Jimmy White faces a tough fight to keep his place on the professional circuit after crashing out of the Maplin UK Championship qualifiers in Prestatyn tonight.

White, 45, was beaten 9-7 by Mansfield’s Lee Spick in the second qualifying round of the £500,000 tournament.

The 1992 UK champion had needed to win three matches to reach the televised phase at Telford next month.

And White was hoping a good run in snooker’s second biggest event would kick-start a nightmare season in which he has failed to qualify for the final stages of the first four ranking events.

White, once as high as second in the world rankings, has fallen to 73rd in the provisional standings.

Only the top 64 at the end of the season will be guaranteed their places for the 2008/09 campaign.

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