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Snooker: Paul Davison revels in race against the shot clock
PAUL DAVISON is hoping the Sky Sports TV cameras can inspire him to glory in a prestigious invitational tournament on Friday night.
The Pickering-based snooker professional is on prime-time when he meets Ben Woollaston in the first round of the Betfair Snooker Shoot-Out.
The Blackpool Tower Circus Arena is the venue for the world number 73’s latest charge, and Davison will follow Jimmy White into a packed house for the unique event.
“It’s going to be good and I am really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I’ll try to enjoy it, and obviously play to win.”
Snooker Shoot-Out matches are a maximum of ten minutes per frame and are run on a shot clock. Players have 15 seconds to take their shot during the first five minutes, and ten seconds for the remainder.
Players have to pot a ball on every shot or hit the cushion with either the cueball or object ball. In the event of a tie, a blue ball shoot-out decides the winner.
Should Davison negotiate the last 64 encounter, the tournament, which carries a first prize of £32,000 and runs until Sunday night, is carried through on a series of random draws.
“I don’t have a clue to be honest,” he said when asked how he would cope with the shot clock – a condition he is playing under for the first time.
“I’ve tried to play a little bit quicker. If I’ve been practising on my own I’ll set the colours up and see how quickly I can do it.
“You can’t really practice too much for this event. I think you just have to take it as it comes. It’s a bit more of a light-hearted affair. You can have a bit of a laugh and play. This is serious, but it’s a bit of fun as well.
“I’ve played Ben twice this year. I played him in the Polish PTC and he beat me 4-3 and I played him in the International Open and I beat him 6-3. It’s pretty much as even a game as you can get in the first round.
“He’s played in it before so I suppose he might have a slight edge on the experience factor of the shot clock.”
In a season where he has steadily risen up the rankings, Quickslide-sponsored Davison is in good form ahead of the tournament and is pleased with the seven-days-a-week snooker calendar brought in by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn over the last couple of years.
He said: “My form is really good. I am practising harder then ever. I am playing more now then I have ever done. I’ve cut my hours down at the club (Filey Snooker Club) because, with all these tournaments, it’s awkward getting people to cover your shifts with all the time off.
“But I am earning more so it is compensation. At the moment, I can play every day – seven days a week.
“Before I was playing four days tops. In that respect, with all the matches and the practice, I feel great. You always feel like you can play well but the consistency is there much more now than it has ever been.”