Mark Allen sealed his tenth ranking title with success in the Snooker Shoot Out on Saturday in Swansea.
The Pistol, who will return to number three on the official world rankings list, beat Cao Yupeng in the final at the Swansea Arena.
Earlier on the last day, Allen denied Sanderson Lam in the third round to guarantee his participation among the last 16 in the final session of play.
The Northern Irishman then prevailed from a close tie with Oliver Lines to reach the last eight, where he overcame Si Jiahui.
Allen dominated the last two rounds, first beating Steven Hallworth before etching his name on the silverware with a 65-4 defeat of Cao.
The 37 year-old, who collects a top prize worth £50,000, becomes the first current top 16 member to win the Snooker Shoot Out.
“It’s crazy, it’s chaotic. It’s just what the Shoot Out is all about,” Mark Allen told Phil Seymour for the World Snooker Tour.
“But you always feel that if you can get into the final session on the last day, that last 16, everything happens so quickly after that.”
“You can get on a bit of a roll. If you just get into that last session, you feel like all of those 16 players have a good chance of winning, so I’m glad to come out on top.
“It’s a box ticked in the sense that I entered the tournament, and I won the tournament.
“That’s what I want to do every time I enter one, (but) I’m not going to put it anywhere near the likes of the Masters, the UK, or Northern Ireland.
“Let’s be realistic on the where the event is on the grand scheme of things.
“But I still want to win the event. I wouldn’t enter if I didn’t, so I’m happy to tick that box.
“Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed on Wednesday, because ticket sales hadn’t gone too well and it was a bit quiet.
“But today was absolutely nuts. It reminded me of when we first played in Blackpool, because that was in my opinion the best Shoot Out venue.
“This is right up there for me. It was unbelievable in there today, the crowd gets noisier and noisier as the day gets on.
“There were a few abusive things getting thrown at me, which was great fun. You have to just embrace that.
“I was mentally prepared for what they were going to throw at me.
“It was good to have that again at the Shoot Out, because there have been a few years when it sort of dwindled.
“I think it’s right back to its very best here this week.”
Shoot Out glory represents Allen’s second title in as many months following his triumph at the Champion of Champions last month in Bolton.
As that was an invitational with no ranking points on offer, there had been pressure on the Antrim man to produce strong results this week or next to guarantee his spot at the upcoming World Grand Prix.
Only the top 32 from the one-year ranking list, based on points earned during this term, will qualify for that lucrative event in Leicester, with reigning champion Allen now safely in.
“I was very, very aware of that this week. I was keeping an eye on the rankings, which isn’t a nice thing to have to do when you’re the world number three or four.”
“But it just shows that I’ve done well in the wrong events, when it comes to the World Grand Prixs and stuff like that.”
2023 Snooker Shoot Out draw
Round of 128 (bo1)
Chris Wakelin 1-0 Pang Junxu
Joel Connolly 0-1 Jiang Jun
Lyu Haotian 0-1 Liam Davies
Joe Perry 0-1 Alfie Davies
Ali Carter 1-0 Ross Muir
Andrew Pagett 0-1 Barry Pinches
Shaun Liu 1-0 Ishpreet Singh Chadha
Ryan Thomerson 0-1 Elliot Slessor
Ricky Walden 0-1 Iulian Boiko
Alexander Ursenbacher 1-0 Ashley Hugill
Zhou Yuelong 1-0 Stuart Carrington
Graeme Dott 1-0 Sean O’Sullivan
Andy Hicks 1-0 Martin O’Donnell
