Jimmy Robertson is relishing his first taste of the big time at the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.
The Bexhill cueman, 24, will make his debut in the venue stage of a ranking event when he takes on Mark Selby at the famous Crucible Theatre tonight (Wednesday).
He said: “It’s come so quick. I’m looking forward to it. Obviously everyone’s always wanted to play at the Crucible and everyone talks about what it’s like when they walk out.”
Robertson, who is 63rd in the official world rankings and 53rd on the projected list, booked his place at a venue he has never previously been to - even as a spectator - by winning three matches in last month’s qualifiers.
But this will be a different kettle of fish entirely because Selby, who is third in the official rankings and second on the projected list, has been arguably the game’s form player since the turn of the year.
“It’s a tough draw playing Selby,” continued former English Amateur champion Robertson. “I think he’s playing as well as anyone. I’ve played him a couple of times and you do get chances - they’re not complete robots.
“I’ve been playing well all season and I’ve got nothing to lose really. He’s expected to beat me, and obviously he’s played there before and will be used to it. You don’t know how you’re going to react to the pressure, but hopefully I’m fine.”
The opening nine-frame session will get underway at 7pm today and the remaining frames of the best-of-19 encounter will take place from 2.30pm tomorrow. Coverage will be televised on the BBC.
Robertson, who will enter the arena to 2010 R&B hit Dynamite by Taio Cruz, will be cheered on by friends from not only Bexhill, but also Eastbourne (having previously played at the Q-Ball club), in South Yorkshire.