Stephen Maguire has one foot at The Crucible ahead of the final day of qualifying for the 2017 World Championship, while Mark Williams and Mark King have work to do at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on Wednesday.
It is judgement day at Ponds Forge with 32 players battling it out for the 16 places up for grabs alongside snooker’s elite just around the corner in the final stages of the sport’s blue-riband event.
Despite falling out of the top 16 this season, former semi-finalist Maguire is very much on course to reach the Crucible after establishing a commanding 7-2 lead over Li Hang on Tuesday – the same advantage that Rory McLeod holds against Hammad Miah, who stunned Ricky Walden in the opening round.
Mark Williams has work to do against Stuart Carrington (Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
However, the same cannot be said for Northern Ireland Open champion King, who has a huge mountain to climb after falling 8-1 behind against inspired former qualifier Xiao Guodong, who is just two frames away from a return to the final stages after first appearing in 2014.
Two-time winner Williams is also in trouble as he trails Stuart Carrington 6-3, but has overturned deficits twice on the way to reaching the final qualifying round and moving to within a victory of a 20th Crucible appearance.
Fellow countryman Michael White must also overturn a three-frame deficit against Gary Wilson if he is to advance, although there is some Welsh optimism for Lee Walker, who leads 6-3 against Noppon Saengkham.
Meanwhile, David Gilbert and Peter Ebdon hold advantages by that margin over Fergal O’Brien and Michael Holt respectively, as does Luca Brecel against Dominic Dale and David Grace against Akani Songsermsawad, who beat Joe Perry in round two.
Yan Bingtao is also 6-3 to the good against Alexander Ursenbache, while fellow Chinese prodigy Zhou Yuelong is 5-4 in front against Ben Woollaston in one of five matches that are finely poised with just a single frame in it.
The others include that of China Open quarter-finalist Hossein Vafaei, who has narrowly edged his nose in front against Tom Ford, and Martin Gould in his showdown with Yu Delu.
Former champion Graeme Dott clawed his way back from 4-0 down to only trail Jamie Jones by a single frame – the same margin that sees Rod Lawler narrowly on top against Jimmy Robertson.
Play at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre gets underway at 11am BST on Wednesday, with all matches lasting for a maximum of ten further frames, with a race to ten for a place in the main event.
Betfred World Championship Qualifiers 2017 Schedule
King 1-8 Xiao Guodong
Songsermsawad 3-6 David Grace
Brecel 6-3 Dominic Dale
Wilson 6-3 Michael White
Michael Holt 3-6 Peter Ebdon
Lawler 5-4 Jimmy Robertson
Bingtao 6-3 Alexander Ursenbacher
Delu 4-5 Martin Gould
Williams 3-6 Stuart Carrington
Ford 4-5 Hossein Vafaei
Walker 6-3 Noppon Saengkham
Hang 2-7 Stephen Maguire
Woollaston 4-5 Zhou Yuelong
Jones 5-4 Graeme Dott
Fergal O'Brien 3-6 David Gilbert
McLeod 7-2 Hammad Miah