Harold

Tour Survival 2014/15 – Player by Player

Last season a very popular feature here at PSB proved to be my in-depth, player by player updates on the race for main tour places for the 2014/15 season, as I attempted to untangle the various overlapping ranking lists and orders of merit.

Although we are still only in September, already taking a look at how this season’s battle is shaping up (particularly with only six European Tour events scheduled to take place this season instead of last year’s eight), there are a few interesting themes developing and therefore I have below taken my first look at just who will need to have a strong finish to the season if they are to remain on tour for 2015/16, with some surprise names currently in the drop zone…

  • Click here to view the latest provisional end of season ranking list
  • Click here to view the latest European Tour Order of Merit (after 2/6 events)
  • Click here to view the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit (after 1/3 events)
  • Click here to view my previous article on the early running
  • Click here to view the prize money schedule for 2014/15

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 2015/16:

  • All players ranked inside the top 64 on the two-year ranking list following the 2015 World Championship
  • All players ranked outside of the top 64 on the two-year ranking list, who have joined the tour for 2014/15 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.

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, last season we saw Jimmy White take the 64th and final spot with prize money of £48,692 across the previous two seasons. With the general increases in prize money this season, I would estimate that the required amount this season will be between £50,000-£60,000, but time will tell.

In the circumstances, while several players above could still call back into the danger zone with a bad run over the coming months, for the purposes of this article I am going to look at this those currently 59th and below in the latest provisional end of season list.

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.

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 end of season rankings page.

For the avoidance of doubt, those players are:

  • Sam Baird, Scott Donaldson, Liam Highfield, Barry Pinches, Chris Melling, Michael Georgiou, Oliver Lines, Zhou Yuelong, Craig Steadman, Ian Burns, Tian Pengfei, Tony Drago, Joel Walker, David Grace, Michael Wasley, Lu Chenwei, Zak Surety, Mitchell Mann, Steven Hallworth, Ian Glover, Michael Leslie, Lu Ning, Liu Chuang, Zhang Anda, Lee Walker, Ju Reti, Rouzi Maimati, Rory Thor Chuan Leong, Steve Mifsud, Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon

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.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Money list: 59th – £39,379 (+5,197)

European Tour OOM: 43rd – £1,166 (+0)

Asian Tour OOM: 9th – £1,000 (+400)

Summary: Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh has always been an entertaining player to watch and so far on his latest spell on the main tour, he has backed that up with results that have been strong enough to see him rise up into the world’s top 64.

Although he is not yet certain to remain there, he does have a useful £5,000 cushion at this time and importantly is continuing to win matches this season, across all types of events, meaning that at the time of writing he is set to retain his tour place via all three qualifying routes, much like Scott Donaldson last season.

Clearly his preferred option would be to retain his place as a top 64 player, in order to carry through his prize money into next season, however as Donaldson found last year, it is important to have a fall-back, should results not go his way as this campaign progresses.

Cope

Jamie Cope

Money list: 60th – £38,707 (+4,525)

European Tour OOM: 30th – £1,583 (+417)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Few will have expected the name Jamie Cope name to be mentioned in this article, but his well-documented battle with the ‘yips’ or whatever the snooker term for his issues is, has seen his ranking drop to such an extent that he needs results this season if he is to be sure of retaining his tour place for 2015/16.

That said, the good news for Jamie is that his recent form has been improved, dating back to his last 32 run at the World Championship back in April and with three wins under his belt from the first two European Tour events of the season, he is also currently in position to retain his tour place via that list, should he drop outside of the top 64.

Alfie Burden

Money list: 61st – £37,666 (+3,484)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Currently into his fifth consecutive season on the main tour, Alfie has struggled for results so far in 2014 and as a result finds himself little more than £3,000 above the top 64 cut-off on the latest provisional end of season rankings, with all those earned during 2012/13 already deducted.

Defeats to Martin O’Donnell and Matt Selt in the first two events of this season’s European Tour mean that he will need return to winning ways sooner rather than later if he is to be sure of making it six consecutive seasons on the tour.

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Li Hang

Money list: 62nd – £36,394 (+2,212)

European Tour OOM: 67th – £583 (-583)

Asian Tour OOM: 5th – £1,500 (+900)

Summary: Although he currently remains outside of the top 64 on the official ranking list, as a second season professional with no points to defend from the 2012/13 season, Li Hang is currently projected to finish the season up inside the important top half and retain his place on tour via that way.

Of course, there is a long way to go, but having also won one match on the European Tour and reached the quarter-finals of the first Asian Tour event of the season, Li has options available if he is to hang (sorry) onto his tour place for another season.

Stuart Carrington

Money list: 63rd – £35,066 (+884)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Like Li Hang above, Stuart is a player currently on the second year of his current two-year tour card at the time of writing is well in contention to retain his tour place by finishing inside the top 64 on the main two-year ranking list.

