Closing in on the Cut: August 2016

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Following the conclusion of the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic next week, the main seeding list for World Snooker events will be revised for the second time this season.

The updated list will be used to determine the seedings for the International Championship and also the European Championship, following the recent announcement of a format change for that event by World Snooker.

  • Click here to view the draw for the Paul Hunter Classic
  • Click here to view the latest provisional seedings
  • Click here to view the prize money schedule for events this season

On the 29th August 2016 following the Paul Hunter Classic, the current seedings list will be revised for the second time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the 2016 European Championship and International Championship.

By the time of the revision, prize money earned from the 2014 AT1, ET1, Wuxi Classic, Australian Goldfields Open and Paul Hunter Classic tournaments will have been deducted and replaced by that from this season’s events up to that date. This prize money has therefore already been removed from the latest provisional seedings list, to show the situation as up to date as possible.

Please note that all seeding permutations below are on the basis that all eligible players enter the relevant events.

Battle for Number 1

With a lead of almost £75,000 to second placed Stuart Bingham at the top of the world rankings, Mark Selby is already guaranteed to remain as world number one following the Paul Hunter Classic.

In fact as explained recently in a previous blog, Selby is in fact certain to remain in top spot through next month’s Shanghai Masters.

As it will be a new event, Selby will be top seed for the European Championship, while defending champion John Higgins will head the draw at the International Championship in Daqing.

The Top Eight

The battle for top eight seedings is set to be contested between Ding Junhui, Ricky Walden and recent World Open finalist Joe Perry out in Germany.

It is currently Ding who holds onto the final spot inside of the top eight by just £117, but having elected not to enter the Paul Hunter Classic, he will be overtaken should Ricky Walden win his opening match against Ireland’s Josh Boileau.

For Perry on the other hand, he must simply win the event and hope that Walden does not progress beyond the last 16 stage in Fuerth, as a quarter-final would guarantee the three-time ranking event winner a top eight berth.


The Top 16

The top 16 is a bracket that already this season has seen real change with Kyren Wilson and Ali Carter climbing the list, as well as Indian Open winner Anthony McGill knocking on the door.

In Germany however the equation is relatively simple with only Martin Gould in with a chance of breaking back into the top 16 after he was dislodged following Carter’s victory at the World Open last month.

Needing to win the title, he would either move back above Carter, or if Ali is able to win one match in Germany, ahead of Barry Hawkins who has not entered the Paul Hunter Classic.

The Top 32

On the face of it being inside the top 32 is not quite as important as in previous seasons, particularly given the shift towards flat draw formats. Interestingly however, the European Championship (which will be seeded according to the ranking list at this upcoming cut-off point), will be the first event to be drawn in accordance with a new format by World Snooker.

As already explained within my season preview blog, the top 32 players will all be seeded and kept apart in the draw, however the remaining 96 players will be drawn at random. This means that seed 33 could play the world number one (or indeed 128) in the very first round, rather than being guaranteed to play a lower ranked player as they will in the International Championship for example. In order to avoid potentially facing one of the sport’s elite players early on therefore, the players in and around this bracket will all be looking to sneak inside the top 32.

Again though, the equation here is very simple with 32nd placed Peter Ebdon having already withdrawn from the event and only Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in with a mathematical chance of catching him.

To do so, Un-Nooh would need to reach the final in Germany, with £9,000 enough to see him break into the top 32 for the first time in his career.


The Top 64

As explained last month, at the start of the season there is usually a points gap to be bridged between 64th and 65th placed players, due to those outside of the top 64 from the previous season having seen their totals reset to zero, or having been relegated from the tour. This means that the closest players to breaking into the top 64 are those who are on the second year of a two-year card and enjoyed a strong 2015/16 season.

Following the World Open Alfie Burden remains the man closest to breaking into the top 64, needing to win the title in Germany to overhaul Yu Delu, as would Nigel Bond as the only other player within striking distance next week.

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