Steve Davis' decision to appear on UK reality television show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here could cost the veteran snooker player his place on tour.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn believes Davis' decision to chug bugs instead of competing at York's Barbican Centre could have major consequences on his career, as reported by The Times (subscription required) and via ESPN:
The biggest dilemma Steve had over whether to do the jungle or not was the risk to his tour place.
If Steve was outside the top 64, and wasn't in the eight extra places from the European Tour money list, he would be faced with going to Q-School to carry on.
I think he would do that, he wants to carry on, but there would be absolutely no guarantee he would qualify. Steve could end up being 'King of the Jungle', but he could also very well end up losing his tour card. It is a calculated risk on his part.
Davis is currently struggling at No. 59 on the official World Snooker rankings, just £5,689 above Luca Brecel in No. 64, the tour cut-off line.
Hearn suggests the 56-year-old's stunning career, which saw him crowned world champion on six occasions between 1981-89, could come to a disappointing end now he has decided to prioritise the ITV show over his profession.
Jeannie Nash, Davis' long-term girlfriend, recently called on producers to give the snooker player more time on air, as fellow contestants Joey Essex and Amy Willerton continue to take much of the focus, reported by Halina Watts of the Mirror:
Give the others more air time.
You’re seeing the real Steve in the jungle. It’s so nice for everyone to see the nice, funny, loveable, interesting Steve.
ESPN's report suggests Davis will earn up to £250,000 for doing the show, so it's unlikely he will be majorly perturbed by Hearn's warning.
He has entered the last European Tour event of the campaign in February, but it's unclear how well he will have to perform in order to secure a spot on 2014's roster.
Missing out on next year's main competition would be a saddening turn of events for the player who has competed across the majority of his adult life.
The reality of this situation may hit home after next year's final event in Poland, or indeed, once he is voted off the show.