In the space of just a few weeks Sam Baird has experienced the highs and lows of the rollercoaster ride that is life as a professional snooker player.
Baird won four matches to qualify for the final stages of the Haikou World Open and plays Jin Long in the wildcard round tomorrow.
He then qualified for the Welsh Open where he needed blue and pink to defy a gap of more than 80 places in the world rankings and beat world no.1 Mark Selby 4-2 in Newport.
But he missed the blue, lost the frame and lost the match 4-3. Worse still, Selby came within three frames of winning the title.
This was one that got away but every snooker player has a similar tale to tell and Baird is just getting going.
I hope he has taken the positives with him on the long journey to Hainan. Maybe there was still residual disappointment in his mind when he played in the China Open qualifiers last week and lost in the opening round, 5-0 to Tian Pengfei.
It is a learning process. In sport you can feel on top of the world, super confident, one day and down in the pits of despair the next.
In most jobs, you know when you’ve had a good day or not but in the extremes of sport it’s either public acclaim or humiliation heading your way.
All players have setbacks early in their careers.
Stephen Hendry’s first match in the UK Championship ended in a 9-2 defeat to O. B Agrawal.
Terry Griffiths lost 9-8 from 8-2 up to Rex Williams in his first professional match.
More recently, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump experienced several frustrating reverses in the qualifiers before breaking through in style.
Baird is enjoying his first jaunt to foreign climes with the pro snooker circuit. I commentated on his final qualifying round win over Mark Davis, in which he recovered from 3-0 down to win 5-4.
At no point when he went behind and Davis dominated did Baird’s head drop, which was a good sign.
If he beats Jin Long tomorrow he will play Ding on home soil, which is sure to be a memorable occasion. Hopefully one of many to come for Sam Baird.