It might feel a little strange to be talking about the Dafabet Masters in the summer months of July, but already eyes are beginning to turn to the race for the 16 places at the Alexandra Palace in 2016.
For those not familar with the way that snooker’s world rankings operate, the current main tour professionals are ranked in order of prize money earned at designated ranking events, during the last two years on a rolling basis. This means that as of today, the rankings are made up of points from July 2013, up to and including last week’s Australian Goldfields Open.
Between now and December’s Betway UK Championship, for ranking purposes all prize money earned from the start of the 2013/14 season, up to and including the 2013 UK Championship, will be replaced by that won during the remainder of this year.
In effect then, although there remains a lot of prize money still to be won at events such as the Shanghai Masters, International Championship and Betway UK Championship, in reality we are 75% of the way into a two year race for places at the Dafabet Masters.
While the official world ranking list of course shows the players who are currently occupying the all-important top 16 places, this list does not show which players have the most to defend during the next six months.
You can however view the latest ‘race to the Masters’ here, from which all prize money from the 2013/14 season, that will be removed by the time that the seeding list is revised for this season’s Dafabet Masters, has already been deducted.
What can we see at this early stage? Notably the top 16 players on the official world ranking list at present are still in position to qualify for the tournament, but Robert Milkins, actually ranked 19th at present, is in reality the closest chaser some £25,000 behind Welshman Michael White.
As ever with the various ranking battles, no doubt that there will be plenty of twists and turns between now and the seedings revision for the Dafabet Masters on 7 December 2015.
The Box Office for the Dafabet Masters 2016 is open and on sale – get your tickets today to the most prestigious invitation snooker event on the World Snooker calendar.