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  • 2018 World Championship

    The highlight of the season is just a few days away and with no tournament left before now that the China Open are finished we can focus fully on the World Championship in Sheffield.
    The qualifying will start at Wednesday and answer the last question about this edition's competitors, but there already plenty of things we know:

    Prize Fund and Ranking Points
    Winner: £425,000
    Runner-up: £180,000
    Semifinal: £85,000
    Quarterfinal: £42,500
    Last 16: £27,500
    Last 32: £18,000

    For the qualifiers:
    Last 48: £13,500
    Last 80: £9,000

    Draw
    Upper Half
    Mark Selby (1) - Joe Perry (22)
    Mark Allen (16) - Liam Highfield (64)

    Kyren Wilson (9) - Matthew Stevens (52)
    Shaun Murphy (8) - Jamie Jones (51)

    John Higgins (5) - Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (58)
    Stuart Bingham (12) - Jack Lisowski (30)

    Luca Brecel (13) - Ricky Walden (27)
    Judd Trump (4) - Chris Wakelin (55)


    Bottom Half
    Ding Junhui (3) - Xiao Guodong (25)
    Anthony McGill (14) - Ryan Day (17)

    Marco Fu (11) - Lyu Haotian (68)
    Barry Hawkins (6) - Stuart Carrington (56)

    Mark Williams (7) - Jimmy Robertson (34)
    Neil Robertson (10) - Robert Milkins (37)

    Ali Carter (15) - Graeme Dott (21)
    Ronnie O'Sullivan (2) - Stephen Maguire (18)
    Last edited by JimMalone; 19th April 2018, 12:20 PM.

  • #2
    Draw for the qualifying

    First Round
    Upper Half
    Ryan Day – Igor Figueiredo
    Mitchell Mann – Peter Lines
    Robbie Williams – Jak Jones
    Peter Ebdon – James Wattana

    Zhou Yuelong – Ian Preece
    Daniel Wells – Kurt Dunham
    Tom Ford – Leo Fernandez
    Liam Highfield – Chen Zhe

    Matthew Selt – Ng On Yee
    Mark Joyce – Adam Duffy
    Mei Xiwen – Basem Eltahan
    Xiao Guodong – Chris Totten

    Stuart Carrington – Nigel Bond
    Ben Woollaston – Kacper Filipiak
    Zhang Anda – Zhang Yong
    Martin Gould – Paul S. Davison

    Graeme Dott – Adrian Justin Ridley
    Sunny Akani – Lukas Kleckers
    Dominic Dale – Reanne Evans
    Mike Dunn – Duane Jones

    Michael Holt – Thor Chuan Leong
    Elliot Slessor – Eden Sharav
    Robert Milkins – Aaron Canavan
    Scott Donaldson – Tyler Rees

    Rory McLeod – Ian Burns
    Li Hang – Ashley Hugill
    Lyu Haotian – Fang Xiongman
    Anthony Hamilton – Martin O'Donnell

    Matthew Stevens – Ryan Thomerson
    Fergal O'Brien – Yuan Sijun
    Ken Doherty – Josh Boileau
    Mark King - Gerard Greene

    Bottom Half
    Liang Wenbo – Rod Lawler
    Zhao Xintong – Adiya Mehta
    Yu Delu – Sean O'Sullivan
    Jamie Jones – Craig Steadman

    Jack Lisowski – Christopher Keogan
    David Grace – Wang Yuchen
    Alan McManus – Rhys Clark
    Oliver Lines – Harvey Chandler

    Andrew Higginson – David John
    Cao Yupeng – Robin Hull
    Lee Walker – Kristjan Helgason
    Ricky Walden – Joe Swail

    Michael Georgiou – Matthew Bolton
    Mark Davis – Sanderson Lam
    Sam Craigie – Jimmy White
    Joe Perry – Ross Muir

    Yan Bingtao – Jackson Page
    Tian Pengfei – Li Yuan
    Kurt Maflin – Hamza Akbar
    Chris Wakelin – Xu Si

