Closing In On The Cut: Crucible 2013

It feels like a long time since I last prepared one of these, but with the final mid-season seedings revision looming large, below I take a look at how the rankings are shaping up ahead of the Crucible, with just the PTC Grand Finals and China Open tournaments still to be played.

I also take a look at how the draw for the World Championship is shaping up…

  • Click here to view the drawsheet for the PTC Grand Finals
  • Click here to view the drawsheet for the China Open
  • Click here to view the latest projected seedings
  • Click here to view the points tariffs for events this season
  • Click here to view when points will be deducted this season

On 31st March 2013 following the China Open, the seedings list will be revised for the fourth time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the World Championship.

As now confirmed by World Snooker, by 31st March 2013, the points from the 2010 EPTC5, 2010 EPTC6, 2011 German Masters, 2011 Welsh Open, 2011 PTC Grand Finals and 2011 China Open will have been deducted and replaced by those from this season’s ET5 event, up until that date.

As always, I have already removed those points from the appropriate column on my latest projected seedings list, to show the situation as up to date as possible…

The Crucible Draw

For those who may not be aware, unlike other tournaments, the top 16 seeded players at the World Championship are placed in the draw in a very specific manner, for example the top seed is always scheduled to meet the 16th seed in the second round, the second seed is always poised to meet the 15th seed and so on.

That being the case, the last 16 draw is currently shaping up as follows…

O’Sullivan (1) v Carter (16)
Bingham (9) v Maguire (8)

Higgins (5) v Stevens (12)
Dott (13) v Robertson (4)

Selby (3) v Hawkins (14)
Williams (11) v Allen (6)

Murphy (7) v Ding (10)
Walden (15) v Trump (2)

Of course these positions are likely to change over the course of the next two events, in particular there is relatively little separating Judd Trump and Mark Selby who could switch places in the draw, while 4th-7th are also separated by a small amount of points in the rankings.

I will blog more on these positions in due course following the PTC finals when the situation will become clear, though with strong players throughout the draw, I would be hard pressed to say whether there is a half of the draw which is any stronger or weaker than the other.

Battle for Number 1

Realistically a two-man battle heading into the final two events prior to the cut-off, Judd Trump currently holds a lead of 2,000 points over Mark Selby.

With both players qualified for the PTC Grand Finals, on the basis that both were to reach the same round, then very loosely speaking, Selby would most likely have to progress a couple of rounds further than Trump at the China Open, with the two poised to meet in the semi-finals in Beijing.

I will focus more on this battle following the PTC Grand Finals in Galway, when the situation will become somewhat clearer…

Battle for the Top 8

Similarly, the battle for the top eight is a tricky one to call at this stage, with all bar Shaun Murphy and Matthew Stevens of the top 12 qualified for both the PTC Finals and the China Open.

That said, ninth placed Ding Junhui apart, Stuart Bingham has a reasonable cushion to the chasing pack, tenth placed Mark Williams trailing him by 3,480, meaning that the Welshman may require at least a semi-final run in Beijing if he is to bring himself into contention.

Matthew Stevens is a further 680 points back, but already out of the PTC Finals, while Graeme Dott, Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden would need to challenge for the Beijing title if they are to stand any chance.

Battle for the Top 16 (15)

With reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan taking the top seeding, this means that only the world’s top 15 ranked players at the next cut-off can be sure of a place at the Crucible, without having to qualify at the EIS.

The unfortunate man currently in 16th place is Mark Davis, though trailing 15th placed Ali Carter by just 965 points following the Captain’s decision to sit out the Haikou World Open, his fate remains to some degree in his own hands.

Further up the rankings, Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden will both be looking to win another match or two prior to the cut-off in order to be absolutely sure, while below, Marco Fu and Robert Milkins have a remote chance to threaten the top 15, though would each probably need to win the China Open to stand any chance.

Again, a closer analysis will follow the PTC Grand Finals.

The Top 32 (33)

With the ongoing Stephen Lee situation still unresolved, the man who is currently sitting in 17th place provisionally looks set to miss out on a place at the World Championship, though news has emerged that he has nevertheless entered the tournament, should a decision be made by then in his favour.

On the basis that he will not be taking part however, then those ranked between 16-33 at the next cut-off (excluding Ronnie O’Sullivan of course), will begin their respective Crucible campaigns at the last 48 stage.

Those currently in the mix are as follows:

  • 31st – Peter Ebdon – 38735
  • 32nd – Jamie Cope – 36795
  • 33rd – Fergal O’Brien – 36740


  • 34th – Liang Wenbo – 36450
  • 35th – Jamie Burnett – 35905
  • 36th – Ben Woollaston – 35430
  • 40th – Rory McLeod – 33100
  • 42nd – Jack Lisowski – 32785

Most immediately in danger then is Fergal O’Brien, not just because he currently sits in 33rd place, but also because already out of both the PTC Grand Finals and China Open tournaments, therefore he is unable to defend his position.

Liang Wenbo below him has successfully qualified for the China Open and with victories against wildcard Lu Ning and Premier League champion Stuart Bingham, would move above both O’Brien and Jamie Cope, though Jamie will also be involved in Beijing.

Others who could displace both Cope and O’Brien include Jamie Burnett and Ben Woollaston, both of whom have qualified for the PTC Grand Finals in Galway. Scotland’s Burnett would have to reach at least the semi-finals, while Woollaston would require a final run.

Further back, Rory McLeod could draw level with O’Brien with a run to the final in Beijing, while Jack Lisowski also has a mathematical chance.

The Top 48 (49)

The battle for the top 49 (again, assuming that Stephen Lee will be absent), is relatively clear cut, with only Jimmy Robertson able to overhaul 49th placed Anthony McGill, with a win in China against his namesake Neil Robertson.

In McGill’s favour is the fact that as well as having made it to the venue stages in Beijing, he has also qualified for the PTC Grand Finals in Galway and therefore has two more chances to extend his lead further.

The Top 64 (66)

On the basis that neither Stephen Lee, or Stephen Hendry will be in the main draw for the World Championship this year, the top 66 will start in the second round of the competition, with Norway’s Kurt Kaflin currently sitting in 66th place.

The only man who can still catch him is Thailand’s Dechawat Poomjaeng, though it would take an unlikely run to the semi-finals for the qualifier to do so.


Stay tuned after the PTC Grand Finals for an updated look at the situation heading into China…