Race To The 2014 Masters – A First Look

It might yet be five months away, but with the next two seedings cut-offs (ahead of the International and UK Championship), being of less importance, given the advent of the move to flat draws this season, the next big revision is that in December following the UK Championship, which will most notably, determine which 16 players will qualify for this season’s Masters.

Click below for an early look ahead, to see who is currently in the running for those places…

Set to be staged at the Alexandra Palace for a third successive year, the 2014 Masters will see the world’s best players battle it out for the for the £200,000 top prize in January.

Of course, the event usually sees its field made up of the top 16 ranked players, but with defending world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan having signalled his intention to compete in the event, this year it will be Ronnie, joined by the top 15 players in the rankings following the UK Championship on 8th December.

So how is the battle looking at the moment? Today I have enlisted the help of fellow rankings anorak @joanneballantyn to prepare a provisional points based list, up until that December cut-off.

The points totals below have removed all points from the 2011/12 season that are due to come off before the Masters cut-off, whilst adding minimum points that will be earned from the International and UK Championship events, as well as those already secured for next month’s Shanghai Masters.

The list of contenders therefore, looks like this:

8th – Ding Junhui – 56500

9th – Ricky Walden – 55465

10th – John Higgins – 54635

11th – Marco Fu – 54465

12th – Robert Milkins – 53325**

13th – Mark Allen – 52680

14th – Ali Carter – 51815

15th – Mark Davis – 51040


16th – Matthew Stevens – 50120**

17th – Mark Williams – 48985*

18th – Joe Perry – 48755

19th – Graeme Dott – 47300**

*not qualified for the Shanghai Masters

**not qualified for the India Open

As you can see then, plenty still to play for, particularly with 8,000 points available in both Chengdu and York, plus a number points available in Shanghai, India and the further six ‘PTC’ events prior to the cut-off, four European and two Asian.

Of those above, Mark Williams will not be in action during the final stages in Shanghai following his defeat to David Gilbert in Doncaster, while Graeme Dott, Matthew Stevens and Robert Milkins were unable to make it through to India.

Mark Allen is a surprise name down in 13th place, of course with his points from his run to the UK Championship final back in 2011 due to fall, while former Masters winners Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens have work to do if they are to make it back to the event this season.

It is very early days, but you can be sure that those around the borderline will already be aiming for that Masters cut-off already.

More updates will of course follow as the weeks progress…