Five former World Championship winners and three past finalists face a hard qualifying test to make this year's first round of the competition.
Legend of the game Steve Davis who won the title six times in the 1980s, will have to fight through three rounds in order reach the Crucible's last 32.
Other past big names include Mark Williams, Ken Doherty, Graeme Dott and Peter Ebdon, who all have byes through to next week's final qualifying round.
Previous finalists Jimmy White and Nigel Bond will need to play three matches while Matthew Stevens is already in the final round.
Should current BBC snooker pundit Davis make it to the final qualifying round, he would face his co-commentator Doherty, who won the tournament in 1997.
While 51-year-old six-time runner-up White would face the 2002 champion Ebdon. White who is currently ranked 61 begins his campaign on Friday against either Ian Burns or Fraser patrick Bond.
Welshman Williams who last won the championship 11 years ago as well as Dott who was Scotland's 2006 champion, must both wait until 15 April for the match that will decide whether they progress for the main draw.
The World Championship which will be broadcast live across the BBC as usual, gets under way on 19 April and will culminate on Monday 5 May.
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