Barry Hearn just held a press conference in which one of the key announcements were the changes to the 147 prize system. Staring next season, there will no longer be a rolling prize system. Instead, there is a £1 million prize pot which gets activated once 20 maximums are made in a season; then the pot is shared among those who were made the perfect break.
One major concern with this is the closest there have been to 20 maximum breaks in a single season has been 13. So, let’s say standards rise and 19 maximums get made in a season: then that means all of the players that hit the magical 147 will not get any money. So, there isn’t any financial benefit to players after making a 147? Unless there still is a high break prize.
This could potentially change the dynamic of players going for the pattern of red and black as opposed to trying to win frames and matches. Maybe this is a ploy from Hearn to reduce the pay-out for 147’s, just like his £1 million bonus to whoever can win all the home nation tournaments. But who knows.
I think considering that snookers prize fund is rising quite nicely every year, then that should help with putting aside a little more money for those times that maximums are achieved, But I’m not going to delve into the economics of 147’s and say I’m on one side more than the other.
To me, making a 147 in competitive play should be a goal for every snooker player on the tour; especially in a bigger arena where the crowd and players themselves can really appreciate the atmosphere where the cheers get louder as each shot progresses. But there should absolutely be something for the player for being able to provide such a spectacle for the audience and tournament.
What do you think? Will the new system be better than the soon-to-be former rolling system?