The Duelbits Tour Championship, which is set to take place in Hull next week, will be the last event before the top 16 seeds are confirmed for the upcoming Cazoo World Championship. With this in mind, snooker enthusiasts are eagerly watching the developments and outcomes of the tournament as Ryan Day, Ding Junhui, and Gary Wilson compete for the last two spots.
The top 14 players in the race, down to Stuart Bingham, have already secured their places and are expected to participate in the Crucible event in April. It is important to note that Zhao Xintong will not be able to join the top 16 as he is not eligible to enter.
Gary Wilson could have easily made it to the top 16 if he had reached the final of the WST Classic. Unfortunately, he suffered a 5-4 defeat to Pang Junxu in the semi-finals, which meant he missed out on a place in the top eight of the one-year list and a trip to Hull. Despite this setback, Wilson still holds the 15th spot in the Crucible race, and could become a seed for the first time in his career, depending on other results next week.
Here are the different scenarios that could play out:
- If Ding loses to Mark Allen on Monday, Wilson and Day will go to the Crucible.
- If Ding beats Allen and Day loses to Mark Selby on Thursday, Ding and Wilson will go to the Crucible.
- If Ding reaches the final and Day beats Selby, Day and Ding will go to the Crucible.
- If Ding and Day both win their first match, but Ding loses in the semi-finals, Wilson and Day will go to the Crucible.
The prize money for the Duelbits Tour Championship is as follows: the winner will receive £150,000, the runner-up will receive £60,000, and the semi-finalists will each receive £40,000. The quarter-finalists will receive £20,000, which will also count towards their ranking.
All players outside the top 16 will participate in the Cazoo World Championship qualifying rounds, which will take place from April 3 to 12 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
Recently, Mark Selby won the WST Classic, his second-ranking title of the season and the 22nd of his career. This victory boosted him from eighth to third on the one-year list, and he is among the eight players who will compete in Hull. If Selby reaches the final, he will close the gap on Ronnie O’Sullivan and take the world number one spot. Additionally, Mark Allen also has a chance to become world number one for the first time in his career if he wins the £150,000 top prize.
In terms of player rankings, Pang Jun jumps from 46th to 35th after reaching his first ranking final, while Lukas Kleckers, who reached the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time, is now up to 88th. Oliver Lines, who also made it to the last eight, is currently ranked 61st.
Overall, the Duelbits Tour Championship is set to be an exciting event for snooker fans, as the top players compete for their spots in the upcoming Cazoo World Championship.