Going into the draw were 8 amateurs – 6 from the Q School Order of Merit as top-ups and 2 as wildcard entries.
Ben Martens is a 14 year old from Belgium and is tipped by many, including the current world champion Mark Williams, to go on to great things
Is this the next big junior to come through to challenge these Chinese youngsters . Looking forward to watching him play a bit today, only 14 years old, cmon buddy stick in there. put him on the streaming table for all to have a look. pic.twitter.com/vS4xdfy0UI
— MARK WILLIAMS M.B.E (@markwil147) December 19, 2018
It wasn’t to be for Ben this time though as he was ousted 5-0 by Yuan Sijun, one of the Chinese youngsters Williams was talking about in his tweet above.
Richard Wienold, a 20 year old from Germany, was beaten 5-2 by Joe Swail of Northern Ireland.
Dechawat Poomjaeng lost 5-1 to Jimmy Robertson.
Adam Duffy took Martin Gould to a decider but lost out in the final scrappy frame.
Farakh Ajaib took the first two frames off Peter Ebdon, who then got into gear and took the next 5
David Lilley couldn’t match recent excellent results and went out 5-1 to Sam Baird who is having a good run or form this season.
James Cahill produced another creditable performance, beating Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan 5-3
Cahill’s efforts were rewarded with a match against Neil Robertson in the second round. Robertson took the fourth frame with a break of 135 to go 3-1 up. But Cahill wasn’t phased by this and took the fifth frame. He then looked for all the world to be heading to level the match at 3-3 when a slight mistake let Robertson back on the table to clear up and steal it. With the winning post in sight, Robertson produced another century to make sure of the match and his place in Berlin.
Kuldesh Johal also had a good result in the first round, beating Zhang Yong of China 5-2
In round 2, Johal faced Ding Junhui who was another to produce a century in the final frame to power over the line and claim a spot in Germany. Ding will play Fergal O’Brian in the last 32.
I can’t leave without a mention for Judd Trump who, on the final evening of the qualifiers, produced a maximum in the third frame after breaks of 75 and 74 in the first two. He then followed the max with a break of 135 and finished off the match with a break of 55.
The max was the 146th official maximum break and all eyes will be on the forthcoming Championship League matches for the 147th 147. The were 2 maximums in the last Championship League earlier in 2018 from Martin Gould and Luca Brecel. Both producing their first maximums in professional snooker.
That's the 146th official maximum break in snooker history! pic.twitter.com/wR7HFCTvOv
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) December 21, 2018