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Snooker Shootout Tips: Seven picks for the one-frame knockout extravaganza

Following a successful Masters, Paul Krishnamurty previews tomorrow’s Snooker Shootout and provides seven selections. You can watch every frame on Betfair Live Video…

“Milkins has the perfect game by my reckoning. He reached the inaugural final and has an impressive 23-11 return in the event.”

Back Robert Milkins 0.75u @ 67.066/1

Fresh off the tournament many snooker afficionados consider the best on the calendar, its time for the ‘Marmite‘ event. One-frame knockout, with a shot clock, all the way through, cheered on by a raucous crowd.

Don’t be fooled – this is no lottery

The Masters it most certainly isn’t but personally, I love this tournament. Attending is on my bucket list but it isn’t entirely about the entertainment. This format is often assumed to be a lottery but past results show there is a clear form guide. Simply, some players thrive in this format, others struggle.

Yes, there were some really big shocks in the early years but the last three winners – Ryan Day, Michael Holt, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh all had solid claims to be defined as tournament specialists. Furthermore, the line-up seems to get stronger every year. 11 of the world’s top-16 are here, including world number one and last year’s runner-up, Mark Selby.

Swerve Selby

Understandably, the ‘Jester from Leicester’ starts favourite but he makes no appeal whatsoever to me. Selby’s standard was very poor last week and, while last year’s run suggests otherwise, I don’t believe he’s a natural for a quick format.

A case could be made for several among the front-runners. Un-Nooh has won 75% of his matches in this, but is on a terrible run more generally. It speaks volumes about his suitability for the format that the Thai is priced the same as Mark Allen, David Gilbert, Kyren Wilson and Mark Williams.

Williams and Dott have the right skills

Of that quartet, I like Williams best. Whilst he’s never made this final, everything about his style of play looks perfect. An easy, quick, reliable action along with a tremendous tactical brain. He’s won 26 out of 36 matches in this, usually when in much worse form than we saw last week in London. Following that heartbreaking loss, take the Welshman to gain swift revenge.

Similarly, Graeme Dott always appeals in this tournament and his 26-9 returns are even better. Twice a runner-up, the Scot becomes twice the player when forced to play quickly. His overall form is a negative and perhaps explains this year’s 50.049/1 odds, but encouragement can be taken from him winning 11 matches out of 15 at the recent Championship League.

Yuelong and Haotian picked among Chinese

Various young Chinese players have thrived under the format. Zhou Yuelong was runner-up in 2020 and looked really strong when carrying our cash last year, only to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against eventual winner Day in the last-16. He hasn’t had a great season but that is reflected by 40/1 odds. Let’s give him another chance.

Cao Yupeng came in for serious consideration but he’s got a tough opener against the very likeable Pang Junxu. Instead, try Lyu Haotian. The 24 year-old is very fluent and capable of a high standard at his best. He’s won nine out of 13 matches in this, reaching the semis in 2020.

Milkins a must-bet in this format

Two more that give us a good run last year were Robert Milkins and Louis Heathcote. The latter played really well, displaying a confident, quick style. Milkins has the perfect game by my reckoning. He reached the inaugural final and has an impressive 23-11 return in the event.

Finally, Martin O’Donnell has reached the quarters and semis twice in five attempts, recording a 10-5 win rate overall. He’s another smart player who doesn’t panic under the shot clock and knows how to run it down.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

Back Lay
Mark Selby
Kyren Wilson
Mark Allen
Yan Bingtao
David Gilbert
Mark Williams
Shaun Murphy
Stuart Bingham
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Zhao Xintong
Barry Hawkins
Luca Brecel
Jack Lisowski
Ding Junhui
Tom Ford
Robert Milkins
Zhou Yuelong
Ryan Day
Martin Gould
Ali Carter
Hossein Vafaei
Liang Wenbo
Ricky Walden
Gary Wilson
Cao Yupeng
Xiao Guodong
Graeme Dott
Jimmy Robertson
Lu Ning
Michael Holt
Noppon Saengkham
Joe Perry
Lyu Haotian
Tian Pengfei
Jamie Wilson
Jordan Brown
Scott Donaldson
Jamie Jones
Liam Highfield
Matthew Stevens
Ben Woollaston
Matthew Selt
Martin ODonnell
Robbie Williams
Li Hang
Mark Davis
Zhang Anda
Jamie Clarke
Louis Heathcote
Joe OConnor
Chris Wakelin
Dominic Dale
Mark King
Michael White
Craig Steadman
Anthony Hamilton
Fergal OBrien
Michael Georgiou
Chang Bingyu
Sunny Akani
Stuart Carrington
Allan Taylor
Jak Jones
Yuan Sijun
Pang Junxu
Mark Joyce
Andrew Higginson
Elliot Slessor
David Grace
Oliver Lines
Zhao Jianbo
James Cahill
Si Jiahui
Steven Hallworth
Bai Langning
Ken Doherty
Jackson Page
Jamie ONeill
Mitchell Mann
Ian Burns
Gao Yang
Lei Peifan
Alfie Burden
Fan Zhengyi
Xu Si
Ashley Hugill
Ben Hancorn
Andy Hicks
Peter Lines
Ashley Carty
David Lilley
Ross Muir
Soheil Vahedi
Duane Jones
Zhang Jiankang
Fraser Patrick
Nigel Bond
John Astley
Aaron Hill
Chen Zifan
Andrew Pagett
Simon Lichtenberg
Gerard Greene
Michael Judge
Billy Joe Castle
Lee Walker
Lukas Kleckers
Jimmy White
Ross Bulman
Dylan Emery
Peter Devlin
Zak Surety
Barry Pinches
Sanderson Lam
Farakh Ajaib
Paul Deaville
Mark Lloyd
Liam Davies
Stan Moody
Dean Young
Sean Maddocks
Iulian Boiko
Liam Graham
Reanne Evans
Robbie Mcguigan
Simon Blackwell
Haydon Pinhey
Rebecca Kenna

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