Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Preparing for Poland

This weekend's PTC6 tournament sees the game taken to Poland.

With Eastern Europe being hailed as another up and coming hotbed for snooker, the Warsaw Classic is another chance for snooker to put itself on the map in a smaller nation.

Photographs from the venue suggest it's being taken very seriously, and for many Polish fans, it's a chance to watch snooker live for the first time.

It will be interesting to see just how large the crowds are that turn out, and whether this is indeed a place the sport needs to add to its annual journey.

With a few scraps in the rankings still unresolved before revisions are made after this event, there promises to be some excellent matches.

Sadly for the home crowd though, there are some notable absentees from the top 16.

The four highest ranked players in the world, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, John Higgins and Ding Junhui have all declined to travel. I can't say I blame them with plenty of points in the bag and the chance to have a rest after what has already been a hectic start to the season.

Legends Ronnie O'Sullivan and Stephen Hendry have also opted out, but it's no reason to be too gloomy considering many of the tales from the PTC series this season have been orchestrated by players lower down the snooker pecking order.

Saying that, these players missing means attacking forces Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and Judd Trump will be among the favourites to lift the trophy, which is by no mean a runners-up prize for the home fans present.

When snooker travels away from the UK shores, I'm always keen to see the home players enjoy success.

That means 15-year-old pro debutant Kacper Filipiak has a great chance to impress the locals, and kick start his season. The young sensation has enjoyed some flashes of brilliance already since joining the circuit, and has already won plaudits from O'Sullivan, who tweeted that he's a future world champion in the making.

But as expected, consistency has proved hard to come of. But with the home fans likely to be right behind him, it's a great chance for him to show everyone what he's got in his locker.

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