PTC11: Latest Rankings, Order of Merit Updates

While the 147’s will grab the headlines, the main stories from the past four days of PTC action in fact concern both the ranking list, as well as the PTC Order of Merit as they not only look to qualify for the Grand Finals, but in some cases play to stay on tour. Click below for my summary of what is left to play for as PTC11 reaches a conclusion tomorrow…

  • Click here to view the draw for PTC11
  • Click here to view the draw for PTC12
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings
  • Click here to view the points schedule
  • Click here to view the latest PTC Order of Merit

The Rankings Race

The Top Four

With the top three in the rankings assured of retaining their current positions at the season’s second cut-off, the sole point of interest centres around whether the newly-crowned UK Champion and man in form Judd Trump can move up into the top four for the first time at the expense of Neil Robertson. Having decided not to enter PTC12, Judd therefore needs to win three more matches tomorrow to reach the final of PTC11 and secure the points required.

The Top Eight

The race for the final two top eight places involves Graeme Dott, Ding Junhui, Stephen Maguire and Mark Allen, but not 10th placed Ali Carter who is already out of both events.

For Graeme who currently lies in 7th place, he will be assured of remaining inside the top eight if Ding Junhui fails to reach the final of PTC11 tomorrow, while Stephen Maguire requires either victory in one of the remaining two events, or a final and a further quarter-final to stand any chance of moving above him. Helpfully for Graeme, both Ding and Maguire are in the same quarter of the draw at PTC11, while Graeme is also still in the event with the chance to add points to his own tally.

As far as the battle between Ding and Maguire is concerned, Ding does hold a slender advantage, but unlike him Stephen is through to the last 16 of both of PTC11 and PTC12 so will fancy his chances of closing the gap.

As for Mark Allen, he will need at least a run to the final of PTC12 in Germany, probably the title, with early exits for Ding and Maguire in each of the events.

The Top 16

Heading into last Thursday there were three men in with a chance of moving above 15th placed Ronnie O’Sullivan and so far at least, Stephen Lee has won the two matches he required in order to do so, while both Mark Davis and Ricky Walden remain in the hunt to do so.

For Mark, already out of PTC12, the equation is fairly simple, he must defeat Stephen Maguire and then either Ding Junhui or Anthony Hamilton tomorrow in order to reach the semi-finals and move up above both Lee and O’Sullivan into 15th place. Anything less and the 2009 6-Red World Champion will fall short.

Most intriguing however is the status of Ricky Walden, who at the start of PTC12 trailed O’Sullivan by 2,810 points with 4,000 to play for, but having now reached the last 16 of both of the remaining PTC events has closed the gap to just 1,290.

In practical terms the situation has not changed for Ricky, he still requires either an event win and a quarter-final, or a final and a semi-final, but with six wins now under his belt suddenly those results are a little bit closer. Victory against Sam Craigie tomorrow morning would mean that whatever else happens his fate would not be decided until January, where intriguingly there are only two players ranked higher than him in his half of the draw, neither of whom are in his quarter.

The Top 32

The battle for the top 32 was all but resolved today as despite losing out to Kurt Maflin in the first round of PTC11, Rory McLeod looks set to hang on at the expense of Ken Doherty who lost out to David Morris at the same stage.

The only man who could yet upset Rory is Michael Holt who would require victory in both PTC11 and PTC12 to edge him by 40 points. Surely he couldn’t…

The Top 48

The race for the top 48 that was so wide open heading into the events has also been simplified, with only Mike Dunn and Xiao Guodong remaining in either of the two events. In order to make things interesting, Xiao would require two wins in Munich, against Ricky Walden and then either David Gilbert or Joe Perry to move up above not only Mike, but Jimmy White into 47th place.

If this were to happen, Mike would require victory against Mark Allen to move back into the top 48 at the expense of White who already out of both events, would be unable to counter.

The Top 64

The battle for the top 64 meanwhile is even more straight-forward, with only David Gilbert capable of denying Li Yan a place in that bracket at the next cut-off. To do so, David would have to defeat Joe Perry in Munich which would put him up above Li and into the top 64.

The Race For The Finals

As well as the rankings battle, today has seen the field do battle for the all-important top 24 places which would see them qualify for the PTC Grand Finals, rumoured to be held in Ireland, in 2012.

And what a battle it has been as the likes of Steve Davis, Alan McManus, Joe Jogia and more have come close, but ultimately fallen short of securing a place while Stephen Maguire, Michael White and Jamie Jones at the time of writing have done enough to put themselves in position to qualify.

What could still happen during the conclusion of the final two PTC events? Most vulnerable at the moment are Jack Lisowski and Michael White, both on 7,100 points and currently in possession of the final two qualifying places.

While ultimately victory in either event for anyone already below them in the Order of Merit would be enough to put at least White out of the top 24, the most immediate danger man is Marcus Campbell (who would require a semi-final run in Munich), while Yu Delu, Mark Allen, Tom Ford and Jamie Cope could all do it with a final.

The Race For Main Tour Places

As if all that were not enough, there has also been a battle waged this week for the all-important top eight places on the PTC Order of Merit, not including players inside the top 64 on the two-year ranking list. These eight (as explained in depth here) will be awarded main tour spots for the 2012/12 season.

The positions have chopped and changed all weekend with the current position being as follows:

  • Yu Delu – 5,400
  • David Gilbert – 4,400
  • Adam Duffy – 4,000
  • Passakorn Suwannawat – 3,700
  • Simon Bedford – 3,400
  • Dechawat Poomjeng – 3,400
  • Craig Steadman – 3,400
  • Kurt Maflin – 3,200

With the relevant players immediately below being:

  • David Grace – 3,000
  • Liam Highfield – 3,000
  • David Morris – 2,800
  • Sam Craigie – 2,600

So what can change? Of the players above, Simon Bedford, Kurt Maflin, David Grace and Sam Craigie have made it through to the last 16 of one of the two remaining PTC events which means they can still add to their points tallies.

The other potential change is that the top eight is very much dependent upon who finishes inside of the top 64 on the two year ranking list at the end of the current season in May. For example, if either Adrian Gunnell, Liu Song or Andy Hicks were to drop out of the top 64 and be replaced by one of the players qualifying via the PTC list (eg David Gilbert), the extra PTC place would go to the next placed man who at present is David Grace.

If however Li Yan were to drop out of the top 64 at the expense of Gilbert, which could happen in Germany, then Grace would not benefit as they would effectively just swap seedings for the start of the new season.

This one will only shake out fully in May unfortunately…