Snooker Shoot Out draw
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Snooker Shoot Out: 2023 draw, preview, schedule, where to watch

The 2023 Snooker Shoot Out commences on Wednesday with Mark Allen and reigning champion Hossein Vafaei among the contenders in the draw.

The quick-fire ranking event returns to the Morningside Arena in Leicester for a second successive season.

The unique format attracts a different kind of viewer to the sport but similarly alienates a section of supporters who bemoan the format’s lack of traditional values.

However, it represents an opportunity to earn valuable ranking points at a time when tournaments for lower-ranked competitors are scarce.

Prize, history, and format

The Snooker Shoot Out, with a top prize of £50,000, is always a controversial inclusion as a ranking event given its deviation from the traditional rules of the game.

Each match lasts only one ten-minute frame, with a 15-second shot clock in operation for the first five minutes and a 10-second shot clock required for the remaining time.

Players lag to determine who breaks off, every shot must result in a ball hitting a cushion or being potted, and there is ball-in-hand for any foul committed.

A permanent fixture on the Main Tour schedule since 2011, no current top-16 player has ever emerged as the winner.

The likes of Ryan Day, Barry Hawkins, Anthony McGill, Michael White, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh have triumphed in the past, but each of them was ranked outside the world’s elite bracket at the time.

Originally an invitational, the Shoot Out was upgraded to ranking event status in 2017 – a decision that did not go down particularly well with the majority of traditionalist supporters.

It is additionally the sixth event in this season’s BetVictor Series, where the player with the most-earned money after eight total tournaments will receive a bonus worth £150,000.

2023 Snooker Shoot Out draw and schedule

There is a random draw implemented for the Snooker Shoot Out, and you’d sooner win a game of blackjack than predict the outcome of this tournament.

Indeed, no player from inside the top 16 has ever triumphed, so those lower down the pecking order will see this has an enormous chance to claim a title and potentially rise quickly up the standings.

Vafaei’s victorious effort a year ago to claim his maiden ranking crown helped elevate him to just outside the top 16 in the world rankings.

The Iranian begins his bid to successfully retain the title against Shaun Murphy in one of the ties of the first round.

While the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, and John Higgins have opted out of participating this week, the Snooker Shoot Out draw still boasts a lot of quality.

The in-form Mark Allen, who captured his third ranking trophy of the season on Sunday, is involved in another firecracker last-128 tie against Jack Lisowski.

Mark Selby is the highest ranked contender with the world number two in action against Mark Davis, while fellow former runner-up Mark Williams faces Craig Steadman.

Nobody has won the tournament twice, but three players have reached the title-deciding showdown on two occasions.

Michael Holt, who is a late amateur top-up, was a runner-up in 2019 before going one better a year later by lifting the trophy.

Graeme Dott and Xiao Guodong are also two-time finalists, although neither has his name on the silverware.

Last 128

Wednesday, January 25

Session starts at 1pm

Hossein Vafaei vs Shaun Murphy
Vladislav Gradinari vs Ng On Yee
Jamie O’Neill vs Ryan Thomerson
Liam Graham vs Cap Yupeng
Ian Martin vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Graeme Dott vs Sam Craigie
Robbie McGuigan vs Hammad Miah
James Cahill vs Jordan Brown
Joe Perry vs Luca Brecel
Lukas Kleckers vs Rod Lawler
Joe O’Connor vs Dylan Emery
Barry Pinches vs Michael Judge
Anthony Hamilton vs Ben Mertens
Andy Hicks vs Rory McLeod
Jack Borwick vs Ali Carter
Mark Williams vs Craig Steadman

Wednesday, January 25

Session starts at 7pm

Jack Lisowski vs Mark Allen
Martin Gould vs Jamie Clarke
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Aaron Hill
Robbie Williams vs Mink Nutcharut
Mark Joyce vs Victor Sarkis
Robert Milkins vs Andy Lee
Sean O’Sullivan vs Dean Young
Andrew Pagett vs Ashley Hugill
Stephen Maguire vs Ken Doherty
Jamie Jones vs Jenson Kendrick
Ben Woollaston vs Sanderson Lam
Muhammad Asif vs Gerard Greene
Louis Heathcote vs Oliver Lines
Jimmy White vs Adam Duffy
Peng Yisong vs Daniel Wells
Barry Hawkins vs Jackson Page

Thursday, January 26

Session starts at 1pm

Riley Powell vs Kyren Wilson
Andres Petrov vs Noppon Saengkham
Zak Surety vs Fergal O’Brien
Fan Zhengyi vs Ding Junhui
Michael Georgiou vs Tian Pengfei
Matthew Stevens vs Dominic Dale
John Astley vs Pang Junxu
Peter Lines vs Julien Leclercq
David Grace vs Lyu Haotian
Mark King vs Jak Jones
Lei Peifan vs Michael Holt
Yuan Sijun vs Rebecca Kenna
Zhang Anda vs Callum Beresford
Duane Jones vs Zhou Yuelong
Dechawat Poomjaeng vs Si Jiahui
Jimmy Robertson vs Ryan Day

Thursday, January 26

Session starts at 7pm

Mark Davis vs Mark Selby
Alfie Burden vs Ian Burns
Liam Highfield vs Florian Nuessle
Micahel White vs Mitchell Mann
David Lilley vs Oliver Brown
Asjad Iqbal vs David Gilbert
Stuart Bingham vs Reanne Evans
Ricky Walden vs Gary Wilson
Steven Hallworth vs Stuart Carrington
Xiao Guodong vs Anton Kazakov
Elliot Slessor vs Allan Taylor
Farakh Ajaib vs Chris Wakelin
Xu Si vs Matthew Selt
Ross Muir vs Wu Yize
Himanshu Jain vs Tom Ford
Mohamed Ibrahim vs Haydon Pinhey

The second round takes place on Friday with the remaining five rounds scheduled for throughout Saturday.

Where to watch the Snooker Shoot Out

Live coverage will be available in Britain, Ireland, and across Europe via Eurosport and discovery+.

Other options are available for viewers around the world, which you can view by clicking here.

Featured photo credit: WST

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