So enough of the off table stuff...
The Pukka Pies UK Championship starts in Telford tomorrow and the standout tie of the first round pits world champion John Higgins against the dangerous Ricky Walden.
Walden currently sits 13th in the provisional rankings having won last season’s Shanghai Masters. He has played Higgins twice before and beaten him on both occasions.
Higgins, though, has been very consistent this year, reaching the semi-finals at least of the last four ranking events.
Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis have 11 UK titles between them and contested the final in 1989 and 1990.
They are meeting yet again in the first round, with Davis well placed to get one over on his old rival who, in Davis’s words, “has bashed me up down the years.”
Hendry certainly has a good record with 43 wins against him to Davis’s 18 but is struggling for form and Davis has a victory under his belt, having beaten Michael Judge 9-7 earlier this week to qualify.
It’s a first round with several matches that are tough to call, but Grand Prix champion Neil Robertson should beat Tom Ford and Ding Junhui will be heavy favourite against Mike Dunn.
Where will the shocks come?
Well, Crucible semi-finalist Mark Allen, rusty through lack of matches, could be vulnerable against the experienced Stephen Lee.
And Stephen Maguire, who like Allen hasn’t played competitively for two months, won’t have it all his own way against Michael Holt, who played well to beat Dominic Dale 9-4 in the qualifiers.
Mark Selby, who has fallen to 15th in the latest rankings, faces a tough opening test in the shape of Jamie Cope, whose long potting and all out attacking game can be very effective.
Peter Ebdon, the winner three years ago, will have to call on all his years of experience to handle another dangerous young potter, Judd Trump.
World no.6 Ryan Day is also up against it as he tackles Liang Wenbo, this season’s Shanghai Masters runner-up.
The outright market makes Ronnie O’Sullivan favourite for the title but he has his own problems having drawn Matthew Stevens, the 2003 UK champion, in the first round.