As the 2013 IPA season draws to a close at the final stop in Liverpool, all the top spots in the Professional, Open and Amateur rankings are up for grabs. It has been a season of unpredictability with shocks galore at every event, but for some it has been a memorable season.
Take Jon McAllister for example – back to back wins in the Amateur events at Bradford and Glasgow (what an incredible achievement), leave him within touching distance of securing the top place in the Amateur rankings, needing just a “last 16” placing to earn the title of 2014 IPA Amateur of the Year. His nearest challenger has been the equally impressive Daniel Walker, but the 10 points he trails by maybe just too big a gap to overcome – we will see this weekend – but what we have learnt this year is to expect the unexpected, so we won’t be writing anyone off just yet! Looking at the draw, Jon has a potential clash with French hero Christophe Lambert, whilst Daniel starts off against Scottish talent Liam Dunster, so it really is “all to play for”!
IPA Professional Gareth Hibbott leads the way in the Open rankings by just two points from the ever consistent Ronan McCarthy. In fact, a mere eight points covers the top six, while anyone from the top eight could still take their place at the summit, including the likes of Gareth Potts, new UK Open champion Jordan Shepherd and Tour 4 European champion Craig Marsh.
French Number One Christophe Lambert will be looking to top off a memorable season with victory at Liverpool, and add to his huge tally of 40 ranking points, which provisionally puts him in the Number 1 position for 2014 – a superb achievement in his first full year on the IPA Blackball Tour and surely an encouragement to anyone considering signing on for 2014?
And finally the race for the most prestigious spot of them all – the Professional Number 1.
Long time leader Gareth Potts is under pressure to retain his position at the top, with Gareth Hibbott only two points adrift. Hibbott is also still in the Players Professional championship that concludes at Liverpool, whilst Potts suffered a surprising defeat to Dan Davy in the last 16 – nail biting time perhaps?
With this and the final Pro event to be concluded, it could be folly to discount the likes of Lee Clough and the in form Craig Marsh, who has a potential mouth watering quarter final match against Hibbott in the ‘Players’ which could yet be the “decider” – only time will tell on that one?
All will be decided from the 18th-20th October – tune into the live streaming on www.ipapool.com and watch first hand how it all unfolds.