Race to Llandudno – Two to Go

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Following today’s final at the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix, there are now just two events to go before the field is set for the Ladbrokes Players Championship in North Wales.

Continue reading for my updated summary following this week’s action in Preston.

Qualification criteria

As was the case in 2017, the top 16 players on the one-year ranking list following the Gibraltar Open will qualify to play at the Players Championship next month.

With £125,000 on offer to the winner and a minimum of £10,000 to any player who qualifies, not only is the tournament a prestigious competition in its own right, but the prize money earned could also prove crucial in this year’s Race to the Crucible, with just the lucrative China Open to follow the action in Llandudno.

In the mix

There are now just two events to go prior to the all-important seedings revision, the ManBetX Welsh Open and the ManBetX Gibraltar Open concluding on 11th March 2018.

With the top prize in Gibraltar set at £25,000, almost all of the players among the chasing pack will also need a run at this week’s Welsh Open if they are to stand any chance of qualifying to play in Llandudno.

Updated position as of 25/02/2018:

14th – Anthony McGill – £111,500
15th – Graeme Dott – £111,000*
16th – Yan Bingtao – £104,000*
17th – Martin Gould – £103,500*
18th – Cao Yupeng – £96,000
19th – Joe Perry – £93,000
20th – Jack Lisowski – £91,100
21st – Li Hang – £89,000
22nd – Xiao Guodong – £82,000*
23rd – Mark Joyce – £78,500
24th – David Gilbert – £77,000*
25th – Ali Carter – £74,000
25th – Michael White – £74,000
27th– Mark King – £73,725

*player has not entered Gibraltar Open

Interestingly as can be seen from the table above, Graeme Dott, Yan Bingtao and Martin Gould, three players either side of the cut-off point for the top 16 have chosen not to enter the Gibraltar Open, meaning that they will be counting on being able to do enough next week in Cardiff to secure their positions at the Players Championship.

As was the case heading into the World Grand Prix, four current top 16 players still look set to miss out upon qualification for Llandudno, namely Barry Hawkins, Marco Fu, Stuart Bingham and Ali Carter.

Further updates will follow, with a live blog to feature here at WPBSA.com during the Gibraltar Open providing regular updates on the latest standings in the Race to Llandudno.