The shot clock is back for the one frame battle as 128 players head to the Swansea Arena for the Snooker Shootout, a tournament where frenetic action is guaranteed as the players battle it out for valuable ranking points.
Chris Wakelin came out as the best in this tournament a year ago and he’ll bid to become the first player in the history of the event to make a successful defence of the title. Some big names have entered to look to wrestle the crown from him.
2023 – Chris Wakelin
2022 – Hossein Vafaei
2021 – Ryan Day
2020 – Michael Holt
2019 – Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
2018 – Michael Georgiou
2017 – Anthony McGill
2016 – Robin Hull
2015 – Michael White
2014 – Dominic Dale
It is snooker but not quite as we know it this week. Each match is 10 minutes long with the first five minutes having a 15 second shot close which reduces to 10 seconds for the final five minutes. With every shot a ball must be potted or hit a cushion or else a foul will be called. All fouls in this tournament result in the other player having cue ball in hand. Players lag to see who breaks and whoever is ahead after the 10 minutes wins the match. If the scores are tied after 10 minutes a blue ball shootout decides the winner. There is a random draw for each round.
The one thing which is pretty easy to follow and assess this week is the format. Every match is one frame, or 10 minutes, whichever ends first. The 128 players in the field have been drawn out already with the winner taking £500 to their ranking. Each match a player wins their prize money doubles until the final where the champion will land £50,000 on Sunday evening. That is £50k for no more than 70 minutes work!
There are a number of different profiles who have won this tournament. You have the slower, under the radar players like Nigel Bond to the man who is the quickest player on the tour in Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. It is important to understand that the timings got quicker in 2016 so that probably takes out the men who don’t see the shot immediately, or puts them at a significant disadvantage at the very least.
Ultimately, however you approach betting on the outright market in this tournament you need a lot of luck. Luck with the draw and luck in each frame however there are a few factors I like to use to whittle down the first. I like players who cue smoothly and swiftly. This isn’t an event for the slower players. I also like players who can get in from distance and put 30 or 40 on the board from there. The other thing which is a must is we need a player who will take it as seriously as possible. There’s nothing worse than sticking our hard earned down on someone who’s had a few amber nectars too many and we’re done from the break off.
Sign up for a Boylesports account and bet £10 to get up to £20 in free bets! Perfect offer for this tournament! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
I’ll go for a couple of former winners as my main bets this week. The first of those is the man who was beaten in the semi-final of the UK Championship last week in Hossein Vafaei. I don’t really think form is much of a factor in this tournament but I am more confident that scoring form means something and he scored like an absolute dream in York and we know that he is fluent especially when he is in the balls. The shot clock isn’t going to worry him and while he probably isn’t quite as up on the tactical game to be a regular winner of ranking events, he can get in and get in front and he knows enough about the game to stay in front. We are yet to have a player win this twice but Vafaei looks in the sort of shape to be the first.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is an obvious bet whenever this tournament comes around and it can’t be a surprise to anyone that he is a former winner of the event. The Thai has had enough good results this season to suggest to me that he is hitting the ball well too. He has been scoring fantastically heading into this tournament and that is important because he isn’t going to beat anyone in a tactical battle but if he gets in he’ll put the frame to bed in next to no time at all. I’m relying on Un-Nooh to score but he’s been doing that well this season and I’ll pay to see if he has another half a dozen big breaks in him this week.
I’ll go with a couple of youngsters as my outsiders this week with the first of those being Jackson Page. He has been around the circuit long enough for the penny to have dropped now and he is another player for whom the shot clock isn’t going to be a problem. He probably won’t win many tactical battles but he can score and if you hang around Mark Williams long enough like he has then you’ll pick up the clever arts of the game and while I wouldn’t expect Page to dominate a match with safety play, if he can get in front he’ll be clever enough to stay there. I’ll pay to see how he goes.
Stan Moody made history when he won a match in this tournament a couple of years ago and now the 17-year-old is back as a professional for the first time. He might lack the composure so early in his career to go well here but he certainly doesn’t lack the talent and if he can get through a couple of rounds, either with good scoring or just landing enough bits and pieces, then he will build some confidence and you never know how far that will take him. I’ll pay to see how well he goes this week.
Back H.Vafaei to win Snooker Shootout (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Unibet (1/4 1-4)
Back T.Un-Nooh to win Snooker Shootout (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with William Hill (1/4 1-4)
Back him here:
Back J.Page to win Snooker Shootout (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Unibet (1/4 1-4)
Back S.Moody to win Snooker Shootout (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with BetVictor (1/4 1-4)