In an idle moment I found myself thinking about the 147 prize, or rather lack of one.

As you will know, this season World Snooker scrapped the bonus prize for a maximum because it was costing them fortunes to ensure against it.

All this culminated in Ronnie O'Sullivan not wanting to pot the final black at the World Open by way of protest.

So I had the following idea: World Snooker puts £1,000 into each event for a televised 147. If one is not made it gets rolled over to the next tournament where it would be worth £2,000. If nobody makes one there then at the next event it's worth £3,000 and so on.

Since no one has made a maximum since O'Sullivan's in Glasgow the maximum prize at the German Masters would be £3,000. If no one makes one in Berlin then at the Welsh Open it would be worth £4,000.

This is still not as much as the players used to get but is certainly better than nothing.

And there should be a financial reward for a 147. It remains a praise-worthy achievement that is still relatively rare.

Who knows, the rolling maximum jackpot could even attract a sponsor. Even if it doesn't it would cost World Snooker no more than around £12,000 a year.

Anyway, just a thought.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure ROS mentioned this idea after one of his interviews in the Grand Prix!

Sparky said...

Such an obvious (yet brilliant) idea! This will of course create a little extra fuzz about the game in a way that a lottery gathers interest as soon as the jackpot reaches 1,000,000 or whatever.

Shouldn't be too hard finding a sponsor for this rolling 147 jackpot, hopfully one that will put more than £1000 in it. The sponsor will know the exact cost, but will have the possibility of LOTS of extra fuzz.

Betty Logan said...

Personally I think the maximum prize is important since it can generate a buzz for the rest of the tournament. The problem isn't not having an incentive for the maximum, it's having an incentive to not go for a maxium. At some point you usually have to sacrifice guaranteed position to stay on the black, but if you're a qualifier who needs the cash are you going to pass up a decent chance of 145 or 144 along with the high break prize to go for the maximum when it gets you no extra cash?

I think an accumulator would be a great idea, but an extra grand won't really cut it. You need to at least match the high break prize so someone in with a shot at the high break has the opportunity to at least double his money by going for the 147 if it's on. You could probably even find a maximum break "sponsor" for the season. I think Ronnie's point was well made (in spectacular fashion) at the World Open, but unfortunately the WSA still hasn't got the message. Maybe he should go through with his threat next time and not pot the final black, because I doubt the WSA will reintroduce the prize unless they're embarrassed into doing so.

kildare cueman said...

I suggested last year that the high break prize be scrapped, and the money saved be used to fund a rollover jackpot similar to the set up advocated by yourself.

Nobody really cares if the high break prize is won by a 135 or a 136, but a maximum always attracts a bit of interest.

This wouldn't cost WS anything and would create added excitement as the pot grows and more players try to record the feat.

Betty Logan said...

The viewers don't care who wins the high break prize, but I wouldn't underestimate its impact on the early rounds. Many of the more seasoned pros come in and try to keep the game tight with a minimal risk policy to edge out the seed. The high break prize can double their first round earnings, so it's worth taking the risk if a high break is on, so it can help open up play in a round where you can get lots of stagnant matches. Once you get to the quarters the high break prize becomes increasingly less significant as a share of the overall prize, but by then you don't need to incentivise attacking play as much. On that basis I would keep the high break prize, but I don't really see the problem in chucking 5k into an acummulator every tournament — if the finances are that much of an issue just cut the runners up prize by 5k.

Simon Davis said...

It's not a novel idea - it happens in darts for the nine darter. Surprised Barry hasn't adopted it as it will roll far more and generate more attention than it does in darts.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,has the 147 bonus prize been scrapped for the world championship also?

Urindragon said...

there is ought to be a maximum break prize because now no one tries to make one, even ronnie didn't want to do it. 100% there will be far fewer maxis than before

Anonymous said...

Hardly a random idea dave,this has been mooted by several commentaters and players alike over the course of the season.Surely your not claiming to be the first to float this idea?This is very old hat.

Dave H said...

First I've heard of it.

Odd how these things end up being not about the idea but the notion that someone else may have thought of it, as if two people can't have the same idea.

Anonymous said...

Dave, why did World Snooker need to insure against the maximum break and how much was it costing them every year until Hearn scrapped the prize?


Betty Logan said...

Dennis Taylor (I think!) suggested an accumulator during a match at the UK, but if Dave is commentating he probably doesn't catch as much commentary as the rest of us. It seems everyone is thinking along the same lines—the players and the viewers want to see a prize and all the WSA needs to do is factor it into the prize money schedule. It's bewildering that they are so resistant to the concept. I thought Ronnie was a bit of cock at the World Open but in retrospect he was right to make an issue of it.

