Sunday, 17 June 2012

Chinese boom continues to grow

China's prominence within the world of snooker is showing no signs of waning.

The start of the new APTC series tomorrow marks another massive milestone for a country whose love affair with the sport has gone through the roof.

Barry Hearn's short-format PTC events have been held in the UK and Europe over the past two seasons, and have gone a long way to helping snooker become a full-time profession for its players.

As these events - which have become a cornerstone of the new-look snooker calendar - head into a third campaign, going to Asia represents how the series and the continent continues to get stronger within the game.

The PTC events will be running slightly differently to in past seasons. The imminent APTC1 is one of three events that will contribute towards an individually ranked Asian PTC Order of Merit. The top four players on this plus the winner of each event will qualify for a place at the PTC Grand Finals later in the season.

As China continues to flex its muscles in the world of snooker, their contribution and relationship with the sport is only going one way. Season after season there are more and more events springing up as the natives' love for the sport continues to rouse both interest and, more importantly, sponsorship.

China is a snooker hotbed that cannot be ignored. Securing this new APTC series is another big step in showing their presence within the sport is here to stay.

Visa problems means many professional players are missing for the inaugural event but participation should climb next time with vital ranking points up for grabs.

Click here to see the full list of professional players in action at APTC1.

The way things are going I don't think it will be too long until the snooker season dedicates a large chunk of its time to an Asian-specific strand of the tour.

This is great news and essential to the continued development of the sport.

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