Good luck to all those involved in Power Snooker tomorrow.
The action starts at 1pm UK time at the O2 in London. It promises to be a glitzy, showbiz affair and, above all, a piece of entertainment rather than hard sport, although with a £35,000 first prize it’s fair to imagine that it will still be competitive.
The rules can be read here.
The players will apparently be miked up so that they can ‘interact’ with the crowd.
I’m not sure what this will entail exactly. It’s hard to imagine Ding Junhui issuing pithy bon mots but it does provide a chance to see the players in a different setting.
It’s hard to see who can reasonably be made favourite because Power Snooker is essentially a potting contest and there are some very good potters in action, namely Ding, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Ali Carter.
Jimmy White, too, is well capable of knocking them in while 15 year-old Luca Brecel will be the unknown quantity.
Whatever you think of Power Snooker – and I’m aware a lot of people have taken against it before a ball has been struck – it represents a great showcase for young Brecel, a prodigious talent from Belgium who gets to mix it with the big boys live on TV.
ITV4 will screen the action for UK viewers. Eurosport broadcast Power Snooker in Europe.
The long term plan for Power Snooker is to start a circuit of five or six events. Much will depend on how it goes this weekend.
Tickets have sold well off the back of a strong marketing campaign but the TV audience will also be a major factor.
It’s good to have ITV showing snooker, of a sorts, again after a decade away. Hopefully this will be the start of a new relationship with the broadcaster.
Matt Smith presents the coverage with reports from Ned Boulting. Commentary will come from Clive Everton and Peter Drury.
For those who'd rather watch the traditional game, there's live streaming of EPTC4 from Gloucester, details of which can be found through this link.