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Mar 30 2014

Tour Survival 2013/14 – Player by Player (March Update)

With just two tournaments still to be played this season and both the European and Asian Orders of Merit now set, the battle for main tour places next season is now down to the two final events, the China Open and World Championship.

Click below then for an updated look at the current position and in particular those in need of victories further down the rankings if they are to avoid a trip to Q School in May…

  • 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 final Asian Tour Order of Merit
  • Click here to view my previous article on the early running
  • Click here to view my look at my previous post on the tour survival race (December 2013)
  • Click here to view the prize money schedule for 2013/14

Who Stays on Tour?

This is explained in some detail on my previous article here, but in summary, the following players will retain their professional places for 2013/14 as follows:

  • All players ranked inside the top 64 on the two-year prize money list following the 2014 World Championship
  • All players ranked outside of the top 64 on the two-year prize money list, who have joined the tour for 2013/14 on the first year of a two-year tour card.
  • The top eight players ranked on the European Order of Merit, not already qualified as above.
  • The top four players ranked on the Asian Order of Merit, not already qualified as above.

So the important point to note is that it will be the top 64 on the money list, NOT the current points list, who will automatically earn a tour card for 2014/15 as of right.

In some cases, this is a crucial difference, for example for James Wattana currently 69th in the latest projected seedings, but 74th on the provisional money list.

Who will finish in the top 64?

Though it remains impossible to say with certainty what the final amount of money required to stay inside the top 64 will be, the position has become clearer in recent weeks and my educated guess would be that everyone currently inside the top 58 should be safe, barring something strange happening.

Importantly, these players will all earn a one-year tour card for the following season, but will retain their prize money earned, rather than start again from zero, as those qualifying on a two-year card by any other means will have to.

Greene

Who is on the first year of a two-year card?

Simply put, those players who are safe due to being on the first year of a two-year tour card, are those highlighted in green on the latest provisional money list page.

For the avoidance of doubt, those players are:

  • Kyren Wilson, Gary Wilson, David Morris, Lyu Haotian, Stuart Carrington, Alex Davies, Joe Swail, Li Hang, Noppon Saengkham, John Astley, Hammad Miah, Andrew Pagett, Vinnie Calabrese, Elliot Slessor, Andrew Norman, Robin Hull, Ratchayothin Yotharuk, Ross Muir, Chris Norbury, Chris Wakelin, Jin Long, Cao Xinlong, Patrick Einsle, James Cahill, Lee Page, Fraser Patrick, Alex Borg, Shi Hanqing, Allan Taylor, Ryan Clark, Alexander Ursenbacher, Ahmed Saif, Lee Spick, Jak Jones, Igor Figueiredo

What about the rest?

For everybody else, I will consider their prospects individually below, highlighting where they currently stand on the three respective lists and trying to summarise how they stand overall.

I have colour coded the competitions below to show at a glance how each player is currently positioned in each list.

Peter Lines

Money list: 59th – £45,720 (+3,244)

European Tour OOM: 66th – £4,049

Asian Tour OOM: 81st – £400

Summary: Like a few players in this section, Peter Lines must perform well enough during the final two events of the season to retain his place inside the top 64 bracket on the two-year money list.

While it is impossible to say for sure, my feeling is that he will need to win at least one match in order to avoid being overtaken by those behind him, particularly as in China he faces Mike Dunn in his opening match, one of the players immediately outside of the top 64 at present and with a chance of passing him.

If he can beat Dunn, then I would expect Lines to be almost safe, but defeat would increase the pressure ahead of the Sheffield qualifiers…

Lines

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Money list: 60th – £45,160 (+2,684)

European Tour OOM: 83rd – £2,166

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As with Peter Lines above, Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh must remain inside the top 64 at the end of the season, if he is to avoid needing to come through this year’s Q School to retain his tour card.

Un-Nooh will play Ken Doherty in China, while like Lines, he will be a top 64 seed for the World Championship, meaning that one match win will secure him an extra £4,500 and surely seal his tour card for another season.

