The 2023 World Championship Qualifiers Draw and Format Are Out

This was published by WST today, early afternoon:

Cazoo World Championship Qualifying Draw

The draw and format for the qualifying rounds of the 2023 Cazoo World Championship are now available, with the likes of Stephen Hendry, Ken Doherty, Barry Hawkins, Stephen Maguire, Hossein Vafaei, Anthony McGill, Marco Fu, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Jimmy White and new World Women’s Champion Baipat Siripaporn in the field.

Click here for the 2023 Cazoo World Championship draw

Click here for the 2023 Cazoo World Championship format

The qualifying rounds run from April 3 to 12 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. In all there will be 128 players, all battling for one of 16 coveted spots at the famous Crucible Theatre.

Tickets are available for just £10 per day and it’s an incredible chance to see a wide range of all-time greats and up-and-coming talents, playing in snooker’s biggest tournament. For details click here.

Seven-time champion Hendry will be up against James Cahill in the opening round, while 1997 Crucible king Doherty will meet 12-time World Women’s Champion Reanne Evans.

Stan Moody, winner of the WSF Junior Championship, will meet Andres Petrov, while women’s world number one Mink Nutcharut will face a Thai derby against Dechawat Poomjaeng.

Included in the draw is ‘Player 1’ which will be either Ding Junhui, Gary Wilson or Ryan Day, depending on the results of this week’s Duelbits Tour Championship.

Session times are 10am, 2.30pm and 7pm for the first three rounds, running from April 3-10. Then on April 11 and 12 it’s the fourth and final round, known as Judgement Day, when places at the Crucible are decided. Session times for those two days are 11am and 5pm.

Details of how to watch the qualifiers on discovery+, Matchroom Live and other platforms will be available soon.

The format is:
Round one pits players ranked 81 to 112 against those seeded 113 to 144
In round two, those 32 winners will face players ranked 49-80.
In round three, those 32 winners will face players ranked 17-48.
In round four, those 32 winners play each other, with the 16 winners going through to the Crucible.

The final stages at the Crucible run from April 15 to May 1.

11 players are missing out through suspension . They are Liang Wenbo, Li Hang, Lu Ning, Yan Bingtao, Zhao Xintong, Zhang Jiankang, Chen Zifan, Chang Bingyu, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Mark King.

To fill up the draw nine players from last year’s Q School Order of Merit have been invited: Steven Hallworth, Florian Nuessle, Ross Bulman, Ian Martin, Michael Holt, Haydon Pinhey, Andrew Higginson, Michael Georgiou and Soheil Vahedi. I’m happy to see Soheil Vahedi in that list.

They join the 16 WPBSA-invited players announced earlier in the month: Hai Long Ma, Stan Moody, Liam Davies, Yang Gao, Liam Pullen, Iulian Boiko, Filips Kalnins, Martin O’Donnell, Liam Graham, Bulcsú Révész, Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan, Ross Muir, Daniel Wells, Billy Castle, George Pragnell and Farakh Ajaib.

I’m a bit surprised that Ashley Carty hasn’t been invited. Of course he has already regained his tour card but still, I feel that he should have been in the draw, unless, for some reason he isn’t available at those dates.

I haven’t studied the draw in details of course but a few things caught my eye:

  • Ben Mertens could face Julien Leclercq in round 2 in an all Belgian clash.
  • James Cahill is due to play Stephen Hendry. James is Stephen’s ex-wife nephew and although they aren’t close it may feel a bit awkward
  • Dechawat Poomjaeng will face Mink in an all Thai contest. Poor Mink… that can’t be easy given Poomy’s character and ability.
  • Martin O’Donnell will play Marco Fu in round 1, and the winner will play Jimmy White. Brutal that.
  • We might get some very tough matches in the last round: possible clashes are: Jamie Jones v Pang Junxu, Hossein Vafaei v Martin Gould, Joe O’Connor v Sam Craigie, Thepchaiya Un-nooh v Ricky Walden and Tom ford v Jordan Brown.

If you have the opportunity to attend those qualifiers, go and get yourself there. It’s probably the most interesting tournament of the season and fantastic value for money.

3 thoughts on “The 2023 World Championship Qualifiers Draw and Format Are Out

  1. We knew the later round pairings immediately after the WST Classic, barring withdrawals. The only eligible player missing is Rod Lawler, seeded 100, who has been replaced by Rory McLeod. Also missing from the draw are Sunny Akani and Kurt Maflin, who were ahead of some of the Q School Order of Merit players who are present. Bai Yulu also slipped through the cracks.

    I will be there for the first 8 days.

    • In the past, Bai Yulu has not been allowed abroad unless accompanied. As a young girl she was not considered “safe” if traveling alone. Do you know if this is still the case? Enjoy the tournament!

      • The CBSA always had a supervisor when they sent a delegation. The difficulty for Bai Yulu was probably that she was the only girl, and so a delegation to women’s events was just not cost-effective. But WST invite players to play in the World Championship as individuals.

        Incidentally, Bai Yulu recently won the Asian Women’s Championship in Doha. She got three 100+ breaks and eight other 50+ breaks. The other players managed two 50+ breaks between them.

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