Allen in the last chance saloon in bid for automatic place at Worlds
Masters champion Mark Allen will have to climb back into the top 16 in the rankings if he is to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship.
The Antrim man is down to 17th in the rankings after a few disappointing results in the wake of his Triple Crown January success.
After beating Kyren Wilson to land the 2018 Masters title, Allen crashed out in the last-16 of the Welsh Open and the first round of the World Grand Prix.
Then last week came what he called his "all-time low" - a defeat to Ding Junhui in the first round of the Players Championship.
That result, coupled with a quarter-final finish for Ryan Day, meant Allen toppled out of the top 16 that will claim automatic places at next month's World Championship.
But Allen isn't condemned to a spot at the qualifying event just yet. He could still make a return to the world's top 16 with a positive performance at the China Open, after which the automatic spots for the Crucible are finalised.
The China Open takes place from April 2-8 and Allen is due to face World No.46 Noppon Saengkham in the first round. World No.16 Day is not scheduled to play at the tournament, giving Allen a boost.
The Betfred World Championship begins on April 21 and finishes on May 7. The qualification tournament will be played between April 11-18.