Tour Survival 2016/17: November Update

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As we approach the mid-way point of the season, for many of the players currently ranked in the lower half of the rankings, attention is already shifting towards the battle to remain on tour beyond the end of 2016/17.

For the first time since the introduction of two-year tour cards, the qualification system has in fact been subject to something a shake-up, following the end of the European and Asian Tours which had previously offered up to 12 places.

Below I explain just how the places will be determined this season, before looking at each of the players currently in the danger zone, on an individual basis.

The Links

  • Click here to view the latest provisional end of season ranking list
  • Click here to view the latest one-year ranking list
  • Click here to view the prize money schedule for 2016/17

Who Stays on Tour?

This is explained in some detail on my previous article here, but in summary, the following players will retain their professional places for 2017/18:

  • All players ranked inside the top 64 on the two-year ranking list following the 2017 World Championship
  • All players ranked outside of the top 64 on the two-year ranking list, who have joined the tour for 2016/17 on the first year of a two-year tour card.
  • The top eight players ranked on the one-year ranking list, not already qualified as above.

Who will finish in the top 64?

Though it remains impossible to say with certainty what the final amount of money required to stay inside the top 64 will be, in 2014 we saw Jimmy White take the 64th and final spot with total prize money of £48,692 across the previous two seasons, while in 2015 the bar rose to £54,582. Last season the bar dipped again to £49,431, which was enough to see Stuart Carrington retain his top 64 place.

This season it is perhaps even more difficult to predict as the calendar has seen a significant change with the introduction of events such as the Home Nations Series, World Open and Indian Open (not to mention the Shoot Out), replacing the Australian Goldfields Open and European Tour events. With prize money continually on the rise however, I would be surprised if anything less than £50,000 proves to be sufficient to remain inside the top 64.

Importantly, these players will all earn a one-year tour card for the following season, but will retain their prize money earned, rather than start again from zero, as those qualifying on a two-year card by any other means will have to.

What would be sufficient on the one-year list? During the past two years, approximately £13,000 and £17,000 would have been enough, but with prize money on the rise it could be that as much as £20,000 could be needed to earn one of the eight additional spaces.

These players would earn a new two-year card, but see their total reduced to zero at the start of the 2017/18 season.

Who is on the first year of a two-year card?

Simply put, those players who are safe due to being on the first year of a two-year tour card, are those highlighted in green on the latest provisional end of season rankings page.

For the avoidance of doubt, those 34 players are:

  • John Astley, Anthony Hamilton, Yan Bingtao, Jak Jones, Scott Donaldson, Zhang Anda, Zhao Xintong, Mei Xiwen, Lee Walker, Thor Chuan Leong, Sam Craigie, Hammad Miah, Wang Yuchen, Liam Highfield, Aditya Mehta, Ian Preece, Elliot Slessor, Michael Georgiou, Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn, Adam Duffy, Cao Yupeng, Craig Steadman, Fang Xiongman, Mitchell Mann, David John, Josh Boileau, Christopher Keogan, Kurt Dunham, Chen Zhe, Jamie Barrett, Rouzi Maimaiti, Leo Fernandez, Alex Borg, Boonyarit Keattikun

What about the rest?

For everybody else, I will consider their prospects individually below, highlighting where they currently stand on the two respective lists i.e. provisional end of season ranking list and the one-year list, before trying to summarise how they stand overall.

In the circumstances, while players above could still fall back into the danger zone with a bad run over the coming months, for the purposes of this article I am going to look at this those currently 58th and below in the latest provisional end of season list.


Chris Wakelin

Provisional EOS ranking list: 58th – £38,750 (+3,850)

One-year ranking list: 48th – £17,050 (+10,025)

Summary: Following a relatively quiet season on tour in 2015/16, Chris Wakelin has enjoyed a much-improved campaign so far this year, notably defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan at last month’s English Open on his way to the quarter-final stages.

