Today the eyes of the snooker world focus on York for the start of the 2015 UK Championship.
This of course is traditionally the games second biggest prize and despite what has seemed a determined effort to destroy it recent years,it still remain so in the minds of most snooker people.
Personally I still can't understand why this event couldn't have been given a similar protected status to that given to the World Championship,but we are where we are and 128 players will start out today in the hope of lifting the title.
One man who isn't there is the defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan,who is still to play a competitive shot this season,though reports at the weekend suggest he will be back for the Masters.
In his absence we are left with a wide open tournament that you could maybe name 6 or 7 players as the winner and any one of them wouldn't be a surprise.
On the evidence of this season so far John Higgins would have to high on anyones list of contenders.A years ago it seemed his career was in terminal decline,but he has lifted two ranking titles already this season & a repeat of the form he showed in the International Championship would make him man to beat here.
Other players who will be buoyed up by recent good form will be Neil Robertson,who won the recent Champion of Champions & the man he beat in that final Mark Allen who had lifted the a PTC event the week before.
Things have not gone so well this season for our world champions Stuart Bingham,who has struggled under the weight of the crown,but the chance to hold both titles at the same time might give him an extra incentive here.
Also in the "yet to set the world on fire" category we can put the likes of Mark Selby & Judd Trump you can never rule either of these two men out & indeed that can be extended to Ding Junhui & Shaun Murphy.
So all in all we are in for 12 days of fascinating snooker with the BBC coverage starting at the weekend.