World Snooker Rankings 2010/11: Seedings Revision One Round-Up

Jamie Cope: Into the 16…

With the seedings now about to be revised following this week’s EPTC2 event, below I take a look at who are the winners and losers from the start of the season to this initial shake-up…

The Top 16


I remember the night following Peter Ebdon’s defeat to Graeme Dott at the Crucible this year as we headed to the bar and amongst other subjects, discussed the fate of Peter and how he would handle playing at Prestatyn in the qualifiers. How things change as not only is Pontin’s now a thing of the past as far as ranking event snooker is concerned, Peter Ebdon is now already back in the top 16 by October under the new ranking system!

His start to the season has without being exceptional, very solid as the force has won at least one match in all bar one event and of course capped that off last week with an appearance in the semi-finals of the World Open. In the main I believe that Ebdon’s best days are behind him as he does tend to struggle with his scoring against the very top players, but mentally he remains as strong as anyone and deserves his place in the elite 16.

As does Jamie Cope who after many years of near misses, has finally broken through and will avoid having to qualify for events in the near future. Indeed he has not had to qualify yet this season anyway due to the suspension of John Higgins but it will now be interesting to see if he can finally make that long awaited breakthrough and capture his first ranking event title.


Having only moved into the top 16 at the end of last season, in some ways it seems a little unfair that Liang Wenbo should drop out so soon into 2010/11 but more frequent change is one feature of the new ranking system and something that the players will have to get used to. It has been a poor start to the season for Liang having missed many of the PTC events and lost out early in both the Shanghai Masters and World Open tournaments. I don’t see any particular cause for alarm with him though and expect him to be back in contention soon.

Ryan Day however is a player who I do have concern for as he has been extremely poor for some time as illustrated by a series of defeats to lower ranked players such as Michael Wasley, Bjorn Haneveer, Joe Swail, Peter Lines, Andrew Higginson and Mike Dunn already this season. Added to a 5-0 reverse against Stephen Hendry in China and a surprise defeat to Mark Davis at the first hurdle of the World Championship at the end of last season and it is no surprise that Ryan now finds himself sliding down the rankings.

What the problem is, whether the Welshman has an issue in his personal life or whether it is merely a confidence issue with his game I do not know, but if he cannot turn things around soon then he could find himself closer to falling out of the top 32 than moving back into the 16…



The rise and rise of Martin Gould has continued apace this season as the Pinner Potter now finds himself well inside the top 32 for the first time in his career and playing very much like someone who deserves to be there. How far Martin can go in the game remains to be seen but he seems to be getting better with every appearance at a venue and could well find himself on the verge of a top 16 place if he can carry on like this. It should be pointed out though that the points gained from his breakthrough tournaments of 2008/9, eg the UK Championship and Welsh Open are soon to fall off so for the first time he does have the added pressure of having something to protect as far as his ranking is concerned.

Mike Dunn meanwhile moves up one place from 33rd to 32nd for the first time in his career, although again like Jamie Cope he was seeded in among the top 32 for Shanghai thanks to the omission of John Higgins.


A player who has never quite been able to reach his full potential, Michael Holt looked to have cracked it early on in 2008/9 as he reached a level of consistency that he had not been able to previously achieve, winning all of his opening round matches and going on to qualify for a number of venues. Since then however it has not quite happened for him and having struggled early this season, is now paying the price as the points from those excellent performances a couple of seasons ago are now removed.

For Dave Harold meanwhile his fall was almost inevitable as the points from his brilliant run to the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy 2008 are now removed, particularly as he struggled badly during last season, winning just one match. To Dave’s credit however, he has been much improved this season, winning several matches and has actually done very well to avoid falling out of the top 48 as well as the 32.



One of the most likeable players on the tour, Barry has long been a campaigner for changes to the ranking system and more events to be staged and this season he has been one of the key beneficiaries of those changes coming into effect, winning one of the PTC events and moving back into the top 48 as a result. With few points to defend from 2008/9 there is no reason why he cannot continue to climb up the list a little and who knows, a top 32 place is certainly not out of the question.


Having struggled for form for some time however, Ian McCulloch continues his slow slide down the rankings as he exits the top 48 for the first time since 1998/9. He has struggled with various health issues and although every now and again he can string some results together and make an impact on an event, he has failed to do so on a regular basis and it is hard to see him hitting the heights that he did during 2004/5 again.



Back on tour this season following a two year gap, PSB blogger Alfie Burden has hit the ground running in fine style, winning at least two matches in almost every event and coming so close to qualifying for the venue stage of the Shanghai Masters. Like Tony Drago last season he has used his experience to great effect and with the additional events also giving him an opportunity to get some points on the board early, finds himself inside the top 64 already.

Matt Couch meanwhile is a player who has remained on the tour by virtue of the one-year list recently but has failed to push on and secure a place in the top 64 – until now. With a fine run in the EPTC2 event (semi-finals at the time of writing), helping him up the list, it will be interesting to see if he can make a venue or two.

Like Alfie Burden, young Scot Anthony McGill is one of the main beneficiaries of the new ranking system and thanks largely to his impressive consistency in the PTC events, finds himself inside the top 64 already. At this stage of his career it is probably not make or break for him to be there but if he can stay there at the end of the season and avoid having to compete in the Q School to retain his tour place then it would make his life a hell of a lot easier.

Finally Joe Jogia has also moved up into the top 64, thanks to a solid 2009/10 season as well as a couple of good runs during the PTC.


First man out of the top 64 is Mark Joyce, a professional for a number of years now who despite a stellar junior career has never really kicked on and threatened the upper echelons of the game on the pro circuit. Having reached the final of the Masters qualifying tournament a couple of years ago it looked as though he might be about to make a breakthrough but it has not happened and despite wins in the PTC, early exits in both the Shanghai Masters and World Open tournaments have left his tour place in jeopardy.

Joe Delaney meanwhile is the perfect illustration at the moment of the importance of the PTC events despite their reduced ranking points tariff. Despite qualifying for the final stages of the Shanghai Masters, having earned zero points from the PTC he now finds himself down in 66th place, down five from 61st and like Joyce, needing to win in order to avoid having to fight for his tour place at the Q School. Both Mark and Joe though are right in touch and are well capable of getting back into the 64.

For Paul Davies and David Gilbert however, their problems would appear to run far deeper as they are down to 74 and 80 respectively and they cannot seem to buy a win at the moment. Both also struggled during 2009/10 and with points to come off from relatively strong 2008/9 campaigns, I would be surprised to see them retain their tour places as of right.

Time will tell…