Winning this would put anyone in the field into the PTC finals and give anyone who needs one a Tour card for the next two seasons. Reaching the final may be enough also. Here's a run down of some of the competitors and some of the reasons they're competing:
Robert Milkins is currently the last player qualified for a Top 16 automatic qualification for The Crucible, any wins here strengthen his position. He hasn't qualified for PTC finals through the European Tour, he needs a run to the final to do so.
Graeme Dott is chasing a Top 16 automatic qualification for The Crucible, he can improve his chances here. He's also has not qualified for the PTC finals through the European Tour, he also would need a run to the final.
Ken Doherty is currently the last player qualified for a Top 32 place which only requires one round of qualification for The Crucible, Doherty can enhance his position here, like Milkins and Dott has not qualified for PTC finals through the European Tour but needs at least a run to the final to do so.
Tom Ford, Alan McManus, Mark Joyce and Jack Lisowski are all within striking distance of a Top 32 place for the World Championship and can improve their chances with a good run here. None of them are qualified for PTC finals from European Tour, McManus is quite well placed, he needs a run to the quarter finals, the others need to reach the final at least.
Lǚ Hàotiān, Michael Holt and Scott Donaldson are all close to but have not wrapped up a place in the PTC finals through the Asian Tour, Donaldson is also closing in on a possible Top 64 place and a likely more favourable draw for the World Championships.
Barry Pinches is likewise closing in on a Top 64 place on the World Championship draw and would improve his chances with a good run here. A run to the final could mean he can stop worrying about whether or not he qualifies for next season via the European Order of Merit.
Anthony McGill with a semi-final run here can qualify for the PTC finals. Dechawat Poomjaeng needs a run to the final here.
Stuart Bingham, Ben Woollaston and Gary Wilson are qualified for the PTC finals, but currently outside the Top 16 seeded positions – a good run here could change that. Any wins for Wilson here improve his chances of being in the Top 64 and having easier first round draws at the start of next season. EDIT - Just to note, Bingham needs to get to the quarter finals, Woollaston to the semi finals and Wilson to the final to get past the points total of currently-16th-placed Neil Robertson. Reaching the final would also take Michael Holt past Robertson's total.
Jimmy White and Yú Délù need to accumulate points to retain their Top 64 status and their Tour cards come the end of the year, whilst Tián Péngfēi is close to a Top 64 spot but not quite there, and also close to being in position to regain his Tour card through the Asian Order of Merit, with Yú Délù also not far back on the Asian Order of Merit were he to need a safety net.
Lǚ Chēnwĕi is currently in one of the spots for gaining a Tour card. I’m not sure who the 4th player is currently as I’m not sure whether the player just behind Lǚ Chēnwĕi, Zhōu Yuèlóng, would be treated as having qualified through this - he’s already qualified for the Pro Tour by being IBSF World Champion, he's also not far off qualifying for the PTC finals - a run to the quarter finals might do it. If Zhōu Yuèlóng being IBSF Champion is given precedence, the last player currently qualified is Rouzi Maimaiti, with a whole host of players close to his points total - Chén Zĭfán, Dá Hăilín and Guăn Zhèn in particular are very close.
Zhāng Āndá needs a run to the final to retain his Tour spot through the Asian Order of Merit, whilst any reasonably good run here keeps alive his slim chance of getting inside the Top 64 by the end of the season.
And then there’s the whole host of players who really need to at least get to the final to retain their Tour spots – whilst they could (for instance) have a deep run at the World Championship, the opportunities are running out for Paul Davison, Craig Steadman, Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, Chén Zhé, Lǐ Yán, Michael Leslie and Daniel Wells.