FOLLOWING his Professional Series Event Two triumph in Blackpool on Sunday, Chris Melling has moved to the top of Ultimate Pool's provisional professional ranking list.

The Keighley potter’s victory at The Grand Hotel was his third Ultimate Pool title, but it was his first ranking success as both the 2021 Champions League and Champion of Champions were invitationals.

The 6,000 points he earned on Sunday night helped move him to the top of the provisional rankings with 9,250 points in total.

Melling has also progressed to the last 16 of this year’s Champions League – which is now ranked.

Not far behind Melling are Professional Cup winner Jordan Shepherd (8,500), Professional Series Event One winner Michael Hill (8,250) and Professional Grand Slam winner Stevie Dempsey (7,250).

Despite being early March, four professional ranking events in the 2022 season have already been completed, alongside the ongoing Champions League that takes place on Monday nights.

The end-of-season 2021 rankings – which Shane Thompson topped – remain fixed throughout the 2022 season, but the rankings will be reset for the 2023 campaign, which will see the professional player numbers rise from 48 to 80 players.

The top 16 ranked Challenger Series players, the top Women’s Series player and several wildcards will be invited to the circuit’s top tier.

As well as the prestige of finishing as high up the rankings as possible, the importance of ending the campaign inside the elite top 16 is intensified with the increased numbers.

Like this season, the top 16 ranked players will all be seeded into the last 32 of the majority of events in 2023, therefore avoiding the preliminary rounds.

In a change to last season’s ranking system – which loosely featured a ‘money list’ - there is now a points-based structure for each event.

A lot can change with these rankings, with several planned events still to come throughout the season.