PTC Event One: Tournament Information

With my computer fully fixed and raring to go, I can now take a belated look at the entry list to the first Players Tour Championship event of the new season which begins this Friday at the Academy in Sheffield…

Having seen his bid to take control of the sport succeed at the start of the month, WPBSA chairman Barry Hearn will be happy to see that 73 of the sport’s 96 professional players have committed to playing in the first of the new PTC events – a vast improvement on the number that opted into the doomed Pro Challenge Series organised by the old regime. Add to this a whole host of amateur players and we have ourselves quite an entry list.

Of the professionals, nine are of the game’s elite top 16, not a bad figure for this time of the year and it includes former world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan which will no doubt generate a little more publicity for the event than may otherwise have been the case.

Notable absentees include Stephen Hendry, Steve Davis, Ding Junhui and newly crowned world champion Neil Robertson, not to mention world number one John Higgins who remains suspended at present due to the ongoing investigation in relation to the News of the World sting.

Hendry told the Express:

“I just don’t want to play in this one and I won’t be taking part. I will probably play in some of the others.”

Given the quality of the field that does remain it is a shame that the event will be neither televised or available for spectators to attend and watch. It should be stressed in relation to the latter point that the events will be played at what was the World Snooker Academy at the English Institute for Sport, not the badminton hall at the same venue where the World Championship qualifiers have been held for the past three years. As a result space is somewhat limited and the decision not to make tickets available is understandable, though personally I am tempted to head over anyway for a few photos!

To view the entry list and the draw for the amateur pre-qualifiers, please click here.