EPTC1: Day One Wrap (Updated)

It has been an eventful day over in Germany on day one of the 2010 Paul Hunter Classic tournament, or as I should call it now, the first event of the new European Players Tour Championship as the likes of Barry Pinches, Tom Ford, Ryan Day and Peter Ebdon have all exited the event early…

Following his maiden tournament victory at the third event of the PTC earlier this month, Leicester’s Tom Ford has been brought back down to earth with a bump with defeats against Alfie Burden, Martin O’Donnell and now Michael Holt who yesterday recorded a 4-3 win at the Stadthalle in Furth. Not only a notable victory because of the form that Tom has shown over the last 18 months, Michael will also be relieved to win due to the fact that he had lost each of his six previous ranking event matches prior to this point in 2010/11, a run that has seen him drop out of the provisional top 16 with the first mid-season revision approaching. Next up for The Hitman is a clash with local favourite Patrick Einsle who came through 4-1 against Florian Moedershie.

Also exiting the tournament earlier was the winner of the fourth PTC event, Norwich pro Barry Pinches who lost out in a decider to On-Q player Robert Milkins who is chasing a return to the top 32 for the first time since 2006/7. Making a break of 143 along the way, Rob appears to be in decent form and will fancy his chances against young Kyren Wilson in the second round.

While Ford and Pinches have at least enjoyed strong starts to the season up until these defeats, one man who has been struggling is Welshman Ryan Day and things are not getting any better for the former world number six who has bowed out of this tournament at the hands of Joe Swail. Already down to the 20th in the provisional rankings prior to this latest setback, time is running out for Ryan to get some points on the board and barring a strong run at the Shanghai Masters next month, he looks like exiting the top 16 at the first mid-season update.

It is a similar story for Liang Wenbo who following a 4-0 defeat to Rod Lawler yesterday looks to be heading out of the top 16 having barely been there for a couple of months. The man who could possibly replace him, Peter Ebdon, was also sent home on the opening day although his defeat to Judd Trump did come in the second round, Peter having been given a walkover against Jake Nicholson in the first round.

Otherwise the majority of the results went the way you would expect, while Ronnie O’Sullivan was given a bye through to the second round thanks to opponent Yu Delu’s withdrawal. Another landmark was the 100th century of Mark Davis’ pro career made during a first round win against Wladimir Pondmarenkski.

You can check out the latest scores over at Global while I will update the rankings in full at some point today.