Stephen Hendry is, of course, among the star attractions here at the Six Reds World Championship.
The seven times Crucible champion is much in demand for autographs and pictures from spectators and some of the amateur players.
Hendry is a great pro at all this stuff. He learned it at an early age and accepted it as part and parcel of being at the top of any sport.
He told me he wasn’t completely convinced by six reds snooker but that he was enjoying the tournament and happy to play in it:
“It’s certainly cut throat and there’s not room for many mistakes.
“Purists who want to see big breaks aren’t going to get that because the highest possible break is only 75 but if you had a six red event with all top players it would be intense.
“This is a bit of fun, although the competition is serious once you get out there.
“I’ve known the tournament director, Con O’Sullivan, for a long time and am friends with Ken Doherty so I was very happy to come out here and take part.
“It all takes me back to the start of my career at Pontin’s when you’d wait in the tournament office for your name to be called out and a table number.
“It’s a good event for the public because they don’t usually see top players in this environment, up so close.”
I’d echo that. There is something bizarre yet compelling about watching the likes of Hendry, John Higgins and Ken Doherty rubbing shoulders – sometimes literally – with amateurs from all over the world in the open plan, 13 table set up.
The tournament has also given players from all over the world the chance not just to meet their snooker heroes but also to play them.
Lucky Vatnani, from India, is one such player. He was very excited yesterday about the prospect of playing Hendry. In the event he almost beat him before letting slip a 3-1 lead and losing 4-3.
All of the pros have made it through to the knockout phase and I would expect one of them to win it.
Snooker devotees needn’t worry. Six reds isn’t going to replace the traditional game and neither is it going to harm it.
The players in general see this week as a chance to compete for a €10,000 first prize, come to a hospitable part of the world and wind down after the rigours of the UK Championship.
The atmosphere backstage is relaxed and players are socialising in ways they perhaps wouldn’t at a ranking event – last night’s poker evening was well attended.
And what of Alex Higgins? After two 4-0 defeats he beat James Stewart – for whom today was not such a wonderful life – 4-0 before producing a little bit of Hurricane magic to come back from 2-0 down to be 2-2 with main tour player David Hogan.
Higgins stroked in a terrific long pink and added the black in frame three before a good clearance gave him the fourth.
Sadly for his many fans – and he still has them – he was beaten 4-2.
Eurosport starts its live coverage tomorrow afternoon. Our own Mike Hallett may be playing as he’s made it through to the knockout stage.