STUART BINGHAM has warned the “joke” decision to make the Shoot-Out a ranking event could cost a top player a place at the Crucible.
World Snooker announced today (May 11) that money earned at the shot-clock timed, one frame knock-out tournament will count towards the sport's money ranking list when it is next staged in February 2017.
The competition will be opened up to all 128 of the Tour’s players and not just the top 64 seeds, as has been the case since it started in 2011.
And world No 2 Bingham is one of a number of critics of the decision, saying it could see snooker's biggest stars failing to qualifying for the biggest tournaments because they dropped prize money at a tournament which is supposed to be "a bit of fun".
The 2015 world champion, who made the Shoot-Out final in 2014 but has gone out in the early rounds in the past two years, said: “I think it is an absolute joke. My last two defeats in that tournament came after my opponents fluked reds then made 30s. How can you have ranking money riding on a set-up like that?