Mark Selby insists he will be chasing world No1 Judd Trump all the way to try and steal the £150,000 BetVictor series bonus.
The Gibraltar Open is the sixth and final tournament counting towards a bumper extra pay-out based on total prize money won.
The Juddernaut pocketed the loot last year when set the stiff task of claiming the title to pip Neil Robertson he did just that.
And with the pair in the same half of the draw world No4 Selby – who beat Sam Craigie 4-1 yesterday – will land the prize if he makes the final.
Welsh Open winner Jordan Brown still also has a mathematical if faint chance.
But three-time world champion Selby, 37, said: “I started £6,500 behind Judd here and so really things could get decided late in the tournament if we both stay in.
“The pressure is on me as I could have come here ahead if I had won the Shootout final or done better in the Welsh.
“It will be difficult but Judd snatched the bonus last year and I am very much in there with a chance.
“We could yet meet in the semi-finals for what would be a huge game financially, although there is a long way to go yet.
“It’s about time Judd gave someone else a go at the bonus anyway…he won it last year! It’s a hard event to make up a deficit as the money only goes up about £1,000 a time for the initial rounds.”
Trump is also into the second round. he said: “The BetVictor series and the bonus definitely adds interest to this event for the players and also the fans.
“There has been a wide spread of winners in the five events to date.
“This time we are left with three that can still win it.
“I didn’t want what happened to Neil Robertson to happen to me this year, and I had seen Mark and I were in the same half.
“That puts it very much in my hands and if did meet him and beat him in a semi-final the loser of that one match would get about £6,000, and the winner about £170,000. The biggest jump ever!
“Mark will be disappointed not to be in the driving seat in this one after Wales because the money here doesn’t really go up until the semi-finals, he has a lot to do. But he’ll be determined.”
This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.