Power Snooker returns in extended form this weekend with the whole of the world’s top 16 taking part in its second staging.
Good for them. It’s a chance to win £25,000 in just two days without the intense pressure of championship snooker. It’s a chance to have some fun.
You can never tell what will be popular. Jimmy White tweeted Philip Schofield yesterday with a picture of the line-up for Tenball, an ITV innovation 20 years ago presented by Schofield that ultimately failed to catch on.
Like Power Snooker, Tenball took the traditional elements of snooker and attempted to speed things up with new rules, extra balls etc.
Schofield’s reply to White on Twitter was: “I thought it would make us all rich!”
Power Snooker may well make various people rich but it depends on public support. What matters at the Trafford Centre in Manchester is not how full the arena is but how many of the people there have bought their tickets rather than been given them.
Viewing figures will also determine levels of sponsorship support in the future, though I understand Power Snooker is well backed already.
As for the action, Ronnie O’Sullivan is defending champion and an obvious favourite again, although the format also favours other fast, instinctive players such as Judd Trump or Mark Allen.
To be honest, it favours all of them because they are all talented potters, and that it what this variant of the game is mainly about.
Mark Williams could be struggling, though. He has injured his ankle, which is severely swollen. Perhaps he could emulate Alex Higgins, who won the 1989 Irish Masters after breaking his ankle.
The tournament is screened live in the UK on ITV4 with some coverage also on Eurosport International for those on the continent.
Power Snooker website.