Jimmy White, who lost in 6 finals in Sheffield, lost in the 2nd qualifying stage at Ponds Forge venue, to Jack Lisowski by 10-7. White, who was aiming to get to the final stages of the tournament in a decade, was also dealt a double blow. By losing, he lost his tour card and was relegated from the professional ranks for the first time in his career.

Help may be at hand, as special tour cards are given out, and White may well be the recipient of it, and for his many fans of his game, this will be a welcomed prospect.

A fellow legend of the game, Ken Doherty also faces a similar predicament in the coming months. His 10-4 defeat by Leicester’s Ben Wollaston confirmed the Irish pro’s  status on the tour. He will now have to go through May’s tough Q-School in which many amateurs of the game get into the professional rankings through.

For the 1997 World Champion, his demise is the BBC’s gain, as the ‘darling of Dublin’ will be in the studio, giving analysis with John Parrott and Steve Davis.

Other notable results in qualifying see Reanne Evans, former women’s world champion defeat Robin Hull, before going out to Wales’ Lee Walker.

Former semi-finalists at 2 week tournament, Joe Perry and Ricky Walden, both went out before the final stages

With the 16 qualifiers joining the top 16, which includes the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Ding Junhui, and John Higgins, snooker fans around the world will be in for a treat.

The two week sporting event begins with live coverage on the BBC and British Eurosport from Saturday, 15th April from 10am.

For ticket availability go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk for more information.