Following the conclusion of the Gibraltar Open 2017, and Shaun Murphy’s win, the draw of the Players Championship 2017 is finally known and here it is:
Mark Selby (1) v Ryan Day (16)
Marco Fu (8) v Anthony McGill (9)
Ding Junhui (5) v John Higgins (12)
Stuart Bingham (4) v Anthony Hamilton (13)
Barry Hawkins (3) v Neil Robertson (14)
Ali Carter (6) v Shaun Murphy (11)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (7) v Liang Wenbo (10)
Judd Trump (2) v Mark King (15)
The two matches in blue will be played tomorrow evening starting at 7 pm UK time. The tournament will be on ITV 4 and on Eurosport as well.
As this is a tournament involving only the 16 best players of the current season, there are absolutely no easy matches as you would expect. The last 16 is played over best of 9.
Ronnie is first in against his close friend Liang Wenbo and this is a match that isn’t comfortable for either of them. It’s never easy to play someone you really like, and whose game you know inside-out …
Should he win his last 16 match, Ronnie is likely to face Judd Trump, who is n°2 on the list for a reason! He’s made the final of the last two ranking tournaments he entered and is the man on form. He will be hard to beat for anyone.
Now a few thoughts about the Gibraltar Open …
First congratulations to Shaun Murphy, the Gibraltar Open 2017 Champion
… who is all the more happy with the win I’m sure because losing would have meant playing tomorrow evening in Llandudno. I’m not sure how he would have pulled that trick, unless WPBSA provides a private jet for such emergency situations caused by their own rather mad schedule? Somehow I doubt it …
That schedule also created a situation where the draw of the event starting tomorrow was only know tonight, less than 24 hours before the start of play. It’s far from ideal. The media have very little time for any kind of build-up, some players might have been put in a very difficult situation, planning the travel and accommodations might be a nightmare. Anthony Hamilton for instance only learned tonight that he’s playing tomorrow…
The Gibraltar Open is a very low money tournament but it still caused some significant moves in the provisional seeding and ranking lists. In particular, Nigel Bond reaching the semi finals means that he is now inside the group of most succesful eight players not in the top 64, whilst Jimmy White is now out of it. Remember that the eight players in that list at the end opf the season get a new two years tour card. Of course there are two more tournaments to play, the China Open and the World Championship, so this list can and probably will change before the end of the season. The World Championship qualifiers are fairly lucrative and therefore very important for all players with a chance to finish the season inside that list. Jimmy would be absolutely devastated if he dropped off the tour.