The tedious round-robin phase of the 2014 Six Red World Championship is approaching its conclusion today and there are hardly any big-name casualties as we reach the last 32.
The knockout stage will feature two-time defending champion Mark Davis after the Englishman won three out of his five encounters in his group to comfortably progress.
However, by far the biggest name going home early is the People’s Champion Jimmy White, so popular in Thailand but unable to entertain his legion of fans for any longer as he finished last in a tight group that included Ryan Day and Barry Hawkins – this despite winning two of his matches.
Some other professional Main Tour representatives were dumped early as well, notably young home favourite Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon, who narrowly failed in a tough group that included Stephen Maguire, Liang Wenbo and Joe Perry.
The host nation will be represented by several others, though, with all-time legend James Wattana just about qualifying in fourth place in his group behind Matthew Stevens, Ricky Walden and India’s Kamal Chawla.
Maverick Dechawat Poomjaeng also advance while Thepchaiya Un-Nooh placed second behind Shaun Murphy in Group D with four wins out of five.
This short format is popular in that part of the world so it was no surprise to see a couple of the local amateurs get through, namely Boonyarit Kaettikun and Kritsanut Lertsattayatthorn – the latter a commentator’s nightmare.
The majority of the stars are still in with a chance at collecting the fairly handsome £50,000 first prize.
John Higgins, Mark Williams, Stuart Bingham, Shaun Murphy, Ireland’s Ken Doherty and popular Iranian Hossein Vafaei Ayouri, the World Under-21 amateur champion who is struggling to gain a visa for the United Kingdom, are to name just a few that will be hoping to get their paws on the trophy come Saturday night.