Monday, 11 March 2013

Going to Galway

If you win snooker matches you will get your rewards.

This is the philosophy Barry Hearn has desperately been trying to instill into the game since he took charge.

The snooker supremo isn't interested in seeing players protected by their rankings. His idea of a successful sport is about creating opportunities and a level-playing field to perform on.

Nothing sums this up better than the PTC series.

As we head to Galway, the 32 players who have best performed in this season's 12 smaller PTC events now get the chance to fight for a £100,000 top prize in the PTC Grand Finals.

The PTCs aren't everyone's cup of tea. There have been moans and groans about the short format tournaments ever since they were created some three seasons ago, but it's as fair as the system comes.

Players pay their entrance fee, turn up, get drawn, play snooker and try to win matches. It's really that simple.

This is what playing snooker for a living should be all about. Regular competition for the chance to win ranking points and prize money.

Many players who have given the PTCs the cold shoulder will now miss out on the chance to win much larger sums of money in this showpiece event.

This week's tournament isn't all about the so-called big players. Instead, those who have made the most of their playing opportunities this season now have the chance to really make it count.

Among those in with a chance of winning a well-respected ranking title are household names such as Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Ding Junhui and Neil Robertson.

There are exciting young professionals trying cutting their teeth in the professional ranks. Jack Lisowski, Cao Yupeng , Xiao Guodong and Anthony McGill.

There are the established faces on the tour too who have been around years but still have the hunger. Joe Perry, Mark Davis, Jamie Burnett, Rod Lawler and Alfie Burden.

There are also two amateurs who have made the most of their playing time. Li Hang and Joe Swail.

This tournament pits a whole mixture of players together and should make for some fantastic viewing. The seriousness of this event steps up a notch from the other PTCs this season but the aim of the game is exactly the same.


Martin Gould v Tom Ford
Barry Hawkins v Li Hang
Neil Robertson v Jamie Burnett
Stephen Maguire v Joe Swail
Mark Allen v Mark Davis
Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski
Rod Lawler v Cao Yupeng
Ding Junhui v Andrew Higginson
Graeme Dott v Xiao Guodong
John Higgins v Ali Carter
Judd Trump v Alfie Burden
Ken Doherty v Kurt Maflin
Marco Fu v Mark Joyce
Robert Milkins v Anthony McGill
Mark Williams v Ben Woollaston
Stuart Bingham v Joe Perry

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