For the 47-year-old from Seacroft, Leeds, is simply relishing the chance of being back on snooker’s professional Tour, after dropping off the circuit last season and forced to compete as an amateur.
So after impressive wins over 38th seed Mark Davis, and Saturday’s 6-2 vctory against China’s Xu Si, Lines – last season’s World Seniors champion – appreciates another chance to play in the national spotlight is one to cherish.
World No 9 Allen will certainly provide his biggest challenge yet at the York Barbican, although Lines could be forgiven for having a few ‘what if’ moments tonight.
For Lines was set for a family showdown with son Oliver this evening – their first meeting as professionals – until Allen intervened with a 6-4 second-round victory over Oliver.
The 23-year-old stormed into a 3-2 lead before Allen showed why he’s the number sixth seed as he produced back-to-back century breaks to take the match beyond Lines.
A victory could have set up a clash with Lines senior – the first father-and son match at a ranking tournament for over 30 years, and only the second in history – and the Yorkshire cueman believes it was a missed chance.
Oliver said: “Mark [Allen] scored really well but I managed to keep winning frames and stay in the competition.
“At 4-4 I made a mistake and he capitalised on it. Snooker can be cruel but fair play to him, he played well.
“He was slightly better than me – I have no complaints. I’m even more gutted because if I had won and my dad had won we could’ve been playing each other and that would’ve been special.
“I can’t seem to get past the second round. I’ll keep trying and hopefully I get there.
“I just need to score heavier and stop missing when I get to 30 and 40 because it’s not enough to win at competitions like this; you get punished.
“Once I get beyond this I can go far. But I cannot be too disappointed because he was just better than me so good luck to him. If I keep working hard I will get my reward.”
Allen – whose best performance at the UK Championship was reaching the 2010 semi-finals and he achieved his first ever 147 break at last year’s event – was full of praise for the Leeds youngster.
“Great player and an even better guy. Not much in it at all but just happy to be on the right side of it,” he said.
“I missed a few shots early on and I didn’t quite settle playing Oliver, who is a good friend of mine,” said Allen. “We had a bit of a laugh and a joke early doors but after I went a frame down I almost had to ignore him. I had to block out who I was playing as it was maybe a bit too friendly at times.
“I’m pretty happy with how I played near the end – I made a good clearance to go 5-4 up - but Oliver played really well and I couldn’t have had any complaints if he had been 5-4 up. I’m very happy to get through that one.”
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson produced three century breaks in a row to defeat Ken Doherty 6-2.
It was the second round in a row that the potter had conjured up a hat-trick of century breaks and will now face Mark Joyce in the third round.
He said: “I’ve been working really hard in the past two months on my game. It’s paying off and I feel like something has clicked now and I’m really focused 100 per cent on snooker and I think that’s shown in my performances so far this week.”
Glasgow cueman Stephen Maguire continued his strong start to the tournament as he swept aside Jak Jones 6-0.
Mark Williams, who contemplated withdrawing from the competition after wife Jo was hospitalised, beat Andrew Higginson 6-2.
Judd Trump continued his flawless start to this year’s tournament with a 6-0 second-round victory over Chris Wakelin.
The 2011 champion breezed past Matthew Bolton in the first round and he was at his ruthless best once again as he laid down a marker for the rest of competition.
The 28-year-old racked up two half-century breaks in the contest as he limited Wakelin to a highest run of just 38.
Marco Fu advanced to the third round with a rollercoaster 6-4 win against Zhao Xintong.
World No 7 Fu never trailed in the match and began with a break of 86 in the opening frame before registering three more half-century runs en route to victory, despite Zhao remaining in touch throughout.
Jimmy White, the 1992 winner, fell in the second round losing 6-2 to Kurt Maflin.
Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds