On Monday, Worldsnooker published this article
Monday 22 Aug 2016 05:10PM
The field for this year’s Champion of Champions is shaping up, with 2015 winner Neil Robertson set to defend his crown against a field including the likes of Masters victor Ronnie O’Sullivan and World Champion Mark Selby.
Ali Carter’s recent World Open win saw him join the field for Ricoh Arena, Coventry this November 7-12.
Eleven players already know they are assured a place in the tournament, with the winner of this week’s Paul Hunter Classic set to join them.
The first 16 unique players named on the Qualification List below will earn a spot at the Champion of Champions. With six tournaments to go until snooker’s showpiece event in Coventry, the winners of the Shanghai Masters, European Championship, English Open, International Championship and the Paul Hunter Classic know they will be invited to play the event, should they not be one of the 11 players already qualified.
The winners of three tournaments; Robin Hull (Snooker Shoot-Out), the 6 Reds World Championship winner (to be played in September) and Mark Davis (World Seniors Championship) sit nervously awaiting confirmation of their place in the event.
Should any of those players already have qualified, the spot will be offered to the next player on the list not to have already received an invite. Should the Qualification List of events not throw up 16 unique winners, any remaining spots will be allocated to the highest placed player(s) on the 2016 World Grand Prix Order of Merit.
Promoted by Matchroom Sport, snooker’s new showpiece event, the Champion of Champions, returns to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, November 7-12 2016, and will bring together many of the best snooker players on the planet and fans can watch it all live thanks to the extensive coverage provided by ITV4.
With a top prize of £100,000 and current champions of snooker’s major tournaments, including the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy, all eligible to compete, the Champion of Champions is set to build on its position as one of the biggest event of the snooker season.
The tournament will start with a quartet of four-man groups, with the winner of each group to progress to the semi-finals. The final on Saturday, November 12 will be over 19 frames.
Tickets are on sale now at http://www.championofchampionssnooker.co.uk.
2016 Champion of Champions Qualification List
(Players in bold are assured of an invite to the event)
1 Champion of Champions (Nov 2015) Neil Robertson (1)
2 UK Championship (Dec 2015) Neil Robertson
3 The Masters (Jan 2016) Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)
4 German Masters (Feb 2016) Martin Gould (3)
5 Welsh Open (Feb 2016) Ronnie O’Sullivan
6 Championship League (Mar 2016) Judd Trump (4)
7 World Grand Prix (Mar 2016) Shaun Murphy (5)
8 Players Championship (Mar 2016) Mark Allen (6)
9 China Open (Apr 2016) Judd Trump
10 World Championship (May 2016) Mark Selby (7)
11 Indian Open (July 2016) Anthony McGill (8)
12 World Open (July 2016) Ali Carter (9)
13 Shanghai Masters (Sep 2016)
14 European Championship (Oct 2016)
15 English Open (Oct 2016)
16 International Championship (Oct 2016)
17 World Championship Runner-Up (May 2016) Ding Junhui (10)
18 Gibraltar Open (Dec 2015) Marco Fu (11)
19 Gdynia Open (Feb 2016) Mark Selby
20 Riga Open (June 2016) Neil Robertson
21 Paul Hunter Classic (Aug 2016)
22 Snooker Shoot Out (Feb 2016) Robin Hull
23 6 Reds World Championship (Sep 2016)
24 World Seniors (Jan 2016) Mark Davis
First of all we should remember that this article is about those who qualified for the event, and that some might choose not to enter. So there is no guarantee that Ronnie, or any of the others for that matters, will actually be playing in it come November.
Next, the inclusion of Ding Junhui, assured a spot for being runner-up at the World Championship is causing some stir amongst the fans and I certainly can see why. It’s obvious that having Ding in the field will boost the event on the Asian market, but it’s not fair towards the other players, and it’s not honest to change the rules whilst the qualifying period is still running. Especially as Ding still has the opportunity to be there by right, there are still four events for him to play in, with two in China.