PAUL DAVISON declared he had “loved every second” of the Betfair Snooker Shoot-Out as he pledged to be back on the practice table today for an assault on the top 64 of the world rankings.
The Pickering potter was thrilled to perform at a packed-out Circus Arena at the Blackpool Tower on Friday night despite losing 50-14 to Ben Woollaston in his round one encounter.
Davison downed a couple of excellent pots but a foul when trying to execute a thin cut on a black into a corner pocket effectively settled the tie.
The match was played over a quick-fire ten minutes with a rapid shot-clock and was the first time the 41-year-old had performed under such restrictive conditions.
But, having been inspired by the occasion, he now wants to make sure he gets another shot at the £32,000 first prize next season by ensuring his place among the game’s elite in the rankings.
“I really enjoyed it,” said the world number 73.
“The match felt like it was about two minutes, and not ten, and the crowd were very fair to both players.
“They weren’t too noisy. They had a bit of banter and didn’t want to see any safety.
“We both went for our shots. I potted some good long balls, to be fair, and landed in awkward position.
“I had a chance to pot the black but it was really thin – with the rest – and I missed it.
“If I had potted that I would have gone in front and I would have been favourite then.
“That was the big turning point in the game. He got 21 and that put me 40-odd behind with about a minute and a half left.
“It was pretty much impossible to come back from that.”
He added: “After five minutes you only have ten seconds a shot so you are pretty much running around.
“You literally don’t have time to think.”
Entering the arena immediately after snooker legend Jimmy White had played, a noisy crowd gave Davison and Woollaston a great reception.
“It was like that when I played Jimmy in the World Open in Glasgow a couple of years ago,” he said of the crowd reaction.
“It was a lot more noisy (on Friday) because I was second to last match on and everyone had enjoyed a few beers. It was really good and a great atmosphere.
“It’s a fantastic arena, brilliant, and reminded me of the old Wembley Conference Centre, but on a much smaller basis.”
“Of course,” Davison added when asked whether the experience had given him the taste to have another go at the Shoot-Out in 12 months time.
“This time next year I will hopefully be more established in the top 64. This was my first time in this type of environment. The majority of the players here have played in it before.
“Next time I will be a lot more settled.
“Everyone back home in Pickering and Filey was supporting me. I have had a lot of messages on Facebook and text messages. It’s always good knowing everyone is watching you. It’s a shame I couldn’t have won.
“But it is onwards and upwards. It was a bit of fun.
“There was a lot of money at stake and it would have been nice to have won a few matches – £32,000 for winning six frames of snooker is not to be sniffed at – but I will be straight back to the table.
“I loved every second of it.”