World Championship 2018: Tour Survival Blog

  • 9th April 2018

With the start of the 2018 Betfred World Championship qualifiers on Wednesday it is time for my annual live blog which will track all of the key movements in this season’s tour survival race throughout the tournament.

For those who can finish up inside of the top 64, or in the top eight of the one-year ranking list, not including those players, they will remain on tour. For the others however, they will need to come through Q School next month if they are to retain professional status.

Before the China Open I looked at how each of the players currently in and around the drop zone stood HERE, while below you can find the latest updated tables, updated every day during thgrae action in Sheffield.

SCROLL DOWN TO READ DAILY UPDATES FROM SHEFFIELD.

Live Standings

The full two year breakdown can be found here, however below I have reproduced a simplified list to show only the players fighting for their main tour status, which will be updated with players being ‘struck out’ as the tournament progresses to show the current live position.

  • Players in dark green are currently inside the top 64 provisionally and as it stands will remain on tour
  • Players in blue are currently set to qualify through the one-year list
  • Players in red are currently set to be relegated from the tour
  • Players in purple are on the first-year of a two-year card
  • Players with their names struck through are out of the Betfred World Championship

Latest in-running tour survival battle (two-year ranking list):

60th – Liam Highfield – 94,325 (r32)

61st – Rory McLeod – 89,387 (r48)

62nd – Daniel Wells – 89,212 (r48)

63rd – Alan McManus – 86,900 (r48)

64th – Lyu Haotian – 84,500 (r32)

————————————

65th – Oliver Lines – 83,312 (r80)

66th – John Astley – 81,725 (r80)

67th – Zhang Anda – 75,750 (r48)

68th – Elliot Slessor – 75,362 (r80)

69th – Lee Walker – 74,825 (r80)

70th – Tian Pengfei – 74,075 (r48)

71st – David Grace – 72,225 (r80)

72nd – Alfie Burden – 71,850 (r48)

73rd – Mei Xiwen – 71,712 (r80)

74th – Sam Baird – 64,850 (r80)

77th – Zhao Xintong – 56,262 (r80)

78th – Hammad Miah – 54,837 (r80)

79th – Mitchell Mann – 54,525 (r80)

80th – Sam Craigie – 54,462 (r144)

82nd – Jak Jones – 43,962 (r144)

83rd – Aditya Mehta – 43,600 (r144)

84th – Ian Preece – 39,100 (r144)

85th – James Wattana – 33,500 (r144)

87th – Adam Duffy – 33,362 (r48)

89th – Craig Steadman – 32,550 (r144)

90th – Fang Xiongman – 32,150 (r144)

94th – Wang Yuchen – 27,000 (r144)

101st – Thor Chuan Leong – 20,400 (r144)

103rd – Alex Borg – 18,100 (r144)

105th – Chen Zhe – 17,500 (r144)

111th – Josh Boileau – 12,812 (r144)

115th – Jamie Curtis-Barrett – 11,100 (r144)

117th – Kurt Dunham – 10,025 (r144)

119th – Christopher Keogan – 8,550 (r144)

121st – Kristsanut Lertsattayathorn – 8,000 (N/A)

123rd – Boonyarit Keattikun – 6,000 (N/A)

126th – Leo Fernandez – 5,000 (r144)

128th – David John – 2,337 (r144)

Latest in-running tour survival battle (one-year ranking list):

1 – Elliot Slessor – 66,000

2 – Tian Pengfei – 48,000

3 – John Astley – 42,600

4 – Oliver Lines – 41,500

5 – Lee Walker – 41,000

6 – Mei Xiwen – 39,500

7 – Alfie Burden – 37,600

8 – Zhang Anda – 37,250

————————————

9 – Sam Craigie – 35,600

10 – David Grace – 33,100

11 – Zhao Xintong – 32,725

12 – Mitchell Mann – 32,500

13 – Hammad Miah – 29,000

14 – Sam Baird – 28,600

15 – Aditya Mehta – 26,100

16 – Jak Jones – 25,100

17 – Adam Duffy – 24,000

18 – Ian Preece – 22,100

19 – Craig Steadman – 18,500

20 – Fang Xiongman – 16,600

21 – Chen Zhe – 14,000

22 – Wang Yuchen – 11,500

23 – James Wattana – 10,000

24 – Thor Chuan Leong – 8,500

25 – Jamie Curtis-Barrett – 7,600

26 – Jackson Page (A) – 7,500

27 – Kurt Dunham – 7,000

Wednesday Blog

15:37 – With defeats for Zhang Anda, Tian Pengfei and Alfie Burden so far today, only Adam Duffy and Lyu Haotian can still change the final tour survival standings with Sam Craigie hoping that Rory McLeod can turn the tide in his match against Lyu during the second session.

Start of play – Ahead of the start of ‘Judgement Day’, what can still change in respective of the Tour Survival battle?

Looking at the one-year ranking list, only Adam Duffy remains in the event who can still break into the current top eight and trailing Xiao Guodong 8-1 overnight he faces a mountain to climb if he is to do so.

On the face of it, you might think that this means that current eighth placed man Sam Craigie is safe, however he remains in real jeopardy thanks to the run of Lyu Haotian, who would break into the top 64 if he can convert a 6-2 lead against Rory McLeod into victory despite being on the first year of his current two-year card.

This in turn would knock Oliver Lines outside of the top 64, who would then slot into fourth position of the one-year list qualifiers, taking away Craigie’s place, who would then have to hope that another of the chasing pack such as Zhang Anda, Tian Pengfei or Alfie Burden could do enough at the Crucible to knock Lyu back outside of the top 64 again by the end of the tournament.

