The sun is shining (at least where I am) but snooker’s great and good are hard at work at the second PTC of the season in Gloucester.

The amateur rounds end today and the big boys come in tomorrow, all played at Paul Mount’s impressive South West Snooker Academy.

There will be live streaming from two tables free on betting websites such as Bet365 and Betfair and on liveworldsnooker.tv, whose headquarters I visited last week.

What an operation it is. They receive feeds for and then distribute thousands of sporting events every year, with commentary in many languages.

Snooker is the latest sport to embrace the internet age, later than it should have done, though that is certainly not the fault of Perform Group.

Anyway, on to the action...

Ronnie O’Sullivan won the first PTC, playing superbly with eight centuries during the event.

There were plenty of big name fallers early on as the new season lumbered into life but the big hitters have all been playing since and it would be fair to assume more of them will go further this week.

The playing conditions at Gloucester are generally agreed to be better than those at Sheffield, not least because there is more room and, for that matter, more tables.

I can’t believe some of the things I’ve read and heard about the PTCs. They’ve only been going a year but already it’s ‘there are too many of them’ and ‘there should be more money.’

Snooker players should realise one thing above all else: the game was run for years by snooker players. If it isn’t in the position it should be in then that’s down to them. They voted for the people who ran it, they allowed everything that happened to happen.

The sport is now being rebuilt and needs the support of the players for it to reach the heights it deserves.

The opportunity is there to make a good living but, as in any profession, not everyone will reach the top.

However, in sport it’s down to you to realise your potential. Money is there to be earned, not handed out.

The winners of PTCs last season were all players with the right attitude. This, as much as talent, will be important again in Gloucester this week.


Anonymous said...

Weather report for up here in Scotland.

Peeing down as usual.

Anonymous said...

Will there be any streaming from the SWSA website itself?

mg147 said...

Yes, it was largely due to WPBSA that live snooker got involved with internet at such a late stage. And furthermore snooker players today are so much better off with respect to tournaments and earning opportunities, compared to former WPBSA:s.
I´ve been recently reading the excellent book by C. Everton, Black Farce and Cue Ball Wizards, and it´s quite enlightening (or shocking, more like) how the game has been governed by former WPBSA boards! It makes for good reading though! :D

wild said...

"Snooker players should realise one thing above all else: the game was run for years by snooker players. If it isn’t in the position it should be in then that’s down to them. They voted for the people who ran it, they allowed everything that happened to happen."

thats the most sensible thing ive read about this subject.

snooker players for want of a better word cocked it up now instead of moaning and counting the pennies. HELP to put it back together so that everyone makes a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that financial reward should meet success, there is a serious financial problem with the PTCs. If you do the numbers it just doesn't make any financial sense!

You've got a £100 entry fee, and at least one night's accomodation and various expenses. Call that £100, so your initial outlay is £200. If you live locally then you can save on travel expenses, but average over the UK you're looking at another £100 there. For the European events you can add on £200 for flights. So that's £300 for the UK PTCs, and £500 for the European PTCS, so that means the whole PTC initiative will cost about £5k if you enter them all, which the lower ranked cash strapped players will definitely have to do. But to earn back 5k, you have to win more like 6k because of income tax, so in reality these things cost 6k per year.

The cut-off for the PTC finals last year was about the 7k mark, and only 24 players qualified. That means that over 70 players on the tour lost money on the PTC, and at best broke even. Does it make sense to have an event where 75% of your workforce lose money? I thought the PTC was supposed to provide players with earning potential, but in reality you have a 75% chance of losing money; may as well walk into a casino and stick your entry fee on black on the roulette wheel since you have more chance of making money.

Another issue is that many players had part-time jobs, but the PTCs have made it impossible to hold one down now because of all the events. So not only do you lose money by entering the PTC, it prevents you from earning another income! It has turned the tour into full-time players, but not full-time professionals.

Barry Hearn is going in the right direction on many things but the PTC is a white elephant, and should be scrapped. It would make more sense to expand the Championship league to the whole tour, where successful players can make a packet but those who don't fare too well have their expenses capped to one or two events.

Dave H said...

I fully understand the point about expenses, however some players have sponsors who pay them.

