Snooker Returns to Fürth, Draw Available


The snooker circus rolls on to Furth this weekend with the second event of the 2014/15 European Tour and it promises to be another interesting weekend, with the return of defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, who will be playing in his first competitive tournament since his defeat to ET1 winner Mark Selby at last season’s World Championship.

Click below for more on the draw…

  • Click here to view the draw for ET2
  • Click here to view the latest European Tour Order of Merit

There is always an extra sense of anticipation when Ronnie O’Sullivan’s name is included within a drawsheet and this week he makes his season debut with a last 128 match against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham on Friday afternoon. Having won the event with victory against Gerard Greene a year ago, Ronnie could face the likes of Robbie Williams and Barry Hawkins early in the event, with Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire also lurking in his quarter of the draw.

Elsewhere, there is as ever a strong field for the event, the most notable absentees being Ding Junhui, Joe Perry and Ali Carter, the latter of course remaining absent for the foreseeable future as he continues his recovery from lung cancer. Further down the rankings Peter Ebdon and Jamie Burnett will also be absent, as well as India’s Pankaj Advani, who has not yet participated in a tour event this season.

In terms of those who have entered, a word for Australia’s Steve Mifsud, who has entered his first tournament since regaining his main tour card at the start of this season and like O’Sullivan, he begins against a Thai player in the form of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. We also see the return of a number of Chinese professionals, who missed out on the ET1 event, reportedly due to visa issues.

Other points of interest concern the amateur players involved, some of whom have been drawn to play a day early on Wednesday, leaving them with a race against time to make it to the venue, having pre-booked flights before being made aware of this possibility. Take Gareth Allen who recently told me:

Hopefully Allen and the others involved will make it and perhaps more to the point, make it without incident and be mentally prepared in order to give a good performance.

Another point that was speculated upon prior to the issue of the draw was as to whether amateurs such as Sean O’Sullivan, who made it to the last eight of the first European Tour event in Latvia would be seeded for subsequent events, courtesy of being inside the top 64 of the European Order of Merit.

The answer is no, meaning that such amateurs are still required to participate in the amateur qualifying tournament prior to the main event. The relevant section of the event entry pack states:

Round Structure and Seedings
This event will consist of 128 players and all matches will be the best of 7 frames.

All Main Tour players are eligible to compete in this event and if 128 or more Main Tour players enter, there will be no space for amateur entrants. If there is no space for any amateur entrants they will be refunded their entry fee.

If fewer than 120 Main Tour entries are received, the remaining place(s) will be offered to a maximum of 3 Invitational Tour Card holders who will top up the entries to no more than 120 players. To complete the field of 128, the remaining places will be made up of amateur players who qualify from the amateur pre-qualifier played prior to the main event (Last 128). The exact number of amateur qualifiers will be confirmed after the closing date of entry.

If fewer than 128 Main Tour and amateur players enter the event, the highest seeded players will receive a bye into the last 64 round. There will be 64 seeded players according to the European Tour Order of Merit after the Riga Open (ET1) 2014.

The 64 un-seeded players shall be made up of:

  • All remaining Tour Players
  • Invitational Tour Card holders
  • The respective number of qualifiers from the pre-qualifying tournament (if required).

Whether that is right or wrong will no doubt depend on your perspective and as to whether you are a professional or amateur, but perhaps it could be made more explicit within future players packs that amateurs will not be seeded for European Tour events, despite their position in the Order of Merit.