PTC12, Hainan World Open 2012 and Matters Arising

So here we go, a jam-packed month of snooker begins in Munich tomorrow as the PTC12 event resumes, with both crucial ranking and order of merit points up for grabs. Click below for a look at the main issues to look out for, as well as a few points to note about the upcoming World Open and more…


Rankings Race

As explained above, tomorrow sees the resumption of the PTC12 event in Munich as the last 16 of the tournament is played to a conclusion during the course of the next three days.

As ever, all of the usual important quick-links are up on the side-bar to the right, including to the all-important projected seedings list which as of Sunday will determine the seedings for the China Open, World Open and Welsh Open tournaments.

Many of the key issues have now been resolved, but there is still the matter of whether Ricky Walden can gain the points required to reclaim a top 16 place at the expense of three-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. In order to do so he will have to win the event which is no easy task, though interestingly to reach the final he will have to face no more than one player ranked higher than him, assuming that either Mark Allen or Martin Gould can make it to the semi-finals…

Otherwise, the top 32 now cannot change, while the top 48 is dependant on whether Xiao Guodong can win two matches, which would see him move into the top 48 at the expense of either Mike Dunn, or if Mike can defeat Mark Allen, of Jimmy White. Finally a win for David Gilbert against Joe Perry would see him move back into the top 64 at the expense of China’s Li Yan.

Grand Finals Race

As well as the rankings, there are also important issues concerning both the order of merit and indeed main tour places to be decided. At present, the man occupying 24th place and consequently the final remaining place at the PTC Grand Finals tournament is Galway is Jack Lisowski, but having already exited the tournament his fate now rests in the hands of the nine players ranked lower than him in the PTC list who could potentially leapfrog him with strong performances. While the situation will no doubt change during the course of the tournament, at present the task facing those players is as follows:

  • Requiring at least a semi-final – Marcus Campbell
  • Requiring at least the final – Mark Allen, David Gilbert, Stephen Hendry, Marco Fu, Mike Dunn, Kurt Maflin
  • Requiring at least the title – David Grace, David Gray

Others close to the danger zone include Jamie Jones and Stephen Maguire, though Stephen is still in the competition and with a win against David Gray can all but make sure of his place.

Tour Survival

Finally, the event is also a vital one for Leeds’ David Grace as with a win against Martin Gould at the last 16 stage he could all but make sure of his tour status for the 2012/13 season, while otherwise he will be sweating on other results later in the season to see whether he has done enough.

Elsewhere, David Gray could also earn himself a return to the main tour, however he would need to make it through to the final in order to do so.

Hainan World Open

Hot on the heels of PTC12 comes the return of the Championship League next Monday, while more importantly next Wednesday sees the start of the qualifiers for the Hainan World Open tournament, the draw for which should be released no later than Monday 9th January at 5pm.

Contrary to last season’s World Open tournament, this year the event will take on a more traditional format, with the same draw structure adopted as at other Asian events such as the China Open and Shanghai Masters tournaments.

Consequently the eight lowest seeded qualifiers for the event will have to face local wildcards at the tournament while matches will be played over the best of nine frames up until the semi-finals (11) and final (19).

The ranking points tariff will also be akin to those in Beijing and Shanghai, with a maximum 7,000 points available to the winner of the tournament which is greater than other new tournaments such as the Australian Open and German Masters, though when you consider that there is a top prize of £75,000 on offer then it is easy to see why.

As was the case with the German Masters, there is also an important issue to be pointed out with regard to the ranking points earned from next week’s qualifiers. This is because due to the venue stages of the event not taking place until the 27th February, the qualifying points will not be shown in my projected seedings table until after the Welsh Open.

As a matter of interest, the updated projected seedings list which will forecast the seedings at the crucial World Championship cut-off point, will be confirmed following the conclusion of PTC12 on Sunday evening.

The rest of the month

Elsewhere in January, as mentioned the month also sees the return of the Championship League, while it will also see the staging of the Masters tournament, which will be held for the first time at the Alexandra Palace in London.

Following another round of Championship League action, the month will conclude with three days in Blackpool as the Snooker Shootout returns for its second running.


  • Marius Haugan Lillegjære

    Hi, Matt!

    First of all, thanks a lot for a wonderful website! Especially the rankings section is amazing! But i wonder a bit on your thoughts around tour survival at the PTC12. Is it not so that Maflin currently has that vital 8th place amongst those not currently in the top 64? Is it not so that if he loses his last 16 match while Grace wins his then won’t Grace go passed him? Or am I missing something?

    • matt2745

      Hi Marius, yes that’s quite correct, I don’t think that I have contradicted that but it is worth pointing out.

      The reference I’ve made to Maflin is what he has to do well to qualify for the PTC Finals in Galway, but yes at the time of writing he does hold that 8th place on the tour survival list!

  • Daniel

    pretty full packed month: starting today we’ll have 23 days nonstop snooker. and you can watch most of the matches online.

  • likahokeith

    During the increase of ranking tournaments this season, the Championship League became more useless in Pro. Tour, maybe it needs to change.

  • Tom

    yeah I agree way too much snooker now for the championship league to exist. Surely it will go next season, its like a PTC league! :)

  • bryan

    Matt just a question it looks like white and liswoski are on the same number of points. What is used to separate them, rankings? Also as ding played in enough European ptc? I thought he just played 2 and that skype disqualify him from galway

    • matt2745

      Lisowski has a PTC SF and two QF, White has the SF but no QF’s so finishes above.

      Re: Ding, the PTC11 event counts as European as it was originally a Euro event, it’s a bit silly but that’s how they’ve done it.

  • rubble

    What’s the ranking points for Hainan World Open 2012 ? still not decided yet?

    • matt2745

      It’s the same tariff as China/Shanghai.

  • ANON

    2 things – firstly the ‘tournaments’ section on the WS website refers to this as the ‘Haikou’ world open – does this mean it is taking place in a proper city (and not in an all-inclusive resort)?

    Secondly might we see a repeat of the fiasco with the starter points for Q-School players again this year? I think Li Yan is the only player ahead of Maflin on the PTC order of merit who could drop out of the 64 (realistically).

    It is unlikely Maflin will make up the 1700 gap to 64th place on the rankings list – so he could sit back for the next few months (maybe just play in the worlds qualifying) and rely on Li Yan’s form for his place on the tour? If anyone coming through q-school only gets Maflin’s points this would mean they face a 2 year battle to stay on the tour. Surely they have to look at this again if they are changing the rules anyway – could WS even be brave and abolish starter points (on the basis that there will, presumably, be no relegation at the end of 2012/2013)?

    • matt2745

      I’ve seen nothing to say that the criteria is going to be any different, but without wanting to be overly cynical, given that they didn’t fix the criteria for this season until after events had been played, it’s probably a bit early to be asking that!