The Wuxi Classic, formerly the Jiangsu Classic, is now in its fourth year and marks the start of the televised snooker season.
Shaun Murphy staged a remarkable comeback last year, coming from 8-2 down to beat Ding Junhui 9-8 in the final.
This was a great performance from Murphy but it didn’t exactly make him Mr. Popular in Wuxi City, which just happens to be Ding’s home town.
The tournament begins on Thursday with four matches, two of them played on the TV table: Peter Ebdon v Rouzi Maimiati and Stephen Maguire v Liang Wenbo.
This is Ebdon’s 21st season as a professional and he started it as a member of the top 16 having regained his place last year with a run to the semi-finals of the World Open.
Younger readers may not believe this but he wasn’t always regarded as methodical. He used to fly round the table, his pony tail flying with him.
Ebdon, though, has always been one for introspection and even as he was climbing the rankings became fixated on his technique.
This eventually led to a slowing down, but it didn’t stop his success and his victory at the Crucible in 2002 was one of the hardest earned of any World Championship triumph.
He came from 16-14 down in the semi-finals against Matthew Stevens and made a miracle half century break in the decider.
In the final against Stephen Hendry, Ebdon seemed to have gone at 17-16 but, in the decider, got himself together and completed the victory.
It meant the world to him but was especially sweet to have beaten Hendry, the Crucible’s greatest ever player who had made a record 16 centuries during the tournament.
Now 40, Ebdon is at that stage in his career where he would be regarded as clinging on to the coat tails of younger players, but his appetite for playing doesn’t seem to have been diminished by the passing of the years.
Liang had a shocker last season, losing all eight matches he played in major ranking events and only just remaining in the top 32 having started it in the top 16.
But so far this season he has qualified for the Australian Goldfields Open and must surely feel the campaign can’t possibly be as bad as last year’s was.
He beat Maguire 7-6 in the final of the BTV Challenge in 2009 and home soil may be a factor this week, although of course Maguire is a former China Open champion.
The Scot is also very consistent, with sundry semi-finals and the odd final under his belt in recent years.
But he is a top player and top players want titles. There are more to be won now but that doesn’t make it any easier.
The other two matches on Thursday pit Stevens against Yu Delu and Graeme Dott against Cao Yupeng.
Yu impressed by winning three matches in his first tournament as a professional to reach the final qualifying round of the Australian Open.
He is a veteran of playing wild card matches in Chinese ranking events but if Stevens can maintain the form with which he ended last season the Welshman will obviously be a heavy favourite.
Dott, like Ebdon, burns with determination and has long since got over his problems with playing in China.
This is the first round, best of nine frames, to reach the quarter-finals, where Murphy, Ding, Mark Selby and Ali Carter await.
Eurosport’s live coverage begins at 6am UK time on Thursday.