Professional snooker is back in Germany with the Ruhr Open, event 5 of the European Tour, in Mulheim.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was imperious in the previous German PTC in August and is once again in attendance, kicking off today against new Scottish pro Ross Muir.
Today’s first TV match pits perennial favourite Jimmy White against Indian world billiards champion Pankaj Advani. The second live match will be recent Shanghai Masters winner Ding Junhui v Li Hang.
Tomorrow the confirmed TV matches are Shaun Murphy v Matt Selt, Judd Trump v Andrew Higginson and Mark Davis v Germany’s Patrick Einsle.
You very rarely hear a player say anything bad about German events. Why would they? They’re playing in a place where they are appreciated and supported in huge numbers.
The prize money has also significantly improved: a top prize now of €25,000 and the total pot up from €70,000 to €125,000.
These events have also helped some lesser known players gain confidence, such as Gary Wilson, who was a semi-finalist at the PTC in Rotterdam.
But it’s always a big hitter who comes out on top as the pressure of live TV and a big crowd comes to bear, a pattern that seems likely to continue this weekend.
Eurosport’s coverage starts at 8.30am BST.