Scott Donaldson

Money list: 61st – £44,213 (+1,737)

European Tour OOM: 38th – £6,699

Asian Tour OOM: 8th – £4,700

Summary: As illustrated by the green text above, Donaldson is in the enviable position this season of currently being safe via every ranking list, so there is no doubt that he will remain on tour for at least another year.

The only question now is whether Scott will remain inside the top 64 on the main money list and therefore retain his current total, or whether he will qualify via the European Order of Merit and be forced to start again on zero.

Scott has not qualified for China, so therefore has just the World Championship in which he will be able to add to his total.

Jimmy White

Money list: 62nd – £43,692 (+1,216)

European Tour OOM: 95th – £1,183

Asian Tour OOM: 81st – £400

Summary: Little more than 1,000 inside the top 64 at present, the likelihood is that six-time world finalist Jimmy White will need to win at least one match between now and the end of the season, if he is to maintain his long unbroken run on the main tour.

The good news for Jimmy is that he has qualified for China, where he will play Ireland’s David Morris at the last 64 stage. To add to the intrigue, Morris is a player just a few places below Jimmy in the money list, which makes the match something of a ‘six-pointer’ as football fans would say.

Jimmy will also be seeded through to the second round of the World Championship qualifiers, which in theory should be in his favour.

White

Sam Baird

Money list: 63rd – £42,933 (+517)

European Tour OOM: 11th – £16,351

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As is the case with Scott Donaldson, the pressure is off Sam Baird to some degree as he is already guaranteed to remain on the tour thanks to his efforts during the European Tour this season.

He too though will be looking to remain inside the top 64 on the money list and like the majority of players around him, has successfully qualified for China.

Notably however, he will not be seeded for the World Championship, which means that he will begin his campaign back in round one.

Steve Davis

Money list: 65th – £42,476 (-100)

European Tour OOM: 60th – £4,866

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Make no mistake, Steve Davis’ main tour status currently hangs very much in the balance, with the six-time world champion having failed to qualify for the China Open, as well as being out of contention via the other orders of merit.

In his favour however, he will be seeded for the World Championship qualifiers, in theory giving him an easier draw against a player ranked lower than him. This will also ensure that one win will be enough to add another £4,500 to his money list total, which could itself be enough to see him up into the top 64.

Davis

Tian Pengfei

Money list: 67th – £40,402 (-2,174)

European Tour OOM: 82nd – £2,183

Asian Tour OOM: 18th – £2,900

Summary: As is the case with Steve Davis, Tian Pengfei must break into the top 64 on the two-year money list if he is to retain his professional status beyond the end of the season.

Unlike Davis, Tian has though qualified for China, where he will play the man currently holding 64th place on that money list, Gary Wilson, in what will be one of the most important matches of the round.

Tian will also be seeded for the World Championship, so despite the current deficit has every chance to save his tour card for next season.

Luca Brecel

Money list: 68th – £38,850 (-3,726)

European Tour OOM: 39th – £6,599

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As with Scott Donaldson and Sam Baird above, Luca Brecel will remain a professional for next season regardless of what happens during the next two tournaments, but will be hoping to close a gap of almost £4,000 if he is to do so by finishing up inside the top 64.

Though he will not be seeded for the World Championship, Luca has qualified for China, where he will face a wildcard on Monday.

Mike Dunn

Money list: 69th – £38,787 (-3,789)

European Tour OOM: 63rd – £4,449

Asian Tour OOM: 81st – £400

Summary: For Mike Dunn, his tour status will depend upon breaking into the top 64 on the latest two-year money list with other options now closed off.

As well as the World Championship, Mike has qualified for Beijing where he will play Peter Lines in the third of three real crunch matches in Beijing around the top 64 cut-off on the money list.

Victory in that match would see him within potentially a win of the top 64, while defeat would leave him needing to win at least two matches at the World Championship qualifiers if he is to retain his tour card.

