As ever in Chengdu the Shamrock Bar in the centre of town proved the watering hole of choice for players and officials during the International Championship though with the event back at the Sichuan Tennis Center in the Shuangliu district in the southern suburbs, the bar was a good 30-40 minute taxi ride away.
Referee Jan Verhaas spent more time than he would have liked in the city two years ago, having to wait five weeks before being allowed to fly home after a Deep Vein Thrombosis scare – and became a well-known figure out and about in that time.
To such an extent that he was asked by the management to be a guest judge for the Shamrock’s annual Halloween party costume competition on the Friday night after the Ricky Walden/Rob Milkins semi-final.
It is fair to say the costume theme was only loosely followed, and despite Verhaas voting into third place a young lady wearing hot pants and a dinosaur outfit the winner was declared as Captain America.
The revelry then continued on the pool table where former snooker world No5 Gary Wilkinson, now on the World Snooker payroll, put on a masterclass in a long unbeaten run for the gathered throng.