Snooker star Mark Davis will be seeded at the Dafabet World Championship for the first time.
The St Leonards cueman was 12th in the latest world rankings issued on Monday - the seeding cut-off point for the sport’s blue riband event.
Davis is three places inside the all-important top 15 who will gain automatic entry for the World Championship, which will take place at The Crucible
Theatre in Sheffield from April 19-May 5.
It means that Davis, a professional since 1991, will avoid having to go through the nerve-jangling qualifiers and will face a player from outside the top 15 of the rankings in the first round.
The 41-year-old memorably upset four-time world champion John Higgins in the first round last year before bowing out in the last 16 - a stage he has never yet gone beyond - to Stuart Bingham.
Davis suffered his ninth deciding frame defeat in ranking events this season at the Wyldecrest Homes Players Championship Grand Final last Wednesday night.
He was edged out 4-3 in the first round by an on-song world number 14 Joe Perry, who fashioned four breaks of 70 or more including a century at Preston’s Guild Hall.
Runs of 70 and 86 gave Perry a 2-0 lead only for Davis to level at 2-2 with a 39 and 48. Perry edged in front again with a 123, and although runs of 46 and 39 got Davis back to 3-3, Perry won the decider with a 75.
Six-reds world champion Davis isn’t involved in this week’s China Open having been beaten in last month’s qualifiers by Irish player David Morris.