    David Gilbert – Billy Joe Castle
    Alfie Burden – Jamie Curtis-Barrett
    Gary Wilson – Adam Stefanow
    Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – Alexander Ursenbacher

    Sam Baird – Soheil Vahedi
    Jimmy Robertson – Alex Borg
    John Astley – Marvin Lim
    Michael White – Niu Zhang

    Noppon Saengkham – Chen Zifan
    Hossein Vafaei – Jamie Cope
    Hammad Miah – Jordan Brown
    Stephen Maguire – Allan Taylor
    Last edited by JimMalone; 10th April 2018, 09:24 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Bottom half - touch wood - looks ok for Ronnie. Selby would have a tough 2nd round match against mark allen and then potentially Higgins and Trump.
      Highest Match Break 39 (November 10th 2015)

      Comment


      • #4
        At first glance, Selby got a pretty tough quarter. All the players from the 5-8 group are tough opponents, so he can't really complain about getting Murphy, but getting Allen in the 2nd round is a little harsh. The Masters doesn't affect the rankings, which means Allen is much lower than his ability and results would suggest. I know I would much rather face McGill or Carter in the 2nd round anyway...

        O'Sullivan has landed in a dream quarter for him, with two players he has an extremely dominant record against, so he should be fine. He is still a big favourite even if he ends up playing Robertson, but I'm sure he would prefer Williams in the quarter-finals.

        Trump drawn against his nemesis Higgins, that could be tough for him... I can definitely see one of those two getting through in this quarter, rather than Bingham or Brecel.

        Ding seems to be the big winner here. We know Hawkins plays well at the Crucible, but an in-form Ding really should take care of business in that quarter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Qualifying Draw is now also complete. You can see it in the second post.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Odrl View Post
            At first glance, Selby got a pretty tough quarter. All the players from the 5-8 group are tough opponents, so he can't really complain about getting Murphy, but getting Allen in the 2nd round is a little harsh. The Masters doesn't affect the rankings, which means Allen is much lower than his ability and results would suggest. I know I would much rather face McGill or Carter in the 2nd round anyway...

            O'Sullivan has landed in a dream quarter for him, with two players he has an extremely dominant record against, so he should be fine. He is still a big favourite even if he ends up playing Robertson, but I'm sure he would prefer Williams in the quarter-finals.

            Trump drawn against his nemesis Higgins, that could be tough for him... I can definitely see one of those two getting through in this quarter, rather than Bingham or Brecel.

            Ding seems to be the big winner here. We know Hawkins plays well at the Crucible, but an in-form Ding really should take care of business in that quarter.
            As so often I agree. Mark Allen is really a Top-13-player (stronger for sure than McGill, Carter, Brecel) and he tends to play often his best, when playing the elite. And Kyren Wilson, who could be Selbys quarterfinal opponent, has always kept matches close against the world champion.

            Trump has a lucky draw with Brecel in a potential second rounder, but than Higgins or Bingham, which would be tough. And at first glance Higgins might be the favorite here.

            Hawkins and Ding have quite good places in the draw as I don't expect too much from Fu this time.

            And so does Ronnie. Though I think Williams if he reaches the quarterfinal could be more of a competitor in a duel this time as his form the last few months was pretty good. But with his aggressive style of game, that more often than not gives chances to the opponent, O'Sullivan is quite a bad match-up for him.

            Of course there are some uncomfortable possible qualifiers in the draw like Ryan Day or Yan Bingtao, that could shake up the difficulty of the draw a little bit.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JimMalone View Post
              Of course there are some uncomfortable possible qualifiers in the draw like Ryan Day or Yan Bingtao, that could shake up the difficulty of the draw a little bit.
              I honestly can't remember there ever being so many dangerous qualifiers before. Obviously not everyone will get through, but you have the likes of Day, Maguire, Liang, Perry, Yan, Gould, White... Even Ricky Walden is probably still capable of playing world-class snooker if he finds his form. There are always one or two players everyone is looking to avoid, but this year there could be five or six of them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Two TV tables at the qualifiers via Eurosport Player. great if you have paid the subscription.
                Cheep tickets to watch any match you like

