Liang: crucial match today
The race to the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix is in its penultimate phase this week, and Liang Wenbo’s match with Xiao Guodong at the D88 German Masters today holds particular significance.
Only the top 32 on the one year ranking list will qualify for the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix at the Preston Guild Hall, to run from February 19 to 25, with a top prize of £100,000 up for grabs.
China’s Liang currently sits in 34th place on that list (taking into account money earned in the D88 German Masters) just £500 behind 32nd-placed Ben Woollaston. If Liang beats Xiao Guodong in the last 16 in Berlin today, he will add another £5,000 to his total and jump to 30th place, almost certainly enough to secure a place in Preston.
Woollaston: Preston place in the balance
However Liang has not entered the final counting event, next week’s Coral Shoot Out, so defeat today would end his hopes of a spot at the Guild Hall.
At the Coral Shoot Out in Watford (February 8-11) a top prize of £32,000 will be up for grabs, so over 30 players currently outside the top 32 of the one year list could potentially jump inside the qualification zone.
Defeat for Barry Hawkins in the last 32 in Berlin yesterday means he needs to reach the final in Watford if he is to be in Preston to defend the title he won last year.
Current one-year list: places 29-35 (including D88 German Masters money)
29 Graeme Dott £60,000
30= Stuart Bingham £56,500
30= Robert Milkins £56,500
32 Ben Woollaston £53,500
33 Tom Ford £53,225
34 Liang Wenbo £53,000
35 Zhou Yuelong £51,500
Top stars including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Judd Trump and Shaun Murphy have already had their first round matches scheduled in Preston and tickets are on sale to see a star-studded line up. For details click here.
And for Coral Shoot Out ticket details click here