Watching the snooker from Wuxi in China today on Eurosport it was immediately clear how different the playing conditions are. The balls played really heavy. But the cloth is so fast and the cushions so responsive that the balls ran very true and with less kicks than usual.
This will suit the touch players and one player stands out head and shoulders above the rest and that is the defending champion Shaun Murphy. Still available at 4/1 (general) which is far too big a price considering he starts in the last eight against Peter Ebdon who failed to impress earlier today in his 5-3 win over Rouzi Maimaiti. Importantly too Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins aren't playing.
If you're thinking of having a bet then best do it tonight - Murphy starts tomorrow at 6am BST ...
Then on Monday it's the PTT-EGAT Snooker World Cup from Thailand and the following week the Australian Goldfields Open from Bendigo, Victoria.
Busy isn't it? And to think the players only narrowly voted for change but at least the vote went the right way.
I'll be previewing the World Cup and you can read that at sportinglife.com this Saturday.
Have just set my alarm for 6am!