The German Masters, now in its third year, is a real high point of the snooker season.

This is because of one thing: the atmosphere. The Tempodrom in Berlin is perhaps the best venue since the old Wembley Conference Centre and German snooker fans lap up every single minute, enthusiastic but respectful of what they are watching.

The old Field of Dreams maxim - if we build it, they will come - doesn’t work everywhere but snooker is extremely popular in mainland Europe thanks to Eurosport and it’s remarkably popular in Germany.

Increasingly, it’s not only on TV where German fans can watch the top stars. They have two PTCs and this is the big one.

This year’s event will be busier than ever due to a tweak in the format. The top 32 came in at the last 64 stage and ten matches have been held over to Berlin. Of the top 16 players required to qualify, only Mark Davis failed to do so.

There are some less familiar faces making the trip. Michael Wasley is a young talent from Gloucester in his first season, who beat Peter Ebdon to qualify.

Fraser Patrick is an amateur but played in the qualifiers because the full quotient of professionals didn’t take their places in the draw.

Martin O’Donnell coaches amid the plush surroundings of the Royal Automobile Club in London and provides the last 64 opposition for Mark Williams.

In addition, there are some players in Berlin who have reached or are approaching veteran status: Jimmy White, James Wattana, Alan McManus, Anthony Hamilton, Dave Harold and Nigel Bond.

The first two stagings of the German Masters produced excellent finals. Williams edged Mark Selby 9-7 in 2011. Last year, Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a great comeback to win a great match, 9-7 against Stephen Maguire.

Again, these matches were better because of the environment in which they were played. Players respond to enthusiastic crowds. It makes a match more of an occasion.

Eurosport’s coverage starts on Wednesday, contrary to what is stated in some listings.

I’ll be in Berlin and am very much looking forward to sampling the German snooker boom first hand.


Anonymous said...

Dave - Good to hear that you will be in Berlin to do the commentary, always better to be in the venue that have to commentate on a broadcasters feed.

Any chance Eurosport can fix the lack of sync between sound and picture - often commented on in this forum? My sparky friends tell me it should be possible.

Anonymous said...

The system they have for the German Open seems like the best compromise to me: there is enough depth in the top 64 these days to bring in the top 16 at that stage, but holding over the top names to the venue. Personally I think rookies should have to win a tour match to earn the right to play John Higgins at a venue. It seems like this "everyone in from round 1" business has only come about to facilitate the prize money list. Making Higgins play an amateur who has possibly never won a pro match is a bit disrespectful if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

i was one of the first to constantly complain on here about the es comments being a few seconds behind, which is very annoying after a ball has clearly missed / been potted.....

for the first time its now not happening.

in fact mike is calling shots in before they've went in

did es overcompensate when trying to fix the prob?

Anonymous said...

re 10:08 I have wondered for some time if the delay is to give the commentators early warning of the picture selected by the producer (e.g. a replay or audience shot), whereas in this case the boys are there and know in advance the picture selection from the producers voice in their headphones.

Could be wrong...

Anonymous said...

In today's London Times, it says the new sponsor of World Championship will be announced within 2 weeks


it suggest ROS will be offered an £incentive to appear

Anonymous said...

314, that's not what I was saying

normally es commentators are about a second or two BEHIND was is on our screens at home

very annoying when commentators say"is it in?" when it missed two seconds ago....

today, they were calling balls in that hadn't even travelled to the pocket yet....and I spoke to several whove said similar on social media sites, so its not my tv....

Anonymous said...

its similar to goffs,the maxim 'build it and they will come'was said to noah long before it was said to costner