Another day, another wildcard causes an upset at the Bank of Beijing China Open.
Tian Pengfei played superbly to beat Marco Fu 5-2 and join his compatriot Xiao Guodong – who defeated Ding Junhui 5-3 yesterday – in the last 16.
Gone are the days when the wildcards in ranking tournaments outside the UK were mere pushovers.
These guys can play and, in front of local support with nothing to lose, are a match for the game’s top stars.
But is it fair that they’re in the tournament to start with?
Why should the players who have already come through the tough Prestatyn qualifying school have to play them at all?
Some believe they shouldn’t. On balance, I’m not one of them.
This is because I was at the 2005 China Open. The event had not been held for three years and it was a real effort to get it on again.
It was a one-year deal with no guarantee it would take place again.
Ding was entered into the final stages as a wildcard and won the title. This sparked a snooker boom that persuaded the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association to underwite the staging costs for the China Open for five years.
So without the initial decision to have wildcards the tournament may not now be on.
It's a difficult balancing act but sometimes the bigger picture is more important than the notion of 'fairness' and this is one of those times.