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World Snooker Announces APTC Series, Premier League Venues

The build-up to the start of the new professional season continued today with a couple of press releases from World Snooker, the first in relation to the new Asian PTC Series and the second in respect of the venues for the 2012 Premier League…

  • Click here to read the press release in respect of the APTC Series

Much as described during Barry Hearn’s second press conference at the recent World Championship, today’s announcement confirms that next season there will be three new Asian PTC events (APTCs), each carrying the same ranking points tariff as the existing European PTC events.

Importantly, the winners of each of the three APTC events will qualify for the PTC Grand Finals, as well as the top four on a new APTC Order of Merit, giving seven qualifiers to the Grand Finals. Barry Hearn also confirmed last month that the top four on the Order of Merit will receive a main tour card for the following season.

The dates can already be found in the latest version of the 2012/13 calendar, while the venues are Zhang Jiagang, Yixing and Chengdu respectively.

For me these events are a good idea, primarily because they allow players in Asia an opportunity to get onto the main tour without having to first come to the UK. I remember that back in 2009 I spoke to Jin Long as he smoked a cigarette between sessions at the World Championship qualifiers and he explained to me how difficult it was for Chinese players to make it onto the main tour.

Back then (only three years, but in snooker terms it feels like a lot longer!) there were barely a couple of nominations available, otherwise they would have to try their luck throughout the year during the now-defunct PIOS series. These days of course it is a very different story, with more nominations available to Asian players, as well as a route to the tour via the Q School series, far more feasible than having to compete throughout the season on the PIOS tour. Eventually I wonder whether we might see a standalone Asian Q School, which to me would make a lot of sense, but in the meantime this is at least another step in the right direction.

What will be interesting for me is just how many of the UK-based professionals will compete in the events. Will we see the top players prolonging their stay in China around the major ranking tournaments? Will we see the lower ranked players flying out just for the pure purpose of competing in the APTC events? I can’t imagine that it would be viable financially unless they were to win a number of rounds, but over the last couple of seasons, with ranking points on offer, we have already seen players competing in events that otherwise they might not…

  • Click here to read the press release confirming the 2012 Premier League Snooker venues

As previously posted here at PSB, the Premier League finals will be held at the Grimsby Auditorium for the first time, moving from their previous home of Potters Leisure Resort in Norfolk.

Otherwise, the calendar looks reasonably familiar, I hope to make it back to Doncaster for a second year, in addition to y regular Grimsby trip, though it will be strange making that for the finals weekend rather than during the usual Thursday night league phase.

Read more about the changes to the Premier League format here.

Who should be given the final place? On merit I would suggest that Stephen Maguire would be clearly the most deserving candidate, but commercially could Barry be tempted by one of the legends, or perhaps even young Luca Brecel?

 

  • alan

    Very interesting post.
    Absolutely agree about the comments on Asian tour and players.
    I do think at some point the Tour is going to have to have a cut-off on the number of counting events
    I suspect the Masters will count towards the Money Rankings soon, fine if players whodo not make it can have the same number of counting events.
    But more with the Asian PTCs, this season there are 10 open ranking eevnts and 13 fully open PTC rankers, which is 23 + the PTC Finals.
    I’d suggest top 20 events from this season count and from next season, maybe increase the number of counting events by 1 for every 2 open events added, so approx 40 to 45 events. May not make a difference to most players, but ethically in the interest of fairness it makes sense. And to counter the argument that players will only play the minimum number of counting events: well if you get a couple of Zero pointers (i.e. losing first round or very low returns by losing earlier than your seeding), a trip to an Asian PTC suddenly maybe tempting. If a player has a season like Hendry used to have, well, he’ll still be number one even if he only plays half the events. Psychologically it would be nice for players like O’Sullivan and other players with kids to be told they won’t be penalised rankings wise if they miss a couple of events in Asia (though in reality they will lose out if they do not get excellent results in every event they do enter).

    AS regards the premier league – wow, what an insightful thought, maybe it won’t happen, but the moment you mentioned it, it’s obvious that Hearn must be considering Brecal :)

  • Alan

    Very interesting post.
    Absolutely agree about the comments on Asian tour and players.
    I do think at some point the Tour is going to have to have a cut-off on the number of counting events
    I suspect the Masters will count towards the Money Rankings soon, fine if players whodo not make it can have the same number of counting events.
    But more with the Asian PTCs, this season there are 10 open ranking eevnts and 13 fully open PTC rankers, which is 23 + the PTC Finals.
    I’d suggest top 20 events from this season count and from next season, maybe increase the number of counting events by 1 for every 2 open events added, so approx 40 to 45 events. May not make a difference to most players, but ethically in the interest of fairness it makes sense. And to counter the argument that players will only play the minimum number of counting events: well if you get a couple of Zero pointers (i.e. losing first round or very low returns by losing earlier than your seeding), a trip to an Asian PTC suddenly maybe tempting. If a player has a season like Hendry used to have, well, he’ll still be number one even if he only plays half the events. Psychologically it would be nice for players like O’Sullivan and other players with kids to be told they won’t be penalised rankings wise if they miss a couple of events in Asia (though in reality they will lose out if they do not get excellent results in every event they do enter).

    AS regards the premier league – wow, what an insightful thought, maybe it won’t happen, but the moment you mentioned it, it’s obvious that Hearn must be considering Brecal :)

  • likahokeith

    Matt, here is the latest results about APTC:

    2nd Division qualifying event(I don’t know the right translation)

    Last 16
    Liu Fan vs Li Wei
    Wang Yuchen vs Zhou Yuelong
    Zhang Yang vs Liang Jianfeng
    Opas(THA) vs Lu Haotian

    Zhu Yinghui vs Sun Chang
    Kiler(THA) vs Kang Ning
    Lin Shuai vs Lau Ka Lam(HKG)
    Chen Wen vs Zhao Xintong

    Xu Xinjian, Yang Qingtian, Lu Ning and Cao Kaisheng have qulaified in Event 1.

