Race To Wolverhampton: Big Names Need Sprint Finish


Next week’s BetVictor Welsh Open is the final counting event in the race to qualify for the Duelbits Players Championship, with the likes of Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan needing deep runs to have a chance of making it to Wolverhampton.

Only the top 16 on the one-year ranking list, at the end of next week’s tournament in Llandudno will go through to Aldersley Village for the second event in the Duelbits Series, which runs from February 20 to 26.

Robertson won the Players Championship last year but is in danger of missing out on the chance to defend his title. He lies 18th on the list with £65,000, behind Barry Hawkins in 17th with £66,500 and Mark Williams in 16th with £68,500. This means Robertson needs to win a minimum of two matches in North Wales to climb into the top 16. Xiao Guodong is 15th with £69,500 but failed to qualify for Wales so he can’t add to his tally.

Robertson will face Fraser Patrick in his opening match on Monday February 13, with the winner to meet Dominic Dale in round two. For the match schedule click here.

BetVictor Welsh Open Prize Money
Winner £80,000
Runner-up £35,000
Semi-finals £17,500
Quarter-finals £11,000
Last 16 £7,500
Last 32 £4,500
Last 64 £3,000

World Champion and official world number one O’Sullivan is in 26th place on the one-year list with £49,500 so must reach the final in Wales to earn a spot in Wolverhampton. Stuart Bingham, 32nd, must also reach the final while John Higgins, 60th, has to win the tournament. The £80,000 top prize means that every player in the field at Venue Cymru has a chance to get into the top 16.

Ali Carter’s victory at the BetVictor German Masters earned him £80,000 and boosted him from 21st to fourth, guaranteeing him a place in Wolverhampton and putting him on track to graduate to the eight-man Duelbits Tour Championship which will run from March 27 to April 2 in Hull.

Tom Ford reached the final in Berlin, earning £35,000 to climb from 12th to tenth. Semi-finalist Robert Milkins is up from 29th to 20th while Jack Lisowski also made the semis and he’s up one spot to eighth, ahead of Gary Wilson who failed to qualify for Wales.

Carter has leapt to the top of the BetVictor Series rankings and can now set his sights on the huge £150,000 bonus which will go to the player who tops that list at the end of the BetVictor Welsh Open. He is closely pursued by Kyren Wilson, Mark Allen and Mark Selby, with a total of 11 players still in the hunt. For more detail on that race click here.

On the official two-year list, Carter regains a place in the top 16, climbing from 23rd to 15th. Ford is up one spot to 23rd, while Milkins rises from 31st to 27th. Pang Junxu reached the first ranking event quarter-final of his career and he jumps from 56th to 51st. Ronnie O’Sullivan remains on top, with a lead of £202,000 over Mark Selby.

There are four counting events to go in the Race to the Crucible. Carter has jumped to 14th and now looks well on track for a place at the Theatre of Dreams. Gary Wilson is 16th with Barry Hawkins edged into 17th, and there are six other players within £24,000 of Wilson so every result is crucial for those players over the coming weeks.

Tickets for all of these tournaments are on sale now – for details click here

Race To Wolverhampton: Big Names Need Sprint Finish World Snooker.

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