The Shoot Out second round takes place on Saturday with Ronnie O’Sullivan among those still in contention at the Colosseum in Watford.
The total of 128 players who began the controversial ranking event has been halved, with 64 hopefuls attempting to reach Sunday’s final day.
As usual, there has been plenty of loud cheering, chanting, and singing as the event incorporates a variation on the traditional rules of the game and encourages fan interaction.
A few of the highlights from the first couple of days included Thor Chuan Leong’s terrific 133 and an equally impressive 120 clearance by 17 year-old Chang Bingyu.
Daniel Wells and Soheil Vahedi both advanced courtesy of the blue ball shoot out, in which the players take turns trying to pot the blue off its spot after the frame has ended all-square in points scored.
Elsewhere, Morocco’s Amine Amiri fell victim to the rule changes, seemingly forgetting that he had to hit a cushion or pot a ball with each shot, therefore gifting his opponent Michael Holt with ball in hand and a clearer route to victory.
The likes of Mark Selby, Mark Allen, and Stuart Bingham are all already home with their feet up – the latter now unable to qualify for next week’s Players Championship in Southport.
O’Sullivan is still clinging onto the the final ticket to the upcoming 16-strong ranking event, and the number of competitors who can catch him on the one-year rankings this weekend has been reduced from 20 to 13 following the first round.
Last week’s Welsh Open champion Shaun Murphy, Mark Williams, and Kyren Wilson are among some of the other high-profile names still in the running, although it’s worth remembering that no present top 16 player has ever emerged with the title.
Defending champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh’s reign continues for now, while there are five amateurs remaining including young Irish duo Aaron Hill and Ross Bulman.
Shoot Out Second Round Draw (in playing order)
Session Starts at 1pm (Match every 15 minutes)
Aaron Hill (a) vs Kyren Wilson
Liam Highfield vs Dean Young (a)
Jamie Clarke vs Lu Ning
Anthony Hamilton vs David Gilbert
Lyu Haotian vs Mark Davis
Thor Chuan Leong vs Yan Bingtao
Lei Peifan vs Kurt Maflin
Andrew Higginson vs Zhou Yuelong
David Lilley vs Barry Hawkins
Tian Pengfei vs Akani Songsermsawad
Soheil Vahedi vs Daniel Wells
Andrew Pagett (a) vs Ross Bulman (a)
Mike Dunn vs Matthew Stevens
Dominic Dale vs Anthony McGill
Ian Burns vs Chang Bingyu
Mark Williams vs Ashley Carty
Session Starts at 7pm (Match every 15 minutes)
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Peter Lines
Ali Carter vs Brandon Sargeant
Xiao Guodong vs Ashley Hugill (a)
Luo Honghao vs Igor Figueiredo
Liang Wenbo vs Martin O’Donnell
Jack Lisowski vs Fraser Patrick
Zhang Anda vs Ken Doherty
Nigel Bond vs Mei Xiwen
Billy Joe Castle vs Ronnie O’Sullivan
Li Hang vs Chen Feilong
Elliot Slessor vs Michael Holt
Ryan Day vs Joe Perry
Jak Jones vs Jordan Brown
Zhao Xintong vs Ben Woollaston
Craig Steadman vs Chris Wakelin
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Shaun Murphy