Dunn

Robbie Williams

Money list: 71st – £37,375 (-5,501)

European Tour OOM: 26th – £9,115

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Already safe courtesy of his results on the European Tour this season, Robbie must win at least three matches at the World Championship qualifiers (he is already out of China), if he is to finish inside the top 64 on the two-year money list.

Barry Pinches

Money list: 72nd – £34,684 (-7,892)

European Tour OOM: 49th – £5,949

Asian Tour OOM: 59th – £800

Summary: While the situation did not look to be too promising for Barry earlier on in the season, a strong finish to the European Tour, culminating in a series of dramatic wins in Gdynia have all but secured his tour status for another two seasons.

It is not impossible that Barry could make a late bid for a place inside the top 64, with a match against Nigel Bond in China to look forward to, as well as the subsequent World Championship.

Ian Burns

Money list: 73rd – £34,537 (-8,039)

European Tour OOM: 44th – £6,266

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above for Barry Pinches, but having already lost in the China Open qualifiers, Ian must in all likelihood qualify for the Crucible for the first time if he is to threaten the top 64 on the two-year money list.

Wattana

James Wattana

Money list: 74th – £33,464 (-9,112)

European Tour OOM: 91st – £1,683

Asian Tour OOM: 70h – £600

Summary: With a gap of over £9,000 to bridge between now and May, James faces a tall order if he is to retain his tour status for another season but has at least qualified for the venue stages of the China Open, where he will face Mark Joyce in the last 64.

If he does not win that clash however, James must win four matches to qualify for the Crucible if he is to retain his tour card for next season.

Zhang Anda

Money list: 75th – £32,978 (-9,598)

European Tour OOM: 67th – £3,933

Asian Tour OOM: 59th – £800

Summary: Already out of the China Open, Zhang must qualify for the Crucible for the second time in his career if he is to retain his tour card for next season.

Stranger things have happened, just ask Ricky Walden, who he of course defeated in the final qualifying round for the tournament back in 2010.

Liu Chuang

Money list: 76th – £31,083 (-11,493)

European Tour OOM: 108th – £1,000

Asian Tour OOM: 12th – £3,600

Summary: Though it looked a dangerous decision for Liu Chuang not to enter the final event of the Asian Tour earlier this month, other results at the tournament were to go his way and ensure that he will remain on the main tour next season courtesy of that Order of Merit.

Somewhat surprisingly, given that he is ranked well inside of the top 64 on the current points list, Liu is some £11,493 away from the top 64 on the latest money list and out of China, therefore will need to progress as far as the last 16 in Sheffield if he is to break into that bracket.

Walker

Joel Walker

Money list: 77th – £30,512 (-12,064)

European Tour OOM: 35th – £7,199

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Having struggled for victories during his maiden season on tour in 2012/13, Joel has shown rapid improvement this term, particularly in the European Tour events which has ensured that he will remain on tour for the next two seasons.

Already out of China however, Joel will need to reach the last 16 in his home city of Sheffield if he is to stand any chance of breaking into the top 64.

Paul Davison

Money list: 79th – £26,601 (-15,975)

European Tour OOM: 99th – £1,166

Asian Tour OOM: 70th – £600

Summary: Already out of China, Paul’s hopes of avoiding a trip to Q School in a couple of months look to be slim, with a quarter-final run at the World Championship needed in order to see him into the top 64.

Liam Highfield

Money list: 80th – £25,462 (-17,114)

European Tour OOM: 75th – £2,766

Asian Tour OOM: 54th – £600

Summary: As with Davison above, Liam must reach the last eight of the World Championship if he is to avoid having to enter Q School to remain on tour for another season.

Michael Wasley

Money list: 82nd – £24,782 (-17,794)

European Tour OOM: 47th – £6,049

Asian Tour OOM: 94th – £200

Summary: Thanks to his results on the European Tour this season, Michael will be one of the eight players to earn a two-year tour card from next season via that route, with only a number of wins in China and Sheffield now enough to see him into the top 64.

