The seventh Players Tour Championship event of the season commenced today at the South West Snooker Academy in Gloucester.
As the events come thick and fast in a marathon year, the 2011/12 campaign is in frenzy mode from now until the end of the season next May.
However, while there is a lot of importance attached to the tournament this week in terms of the sport, earnings and ranking points, there is a bigger picture being painted as well.
In conjunction with Breast Cancer awareness month, the players will wear pink polo shirts – the colour associated with raising money for the terrible illness.
Additionally, the trophy has been named in honour of Kay Suzanne, sister to SWSA owner Paul Mount.
And almost poignantly, the final day falls on the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of snooker’s ‘Beckham of the Baize’, Paul Hunter.
In the space of only a couple of years, Mount’s SWSA has become the benchmark to how a venue and academy should be established and run.
The success has been considerable and the premises is now heralded as the future for potentially all the British based PTC events in the future, as well as possibly the qualifying events for major ranking events.
In stark contrast to the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, the SWSA has the space to provide more playing tables and a seating area for crowds.
Today, the opening amateur qualifying round took place with very few shock results once again.
The PTC series has been excellent because it has brought the amateur scene to a wider audience and there are now several names that are continuously cropping up each week.
Duane Jones, Martin O’Donnell, Gareth Allen, female star Reanne Evans and twitter favourite Ben Harrison, who enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 triumph over recent rival Stephen Craigie, all progressed to tomorrow’s final qualifying round.
Former Emerald Isle professionals Patrick Wallace and Joe Delaney also emerged, as did countryman John Sutton, Zhang Anda, Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and David Gray.
Elsewhere, Englishman Kyren Wilsen, who has reached the last 64 in a very credible four PTC events so far, ousted China’s Chen Zhe 4-2.
The full draw and results can be viewed by clicking here.