EPTC3: The Story So Far

Updated Provisional Seedings…

The standout stories from this weekend’s EPTC event have of course been the two maximum breaks made by Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and Mark Williams, but with both of those players now out of the tournament, the spotlight quickly turns to those still in contention for the title…

To date it has not been a spectacular season for Ken Doherty, particularly in the Players Tour Championship as before this week he had won just two matches during the series which has left him perilously close to dropping out of the top 32 again. This weekend however has seen Ken raise his game with a string of impressive victories against Igor Figueiredo, Zhang Anda, Jamie Cope and earlier this morning Welshman Jamie Jones who for the third event in a row has been on fire in the PTC. Ken will next face the winner of the tie between Ricky Walden and Barry Hawkins which at the time of writing is led by Hawkins.

It has been another good weekend so far for Mark Selby who is continuing his steady accumulation of ranking points with another run to the quarter-finals. At one point today however this did not look to be likely as he trailed former UK Champion Stephen Maguire by three frames to one but as he has done many times before, the Jester from Leicester turned the tables on his opponent and won through in a decider.

Other players continuing good recent form include Marcus Campbell and Andrew Higginson. Marcus deserves a special mention in particular because his run to a second successive quarter-final lifts him up into the top 32 of the rankings for the first time in his career. Higginson meanwhile came back from behind against Steve Davis last night to continue his own rise and edge closer to an unlikely top 16 place. At the time of writing he currently leads Gerard Greene 3-2 in his last 16 match, Gerard himself having performed well this week to send maximum man Mark Williams home yesterday.

What of the upsets? Again Stephen Hendry was an early casualty, losing 4-2 to Barry Hawkins in the first round having exited the previous two PTC events at the hands of Welshman Matthew Stevens early on. Speaking of Stevens, he was forced to concede his last 64 match against Neil Robertson after just one frame, reportedly due to back trouble. Robertson in turn was then sent packing by Liang Wenbo at the last 32 stage.

It has been another interesting week for Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel who having dispensed with professionals Andy Hicks and Anthony McGill in the early rounds, himself lost out to Marco Fu in the third round in a seventh and deciding frame. Marco has since slipped up himself however, falling to Welsh youngster Michael White who is through to his first PTC quarter-final as a result.

It was another torrid weekend for Ryan Day meanwhile who lost his opening match again, this time to Alfie Burden who has enjoyed a strong start to the season and edged their deciding frame. Jimmy White too was a first round loser, surprisingly so against local favourite Lasse Munstermann who was then subsequently defeated by Tony Drago in the next round.

Who will win? I’ll tip/jinx Selby and Hawkins, should the latter emerge victorious from his clash with Ricky Walden…