The Gibraltar Open, a pro-am ranking event, has been running since Wednesday but it’s from today that the Main Tour players enter the fray at the Victoria Stadium.
The Gibraltar Open is one of the last surviving tournaments from the Players Tour Championship era and, in fact, its inaugural edition back in 2015 was one of the last ever to feature in that series.
The PTCs, or the European and Asian Tours as they subsequently became known as, were immediately initiated at the outset of Barry Hearn’s takeover of the sport in 2010 in an effort to flood what was then a barren calendar with new tournaments.
These weekend events, which carried minor ranking status, were a big hit at first as it created more opportunities for both professionals and amateurs in the game to compete on a regular basis, while it also was important in introducing new thriving markets such as Germany, Belgium, and Latvia.
However, by 2016 the PTCs had, for a number of reasons, begun to run its course and the decision was made to wind it down, particularly because of a boost in prize money in the majority of the other ranking events.
Indeed, that point is certainly obvious now as the £25,000 on offer for the champion this weekend in the Gibraltar Open is paltry compared to the top prizes available in practically every other tournament on the calendar.
It just goes to show how far the sport has come in such a short space of time because, back in 2010, the competitors were fighting it out every week for a winner’s cheque of just £10,000 whereas in next couple of months the China Open and World Championship will offer whopping jackpots of £225,000 and £425,000 respectively.
Still, the PTCs served a purpose and the series was undoubtedly vital in the resurgence of snooker in this decade.
For six years, they were a staple of the calendar with the players jetting off across mainland Europe and China to earn a living, and in total there were 71 events contested.
Of those, 29 players managed to get their grubby hands on some silverware.
The question is, can you name all the winners of Players Tour Championship events?