Consequently, he has lifted himself very much into contention to earn a place inside the top 64 come the end of the season if he can maintain his current form, while he is also well-set on the one-year list should he not be able to do so.

Oliver Lines

Provisional EOS ranking list: 59th – £38,287 (+3,387)

One-year ranking list: 55th – £15,312 (+8,287)

Summary: Having broken into the top 64 for the first time earlier this year, 21-year-old Oliver Lines will be hoping to stay there and has made a solid start to this season. With points to defend following strong runs during his rookie season in 2014, already he has successfully defended over half of that total and will be looking to continue moving up the list.

Daniel Wells

Provisional EOS ranking list: 60th – £37,112 (+2,212)

One-year ranking list: 29th – £22,812 (+15,787)

Summary: Arguably the most improved player of the season so far, Welshman Daniel Wells has already nearly doubled his total earnings from the whole of the 2015/16 campaign. Like Wakelin above, he has catapulted himself into the mix for a top 64 place come next May, however has surely already done enough to retain his professional status via the one-year list, whatever happens.


Joe Swail

Provisional EOS ranking list: 61st – £36,887 (+1,987)

One-year ranking list: 76th – £8,862 (+1,837)

Summary: Having reclaimed a place inside the top 64 approximately 18 months ago, Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail’s position is very much in the balance on both qualification lists at present.

With so much prize money still up for grabs (£8,000 for an opening round win at the World Championship qualifiers alone), it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions other than to say that he will need results over the coming months if he is to make certain of his place beyond the end of the season.

Gary Wilson

Provisional EOS ranking list: 62nd – £35,837 (+937)

One-year ranking list: 52nd – £16,362 (+9,337)

Summary: A ranking finalist at the 2015 China Open, the following campaign proved to be something of a nightmare for Gary Wilson as he earned just £19,475 which looks set to result in a drop down the rankings.

More positively, he has enjoyed a much-improved start to the 2016/17 campaign and put himself in a strong position to earn a new two-year card should he fall outside of the top 64. Of course he will not want to rely on that fall-back and if he can maintain his current form, stands every chance of retaining his top 64 status.

Rod Lawler

Provisional EOS ranking list: 63rd – £35,437 (+537)

One-year ranking list: 57th – £14,712  (+7,687)

Summary: Perhaps another surprising name to feature on this list is Rod Lawler, who like Gary endured a tough season last time out. Also like Gary however, his results have improved so far this term and he is reasonably well-placed on the one-year list with over half the season still to run.


Nigel Bond

Provisional EOS ranking list: 64th – £35,275 (+375)

One-year ranking list: 50th – £16,500  (+9,475)

Summary: A shock ranking event semi-finalist at the Indian Open earlier in the summer, 50-year-old tour veteran Nigel Bond is similarly well-placed to earn a fresh two-year tour card via the one-year ranking list.

In fact, he has only earned prize money at two tournaments this season (India and Shanghai), which leaves him perilously placed on the two-year list, but has already demonstrated recently that he can still make an impact.

Ken Doherty

Provisional EOS ranking list: 65th – £34,900 (-375)

One-year ranking list: 93rd – £6,250 (-1,675)

Summary: Without doubt the headline name on this list, 1997 world champion Ken Doherty finds himself in genuine danger of falling off the tour for the first time since he turned professional back in 1990.

Currently out of position on both the provisional two-year and one-year lists, the Irishman must improve during the second half of this season if he is to retain his tour status.

Of course, there is still plenty of prize money still to be won this season and the deficit is far from insurmountable on both lists, but he will be targeting a result soon before the pressure really starts to build.

Robin Hull

Provisional EOS ranking list: 66th – £32,625 (-2,650)

One-year ranking list: 66th – £12,625  (+5,600)

Summary: Finland’s Robin Hull is another experienced player who finds himself in danger of dropping out of the world’s top 64. Unlike Doherty however, he has enjoyed a solid start to the current season and so is better placed to retain his position via the one-year list – but not safe yet.