Wasley

Craig Steadman

Money list: 84th – £23,784 (-18,792)

European Tour OOM: 77th – £2,600

Asian Tour OOM: 120th – £0

Summary: Again, Craig will in all likelihood need to make the last eight in Sheffield, or perform strongly at the venue stages of the China Open, if he is to remain on tour for next season.

Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon

Money list: 86th – £22,769 (-19,807)

European Tour OOM: 72nd – £2,917

Asian Tour OOM: 94th – £200

Summary: Only the £25,000 from a Crucible quarter-final will be enough to save Thanawat’s tour status for 2014/15.

Tony Drago

Money list: 87th – £21,889 (-20,687)

European Tour OOM: 55th – £5,266 (+0)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: More so than anyone else on the tour, Tony’s fate is currently completely out of his own hands, with his status depending on other results and ultimately who finishes inside the top 64 on the two-year money list after the Crucible.

As it stands, Tony is set to take the final qualifying spot for the European Order of Merit, however if someone above him on that list were to drop out of the top 64 (eg Sam Baird or Scott Donaldson), then they would instead take Tony’s place and push him out of that top eight.

Unless he can produce an unlikely run to the last eight of the World Championship, Tony can only now sit back and hope that other results fall his way…

Drago

Chen Zhe

Money list: 88th – £20,123 (-22,453)

European Tour OOM: 111th – £600

Asian Tour OOM: 51st – £1,000

Summary: As with a few of those above, only a quarter-final run at the Crucible would be enough to save Chen Zhe’s from having to regain his place through the Q School at the end of the year.

David Grace

Money list: 89th – £19,974 (-22,602)

European Tour OOM: 53rd – £5,283

Asian Tour OOM: 51st – £1,000

Summary: For Tony Drago, read David Grace, except that being £17 ahead of Drago on the European list, it would take two players above him on that list dropping outside of the top 64 to take away David’s place from that Order of Merit.

Stranger things have happened, but you would expect him to be safe…

Adam Duffy

Money list: 90th – £19,330 (-23,246)

European Tour OOM: 99th – £1,166

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Adam’s hopes look to be slim, with potentially even a quarter-final run at his home tournament not enough to see him retain his place on the tour as of right.

Grace

Martin O’Donnell

Money list: 91st – £16,968 (-25,608)

European Tour OOM: 59th – £5,100

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: For Martin O’Donnell, only a semi-final run at the Crucible would be enough for him to climb up into the top 64 on the two-year money list.

There is however another hope for Martin, should another spot open up on the European Order of Merit, as he would be next in line after current 8th placed man Tony Drago.

This could happen for example if Luca Brecel were able to climb up into the top 64, at the expense of somebody like Gary Wilson before the end of the season, who is already safe as a first-year professional. It’s not unrealistic, but is of course entirely out of Martin’s own hands.

Li Yan

Money list: 93rd – £15,422 (-27,154)

European Tour OOM: 130th – £0

Asian Tour OOM: 81st – £400

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Simon Bedford

Money list: 95th – £14,078 (-28,498)

European Tour OOM: 116th – £583

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Michael Leslie

Money list: 97th – £11,443 (-31,133)

European Tour OOM: 79th – £2,349

Asian Tour OOM: 120th – £0

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Daniel Wells

Money list: 98th – £11,263 (-31,313)

European Tour OOM: 78th – £2,583

Asian Tour OOM: 70th – £600

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

ODonnell

Jamie O’Neill

Money list: 100th – £9,377 (-33,199)

European Tour OOM: 93rd – £1,583

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Sean O’Sullivan

Money list: 101st – £9,209 (-33,367)

European Tour OOM: 93rd – £1,583

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Passakorn Suwannawat

Money list: 110th – £3,883 (-38,693)

European Tour OOM: 116th – £583

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Mohamed Khairy

Money list: 117th – £1,500 (-41,076)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Hossein Vafaei Ayouri

Money list: 125th – £200 (-42,376)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Needs to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

  • Nige103

    Brilliant piece of analysis as ever Matt. So, bizarrely, Drago may be in the position in the World Championships if he plays Baird or Donaldson of actually wanting them to win!