David Gilbert is set to be hauled before snooker chiefs to explain why he quit midway through his German Masters qualifying match with Andy Hicks at Leicester's Morningside Arena on Thursday.
In a battle of two former world semi-finalists, 41-year-old Gilbert – nicknamed the 'The Angry Farmer' – cut a dejected figure as he trailed 3-2 and 56-1 when he missed a black off the spot before offering a puzzled Hicks his handshake, astonishingly conceding the contest.
Gilbert had contributed a 102 break to restore parity at 2-2 after Hicks rolled in 62 in the second frame. 1995 Crucible semi-finalist Hicks added 99 and 56 before the concession came. The match was awarded 5-2 in his favour as Hicks progresses to a last-64 meeting with Si Jiahui on Saturday.
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World No. 17 Gilbert could face a hefty fine for conceding a frame and match without needing snookers when the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association discuss the matter with a disciplinary hearing likely.
"Gilbert has been referred to the WPBSA to consider whether there will be any disciplinary action," said World Snooker Tour in a statement.
Astonishing moment Gilbert concedes German Masters qualifier at only 3-2 down
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was hit with a £21,000 penalty by the WPBSA and docked ranking points when he infamously quit a UK Championship quarter-final with Stephen Hendry in 2006 after missing a red while trailing 4-1.
The WPBSA rule book states: "A player shall not concede a frame in any game, or match unless any player requires penalty points.
"Any breach of this Rule shall be regarded as Unsporting Conduct by the player concerned. If the referee has already warned the player under Rule 1(a) above, the next frame shall be awarded to their opponent."
Gilbert admitted he was disillusioned with his form before losing 6-5 to Shaun Murphy in the last 32 of the UK Championship last week.
"I’m playing terribly, I hardly play now, so I’m going to play lots of bad shots, that’s just the way it is, it’s normal now. I just turn up and play at the minute," he said.
"Obviously my long game is awful, my safety is awful, I can’t hit a barn door from distance, just from not playing, not practicing and not winning matches, it’s all about winning matches."
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Thursday's German Masters qualifying results
- Si Jiahui 5-3 Xu Si
- Ben Woollaston 5-2 Stuart Bingham
- Ryan Thomerson 5-1 Dylan Emery
- Joe Perry 5-3 Oliver Lines
- Chris Wakelin 5-2 John Astley
- Andy Hicks 5-2 David Gilbert (Gilbert conceded trailing 2-3 and 1-56)
- Matthew Stevens 5-0 Stephen Hendry
- Luca Brecel 5-2 Chang Bingyu
- Ding Junhui 5-1 Jordan Brown
- Barry Pinches 5-4 Ben Mertens
- Lukas Kleckers 5-1 Himanshu Jain
- Robert Milkins 5-3 Graeme Dott
- Luca Brecel 5-2 Chang Bingyu
- Jack Lisowski 5-3 Jackson Page
- Ali Carter 5-2 Robbie Williams
- Elliot Slessor 5-4 Sanderson Lam
- Ross Muir 5-3 Liam Highfield
- Xiao Guodong 5-4 Hossein Vafaei
- Zhang Anda 5-2 James Cahill
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