Happy new year everyone.

The great thing about a new year is that it’s a time for looking forward, not back and there is much to look forward to in 2012, indeed in January alone.

From Friday there will be 24 consecutive days of snooker to watch either on television or through internet streaming, a smorgasbord of green baize action with something for everyone.

It starts with PTC 12 in Germany after which the final 24 for the grand finals in Galway in March will be decided.

Then from January 9-12 the Championship League returns for its fifth year at one of snooker’s most unlikely venues, Crondon Park Golf Club in Essex.

There has been much more snooker to play recently but I’m not surprised that most top players have once again entered the Championship League. It’s regular match practice against top quality players and carries good financial reward.

The World Open (which will be best of nines this year, by the way) has its qualifiers from January 11-14. There will be commentary on the final two rounds on liveworldsnooker.tv and the betting sites that carry coverage.

The jewel in the crown this month is of course the Masters, at its new home of Alexandra Palace in London, from January 15-22.

This is one of snooker’s most prestigious titles, a tournament with a rich history and a huge first prize (£150,000).

The next two groups of Championship League are from January 23-26 and then the Sky Shootout, which I thought was a lot of fun last year, rounds things off in Blackpool from January 27-29.

So that’s a jam-packed month of snooker to kick off 2012 and there is plenty more where that came from in the run up to the Betfred.com World Championship in April.

This blog will remain pretty much as it has always been: a mix of news, opinion and historical reflections, a few interviews and thoughts about tournament action. If you have any other suggestions for content feel free to offer them.

It will be a busy year and that can only be good, although players will want to arrive at the Crucible three months from now match sharp but not exhausted.

Like any other year there will be drama aplenty: great matches, shocks, spellbinding breaks, stunning shot-making, nerve-wracking close finishes, twitch-ups, heartbreak, joy and glory.

People will say things in the heat of the moment that they later regret. There will be controversy. There will be arguments. There will be cock-ups. There will be complaints.

In short, there will be snooker, and lots of it.

The battles on the baize will be a rollercoaster of emotions for players, fans and everyone else associated with this great game.

So strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride.


Anonymous said...

It's actually quite hard to keep up with all the snooker results these days! But I'm not complaining, it's brilliant that the snooker world is so vibrant. Happy New Year to you all.

Sparky said...

Do you have any more info on the World Open, apart from the best-of-9 format?

Will there be non-tour players competing, as last season? Will there be "eleven most interesting matches" held over to the venue? Will there be a 64-man draw? Will there be women in the draw, and many international players invited?

Dave H said...

I believe it's a standard ranking event now. No amateurs, top 16 seeded through to the last 32 and so on. As it's being staged in China it would have been very costly for amateurs if they qualified (mind you the same applies for the pros).

Anonymous said...

I guess that would depend on where in the world the amateurs come from.

Anonymous said...

Can this years championship League be viewed on the liveworldsnookertv website or will it again only be on betting websites?

Dave H said...

I would assume so, but as it is so particularly tied into betting it may not be. Sorry I know that isn't very helpful.

Armbrust said...

I think it will not. It wasn't in the broadcast schedule of World Snooker.

On a different note. Somebody added to Wikipedia a reference from this months Snooker Scene magazine, that the Wuxi Classic will become a ranking event in the next season. Can you confirm this?

Dave H said...

That's what Barry Hearn told us

Anonymous said...


If one of the two new China ranking events is the Wuxi Classic, will the other one be the Beijing Challenge?

Dave H said...

Not sure what it's called but I believe it will be in October and the first prize will be £125,000


Hi David. I hope you had a great Christmas, and, great start to 2012. I can't wait for the O'Sullivan .v. ding Masters match of 2012.

Stephen Hendry not there at The Masters as a player this year, for the first time since 1988. Strange. I'm guessing He will be there, as a commentator, in the BBC commentary box though.