On the eve of the 2020 German Masters

Tomorrow, the snooker caravan is moving to Berlin…


The fitters are at work and the venue gets ready

It’s the last tournament before; and counting for, the 2020 Players Championship, an event featuring the top 32 in the one year list. Ronnie is only 22th on that list, and not playing in Berlin, due to get even lower. But he is safe, for this one at least.

Here is how the battle for the Player Championship qualification stands (source WST) 

Next week’s BetVictor German Masters will feature no fewer than 19 players outside the top 32 of the one-year ranking list who still have a chance to qualify for the first event in the Coral Series.

The Tempodrom in Berlin hosts the last leg of the race to get into the top 32 and make it to the Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham, which runs from February 3 to 9.

Li Hang currently occupies 32nd spot with £50,500 but he has not qualified for Germany so must hope that he is not overtaken. But with an £80,000 top prize on offer in Berlin, all of the 19 players below him still have a chance.

Here’s the list as it stands, including money earned in the BetVictor European Masters and the BetVictor German Masters qualifiers. Players marked * have not qualified for Berlin, while those outside the top 32 who are not in Berlin are not listed.

Position Player Money
28 Matthew Selt £51,750
29 Xiao Guodong* £51,000
30 Scott Donaldson £50,750
31 Matthew Stevens* £50,750
32 Li Hang* £50,500
36 Anthony McGill £43,000
39 Luca Brecel £40,500
40 Jak Jones £39,750
42 Robbie Williams £39,500
43 Yuan Sijun £39,500
45 Nigel Bond £38,250
47 Noppon Saengkham £37,000
49 Sunny Akani £36,500
50 Tian Pengfei £36,250
57 Ian Burns £30,000
63 Elliot Slessor £28,500
66 Robert Milkins £26,000
68 Alexander Ursenbacher £23,750
70 David Grace £23,250
77 Michael Georgiou £18,500
79 Mitchell Mann £17,500
92 Kishan Hirani £11,750
97 Gerard Greene £9,000
120 Jamie Clarke £4,000

Closest challenger Anthony McGill is £7,500 behind Li so needs to reach the semi-finals in Germany to have a chance. Luca Brecel, Jak Jones, Robbie Williams, Yuan Sijun, Nigel Bond, Noppon Saengkham, Sunny Akani and Tian Pengfei can also move above Li by reaching the last four.

BetVictor German Masters prize money
Winner £80,000
Runner-up £35,000
Semi-finals £20,000
Quarter-finals £10,000
Last 16 £5,000
Last 32 £4,000

So it’s all to play for at the Tempodrom. For the match schedule click here.

Only the top 16 on the one-year list after the BetVictor Shoot Out will go through to the Coral Players Championship in Southport, and just the top eight after the BetVictor Gibraltar Open make it to the Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno.

But Ronnie will need to go deep in the Players Championship and the Welsh Open if he wants to defend his Grand Prix title, nevertheless, his Tour Championship title.

Here is the last 32 draw:

German Masters 2020 L32 draw

First quarter:

With Zhao Xintong, Anthony McGill, Scott Donaldson, Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui in there, this quarter is very hard to predict. I expect Ding or Murphy to prevail but, really, anything can happen! We could have Murphy v Ding in the last 16.  If it happens, it should be a goo entertaining match.

Second quarter:

In the second quarter we have John Higgins, who is neither very confident, nor in top form, and Neil Robertson who I expect to give it his best shot but faces a tough opening against Ian Burns with very little time to rest after his win yesterday. I still expect Robertson to emerge from this quarter.

Third quarter:

On paper Mark Williams has an easy quarter, but Yuan SiJun could well be a “banana skin”. The most interesting match in this quarter is probably Tian Pengfei v Graeme Dott. Dotty seems to be playing better recently and Tian is always dangerous.

The fourth quater:

This is a quarter if two halves. There is a massive opportunity for all of Gerard Greene, Michael Georgiou, David Grace and Sunny Akani. That David and Sunny have to meet in the last 32 is a bit of a heartbreak for me. The other half features Luca Brecel, Joe Perry, Noppon Saengham and Judd Trump. Trump’s form is an unknown quantity right now. Perry is always hard to beat, Brecel blows hot and cold…