Anonymous said...

first off, after putting his foot in it in glasgow by putting the paying public at odds with his carefree attitude when they scrape together £ to go see him...he is then (probably) spoon fed the idea to try to save some face.

dave, your idea has been, in at least very similar form, muted by various sources.

i much prefer a reverse climb.

if its 12 events were talking about.....

1st event £10000 147 prize
if not won
2nd event £9500 147 prize
if not won
3rd event £9000 147 prize

if its done at any event, make it £5000 start off at the next event for a 147...and if that isnt won, drop it £250 at a time.

ok, not much, but at least the incentive is there to go...and go for it early and once its done, theres an alternative.

ok, if a 147 was made in ev1 then 10k is paid out and you could have one at each of the next 11, making it 11x5000 + the 10000 for the first event

which would mean that if 147s were done in every event the payout would total an extra 65000 ON TOP OF THE HIGH BREAK PRIZE....

of course, this wont happen. id say thered be less than 20,000 paid out per year on this. in fact, id say less than 15000 would be a much better average....

Anonymous said...

betty, he wasnt just a bit of one

good how his people got him to turn it round by telling him what to say to appease the paying public

Anonymous said...

Re: Ronnie's reluctance to pot the black for a 147 because there was no prize - I'm sure that he could get a substantial sponsorship to make a 147 playing left handed only. That would be something. Mind you, on saying that he can't be bothered to win matches at the moment let alone win tournaments. If he keeps this frame of mind (no pun intended) he'll probably never win another tournament except maybe a few Premier Leagues. His ability has not diminished in any meaningful way he just can't be bothered. How sad is he? How sad is that?

jamie brannon said...

It was Parrott who first floated the idea after the O'Sullivan madness, but that's not really the point.

Dave is correct to say the achievement is praise-worthy, still. I think they should do this to add a little extra interest.

During the Lakeside darts, commentator David Croft felt that a nine-darter was harder to execute than a 147, but with the standard increasing in darts there seem to be as many nine-darters as maximum breaks.

Anonymous said...

Amateurs and club players make 147 maximums quite readily.

The novelty of the maximum has wore off over the years.

But if it makes Ronnie and Brannon happy then World Snooker MUST do the accumulator from next season.

Anonymous said...

3.39pm It is sad that O'Sullivan can't be bothered anymore, apart from the Premier League. But it isn't snooker's problem, it's his.


vollzieherman said...

"The World Championship will be the only event to carry a 147 prize." (out of the Barry Hearn letter at the start of the season)

Take that prize and share it with all players making a max during the season.

Award enough for every player who makes one.

2005: 2
2006: 2
2007: 6
2008: 7
2009: 2
2010: 7

Betty Logan said...

I think 888.com would have something to say about their 147 prize money being used to fund maximums in events carrying other sponsors. I suppose the sponsors themselves could insist on a maximum break prize if they really wanted.

Anonymous said...

I think Betfred would have a bit more to say about it than 888 Betty.

Anonymous said...

This talk about insurance is utterly irrelevant. Don't insure. Put the money up and consider them saved if no one makes a 147 or give them to charity.

There HAS to be a prize - it IS a special achievement in front of the cameras with so much at stake. There must be a reward for this and scrapping it is a disgrace. I love Dave's idea but it should be a higher amount, say 4,000 or so. But the now classic WC max should always be 147,000.

There are many great aspects of snooker besides just high breaks but we should never belittle the maximum as Barry has done. I adore Barry but this is absolutely crazy.

Anonymous said...

betsy made a boo-boo

Anonymous said...

It wasn't even Parrott who thought of it. A roll over jackpot has been an obvious idea for some time. I've said myself for years that's what they should do. It is the only option. They've done it in darts for the 9 darter for years.

Johan said...

Another idea: if a player makes a maximum, it would count as if he'd won 2 frames. So at 8-9 behind in the Masters: make a 147 and you'll be Champion!

Anonymous said...

thats a silly idea Johan.

Betsy seems to have vanished after HIS error

Anonymous said...

Not a new idea Dave! In the PDC, in which Barry Hearn is chairman, there is already a rollover system in place.

In tournaments away from the TV (Darts ProTour/Snooker PTC) there is £400 rolled over for a 9-dart finish. Players are getting so good, this amount is not getting very high at all. There's a 9 darter almost every week!

In TV tournaments, there is a £5,000 fund that is constantly rolled over. Adrian Lewis' 9-darter in the World Championship was worth £10,000.

I think its inevitable it comes into place in snooker events.

Matt said...

A rolling maximum break prize would be great.

DerMoment1608 said...

I think it's a great idea. It's even more interesting then paying an individual fixed price in every single tournament, because it illustrates the rareness and specialness of a Maximum. If the Jackpot goes higher, you see how long it has been since the last one. And it would be "equal" with the longing of the audience: If the last Maximum has happened a longer time ago, you get much more excited if a 147 happens - and equal to that the player would get more money.

You should suggest it to World Snooker!