It might still be July, but already we are closing in on the first seedings revision of the season, which will determine the seedings for the new International Championship, a tournament which will effectively have equal status with the UK Championship.
Click below for my breakdown of who can still make a move at what will be the final event before the cut, UKPTC2…
- Click here to view the draw for UKPTC2
- Click here to view the latest projected seedings
- Click here to view the points tariffs for events this season
On 12th August 2012 following the UKPTC2 event, the seedings list will be revised for the first time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the new International Championship tournament, as well as two ‘potential invitational events’ which are still showing on the tournament calendar.
As explained during my previous post here, it was explained to me at UKPTC1 by World Snooker that at the first cut off, points from the first two PTC events of the 2010/11 season will be deducted. As always, I have already removed from my latest projected seedings list to show the situation as up to date as possible…
Note that points earned at the recent Shanghai Masters qualifiers will not be included until the season’s second seedings revision.
Battle for Number 1, Top 8
There is nothing to report in either of these two battles as world number 1 Mark Selby takes an unassailable lead of 5,810 points into the final event before the first seedings revision, while the top eight are also locked out with ninth placed Ding Junhui 4,450 points back and in any case, not participating in the UKPTC2.
Battle for the top 16
Those still in contention for a top 16 place following this seedings cut-off are as follows:
- 16th – Martin Gould – 49650
- 17th – Ali Carter – 48540
- 18th – Mark Davis – 48210
Having endured a tough first half of 2012, Martin Gould heads into the UKPTC2 event ‘on the bubble’ in 16th place, with both Ali Carter and Mark Davis still able to catch him with deep runs in Gloucester. Specifically, if Martin were to lose his opening round clash with Michael Holt, Davis would have to reach at least the final, while Carter would need to make the semis.
Interestingly, if Gould were to lose in the last 32 stage and Mark were to win the event, the two would finish level on points on 50210, though I understand that Mark would be ranked higher having accumulated more points during the current season.
Another important factor to consider of course is the likelihood that Ronnie O’Sullivan will not enter the International Championship, meaning that whoever finishes 17th may also take a top 16 seeding into the event, potentially leaving a shoot out between Ali and Mark.
With 330 points separating the two, a first round win for Mark would be enough to see him jump above Ali if the Captain were to lose his opening match to India’s Aditya Mehta. From there however, the points differences between rounds are crucially smaller, meaning that unless Mark were to win the tournament, he would have to better Ali’s result by two rounds. For example if Ali were to lose in the last 16, Mark would have to reach the semi-finals in order to overtake him in the list.
Also in with a chance of 17th is Barry Hawkins, though nothing less than a final run would do.
The top 32
With Ronnie O’Sullivan unlikely to enter and Stephen Hendry now retired, this effectively becomes the battle for the top 34 and those in contention are as follows:
- 30th – Ken Doherty – 36565
- 31st – Robert Milkins – 36440
- 32nd – Michael Holt – 36400
- 33rd – Jamie Jones – 35205
- 34th – Fergal O’Brien – 35150
- 35th – Mark King – 34370
- 36th – Anthony Hamilton – 34135
- 37th – Jamie Burnett – 34070
- 38th – Jack Lisowski – 33480
While not yet mathematically assured of their spots inside the top 32 at the first seedings revision, on the assumption that Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry will be absent from the International Championship, Ken Doherty, Robert Milkins and Michael Holt are certain of remaining at least inside the top 34 and should be seeded through to the final qualifying round of the tournament.
Beyond them, Jamie Jones and Fergal O’Brien are well placed to join them, though can be caught with good runs from the four players below them. The closest, Mark King, will require at least a run to the quarter-finals, while Anthony Hamilton and Jamie Burnett require a last four run. Also in with an outside shot is Jack Lisowski, but he would need to win the title to stand any chance.
The Top 48
While the above battles are fairly easy to read, the battle for the top 48 (or 50 if we discount O’Sullivan and Hendry), is somewhat tighter:
- 48th - Jimmy White – 26885
- 49th – Steve Davis – 26865
- 50th – Alan McManus – 26605
- 51st – Liu Chuang – 26320
- 52nd – Anthony McGill – 26000
- 53rd – Peter Lines – 25810
- 54th – Mike Dunn – 25810
- 55th – Jimmy Robertson – 25695
- 56th – David Gilbert – 25304
So where do we start? In the most immediate danger is Alan McManus, who could potentially face 53rd placed Peter Lines in the second round in Gloucester, but as it stands is a narrow 285 points clear of China’s Liu Chuang as he looks to remain inside the top 50. One win for Alan though, and it would be veteran pair Steve Davis and Jimmy White who would then come under pressure as they look to keep the amount of qualifying matches required to make it to China down to two.
A little further back, Anthony McGill must make it to the last 16 in order to stand any chance, while Lines, Mike Dunn and Jimmy Robertson would require at the very least a quarter-final run in order to put themselves in contention.
The Top 64
As well as the likely absences of Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry as considered above, when turning to the top 64, the recent ban of Joe Jogia must also be taken into account, meaning that those ranked as far down as 67th should come into the draw at the second qualifying round.
With the top 64 well clear and the players below having all started on zero, at this stage of the season, almost everyone left in the rankings with a good tournament in Gloucester could do enough to put themselves into contention. Realistically, Rod Lawler looks to be a certainty following his terrific start to the new season, while I suspect that one win for Cao Yupeng would be enough to see him finish inside the top 67.
Beyond Cao however, there are a string of players who could all take that useful last seeding into the International Championship qualifiers…
…unless of course O’Sullivan decides to enter!