Steve Davis, the six-time world champion, has fallen off the pro tour following his 10-8 defeat to Craig Steadman in the World Snooker Championship qualifiers. He has the option to try and rejoin almost immediately via Q School in May, writes Stephen Kent.
Davis, 56, has been one of snooker's most prominent and recognisable figures during his 36 year spell on the main tour and now faces the prospect of having to come through the Q School events next month to regain his pro status.
World No77 Steadman looked in control from the early stages of their match at Sheffield's Ponds Forge Sports Centre, leading 28-time ranking event winner Davis 6-3 at the end of the first session with a top break of 122.
In the evening Lancashire's Steadman extended his lead to 9-5, before Davis battled back to 9-8 with the aid of a classy run of 98 in the 15th. The Nugget had a chance on the colours in the next frame but missed the final green to the middle, gifting the win to Steadman.
Although Davis was given a confidence boost winning the World Seniors Championship earlier in the season, by taking part in ITV TV show 'I'm A Celebrity' he missed out on several events including the UK Championship, leaving him needing him to beat Steadman to stand any hope of staying on tour.
Steve Davis in action at the World Seniors Championship
If Davis was to attempt to win a two-year pro card via Q School at the South West Snooker Academy, he would definitely fancy his chances as the most experienced member of the field. Although with only two events in which to qualify, he will need to remain on top of his game throughout.
Steadman will next face Dechawat Poomjaeng in the World Qualifiers, after the Thai favourite relegated Zhang Anda from the tour with his 10-8 victory earlier in the evening.
Another tour veteran, Peter Lines, has managed to keep his pro card for at least another season by beating Cao Xinlong in a match that finished just past 2am this morning. Lines could come up against son Oliver next season as the youngster joined the tour by being crowned European U-21 Champion last month.
Follow all the results from the World Championship qualifiers here.