After two weeks of sun-lit sport, we must now watch 32 snooker players and their audience entomb themselves in the dark pit of the Crucible Theatre for the World Snooker Championship.
The winner and runner-up won't emerge until the May Day holiday, pasty-faced but a whole lot richer.
We have to find these two players from a field that contains familiar names and up-and-coming youngsters, none more interesting than the 21-year-old Judd Trump, who has just moved up to 14th in the world rankings by winning the China Open. Trump takes on the reigning champion, Neil Robertson, in today's opening match, so they may both feel they've drawn the short straw.
The draw isn't kind to crowd favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan either. After another eccentric year, culminating in an attempt to withdraw from this championship, O'Sullivan, 8-1 with sponsors Betfred, is in the same quarter as the former champions John Higgins (11-2 favourite) and Shaun Murphy (16-1).
Mark Selby, whom we backed last year only to see him fall in the semi-final, is the main bet again, £10 each-way at 6-1, with Mark Williams as back-up, with £5 each-way at 8-1.
After a zero return from four golfers in the Masters, and five horses in the Grand National, the bank needs a quick top-up. So £10 goes on Manchester City, at 3-1 with Bet365, to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley today.Reuse content