Ranking event snooker returns to our screens next week with the venue stages of the F66.com German Masters from the iconic Tempodrom venue in Berlin.
The event will also mark the latest seedings revision of the 2016/17 season, with the new updated rankings set to decide the final seeding list for the Welsh Open, while the 32 qualifiers for the World Grand Prix will also be decided via the one-year list after the event (see here for more).
On the 6th February 2017 following the German Masters, the current seedings list will be updated for the sixth time this season and will be used to determine the seedings for the 2017 Welsh Open.
By the time of the revision, prize money earned from the 2014 AT1, ET1, Wuxi Classic, Australian Goldfields Open, ET2, Shanghai Masters, ET3, AT2, International Championship, ET4, UK Championship; and 2015 ET5, AT3 and German Masters 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
It was two years ago following his maiden victory at this event that Mark Selby returned to the top of the world rankings, a position that he has maintained ever since without interruption.
That does mean of course that the prize money that he earned that week in Berlin is now due to fall from his ranking, however given his dominant season to date, which has seen him win the two most lucrative ranking tournaments on the calendar, he is already certain of holding on to top spot. Ambitions of surpassing the £1m mark will though have to wait, as even a repeat victory in Germany would see him fall just short of a seven-figure total.
Behind him, long-term number two Stuart Bingham could have been overtaken by John Higgins in Glasgow before Christmas, but is now also certain to retain his ranking with all of the players from 3-6th provisionally not having qualified for Berlin.
That being the case, it could be a useful week for the likes of Neil Robertson, Marco Fu and Mark Allen to gain ground, particularly as they will not be in action at the China Open later this season and so could do with putting some money on the board.
The Top Eight
With the 12th (provisionally) ranked Ronnie O’Sullivan set to defend his title as top seed at the Welsh Open, this effectively means that the battle for a top eight seeding in Cardiff is straight fight between Neil Robertson and Marco Fu.
And the equation is simple, as for Fu, nothing less than the title would do, with Robertson a potential semi-final opponent.
The Top 16
While it is not the most important cut-off to be inside of the world’s top 16 for (unlike the following pre-Crucible revision in April), all of the players like to be ranked within snooker’s traditional elite bracket.
Often a cut-off that sees a lot of permutations, on this occasion the mathematics are relatively simple, with 17th placed Ricky Walden the only man close enough to break into the top 16 and needing to win the title to do so.
If he can, he will nudge out 2011 German Masters champion Mark Williams, unless the Welshman is able to reach the quarter-finals, in which case the absent Kyren Wilson would miss out.
The Top 32
With all players provisionally ranked 28-32 already out of the tournament and five of those from 33-38 still in it, the opportunity exists for players to break into the traditional second tier with a deep run in Berlin.
The likes of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Jamie Jones and Dominic Dale could do so with a run to the semi-finals, while Tom Ford and Peter Ebdon would need to reach the final.
Further down the list, both Robin Hull and Stuart Carrington could do so with a run to the title.
The Top 64
As the season progresses we are now seeing more and more of the players on the first or second year of two-year tour cards, starting to push for top 64 places as those above face the removal of ranking points between now and the end of the season.
Anthony Hamilton, provisionally 65th on the list already during only the first year of his current card, can break into the top 64 ahead of Chris Wakelin if he can defeat Mark Williams in Berlin, while 16-year-old Yan Bingtao would need to reach the semi-finals to do so.
The five other remaining players in the draw ranked outside of the top 64 would need to win the title if they are to crack the 64 when the rankings are next revised.
Regular updates will follow throughout the tournament here at WPBSA.com, with the action getting underway on Wednesday 1 February 2017.