So, the Grand Prix starts today with John Higgins beginning the defence of his title against Mark Joyce, the world no.57 from Walsall.
I’d be astonished if Higgins lost given the gulf in experience but stranger things have happened...although not often.
On the other table, Marco Fu faces Mark Davis, a journeyman professional who has enjoyed some high points during his long career, including victories over Ken Doherty at the Crucible and Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Scottish Open.
Davis plays most of his snooker in the qualifiers but has the experience to take advantage of Fu if the Hong Kong man fails to produce the goods. Fu is maddeningly inconsistent. Two years ago he won this title but while his record is good against the big guns, he sometimes loses to players down the rankings.
The match I’m most looking forward to is Mark Selby against Doherty in the evening. Here we have one of snooker’s current breed of top stars looking for an extended run against a resurgent former world champion.
The two are evenly matched and I would say the pressure will be on Selby.
The other night match sees Joe Perry looking to win his first match in 2009 in a major event. He hasn’t quite been the same since he missed a pink with a good chance to beat O’Sullivan at the Masters and has slipped to 22nd in the provisional rankings.
Marcus Campbell is just the sort of tough, wily match player capable of pouncing if Perry doesn’t do the business.
BBC1 2.15-4.30pm, BBC2 00.50-3.40am and red button from 1pm
British Eurosport 1-5.30pm, 7-10pm
Eurosport times in other countries vary, check your local listings
The BBC website (in the UK) and the Eurosport Player has live coverage from both the tables.