Following the decision to remove one of the Asian Tour events from the calendar, the month of August ended with a whimper rather than a bang.
Mark Allen’s victory in the Paul Hunter Classic last week seems like a long time ago and it feels like the start of the season has been stagnated with a series of barren spells.
Funnily enough, the conclusion to next month ends in a similar fashion but there is plenty of snooker to savour over the next few weeks in September.
Starting tomorrow is the annual 6-Red World Championship in Thailand.
This is an invitation tournament that doesn’t carry any ranking points and, in truth, not that much prestige either.
The shorter 6-Red format was introduced a number of years ago in an effort to rejuvenate interest in what was an ailing sport prior to the Barry Hearn era.
The format never really took off, most notably because there was nothing really wrong with the regular 15-red game of snooker in the first place, but there is still a deserving place for it once or twice every year.
There is no obvious reason why any snooker player should dominate the 6-Reds but, quite randomly, that accolade has landed on one Mark Davis – perhaps motivated by the legendary status of his namesakes Joe, Fred and Steve Davis.
Mark has won three World Championships in the discipline, which is quite an extraordinary feat considering the 42 year-old has only enjoyed a moderate amount of success on the Main Tour.
Davis will undoubtedly be one of the favourites again given his pedigree but he will face stiff competition from the rest of the field.
Eight groups consisting of six players each of both professional and amateur competitors will duel in a round-robin format before four players from each group go into the knockout phase of the championship.
Why some tournament organisers – the international amateur tournaments are similarly guilty – are intent on allowing such a high number to qualify from the group stage is ponderous, as it effectively leaves the opening jousts meaningless.
Along with Davis, world champion Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire, Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and many more will be in action to entertain the crowds in Bangkok.
Following the 6-Reds’ conclusion on Saturday, it’s back to China for the Shanghai Masters.
Now in its eighth season, the Shanghai Masters is one of the more established events and with that it carries a good deal of importance.
Ding Junhui is the defending champion but could fall foul of rustiness as he hasn’t played since winning the Yixing Open in June.
All the big hitters are in this one, including 2009 winner Ronnie O’Sullivan, as this is one of the last remaining ranking events that offers seeded protection to the higher ranked players.
They wont have that privilege for the Indian Open and International Championship, though, and September ends with the qualifying round for both of those events in Barnsley.