Andrew Higginson’s capture of the fifth Players Tour Championship title of the season in Sheffield tonight was a good win for a good guy.

Higginson defeated the reigning world champion, John Higgins, 4-1 in the final to land the first title of his professional career.

These PTCs are of course tests of skill but also of stamina. Andrew can be very proud of his achievement.

After a decade on the fringes, he broke through at the 2007 Welsh Open by going all the way from the first qualifying round to within a frame of winning the title.

Higginson beat a series of top names and made a televised 147 en route before Neil Robertson denied him 9-8.

He hasn’t done anything as eye-catching since but has quietly worked his way into the top 32 and a top 16 place isn’t out of the question.

The next PTC will be in Warsaw this coming week, after which the ranking list will be used to determine seedings for the UK Championship.

I’m a defender of the PTCs. They have got the professionals doing what they should be doing: playing.

However, it remains to be seen how much longer they can be staged at the academy in Sheffield.

Play on Saturday night finished at something like 2.30am. There are no spare tables and earlier matches overran.

Players attract criticism for complaining about things but they are professional sportsmen and should not be expected to have to hang around for hours – until all hours – like this, especially as they have to be back playing at 10am the next morning.

The current World Snooker regime has been lumbered with the academy premises by the last one.

They want to utilise it, which is fair enough, but most people would agree the South West Academy in Gloucester, where PTC7 will be held, is a better venue for such tournaments.


odds-n-sods said...

Agree wholeheartedly about switching them to the SWSA, how long does the contract with Sheffield last or what does it stipulate that prevents them moving these events?

Dave H said...

They don't have to stage them in Sheffield but are paying rent on the building and so are utilising it for the PTCs and qualifiers

Witz78 said...

having 6 PTCs at the SWSA might be a bit of overkill though unless they were spread out over the season better they might struggle to be as successful. Perhaps some of the Sheffield ones could be taken elsewhere around the UK?

Personally i think come the end of this season a review of the PTCs needs to happen.

Questions that have to be asked are...

1) Is there room for 12 PTCs now the calendar is busier or could they be staggered better over the season.

2) Is there scope for increasing the PTC prize money slightly now since theres live streaming, betting website, sponsors, players entry fees and crowd revenue coming in for the PTCs.

3) Could the scheduling be better arranged given all the lessons learned.

4) Should a set number of top amateurs on the Order of Merit get onto tour via the PTCs to attract more entries? And in that case a seperate Order of Merit for amateurs solely for this purpose should be compiled so qualifying wins are rewarded.

5) Is the PTC OoM really the best way to determine which pros outwith the top 64 stay on tour, considering the PTCs are only a small percentage of the whole season. Id sooner see the old 1 year list used as it takes into account the whole seasons events and is fairer indicator of who deserves to stay on tour.

jamie brannon said...

Dave, who ended Reanne Evans 90-match winning streak?
I noticed you mention it on Twitter.

Anonymous said...

Dave, don't Star tables have their own separate set up in Sheffield (where Ding & Liang practise)?

If the templates and cloths are the same then couldn't the "fixture congestion" that these tournaments generate be managed by splitting the early rounds between the two venues?

likahokeith said...

To Witz78,

Reply to your questions:
1)For the Top 48, not really important because they're too far from dangerous, just attend 3 UK and 3 Europe and then take the rest. But if you decided to get into the finals, maybe you will attend all the PTCs.

Otherwise, PTCs are also the chance to promote the snooker outwards. So this large event is necessary.

2)This question will be determined by all of points provided in your question, especially PTC in Europe.

4)This is a good question. Although the small adjustment in this season, more chance for amateurs get into the professional tour. But if your question had accepted, the structure of professional tour will be definitely changed - Increase the entries of pro-snooker.

Dave H said...

They could possibly use the Star Academy but would presumably have to pay them for use of their facilities

Anonymous said...

Couldn't they resurrect the Scottish Open as a PTC event? Scotland has nothing now.

TrevorP said...

Does anyone agree that the finals of these ptc events should be raised to best of 11 ?. i just think best of 7 is to short.also i reckon a fourth day should be added as these events are to congested. Anyone agree ?.

Anonymous said...

The problem with lengthening the event is that you have to stay an extra night which is an extra £50/60. You don't take much home from these events so I think on balance players may prefer a late night.

kildare cueman said...

I think the PTC's should be divided into two separate tiers.
6 for everyone with decent prizemoney and 6 at Sheffield with less cash and half the ranking points.

This would accomodate all pros. The top players would only feel obliged to play 6 and not feel they were losing an inordinate amount of points by missing the minor ones at Sheffield.
The lower ranked pros would still have the opportunity to compete and gain significant points for their section of the ranks, and have a better opportunity of picking up a trophy.

The Sheffield events and invitation tournaments could then be played simultaneously to avoid congestion in the calendar.

JIMO96 said...

I think the PTC finals should certainly be raised to best of 11 throughout, more for the final, to at least highlight the distinction from normal PTCs, and the events importance.

Plus, is it just me, or does anyone else think ranking points should be awarded for the Masters? The PTC finalists are awarded points as a reward for....accumulating the most points in the PTCs(!) Isn't Masters qualifying exactly the same?!? You finish in the top 16 points earners over a specified period of time, and you're in the tournament! Everyone has the chance to finish in the top 16(admittedly from differing starting positions), so its not any different from the PTC finals, is it?

Perhaps a system needs to be introduced whereby a players "best 25" events count towards their ranking, and if they qualify for the PTC finals, that HAS to be included (similarly, if they play in the Masters, the points for that HAVE to count)....that way, the imbalance of a player being rewarded with points, for earning the most points, will be partially addressed?

Anonymous said...

With regards to Scotland, maybe that is a hard place to do business. Snookerbacker couldn't get things going there but maybe a PTC is a possibility.

Anonymous said...


who is snookerbacker in the grand scheme of things?

you speak as if hes a guru whos been about for a decade or two with a track record of being able to do things like that....

when you post saying he couldnt get things going.

so, if hes that well quoted, can we have a real name and some history of why wed expect him to have been able to do something in scotland?

Dave H said...

He's trying to run a qualifying event for the Q School so that amateurs don't have to pay the full £1,000 to enter, which is an initiative worthy of praise

Scottish amateurs could benefit from it just as much as anyone else

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise I spoke about SB as a guru. But I'm glad if it came across that way because he has my deepest respect for what he is doing.

TrevorP said...

Dave i was just reading an article on on cue weblog.he claims things are gonna change next season.ie the ranking system is gonna be decided on a prize money list. Also the ptc's are being reduced to 8 events.is there any truth in any of this ?

Anonymous said...

thank you dave

1051 - you didnt

i said "as if...."

learn to read please.

snookerbacker said...


I am nobody in the great scheme of things and have never claimed to be.

I am simply trying to get an event going to support amateur players and help them financially. The fact that the event didn't take off in Scotland is not for the want of trying, but clearly this was a misjudgement on my part that I felt I had to put right by cancelling it.

I don't bear any hard feelings towards the people there and I'm happy to take the event to places where it will work.

All the Best
(Snooker Guru)

Anonymous said...

ty for that sb. you really didnt need to explain. my post wasnt a dig at you. the person posting posted as IF you were someone who should have been able to get things done and "even you" didnt manage.

that is why i questioned their post.