Jimmy White faces a testing month which could ultimately have a huge bearing on his professional future.
The 44 year-old will be in Prestatyn on Thursday for the Malta Cup qualifiers where he’ll have to beat Andrew Higginson, Jamie Jones or Shokat Ali to face David Gray in the final qualifying round.
Failure to advance to the final stages in Portomaso would put even more pressure on White for the UK Championship qualifiers, which start on November 14.
White will have to beat one of Mark Joyce, Jeff Cundy or Robin Hull to reach York, where only victories over Nigel Bond and Neil Robertson would see him make the televised phase.
These matches are vitally important for White. He will be 51st in the provisional rankings when the list is issued after the Royal London Watches Grand Prix and will be off the circuit altogether if he slips lower than 64th by the end of the season.
At least the Whirlwind doesn’t have to go to the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield for the Masters qualifiers, which start on November 4. He has, as expected, been given a wildcard for Wembley.