Stiff draw for defending champ O'Sullivan
Lisowski remains on the to follow list
Robertson is the one to beat during Spring
Without barely a moment to catch breath following a pulsating week of Masters snooker, we have another top-class event to get stuck into.
Ronnie O'Sullivan defends the World Grand Prix title, with play starting at 7pm at Cheltenham Racecourse. The Rocket shares favouritism on the exchange at 7.06/1 with the man he beat in that final, Neil Robertson.
Players Series previously dominated by elite trio
The World Grand Prix is the first leg of the Players Series - the Players Tournament and Tour Championship are to follow later. This series has been dominated by the leading handful of players. Of 12 tournaments since its inception, ten were won by either O'Sullivan, Robertson or the new Masters champion, Judd Trump.
A recurring question running down the list involves how much weight to place on last week's events. The formbook from before Christmas was mostly overturned. Can we trust it? Is it a disadvantage to be involved at the weekend - in particular Trump and Mark Williams, arriving off a late night finish? Or an advantage to have gone out early?
Nice draw for Lisowski
First among those questions, should we dismiss Mark Allen's 6-0 defeat to Barry Hawkins? Nothing whatsoever went right but it hardly amounts to clear evidence that the best player this season - as demonstrated by his lead in the one-year rankings - has gone off the boil.
Nevertheless, the market may have caught up with Allen for now. These top players all win in turns and nobody holds peak form throughout the entire, long season. I can see potential pitfalls in his early matches over best-of-seven, such as up-and-comer Joe O'Connor.
If early rounds go to form, Allen would meet Jack Lisowski in the last-eight. Another frontline contender on form, who has to pick himself up from a 6-0 thrashing. Overall, Jack should come away with a positive mindset, having again improved in a major. Surely that first ranking title is coming and this draw offers plenty of hope. He's clear favourite against all bar Allen.
O'Sullivan and Selby could meet early
Whereas that top section is rather lacking in depth, the second quarter is overflowing. O'Sullivan will likely need three big wins - Barry Hawkins, Selby and Williams - merely to reach the semi. Stuart Bingham and Ding Junhui are also in there.
Again, so many questions from the Masters. Can Hawkins and Bingham maintain that improved form? Do we ignore Selby's first round defeat and think of his English Open victory before Christmas. Yes, in my view, if he can get past O'Sullivan in the last-16, the Jester would take much stopping as the week goes on.
Bingham Masters form was superb
Sometimes the best approach to such overcrowding is to take a cheaper option while the big-guns carve each other up. Bingham was hitting the ball brilliantly last week and is sure to be hungry for more after a spell in the doledrums. A positive for him is strong head-to-head records against Ding and Williams, his likely first two opponents.
Next a notably weak quarter, in which Kyren Wilson starts a strong favourite, despite becoming very frustrating to follow. Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter play first up, with the winner scheduled to meet Wilson next.
McGill equipped for weak section
Again, my plan is to avoid that unpredictable mini-section and focus on their potential quarter-final opponent. Here, Anthony McGill is just preferred to Gary Wilson, Tom Ford and Scott Craigie. All were considered, to be honest at attractive each-way odds.
The case for McGill lies in his record in big tournaments - most notably the World Championship. If these Players Series are always dominated by the elite, we need somebody with big-match pedigree and temperament. Of that quartet, the Scot definitely best fits the bill and he's having a solid season against players around this level.
Robertson due to peak in the Spring again?
Having saved stake money from the above three each-way positions, we can afford a confident, win only bet on Robertson. Last week's one disappointing match against a good opponent is easily forgiven. He looked prime to win before Christmas and as noted above, finds his best form around this time of year in this Players Series.
Moreover, the Aussie's early path looks very winnable, before having to worry about the big danger in this section. After last week's heroics, dare anyone ever write Trump off again? The true greats of this game earn that title by winning majors when they aren't playing well. It may very spark a long overdue confidence boost.
Judd's early draw is far from easy though. Hossein Vafaei has very much held his own in their previous matches, as has Luca Brecel. And if beating them, I would still prefer Robertson were they to meet in the quarters, based on their overall form spanning several months.
*Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty