In little over a week’s time we will see the start of the 2015 Betway UK Championship at the Barbican Centre in York.
As well as being the biggest event of the season so far, the tournament will also be the final opportunity for players to earn prize money that will count towards qualification for the Dafabet Masters in January, with the ‘cut-off’ falling immediately after the event.
The world rankings are updated after every ranking event, with regular revisions applied to the list used to determine seedings for upcoming tournaments taking place throughout the season.
The revised list following the Betway UK Championship, including prize money earned during the previous two years will be used to cofirm who will qualify to play at the Alexandra Palace in January, with the top 16 at that point set to qualify.
The State of Play
The latest official ranking list issued following the Victoria Bulgarian Open can be accessed here, but remember that as well as the prize money to be added at the upcoming Betway UK Championship, there is also prize money to be deducted from the same event back in 2013, when Neil Robertson lifted the title to complete snooker’s ‘triple crown’.
When we look then at the ‘provisional’ list, on which that upcoming deduction has already taken place, we can see that the two players most at risk of dropping outside of the top 16 and missing out on a place in London are Michael White and Stephen Maguire.
Having climbed back inside the world’s top 16 following the Australian Goldfields Open, Welshman White has remained there since and as it stands, is in line to rise to a new career-high of 15th following the Betway UK Championship.
He currently leads 2004 Barbican winner Maguire by £9,525 on the provisional list and more importantly in respect of the Dafabet Masters, is ahead of 17th placed countryman Ryan Day by £19,584.
For White to miss out, even with a first-round defeat to rookie professional Sydney Wilson, Day would have to reach the quarter-finals and Maguire the last 16, or there would need to be deeper runs for some of the players further down the ranking list.
Maguire’s position meanwhile is more precarious, with Day closing the gap to £10,059 with his run to the final in Sofia recently.
Again, Day would need to reach the last 16 to overtake Maguire if he were to lose in the opening round, while the further the Scot is able to progress, the more matches that Day would need to win to remain in with a chance of overhauling him.
With a top prize of £150,000 on offer to the winner in York, of course almost every player in the draw remains in with a mathematical chance of breaking into the top 16 (Maguire’s total currently standing at £162,358), and so as the likes of David Gilbert and Kyren Wilson have shown recently, all is there to play for.
Looking at the draw, further points of interest include that Maguire (16th) could play Mark Davis (21st) at the last 32 stage, while crucially, Michael White (15th) and Ryan Day (17th) are also on course to meet at that relatively early stage.
Tickets are still available for the Betway UK Championship, see worldsnooker.com for all of the details.