After a short break for most of snooker’s professionals following Mark Williams’ victory at the ET2 event in Rotterdam, this Wednesday sees the start of a run of three events, which will be staged over 10 days at the Doncaster Dome.
Click below for all of the details…
- Click here to view the drawsheet for the Shanghai Masters
- Click here to view the drawsheet for the India Open
- Click here to view the drawsheet for the ET3 event
- Click here to book tickets for all of the events
With World Snooker having dispensed with the services of the World Snooker Academy at the EIS in Sheffield, Barry Hearn has selected the Doncaster Dome as being the venue which will stage the qualifiers for the Shanghai Masters and India Open tournaments, as well as the third European Tour event of the season, also known as the Bluebell Wood Open.
A venue which has staged snooker most recently in the Premier League in both 2011 and 2012, the Doncaster Dome is during the rest of the year a leisure centre in South Yorkshire, but not for ten days this month.
While I have only been to the venue for those two Premier League events, I can only assume that the same space will be utilised and laid out in a similar fashion to how the other European Tour events are, crucially with room for spectators to come and watch. Hopefully the events have been well advertised locally so there will be a decent turn out and I will be there for most, if not all of the action.
Play starts on Wednesday with the qualifiers for the Shanghai Masters, the second of three ranking events this season (along with the Australian Open and World Championship), which will not be staged under the new flat draw format for this season.
With names such as Mark Williams and Ali Carter in action following their fall from the top 16 at the last seedings revision however, there could still be some big names absent from Shanghai should results not go their way. In fact, with potentially David Gilbert or Jack Lisowski to play for a place at the venue, Williams’ match promises to be the most interesting of the event, at least on paper.
Following the conclusion of those qualifiers on Saturday, there will be no rest during the following days, as the India Open qualifiers will be held immediately afterwards during Sunday and Monday. This event will be staged under the flat draw format, with matches over the best of seven frames in order to accommodate this. Although Ronnie O’Sullivan will be absent from the tournament, there will otherwise be a very strong field, with 118 of the current main tour players having entered the competition.
There will then be a day’s break on Tuesday, before the following four days see the Bluebell Wood Open, or ET3, played to a conclusion. Again, the line-up for that event is a strong one, with Ronnie O’Sullivan set to make his second appearance of the season and sure to attract a crowd, as he always does.
As ever, you will be able to follow the events both here at PSB and on my Twitter feed, as I will be reporting live from Doncaster during the India Open and ET3 events. I may also be in Doncaster for the final day of the Shanghai Masters qualifiers, although I understand there will be no media facilities at the venue, which may make interviews with the winners more difficult.
And after these events, the players will then have a whole four days off, before the snooker circus rides into Furth, for the Paul Hunter Classic the following weekend.
Things are about to get very busy…