadget called a remote control to turn your tv over, if power snooker is on again, may i suggest you use it, just think you could of watched the x factor instead wowzers!!

Executor said...

Enjoyable as it was, I would without a moment of hesitation prefer Global Snooker's OneForSeven that has been introduced last year. Hopefully there will be more OFS tournaments though I don't see any realistic chance of creating a ranking event out of it. Then again, does Power Snooker have such a chance?

Anonymous said...

The format itself made for fairly good entertainment as a one off and with a few tweaks to the rules here and there it could have been even better, however I'd prefer it to have a name which doesn't include 'snooker' in it! Power Snooker strips out facets of the game I enjoy. Much of the infantile crowd participation made for uneasy viewing which has no place in the snooker mainsteam.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Could do with tweaking, but on the whole, good fun!

Keep getting the traditional world ranking tournaments and the snooker fraternity will be happy.

If it does, then lets get anything, that appeals or is marketable to a crowd - which to be frank, i wasn't bothered about. We knew with the enviroment/place that it wasn't going to be quiet - and it certainly was a format to be noisy.

So, more world ranking tournaments et al, invites more spectrums within the game. Murphy supported it, O'Sullivan of course, I can see a future.

Matthew Syed on the other hand, stick to the table tennis you really are in no position - and this isn't the first time you've talked about the sport...

Thanks, Joe

PS - Well done, Stephen Lee. Pies a go-go! ;)

Anonymous said...

Please act like men and not PC hippies. EVERY tournament could benefit from beautiful girls. Normal men enjoy the beauty of women (they weren't even scantily clad) and women enjoy the attention - yes, women are free to do what they want and they actually like the job. Quit the nonsense about sexism. Grow a pair..

Anonymous said...

757 Anonymous said...

For those that didn't like this, why did you watch it?


There's a gadget called a remote control to turn your tv over,


if power snooker is on again, may i suggest you use it,


just think you could of watched the x factor instead wowzers!!



Anonymous said...

Dave, do you know if Ronnie gave a reason for not turning up to southwestSA? I know he was in a tight schedule (but so were others) in that PL was on Thursday night and PS on Saturday daytime, but he knew this when he assured us he would turn up, then he did not. Just wondered if there was a statement issued to say why, if at all.

stuartfanning said...

I enjoyed it but more importantly Clive Everton backed it by being one of the ITV4 commentators. From his commentary I didn't get the impression that Clive had a problem with the format.

Sonny said...

Not surprised to see the theme of the majority of comments on here. I am also a die hard but with a more open mind. Here are my thoughts if anyone cares to read it:

(copy and paste link)


Anonymous said...

8-43 So you watched it for 8 hours and decided you didn't like it??


Was it i thought it was poor, was like watching a second hand portable back in the 70's.

hegeland said...

The disguisting idea of having some "Power girls" and all the alcohol promotion made me sick.

Good luck with promoting snooker as a proper sport after this. More like a drunk man's game, like darts.

It was a tacky joke that smelled more of 1986 than 2010.

Anonymous said...

thats right 520

i watched it in its entirety before forming a concrete opinion

if you thought the streaming was poor, thats your call. imo, though it wasnt great, it would have been better than watching the Ronniesnookershow

Anonymous said...


i watched it in its entirety before forming a concrete opinion

Why the hell did it take you 8 hours of coverage to learn you didn't like it?

Anonymous said...

it didnt take that long
i watched it all instead of just part....
youre obviously being silly for the sake of it or your dimmer than a blackout

Anonymous said...

Well it was on 4 hours in the afternoon, and 4 hours in the evening, does not that add up to 8??


Whose dimmer than a blackout now?

Anonymous said...

I was at Power Snooker and let me just tell every single one of you that it was a 100 times more fun to be at then any other snooker event.

The format was fast and furious.

The alcohol in my opinion made the crowd more fun.

And as for the power girls, I find it disgusting how a lot of you don't like them.


Anonymous said...

333 completely missing the point made

reading, mistakenly that the post said it didnt take 8 hours, when in fact the poster was saying it didnt take him that long to realise it was pish, but wanted to watch the full thing to form a concrete opinion.

speak and spell required for the retard 333

Anonymous said...

10-51 Retard?? No basic English in your post i see, no capital letter's oh dear..

Anonymous said...

I agree with 9-28pm how can any normal fella think the power girls were disgusting. It was a fun day and it looked like the players enjoyed it to. As for hedgeland the power girls made him sick, would Olly Murs been better for you?

Anonymous said...

Went to the cinema tonight to watch Paranormal Activity 2, watched it 4 times in all, wanted to form concrete opinion i won't be watching it when it comes on tv.

Anonymous said...

It was better than I feared. In particular the concept of the power ball itself was not bad at all, and actually gives an extra dimension to the mere potting game. However the power-zone concept seemed way off, the baulk area is not where you want to be potting balls from, and it will almost never be worth going into baulk - and incur an added risk of ending your break prematurely - just to pick up an extra point or four. It only made the referee having to call out "PowerZone" every now and then, which got irritating fast. Also the century break bonus seems too high and is it really necessary?

The power girls were very nice indeed, and also totally not necessary!

The crowd chanting and bantering was actually quite nice, but I can't help thinking where and how do you draw the line between good-spirited and plain obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

Re: the power girls

No one is denying they are attractive. What they are saying is that having attractive women there as nothing more than decorations is degrading nonsense that went out years ago.

Also, the snooker audience aren't exclusively male (or straight for that matter). Is actively excluding part of the audience the future of snooker? I don't think so.

jamie brannon said...

It didn't go out years ago if you watch F1, PDC darts, basketball, American football and Rugby League, it is still part of matchday entertainment.

They are from a vital part of the experience to going to watch sport, but I don't agree it degrades women, if anything it empowers them, if you read up on sex-postive feminism then you will see what I mean.

Soory, Ebdon did turn 40 in August, how time flies, still think he is a little too current though. On the seniors tour in tennis you have to be retired, but I suppose to get things off the ground then you have to make do with what you can get.

Anonymous said...

So we can't be sex-positive and find this tacky? Its about context.

This is not Nuts magazine. Or any other place where you get people (men or women) taking a role that is primarily about sex or being sexy. There's nothing wrong with that - more power to them.

But this is sport. As such it should be targeted at everyone (male/female, straight/gay, young and old).

There's a time and place for the vacuous, sexy lark. Sport isn't it. And just because other sports do it, doesn't make it right.

And if its all such harmless non-sexist fluff, then where are the 'Power boys' in equally tight and sexy attire*?

"They are from a vital part of the experience to going to watch sport,"
- How is walking for 5 seconds alongside a snooker player (who is perfectly capable of walking all on their own) in any way vital?

It would be nice if people just admitted that the whole thing was targeted at straight men, that the girls served no purpose other than vacuous eye-candy and that they enjoyed watching it, regardless of the fact that it made uncomfortable viewing for other people. There's nothing wrong with having found them attractive, but please stop trying to defend the power girls' inclusion as a vital part of the sport experience or worse, say that I'm to somehow feel empowered by their mindless waltzing around.

*I wouldn't want that either as it would also be tacky and degrading to blokes, but it serves a point.

Tom Housden said...

Come on, give it a break! Power Snooker is great! Let's get one thing straight: the traditionalists probably won't like it. Lets face it though - Snooker was calling out for this sort of event, they can't do much more to liven the game up! Come on PS organisers, give us more please!