The 2023 UK Championship is just around the corner and the top 16 seeds for York are now set in stone.
Last year’s edition of the calendar’s second biggest ranking tournament saw the format revert back to the old tiered system.
Similar to how the World Championship operates, the top 16 from the world rankings list will be UK Championship seeds – gaining automatic places in the last 32 at the Barbican Centre.
The remaining 16 spots in the lineup will be determined by a qualifying phase that takes place next week in Leicester.
Zhang Anda’s outstanding victory in the International Championship on Sunday has seen the vastly improved Chinese player join the top 16 for the first time in his career.
The 31 year-old collected a whopping £175,000 in securing his maiden ranking title in Tianjin, elevating him to number 15 on the official two-year standings.
Zhang couldn’t have timed his finest career performance much better – coming at the cut-off point in the Race to the UK Championship rankings.
Despite his defeat in the title decider, Tom Ford’s £75,000 runners-up cheque proved to be enough to see him also become a top 16 member for the first time.
The pair’s elation will be met with equal despair for Ding Junhui and Hossein Vafaei, who have been dumped into the preliminaries at the Morningside Arena.
Ding was a UK Championship finalist in 2022 but will now need to win two qualifying matches if he’s to have another crack at glory in York.
As the reigning champion, meanwhile, Mark Allen will be the top seed in the UK Championship draw.
World champion Luca Brecel is the second seed, with world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan and the in-form Judd Trump among those who are safely into the last 32 as well.
The venue stages of the UK Championship begin on November 25th with the champion to be crowned on December 3rd.
This season’s most lucrative prize so far will be on offer – the winner set to receive £250,000.
The four-round qualifying event will run from November 18th to 23rd.
UK Championship top 16 seeds
1. Mark Allen (defending champion)
2. Luca Brecel (world champion)
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Judd Trump
5. Mark Selby
6. Neil Robertson
7. Shaun Murphy
8. Kyren Wilson
9. Mark Williams
10. Ali Carter
11. John Higgins
12. Barry Hawkins
13. Jack Lisowski
14. Robert Milkins
15. Zhang Anda
16. Tom Ford
Other ranking news
Zhang’s victory in China over the weekend will bring with it various other opportunities and bonuses.
In addition to receiving an invitation to play in this week’s Champion of Champions, Mighty Mouse is also provisionally in line to receive a spot at the Masters in January.
He will definitely feature at the World Grand Prix, the first of three lucrative ranking events where qualification is based on the one-year ranking list.
With almost a quarter of a million pounds earned this term, Zhang will safely compete at the Players and Tour Championships too.
The World Grand Prix, though, is the most immediate of those on the schedule with 32 players participating in Leicester in January.
Judd Trump leads the one-year rankings thanks to his terrific hat-trick of ranking victories in October.
Among the high-profile players in danger of missing out currently are Luca Brecel, Neil Robertson, and Kyren Wilson.
There are three more chances to earn money before the World Grand Prix, starting with the UK Championship later in November.
Race to World Grand Prix provisional rankings
|Provisional||1-Year Rankings||Updated: Nov 13, 2023|
Featured photo credit: WST