Former world champion Peter Ebdon was made to sweat before seeing off Michael Holt 10-8 in their first round tie.
Ebdon beat Stephen Hendry 18-17 to win the 2002 crown
Holt had battled back from 4-0 and 8-4 down to keep the pressure on Ebdon.
The session slowed down and becoming cautious after a quick start, before two successive Holt fouls gave Ebdon a frame-clinching advantage for 9-8.
He lived dangerously when he broke the reds in the next but made a big enough break to push himself out of Holt's reach and into round two.
"The table was very heavy and played like a club table.
"We are used to much thinner cloths and on these you are guessing as to how the balls will roll.
"The game should be about touch and feel and it's not like that. It's a bit of a shock to the system."
"I didn't play well enough in the end. I showed a bit of character to come back whereas in the past I have collapsed.
"But I fell a bit short and Peter showed his class in the end."
P Ebdon (Eng) 10-8 M Holt (Eng)
66-42 136-0 (94) 95-5 (87) 69-34 (66) 43-61 17-102 (102) 38-58 79-1 (79) 37-80 (80) 79-12 (79) 85-1 (84) 54-25 40-65 1-81 (72) 42-73 26-84 62-18 65-20