Following a string of battling performances to lift the China Open title in Beijing last week, Peter Ebdon can now look forward to taking his place in the starting line-up of the 2012 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker.
The 41 year-old World No.21 dug deep to pip Stephen Maguire in a late-night decider and he becomes the ninth player to gain entry to the prestigious Sky Sports-televised event.
“I’m delighted to have won a place in the Premier League. It’s a great tournament with a fantastic line up and it’s a long time since I had the chance to play in it,” said Ebdon.
Ebdon, one of the game’s more methodical exponents, will need to get used to the 25 second shot clock which is an intrinsic part of the Premier League.
“I am worried about the shot clock – the time might run out before I break off! But it might do me good. I am a naturally fluent player but sometimes I try so hard, especially under pressure, that I knock myself out of my own rhythm because I don’t want to make a mistake.
“It’s a bad habit I have picked up over the years. It can be very frustrating because I’m a better player when I get on with it. I will do my best but I don’t know how I will handle it. I’ll probably do some practice with a shot clock and try to play my natural game.
“Sometimes I become too conscious of what I’m doing rather than allowing myself to play subconsciously,” he explained.
Ebdon last appeared in the Premier League in 2003 where he reached the play-off stages before losing to Mark Williams in the semi-finals.
There is just one more spot to be filled and that will go to the winner of the World Championship which gets underway later this month. In the event that it is won by one of the players already qualified then it will become a wild-card.
The line-up to date is:
Defending Champion: Ronnie O’Sullivan
Australian Goldfields Open Champion: StuartBingham
Shanghai Masters Champion: Mark Selby
UK Champion: Judd Trump
Masters Champion: Neil Robertson
World Open Champion: Mark Allen
PTC Grand Final Champion: Stephen Lee
Championship League Winner: Ding Junhui
China Open Champion: Peter Ebdon
World Champion: 7th May
Now entering its 27th season, the PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker returns on 16th August of this year with a brand new format.
There will be a total of ten players, placed into two groups of five. The five players in each group play each other once with the top two in each group going forward to the semi-finals.
Each of the ten league fixtures features two matches - one match from each group - and each league match is over six frames. Players score two points for a win and one for a draw.
If two players are tied on points, their league position will be determined by most frames won and if they are still tied, the result of the match between the two players will determine their position.
In the play-offs, the winner of Group A faces the runner-up of Group B in the semi-finals, and vice-versa over the best of nine frames with the final being best of 13.
As in previous years, there is a 25 second shot clock with each player having two 25-second extensions in each frame and all matches will be played using the current 'miss' rule.
The overall winner of the event will receive £50,000, with the runner-up to pocket £25,000 and the two losing semi-finalists £12,500. During the group phase, players will receive £1,000 for every frame won and £1,000 for every century breaks. There's also a £5,000 prize for the highest break made during the tournament and a £25,000 bonus for a 147.