Now, I would agree that sponsors are hard to come by but they are easier to find if players make more effort to push themselves forward.

It's 2011: why are there so many professional snooker players who don't even have their own website, where they can expand their profile?

I don't earn any money from writing this blog: not a single penny. However, it has raised my profile and I have been given work directly as a result of writing the blog, although I've never had the chance to earn £10k in three days.

The point I'm making - and I know not everyone agrees with this world view - is that to make things happen in your life it's up to you. Grab any opportunity going, and that includes playing in PTCs where your ranking can improve and so can your bank balance.

kildare cueman said...

I think the complaints regarding too many PTCs and not enough money may have been borne by a letter to Snooker scene by Ian Doyle, who advocated half the events for double the money.

I agree the set up needs tweaking. In a busy year it seems absurd to force top players to play in an empty cubicle, while promotional events like Brazil are lacking so many stars.
No disrespect intended but players like Mark Davis and Ricky Walden are surely not the type to draw crowds or attract interest in a new event in foreign shores.
You want Higgins, O'Sullivan, Williams, Robertson and Ding there, but if they have to drop events to pace themselves, then I suppose its logical to assume they will sacrifice events which wont affect their ranking.

I have previously advocated raising the points and the cash for televised Euro PTCs and reducing those at Sheffield. I still believe this should be done except make the Sheffield events exclusively for players ranked 33 or lower plus amateurs. The overseas events would be open to all.

This would allow top players to enter more invitationals and give the lower ranked players a better opportunity to earn cash and points.

Along with a 5 or 10K grant to new pros from Q school funds and a proviso that players are guaranteed 2 years on the tour before falling off, all players would have a reasonable chance to succeed.
If you were still losing money after two years, well then you know pro snooker is probably not for you.

Dave H said...

If the top prize in Brazil was £200,000 they'd all be there and would suddenly feel less 'tired'

wild said...

yes dave sorry to say they dont see the bigger picture and want it straight away.

snookers been miss managed for years, it will take years to get it right but without top players support it will take a much longer time if they lucky.

Anonymous said...

Is that their reason for missing Brazil? Tiredness? Hearn must be wondering why he's bothering

Dave H said...

To be fair, some of them feel it's too much to fly back to the UK from Shanghai and then fly out to Brazil

wild said...

"To be fair, some of them feel it's too much to fly back to the UK from Shanghai and then fly out to Brazil"

but then if they go from one event to another some says its to long away from home lol

cant win.

Anonymous said...

If they fly out to Shanghai and then onto Brazil and back to GB going in the same direction, they'll be a day younger when they get back.

Anonymous said...

A huge benefit of the PTC's which warrants a mention, is the fact that they provide 12 extra competitive opportunities for all players, which was all too sadly lacking in previous years. The competitive experience, which otherwise would not have been gained, is now open to all and must be taken into account when you consider the success that players like Bingham, Campbell, Gould, Dale and Trump among many others, have had over the past season. Okay, financially, they may not be ideal on their own and in isolation, but they are springboard to future success which never before existed.

Anonymous said...

11:51am That sure looks like a betty post.

NewsBrain said...

Having been to Brazil, I would take any chance to go there.

Snooker players are insular, stupid and pathetic.

They nearly destroyed their own game and are so dumb they still do not get it.

It needs the WSA to keep answering these points. Imagine sportsmen who DON'T want to go to Brazil - it is just embarrassing. If snooker was big, some top columnist would be rightly slating the top boys. I bet some of them are just scared amd will miss their sausage amd chips too much.


Anonymous said...

Good point, where as betsy got to?

Claus said...

Dave, your comments are almost like Barry Hean pep-talks! I love it. I beliveve we would all enjoy an in-your-face interview with Ronnie conducted by you.

Witz78 said...


Just looking at the Davis game in the main arena and theres a "crowd" of about 3 in watching it.

Can i ask what the logic is in having this event played during the week yet some of the closed doors events are played over weekends?

Surely SWSA should have stipulated the events they hosted were played over weekends to maximise the crowds and chances of them making some money from hosting PTCs.

Seems almost pointless playing this at the Academy if its held through the week and is barely going to be seen by anyone anyway.

