Brand new look for the Welsh Open

16:31:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

As the snooker revolution kicked off some months ago, things are changing very fast, as new tournaments were added to the list, a “new game order” was implemented (I mean the cut-offs), a snooker school was founded so the players that lose their spot can re-qualify in the Main Tour, the old competitions were revived (just look at the World Open) and new formats were applied to existent tournaments.

Welsh Open tournament means top class snooker, as this is a very important ranking event with a pretty long tradition, starting from 1992 and reaching our days. So, as things needed to be a little bit spiced up in snooker, the Welsh Open tournament will benefit from a brand new look, this meaning that a new format will be the "law" that needs to be obeyed. :-)) As you know, the tournament will take place in Newport, Wales from February 14 to 20 and will be hosted at the Newport Centre.

The ones who will get a secure place in this competition will be the ones featuring in the Top 16 after the cut-offs scheduled to take place at the end of the UK Championship in December. As defending champion John Higgins, who currently occupies the third place in the rankings (after gaining EPTC 5 event’s 2,000 points) will definitely see the likes of Neil Robertson, Ronnie O`Sullivan, Mark Williams and many more to fight for lifting the trophy.

The 2010 Welsh Open champion - John Higgins
But how about that new format? This will feature a best-of-seven rule for all the matches (including those for the qualifying rounds) until the Last 16 instead of best-of-nine. Starting with the quarter-finals this rule will change into best-of-nine, the semis will be best-of-11, as for the final, best-of 17.

Another big change is that the arena will see only two snooker tables, rather then three, so there’s a good possibility that the event will be televised by BBC Wales.

A WorldSnooker spokesman, said:
"We are using a range of exciting new formats this season to add variety to our tournaments and give them distinctive features. We also have the scope to hold over two matches from the qualifiers to the venue, so if two Welsh players such as Matthew Stevens, Ryan Day or Dominic Dale are seeded between 17 and 32, we will give the fans in Newport the chance to see their local favorites in action."
"The Welsh Open will be the final tournament before the seeding list is updated for the World Championship, which will bring an extra element to the event as players will be battling to guarantee their place at the Crucible."

Although this brand new and improved look doesn’t guarantee total success it will definitely bring excitement to the game and it will make it easy to watch. As you see this is not the World Open, as the long format was partially kept, so there’s no need to panic in thinking that snooker is not taken seriously enough :-P A shorter format makes it easier of even more difficult, for a tiny mistake can cost you the place into the next the players minds must be as sharper as can be and their focusing level up and running at full speed :-))

For those of you keen about snooker and live tournaments, you have to know that the tickets are on sale now! More information here.
The qualifying rounds will run from February 8 to 11, at the World Snooker Academy from Sheffield.