                With also the following:
                "During the final round on Tuesday April 17 and Wednesday April 18, we will also have extensive coverage on our Facebook Live channel."
                good if you have facebook, watch the last two days for free

                http://www.worldsnooker.com/betfred-...alifiers-draw/


                timing of matches
                http://livescores.worldsnookerdata.c...018-qualifiers
                Last edited by DeanH; 9th April 2018, 11:57 AM.
                Up the TSF!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yan Bingtao V Jackson page should be a good match, could go all the way to a deciding frame, Peter Ebdon V James Wattana two players who met at the Crucible in the first round in 1994, James Wattana won that match 10-6, and in 2001 which Peter Won 10-8 and also in the qualifiers which Peter won 10-6 in 2016, Jimmy White as a tough match against Sam Craigie who as had a good season and beaten some top players this season, also Alan McManus could lose his tour card, because he will have £66,000 (Points) removed from his Order of merit ranking for reaching the Semi finals two years ago, his first round opponent is Rhys Clark who as being struggling to win a match this season. Looking forward to it all from Wednesday like most of you.
                  Ronnie O' Sullivan seven times the record breaking Snooker Master

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It seems that the qualifiers are at the English Institute of Sport this year as opposed to Ponds Forge in Sheffield?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thing are looking tough for young Xhao Zintong. But with Aditya Mehta in first round and then Liang Wenbo in the next it´s not going to be easy to get enough points for a new tour card. I think he has been quite unlucky with the draw for many tournaments running into top players again and again.
                      ....its not called potting its called snooker. Quote: WildJONESEYE
                      "Its called snooker not potting" Quote: Rory McLeod

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeanH View Post
                        Two TV tables at the qualifiers via Eurosport Player. great if you have paid the subscription.
                        Cheep tickets to watch any match you like

                        With also the following:
                        "During the final round on Tuesday April 17 and Wednesday April 18, we will also have extensive coverage on our Facebook Live channel."
                        good if you have facebook, watch the last two days for free

                        http://www.worldsnooker.com/betfred-...alifiers-draw/


                        timing of matches
                        http://livescores.worldsnookerdata.c...018-qualifiers
                        May I know the name of the facebook page please?
                        Looking for perfection is the only way to motivate yourself.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A quick look at the Qualifiers


                          Section 1
                          Ryan Day – Igor Figueiredo
                          Mitchell Mann – Peter Lines
                          Robbie Williams – Jak Jones
                          Peter Ebdon – James Wattana

                          Ryan Day is surely the huge favorite here. He was playing great during the last weeks and hadn't he lost in the China Open Qualifying he now might not need to play this week. Also his draw is very comfortable. With Robbie Williams, as World Number #48 the second highest player here, there is really only one player in Day's section, who did anything noteworthy this season, when he made the quarterfinal of the International Championship. Though Ebdon vs. Wattana surely is a lovely match for the nostalgics.

                          Qualifier: Ryan Day

                          Section 2
                          Zhou Yuelong – Ian Preece
                          Daniel Wells – Kurt Dunham
                          Tom Ford – Leo Fernandez
                          Liam Highfield – Chen Zhe

                          Of course it becomes much trickier here already by logic of the draw. While #17 Rya Day had only #48 Robbie Williams as his next highest player, #32 Zhou Yuelong has #33 Tom Ford as the next best player here. And this is as close as it gets for a top-ranked player in this qualifying. There's also Liam Highfield, who has reached at least the fourth round of three events this season and while those were always Best-of-7-Events (India Open, Northern Ireland Open, Welsh Open), it was once more a proof, that indeed he can play pretty well.
                          But still it's between Ford and Zhou for me. Ford had his best result of the season just in Beijing last week, when he got to the quarterfinals, losing narrowly 5-6 to Barry Hawkins. So his form seems to be strong at the right point of the season. Zhou also enjoyed his best result in quite a long time there, reaching the last 16, where he lost heavily to Neil Robertson though. In those long matches experience obviously always plays a factor and this should clearly point to Tom Ford against his young chinese opponent. He made it to the Crucible three times, but also Zhou was able to qualify already last year, so at least he has the experience of having done this before. Still by the overall measure Ford may be the favorite in this duel. But I have experienced him as a player that doesn't cope very well with the pressure a good player puts on him. And overall at this point I already estimate Zhou as the slightly better player. So I'll go with him here.

