The German Masters is a new tournament but not the first ranking event staged in Germany. In fact, it will be the fourth.

The first German Open was staged in Frankfurt in 1995 and won by John Higgins, who also captured the title in Bingen in 1997. Ronnie O’Sullivan won in Osnabruck in 1996.

In 1998, the German Masters reverted to invitation status and was won by John Parrott.

In recent years popularity in Germany has rocketed, due mainly to television coverage of the game’s major events on Eurosport.

German Eurosport’s chief commentator Rolf Kalb – who will be the MC in Berlin – has been the country’s leading snooker evangelist for many years, introducing and explaining the game to a multitude of new viewers.

Despite the interest, the previous WPBSA board were either unable or unwilling to get an event on in Germany.

The World Series went there and the atmosphere for their event was superb.

Tickets have sold well for this new event and it should be a terrific atmosphere at the Berlin Tempodrom, where the five tables are arranged in a unique circular arena.

It’s a great field of players featuring the top 16, several established qualifiers such as Matthew Stevens, Stephen Lee, Ryan Day, Marco Fu, Dominic Dale and Anthony Hamilton as well as first season professionals Jack Lisowski, Anthony McGill [the subject of the returning Big Interview feature on this blog tomorrow] and Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon.

There are also eight European wildcards, including 15 year-old Belgian wonderkid Luca Brecel and Daniel Wells, who came within a frame of qualifying for the Crucible two years ago.

The German Masters lasts only five days and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. The only reason, say, the UK Championship is nine days long is so that the BBC can have live sport on consecutive weekends.

Years ago the Welsh Open was only five days long and it meant there was always something happening, wherever you looked.

Eurosport times vary depending on where you live. On British Eurosport coverage is wall-to-wall, starting with Wednesday evening’s session.

Germany is an important market for snooker. The popularity of the game there is apparent from the way exhibitions and small tournaments have been supported for the last few years.

But what German snooker fans want is a big tournament, and now they have one.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Germany. As far as I have heard the ticket sales have been great and judging by previous videos from Hamm they are very supportive of the players. It could be a great tournament and inspire other tournaments on the mainland.

It is yet another step in the right direction for snooker under Hearn. The only thing missing to make me truly content is for Hendry to lift a trophy..

A sidenote: Dave, you were very entertaining during Shootout with regards to a certain player's nickname. Rocket, rocket, rocket, rocket, rocket. Jeez...

jamie brannon said...

Don't know if you were implying that the UK Championship should be shorter, but, for me it is the right length to allow the event to build it's narrative.

To be honest, the event whizzes buy anyway and a longer event allows you to see more matches.

Also, the 'big 3' events should be longer, after all Grand Slams take a fortnight and I rarely ever find them dull.

Five days is fine for some events,though, it's all part of giving the calendar a varied mix.

I must say, judging from your Twitter feed you were getting very worked up about O'Sullivan's nickname!

Don't quite get who this Goldstein figure was. Is he the MC for the event or was he providing running commentary in the arena?

Dave H said...

I wasn't saying the UK was too long, I was explaining why it lasts nine days

jamie brannon said...

No, thought not, just in print sometimes these things are harder to gauge.

Who was this Goldstein figure? Ddin't get chance to watch the shootout.

Anonymous said...

its ok dave, we understood that. just him!

Dave H said...

I didn't have any problem with Andy Goldstein other than that he kept saying 'the rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan' instead of 'Ronnie O'Sullivan'

A ridiculous thing to get wound up about, yes, but there you are

Anonymous said...

i dont think so dave. it winds me up as if it gets the crowd more geed up. the crowd arent 12 year olds needing to hear it every time. once in announcement is enough.

John McBride said...

I thought Andy Goldstein done a marvellous job, came across as very enthusiastic & seemed to be enjoying himself too. Anyway…..

This is great for Germany, I hope the competition goes down a treat for them. Stephen Hendry & Judd Trump will be great, out with the old & in with the new & all that, though my respect for the Great One will never ever wilt, top boy that he is. Luca Brecel & Jack Lisowski is another interesting match up for me. Both players will be looking to prove a point too Good Luck to one & all too.

Anonymous said...

" In recent years popularity in Germany has rocketed, due mainly to television coverage of the game’s major events on Eurosport."

