The 2018 Championship League culminates in Coventry on Thursday as the remaining seven players battle it out to be crowned champion.
The internet-streamed invitational, which began back in January, has featured seven groups, with each winner progressing the lucrative Winner’s Group this week.
Ali Carter leads the way following the opening set of fixtures on Wednesday, recovering from losing his first match against Kyren Wilson by wining three on the spin, notably coming from 2-0 down to edge past John Higgins 3-2.
Higgins, the defending champion, follows closely in second spot, having played one game fewer than ‘The Captain’, with the Scot’s final clash coming against World Champion Mark Selby.
Selby was docked a frame for arriving late on Wednesday and was beaten 3-2 by Zhou Yuelong in his opener, before going on to defeat Wilson 3-1 and lose 3-1 to Carter.
The world number one ended Day One in sixth spot and will begin Thursday with a basement battle against Martin Gould, the 2013 champion.
Like Selby, Gould won just one of his opening three contests and a further defeat in his next match could all but end his hopes of a top four finish and a place in the Semi-Finals.
Chinese star Zhou is well-poised in third spot after two wins from a possible three so far, with the 20-year-old debutant still to face Higgins, Gould and Carter.
Two-time World Champion Mark Williams has never made the final of this event since it began in 2008, and the in-form Welshman knows he must win his final two group matches if he is to have any chance of vying for the title.
Williams began Wednesday brightly by defeating Zhou but went on to lose his next three at the hands of Higgins, Gould and Wilson.
Masters finalist Wilson occupies fourth spot at the halfway stage after two wins and two defeats on Day One, and ‘The Warrior’ will be targeting nothing less than successive victories over Higgins and Gould in order to stake a claim for a play-off place.
The top four players in the group table following the conclusion of the round-robin stage will advance to the Semi-Finals, with the player in top spot facing the player in fourth and second taking on third.
The winner will pocket an additional £10,000 on top of the £200 on offer per frame won in the group phase and £300 per frame won in the play-offs, while the runner-up will receive an additional £5,000 and losing semi-finalists an additional £3,000.
The action gets underway from 11am BST at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, with all matches to be contested over the best of five frames.
Championship League 2018 Match Schedule
Wednesday March 21
Thursday March 29
Zhou Yuelong v John Higgins
Mark Selby v Martin Gould
Kyren Wilson v John Higgins
Ali Carter v Mark Williams
Zhou Yuelong v Martin Gould
Mark Selby v Mark Williams
Kyren Wilson v Martin Gould
Mark Selby v John Higgins
Zhou Yuelong v Ali Carter