And so it begins.
80 players join battle for the 16 qualifying places in next month’s Shanghai Masters. Among them are new faces, old faces, legendary faces and faces even diehard snooker fans would struggle to recognise.
The qualifiers take place in virtual obscurity. Alas, there won’t be much in the papers about the events at Pontin’s in Prestatyn over the next four days but, for the first time, there will be some streaming of matches through the new 110sport.tv venture.
Old snooker players don’t die, they go to the qualifiers.
They all have done in their time: Ray Reardon, Fred Davis, John Spencer, Alex Higgins, Joe Johnson, Dennis Taylor and now Jimmy White, John Parrott, Ken Doherty and Steve Davis.
It’s hard to give up when snooker has been your life, even when you know your best days are behind you.
In the back of your mind is the thought that maybe, just maybe, you will rediscover some of that golden form.
It’s the mindset that sees James Wattana and Tony Drago return this season to give the professional circuit another go.
The only legend who called it a day when he dropped out of the top 16 was Terry Griffiths so there’s a certain irony that he will be 110sport’s lead commentator today.
But Terry, of course, carried on in the game through coaching when he finally hung his cue up and, in some ways, his playing career has been extended through following the fortunes of those he coaches.
All the players starting out this week will be flush full of hope that, whatever has happened in the past, this will be their season.
That hope will be eroded for many by close defeats, disappointing performances and the realities of life on tour in a sport not in the best of health, with two ranking events axed and sponsorship hard to come by.
Players in the first two rounds will not earn a single penny, despite being professional sportsmen.
There will be plenty of time during the season to become disenchanted, frustrated and plain fed up. But, today, hope is in the ascendancy.
Good luck to all those involved.