The series will feature 12 three-day events (PTCs), the first of which takes place at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield from June 25 to 27. A new Order of Merit, distinct from the World Rankings, will be incorporated into the series based on money earned at each event. Upon conclusion of the 12 PTCs, the top 24 on the final Order of Merit will go through to the televised stages in March.
Each of the 12 events will carry prize money of £50,000, and at the televised stage there will be £200,000 up for grabs – giving total prize money of £800,000. World Ranking points will also be available throughout for Main Tour players.
Six of the PTCs will be held at the Academy, with the other six in continental Europe, including at least four in Germany, where the popularity of snooker is booming. The maximum field for each event will be 128 competitors; this will allow for a minimum of 32 places for amateurs to compete against the 96 professional players. An amateur pre-qualifier will
be held should the event be over-subscribed.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The Player Tour Championship forms the backbone of our brave new world for snooker. It plugs the gaps between the main ranking events, providing plenty of opportunities for the professionals, which is what they have been crying out for.
“I’m particularly excited about the new Order of Merit! This will create extra interest among fans and media as players battle to get one of those 24 spots in the final stages. It will be like the race to get into the Ryder Cup team in golf, with players sweating over every pound. It gives talented
young players the chance to come from nowhere and surge up the list, while the top boys will have to be on their mettle.
“I hope that all of the leading stars will enter these events, and with a lot of money and ranking points available, there is every incentive. They will have to play in at least six of the PTCs to be eligible for the televised finals. I’ve used a similar model in darts and it’s worked fantastically well.
“I’ll also be fascinated to see how the events go in Europe. The new series provides World Snooker with a strong structure through which to enter new international markets.”
Each event will cost £100 to enter. Details on how to enter will follow soon on worldsnooker.com
The deadlines for entries are:
PTC1 - MONDAY 14 JUNE 2010
PTC2 – MONDAY 28 JUNE 2010
PTC3 – MONDAY 12 JULY 2010
PTC4 – MONDAY 19 JULY 2010