It might be some five months away, but already ten places have been filled for November’s Champion of Champions event, set to be held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for a third consecutive year.
The official qualification criteria has yet to be confirmed by World Snooker, but today this article at the tournament’s official website has shed some light onto how the players will be selected for the 2015 tournament.
In particular, the article states that:
“Qualifying events take order of precedence with the 14 major tournaments on the World Snooker schedule in the first group of events. The second group comprises six Euro Tour events and the third group has three Asian Tour events. The final group is the three tournaments – Shoot Out, World Seniors and Six Reds – that fall outside the other three groups.
“The other eight players to have qualified are Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Michael White, Judd Trump, Joe Perry, Stephen Maguire and Neil Robertson.
“The forthcoming World Cup which gets underway in Wuxi, China on Monday 15th June has been added to the first group of qualifying events which means that both members of the winning pair will be guaranteed spots in the Champion of Champions.”
On that basis, I make the current list of qualifiers to be as follows:
1. 2014 Champion of Champions – Ronnie O’Sullivan (1)
2. 2014 UK Championship (Dec) – Ronnie O’Sullivan
3. 2015 Masters (Jan) – Shaun Murphy (2)
4. 2015 German Masters (Feb) – Mark Selby (3)
5. 2015 Welsh Open (Feb) – John Higgins (4)
6. 2015 Championship League Snooker (Feb) – Stuart Bingham (5)
7. 2015 Indian Open (Mar) – Michael White (6)
8. 2015 World Grand Prix (Mar) – Judd Trump (7)
9. 2015 Players Championship (Mar) – Joe Perry (8)
10. 2015 China Open (Apr) – Mark Selby
11. 2015 World Championship (May) – Stuart Bingham
12. 2015 World Cup (June) – TBC x2
13. 2015 Australian Open (July) – TBC
14. 2015 Shanghai Masters (Sept) – TBC
15. 2015 International Championship (Oct) – TBC
16. ET4 (Nov) – Shaun Murphy
17. ET5 (Dec) – Stephen Maguire (9)
18. ET6 (Feb) – Neil Robertson (10)
19. ET1 (Aug) – TBC
20. ET2 (Aug) TBC
21. ET3 (Oct) TBC
22. Asian Tour 3 (Jan) – Joe Perry
23. Asian Tour 2 (Sep) – TBC
24. Asian Tour 3 (Oct) TBC
23. Six Reds World Championship (Sept) – TBC
24. The Shoot Out (Jan) – Michael White
25. The World Seniors Championship (Oct) Mark Williams (11)
So what has changed? Out has gone the Haikou World Open, replaced by last season’s World Grand Prix in the calendar, while it is particularly interesting to note that both winning players of next week’s World Cup will earn a place in Coventry, effectively taking one extra place as previously the winner of the now defunct Wuxi Classic would have taken a spot.
The tournament does not mention Mark Williams, presumably because he could theoretically be edged out of the 16 qualifiers depending upon the winners of the remaining events between now and November.
I will of course update the list over the coming months here at PSB as the remaining places are filled.