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Feb 09 2014

Tour Survival – Gdynia Round-Up

Pinches6

As those of you who have followed my updates both on the blog and on Twitter will be aware (and probably sick of reading), it has been a big weekend in Gdynia for those players battling it out for their main tour places for next season, with eight places available through the European Order of Merit.

Click below then for a round-up of how the various lists look after the tournament and what now can change between now and the end of the season…

  • Click here to view the latest provisional money list
  • Click here to view the final European Tour Order of Merit
  • Click here to view the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit (one event outstanding)

For those who are regulars here, again you will no doubt be well aware of the rules governing who is to stay on tour at the end of the season and so I won’t outline them again in detail here. For those not familiar however, you can read my previous post outlining the state of play here.

In short, in addition to the top 64 players in the two-year money list at the end of the season, the top eight on the European Order of Merit, not already inside that top 64, will also earn a main tour card for 2014/15.

After Gdynia, the situation for those outside of the top 64 is as follows:

Robbie Williams – 9,115

Joel Walker – 7,199

Scott Donaldson – 6,699

Luca Brecel – 6,599

Ian Burns – 6,266

Michael Wasley – 6,049

Barry Pinches – 5,949

David Grace – 5,283

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Tony Drago – 5,266

Martin O’Donnell – 5,100

Mike Dunn – 4,449

Zhang Anda – 3,933

The first thing that the eagle eyed amongst you will notice is that Robbie Williams now appears at the top of it, as opposed to Sam Baird at my final update earlier in the day here.

This is because having now added the minimum prize money that those already qualified for the PC Finals via the European Order of Merit will earn in that competition, Sam now actually climbs into the top 64 on the two-year money list. Pushing out Robbie in the process, this means that as it stands, he would effectively take Sam’s place and qualify through the European route.

Note that the list on snookerorg has not included PC points, hence the green bar on the money list remains on Donaldson, not Williams.

What can still change?

With the European Tour list now concluded then, you could be forgiven at first glance for thinking that those eight players are now set and guaranteed to be on tour via that route.

As ever however, the reality is not as simple as that. This is because the top 64 in the two-year money list remains far from finished and any changes to those inside the group could yet potentially affect the top eight above.

For example, should a player ranked above 8th placed David Grace on the European list, fall out of the top 64 on the main money list, then he would effectively take Grace’s European place.

Donaldson

On the other hand, should a player inside that top eight, for example Luca Brecel, break inside the top 64, at the expense of a player not in contention on the European list such as Jimmy White, this would open up an extra spot for Tony Drago.

There are a couple of particular matters which will be relevant, firstly that of Stephen Lee who currently 63rd on the provisional money list, is certain to drop out of the top 64 over the coming weeks. Of course he will not be taking a spot via the European list, so this could potentially open up a spot for Tony Drago, depending on who takes his place.

The added complication though is that of players such as David Morris and Gary Wilson, who are currently on the first year of their two-year cards and already in or around the top 64. Should Lee drop out and be replaced by Morris, this will not help Drago.

Another factor is that of the Asian Order of Merit, through which players, in particular Scott Donaldson, may earn a tour place, or at least a Grand Finals place. I have not added minimum points or pounds to the tables for these players yet, but should Donaldson gain a place in the PC Grand Finals as he is currently set to do, he would also break into the top 64 on the main money list and open up another European place.

Clearly then, there remains much to be decided, although following the action in Gdynia, we do have a clearer picture as to who is well placed on the European list and we can only see how it all shakes out come April.

  • liam

    Please correct me but if you are one of the european tour list “8″ you get a new 2 year card on the tour? But if you qualify through the top64 money list you only get a new 1 year card. Is this correct and if so it does seem a little unfair on a player like Sam Baird.

    • Tóth Gábor

      Just as you say. I don’t think that’s unfair. I mean, though players retaining their place through this list receive 2 year cards, but they lose all their points earned in the previous two seasons.

      • liam

        Thanks for clarifying that for me. It would be interesting to ask Sam Baird what he would prefer. A fresh 2 year card which means he is guaranteed 2 years worth of tournaments and earn money or a 1 year card for being top64. If it was me I would go for the 2 year option every time.

        • Rana Mittra

          But if you get a fresh two year card you have to start at the bottom and get much tougher draws for longer in the main events.

          If you get into the top 64, you may only get one year, you have easier draws and the chance to go further up the rankings.

          • liam

            That used to be a big issue but now the money list/rankings are redone after every tournament. So if you have a 1 year card but are ranked say 60, 1 bad tournament and you are outside the top64 and in the same boat as the 2 year ‘european tour 8′ but without the security of that 2nd year.

          • roy142857

            @Liam (sorry for the late response, only just spotted this, and apologies if you already know this). The players in the Top 64 retain their money on the money list rankings, those outside the Top 64 who regain their places (even if placed 65th) have their money on the rankings list re-set to zero. So the risk of dropping out of the Top 64 is reduced, as only the players starting their second year of a two year card can get into the Top 64. Currently there’s 2 of those players already in the Top-64-players-who-aren’t-Stephen-Lee, the next player is about £12000 back from Sam Baird, the two players after that are both about £18000 back. So there may be quite a gap to protect his Top 64 position.

  • Tóth Gábor

    Currently only 1 player is eligible for the PC Grand Finals from both Order of Merits: Mark Selby. It’s almost sure he will qualify through the European OOM, except if he wins the last Asian Tour station.

  • mikets

    It’s important to remember that there’s £5000 for the winners of the second-round qualifying matches for the World Championship so there could be significant changes to the top 64 – players like Pengfei and Un-Nooh could push out players ranked above Grace on the Eurpean list, or indeed someone like Jimmy White. In particular, Pengfei is currently well inside the top 64 on the provisional points list, so he’s likely to be seeded through to a match against someone outside the top 64 – with a favourable draw he’d have a good chance of getting the £5000.