He has not yet won a match on either the European or Asian Tours so far however and will therefore be hoping to add some points to his tally on at least one of those lists to give himself a further fall-back option is he is unable to crack the top 64.

White

Jimmy White

Money list: 64th – £34,299 (+117)

European Tour OOM: 43rd – £1,166 (+0)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As he has been for the past couple of seasons, Jimmy White is currently in the midst of a battle to retain his professional status with the need for a World Snooker invite.

With just £117 separating him and 65th placed Luca Brecel, while he is also tied with Allan Taylor for what would be the last qualifying spot from the European Order of Merit, it promises to be another nervous season for the Whirlwind in which every victory could prove crucial.

Luca Brecel

Money list: 65th – £34,182 (-117)

European Tour OOM: 30th – £1,583 (+417)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Having finished last season just inside the top 64, Luca Brecel will need to continue to gain results if he is to remain there for a second season.

Importantly however, the youngest ever Crucible qualifier is also currently poised to retain his tour card through the European Order of Merit following his three victories in the first two events to date, if he were to drop out of the top 64..

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Nigel Bond

Money list: 66th – £33,908 (-391)

European Tour OOM: 57th – £1,000 (-166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: An ever-present on the main tour since 1989, Nigel Bond has found it increasingly difficult to reach the latter stages of events in recent years and will need to find results if he is to extend his unbroken spell on the tour into another season.

That said, just £391 from the top 64 and having also won matches in the European Tour so far this season, Nigel is still well in touching distance and retains reasonable prospects of extending his spell on the professional circuit.

Marcus Campbell

Money list: 67th – £32,071 (-2,228)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: 33rd – £200 (-400)

Summary: Another surprising name on this list, Marcus Campbell has dropped from a career-high ranking of 20th just two years ago, to now needing to make up a gap of over £2,000 if he is to remain inside the top 64 for another season.

The reasons for Campbell’s struggles during the past 18 months are unclear, but he has clearly not become a bad player overnight and his supporters will be hoping that he can reproduce some of the form that took him to the semi-finals of the 2012 Wuxi Classic between now and the end of the season.

Campbell

Noppon Saengkham

Money list: 68th – £31,288 (-3,011)

European Tour OOM: 57th – £1,000 (-166)

Asian Tour OOM: 17th – £600 (+0)

Summary: While some of the players above have slipped down the rankings in recent years, Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham has very quietly moved up the list and having seen him in action a few times in recent months, is clearly improving as a player.

He will need to continue winning matches if he is to climb up inside the top 64, but with victories at both the early European and Asian Tour events this season, either of those routes could also see him otherwise retain his place for another year.

Robin Hull

Money list: 69th – £28,500 (-5,799)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Despite having played in far fewer events than most of the other players in this battle, with strong results in the big events that he has entered such as this year’s World Championship, Robin remains within striking distance of earning a top 64 place, if he continues to enter and perform well in this season’s biggest events.

Having not entered either of the season’s first two European events however, it would appear that Robin will not have a fall-back plan if he is unable to earn enough money to otherwise remain inside the top 64.

swail17

Joe Swail

Money list: 70th – £26,499 (-7,800)

European Tour OOM: 57th – £1,000 (-166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Having regained his tour place at the start of last season, with back to back qualification successes for full-ranking events in China, former World Championship semi-finalist Joe Swail has been narrowing the gap to the top 64 in recent weeks and with two victories at the ET1 event in Latvia, could also earn another two-year tour card through that route if he is able to enjoy a successful run in one of the four remaining European Tour events.

Work to do yet for the popular Northern Irishman, but wouldn’t it be just him to be able to do it?

Dave Harold

Money list: 71st – £23,350 (-10,949)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As with fellow tour veteran Nigel Bond above, Dave Harold has found it increasingly difficult to retain his position in the rankings in recent seasons and indeed has opted to miss a number of events during the past 18 months or so.

A terrific player at his best, with a gap of over £10,000 to make up to the top 64 at the time of writing, it is looking increasingly likely that the Stoke potter will find himself off the tour at the end of this season.

Wakelin

Chris Wakelin

Money list: 72nd – £19,416 (-14,883)

European Tour OOM: 15th – £2,917 (+1,751)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: One of the most promising players in the lower half of the rankings, Chris Wakelin will find it hard to break into the world’s top 64 during the course of this season, but having already won five matches during the season’s first two European Tour events, he already looks to be extremely well-placed to retain his tour card through the European Order of Merit.

That said, we learned last season that this is a list that can see a lot of changes and he will want to win a few more matches yet to make absolutely certain that he will finish inside the all-important top eight qualifying places.

Lyu Haotian

Money list: 73rd – £18,089 (-16,210)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: 33rd – £200 (-400)

Summary: The tour’s second youngest player, Lyu Hoatian has shown flashes of his potential over the past couple of seasons but has found it understandably difficult to compete with the tour’s more experienced players on a consistent basis.

