Six amateur snooker players will be playing in the qualifying rounds of the German Masters.
The line up for these players is –
Leo Fernandez v Jamie Wilson 
Paul Davison v Mark Williams  – Watch on the Eurosport Player
Michael White v Matthew Stevens 
Jamie Curtis-Barrett v Liam Highfield 
Brian Ochoiski v Michael Holt 
Florian Nuessle v Robbie Williams 
They will be playing for the privilege of a trip to The Tempodrom in Berlin, widely regarded as one of the best venues on the World Snooker Tour. There is also the matter of a payment of £4000 just for reaching that stage.
I don’t like this draw system used by WST and a tiered draw would be much better. 64 players will go home with nothing as losers in the first round. I don’t think it would be much of a sacrifice if £32k was found out of the total prize pot to pay first round losers.
Also, the top 16 should be in Germany by right and the rest should be playing for places to face them. It’s unfair on the likes of Mark Allen, Judd Trump et al who get next to no time off after the Champion of Champions.
To have the lower ranked professionals playing against each other and the amateurs would make much more sense.
Lets see what happens in these matches involving the amateurs as the tournament gets underway.
Obviously the result of the day: Paul Davison’s 5-4 win over Mark Williams [Seeded 13]. Despite the controversy over ‘that yellow’, and my reservations about amateurs being drawn against top professionals, take nothing away from Davison for this win.
Leo Fernandez beat new pro Jamie Wilson 5-2 and the other 4 amateurs will be in action today.
The amateurs are making me eat my words! But, despite more good results and performances, I still think a tiered draw would be better.
Michael White, who it is still hard to think of as an amateur, had a great result against Matthew Stevens [seeded 30] winning 5-2 [scorecard].
Florian Nuessle narrowly lost out to Robbie Williams on the final black of the match.
Jamie Curtis-Barrett and Brian Ochoiski lost to Liam Highfield  and Michael Holt  respectively.
It’s a day off today for the three amateurs who have qualified for Round 2 which is played over Friday and Saturday.
After the ‘rest day’ for the amateurs it was in fact another good day.
Michael White earned his place at The Tempodrom (fingers crossed that will happen) courtesy of a 5-4 win over Elliott Slessor . Elessor went 4-3 up with a break of 127 but White showed his mettle and won the next 2 frames to take the match.
Leo Fernandez didn’t have much luck despite taking the first frame. That just seemed to spur Graeme Dott  on to take the next 5 frames.
Paul Davison has had more time to reflect on his performance against Mark Williams and will now face Ryan Day  to try to book a seat on the plane with Michael White.
Day 5 (Final day of qualifying)
It wasn’t to be for Paul Davison as he went out 5-1 to Ryan Day.
Overall, the amateurs did well – despite my reservations.
The only qualifier for The Tempodrom was Michael White who is looking to get back to the main tour of course and a good run here will do his cause no harm.
Paul Davison’s victory of Mark Williams must also give the 49 year old some confidence that he can add to his 20 years on the circuit.
Leo Fernandez was another first round winner but he couldn’t get past Graeme Dott.
I stand by what I said earlier that amateurs and the low-ranked pros should be playing against each other in the early stages. This would give them a better progression structure and allow them to earn a living in the process.
I don’t agree that giving players a payment for playing is “rewarding losing”. They have gone through a lot to get onto the main tour and should be entitled to a share of the pot at every tournament.
Next event is the Northern Ireland Open, the second of the Home Nations Series.