The round-robin phase of the 6 Red World Championship has concluded in Bangkok.
With 32 out of the original 48 competitors advancing to the knockout stage, it was always going to be unlikely to see any of the big names drop out early on.
And so it was to be that just one of the professionals taking part exited following the climax of the group stage – the unfortunate cueist being Rod Lawler.
The other 25 Main Tour regulars ensured they progressed unscathed, including all four of the previous champions who are in the draw.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Mark Davis headed the qualifiers with five wins from his five league encounters.
Davis has become known as a six reds specialist having three times tasted world glory under the format.
The Englishman faces an interesting first round clash against Ding Junhui, who was far from convincing as he squeezed out of group C with only two victories.
Defending champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh continues his reign for the time being, while former champions Stephen Maguire and Mark Selby impressed after each just losing a single match in the preliminaries.
Their rewards are ties with two of the seven amateurs who managed to make it through, with Maguire facing a particularly tricky obstacle in stalwart Darren Morgan.
Ricky Walden, who won the inaugural staging of this tournament back in 2008 and has twice been a runner-up since then, also emerged unscathed.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of opportunity for a repeat home triumph for the Thais as joining Un-Nooh in the next phase are six of his compatriots – including popular veteran James Wattana.
An intriguing all-amateur clash pits India’s Pankaj Advani, who is undefeated so far, against young German Lukas Kleckers.
Elsewhere, former runners-up Liang Wenbo and Stuart Bingham face encounters with Ben Woollaston and Mark Williams respectively.
The championship runs until Saturday where the overall winner will pocket a tidy £45,000.
Categories: Snooker News