The qualifying stages of the 2019 World Championship get underway in Sheffield on Wednesday as the first batch of hopefuls set out on the road to The Crucible.
Sixteen coveted places are up for grabs in the £2.2 million event, which starts on April 20, alongside the top 16 players from the main Order of Merit.
Qualifying will take place between April 10-17 at the English Institute of Sport, a stone’s throw from The Crucible Theatre, with players required to win three matches in order to secure their qualification.
A host of familiar faces commence their qualifying campaigns on Day One, with the morning’s matches played to a finish in the evening session, while matches in the afternoon session culminate on Thursday.
Reigning Shoot-Out champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh looks to kick-start a run to his second successive Betfred World Championship by overcoming World Seniors number one Johnathan Bagley.
Thailand’s Un-Nooh claimed his first ranking title at February’s Shoot-Out and will aim to utilise his formidable, quick-fire break-building to overpower the 48-year-old – who was a professional from 1991-1997.
Peter Ebdon, who famously lifted the world title back in 2002, is targeting a place in his 25th World Championship and starts out against 23-year-old Harvey Chandler, who has lost in the opening round of his last 13 tournaments.
One of the most closely-matched ties of the opening round sees 2018 Shoot-Out winner Michael Georgiou up against Welsh veteran Lee Walker – a quarter-finalist at The Crucible back in 1997.
Rising star Joe O’Connor, semi-finalist in February’s Welsh Open, takes on Northern Ireland’s Joe Swail, back-to-back Crucible semi-finalist in 2000 and 2001.
Seventh seed Xiao Guodong, a three-time Crucible qualifier, kicks off against Welsh youngster Jak Jones, while European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson faces Chen Feilong.
Eight-time qualifier Michael Holt starts out against 21-year-old Brandon Sargeant, as former Northern Ireland Open finalist Yan Bingtao plays Germany’s number one – Lukas Kleckers.
The afternoon session sees 2015 China Open runner-up Gary Wilson take on Sanderson Lam, while reigning Championship League winner Martin Gould faces African Champion Mostafa Dorgham of Egypt.
Iran’s top cueist Hossein Vafaei opens up against China’s Zhang Anda, as Indian Open champion Matthew Selt aims to make a strong start in his clash with Welsh amateur Dylan Emery.
Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, a two-time ranking event semi-finalist, hosts Poland’s Adam Stefanow, as two journeymen of the baize collide as former German Masters champion Anthony Hamilton plays two-time World Championship semi-finalist James Wattana.
The action gets underway from 10am BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 19 frames. First sessions will consist of a maximum of nine frames.
World Snooker Championship Qualifiers 2019 Schedule
*Denotes second session
Wednesday April 10
10am & 7pm
29 Michael Georgiou v Lee Walker
30 Peter Ebdon v Harvey Chandler
31 Mei Xi Wen v Florian Nuessle
32 Yan Bingtao v Lukas Kleckers
45 Mark Joyce v Billy Joe Castle
46 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Johnathan Bagley
47 Joe O’Connor v Joe Swail
48 Jimmy Robertson v Chen Feilong
49 Xiao Guodong v Jak Jones
50 Peter Lines v Zhang Jiankang
51 Michael Holt v Brandon Sargeant
5 Gary Wilson v Sanderson Lam
25 Daniel Wells v Jamie Clarke
26 Hossein Vafaei v Zhang Anda
27 Gerard Greene v Aaron Hill
28 Martin Gould v Mostafa Dorgham
52 Andrew Higginson v James Cahill
57 Anthony Hamilton v James Wattana
58 Matthew Selt v Dylan Emery
59 Zhao Xintong v Adam Lilley
60 Noppon Saengkham v Adam Stefanow