Ranking event snooker returns next Tuesday as defending champion Anthony McGill leads the field at the 2017 Indian Open in Vishakhapatnam.
The event also marks the second mid-season seedings revision of the new campaign as the final list is determined for the upcoming International Championship in Daqing.
On 18 September 2017 following the Indian Open, the current seedings list will be revised and used to determine the seedings for the 2017 International Championship.
By the time of the revision, prize money earned from the 2015 ET1, Australian Goldfields Open and ET2 will have been deducted and replaced by that from this season’s events up to that date.
As always, we have already removed the points to be deducted from the appropriate column on the latest provisional seedings list, to show the situation as up to date as possible.
Battle for Number 1
Unsurprisingly with a lead of £766,125 to closest challenger John Higgins on the latest provisional seeding list, long-time world number one Mark Selby will not be caught at the top of the rankings regardless of the outcome in Vishakhapatnam.
Behind Selby, Higgins is set to move back above Judd Trump up into second position on the list, while the remaining players inside of the top seven are guaranteed to remain where they are with only Shaun Murphy in action next week.
The Top Eight
Player absences also makes the battle for top eight places clear cut, with only Stuart Bingham able to overtake eighth placed Neil Robertson ahead of the upcoming seeding list revision. To do so, the former world champion must win the tournament in India, with Robertson not in action.
The Top 16
The first real battle then is that for the top 16 as the players jostle for position with the crucial Masters cut-off starting to appear on the horizon.
For this cut-off at least, only 16th placed Ryan Day can drop out of the sport’s traditional top tier, with Anthony McGill, Stephen Maguire and David Gilbert the three players mathematically in contention to displace him.
Again, all three must win the title, with Maguire and Gilbert on course for a potential semi-final clash in the bottom half, while top seeded McGill heads the top section.
The Top 32
With the top 32 guaranteed to avoid each other in the draw for the first couple of rounds in Daqing there remains some benefit to securing a top 32 seeding for the tournament.
Leicester duo Ben Woollaston and Tom Ford currently round out the 32, with next placed Mark Davis needing to reach at least the quarter-finals if he is to overhaul them.
Dominic Dale must make it as far as the final if he is to stand any chance of overhauling Ford, while Jimmy Robertson, Robert Milkins and Mike Dunn would need to reach the final.
A further eight players could break into the top 32 by winning the title in India.
The Top 64
Perhaps the most significant cut-off outside of the top 16 with the top 64 seeds guaranteed to avoid the bottom 64 in Daqing, usually we do not see too many changes at the start of the season as those with only points from the previous season continue to gain ground on the established top 64 players.
It is not impossible that we could see a change this week, but it would appear unlikely with John Astley and Zhang Anda needing to reach the final to threaten 64th placed Chris Wakelin.
A further six players could do so by taking a shock title, including 2013 runner-up and home favourite Aditya Mehta.
For more updates throughout the week, check back here at WPBSA.com for my live blog or alternatively follow @prosnookerblog and @WPBSAofficial via Twitter.