SNOOKER: Stuart Bingham admits he battled the Marshall Arena conditions after finally ending his Scottish Open hoodoo.

The Basildon potter steamed past Welsh veteran Lee Walker 4-0 on Wednesday to reach the last 32 of the tournament for the first time in his career.

Bingham, the world number 13, had only once got past the second round in six attempts at the event but the change of location to Milton Keynes has treated him just fine.

The 2015 world champion, who was playing on one of the television tables for the first time this week, took a while to get going and hopes a better playing surface can fire him towards the quarter-finals on Thursday.

The 44-year-old said: “It was a workmanlike performance but the table seemed to throw me a bit.

“The table out the back that I played on yesterday was lovely, but this seemed like it played like an old cloth.

“If you put any bit of side on it, the white took straight away, so I was overcutting a lot. It was exactly the same when I played Dotty [Graeme Dott] in the UK Championship, and I was overcutting a lot.

“I just had to grit it and bear it and take my chances when I got them.

“It seemed like I couldn’t get control of the white properly – not kicks but heavy contacts, so the white wasn’t reacting like it was on the outside tables and it was harder work.

“It’s the third round – I’m not sure if I’ve gone any further in any tournament this season. I’m just trying to grit it – I’ve been playing really well and losing and at the moment, I’m gritting my teeth and trying to get results.”

Bingham beat rookie Ben Hancorn in his first round match and delivered a polished performance to down lowly world number 125 Walker.

The six-time ranking event winner knocked in breaks of 64 and 50 to floor his struggling opponent and continue his signs of recent improvement.

Bingham reached the last 16 of the European Masters – the first event of the season – but failed to make the third round of an event between then and the UK Championship, where he lost against Graeme Dott in the last 32.

The Essex player will now meet world number 46 Robert Milkins in the third round, a player he has beaten on seven of the ten occasions they’ve met on the baize.

Both players turned professional at a similar time and Bingham says he’s well aware of the threat the ‘Milkman’ poses.

“Last time I played Rob he beat me in qualifying for the German Masters,” he added.

“We turned pro more or less the same year and he’s been around the block.

“He’s an absolute talent, gets on with his game and plays it very open, so I’m in for a tough game.”

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