                          Qualifier: Zhou Yuelong

                          Section 3

                          Matthew Selt – Ng On Yee
                          Mark Joyce – Adam Duffy
                          Mei Xiwen – Basem Eltahan
                          Xiao Guodong – Chris Totten

                          Another intreresting part of the draw. I think Selt, Joyce, Mei and Xiao should win the first rounders. Mark Joyce has put together a very solid season, earning not less than 83.500 pounds and points, which makes him #29 on the one-year-list (excluding already points from last year’s World Championship). Xiao Guodong has done even better though, he is #23 on this list with 93.000 points, and the best of his results just came quite recently with three quarterfinals at the Scottish Open, the German Masters and the Grand Prix, where he beat Mark Allen as well as John Higgins, albeit just in a Best-of-7-format. Mei Xiwen and Matthew Selt had solid seasons in that aspect, that they made most tournaments, but didn’t win many matches there. They can pull of a little surprise here, but Xiao is the favorite with Mark Joyce as second option.

                          Qualifier: Xiao Guodong

                          Section 4
                          Stuart Carrington – Nigel Bond
                          Ben Woollaston – Kacper Filipiak
                          Zhang Anda – Zhang Yong
                          Martin Gould – Paul S. Davison

                          Martin Gould can’t really bemoan his draw. Well, he could meet Zhang Anda, who is kind of a World qualifiers specialist, making it already three times to the Crucible, in the second round. And then Stuart Carrington or Ben Woollaston would be next, but there are really much tougher ways to the World Championship. Woollaston often has problems beating “superior” players and Carrington didn’t really have a good season. But of course Gould is always a candidate for surprising defeats as well in my books, so an upset here wouldn’t be shocking.

                          Qualifier: Martin Gould

                          Section 5
                          Graeme Dott – Adrian Justin Ridley
                          Sunny Akani – Lukas Kleckers
                          Dominic Dale – Reanne Evans
                          Mike Dunn – Duane Jones

                          Will Sunny Akani make his Crucible debut? It would be fun to watch. Or will Reanne Evans be the first woman to qualify? It would be historic. Much more likely though is we will see the 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott competing for the 19th time there. He had a good second half of the season, making his first ranking final in almost eight years at the German Masters and last week he at least made the third round at the China Open. Sunny Akani is as unpredictable as his style of play and therefore he could be a hurdle. Third round opponent would likely be Dominic Dale, who has got easy first two rounds on paper. Dale has a pretty good record against Dott, leading 5-2 in ranking events, but with his determination to make the World Championship I’d still back the Scotsman.

                          Qualifier: Graeme Dott

                          Section 6
                          Michael Holt – Thor Chuan Leong
                          Elliot Slessor – Eden Sharav
                          Robert Milkins – Aaron Canavan
                          Scott Donaldson – Tyler Rees

                          I was already a bit worried as so far I had to go with the highest seed in every section, though I’m sure there will be plenty of upsets. But this is finally a section, where it seems tempting to go with someone else. Despite Michael Holt made the World Championship already eight times! But Robert Milkins did achieve this seven times as well and I think he ist he more consistent player. So if they meet in round three he would be the safer pick. Both hade similiar seasons with Milkins being the 39th best player in terms of ranking points, while Michael Holt, despite being the highest ranked in the World Ranking, is only third of the season in this section as #43.
                          Cause in between at #41 is Elliot Slessor, who famously won two duels with Ronnie O’Sullivan this season. At the first occasion he used this to got the semifinal at the Northern Ireland Open, but aside from this wins his season wasn’t extraordinary. He played in the qualifiers for the World Championship three times, but didn’t win a single match, so it’s unproven if he can win over the longer distances.
                          Another youngster here is Scott Donaldson, who beat Selby this year, but aside from this had a disappointing season. He played Robert Milkins in the 2016 qualifiers, losing narrowly 8-10 and now they could meet in the second round as well.

