Thursday, 20 October 2011

Power to the top 16

Anyone remember Power Snooker?

Well, it's back and the Sun boldly claimed this morning it's "set to take the country by storm".

That I very much doubt but, Ronnie O'Sullivan certainly has a fight on his hands to defend the title he won last season at the IndigO2 when the event makes its second appearance in Manchester.

To be played on 19 and 20 November at the redesigned Events City near the Trafford Centre, the Rocket will have to come through a field double the size with every top 16 player accepting their invitation.

With £25,000 up for grabs to the winner, this event provides a exciting switch of a format for a one-off weekend in the season and gives players the chance for a healthy addition to their bank balances.

Barry Hearn is keen to bring a new generation of fan to snooker, and while this creative new take on the game is unlikely to go down well again with the sport's traditionalists, it's pointless getting too worked up about something that is nothing more than a bit of fun and a money spinner for the top players.

As well as changes to what we'd traditionally call snooker, the competition also gives the crowd a chance to make some noise and get involved while the players will be treated to a glitzier affair than normal and asked to test their ability  under quickfire pressure matches.

Last season, half a million people tuned in for ITV4 broadcast which saw O'Sullivan beat Ding Junhui in the final. It will be interesting to see what take up we get this time round with plans already in place to take Power Snooker to Russia and India in years to come.

Here's a reminder of how it works:

Full first round draw:

Mark Selby v Matthew Stevens
John Higgins v Mark Allen
Ding Junhui v Graeme Dott
Ali Carter v Ronnie O'Sullivan
Judd Trump v Martin Gould
Shaun Murphy v Stuart Bingham
Neil Robertson v Stephen Maguire
Mark Williams v Stephen Lee

For more information and how to book tickets, visit

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