Stephen Hendry's essential problem is that he wants to play like Stephen Hendry, or rather the imperious Hendry of the 1990s.
His approach to the game is the same, but he is no longer playing it well enough and so many of the players who have copied him are now playing it better.
One of them is Mark Selby, who turned on the style last night to open a 7-1 first session lead.
Victory with a session to spare is a distinct possibility this afternoon. This would obviously not improve Hendry's chances of carrying on as a member of the circuit but I hope he takes a few weeks to assess the situation.
The first session of Ronnie O'Sullivan v Shaun Murphy failed to live up to the billing. It was all a little subdued, Murphy in particular, and O'Sullivan played well enough to open a 6-2 lead.
Clearly O'Sullivan is focused and playing with discipline, happy to dig in for the long haul.
We are still to see how he reacts if put under the sort of pressure Selby managed to apply in the quarter-finals last year.
Murphy needs a vast improvement today to stay with him, otherwise Ronnie will be in the last eight once again.
Nobody thinks Rory McLeod will beat John Higgins, just as nobody thought Steve Davis would beat him last year.
McLeod is an awkward, obdurate player who makes things difficult but Higgins has the temperament - and obviously the class - to deal with all this over such a long distance.
Ding Junhui has never been in the World Championship quarter-finals. It's all very well pointing to who has beaten him in the second round but if this pattern continues then it suggests he has a problem with the Crucible.
Stuart Bingham is no pushover. His confidence has grown this season with all the snooker he has played. The test for him will be if it goes close and the pressure descends.
Two brilliant, close finishes yesterday. Wee Dotty did it again when he beat Ali Carter 13-11 with a fine clearance in the last frame.
Graeme Dott is a Crucible form horse. Crucially, he seems to play his best snooker while bang under pressure.
You can only admire this tenacity but he doesn't just do it through pluck: we know he has the game to win the title because he did so five years ago.
The conclusion of the Mark Allen-Barry Hawkins clash was fascinating viewing.
Allen led 12-9 but Hawkins saved his best snooker for the end of the match and made three big breaks to force a decider.
Alas, he only had one shot in the last - a bungled break-off that saw the cue ball catch the blue.
Allen could have made a 147 but got a kick on the 12th black, leaving the next red awkward.
Still, it was a gutsy way to finish after all that was thrown at him and yet another slice of drama from what is boiling up to be a vintage championship.
Meanwhile, Judd Trump moves on serenely. The lad is having the time of his life, enjoying every minute.
In time he'll come to learn about Crucible pressure. Right now, it's all good fun.
Today marks the halfway point of the tournament. Some of these guys will be playing every day for the next nine if they are to win the title as the fight for the most prized trophy in snooker intensifies.