                          Qualifier: Robert Milkins

                          Section 7
                          Rory McLeod – Ian Burns
                          Li Hang – Ashley Hugill
                          Lyu Haotian – Fang Xiongman
                          Anthony Hamilton – Martin O'Donnell

                          Anthony Hamilton is the highest seed here, but this is due to his great 2016/17 season. This year he sadly hadn’t any good run. Contrary to Li Hang, who garnered the 24th-most ranking points this season. But this is mainly because of his semifinal at the China Championship and the quarterfinal oft he World Open, both lie already way behind us. He also made the 4th round at the UK Championship, which is one more hint that Li is indeed strong in the long matches, but his in comparison quite poor recent run makes me struggle to pick him here.
                          What about his compatriot Lyu Haotian, semifinalist of the Northern Ireland Open? He also made the fourth round at the UK Championship and when I saw him play I mostly liked what I saw, though he could need some of Li Hangs patience.
                          Patience is also one word that describes Rory McLeod and the people who have to watch him. He struggled with good results this season, but he did so last year, then qualified for the Crucible and beat Judd Trump there.

                          Qualifier: Lyu Haotian

                          Section 8
                          Matthew Stevens – Ryan Thomerson
                          Fergal O'Brien – Yuan Sijun
                          Ken Doherty – Josh Boileau
                          Mark King - Gerard Greene

                          This is the meeting point of veterans. Matthew Stevens, Fergal O’Brien, Ken Doherty and Mark King – one of those players should reach the main draw here. Doherty had a strong start to the season, but has then faltered. Stevens and O’Brien had similiar success like the 1997 World Champion if you go by ranking points.
                          King was way better than the three others, with his quarterfinal at the UK Championship shining out. He and Fergal have immense fighting spirit and qualities and I think this may be an advantage in the tough qualifying matches. But O’Briens appearance at the Crucible in the last year was his first one in seven years, so it seems unlikely he makes it again so shortly after. While I personally think it would be nice to have Doherty back for the first time since 2014, I guess it will be King for the first time since 2013.

                          Qualifier: Mark King

                          Section 9
                          Liang Wenbo – Rod Lawler
                          Zhao Xintong – Adiya Mehta
                          Yu Delu – Sean O'Sullivan
                          Jamie Jones – Craig Steadman

                          A chinese loaded section with Liang Wenbo the most famous name. But the World Number 19 didn't have a good season, in which he made only the 38th most points. You know what? He was still the by far most succesful player of this section. Yu Delu is number 53 as next best. So you can really call it an easy section with a chance for probably anyone of them to come through. But still Liang is by far the best player here and should have the best chances.

                          Qualifier: Liang Wenbo

                          Section 10
                          Jack Lisowski – Christopher Keogan
                          David Grace – Wang Yuchen
                          Alan McManus – Rhys Clark
                          Oliver Lines – Harvey Chandler

                          Things in this section certainly point towards Jack Lisowski, who finally had something like a by many fans long awaited breakthrough year. He had wins over John Higgins, Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins at big tournaments, he had deep runs with the semifinal at the Shanghai Masters and more important, cause it indicates good present form, at the China Open. And after this great season he will have a chance to even fight for a Top 16 spot next year. With his game consistency will always be a problem though and I wouldn’t be surprised if he fell in the qualifiers. His draw is pretty easy though and there’s only really one name to my eyes that I can pick instead of Lisowski.
                          Alan McManus had a bad season and has to fear for his tour card. But in the past years he had similar years that didn’t keep him away from playing great over the long distance at the World Championship.

                          Qualifier: Alan McManus


                          Section 11
                          Andrew Higginson – David John
                          Cao Yupeng – Robin Hull
                          Lee Walker – Kristjan Helgason
                          Ricky Walden – Joe Swail

                          This is a really tough section in my books. It has much experience in person of Lee Walker, who had some good results this year. It has the always dangerous Andrew Higginson, it has a former crucible semifinalist, Ricky Walden, who is slowly retaining a bit of his past form and it has Cao Yupeng, one of the newcomers of the year. The Chinese started the year at #89, now is #34, up 55 places, far more than anybody else. Also his last tournament was pretty good, before he once again stumbled over his nerves against Barry Hawkins. I think Higginson or Walden could become spoilers, but I’ll go with Cao here.

