Five days into the 2013 UK Championship and although over 70 matches have now been played,the talk so far has had very little to do with the action on the table,with the new structure dominating the headlines.
The decision to change the games second biggest tournament to the flat 128 system was always going to be controversial and if the powers that be were hoping that once it started those fears would disappear,they were very much mistaken as a succession of big names lined up to complain about everything from the new format to cramped playing conditions.
The most vocal of these were were probably Judd Trump who called it a circus,Ali Carter who was disappointed with the way the tables were squeezed in and Stephen Maguire who reckoned the tournament had now been ruined,but these were by no means the only ones.
It was not only among the players though that this debate was raging but also among the twitter community on social media where opinion ranged from those dead against the changes,to those fully behind them and every other emotion in between.
Personally I think its too early to tell if this is the right thing or not.Certainly teething problems with such a radical change are to be expected,but I hope & expect,with our sports current management,that all sides and opinions from the players will be listened to with a view to improving things for everyone.
So what of the snooker itself? Well yes we had a few minor upsets during the week but nothing exceptional apart from the exit of Marco Fu at the hand of amateur Mitchell Travis.The rest of the big stars all made it through round 1 but defending champion Mark Selby was made to work very hard by promising young prospect Shane Castle,with the 15 year old leading at one stage 3-1 before Selby eventually went through 6-4.Surely a player we will be hearing about for many years to come.
On the plus side the crowds at The Barbican seemed to good today so hopefully as the field thins out over the next few days the headlines will be purely about the what is happening on the 12x6 tables.