    • likahokeith

      Results:
      Liu Fan 3-4 Li Wei
      Wang Yuchen 4-3 Zhou Yuelong
      Zhang Yang 4-1 Liang Jianfeng
      Opas(THA) 0-4 Lu Haotian

      Zhu Yinghui 3-4 Sun Chang
      Kiler(THA) 4-0 Kang Ning
      Lin Shuai 4-1 Lau Ka Lam(HKG)
      Chen Wen 2-4 Zhao Xintong

      Quarterfinals
      Li Wei 1-4 Wang Yuchen
      Zhang Yang 4-2 Lu Haotian

      Sun Chang 4-3 Kiler(THA)
      Lin Shuai 2-4 Zhao Xintong

      Wang Yuchen, Zhang Yang, Sun Chang and Zhao Xintong got through Event 2
      Next event will be held in Guangzhou(31/5 – 3/6)

  • likahokeith

    Results of 3rd divion events(Guangzhou)
    Last 16
    Zhang Yong 4-0 Zhang Jiankang
    Liu Hongda 2-4 Ma Tingpeng
    Luo GuangSheng 1-4 Chen Wen
    Fang Xiongman 0-4 Lu Haotian

    Zhu Yinghui 4-0 Zhou Xiaokun
    Au Chi Wai(HKG) 4-1 Zhou Yuelong
    Liu Fan 2-4 Zhang Yi
    Long Yun 4-3 Ji Zhijun

    • likahokeith

      Quarterfinals
      Zhang Yong 1-4 Ma Tingpeng
      Chen Wen 2-4 Lu Haotian

      Zhu Yinghui 2-4 Au Chi Wai(HKG)
      Zhang Yi 4-3 Long Yun

      Ma Tingpeng, Lu Haotian, Au Chi Wai and Zhang Yi qualified for next stage, but the event will continue to go on.

  • likahokeith

    Results of 4th Divion event(Suzhou)
    Last 16
    Zhou Yuelong vs Li Chun
    Chen Junhao vs Pu Qingsong
    Tian Jiaqi vs Mou gang
    Huang Jiahao vs Liu Ren

    Chen Zifan vs Wang Jihao
    Feng Zeyuan vs Yan Bingtao
    Zhang Yong vs Ju Reti
    Yang Gangxingfu vs Fang Xiongman

    • likahokeith

      Zhou Yuelong 4-1 Li Chun
      Chen Junhao 4-0 Pu Qingsong
      Tian Jiaqi 2-4 Mou gang
      Huang Jiahao 3-4 Liu Ren

      Chen Zifan 4-2 Wang Jihao
      Feng Zeyuan 4-2 Yan Bingtao
      Zhang Yong 4-3 Ju Reti
      Yang Gangxingfu 4-1 Fang Xiongman

  • likahokeith

    Quarterfinals
    Zhou Yuelong 4-0 Chen Junhao
    Mou gang 4-3 Huang Jiahao

    Chen Zifan 4-1 Feng Zeyuan
    Zhang Yong 4-1 Yang Gangxingfu

    Zhou Yuelong, Mou gang, Chen Zifan and Zhang Yong qualified to APTC.

  • likahokeith

    CBSA had copmleted the Division stage, and the entries are almost done:

    ●Professional players
    Of course the tour player of 2012/13 will be qualified automatically, but the number is undefined.

    ●Top 32 in national ranking
    APTC is the extended event of China Professional Tour, Top 32 will be qualified; but some of them are professional players, therefore there’re some substitutes(See below)

    Top 32 in China:
    Jin Long(2)
    Rouzi maimaiti(5)
    Chen Feilong(6)
    Li Hang(10)
    Tang Jun(11)
    Cai Jianzhong(12)
    Cao Xinlong(13)
    Lin Yongzhi(16)
    Dai Hailin(17)
    Qi Ya(18)
    Mei Xiwen(20)
    Guan Zhen(21)
    Chen Ruifu(22)
    Li Yuan(23)
    Wang Linhan(24)
    Ma Bing(25)
    Cui Ming(26)
    Lu Shenwei(27)
    Pa Ruke(28)
    Pan Weihang(29) <———–Unsure name
    Shi Hanqing(30)
    A Bulajiang(31)<———–Unsure name
    Chen Bo(32)

    ●Qualified players
    Semifinals of 4 events in Division stage will enter APTC 1

    Event 1(Beijing)
    Lu Ning(41)
    Cao Kaisheng(42)
    Xu Xinjian(46)
    Yang Qingtian(49)

    Event 2(Shenzhen)
    Zhang Yang(39)
    Wang Yuchen(NR)
    Sun Chang(NR)
    Zhao Xintong(NR)

    Event 3(Guangzhou)
    Lu Haotian(38)
    Ma Tingpeng(52)
    Zhang Yi(61)
    Au Chi Wai(62)<————Hong Kong player

    Event 4(Suzhou)
    Zhou Yuelong(43)
    Mou Gang(NR)
    Chen Zifan(NR)
    Zhang Yong(NR)

    ●Substitutes
    The replacement for 9 professional players' places.
    Li Yinxi(33)
    Zheng Peng(34)
    Zhang Yadong(35)
    Lei Zhen(36)
    Zhu Yinghui(37)
    Zhang Dongtao(40)
    Qiu Yalong(44)
    Luo Guangsheng(45)
    Lin Shuai(47)

  • Mics147

    Many thanks for all the details, likahokeith :)