FOR Ballarat's Bruce Reid, the chance to watch many of the world's top snooker players in the flesh less than two hours from his home is an opportunity too good to pass up.
Mr Reid was among the first members of the crowd to flock into the Bendigo Stadium on Wednesday morning for day three of the Australian Goldfields Snooker Open.
He also visited Bendigo last year and in 2012 for the tournament, which continues to grow each year as one of the highlights on the city's sporting calendar.
"I play eight-ball in a premier competition in Ballarat on a Monday and Wednesday night and I play snooker every now and then," Mr Reid said.
"I love coming along to this tournament and watching the top players because it's just amazing what they can do... it's like they've got the ball on a string, and that's the aim of the game.
"It's fantastic we are able to come to a regional city like Bendigo and watch these calibre of sportsmen.
"Even if you just come and watch one session, it's amazing what they can do and they have a real gift."
While Mr Reid watched Wednesday's action live from the stadium, camera operator David Northey is helping beam the tournament all over the world to about 170 million homes as part of the TV coverage being produced by IMG Sports Media.
"We're trying to get the best angles of the shots so we can show exactly what the players are going for," Mr Northey said.
"Once all the reds have been potted and they get onto the coloured balls, we need to pre-empt just what the players are thinking to try to get that best shot for the audience."
The Australian Goldfields Open runs until Sunday.