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Proud of You Laxman Rawat SNOOKER SHOOTOUT 2019

The Snooker Shootout returned last week for four days of action at the Watford Colosseum. The event might not be one for snooker's traditionalists, but the quirky format has proved a hit with other fans.

Unlike other ranking tournaments, the Shootout consists of one-frame matches, with a 15-second shot clock. The tournament was played over seven knockout rounds. The competition was a process of elimination, with 128 players scheduled to take part in round one.

The 64 winners advanced to round two, and the tournament continued until there is just one winner. The matches were played over one 10-minute frame with each player tied down to a shot clock.

For the first five minutes, players had 15 seconds, but this is reduced to 10 seconds to the final five minutes. Failure to comply with the shot clock resulted in a minimum five-point penalty or the value of the ball ‘on’.

The event was the 14th ranking tournament of the current 2018/19 season as players build up to this year’s World Championships in April. There was a total prize fund of £146,000 shared between the contestants at this week’s competition, with the eventual winner taking home £32,000.

Round 1

Jimmy White ended the hopes of top women’s player Reanne Evans in the first round of the BetVictor Shoot Out in Watford on Thursday night. Evans, the 11 time World Women’s champion, was given a wild card entry to the quickfire one frame knockout tournament, becoming the first female player to compete in the televised stages of a ranking event in the UK. Ben Mertens, a 14-year-old amateur wild card from Belgium, reached the last 64 with the most dramatic win of the opening day.

Michael Georgiou got the defence of his title underway by beating Peter Ebdon 67-37. “I have come here with fond memories of last year, so to get into the second round is a good feeling,” said Cypriot cueman Georgiou. “You can’t really prepare for this tournament, however the balls go you just have to get on with it.”

Kyren Wilson came from 60-0 down to beat Ian Burns by a single point. Wilson made 45 before missing the yellow, but got another chance and potted green, brown, blue and pink to go 63-62 ahead. Burns tried twice to double the black but missed his target before the time ran out.

Ricky Walden made a fantastic break of 132 to beat 12-year-old Liam Davies. That was the second highest break ever in the Shoot Out, topped only by the 135 from Martin Gould in 2012.

Zhao Xintong, one of the four players who can earn a place in the Players Championship by winning the tournament (for more on that story click here) beat Joe O’Connor 59-2 while former World Champion Ken Doherty made a break of 59 to beat Adam Stefanow.

Barry Hawkins, who won this event in 2012, beat Simon Lichtenburg 68-7 while European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson made a 63 to beat Zhang Jiankang. Germany’s top player Lukas Kleckers beat Jamie O’Neill 64-0.

Up against former world number three James Wattana, a player 35 years his senior, talented potter Mertens built a lead of 29 points at 60-31. Wattana had a chance to clear up and got within a point at 59-60, only to run out of time when he just needed to pot the pink for victory. And she had chances to beat legend White, particularly when she trailed by just eight points at 27-19, but mis-cued when attempting to pot the black. White later made a break of 21 to seal a 54-26 victory and a place in the last 64.

Round 2

Emma Parker Lost to Laxman Rawat in Round 2 of BetVictor Shoot Out

Oldham potter Davies, the English under-18 champion, is through to the last 64 of the world ranking event in Watford, which has a unique format with all matches lasting a maximum of ten minutes. A break of 21 gave him control, though Williams then had a chance to snatch victory in the last few seconds, but missed a tricky red when trailing 24-18.

Irish under-21 champion Stephen Bateman was another of the eight wild cards to book a second-round place as he knocked out Mark Davis.

But former women’s world under-21 champion Emma Parker went out in the opening round, losing to India’s Laxman Rawat who made a break of 48.

Dominic Dale, who won this event in 2014, got the better of Yuan Sijun while Michael Holt made a break of 61 to beat Zhou Yuelong.

Former World Champion Stuart Bingham compiled a run of 55 to get the better of Matthew Stevens, while another former Crucible king also progressed as Graeme Dott knocked out Martin O’Donnell. That ended O’Donnell’s hopes of qualifying for the Players Championship

Shaun Murphy got the better of Mark King while Luca Brecel made a superb break of 74 to beat Farakh Ajaib. Martin Gould, Shoot Out king in 2013, made an even 100 as he beat Liam Highfield.

Tour rookie Kishani Hirani knocked out Yan Bingtao, with a scoreline of 55-54. Yan had a chance for victory in the closing seconds but missed a tough double on the yellow.

Amateur Peter Devlin beat Ross Muir 35-16, sparking a jubilant celebration from the charismatic Londoner and his small army of fans in the crowd. Barry Pinches was another amateur to make it to round two as he beat 2017 Shoot Out winner Anthony McGill.

Round 3

Jimmy White came through a tightly contested clash with John Astley to reach the last 32 of the BetVictor Shoot Out in Watford.

Michael Georgiou saw the defence of his title ended by a 45-28 defeat against China’s Li Hang. Georgiou had a chance to snatch victory in the closing seconds but missed a red to a top corner when just eight points behind. World number seven Kyren Wilson secured his passage to the last 32 by defeating Elliot Slessor 41-18. Following his victory the German Masters champion celebrated with son Finley at the table.

Belgium’s Luca Brecel fired in the highest break of the tournament so far, a run of 133, to see off Ricky Walden. The sublime contribution pipped Walden’s previous break of 132 from the first round.

English 16-year-old Ryan Davies continued a dream run, making some dazzling pots in a meeting with the fellow teenager, 14-year-old Ben Mertens from Belgium. The Oldham cueman controlled the frame and came through a 37-12 victor.

Finals

Bangkok’s 33-year-old Un-Nooh became the only Thai player other than James Wattana to win a ranking title with a stunning display of natural talent at Watford Colosseum. The world number 53 made the highest break in the eight-year history of the Shoot Out, 139, in the semi-finals to beat Jamie Clarke, then scored a quick-fire 74 in the final to earn the £32,000 top prize.

The tournament has a unique format with all matches lasting a maximum of ten minutes, with a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and ten seconds for the last five. That suited Un-Nooh’s game as his average shot time of under 17 seconds is the fastest on the tour. He had never previously been beyond the last 16 of the event, but this time his game clicked.

Un-Nooh turned pro in 2009 and had never previously played in a ranking final.

Written By : Ravindra Kumar Gupta

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