Michael Holt has won the 2020 Snooker Shoot Out at the Colosseum in Watford – the Nottingham player’s maiden ranking title.
Holt repeated his amazing run to the final from twelve months ago and duly reversed last year’s defeat by overcoming Zhou Yuelong with a comfortable 64-1 scoreline.
Luck plays an important role in winning this event as only one frame is needed to negotiate each round.
The 41 year-old certainly enjoyed plenty of fortune in the first round earlier in the week when opponent Amine Amiri’s misunderstanding of the rules cost the Moroccan victory over the “Hitman”.
However, the latter certainly made the most of his gifted opportunity, and there has to be a certain degree of skill and know-how involved to have helped him win 13 out of his last 14 Shoot Out matches.
As well as the trophy, the £50,000 champion’s cheque earned means that Holt has leaped into the top 16 on the one-year ranking list.
That will earn him a potentially lucrative spot in next week’s Players Championship at defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan’s expense.
Holt is also in line to gain an invitation to the Champion of Champions for the first time in Coventry next season.
The world number 41 has always had the talent to be a top player but his self-belief has often been lacking.
Holt’s success should instill him with a great deal of confidence moving forward then, regardless of the format in operation this weekend.
Very nice of amine amiri to let @hitmanholt win it 🙌🏻😂
— Judd trump (@judd147t) February 23, 2020
That being said, as is the case every year, the 2020 Snooker Shoot Out significantly divided popular opinion.
While many fans, particularly those who wouldn’t usually follow the sport, appreciate the fun variation on the game, others criticize its presence on the calendar and its status as a ranking event especially.
The rules are vastly different from those incorporated in regular tournaments – with shot clocks, a ten-minute frame duration, ball in hand for fouls, and the requirement to hit a cushion with each shot just a few of the changes utilised.
Still, the competition, in its tenth year and fourth as a ranking tournament, has become a permanent fixture on the schedule.
The World Snooker Tour is unlikely to care much about its reputed shortfalls; indeed, the fact that it generates so much interest is why it returns each year.
Holt obviously enjoys it and will surely be back in a year trying to make it an unlikely hat-trick of finals.
24 years of hunting for a ranking title… over!
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) February 23, 2020