When it was first announced that World Snooker would move away from the traditional tiered format of events a couple of years ago, the concern amongst some was that it could lead to a situation where big names might crash out of tournaments at the qualifying stages, resulting in venues and broadcasters being left without their big names.
While two of this year’s six Crucible débutantes were able to make it through to the last 16 stage at this year’s World Championship, the fact remains that since the turn of the century, just ten first-timers have been able to win their opening matches here.
But why is that? Click below for more, together with quotes from a few of those débutantes this week…
Today saw the start of the 2013 Snookerbacker Classic tournament in Leeds and therefore I was at the Northern Snooker Centre to watch local boy Oliver Lines win four successive deciding frame matches to book his place in finals day next February. Click below for a round-up of my day…
A short post this evening to round-up a few matters arising from the last couple of days, starting with Masters champion Neil Robertson who has today rounded off a memorable period by taking victory in Group Three of the 2012 Championship League, defeating Mark Selby 3-2 in the group final. He now joins Shaun Murphy and Judd Trump in what is shaping up to be a tasty looking winners group already.
Elsewhere, interesting news from Snooker Scene Blog where it has been confirmed that next season there will be no fewer than five full ranking events to be held in China, with the upgraded Wuxi Classic and a further event in October joining the three staged this season.
Interestingly it is reported that the new October event will carry a top prize of £125,000, a figure topped only by the World Championship and Masters tournaments. Given the mooted move to a money-based ranking list at some point in the future, compared to the sums currently being offered by some of the other ranking tournaments on the calendar, the importance of the Chinese events is plain to see.
Finally, the WPBSA have also released a statement today concerning unusual betting patterns ahead of the match between Matt Selt and Joe Jogia at this weekend’s Shootout tournament. Click here to read the statement in full.