Andrew Norman triumphed in Week 1 of The 900 on Wednesday, and there has already been a good response to the new snooker tournament.
Launched by Jason Francis – the man behind other successful initiatives such as Snooker Legends and the World Seniors Snooker Tour – The 900 is a new series for amateur competitors.
A total of 96 amateurs have been invited to take part in the inaugural staging, which will take place between September and November at the Crucible Club in Reading.
There is a separate mini event each week comprising a dozen contenders, with eight weekly winners advancing to the Grand Finals.
Incorporating a format similar to the one used in the Snooker Shoot Out, one of the best points of The 900 is that it is being broadcast live on television and online.
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Norman, a former professional who reached a career-high ranking of number 42, produced an excellent standard in the first week.
The Englishman compiled a terrific 129 century break to win his semi-final before overcoming Billy Castle in the final to collect the £2,000 top prize.
“Wow,” a delighted Norman posted on his Facebook page. “Week 1 – Snooker Legends 900 Champion. Incredible win that tonight against some quality players and under the pressure of the stop watch.”
“Win or lose I absolutely loved taking part in the 900, live on TV and over the next 8 weeks all you players and watchers are gonna love it.”
All prize money from last night paid, getting it in the amateurs pockets as soon as we can.
— Snooker Legends (@Snookerlegends) September 22, 2022
Norman’s sentiments were mirrored by several others, including many professionals who were eagerly watching from home.
Four-time world champion Mark Selby said that he “really enjoyed watching it” while 1997 Crucible king Ken Doherty applauded that it was “invaluable experience for amateur players.”
The 900 continues next Monday on SportyStuffTV, with Daniel Wells, Rory McLeod, and Tony Knowles among those set to enter the fray.
Featured photo credit: Jason Francis