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Blackpool Snooker Latest: Selby - Good Time To Be A Snooker Player

 Mark SElby PT PIc

Mark Selby is full of enthusiasm for the new snooker season and hopes that the sport is moving into a golden era.


World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn recently saw his blueprint for the game's future given the green light in a players' vote, which means that it's full steam ahead for exciting new events like the World Open, Players Tour Championship, German Masters, Seniors World Championship and the Sky-televised Shoot-Out.

Leicester's Selby has established himself as one of snooker's outstanding competitors in recent seasons, winning the Masters twice and the Welsh Open, as well as reaching the World final, and he is confident that with Hearn in charge, things can only get better for the sport.

“Everything Barry has touched seems to have turned to gold so I'm looking forward to him getting hold of snooker," said Selby, who celebrated his 27th birthday last Saturday. "If he can make it anything like darts then it'll be a good time to be a snooker player.

"The players are crying out for more tournaments and that's what Barry is giving us with the PTC. We'll be playing week-in week-out which is great - I will be trying to play in as many as I can."

Selby finished last season by reaching the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship, and though he lost to Graeme Dott, his Crucible run allowed his to keep his place in the top ten of the world rankings. However, he will not be guaranteed that status throughout the 2010/11 campaign, as a shake-up of the rankings system means that the list will be revised at three cut-off points.

This means that many players who start the season among the top 16 will not be certain of their place at the Masters or the Crucible. Others outside the top bracket will have the chance to rise swiftly up the rankings, generating extra excitement among fans and media.

"It's just going on results so if you are good enough you are going to stay up there and you are going to earn money," said Selby.

The player nicknamed the Jester is also looking forward to the innovative World Snooker Shoot-Out in January, a quick-fire one-frame knockout event with a 20-second shot clock, which will be the first World Snooker event televised by Sky since 2004.

"It'll be a little bit cut-throat, there'll be a lot of nerves but it's something different and that's what the game needs," he said.

All 96 professionals on the Tour this season will have busy schedules, with 12 three-day PTC events leading up to a televised finale, plus seven ranking events and various invitation tournaments. So, since coming back from the Rundili Wuxi Classic in China where he suffered a surprise defeat to Tian Pengfei in the first round, Selby is making the best of a few weeks rest.

He recently went to Spain with girlfriend Vikki, taking in the sights of Valencia and Benidorm. He's also been on the golf course for the first time in four years, though his score of 123 for 18 holes won't give much to worry about to single-figure handicap players like Stephen Hendry and Shaun Murphy.

When it comes to darts, however, Selby might be able to lay claim to the unofficial title of snooker's king of the oche. "I beat Eric Bristow in a one-leg exhibition a couple of years ago," he added. "And I'm due to play Phil Taylor in an exhibition so I'm trying to spot some weaknesses!"


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23rd June 2010, 10:30
Page updated 23rd Jun 2010, 10:30
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