For many tour players, the Betfred World Championship qualifying rounds are not just about trying to make it to the Crucible.
Louis Heathcote is among those who will go to Sheffield determined to win matches
For those hovering around the relegation zone, it’s a last chance to secure a place on the circuit. Those who lose their tour cards will face Q School, retirement or a return to the amateur ranks.
At the end of this season, all players not on the first year of a two-year tour card must finish inside the top 64 of the official world ranking list to remain on the circuit. Additionally, the top eight money earners during the current 2020/21 season, who are outside that top 64 on the two-year list, will earn a fresh tour card. Finally, any player who qualifies for the Crucible, but would otherwise not stay on tour, will also earn a fresh two-year tour card.
To see the full tour structure for 2021/22 click here.
Former European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson, former Crucible finalist Nigel Bond and last season’s Rookie of the Year Louis Heathcote are among those in danger of relegation.
With prize money of £5,000 for winning the first round of qualifying, and £20,000 for making it to the Crucible, the stakes are high. The early rounds will be crucial for those on the fringes.
For more details and to follow the tour survival blog – from the start of the qualifying rounds on April 5th – visit WPBSA