The “Whirlwind” is the reigning champion having won the title for a second time twelve months ago in Sheffield.
Jimmy White looked to be in good form as he outscored Joe Johnson to secure a 4-1 victory in the first round of the World Seniors Championship on Wednesday.
The 58 year-old, who captured glory at the Crucible last year with a defeat of Darren Morgan in the final, is bidding for a record-extending sixth tournament triumph on the World Seniors Snooker Tour.
Former professional world champion Johnson took advantage of a cagey start by winning a scrappy first frame of their last 16 tie.
But after that it was one-way traffic, and White duly calmed the nerves with a tidy break of 90 before adding additional runs of 73 and 71 to comprehensively complete the job.
The Londoner will face either Peter Lines or Tony Knowles in the quarter-finals, with the pair among those in action on day two at the Crucible Theatre.
Elsewhere on a dramatic opening day, 2011 world seniors champion Morgan compiled four breaks over 70 but was still made to work hard for his 4-2 ousting of Patrick Wallace.
The other two fixtures from the afternoon session required all seven frames for the outcome to be determined.
Ken Doherty emerged from an all-Irish battle with Rodney Goggins, fighting back from 3-2 behind to deny the former world under-21 champion.
The subsequent encounter between 2018 champion Aaron Canavan and Leo Fernandez had to be pulled off to allow the evening session’s matches to be played.
When they resumed close to midnight later on, it was Canavan who survived by winning the last two frames to set up an intriguing quarter-final bout with either Stephen Hendry or Nigel Bond.
That pair will contest the standout clash on Thursday, but 1985 world champion Dennis Taylor will also be in action against world seniors number one ranked Michael Judge, while Wayne Cooper takes on Gary Filtness.
All 16 competitors in the field were tested for COVID-19 before the tournament began, with a 100% return of negative results for the coronavirus.
The World Seniors Championship carries a top prize of £20,000, as well as an invitation into the lucrative Champion of Champions on the Main Tour later this year.
Live coverage is provided by the BBC in the UK and Matchroom.Live around the world.