Ricky Walden and Graeme Dott were two big-name casualties as the German Masters qualifiers got under way in Wigan yesterday.
The final piece of action on the Main Tour in 2014 sees the 128-strong field whittled down to the last 32 who will be on the flight to Berlin in the New Year.
Walden, the International Championship, complained of a shoulder injury after his 5-4 loss to Li Hang but, in truth, there wasn’t much the 32 year-old could have done as his Chinese opponent sealed victory with impressive runs of 115 and 103.
Scotland’s Dott, who came agonisingly close to a semi-final berth in the recent UK Championship, suffered an even more surprising scoreline as the former world champion went down 5-1 to Michael Georgiou.
In a scrappy affair, Georgiou stole three frames on the black which went a long way in helping him record one of the biggest wins of his career.
Elsewhere on a busy Wednesday, Judd Trump was again knocking in the big breaks for fun in a 5-0 triumph over Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon while Ding Junhui similarly coasted in a 5-1 defeat of amateur Jamie Clarke.
Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham all progressed while other high seeds like Joe Perry, Mark Davis, Ryan Day and Mark Williams joined them in the second round, to be played on Friday.
The latter was made to work hard against Belgian Bullet Luca Brecel but eventually came through in a tight tussle 5-4.
Tian Pengfei disappointed many by ousting Jimmy White 5-3 in a high-scoring affair but there was good news for Irish support as Fergal O’Brien beat Chinese youngster Lu Haotian 5-1.
David Morris and Ken Doherty are in action on Thursday against Duane Jones and Vinnie Calabrese respectively.
Of the many amateurs making up the numbers this week, only one has so far upset the odds and kept his hopes alive of qualifying for the venue.
England’s Sydney Wilson withstood a late fighback from Anthony Hamilton to eventually prevail 5-3 and set up a clash with Welshman Day.
but the main question is if Ronnie will lose his match on purpose AGAIN not to go to Germany? I’d rather he did not.