Ronnie O'Sullivan launched a savage attack on snooker's next generation after beating Ding Junhui to book a World Championship quarter-final clash against fellow veteran Mark Williams.
After claiming a 13-10 win in a session which saw seven consecutive half-century breaks, O'Sullivan insisted the standard is so bad he would have to "lose an arm and a leg" to slip down the rankings.
O'Sullivan, 44, told the BBC: "If you look at the younger players coming through, they're not that good really.
"Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, or not even amateurs they're so bad a lot of them.
"A lot of them you see now, you think, cor, I've probably got to lose an arm and a leg to fall outside the top 50. So that's why we're hovering around - because of how poor it is down that end."
O'Sullivan, who has repeatedly referred to lower-ranked players as "numpties", narrowly missed back-to-back centuries as he rounded off victory with breaks of 117 and 93.
He added: "When you're younger you have all the hunger and desire but at some point you have to try to get yourself motivated, whether that's taking the pressure off or getting another hobby or job.
"But while I'm still playing snooker I want to enjoy it. Whether I win or lose is kind of irrelevant at this stage of my career."
The 'Rocket' insisted he still struggles to enjoy the event and would rather be playing at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley, which he described as a "hellhole" during last year’s English Open.
O’Sullivan said: "To be honest I prefer the format of Crawley because it’s the best of seven, so it’s a quick in-and-out.
"Here it’s a great venue but it’s bit hectic and a bit stressful. I’d rather take the Crawley option to be honest with you."
O’Sullivan’s slick performance saw him move two frames clear with breaks of 87 and 73 before Ding seized advantage of a rare missed black to reduce the deficit with a break of 88.
O’Sullivan nudged 11-9 in front with a break of 60 and, after Ding cleared to brown in the next with a break of 81, O’Sullivan struck a superb 117 to move within a frame of victory.
O’Sullivan narrowly missed back-to-back centuries but a 93 break in the next sealed up a 13-10 win and with it a last-eight clash with fellow veteran Mark Williams.
He added: "When you’re younger you have all the hunger and desire but at some point you have to try to get yourself motivated, whether that’s taking the pressure off or getting another hobby or job.
"I was glad I was able to focus out there, but I’m just more passionate and motivated about other things I’m doing off the table.
"But while I’m still playing snooker I want to enjoy it. Whether I win or lose is kind of irrelevant at this stage of my career."