The Championship League returns tomorrow with just three places remaining in the final winners’ group that will produce a qualifier for next season’s Premier League.
Already through are Stephen Maguire, John Higgins, Judd Trump and Marco Fu.
Neil Robertson, Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon return for group 5 but Mark Allen is unable to play because he has been doing an exhibition in China.
That means an early call up for Ricky Walden alongside Jamie Cope, Dave Harold and Barry Hawkins.
Allen will return for group 6 on Wednesday with Joe Swail and Stuart Bingham.
The Championship League began in 2008 where it was shown on three betting websites. Such has been its popularity that it is this year being streamed on 12.
Uniquely there are no spectators, chiefly because there is no room for them. This means great shots and big breaks go unapplauded but the standard of snooker this year has been very high.
The venue is Crondon Park Golf Club in Stock, Essex where Bingham is a member (indeed I’ve spotted his name on the roll of honour for one of their competitions).
As there are still seven weeks (!) until the China Open, this is an ideal chance for the top 16 players to keep sharp and for those involved in World Championship qualifying to tune up their games for the most nervy part of the season by far.
More details at the official website here.