The 21-year-old Welshman claimed one of eight places from the first of four pre-qualifying tournaments to be contested before the 1997-98 season gets under way. After beating reigning world amateur title holder Stuart Bingham 5-2 in the final round, Walker said: "There's so much at stake here. If you fail you can put your cue away for the year."
Despite compiling a modest top break of only 44, Walker led 4-2 before Bingham, looking for his fifth win in the event, cruelly went in off the black in frame seven.
Alan Burnett, last season's most successful rookie and a former world junior champion, fell at the final hurdle, the promising Scottish teenager losing 5-1 to Huntingdon's Joe Perry.
The last six qualifying berths were filled by Marcus Campbell (Dumbarton), Stuart Pettman (Preston), Nick Walker (Chester), Jamie Woodman (Bristol), Peter Lines (Leeds) and Mark Gray (Peterborough).Reuse content