Thepchaiya Un-Nooh has won the 2019 Snooker Shoot-Out after beating Michael Holt in Sunday’s final at the Watford Colosseum.
The 33 year-old becomes the first player to win a ranking event from Thailand since James Wattana’s victory in the 1995 Thailand Open.
Un-Nooh, whose rapid natural style of play is perfectly suited to the unique format of the Snooker Shoot-Out, compiled a swift run of 74 to deny Holt in the title decider.
A round earlier in the last four, Un-Nooh constructed a wonderful 139 – the highest break made in the tournament’s history – against Jamie Clarke.
The former Six Red world champion‘s success extends an unusual record that has resulted in no member of the top 16 ever capturing the Snooker Shoot-Out silverware.
Indeed, Un-Nooh accounted for the last remaining member of the elite when he downed Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals.
The Snooker Shoot-Out annually divides public opinion as it deviates from the traditions of the sport.
Matches last only one frame, shot-clocks are utilised, and alcohol-induced crowds are encouraged to partake in a pantomime style environment.
There are also other variations of the rules that tend to rile people up the wrong way, such as the use of ball-in-hand for fouls.
In general, most people appreciate that the concept is a bit of fun that breaks the mold from the regular tournaments on the calendar.
However, the fact that the Snooker Shoot-Out is attributed ranking event status always causes the most controversy, and understandably so.
To think that Un-Nooh’s maiden victory brings him on a par with, say, Matthew Steven’s sole ranking title in the UK Championship is pretty ludicrous.
It is what it is, though, and the relentless backlash from some on social media is often needless and tiresome.
The history books will now state that Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is a deserved ranking event champion and there’ll be no asterisk next to his name.
The former amateur world champion, who rises to number 41 in the rankings, will now likely gain a potentially lucrative invitation into the Champion of Champions later in 2019.
Players like Martin Gould, Barry Hawkins, and Michael White have used their Shoot-Out triumphs to go and experience more success on the Main Tour.
It will be intriguing then to see if Un-Nooh, evidently blessed with an abundance of natural talent, can be inspired to greater glories in the future.
💬 “I told myself I could win this tournament many years ago…it is perfect for my style.”
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is fastest player on tour and now he is the winner of snooker’s most quickfire event. Here is his reaction to a blistering @BetVictor Shoot Out victory.#ClockIsTicking pic.twitter.com/fJ5Twmcwep
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) February 25, 2019