The Wildcard round has been the subject of much debate in the snooker community over the years but on occasion they can provide a real story and that was the case here when Lu Haotain fought back from 3-0 down to beat Marco Fu. Lu first came to our attention earlier this year when he became the youngest winner of the IBSF World Under 21 Championship and he showed remarkable composure for a boy who wont turn 15 until November in sealing victory here.The first round proper was to prove a step to far as he lost 5-2 to Mark Allen but he is definately one to keep an eye on.
Allens opponent in the last 16 will be Judd Trump who showed signs he is getting his game together again as he came back from 3-0 down to beat the Australian Open winner Barry Hawkins 5-3.This was perhaps the best Judd has played in a while so this rematch of last years UK Championship final has the potential to be a classic.
Another man struggling for form despite his victory in last months Paul Hunter Classic is our World No.1 Mark Selby. he looked badly out of sorts and went out tamely to Jamie Cope losing 5-1.His opponent in the next round will be Stuart Bingham who came through his match in a deciding frame beating Tom Ford 5-4.
There was again to be disappointment for Ding Junhui and his legions of fans as he once again failed to sparkle in his homeland going down 5-4 to Mark King who will now play Shaun Murphy who also came through in a decider beating Dominic Dale 5-4
Elsewhere there is hardly anyone in the game with a better record in Asian tournaments and he once again showed his liking for this part of the world beating Mark Davis 5-1 and he will now play Ricky Walden who managed to hold his nerve beating Steve Davis 5-4 having seen "the Nugget" fight back from 4-1 down.
John Higgins has had a 2012 to forget so far but showed signs of a return to form with a fine 5-2 win over Jamie Jones and now faces Ryan Day who beat the recent PTC winner martin Gould again by a margin of 5-4.
In the remaining last 16 games we have a rematch of last seasons World semi final with Stephen Maguire facing Ali Carter following there victorie over Peter Ebdon and Rob Milkins respectively ,Joe Perry against Neil Robertson and Stephen Lee taking on Graeme Dott.
Tight close games have been the order of the day so far this week and there is no reason to think that will change as we get towards the business end of things.A fascinating few days lie ahead