There is a two weeks “gap” in the main tour calendar … after 40 days non stop. Indeed the next WSA event is the China Open 2017 which will decide the final and definitive seeding for the Crucible. In fact only one player isn’t safe yet, current n°16 Ryan Day as you can read here.
Tuesday 14 Mar 2017 12:40PM
The China Open, which starts on March 27, will be the final opportunity for players currently outside the top 16 to earn a place among the elite, ahead of the seeding cut-off for the Betfred World Championship.
The top 16 after the China Open will enjoy an automatic place at the Crucible, while all other players will need to win three matches at Ponds Forge in Sheffield to earn a spot at the Theatre of Dreams.
Tickets for the qualifying rounds at Ponds Forge are on sale now and cost just £10 per day, for details click here
As is stands, 15 of the top 16 seeds are already safe, everyone down to Anthony McGill on this list . So the only players in danger of being knocked out is Ryan Day, and the fact that he has not qualified for Beijing will leave him hoping results go his way in the Far East.
There will be nine players at the China Open who have a chance to overtake Day:
Joe Perry and Martin Gould could earn a top 16 spot by reaching the semi-finals, if other results go their way
David Gilbert, Mark King and Ricky Walden must at least reach the final
Michael Holt, Mark Williams, Alan McManus and Stephen Maguire must win the £85,000 top prize to have a chance.
So it’s all to play for in China – for the draw and format click here
Of course even for those who are safe, a good or bad run can still change their seeding and therefore their draw. Speaking of that, Judd Trump’s victory at the Players Championship propelled him to n°2 in the rankings ahead of Stuart Bingham. It was Judd’s second ranking title of the season (and his 5th final). There is no doubt that he will be a very serious contender at the Crucible. Meanwhile congratulations to Judd, Players Championship 2017 Champion. I know that not everyone feels the same, but personally, I’m glad that Ronnie lost to the eventual winner, rather than against someone who would have a stinker in the next round…
For those who wonder where I have been, and why I didn’t cover the last days of the Players Championship, well, no I wasn’t sulking, in fact I barely had the opportunity to watch any of it as I was in this event, taking pictures!
WDBS Enjoys Successful Manchester Return
- Matt Huart 15th March 2017
World Disability Billiards and Snooker (WDBS) enjoyed a successful return to Manchester with the staging of the J&S Trading Manchester Classic 2017 last weekend.
With a field over double in size compared to the inaugural competition at Q’s Sports Bar a year ago, players from across six categories including physical and learning disabilities enjoyed a mixture of competitive snooker and coaching across the three-day event.
The Group 1-2 wheelchair competition was won by Newport’s Craig Welsh, who successfully defended the title that he won a year ago with a dramatic 2-1 victory against Tony Southern. Having each progressed through to the overall final undefeated, the pair split the first two frames before their decider went all the way, with Welsh potting a re-spotted black to clinch the title.
Welsh, who has paraplegia, said: “It was tight all the way but I am delighted to retain my title here in Manchester. I would like to thank WDBS and all of the referees and helpers for yet another well run event in Manchester this weekend. The team do a great job and I would also like to thank Andy Rogers for his help and support this weekend which is much appreciated as always.”
In Group 3 there was a second WDBS title for Daniel Blunn, who won 12 of his 13 frames across the event culminating in a 2-0 success against Gary Sanderson to take the first prize. Blunn, who has been a regular at WDBS events since his victory at the first ever event in Gloucester back in 2015, finished as runner-up in Manchester a year ago to William Thomson, but this year went one better to join Craig Welsh, Graham Bonnell, Raja Subramanian and Paul Smith as a multiple WDBS champion. Blunn also claimed the high break prize from the weekend across all groups.
There was a new winner in the Group 4-5 competition as David Weller defeated David Church 2-0 to win the title. The category was won a year ago by Andy Johnson who made smooth progress through his group this weekend, but was shocked in the semi-finals by WDBS newcomer Church. Ultimately however it was Weller who took the title, also making the highest break of the category along the way.
As at previous tournaments, there was also a Challenge Cup competition held, won by Joe Hardstaff, who a year on from his tournament debut defeated Gavin Gormley over a single frame to take his first medal at a WDBS event.
Prior to the start of the two-day event for players with physical disabilities, Manchester also staged its first Learning Disability Day for Group 6 players, including opportunities for practice, coaching and a competitive Six Red competition. The event was won by Robert Kirby, one of a number of players in attendance from the Selby Gateway Leisure Mencap Society, who returned having enjoyed their first taste of WDBS snooker at the Hull Open last November.
The event was well supported by players, sponsors and also welcomed Coronation Street star Cherylee Houston, who has been diagnosed with the rare connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, to its Friday open day and Group 6 competition.
WDBS Chairman Nigel Mawer said: “I am delighted by the success of what has been our most active and engaging event held to date. The WDBS is now really starting to make its mark and I could not have been happier with the support that we have received from all of the players, helpers and sponsors without whom the event would not have been possible.
“In particular I would like to mention the backing received from title sponsor J&S Trading through Simon Berrisford, which has already pledged its support for future WDBS events including our return to Manchester in 2018. Together with the contributions that we have received from them and our other prize money sponsors including LITEtask and the PHMG Foundation, our events and organisation will only continue to grow.”
The next WDBS tournament will be the first ever 2017 Paul Hunter Disability Classic on 12-14 May 2017 at the Derby Cueball. The competition will be the third WDBS event open to players with sensory disabilities (Groups 7-8) and is currently accepting entries.
All the pictures are on my Facebook page:
Also, currently under way is the Ladies World Championship 2017, in Singapore. There are many ways you can follow the tournament: the WLBS Facebook Page (with pictures!), live scores on MySnookerStats, results on snooker.org .
This week-end there is plenty happening too.
If you have the opportunity, go and support the The Bjorn Coenraad Kika tournament, a fantastic Charity event organised by Annet Van Riel and Jan Verhaas.
Fantastic prizes to be won and a great, great cause.
I wish I could be there but I already had committed to this:
so pictures are coming your way this week-end as well, and not just snooker pictures…
And, of course, Ronnie also has a club night this week-end:
Finally, next week, we have the Super Stars Online World Seniors Championship 2017, in Scunthorpe, with an invitation to the World Championship for the winner.
Again, I will be there taking pictures and tweeting scores…
If you have an IOS device, you should be able to watch it using this app whilst if you are using an Android device this is the qr code you can use
The draw is available on snooker.org and results will be update throughout the tournament.
Hoping this post will help to ease any snooker withdrawal syndrome you might suffer …