                          Qualifier: Cao Yupeng

                          Section 12
                          Michael Georgiou – Matthew Bolton
                          Mark Davis – Sanderson Lam
                          Sam Craigie – Jimmy White
                          Joe Perry – Ross Muir

                          Last year’s World Championship was a rare edition where we didn’t see Joe Perry. And his chances to come back are golden. The next highest seeds here are Mark Davis and Michael Georgiou and both had their only successful tournament this season at the travesty called the Shoot-Out, with the man from Cyprus winning it and gaining nearly half his ranking points of the season there. Of course Davis has the experience and Georgiou can be dangerous when he is on his game, but still Joe Perry should be a favorite against both of them. The sleeper is Sam Craigie, who played well last week in Beijing, first beating Martin Gould 6-4, then losing narrowly 5-6 to Neil Robertson.

                          Qualifier: Joe Perry

                          Section 13
                          Yan Bingtao – Jackson Page
                          Tian Pengfei – Li Yuan
                          Kurt Maflin – Hamza Akbar
                          Chris Wakelin – Xu Si

                          A duel of two youngsters opens this section, but with all respect to the talent of Jackson Page I don’t see any other outcome than a win by Yan Bingtao here. He would certainly have an older compatriot in the next round and those can sometimes be intimidating to the young Chinese players. Maflin and Wakelin could be the last hurdle, both very solid players that can be hard to crack, but Yan really should come out victorious here.

                          Qualifier: Yan Bingtao

                          Section 14
                          David Gilbert – Billy Joe Castle
                          Alfie Burden – Jamie Curtis-Barrett
                          Gary Wilson – Adam Stefanow
                          Thepchaiya Un-Nooh – Alexander Ursenbacher

                          David Gilbert is still the highest ranked of these players, but after quite a good start to the season he hasn’t done much, though on a bonus site he has always been there at the main events, and slowly fell down the rankings to #26. He still should be the clear favorite in his two first matches. The third round could be interesting. I think Gary Wilson is the logical choice to be Gilbert’s opponent there, which could be a very good match with the outcome totally open.

                          Qualifier: Gary Wilson

                          Section 15
                          Sam Baird – Soheil Vahedi
                          Jimmy Robertson – Alex Borg
                          John Astley – Marvin Lim
                          Michael White – Niu Zhang

                          Michael White, when in form, is surely the best player out of this group. But he also is highly unreliable. Jimmy Robertson surely hasn’t White’s high points, but he is more consistent. Sam Baird, the third player here, to already play at the Crucible, had a pretty bad season. I think I’ll pick another underdog here and go with …

                          Qualifier: Jimmy Robertson

                          Section 16
                          Noppon Saengkham – Chen Zifan
                          Hossein Vafaei – Jamie Cope
                          Hammad Miah – Jordan Brown
                          Stephen Maguire – Allan Taylor

                          In the last section of course there is the second highest seed with Stephen Maguire and therefore he is the heavy favorite here. Midway through the season he played really well again and if he recaptures that kind of form he easily should come through. His 5-6 loss against Fergal O’Brien at the China Open last week was a bit worrying sign though.
                          I think the biggest danger to him is Hossein Vafaei, who can play very well himself and showed this occasionally. He has retained his Tour Card and could have been higher in the ranking, had he entered more events. The third potential winner is Noppon Saengkham, who twice beat Maguire at the International Championship and who was at the Crucible already last year.

                          Qualifier: Stephen Maguire



                          I guess I should have gone with more surprises and especially more debutants though.
                          Last edited by JimMalone; 10th April 2018, 09:43 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ...like Jimmy White sailing through to his 7th final at the WC :-)

                            (I can still hope)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by fkhan View Post
                              May I know the name of the facebook page please?
                              sorry no, I don't do facetwit

                              I assume you can search for World Snooker on facetwit and go from there
                              Up the TSF!

                              Comment

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