The sixth senior ranking event of the 2016/17 Irish season takes place at the Ivy Rooms in Carlow this weekend.
A low entry of just 40 players will contest the Gerry Stokes Grand Prix, which marks the last ranking tournament before the campaign-concluding National Championship.
The top of the rankings sees an apparent straight fight between Brendan O’Donoghue and Michael Judge, who have each captured two titles so far this term.
O’Donoghue boasts a small five-point cushion over the Dubliner, with Irish Open and reigning national champion TJ Dowling not far behind them in third.
Young Shane Bates, who looks set to feature for Ireland in the World Under-21 Championship this year after emerging victorious in one of the qualifying events in January, faces O’Donoghue in the last 32 while Judge takes on Jake Byrne.
Dowling goes up against Tony Corrigan with fourth ranked Robert Murphy clashing with Andrew Doherty.
€500 is on offer for the champion crowned on Sunday while this weekend’s play, with the sixth Masters tournament of the season being played too, represents the cut-off point for selection in June’s European Teams and Masters Championships.