Jimmy Hopes To Be White Hot In Crucible Qualifiers

Jimmy White insists he has a “burning ambition” to get to the final stages of the Betfred.com World Snooker Championship.

The six-times Crucible finalist goes into the qualifying round's for snooker's biggest tournament needing to win three matches to get to the sport's Theatre of Dreams. White plays his first match at the English Institute of Sport – Sheffield on Wednesday March 3 against Patrick Wallace or Mark Boyle, and would then have to beat Ken Doherty and Joe Swail to get to the televised stages in April.

Recent defeats in the totesport.com Welsh Open and Sanyuan Foods China Open qualifiers have left 47-year-old White languishing in the lower reaches of the provisional rankings, with no guarantee of keeping his place on the professional tour for next season.

“I'm not thinking about that because I'm just concentrating on getting to the Crucible,” said the crowd favourite from London. “It's my burning ambition to get there.

“The last few weeks have been painful for me. I played in the Masters and I was over-whelmed by the support I got. But the table was faster than what I am used to, I couldn't settle and the nerves got to me.

“Then in the Welsh Open qualifiers I was 4-0 up on Ian McCulloch, he made an amazing clearance and came back to beat me 5-4 on a respotted black. And in the China qualifiers I was 3-1 and 74 points up against Xiao Guodong, but ended up losing 5-4 again. I was devastated by those two results. I've been practising five or six hours a day.”

White's confidence has since been buoyed by an exhibition in Grimsby in which he made a 147 maximum break and a 146 in the last two frames.

“That was a special night and it shows that I'm hitting the ball well,” added the former UK and Masters champion. “I just need to take some form into the World qualifiers.”

The EISS qualifiers run from February 26 to March 9, with the likes of Steve Davis, Graeme Dott, John Parrott, Judd Trump and Liang Wenbo as well as White and Doherty, all fighting for one of 16 coveted places in the Crucible line up.

Tickets start at just £5 per day and can be bought by calling 0114 2565656 or visiting www.arenaticketshop.co.uk.