The future of the Snooker Shoot Out currently faces uncertainty after Barry Hearn revealed “discussions” about the tournament had begun.
Hearn responded to a tweet from Mark Williams who claimed that there was a “rumour” that the controversial tournament – won on Sunday by world number 79 Michael Georgiou – will not be held next year.
The World Snooker chairman responded to the tweet saying “Discussions underway”.
But it is unclear at this stage what context these “discussions” are at – whether it is to consider dropping or downgrading the competition from a ranking event, a move which has drew heavy criticism, or possibly making the event bigger and better next year.
This year’s tournament certainly got snooker fans talking after seeing one of its best finals ever between Georgiou and runner up Graeme Dott. The tournament also produced exciting finishes to matches with three blue ball deciders played out.
Respected snooker journalist Hector Nunns told Williams the future of the Snooker Shoot Out was currently “all up in the air” for the time being.
Nunns said: “My understanding is that nothing is decided yet. Yes, question marks over Shootout’s future, but all up in the air.
“It may well continue, or it may not.
“If it does, it may be with a different broadcaster. Talks ongoing. But no question it is harder to drop after this year’s one.”
During the weekend Hearn responded to criticism that the ten-minute frame tournament was a ranking event by urging them to “calm down” and enjoy the fun of it all.