Closing In On The Cut: December 2012 – Updated

Following on from my previous look ahead towards the next seedings revision following the UK Championship, click below for my updated analysis following the recent qualifiers for the event…

  • Click here to view the drawsheet for the UK Championship
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings
  • Click here to view the points tariffs for events this season
  • Click here to view when points will be deducted this season

On 10th December 2012 following the UK Championship, the seedings list will be revised for the third time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the Welsh Open, Haikou World Open, China Open and a potential ranking event which may take place in March 2013.

As now confirmed by World Snooker, by 10th December 2012, points from the 2010 EPTC3, EPTC4 and UK Championship will have been deducted and replaced by those from the start of this season up until that date.

As always, I have already removed those points from the appropriate column on my latest projected seedings list, to show the situation as up to date as possible…

Battle for Number 1

Heading into the UK Championship onto the back of strong performances at the two most recent PTC events, newly-crowned world number one Judd Trump holds a lead of 4,775 over Mark Selby, who is the only player who can mathematically topple him at this cut-off.

To be sure of retaining top spot in the event of Mark winning the tournament, Judd must reach the quarter-finals, while a last 16 run would be sufficient if Selby cannot capture the title.

If Judd were to lose his opening match, Mark would still require at least a run to the final if he is to reclaim the top ranking at this revision.

Battle for the Top 8

Turning to the battle for the top eight, the final spot is currently held by Mark Allen, who has a cushion of 2,520 points over nearest challenger Ding Junhui, with Ricky Walden not far behind.

As a minimum, Ding would need to reach the quarter-finals to stand any chance of passing Allen, while if Mark were to reach the last 16, nothing less than a run to the final would be enough for Ding.

Ricky Walden and Stuart Bingham meanwhile would need to reach at least the semi-finals in order to stand a chance, while Graeme Dott and Matthew Stevens would need to win the tournament.

Next in line if a number of the above players run deep into the tournament is Scotland’s Stephen Maguire, though a first-round victory for the 2004 York champion would be enough to all but assure him of remaining inside the top eight.

Battle for the Top 16 (17)

As ever, the battle for places in snooker’s top tier remains as hard-fought, despite an additional place potentially being available due to the ongoing situation concerning Stephen Lee:

  • 14th – Matthew Stevens – 49780
  • 15th – Ali Carter – 47760
  • 16th – Joe Perry – 46800*
  • 17th – Mark Davis – 46190
  • 18th – Barry Hawkins – 45995
  • 19th – Ronnie O’Sullivan – 43740*
  • 20th – Martin Gould – 43510
  • 21st – Peter Ebdon – 43505*
  • 22nd – Dominic Dale – 42275
  • 23rd – Marcus Campbell – 41505*
  • 24th – Ryan Day – 41350
  • 25th – Robert Milkins – 40210
  • 26th – Tom Ford – 40140
  • 27th – Michael Holt – 39835
  • 28th – Marco Fu – 39810

*not qualified/entered the UK Championship

Taking Matthew Stevens first of all, only the following combination of results would be enough to leave him outside of the top 17 following the UK Championship:

Ali Carter reaching the quarter-finals, Mark Davis and Barry Hawkins reaching the semi-finals with Martin Gould winning the tournament.

Turning to 15th placed Ali Carter, his fate too remains very much in his own hands, though if he were to lose his opening round match, three of the following scenarios would be enough to see him miss out:

Mark Davis reaching the last 16, Barry Hawkins reaching the last 16, Martin Gould reaching the final and Dominic Dale or Ryan Day winning the title.

The most immediate battle then is the three-way fight between Joe Perry, Mark Davis and Barry Hawkins, who from 16th-18th are currently separated by just 805 points.

With Joe already out of the tournament following his qualifying defeat to Jack Lisowski, his fate is now very much out of his own hands, with both Davis and Hawkins within one win of overtaking him. Martin Gould would need to reach the final.

As far as Mark and Barry are concerned, putting aside strong performances from those behind them, at present it looks as though Mark effectively has to match Barry’s result in York to hold onto the 17th position which somehow he seems to have made his own in recent times. As explained above however, one win would lift him above Joe Perry, and in all likelihood leave him safe.

Speaking of the chasing pack, Martin Gould must reach at least the quarter-finals to remain in with a chance of snaring that last top 17 spot, while mathematically those as far down as Marco Fu remain in contention.

The Top 32 (34)

As with the top 16 battle, this cut-off is affected by likely non-entries above and on the assumption that both Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Lee will not be involved for the foreseeable future, find below the battle for the top 34:

  • 33rd – Fergal O’Brien – 35540
  • 34th – Jamie Burnett – 33490*
  • 35th – Ben Woollaston – 33315
  • 36th – Anthony Hamilton – 32980
  • 37th – Michael White – 32800
  • 38th – Liang Wenbo – 32585
  • 39th – Rory McLeod – 32445
  • 40th – Stephen Hendry – 32435
  • 41st – Jamie Jones – 32305
  • 42nd – Jack Lisowski – 31930

*not qualified for the UK Championship

A little clearer now following the qualifiers, the first man in mathematical danger of losing his place in the top 34 is Fergal O’Brien, though it would take either Michael White or Liang Wenbo reaching at least the semi-final in the bottom half of the draw, with Jack Lisowski reaching the final in the top half.

On the borderline meanwhile is Scotland’s Jamie Burnett, who already out of the tournament can only wait to see whether those below him can do enough to usurp him. For Michael White a last 32 victory against Mark Selby would suffice, while Liang Wenbo and Jack Lisowski need to reach the quarter-finals in order to overtake Burnett.

The Top 48 (51)

While previously complex, the equation at this tier of the rankings is now straight-forward, with only Mark Joyce able to overtake 51st placed Gerard Greene ahead of the season’s third seedings revision. To do so, Mark would have to repeat his quarter-final run of two years ago, to edge out Gerard by 50 points.

The Top 64 (68)

With Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Stephen Lee and Joe Jogia unlikely to participate on the main tour in the near future, there appear to be four places on offer inside the top 64 seeds.

Already secure are Rod Lawler, Cao Yupeng and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, while Tian Pengfei will join them unless, Luca Brecel is able to defeat Ricky Walden in York…