With over £16,000 separating him and the top 64, his best chance of earning a fresh tour card would appear to be from the Asian Order of Merit, with two Asian Tour events still to come this season.

Davies1

Alex Davies

Money list: 74th – £17,194 (-17,105)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Despite defeats to Ian Glover and Joel Walker during the first two European Tour events of the season, Alex Davies’ best chance of retaining his professional tour card for another two seasons would appear to come from the European Order of Merit, with results needed during the four remaining events this season in order to lift himself up into the top eight qualifying places.

John Astley

Money list: 75th – £16,277 (-18,022)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As with Alex Davies above, John Astley requires either a deep run at one or more of the season’s coming ranking events, or as is perhaps more likely, a couple of strong runs during the season’s remaining European or Asian Tour events if he is to remain on tour.

Andrew Pagett

Money list: 77th – £12,333 (-21,966)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Miah3

Hammad Miah

Money list: 80th – £9,260 (-25,039)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Vinnie Calabrese

Money list: 81st – £9,100 (-25,199)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Calabrese

Andrew Norman

Money list: 82nd – £8,160 (-26,139)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: 33rd – £200 (-400)

Summary: As above.

Fraser Patrick

Money list: 84th – £7,266 (-27,033)

European Tour OOM: 24th – £1,917 (+751)

Asian Tour OOM: 17th – £600 (+0)

Summary: While Scotland’s Fraser Patrick will find it difficult to break into the top 64 this season, thanks to his last 16 run at the Paul Hunter Classic last month, Fraser has at least given himself a real chance of earning a fresh tour card via the European Order of Merit, if he can add a few more victories to that early run.

Having also won a couple of matches at the AT1 event, Fraser would be well advised to enter the remaining two Asian Tour events this season and give himself a further potential lifeline.

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Alex Borg

Money list: 86th – £7,149 (-27,150)

European Tour OOM: 67th – £583 (-583)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary:  As with some of the names above, Alex Borg looks to be in need of victories during the season’s four remaining European Tour events, having one win under his belt so far from two events.

Ratchayothin Yotharuck

Money list: 92nd – £5,433 (-28,866)

European Tour OOM: 67th – £583 (-583)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Elliot Slessor

Money list: 94th – £5,235 (-29,064)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Slessor1

Chris Norbury

Money list: 95th – £5,167 (-29,132)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: As above.

Igor Figueiredo

Money list: 97th – £5,000 (-29,299)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: A player that we have only seen in action at the World Championship in recent times, Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo looks set to drop back off the tour at the end of the season, his lack of further appearances understood to be due to financial reasons.

Ross Muir

Money list: 98th – £4,985 (-29,314)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: 17th – £600 (+0)

Summary: As with a number of players in this list, Ross is unlikely to make a breakthrough into the top 64 this season, but having won two matches at the AT1 event earlier in the season, is currently in contention to earn a fresh tour card via the Asian Order of Merit.

Muir

Lee Page

Money list: 98th – £4,860 (-29,439)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: 33rd – £200 (-400)

Summary: Another player in need of a run or two at either a European or Asian Tour event.

Cao Xinlong

Money list: 99th – £4,250 (-30,049)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: 17th – £600 (+0)

Summary: See Ross Muir above.

James Cahill

Money list: 101st – £4,200 (-30,099)

European Tour OOM: 30th – £1,583 (+417)

Asian Tour OOM: 33rd – £200 (-400)

Summary: With victories so far at both European and Asian Tour events, James Cahill is another player who despite not being within striking distance of the top 64 on the main two-year ranking list, is currently in place to retain his professional status through the European Tour. An ever-improving player, it will be interesting to see whether James can replicate the achievements of Joel Walker last season, who following a tough début season, performed brilliantly in subsequent European Tour events to earn a fresh two-year card.

Cahill250

Allan Taylor

Money list: 108th – £2,816 (-31,483)

European Tour OOM:

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: With opening round victories in both ET1 and ET2, Allan Taylor will be hoping for further victories during the season’s remaining four European (or Asian) Tour events in order to retain his tour place for a further season.

Jak Jones

Money list: 109th – £2,066 (-32,233)

European Tour OOM: 30th – £1,583 (+417)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: See James Cahill, Allan Taylor above.

Alexander Ursenbacher

Money list: 111th – £1,683 (-32,616)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: Again, Alex looks to be reliant upon results during the season’s four remaining European Tour events if he is to retain his tour card.

Ursenbacher

Ryan Clark

Money list: 114th – £694 (-33,605)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: See above.

Ahmed Saif

Money list: 120th – £0 (-34,299)

European Tour OOM: 84th – £0 (-1,166)

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: See above.

Lee Spick

Money list: 120th – £0 (-34,299)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: See above.

Khalid Beleid Abumdas

Money list: 120th – £0 (-34,299)

European Tour OOM: N/A

Asian Tour OOM: N/A

Summary: See above.