The Players Tour Championship series effectively wraps up this week as both of the final two events prepare to be contested.
I say effectively because there is an unusual abnormality to the way sequence in which the tournaments will be played.
In an odd look, the first half of PTC 12 will be played tomorrow and Friday before PTC 11 takes place over the weekend.
PTC 12 was originally supposed to be staged in Munich in early January but, because of unforeseen problems with the pre-planned venue, scheduling would have turned out to be a nightmare if the Event Forum had to host 128 players.
Instead, it will still welcome the last 16 that will emerge from the opening bout of matches that takes place over the next two days.
Peculiar? Yes! And doesn’t exactly support an overall series that has its ample amount of positives but is widely perceived to be in desperate need of a facelift for the next campaign.
Anyway, this pair of events will ultimately decide the 24 players that will qualify for the PTC Grand Finals – held in 2011 at The Helix in Dublin with a venue yet to be announced for the 2012 staging.
2011 Grand Finals champion Shaun Murphy finds himself outside that elite group and will need a week of solid performance to propel himself into an opportunity of defending his title – the current Order of Merit standings can be viewed here.
While a pack of players fight over those last remaining positions, a similar fight of equal importance will decide the official rankings for the next cut-off point in the New Year – deciphering the seeding list for ranking events in Wales and subsequently two in China.
Ronnie O’Sullivan could yet find himself in the qualifying booths for those tournaments as, at 15th in the world at the moment, is not assured of safety in the automatically qualified top 16 bracket having refused to enter these two PTCs.
It means that decent performances from a combination of Stephen Lee, Mark Davis and Ricky Walden could almost unbelievably see the former world number one lose his membership.
Of course, it isn’t really that unbelievable given the fact that O’Sullivan had a desperate 18-24 months until the outset of this campaign – something that he is still feeling the effects of in the rolling two-year ranking system.
All the potential permutations for the upcoming rankings revision can be read over at ProSnookerBlog by clicking here.
So after the highs of the UK Championship over the last week and a half, we return to relative normality as the conclusion of the PTCs takes shape before the respite of the festive season.
The draw for PTC 11 can be viewed by clicking here.
The draw for PTC 12 can be viewed by clicking here.