One of the most exciting days in the entire season is set to be broadcast online for free again in 2019 – snooker’s Judgement Day.
Snooker’s Judgement Day can often be one of the most intense and thrilling showpieces of the entire campaign.
Technically played across two days, the last 32 players from the qualifying stages battle it out for the coveted 16 spots still available for the main draw at the Crucible Theatre.
In all, each player ranked outside the world’s top 16 in the rankings will require three victories in order to achieve the goal of qualification.
By the time Judgement Day comes around, the remaining contenders are battle hardened and coming into form.
But even so, it’s not unusual to see some of the most composed competitors on the circuit crack under the extreme heat.
While last year’s edition of snooker’s Judgment Day yielded a surprising zero deciding frame thrillers, that was most definitely the exception which proved the rule.
A year earlier in 2017, three matches went the distance, including the memorable 10-9 victory for Fergal O’Brien over David Gilbert when the Irishman took more than two hours to clinch the final frame.
Gilbert is currently attempting to avoid the so-called dreaded qualifying tournament for the first time in his career as he takes part in the ongoing China Open in Beijing.
The “Angry Farmer”, twice a runner-up in ranking events this season, lies 16th on the provisional Race to the Crucible standings.
Those who feature in the top 16 following the conclusion of this week’s ranking event will gain automatic qualification for the World Championship.
With so many seeds already out of the China Open, there’s a decent opportunity for one of the chasing pack to land the £225,000 top prize and make an unlikely late leap into that elite bracket.
The World Championship qualifiers is already guaranteed to host a number of the game’s more familiar names, though.
Jimmy White and Ken Doherty, who lost 6-1 to Ricky Walden in the Chinese capital city on Wednesday, will be hoping to make a return to the Crucible stage that was once a home away from home.
Graeme Dott will also be in the hunt and fellow former world champion Peter Ebdon could be joining the Scot if he can’t collect a third China Open title this week in Asia.
The likes of Ryan Day, Ali Carter, Joe Perry, and Liang Wenbo are among some of the others forced to face the qualifying hurdle.
The qualifiers get under way next Wednesday, with snooker’s Judgement Day taking place across the 16th and 17th of April.
Commentary and analysis will be provided by Rob Walker and Neal Foulds, which in the last couple of years has really added an extra dimension of enjoyment to the unfolding drama.
The qualifiers in its entirety will be shown on the Eurosport Player.
Following the completion of the qualifying rounds, the draw for the final stages will take place at 10am on Thursday, April 18th.