Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web.He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!

John Higgins was one of the top stars to fall early in Beijing to yet again young 23-year-old  Joe O’Connor…

The China Open is the last ranking event before the World Championship in Sheffield. It’s the point whereby close of the tournament, fans will know who will be seeded into the Crucible, and who will have to play the grueling three rounds at the English Institute of Sport at the Qualifiers in Sheffield. 

On offer in Beijing is £225K prize pot for the lucky winner but already we know the key players who aren’t going to be progressing any further so early in the event!

    • Reigning World Champion Mark Williams lost out to veteran 1997 World CHampion Ken Doherty in the last 64!
    • The man of the moment Judd Trump failed in a nail-biting thriller with Robbie Williams 6 – 5
    • Mark Selby, who has just been knocked off the top spot by Ronnie O’Sullivan also lost in the first rounds proper against Craig Steadman. These players, of course, will be automatically seeded to the Crucible but will have at least two weeks off or so before appearing on the big stage in Sheffield.

  • Four times World Champion John Higgins lost out to the up and coming Joe O’Connor who has had a good first season as a pro reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Open back in February. It’s the second time he’s defeated the Wizard of Wishaw in a ranking event.
  • Ronnie of course never entered the China Open, but all eyes will be on him as number one at the Worlds after his Tour Championship glory in Llandudno and 36th ranking title win only a few days ago…
  • China’s number one Ding Junhui was knocked out by the veteran Thai player James Wattana, still competing with the big guns on the tour – at 49! Maybe the top stars have one eye on the Worlds and want to get some key practice in before?

The semi-finals this time are the best of 19 frame affair with the final in China played on the 7th April as a best of 21.

The “rolling” prize for a maximum is 20K.

The story continues…

WHAT A DIFFERENCE NINE MONTHS MAKES

Only nine months ago was O’Connor celebrating his final day as an amateur in Gloucester…WATCH the repeat…