There are just under three months and six world ranking events to be completed before the 16-player field for the 2024 Masters is set and below we take a look at the current state of play.
Set to return to London’s Alexandra Palace from 7-14 January 2024, snooker’s most prestigious invitational event will feature the world’s top 16 ranked players following December’s UK Championship. This period therefore includes all prize money earned at ranking events from the 2021 Scottish Open up to and including the 2023 UK Championship.
The remaining counting tournaments prior to the all important cut-off are the: Cazoo British Open, BetVictor English Open, Wuhan Open, BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, International Championship and the UK Championship.
THE TOP TWO
As is always the case, the defending champion and reigning world champion will be the first names in the draw, with Judd Trump (£558,500) and Luca Brecel (£784,000) to therefore be seeded one and two respectively.
They are set to be joined by a number of former Masters champions including record seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan (£831,000), 2018 winner Mark Allen (£760,000), three-time king Mark Selby (£547,000), two-time champion Neil Robertson (£472,500) and 2015 victor Shaun Murphy (£466,000).
Likewise, former runner-up Kyren Wilson (£381,000) and two time champion John Higgins (£341,500) also look all but certain to qualify once again, with Higgins almost £120,000 ahead of 17th place.
THE CHASING PACK
Behind the top nine players, two-time champion Mark Williams (£307,000) is well-placed to secure what would be a 25th appearance at the Masters, with recent ranking event winners Robert Milkins (£289,500) and Ali Carter (£283,500) also not too far behind.
The remaining four places are currently occupied by Jack Lisowski (£258,000), two-time finalist Barry Hawkins (£242,000), Ryan Day (£240,000) and 2011 winner Ding Junhui (£229,500).
With Iran’s Hossein Vafaei (£223,000) currently in close proximity, the four in particular look to have work to do in order to make sure of their places, with many players currently outside of the provisional top 16 more than capable of claiming a big prize by winning one of the next six ranking tournaments.
Behind Vafaei, those currently closest include Gary Wilson (£204,500), Anthony McGill (£183,500), Tom Ford (£182,500) and 2020 champion Stuart Bingham (£171,000).
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