As has now been the case for several seasons, during 2015/16 the world rankings will be revised after each event, with seedings for future tournaments to be decided at a number of pre-arranged dates during the course of the campaign.
The first such revision, or ‘cut-off’ point this season follows the conclusion of the Australian Goldfields Open yesterday and so the newly updated ranking list will be used to determine the seedings for the upcoming Shanghai Masters event, as well as the opening European Tour event of the season in Riga.
What are the most significant changes to the ranking list after the season’s first ranking event?
As I explained during my pre-tournament blog, Mark Selby was already guaranteed to remain as world number one regardless of the outcome of events in Australia, due to his already sizeable lead to the likes of nearest challengers Stuart Bingham and Ding Junhui.
The Top 16
Climbing back up into world’s elite top 16 is 24-year-old Michael White, who made it to the last eight in Bendigo before losing out to close friend and fellow Welshman Jamie Jones.
He replaces Robert Milkins in that bracket, who drops three places to 19th place following the removal of the prize money earned for reaching the semi-finals of both the Wuxi Classic and Australia Goldfields Open back in 2013.
The good news for Milkins at least is because he would go on to experience a relatively difficult season in 2013/14 following such a strong start, he now has relatively little to set to be removed for the remainder of the season and so will be looking to start moving back in the right direction.
Prior to the start of the Australian Goldfields Open, Jamie Jones needed to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament if he was to break into the top 32 ahead of the Shanghai Masters, but as mentioned above he would go one better with his 5-4 victory against Michael White.
His rise means that he will now have to win just one qualifying match to make it to the venue stages in Shanghai, rather than three had he finished outside of the top 32.
The same applies to Gary Wilson, who moves up into the top 32 for the first time in his career, despite not being able to qualify for the final stages of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Dropping out of the top 32 at this cut-off are Ben Woollaston and Matthew Stevens, although finishing 33rd and 34th, they are best placed to benefit in the event that any higher ranked players decide not to enter the Shanghai Masters.
With those beginning the new season ranked outside of the world’s top 64 either on zero points or with points from only the 2014/15 season to their name, unsurprisingly none have yet been able to break into that bracket after just one event.
The nearest man to doing so at present is Sam Baird, who is closing in fast on 64th placed Cao Yupeng, but otherwise the remaining chasers have a gap of at least £10,000 to bridge.
The next seeding revision will come on the 21st September 2015 following the conclusion of the Shanghai Masters.