Seems like despite the new regime running the show, some decisions taken lack any sort of logic

Also the live streamings may now actually put people off going to these PTCs in a strange knock on effect.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some of the players asked for the main rounds to be moved to weekdays so they could spend the weekends with their families. Also, playing the amateur rounds over the weekend probably faciliates more amateur participation. This probably was a good idea when the PTC didn't have audiences or live coverage, but they may have to rethink that strategy now.

Witz78 said...

Yeh i understand that the players wanted some events through the week to give them weekends off but i notice that the next 2 PTCs played at Sheffield behind closed doors are played over the weekend which doesnt make any logical sense really, when they could be played during the week swapping over with events like this PTC to ensure better crowds and more income and exposure.

Anonymous said...

I was going to watch the snooker but I've been out rioting the last couple of days.

wee welsh witch said...

To Witz

Today was the quietest day for ticket sales, but with 8 or 9 matches on the audience are picking who they want to watch.

Our small booths have been pretty packed all day and although there's not that many in the arena at any one time, it is a BIG arena and when I was in there a few minutes ago I noticed most people are skulking up at the back where they can't be seen by the cameras.

It's actually quite bright to sit in the first few rows under those tv lights - and do bear in mind that most would have been skiving off work and don't want to be seen on the stream!!! (me included!)

It's actually created a fabulous atmosphere here, with fans and players mingling freely. The players are getting a buzz from audience + applause and the fans are absolutely loving it.

There's so many great players and matches to see they just don't know which way to turn next!

Additionally it has provided facilities for the media too and we've got film crews, bloggers, written media and a few tweeters etc which is all adding to the footprint of both the events and the players themselves.

It's long, it's tiring, but I have to say it's also massively enjoyable.

jamie brannon said...

Are we actually going to hear what the field is for the Brazilian Masters?

Anonymous said...

It's up on the World Snooker site Jamie.

jamie brannon said...

Thanks, need to check that site more as when the Walker regime was in town rarely ever visited it. I just get my news from here and www.snooker.com mainly.

Anonymous said...

In other news, Ben Harrison was whitewashed by Dave "deadwood" Harold.

Sonny said...

Big brave anon trying to make a point and failing. Your words calling Dave Harold "deadwood" mate.

Anonymous said...

That's what Ben Harrison called the older players you tool. That's why it's in quotes. A shame you didn't choose to go anonymous really isn't it.

Sonny said...

I'm not the one trying to hide mate. I know Ben and what he's like and the respect he has for the professional players and it's pretty obvious you either don't or are jealous of him in some way - probably because he's better at snooker than you are and better looking with it.


Anonymous said...

If Ben has respect for the older players then he should show it then really, because all he's shown is disrespect so far. And is "Sonny" your real name mate? Some bloody imaginative parents you have there.

Witz78 said...


gotta agree with "anon" on this one.

live by the sword, die by the sword.

Harrison called them deadwood, i agree with him on that comment but hes gotta walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

Anonymous said...

Sonny standing up for Ben because he wears his snooker island logo on his waistcoat, man up son and admit it.

Dave H said...

If this carries on I'll have to get the water cannon out

Sonny said...

@ 4:44pm yes loyalty's got something to do with it! My main point was the original anon coming out of nowhere calling Dave Harold "deadwood" when Ben never named Dave Harold.

Anonymous said...

No ben never named harold "deadwood" but being a 44 year old, he's hardly a young gun his he? His comment about the "deadwood" surely harold is classed as this.

Sonny said...

Well if you stay tuned the man himself will elaborate in the next PTC blog which I'm writing up tonight. For the record Ben knows Dave Harold was in a ranking event final and was a regular top 16 player a couple of seasons ago and therefore doesn't count as "deadwood", but obviously he's not about to name names as to who is.

Ben has a point and an opinion like everyone else. It's all good banter and gets people talking which is the main thing.


Anonymous said...

It couldn't get more ironic could it? Sonny is berating anons for criticising Harrison, and yet Harrison is quite happy to hurl anonymous insults around? What a pussy; gives me a new respect for Mark Allen.

Anonymous said...

