Coming in to this Steve knew he was in the position that to remain in the top 64 in the rankings he needed to at least win his way through one qualify round,but sadly that proved beyond him.That is not to say he went down without a fight,indeed having trailed at one stage 9-5 he showed all the experience and ringcraft that 36 yrs on the tour gives you to grind his way back to 9-8. Both players at this stage were nearly out on their feet,but in the end a missed green to the middle from Steve was to prove the key moment as Steadman potted green,brown & blue to seal the victory.
With the battle to stay on tour becoming so tight in recent months,you have to wonder,though he is unlikely to admit it publicly,does Steve now regret foregoing his place in the UK Championship and a couple of PTCs before it in favour of doing "I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here".Yes it could be argued that he still had plenty of chances to make up the ground on his return,but the pressure had by then increased and it was always going to be a big ask.So it proved here.
So what now for the 56 year old six times former World Champion? Well if as he has stated in recent he wishes to continue to play until he is 60 he still has a couple of options he can pursue.Firstly he could enter Q school in May with the prize for those who qualify of a two year tour card or alternatively he can enter all next seasons PTC events as an amateur and regain he place through the order of merit.
It is therefore unlikely,even if he is not a professional right now,that we have heard to last of Steve Davis as a snooker player,but even so as I watched him pack away his cue at 1 am last night,the hint of a tear falling from my eye,it certainly felt like the end of an era