PTC 12 in January will consist of only 16 players at the venue in Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany due, apparently, to the unsuitability of the venue to hold the usual 9-10 tables required for these events. I understand this anomaly came to light at a recent site visit by organisers.

The WPBSA’s response was to announce a reduction of the field down to 16 immediately before PTC 11 in Sheffield in the week following the UK Championship.

They then announced a ‘consultation’ with players, the result of which is to stick to the original plan.

Although this is all rather unfortunate there are a couple of upsides: 1) all matches from the last 16 onwards will be on television and streamed; 2) UK based players losing in the early rounds will not incur the same level of expenses going to Sheffield as they would in Germany, although this isn’t much consolation to German amateurs.

Leaving aside the point that the venue should surely have been checked out much sooner, the WPBSA had to do something and I would say have come up with a reasonable solution, although the ‘consultation’ should surely have come before announcing alternative dates, not afterwards.

This taps into something I’ve been hearing about rather a lot. Not so long ago players were sent a letter on various matters, one of which was that the WPBSA staff preferred communication via email because HQ ‘is not a call centre.’

No it isn’t. But equally the players pay membership fees and should reasonably expect genuine queries to be dealt with. We’re talking here about their professional lives, the way they earn their money to provide for themselves and their families.

One of the problems is that World Snooker’s staff have been cut down to the bone – at a time where there is more to do than ever. In my experience they are not underworked, certainly not the officials out on the circuit who slave away in tournament offices for little thanks.

I know some players now find dealing with the governing body a bit impersonal, especially those being fined for tournament withdrawals without getting any sort of hearing.

And the situation surrounding PTC 12 seems to underline something many people are saying: that there are too many PTCs.

However, many of those coming up with easy solutions are not in possession of the full facts. World Snooker has contracts with Eurosport and Perform based on supplying a particular number of tournaments to be broadcast or streamed, so cutting back is not the simple option many assume.

Personally, I would suggest eight PTCs – five in Europe and three in the UK (with at least two of those in Gloucester) – with money saved by scrapping four put into the remaining eight.

But that’s easy to say. The commercial realities do not necessarily allow such changes [I of course haven’t seen the full contracts so am not fully sure how this stacks up].

Meanwhile, well done to Ricky Walden for compiling a 147 break in PTC10 yesterday, and to David Gray who did so in qualifying earlier in the week.

It was probably inevitable after I mentioned how relatively rare maximums are that we should have had three in a single week.


Betty Logan said...

Why don't World Snooker set up a call centre in India?

Anonymous said...

luca will get the 147th maximum in a decade or so

Anonymous said...

I think 12 ptc s is fine. The older players are moaning cos they have to work harder now to retain their ranking. Tuff. Barry H said if they couldn't cut it they would fall. In 5 years when all the older players have gone the players who are starting out now won't know any different and Will be used to the system. Stick with it bazza

Anonymous said...

All of which emphasises once again the need for you to collar Mr Hearn.

Anonymous said...

MIKE DUNN's twitter page says

Text from Wsa chairman and website confirmed £3500 for my 147, so why am I now only getting £2000 ! Really angry! Please Re-tweet. #discrace

Dave H said...

You'll be pleased to learn I have interviewed Barry Hearn today and it will be up tomorrow

Ayrshirebhoy said...

I hope you Pulled no punches Dave :)

Anonymous said...

i hope you threw some punches dave

(in a sparring way)

likahokeith said...

In my opinion, I think 12 PTCs are enough, but the location must change next season. At recent, only two places can choose: Africa and Asia-oceania. Below is my suggestion:

UK(3 PTCs) - Gloucester, Sheffield, Glasgow

Europe(5 PTCs) - Poland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Romania

Asia-oceania(3/4 PTCs) - Singapore, Australia, Pakistan,Hong Kong/Japan/South Korea/Malaysia/UAE(Optional)

Africa(1 PTC or not) - South Africa/Tanzania/Egypt(Optional)
And Betty Logan, World Snooker had settled an academy in Thailand.

Anonymous said...

What about the change of playing dates for the Amateurs for PTC 11 and PTC 12

There's been no consultation. The dates have been declared as 10 & 11 December.

10-11 is already taken for an EASB Pro Ticket Tour event - and it's been on the calendar for months.

Several of the leading amateurs on PTC are high on the EASB ranks. Both events could lead them to gaining a Pro Place next season.

They can't be in both places at once. It's totally unfair on them to be forced to make a near impossible choice between events.

The same applies, to a less degree, to the Welsh Senior Amateurs who have a Welsh Senior Ranking event on 11 December.

Is there any good reason why those two amateur days couldn't be played during the week, immediately preceding the PTC 12 playing days?

For what it's worth the overworked WS staff on the road will have to split themselves in two as well. Some remaining in York for the UK and some return to Sheffield to administer the PTC Amateur rounds.

Gerard said...

Nice! Looking forward to reading it, Dave!

Btw, good point about the contracts. Do you know the duration of those (in other words: how long for us moaners to wait before a change in ptc's is realistic)?

Anonymous said...

likahokeith, your location suggestions of
Austria/Romania/Pakistan/Japan/South Korea/
Malaysia/UAE/South Africa/Tanzania/Egypt might be a bit long term and perhaps too optimistic. In time it would be great ofcourse to have (big ranking- and invitation-) events all over, but I think the focus will have to be on Europe, Asia ans Australia first. Ptc's farther away will also be a bit too expensive and players won't get enough ranking points in return.

likahokeith said...

Anonymous 9:56

Austria had the potential to be one of the PTCs because there has been held some international tournaments.

And the suggestions about Asia-oceania zone, it's necessary to discuss because more and more countries are arising, not only China, Thailand and India. It's time to expand new markets.

kildare cueman said...

There is a massive difference in the Sheffield PTCs and the European ones.

The Sheffield ones look like a non stop series of qualifying matches whereas the overseas ones have the look and atmosphere of a regular event.

It is therefore, of paramount importance that some distinction is made between the two, in both prizemoney and rankings.

I dont see what difference there is between a televised EPTC and a ranking event to a potential sponsor. Top players, TV exposure, streaming, live audiences. They're all there.

If the EPTC's could attract part sponsorship, 50 or 100k per event even, they would make it worthwhile for the players and make it look and feel more like a regular tournament to the TV audiences.

The Sheffield tournaments could still be held for the benefit of lower ranked and struggling top ranked pros.

As for rankings, well the proposed new money list that WS are considering, would distinguish the worthwhile events from the B list events pretty quickly.

The market could then determine the prestige of events rather than the current set up.

kildare cueman said...

12.11, If the top players wont go on an all exes paid week in Brazil for a guaranteed £6000 its hard to see them going to UAE or Africa for a PTC.

likahokeith said...

kildare cueman,

That's why I didn't talk about them again.

But if can't be involved in PTC, it still can be the third tier: The continental tour, which only open for amateurs.