I’ll answer my own question: I’ve no idea.
Gone are the days that you could even think about offering a view before seeing the first round draw, and we won’t know that until March 11 at the earliest as the qualifiers end the day before.
Time was when the player of the season ended it by winning the World Championship.
This by and large happened in the Steve Davis era, that of Stephen Hendry, and when John Higgins, Mark Williams and Ronnie O’Sullivan each won it for the first time.
But in recent years, things have changed.
Shaun Murphy didn’t do much to suggest he would win in 2005. Ditto Graeme Dott in 2006. Even Higgins had a poor run-in to Sheffield before his 2007 triumph.
O’Sullivan did produce good form last season, winning two titles and appearing in four finals ahead of the World Championship, but Stephen Maguire won two from three and Mark Selby also scooped two trophies before the Big One came round.
We know where the top 16 seeds will be placed so, for instance, O’Sullivan may have Mark Allen in the second round, Ryan Day in the quarter-finals and Selby or Higgins in the semis.
But he could just as easily draw Mark Williams or Ricky Walden in the first round and thus be under it from day one.
Why mention all this now?
Well, the qualifying draw is out and Crucible tickets are on sale.
I make it 81 days until it all kicks off.
Believe me, it’ll soon come round.