Following the conclusion of this week’s BetVictor Welsh Open, there will be just one event to go before the field for the new World Grand Prix in Llandudno next month is set.
As announced at the end of last season, the top 32 players on an all-new prize money list counting only money earned from the 2014 Dafabet World Championship, up to and including the 2015 Kreativ Dental Gdynia Open, will qualify for the event in Llandudno, Wales.
Heading into the BetVictor Welsh Open, I explained how David Gilbert was at that time occupying the 32nd and final qualifying place for the event, but following his opening round defeat to John Astley has seen himself pushed down three places and as it stands, out of the running.
Amongst those to move above him are Cardiff semi-finalists Luca Brecel and Ben Woollaston, the latter at the time of writing (ahead of his last four encounter with Mark Williams at the Welsh capital), already up to 26th position, while Brecel holds 31st, just 83 points ahead of Rod Lawler.
So what can now change at the final counting event in Gdynia next weekend?
Mathematically, the majority of the world’s top 64 can still qualify for the World Grand Prix with a deep run in Poland, however on closer inspection, it is clearly Fergal O’Brien, who 916 points behind Rod Lawler, has the best chance of gatecrashing the current top 32.
The Irishman needs at least two victories in Gdynia (which would earn him 1,000), if he is to potentially move above Luca Brecel and Lawler, should they lose their opening round matches.
Fergal’s compatriot Ken Doherty stands one place behind, but trailing Lawler by 4,583 on the Grand Prix list, must reach at least the semi-finals at the Kreativ Dental Gdynia Open and win the 5,000 points that would come with that run, to bring himself into contention.
Further back, David Gilbert, Jamie Jones, Jamie Burnett, Jimmy Robertson and Matthew Stevens would need to reach at least the final, whilst the remaining players within range mathematically must win the tournament in Gdynia.
Updates will follow here at WPBSA.com during the course of the tournament in Poland.