The Kettering cueist is the second player through to the second group phase.
Kyren Wilson just about avoided an early exit as he topped Group B of the WST Pro Series by the skin of his teeth on Tuesday.
After every round-robin encounter was completed in Milton Keynes, the Englishman finished on 15 points – the same number as group rivals Sunny Akani and Pang Junxu.
The trio had won five out of their seven fixtures, but only two players could advance to the next stage of what is the newest ranking event on the calendar.
Their respective frame-difference records were taken into account, which sent a grateful Wilson into first.
The other two boasted identical records, but Akani’s 2-1 triumph over Pang meant that the Thai competitor progressed from Group B of the WST Pro Series at the expense of the young rookie from China.
What is the WST Pro Series?
The format for the WST Pro Series is quite similar to that which was unitilised for two out of the three editions of the Championship League that were staged during 2020.
There are 16 groups comprising eight players in each, with a round-robin phase determining the top two who will advance to the second group stage.
Eight groups in the first stage take place this week, while the remaining eight groups are in March.
The 32 players who progress to stage two will be split into four more groups of eight, with the top two again moving forward from each to contest the final group.
That remaining set of eight players will subsequently battle it out in the same fashion to become the overall champion.
There is a total tournament prize fund of £420,500, broken down in various ways through the three group stages.
The winner, however, stands to collect at least £30,000 in an event that incorporates a sprint best-of-three frames format throughout.
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💬 “I just feel lucky with what’s going on in the world I’m still playing the game I love.”
New format? No problem.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 19, 2021
On Wednesday, Group G takes place with Gary Wilson, Martin O’Donnell, Lu Ning, Liam Highfield, Rory McLeod, Jamie O’Neill, Zhao Jianbo, and amateur John Astley involved.
Astley was a late replacement for Stephen Hendry, who originally entered to excite fans about his comeback but hastily withdrew when it became clear he’d have to play in January instead of March – citing a lack of practice as his reason.
Live coverage will be available via an account with several online bookmakers, as well as around the world through the Matchroom.Live streaming service.
Click here to view the full draw (Times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST