Invitational snooker event the Six Red World Championship has dominated the agenda this week but there’s plenty to discuss in our Friday round-up.
Gunning for Six Reds Glory
It’s semi-final day in the Six Red World Championship with just two wins separating the four remaining players from glory in Bangkok.
This invitational snooker event isn’t one of the biggest on the calendar by any stretch of the imagination but there’s no doubting the fact that it has developed into a staple fixture in recent years.
Generally well supported by fans in Thailand who appreciate the shorter format, the Six Red World Championship provides a hefty champion’s cheque of more than £80,000 as well as a possible route into the lucrative Champion of Champions.
The last four line-up is pretty tasty too, with Mark Williams in action against John Higgins and Stephen Maguire facing Gary Wilson on Friday.
Challenge Tour Up and Running
Last weekend saw the first event of ten in this year’s Challenge Tour, the secondary circuit that provides amateur players with the opportunity to compete at a decent level regularly.
Cheung Ka Wai from Hong Kong was a somewhat surprising winner of the opening tournament, which took place at the Ballroom in Nuremberg.
The 20 year-old, who represented his nation in the World Cup earlier in the summer, beat the likes of Lukas Kleckers and Zak Surety in reaching the final, where he overcame Oliver Brown 3-1.
A former world under-18 champion, Cheung collected a cheque worth £2,000 and sits atop the Order of Merit that will determine which players will ultimately be promoted to the Main Tour.
First place after the series is guaranteed a professional ticket, while the players ranked from second through to ninth will enter a play-off tournament for the remaining, potentially rich, spot.
Slow Coaches Named and Shamed
World Snooker released data on Wednesday that effectively named and shamed the slowest players on the tour.
An initiative that began a couple of years ago, chairman Barry Hearn has made it one of his pledges to iron out unreasonably slow play in the game.
An average shot time of 30 seconds has been the general adage to adhere to, with only four players currently failing to get below that mark.
Lee Walker is comfortably the tortoise of the pack at almost 34 seconds per shot while Rod Lawler, Martin O’Donnell, Peter Ebdon, and Tian Pengfei make up the top – or bottom, if you please – five.
At the opposite end of the scale is Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who is more than twice as fast as Lawler at under 17 seconds per shot.
Hearn said: “The vast majority of players prefer to keep the game moving, as we are in the entertainment business.”
“We are pleased to see the clear message getting through to the small minority who need reminding of these principals.”
Silverware will be handed out on Saturday with the title decider of the Six Red World Championship set for a 2:30pm local start in Thailand.
Next week marks arguably the biggest event of the 2019/20 term so far in the form of the Shanghai Masters.
Ronnie O’Sullivan makes his maiden bow of the campaign and will be defending his crown in the invitational snooker event against his fellow top 16 members and hatful of invited Chinese wildcards.
The action will all unfold on Eurosport.