The draw for the 2013 UK Championship has been made, with Ronnie O`Sullivan beginning his bid for a fifth UK title against emerging star Rhys Clark in Round One at the York Barbican.
Reigning World Champion O’Sullivan will mark his return to the event with an Anglo-Scottish clash with amateur Clark, as the season's second biggest ranking event returns under a new format.
The Rocket's triumph in this event 20 years ago saw him become the youngest ever ranking event winner at the age of age of 17 years 358 days.
Larkhall’s 19-year-old - Clark - is one of seven Q School amaeteur qualifiers competing in the prestigious event and will face the five-time Crucible king in the opening round Saturday November 30.
For the first time, 128 players are all competing in the same round at the venue as part of the new flat draw format implemented by World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn this season.
The historic event, an annual highlight of the snooker calendar since 1977, boasts a prize fund of £700,000, as well as a £55,000 rolling bonus on offer for a 147 maximum break.
As seven players on the professional tour did not enter the event, their places went to the amateurs highest on the Q School ranking list.
Mark Selby will open the defence of his UK title against Shane Castle, a 15-year-old prodigy from Southampton, while world number one Neil Robertson will meet Bradford’s 18-year-old Dylan Mitchell.
China’s top star - Ding Junhui - will begin his quest to win a fourth consecutive ranking title against Middlesbrough’s Antony Parsons also on November 30.
Former champion Judd Trump faces Gareth Green, while two-time champion John Higgins meets Malta's Alex Borg.
1992 winner Jimmy White makes only his second appearance in the event since 2006 and faces Michael Wasley in hs opener.
Joe Crilly from title sponsors William Hill said: "With 128 players set to go head to head, there is the potential for some real upsets in the first couple of rounds of action and we could be in for a real treat in York.
The tournament runs from November 26 to December 8 at the York Barbican Centre, with BBC television coverage commencing on November 30.
Selected First Round draws:
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Rhys Clark
Neil Robertson v Dylan Mitchell
Mark Selby v Shane Castle
Ding Junhui v Antony Parsons
Judd Trump v Gareth Green
John Higgins v Alex Borg
Mark Allen v Jak Jones
Shaun Murphy v Lee Spick
Mark Williams v Allan Taylor
Jimmy White v Michael Wasley
Jack Lisowski v Michael Leslie
Mark Davis v Robin Hull
Mike Dunn v Luca Brecel
Stephen Maguire v Sanderson Lam
Marco Fu v Mitchell Travis
Peter Ebdon v Andrew Norman
Stuart Bingham v Ahmed Saif
Anthony McGill v Kyren Wilson
Matthew Stevens v Ryan Clark
Michael White v Joe Swail
Ken Doherty v John J Astley
Graeme Dott v Fraser Patrick
Ali Carter v Ratchayothin Yotharuck
Jamie Jones v Gary Wilson
Barry Hawkins v Alexander Ursenbache
Xiao Guodong v Andrew Pagett