That's right, in fact ES is the ONLY channel showing snooker, with some few exceptions concerning Premier League.
All the other channels don't even mention snooker. The same goes for newspapers.
Once in a year you can read 2 sentences about the new World Champion and thats all.

So thanks to Eurosport and Rolf Kalb for creating such a huge enthusiastic following.

Anonymous said...

It's really disappointing that Eurosport is not showing the German Masters final in it's entirety in the UK - or are my tv listings wrong?

jamie brannon said...

I never heard him, but I bet he wasn't a patch on Rob Walker!!

Slightly confused as can't see other than before the match where he would shout the rocket. Need to see if I can find some action on YouTube.

I think on Twitter is a place for those small issue, like why are we having wildcards still for ranking events?

Anonymous said...

my main problem with the whole presentation was implying it was a Major Championship.

wild card round tomorrow in Germany is a more major match than the shoot-out final.

the amount of frothing at the mouth and enthusiasm was great but keep it in perspective as to what it was. overselling something like they did was a embarrassment.

wild said...

really looking forward to having my first opertunity to see live Luca Brecel in a matchplay situation....

see what he is about.

and John

Stephen Hendry WILL Beat Judd Trump no ifs buts or maybes about that.

so there wont be any in with the new as far as That match concerned.

Anonymous said...

youve never hear of rk ?

are you serious? you need to spend less time in here trying to make a name for yourself.

hes well know through european snooker fans, through europsort.

anyone who claims to follw snooker like you do should at least have heard of him. its a well known name in WORLD snooker, esp through eurosport.

wrt ag, almost ever time he spoke to ros, he called him, the rocket ronnieosullivan, then when ros walked off, he said it again. does it regular in the pl too. annoying!

Anonymous said...

Andy Goldstein was the host/interviewer for Sky. He was a bit annoying when it came to the Rocket Ronnie O'Sullivan ,but no less so then Dennis "Genius" Taylor. I wonder why they didn't use Rob Walker for the MC'ing.


Anonymous said...

yes John Mcdonald might work for Boxing but he is poor for snooker very poor.

Anonymous said...

The thing about snooker getting zero coverage outside of Eurosport is absolutely true.

The danish papers were 'nice' enough to mention Higgins when the NotW story broke but were quiet as the grave when his case was decided.

Tournaments are never mentioned anywhere except when we have the rare celebrity match (Davis - Selby last year and Higgins - Selby the previous year).
Snooker has not broken in to the mainstream yet and I can't see that changing anytime soon.

Witz78 said...

Snooker Shootout was a MAJOR success and will be back bigger and better than ever and on a far more regular scale than just a one off per season.

And your in dreamworld Wild if you think Hendrys gonna crush Trump. The formguide, the bookies and the general publics opinions suggest otherwise so prepare for another nail in your idols coffin.

Last but not least McDonald is the UKs answer to Michael Buffer and he is the jewel in the Matchroom Sport crown and i like his intros better than Rob Walkers cringeworthy efforts and the same old tired "jokes" and nicknames.

Matt said...

@10:43@ Certainly agree with the Snooker Shootout definitely a major success it was a brillant tournament there is no need to change the rules. John McDonald hasn't be been the MC for the Grand Slam Of Darts from 2007-2010 I'm sure he has. Trump will edge out Hendry.

Johan said...


What Luca Brecel concerns: their team just heard from the Belgian government that they do not have the right on any grants from the Sports ministry.

This despite Luca being confirmed by several professional snookerplayers as a potential world champion.

He also was elected a few weeks back "Promise of the Year" in Belgium sport personality.

The ministry of sport does NOT recognize snooker as being a "topsport"... hence no subsidies...

We - the belgian snookerplayers - are very sad to hear this.

What is the situation in other countries on this subject?

Anonymous said...

The TV coverage is insane though, only one table, and now it seems the coverage for tonight has been cancelled. I want to see Brecel's match!

Is this World Snooker's stupidity, or?

Anonymous said...

Dave "On British Eurosport coverage is wall-to-wall, starting with Wednesday evening’s session"

Having looked at the sky planner there's no mention of snooker till Thursday.

Dave H said...

Coverage tonight was planned but has been cancelled for technical reasons

Betty Logan said...

So much for German efficiency!

Anonymous said...

Regarding technical reasons: this is how it looked like yesterday evening.


Hopefully everything will be ready for coverage on Thursday morning.