Well does ben know harold made 3 ranking event finals and won 1 of them? Not bad players are they these "deadwood" old has beens. As they say talks cheap.

ben harrison !! said...

i love the way these people jump to conclusion who deadwood is.. dave harold was in a ranking final under 3 years ago. it was a light-hearted comment about the way the games going and its been completely blown out of proportion! i have massive respect for all the professional players and they are there for a reason, and have been on the tour for many years for a reason. the only reason i made the comment is due to the players that are starting to show themselves in a new 'modern day' style of snooker. judd trump, ding jun hui, and the players coming through these days are all attacking players now! it was just an opinion on what i thought. and fair play to dave harold he played bloody well against me in the last two frames after nickin the first two on the pink. so to sum up, im not a disrespectful lil **** lol ! i made a comment about the new players coming through and there is a new generation coming :)

Anonymous said...

Out with the "deadwood" but,but "im not a disrespectful lil ****", trying to worm your way out of that comment now ben? hmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

If that 4–0 scoreline is anything to go by, I'm pretty sure everyone on here would rather watch Dave Harold than Ben Harrison. You're a fool, but fortunately for you you're a young fool, so hopefully not a lost cause. Do you see Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby going around disrespecting their colleagues? Take a good look at them, and see how a young good pro should conduct himself. Hopefully a few more hammerings and some stiff punitive punishment from Barry will sort you out before you go too far off the rails.

Anonymous said...

agreed 4.36

players need to behave

that is unless they are very very good

like ronnie

if he was only top 40 and that was his best level he would have had several books thrown at him over the years, but instead he only gets the odd one tossed gently on his lap

that is biased.

players should be treated on what rules they break or on bad conduct regardless of whether thay are top 4 or top 40

young players need to see this happening also

thankfully the buffoon is nearer the end of his career than the start.

ben h said...

not worming myself out of anything! no need to, it was just an opinion thats all! and if they beat me in the ptcs then fair play to them. they're there for a reason! but there are modern day players come through. you can think what u like about the comment, but it was an opinion. im sure you have them to.

Witz78 said...

Murphy might come across as the model pro to some and fair play, his commitment to the sport cant be questioned, but hes constantly making digs at other pros in the press and who can forget the disgraceful Chalkgate episode either. Hes not so squeaky clean himself.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between criticising a player and disrespecting them. It seems to me there is so much to criticise at the moment that even Barry Hearn has got in on the act. Murphy has the right to speak out, because player conduct will ultimately affect sponsorship, which will directly affect his earning potential.

And young Ben needs to make up his mind; are these players "deadwood" or are they "there for a reason"? I hereby christen Ben Harrison as 'Ben "deadwood" Harrison' until he starts reaching ranking finals, at which point he will formally relinquish this burden. It gives him an early career goal.

Dave H said...

I don't know Ben but he seems like a nice young man who loves his snooker

Are a few throwaway remarks on Twitter going to be held against him forever?

Anonymous said...

Just until he becomes a top player.

Witz78 said...

hopefully Ben eventually ends up on tour then we get to see if he can fulfill his promise to be part of the revolution that rids the game of the deadwood.

snooker lacks characters who dont tow the party line. For every Hann, Higgins or Ronnie theres 20 boring clones who would rather make iron their Highland Spring waistcoat on a Sat night than take a walk on the wildside.

ben 'deadwood' harrison ! said...

i accept your early career goal !! :) ive been looking for a nickname to! so thanks for that! haha. im not going to make any more comments because whatever i say to you 'anonymous' will be taken the wrong way! but i will live up to what i said, i may get beaten a few times by the players on the way, but its a learning curve and will give me good experience to play the older style player! if u want to hold it against me forever thats your choice, just when i become a top player (touch wood i will be, no pun intended) dont hold it against me then :) !

Anonymous said...


youre taking to heart what others are saying about you because they took your words to heart.

ignore them
talk on the table
talk off it as you will. you can even ask for a blow job these days at press conferences and get away with it, so deadwood isnt nasty or bad.

Anonymous said...

Ben, take no notice of those idiots. There are a handful of permanent moaners on here that have so little going on in there own lives that they spend all there time obsessing about others and trying to find something to whinge about. It was a perfectly reasonable remark you made about deadwood. It has to go.

Anonymous said...

Yes a player got away with saying blow job, but this player has actually won many titles, can you tell us what ben has won?