Can you remember the previous Snooker Shoot Out winners and runners-up ahead of this year’s action?
Today, the tenth edition of the most controversial ranking event on the calendar gets under way at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Launched in 2011, the event was originally staged as an invitational for the top 64 players on the world rankings list.
Its format divided opinion right from the off, with many criticising its manipulation of the traditional rules and others praising the attempt to make the game more fun for a wider audience.
For those who don’t know, the Shoot Out is a fast-paced tournament in which each match requires just one frame lasting ten minutes.
There is a 15-second shot clock in operation for the first five minutes, before the time limit is reduced to only ten seconds for the remainder of the fixture.
Players lag to determine who breaks off, all shots must involve hitting a cushion or potting a ball, and any foul results in the opponent having the luxury of placing the cue ball anywhere on the table – otherwise known as ball-in-hand.
The first five Snooker Shoot Out winners were crowned at the Circus Arena in Blackpool, before a one-year stop in Reading in 2016.
Up until this point, there was a sense of either liking it or not but a general acceptance of its place as a distraction of sorts on the busy schedule.
It wasn’t until 2017, when the tournament moved to its next home at the Watford Colosseum, that a heavier mist of anger began to loom within the opinions of hardened snooker fans.
That year the competition was upgraded to a ranking event and opened up to all 128 competitors on the Main Tour, and it’s undoubtedly one of the most controversial decisions that has been undertaken in the history of the entire sport.
Victory for three out of the five Snooker Shoot Out winners since then has represented a maiden ranking event success for that player.
In the history books, there will be no asterisk next to their names and that glory would be on a par with, say, Matthew Stevens’ UK Championship victory from 2003.
Considering there’s a huge variation on the regular rules and that there’s an enormous amount of luck needed to win the seven frames – only seven frames – required to lift the trophy, it seems a bit ludicrous.
It’s almost as if it’s a lottery every year as to who walks away with the £50,000 jackpot, much like the prizes from the games that these no wagering casino sites have to offer.
Still, despite its elevated status, the Shoot Out remains a fun event that has succeeded in opening up snooker’s doors to a fan base it wouldn’t always seek to entertain.
This weekend, its newest destination in Leicester will surely be full of rowdy punters encouraged to make as much noise as possible in a setting nothing like the slow-burning hush that will be experienced at the Crucible Theatre in a couple of months time.
It’s the snooker version of marmite; you either love it or you hate it, so today’s quiz is aimed more at the former.
The question is, can you name the Snooker Shoot Out winners and runners-up for every year since 2011?
Photo credit: World Snooker Tour