The Englishman got off to a positive start.
Judd Trump began his 2021/22 campaign with a routine outing as Stage One of Championship League Snooker ended on Friday in Leicester.
The world number one had to wait three weeks for his Group 1 to take place at the Morningside Arena, but he ended the day comfortably on top with a maximum nine points.
Trump, a three-time winner of the Championship League, opened up his 2021/22 snooker campaign with 3-1 triumphs over Rod Lawler and Lee Walker, setting up a head-to-head battle against Anthony Hamilton for top spot.
At 1-1 both players could still have advanced, but Trump dominated the finale with breaks of 92 and 84 to safeguard his position in Stage Two next week.
Completing the line-up will be Mark Allen, who recorded two victories and a draw in leading Group 5 ahead of Mitchell Mann.
Allen compiled a brace of century breaks and a 94 effort in a 3-0 thrashing of Daniel Womersley early on before drawing 2-2 with Mann and ending the day with a second 3-0 win, this time against Chris Wakelin.
Trump and Allen will be among the favourites to feature at the business end of the competition, which finally moves on from Stage One on Monday.
Find the latest odds for snooker and other sports at LV BET totalizators, with England’s Trump currently priced at 33/10 to win the season-opening Championship League.
What is the Championship League?
The Championship League has been on the calendar in some way, shape, or form since 2008, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has been intermittently staged as a ranking event.
On this occasion, there are three stages to the month-long competition with 128 players initially split into 32 round-robin groups comprising four players in each.
The 32 group winners advance to Stage Two, before the next eight group winners determine the competitors who feature in Stage Three, with all matches lasting just four frames.
The two players who win their third and final groups will subsequently contest the outright final, with the winner set to earn £33,000 from the total prize fund.
Where to Watch the Championship League
There will be two tables available to watch on each day of the group stages, with the snooker available across Ireland and the UK on FreeSports in addition to the Matchroom.Live’s snooker streaming service.
There are various other TV broadcast options around the world, which you can view by clicking here.
Click here to view the full draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST