The round robin phase of the seven-man Partypoker.com Premier League comes to the boil in Llandudno tonight with four play-off spots available.
World champion John Higgins has already done enough to get through while Marco Fu and Neil Robertson cannot qualify.
So that leaves Ronnie O’Sullivan, Shaun Murphy, Stephen Hendry and Judd Trump battling for the three remaining places.
O’Sullivan, an eight times winner of the Premier League title and champion for each of the last five years faces Higgins. In normal circumstances, this would be tough to call but Higgins goes into the match not needing to worry about the result.
But the Scot knows that knocking O’Sullivan out will boost his own chances of League success so he’s unlikely to simply go through the motions.
The maths is a little complicated but O’Sullivan will at least know what he needs to do to qualify as he is on last.
First up, it’s Murphy v Trump. Murphy has five points and Trump six, so former Crucible champ Murphy will need to win to qualify for the semi-finals.
A draw should see Trump through and, were that to happen, Murphy would need Hendry – also on five points – to win no more than three of his six frames against Fu in the second match of the evening.
What’s the most likely scenario?
I’d expect Murphy, with his greater experience, to beat Trump, Hendry to get at least a draw against Fu and O’Sullivan to do the same against Higgins.
That would leave the top four as Higgins, O’Sullivan, Murphy and Hendry.