It’s Judgement Day in Sheffield as the World Snooker Championship qualifying rounds come to an end at the English Institute of Sport on Wednesday.
Over the last week, more than 100 competitors have attempted to fight their way through the preliminaries but only 16 will remain by the end of the day’s play.
With three victories under their belts, they will have certainly earned their right to compete alongside the world’s top 16 ranked cuiests just down the road at the Crucible Theatre from Saturday.
A total of 202 professional players have been fortunate enough to experience the thrill of participating in a World Championship match at the Crucible since the tournament made its move to the famous venue in 1977.
At least two lucky players, but probably more, will add to that list by becoming debutants during the 2018 edition.
For some, 58 to be exact, they’ve only had the pleasure of performing once on the main stage at the Crucible Theatre, just a single opportunity to be announced into the arena before taking that short walk down the steps into the cauldron atmosphere under the star-light setting.
For others, it has become like a second home with countless stories to recount from their many battles down through the years, all in a simple quest to capture the sport’s holy grail.
There are some contenders who are always battling near the business end of the tournament for the title, while there have been others who have fought gallantly over a long period of time without any notable success.
What 47 players have in common, though, is that they have all played in at least 20 matches at the Crucible – quite the feat considering it takes only (only!) five to feature in a final.
Most are obvious but a few will undoubtedly catch you out and, like always, you’ll be up against the clock as well.
The question is, can you name the players with more than 20 Crucible matches played?
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