Snooker: Oliver won’t be waiting in line this time around

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Rising star Oliver Lines will refuse to watch his dad Peter compete today at the Betway UK Championship in York.

For the father-and-son Leeds duo cue off today at the Barbican, Peter playing Anthony Hamilton in the afternoon, before Oliver tackles China’s Cao Yupeng tonight.

Normally, the pair are each other’s biggest fans, regularly travelling around the globe competing at the same events.

But for 20-year-old Oliver – in his first full season on the professional Tour – he will snub the chance to watch Peter compete in York today.

Last year at this stage, he watched his father beat Joe Swail 6-4 in a nail-biting game to set up a mouth-watering second-round game with Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Oliver was then forced to return to the table in the next session, the then teenager sliding towards a 6-2 loss to China’s Yu Delu in his opening game.

World No 66 Oliver admits rather than being relaxed, he suffered a hangover from his dad’s win.

“Last year, I was on the session after my dad,” he said. “My dad’s game was really close, and because the match was so important for him, I found myself getting nervous for him.

“When I started my game, I still felt the nerves for my dad – even though he had won – and had lots of nervous energy, which didn’t rub off in my match.

“That didn’t help, although my opponent did play a lot better than me.

“This year, we play the same day again, my dad plays the session before me too.

“But I am not going to watch it. I am going to keep away from the match.

“Sometimes it can mess with your head, but luckily I have a good attitude.”

Today is a huge game for Oliver. Victory should see him climb into the world’s top 64 players, thanks to earning £4,000 in first-round prize money.

It would also set up a potential second-round clash with World No 1 Mark Selby.

“It’s a massive game, one win can take me into the top 64,” said Oliver.

“I am really looking forward to the UK Championship. I didn’t play too great there last year in the first round.

“Hopefully this year I can win my first game, then probably play Mark Selby on television. I can show my talents on the BBC.”

Oliver – tipped for the top after winning the European Under-21 title last year – has signed up with manager Django Fung, who has stars like Judd Trump on his books.

The rookie hopes that can only help his career progress as he looks to climb the rankings and establish himself on the Tour.

“I am hoping it will help my career, he has managed all the top players like Ronnie (O’Sullivan),” he said. “He knows what he is doing.

“The season has been okay so far, I have had a few decent wins.

“I just need to push on now, and go deep into a tournament, to establish myself. It’s everything I thought it would be.”

Peter, 45, and Hamilton, 44, both joined the Tour in 1991, but have only played each other once. That came in the German Masters in 2013, when the Nottingham potter won.

Like his son, world No 65 Peter needs a win to catapult him back inside the top 64 seeded players – and the prize of a second-round meeting with World Champion Stuart Bingham.

“We have both been on the Tour since 1991 and we have only played once, two years ago in the German Masters,” said Peter.

“In 20-odd years on the Tour we had never played each other. It’s bizarre.

“As the UK draw is, I play Hamilton and Oliver plays Cao Yupeng, if we both win our matches we then play the No 1 and No 2 in the world because of our rankings of 65 and 66.

“I play Bingham and Oliver plays Selby.

“There’s probably about 10 of us who are all playing each other, so they are massive ‘six-pointers’.

“If you win you get the £4,000, and that’s prize money they are not getting. The loser gets nothing.

“The first games are actually much more important than the second-round games.”

Also in action today, Keighley’s Chris Melling plays Dechawat Poomjaeng, while Pickering’s Paul S Davison tackles Kyren Wilson.

Peter Lines.

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