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Un-Nooh and Luo Top Championship League Groups

The pair become the 19th and 20th players to qualify for the second stage of the competition in October.

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Luo Honghao finished first in their respective Championship League groups on Tuesday in Milton Keynes.

With both winning two and drawing one of their three allotted round-robin encounters, they each placed in first on seven points.

Un-Nooh overcame Lee Walker in his first match before a 2-2 tie with Peter Lines set up a winner-took-all battle against Sunny Akani.

His fellow Thai player had prevailed in both of his opening fixtures and needed only a point to progress, but Un-Nooh crucially won the last frame of their best-of-four clash with a break of 60 to clinch it 3-1.

The former Shoot Out champion will feature in Group E of the next phase alongside Ken Doherty, Xiao Guodong, and one other player yet to qualify.

Luo, meanwhile, advanced with a similar tally after acquiring the point he needed from his last scheduled match against world number five Mark Allen.

The Chinese youngster had previously emerged victorious against Billy Joe Castle and Jamie Wilson before securing what proved to be a precious draw with Allen at the end of the day – a decisive factor in sending the Northern Irish favourite home.

Former WSF Championship winner Luo completes the quartet who will make up Group C next month alongside Stuart Bingham, Zhao Xintong, and Alexander Ursenbacher.

There are twelve more Championship League groups to be completed in stage one of the tournament this week.

Scott Donaldson, who won the first of what has been three editions of the Championship League in 2020 back in March, is among those in action on Wednesday.

What is the Format?

Following the decision to upgrade the Championship League to a ranking event, a total of 128 players are involved in a unique format which incorporates a round-robin as well as short encounters that will last only four frames.

Taking place over three separate weeks on the calendar, the first two weeks are effectively qualifiers for the third and final stint of action in late October that will ultimately provide the champion.

There are 32 groups at the outset comprising four players in each, with the 32 winners following the mini-league phase advancing to the second stage.

The first 16 groups were contested in September, while the remaining 16 groups from phase one are undertaking their fixtures this week.

With the sprint best-of-four frames format, there can be a lottery feel to the competition, and you can have a look at the games on offer at this online casino if you are interested in potentially striking your own fortune.

Live coverage of the Championship League continues on Matchroom.Live and FreeSports.

Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)

Featured photo credit: WSF


  1. Actually the Luo-Allen match was the last one (the two top-64 players), and Allen needed to win. But when Luo won the third frame to lead 2-1, Allen smashed the pack off the break, fluked a red, and scored 97…! These dead frames are a problem with the format. The groups can easily fizzle out to a big anticlimax, which is bad sport and bad TV. One of the earlier groups featured a player who could no longer qualify just getting down and playing shots without any preparation (AST under 13 seconds). They need to reorder the matches to build up the drama. This won’t solve the problem entirely, but will reduce the chances of a washout.

    Unfortunately, commentators are contractually obliged to endore the format 100% – no criticism is allowed, even if constructive. I just hope that all these issues are considered behind the scenes, and they are willing to make changes in the future to improve their ‘product’. A brazen approach is self-defeating in the long run.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed now.

      Yes, I think there’s always the risk of round-robin formats fizzling out. The format generally works for the 2020 situation, but it probably wouldn’t be great to keep it like this in the long term.

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