As if there wasn’t enough pressure trying to qualify for the Crucible, the World Championship qualifiers will also decide who stays on the tour and who gets relegated.

It’s very tough for newcomers to keep their places. Playing on the professional circuit takes some adjusting and there are only eight tournaments in which to do this.

Last night, Daniel Wells edged Ian Preece 10-9. This result gives Wells a chance of staying on the tour but will likely relegate Preece.

Similarly, Liu Song defeated Supoj Saenla 10-9 and will probably now keep his place while Saenla heads back to the PIOS.

Next season’s 96-man main tour is constituted as follows: the top 64 in the end of season rankings, plus the top eight points earners this season not already in the top 64, plus the top eight players from the PIOS, plus 16 players from around the world based on various qualification criteria, i.e. the IBSF world amateur champion.

I hope Wells does stay on. He’s the sort of young player snooker needs.

He was thoroughly professional throughout his year as the WPBSA’s inaugural Paul Hunter Scholar and seems to have the right attitude.

Daniel can’t quite relax yet – as if that’s possible anyway in the World Championship – but at least he’s given himself a chance.

As the qualifiers continue, more players will be thinking about their respective ranking positions.

Some will need to win to stay in the top 64, get in the top 32 or even the top 16.

Bear all this in mind when watching the scores come in.

These guys are under huge pressure. They are not only playing for a place at the Crucible but, in some cases, for their very survival in the professional ranks.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Daniel!
I do hope that we get a chance to see you at the Crucible!

Sammy said...

I was jumping like a nutter when Wellsy won bothmatches 10-9!

GlobalSnookerCentre said...

I have sent a message to Daniel asking if he could possibly not go to 10-9 in his third match. It's more than my nerves can bear!!

I wish him all the very best. I've known him since he was 9 and he's a great credit to the sport and his country.

but if he did come off tour, I know he's got the right attitude to work to get back on and keep on moving forward in his career.

I think Daniel is going places in the game

Matt@PSB said...

He was great yesterday, did really well not to let losing that first frame of the evening session affect him too much because it looked like a massive blow.

His parents were so excited as he finished off the match, understandably so.

Anonymous said...


How do you think it would work if say for something like the World Championship alone all former champions were allowed to compete from the main tour stage. It might generate a bit more interest in the qualifiers and means that people like Steve Davis, Ray Reardon, Alex Higgins and co can still be watched in a competitive setting at least once a year by the public and boost attendances for the qualifiers - in a similar way like all former Open golf champions can compete up until a certain age or something (65 maybe?)

Matt@PSB said...

Don't all former World Champions retain life membership of the WPBSA or something so in theory might they be able to if they wanted? I'm not sure quite how the non-tour players involved in the World qualifiers are decided to be honest.

Sammy said...


Sir Toby Belch said...

He does seem to like his close finishes! Still, that's him safely on the tour next season. Which, considering how many promising young players have been relegated, is a very good thing.