Martin O’Donnell

Provisional EOS ranking list: 67th – £31,925 (-3,350)

One-year ranking list: 97th – £5,050  (-2,875)

Summary: On the back of a career-best 2015/16 season, Martin O’Donnell has found results harder to come by so far this term and is without a win since defeating Mike Dunn back at the Shanghai Masters qualifiers.

As with Ken Doherty above, improvement needed during the second half of the season, albeit with plenty of events still to be played.

Ross Muir

Provisional EOS ranking list: 68th – £31,150 (-4,125)

One-year ranking list: 87th – £7,000 (-925)

Summary: For Ross Muir the position is largely as above for O’Donnell, although he is slightly closer to the top eight places on the one-year list well within range of James Cahill in the final qualifying place.

Jamie Cope

Provisional EOS ranking list: 69th – £30,125 (-5,150)

One-year ranking list: 100th – £5,025 (-2,900)

Summary: As above, the twice former ranking event finalist is another player who needs results during the second half of this season if he is to maintain his tour status.


Yu Delu

Provisional EOS ranking list: 70th – £29,175 (-6,100)

One-year ranking list: 89th – £6,625 (-1,300)

Summary: Yu Delu has hovered just above the top 64 for a number of tournaments, but is set to fall with prize money to be deducted from his ranking over the coming months, unlike the chasers immediately below him.

Again however, his fate remains in his own hands with just £1,300 to make up to the top eight non-qualified players on the current one-year standings.

Noppon Saengkham

Provisional EOS ranking list: 71st – £26,525 (-8,750)

One-year ranking list: 107th – £3,025 (-4,900)

Summary: Following a strong year last time out, the season has not really started for Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, who has lost his opening match at no fewer than six ranking events to date.

Jamie Burnett

Provisional EOS ranking list: 72nd – £26,025 (-9,250)

One-year ranking list: 115th – £2,000  (-5,925)

Summary: The position concerning Scotland’s Jamie Burnett is unclear, as he has not entered an event since the Indian Open earlier in the summer. Consequently, it appears as though his long-held run on the professional circuit is set to come to an end, already having dropped out of the top 64 in recent weeks.

That said, if he does return to action, it is far from impossible that he could catch those who have moved above him.

Rhys Clark

Provisional EOS ranking list: 73rd – £21,350 (-13,925)

One-year ranking list: 69th – £11,525  (+4,500)

Summary: Nearly £14,000 behind on the two-year ranking list, Rhys Clark faces an uphill battle if he is to break into the top 64 for the first time.

He is however far better placed on the one-year list, currently sitting in third position of the eight currently in line to earn a fresh two-year tour card.


Akani Songsermsawad

Provisional EOS ranking list: 78th – £16,000 (-19,275)

One-year ranking list: 53rd – £16,000 (+8,975)

Summary: As with Rhys Clark, young Thai talent Akani Songsermsawad will likely struggle to break into the world’s top 64 by May, having played only one event during his rookie season.

Following an impressive 2016/17 campaign to date however, he has given himself an excellent chance of earning a fresh two-year run, already up to £16,000 in the space of six months and looking likely to add to his tally.

Zhang Yong

Provisional EOS ranking list: 80th – £15,025 (-20,250)

One-year ranking list: 86th – £7,025 (-900)

Summary: The closest man to eighth placed James Cahill of those aiming to earn a fresh two-year tour card, China’s Zhang Yong will be targeting the one-year list, already over £20,000 behind on the main ranking list.

Sean O’Sullivan

Provisional EOS ranking list: 81st – £14,800 (-20,475)

One-year ranking list: 122nd – £1,550  (-6,375)

Summary: Following a strong couple of years for O’Sullivan, his 2016/17 season is yet to get started with six first-round defeats from eight tournaments to date.

Nevertheless, he still has plenty to play for over the coming months with a run or two at some of the bigger money events enough to thrust him back into contention via the one-year list.

