With no Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stuart Bingham or Mark Selby, the Players' Championship was wide open as Round 1 teed off on Tuesday.
Ding Junhui and Shaun Murphy progress with ease
Ding Junhui was the first man to make it through as he carried on the form that saw him reach the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix with a comfortable 4-1 victory over David Gilbert. Junhui hit top gear straight away as he compiled a 104 break in the first frame.
Fellow Far East star Marco Fu had a much tougher time against veteran Alan McManus. After the Scotsman took the opening frame, Fu won the next two, before the pair exchanged frames and half century breaks. Eventually the man from Hong Kong edged a tight decider 62-46.
Shaun Murphy is one of the favourites for the crown after his World Grand Prix success a week and a half ago and the world number six got straight down to business against Liang Wenbo. Two 74 breaks and a 91, combined with a one point victory in the fourth, saw Murphy cruise through with a 4-1 victory. Two young English talents played out a close encounter, as Ben Woollaston struggled through against Jimmy Robertson. Woollaston's highlight came in the second with a 106 break, but the man from Northamptonshire will need to improve if he is to progress any further in the tournament.
Early exit for Brecel but Trump goes through
Michael White and Luca Brecel met in another encounter between two potential future stars. Brecel looked comfortable as he raced into a 2-0 lead, but White showed composure beyond his years as he knuckled down to dig out a 4-2 victory.
Ali Carter progressed comfortably to the second round as he saw off out of form Graeme Dott. The Englishman won 4-1 with three half century breaks, including 77 in the second frame.
It was German Masters champion against the Championship League Winners' Group victor as Martin Gould took on Judd Trump. The former produced the highest break of the day with a 135 but it was to be his only success and Trump ran out a comfortable 4-1 winner. Mike Dunn completed proceedings with the same winning margin against Rory McLeod in a low key affair in the final match of the day. Both players shared a half century break apiece in a match lacking any real quality.