Monday Blog

15:55 – The Tour Survival blog is back today and the weekend has seen a number of movements with the likes of Alfie Burden and Tian Pengfei securing crucial victories to boost their hopes, while players such as Oliver Lines and David Grace have won important first round matches to stay in the race to stay on tour at the end of the campaign.

We already have an early result today following the early concession made for health reasons by Mitchell Mann when trailing Ryan Day 7-1, confirming that Mann will be relegated from the tour at the end of the season. He joins the likes of Kurt Dunham, Ian Preece, Jak Jones and Leo Fernandez, all early losers in Sheffield who now cannot stay on via either ranking list.

Friday Blog

0:34 – Huge win tonight for Alfie Burden who has come back from behind early on to defeat Jamie Curtis-Barrett 10-6. The win lifts Burden to seventh of the eight currently in line to take a new two-year tour card via the one-year list, dislodging China’s Zhao Xintong who must now win his second match here in Sheffield to remain in the hunt to stay on tour.

Burden’s win also relegates Curtis-Barrett from the circuit, with Ireland’s Josh Boileau another loser tonight who now faces Q School next month.

Thursday Blog

Close of play – Significant wins in Sheffield for Lee Walker, Zhao Xintong and Tian Pengfei, who all improved their positions on the one-year ranking list to stay in contention to earn at least a new two-year tour card after the tournament.

Defeat for Aditya Mehta (to Zhao), on the other hand consigns him to Q School, while Sam Craigie will now be looking over his shoulder following defeat to Jimmy White, hoping that he can hang on to one of the top eight positions.

18:50 – Day two on what is proving to be a slow-burn, but drama-filled second day at the EIS and a 10-8 victory for Lyu Haotian against Fang Xiongman has seen him vault up into the provisional top 64 on the two-year ranking list, no mean feat for a player still on the first year of a two-year card.

His progress means that at the time of writing Leeds’ Oliver Lines slips out of the top 64, but in line to take one of eight available tour cards via the one-year ranking list (currently 7th), but still to play his opening match of course.

Defeat for Fang Xiongman meanwhile means that he must now head to Q School if he is to remain on tour, as must Thor Chuan Leong who lost out 10-7 to Michael Holt.

In the big ‘winner takes all’ match of the session between Zhao Xintong and Aditya Mehta, Zhao leads 9-8, with their match set to resume later this evening as tables become available during the evening session.

Wednesday Blog

01:35 – Close of play on day one of this year’s World Championship qualifiers (almost, as Stuart Carrington and Nigel Bond enter a decider) and it has been a good day for Elliot Slessor, who has won 10-7 against Eden Sharav to move into the top 64 on the provisional two-year ranking list as it stands.

His win bumps out Alan McManus, who would take Slessor’s tour card via the one-year list, but of course the Scot is still to play his opening round match in Sheffield against Rhys Clark later this week.

Elsewhere, victories for Mei Xiwen and Zhang Anda boost their positions on the one-year list, with Zhang moving in line for one of the eight available tour cards at the expense of Jak Jones as it stands.

18:01Zhang Anda requires just three more frames for a win which would see him vault above the likes of Lee Walker into fifth position on the one-year list (not already qualified), early in the week. He will resume 7-2 up on Zhang Yong this evening in their race to 10.

Elsewhere, Mei Xiwen is also ahead at 5-3, while Adam Duffy and Elliot Slessor are also ahead.

In the 2:30pm matches, the standout clash from a tour survival perspective is that between Zhao Xintong and Aditya Mehta, effectively a ‘winner takes all’ match with the loser facing elimination from the circuit. There is little to choose at the time of writing with the pair locked at 4-4 with one more frame to play today.

Another player in need of a win to safeguard his top 64 status is Rory McLeod, currently 4-1 up on Preston’s Ian Burns.

12:52 – And so day one of what is bound to be a dramatic week full of twists and turns is underway in Sheffield, with a couple of matches to keep an eye on in respect of the one-year list in particular.

The first involves China’s Zhang Anda, who is currently 3-2 up on countryman Zhang Yong knowing that a win will lift him into the top eight players on the one-year ranking list and in line for a new two-year tour card from the start of next season. Already inside that top eight bracket is another Chinese player, Mei Xiwen, who leads Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan 3-2 knowing that a win will almost certainly secure him another two years on the circuit.

Elsewhere, Elliot Slessor, already comfortable on the one-year list but eyeing a place inside of the top 64 on the two-year list, is also 3-2 up on Eden Sharav, while Adam Duffy, currently a long way back on the one-year list but not without a chance given the level of prize money on offer this month, leads Mark Joyce 5-1.

Pre-tournament

So what has changed since my previous analysis of the tour survival standings prior to the China Open?

The biggest movers in Beijing were Jak Jones and Sam Craigie, with Jones moving up into the final qualifying spot for a new tour card via the one-year ranking list as it currently stands ahead of Alfie Burden and David Grace.

Craigie meanwhile has all but secured his position on the one-year list, while victory for Elliot Slessor against Ronnie O’Sullivan has also seen Slessor move to within striking distance of the top 64.

With £9,000 the prize for a first-round win, there are four players within range of current 64th placed player Alan McManus with a single victory, but of course with McManus and everybody above him also set to play, the bar will no doubt continue to rise as the week progresses. Last year we saw Ian Burns come into the tournament seemingly comfortable in 56th position, only to finish outside of the top 64 following an opening round defeat so every player in the drop zone will be desperate to avoid a similar fate.

Follow me on Twitter @prosnookerblog for all of the latest from the venue as the tournament unfolds.