Hossein Vafaei Ayouri

Provisional EOS ranking list: 82nd – £13,625 (-21,650)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Duane Jones

Provisional EOS ranking list: 88th – £12,087 (-23,188)

One-year ranking list: 71st – £11,312 (+4,287)

Summary: Another much-improved player so far this season, Duane Jones currently sits in fourth position, of the eight currently in line to earn a fresh two-year card.

While he is not safe yet, if he can continue to accumulate prize money at his current rate, he will be well-placed to extend his current spell on the circuit by another two seasons.


Allan Taylor

Provisional EOS ranking list: 89th – £11,837 (-23,438)

One-year ranking list: 79th – £8,337  (+1,312)

Summary: As with Jones, another player who has shown improvement this season is Allan Taylor, albeit he has earned £3,000 less than the Welshman and so is more perilously placed in seventh position of the eight in line for new tour cards.

James Cahill

Provisional EOS ranking list: 90th – £11,625 (-23,650)

One-year ranking list: 83rd – £7,925 (+900)

Summary: As above with Taylor, except that he is on the bubble currently occupying the final qualifying place.

Darryl Hill

Provisional EOS ranking list: 91st – £11,550 (-23,725)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Yet to get off the mark so far this season, Darryl Hill recently disclosed that he has been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which has clearly affected his results on the baize.

Again however, if he can find some form during the second half of the season, he is not without a chance of earning a fresh card at this stage.

Paul Davison

Provisional EOS ranking list: 92nd – £10,750 (-24,525)

One-year ranking list: 108th – £3,000 (-4,925)

Summary: As with all of the players by this stage of the article, the one-year list appears to hold the best chance of earning a fresh tour-card for Davison, with a deficit of just shy of £5,000 to close at present.

Sanderson Lam

Provisional EOS ranking list: 93rd – £9,225 (-26,050)

One-year ranking list: 129th – £525  (-7,400)

Summary: As above, save for that he must gain over £7,000 on those above him having won just one match so far this season.


Eden Sharav

Provisional EOS ranking list: 94th – £9,200 (-26,075)

One-year ranking list: 91st – £6,500  (-1,425)

Summary: Having enjoyed an improved start to season compared to last year, Scotland’s Eden Sharav remains very much in the mix to earn a new tour card via the one-year list.

Hamza Akbar

Provisional EOS ranking list: 100th – £7,100 (-28,175)

One-year ranking list: 132nd – £500 (-7,425)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Sydney Wilson

Provisional EOS ranking list: 102nd – £6,750 (-28,525)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Michael Wild

Provisional EOS ranking list: 103rd – £6,625 (-28,650)

One-year ranking list: 109th – £2,625 (-5,300)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Fraser Patrick

Provisional EOS ranking list: 107th – £6,075 (-29,200)

One-year ranking list: 104th – £4,025  (-3,900)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.


Jimmy White

Provisional EOS ranking list: 108th – £5,500 (-29,775)

One-year ranking list: 101st – £5,000 (-2,925)

Summary: The six-time World Championship finalist impressed at the Paul Hunter Classic in August to add £5,000 to his tally, however has yet to win another match on tour and so requires a strong second half of the season.

Gareth Allen

Provisional EOS ranking list: 111th – £5,300 (-29,975)

One-year ranking list: 113rd – £2,525 (5,400)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Jason Weston

Provisional EOS ranking list: 115th – £2,100 (-33,175)

One-year ranking list:  145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.

Igor Figueiredo

Provisional EOS ranking list: 127th – £0 (-35,275)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season, will be entering his first events of the campaign in Belfast and York.

Hatem Yassen

Provisional EOS ranking list: 128th – £0 (-35,275)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season. Has not played since the Shanghai Masters.

Itaro Santos

Provisional EOS ranking list: 129th – £0 (-35,275)

One-year ranking list: 145th – £0  (-7,925)

Summary: Requires a strong second half of the season.