Following the conclusion of the Scottish Open earlier this month there is now just one counting event to be completed before the final seeding list is determined for the 2017 World Grand Prix.
The new year begins with Championship League action, the prestigious Masters tournament and qualifiers for the China Open all in January, but the next counting ranking event comes from Berlin as the last 32 at the German Masters look to secure their places at this season’s World Grand Prix in February.
Once again the tournament will be a full-ranking event, with a top prize of £100,000 on offer to the winner at Preston’s iconic Guild Hall venue.
Who will qualify?
As was the case last season, 32 players will contest the World Grand Prix in 2017. These players will qualify from the one-year ranking list, which includes prize money earned from the start of the 2016 Riga Masters until the end of the German Masters on 5th February 2017. This period covers 12 events, 11 of which have now been completed, as well as the qualifiers for Germany.
As with the main two-year ranking list, this does not include prize money earned from maximum or high break prizes.
The state of play
Turning to the latest one-year ranking list, which includes prize money earned at the German Masters qualifiers, there are 12 players not currently on course to qualify for the World Grand Prix who can still mathematically do so with a run in Berlin next February.
Below is a summary of the players currently holding on to the final few qualification places for Preston, together with a full list of the members of the chasing pack, who have qualified for the venue stages of the German Masters. Also stated is the minimum result required in Berlin if they are to be in with a chance of breaking into the top 32 on the one-year list:
28th – Zhou Yuelong – £42,550
29th – Yu Delu – £40,625
30th – Mark Davis – £40,275
31st – Matthew Stevens – £40,087
32nd – Yan Bingtao – £39,100*
33rd – Tom Ford – £39,025* – (r16 minimum)
34th – Ben Woollaston – £38,125* – (QF minimum)
45th – Stuart Carrington – £28,575* – (SF minimum)
46th – Martin Gould – £28,550* – (SF minimum)
47th – Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – £28,500* (SF minimum)
49th – Robin Hull – £27,625* – (SF minimum)
52nd – John Astley – £26,400* (final minimum)
57th – Akani Songsermsawad – £25,000* (final minimum)
60th – Peter Ebdon – £23,312* (final minimum)
62nd – Zhao Xintong – £21,387* (final minimum)
81st – Jimmy White – £14,000* (needs the title)
92nd – Zhang Yong – £10,025* (needs the title)
*player has qualified for the German Masters
Of the players currently set to miss out on a trip to Preston, defending German Masters champion Martin Gould is perhaps the most significant following a difficult first half of the season. He is one of seven players officially ranked within the world’s top 32, who is not within that bracket on the one-year list as things stand.
In their place are lower ranked players who have enjoyed strong results during the first half of the campaign, including Yu Delu who from being well outside of the top 32 has now earned £30,000 from the last two ranking events to vault up the list into 29th position. He is joined by countrymen Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao, as well as fellow Home Nations Series semi-finalist Anthony Hamilton and Welsh trio Jamie Jones, Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens.
So what can change in Berlin?
Defeat for Yan against Dominic Dale in the last 32 would mean that Tom Ford would overtake him with victory against Peter Ebdon, while Ben Woollaston must win against Neil Robertson and then either Barry Hawkins or Michael White if he is to make it to Preston.
For the remaining 10 chasers, they must win at least three matches or more if they are to bring themselves into contention, far from impossible as the likes of Yu and Hamilton have proven in recent weeks.
Follow my live blog during the venue stages of the German Masters from 1-5 February 2017 here at wpbsa.com.