An enthralling first day's play at the williamhill.com UK Championship proved that snooker can still do what television sport is supposed to: provide great entertainment.
The quality of snooker was high, there was plenty of drama and, just as importantly, it was packed out at the Barbican Centre in York.
The UK Championship was always well attended at York and I'm sure it would have been for best of 17s, but it's equally true to say that the best of 11s, though hard to swallow for diehard snooker fans, did not put the general public off. Today is a sell-out.
The first two matches went the distance. Ding Junhui fluked the final pink to beat Mark Davis 6-5, harsh on the Sussex professional but he was man enough to admit afterwards that he had missed his chance to win 6-4 and also missed a straight blue with a chance to clear in the decider.
Similarly, Rory McLeod missed the black off its spot with a good opportunity to beat John Higgins in their decider and was later another victim of a fluke as the defending champion scraped through.
It seems that after all the PTCs the top players have come to York focused for a really big event and that was certainly the case for Graeme Dott and Neil Robertson, each serene in making progress against Matt Selt and Tom Ford respectively.
Matthew Stevens made breaks of 140 and 136 while Stephen Maguire played good, hard match snooker and potted some vital pressure balls to see off Stephen Hendry.
It looked as if the five times champion might pull it out the fire after rallying from 3-1 down to 3-3 but the odd shot here and there lets Hendry down these days.
Today's big match pits Ronnie O'Sullivan against his boyhood hero, Steve Davis, who hasn't beaten him for 13 years.
Li Yan, the unknown quantity having qualified in his first season, faces Shaun Murphy, the 2008 champion.
And there's a very interesting start as Mark Selby, the world no.1, meets Ryan Day.
Some great snooker ahead, then, and what undoubtedly adds to it is the atmosphere. When people want more calling out and noise they are ignoring the power of reverential silence. It is forbidding and adds to the pressure, reminding players that they are out on their own.
When punctuated by bursts of applause, the odd gasp and even an embarrassed cough or two it ramps up the dramatic tension.
But there was one incident yesterday that reminded everyone that for all the various points of view and petty squabbles in snooker, it really is just a game.
Marcus Campbell had travelled for years to tournaments with his friend, Martin, who died suddenly yesterday in the tournament hotel.
To his credit, Marcus still played but his mind was obviously not on snooker. My condolences go to him.