NEW SEASON: WHO ELSE WILL STAR?
The usual suspects will surely feature strongly but who else could break through the pack and win something big or small?
When it comes to the PTCs, the answer is anything up to half of the tour, maybe more. On their day, and in the less forbidding environment of a cubicle in Sheffield, players down the list are capable of excellent performances.
Last season, the PTCs played a vital role in building confidence. This was certainly true for Jack Lisowski, who lost his first three matches on the tour and then reached a PTC final. After that, he had a really good campaign, reaching three venues and joining the top 64.
Lisowski shares a house with Judd Trump. My advice is that if they invite you round to dinner, suggest a takeaway as, judging from their tweets, they are still grappling with cooking.
Snooker, though, is no problem for either and Lisowski, voted rookie of the year at the World Snooker awards, is clearly one to watch.
Anthony McGill is another young player who made a good start to his career and will now be looking to press on.
Mark Allen, hopefully now in a better frame of mind after treatment for depression and making a fresh start by signing to OnQ Promotions, is a player who will surely land a significant title soon.
Matthew Stevens is back in the top 16 after a great finish to last season. Can he keep that form going?
Can players such as Pink Ribbon winner Mark Joyce make an impact?
How will the non-British contingent, particularly those new to the circuit like Luca Brecel, fare?
Other questions are to be answered. Can Jamie Cope make that next step and win a tournament? Cope revealed to worldsnooker.com yesterday that he has been receiving treatment for an hereditary shake. It shows that you never really know what lies behind a player's lack of form. Cope is a terrific talent, his commitment has been questioned but his thinking must have been affected by the condition.
What else? Can Stuart Bingham finally join the top 16? Can the likes of Ken Doherty and Jimmy White stave off decline? Can any of the Q School qualifiers make an impact?
One player less likely to feature in any prominent way is Steve Davis, but I couldn’t let this series of pieces on the new season end without mentioning the great man.
Steve is now 44th in the rankings but though his passion for snooker remains undimmed, getting himself up for soulless qualifiers, of which there will be many this season, is going to be difficult.
It seems the Davis career doesn’t have long to run, though he will be on our screens at the Brazilian Masters because the organisers well remember an exhibition he gave in Brazil in the 1980s and want him there.
If this is to be Davis’s last season he can be proud of playing such a key role in getting his best mate Barry Hearn involved again.
In some ways this has hastened the end of his own playing career but it has also created the exciting campaign that lies before us.
It all starts tomorrow with the amateur qualifying rounds of the first PTC and goes pretty much full pelt all the way to the world final next May.
So strap yourselves in for what’s bound to be a rollercoaster season of snooker.