World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has urged snooker fans to “calm down” and enjoy the fun and controversy that comes with the Snooker Shoot Out.
The snooker supremo was responding to a tweet from a fan criticising the decision he made to upgrade the quick-fire competition into a ranking event two years ago.
Since the event was given ranking event status many fans and players themselves have questioned the decision saying it makes a joke of the ranking system.
Fans and players are upset a tournament which sees players compete in ten-minute frames against a shotclock of 15 and 10 seconds can have an impact on a players ranking.
Shaun Murphy told World Snooker when this year’s tournament started on Thursday that every match was a “lottery” but did add it was an enjoyable event. The world number 6 said: “You come buy your lottery ticket and hope your the last man standing.”
But Hearn has today revealed commercial reasons were part of the reason for making it a ranking event.
Snooker fan and Twitter user George Weyham asked Hearn to explain his reasoning for the competition becoming a ranking event and described the situation as “ridiculous”.
But Hearn said in response: “Got to keep being innovative – if it didn’t work commercially then I wouldn’t do it. Let’s see the TV ratings but it’s one event out of 30 so calm down and enjoy the fun and the controversy.”
Sunday sees the final day of the Snooker Shoot Out with 32 of the remaining players competing for the trophy and the £32,000 winners cash prize.