The China Open gets underway on Monday with players looking to find their form ahead of the World Championship.
This year’s China Open is the most lucrative ever with a total of £1million in prize money being given out.
The winner will win a massive £225,000 – only the winner of the World Champion will receive a higher pay cheque this season.
And there are top players who doing well in China is of utter importance – that’s because their automatic places in the upcoming World Championship is under threat.
Arguably the biggest name under threat is this year’s Masters winner Mark Allen who needs a good run in Beijing to ensure he gets a secured spot at the Crucible in a few weeks time.
An early loss could mean Allen would have to win THREE qualifying matches to guarantee his spot at the World Championship.
And it’s not just Mark Allen in need of wins.
The likes of former world champions Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson will hope to avoid early setbacks in China so they can seal a spot at the Crucible once again.
And promising talent Anthony McGill will also look nervously behind his shoulder should he be knocked out of the prestigious tournament in the early stages.
Also defending champion Mark Selby will hope to get back into some form. Selby has struggled this season and will hope to get back winning ways this week with the long term ambition of winning a third World Championship title in a row.
Here is the draw for the Last 64 stage:
Mark Selby/Wang Yuchen vs Scott Donaldson
Ben Woollaston vs Lee Walker
Lyu Haotian vs Liam Highfield
Stephen Maguire vs Fergal O’Brien
Mark Davis vs Michael Holt
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Mark Williams
Kurt Maflin vs Yan Bingtao
Noppon Saengkham vs Mark Allen
John Higgins vs Martin O’Donnell
Anthony Hamilton vs Jack Lisowski
Ali Carter vs Gary Wilson
Joe Perry vs Chris Totten
Peter Ebdon/Zhang Yong or Chang Bingyu vs Mark King
Andrew Higginson/Chen Feilong or Fan Zhengyi vs Kyren Wilson
Jimmy Robertson vs Xiao Guodong
Craig Steadman vs Ding Junhui/Michael Georgiou
Jak Jones vs Nigel Bond
Zhou Yuelong vs Chen Zhe
Neil Robertson vs Robbie Williams
Martin Gould vs Sam Craigie
Hamza Akbar vs Ricky Walden
Matthew Stevens vs Stuart Bingham
Mark Joyce vs Graeme Dott
Chris Wakelin vs Shaun Murphy
Barry Hawkins vs Sam Baird
Michael White vs Paul Davison
Luca Brecel vs Cao Yupeng
David Gilbert vs Mike Dunn
Duane Jones vs Liang Wenbo/Rhys Clark
Stuart Carrington/Basem Eltahhan or Luo Honghao vs Anthony McGill
Tom Ford vs Yuan Sijun
Elliott Slessor vs Ronnie O’Sullivan/Ross Muir