Rod Lawler 0-1 Oliver Sykes
Lukas Kleckers 1-0 Stuart Bingham
Ken Doherty 0-1 Matthew Stevens
Mark Allen 1-0 Ben Woollaston
Michael White 1-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Allan Taylor 1-0 Oliver Brown
Xing Zihao 0-1 Xu Si
Mark Davis 1-0 Baipat Siripaporn
Manasawin Phetmalaikul 0-1 Mostafa Dorgham
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Sydney Wilson
Rory Thor 0-1 David Gilbert
Dominic Dale 1-0 Fan Zhengyi
Duane Jones 1-0 Jenson Kendrick
Andy Lee 0-1 Joe O’Connor
Kyren Wilson 1-0 Daniel Wells
Louis Heathcote 1-0 Xiao Guodong
Liam Pullen 1-0 Yuan Sijun
Florian Nuessle 0-1 Ian Burns
Jimmy White 0-1 Zak Surety
Jamie O’Neill 1-0 Riley Powell
Adam Duffy 0-1 Jack Borwick
Leone Crowley 0-1 Jackson Page
Tian Pengfei 1-0 Alex Taubman
Stan Moody 1-0 Rory McLeod
Liam Highfield 0-1 Si Jiahui
Oliver Lines 1-0 Ma Hailong
Muhammad Asif 0-1 Zhang Anda
Ryan Day 1-0 Anton Kazakov
Jimmy Robertson 1-0 James Cahill
Andrew Higginson 0-1 Julien Leclercq
Dylan Emery 1-0 Wu Yize
Steven Hallworth 1-0 Jamie Jones
Sanderson Lam 1-0 Haydon Pinhey
Mark Joyce 1-0 Rebecca Kenna
Shaun Murphy 1-0 Bulcsu Revesz
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 1-0 Liu Hongyu
Himanshu Jain 0-1 Robbie Williams
He Guoqiang 0-1 Hammad Miah
Peng Yisong 1-0 Ben Mertens
David Lilley 1-0 Reanne Evans
John Astley 0-1 Victor Sarkis
Dean Young 1-0 David Grace
Jordan Brown 1-0 Gary Wilson
Ashley Carty 1-0 Jak Jones
Long Zehuang 1-0 Tom Ford
Anthony Hamilton 1-0 Mink Nutcharut
Ahmed Aly Elsayed 1-0 Noppon Saengkham
Alfie Burden 1-0 Aaron Hill
Andres Petrov 0-1 Jamie Clarke
Robert Milkins 1-0 Liam Graham
Matthew Selt 0-1 Mark Williams
Round of 64 (bo1)
Dominic Dale 1-0 Shaun Murphy
Dean Young 1-0 Shaun Liu
Elliot Slessor 1-0 Oliver Sykes
Ian Burns 0-1 Stan Moody
Si Jiahui 1-0 Jordan Brown
Ali Carter 1-0 Alfie Burden
Mark Joyce 0-1 Steven Hallworth
Lukas Kleckers 0-1 Zhou Yuelong
Alexander Ursenbacher 1-0 Victor Sarkis
Matthew Stevens 0-1 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Sanderson Lam 1-0 Andy Hicks
Liam Pullen 1-0 Jamie O’Neill
Louis Heathcote 0-1 Liam Davies
David Lilley 1-0 Jack Borwick
Oliver Brown 0-1 Mark Allen
Mostafa Dorgham 0-1 Kyren Wilson
Chris Wakelin 0-1 Joe O’Connor
Jiang Jun 0-1 Anthony Hamilton
Long Zehuang 1-0 Noppon Saengkham
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Julien Leclercq
Jackson Page 0-1 Graeme Dott
Mark Davis 1-0 Tian Pengfei
David Gilbert 0-1 Jimmy Robertson
Robbie Williams 0-1 Iulian Boiko
Peng Yisong 0-1 Michael White
Barry Pinches 0-1 Duane Jones
Alfie Davies 0-1 Dylan Emery
Zak Surety 1-0 Zhang Anda
Hammad Miah 1-0 Mark Williams
Xu Si 1-0 Jamie Clarke
Oliver Lines 1-0 Robert Milkins
Ryan Day 1-0 Ashley Carty
Round of 32 (bo1)
David Lilley 0-1 Kyren Wilson
Michael White 1-0 Joe O’Connor
Alexander Ursenbacher 0-1 Steven Hallworth
Sanderson Lam 0-1 Mark Allen
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Iulian Boiko 1-0 Anthony Hamilton
Ali Carter 1-0 Dean Young
Zhou Yuelong 0-1 Dominic Dale
Duane Jones 0-1 Long Zehuang
Elliot Slessor 1-0 Zak Surety
Liam Davies 1-0 Dylan Emery
Xu Si 0-1 Oliver Lines
Mark Davis 1-0 Liam Pullen
Graeme Dott 0-1 Jimmy Robertson
Ryan Day 0-1 Si Jiahui
Hammad Miah 1-0 Stan Moody
Round of 16 (bo1)
Dominic Dale 1-0 Iulian Boiko
Kyren Wilson 0-1 Si Jiahui
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Hammad Miah
Oliver Lines 0-1 Mark Allen
Liam Davies 0-1 Mark Davis
Long Zehuang 0-1 Steven Hallworth
Elliot Slessor 1-0 Jimmy Robertson
Michael White 0-1 Ali Carter
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Mark Davis
Si Jiahui 0-1 Mark Allen
Dominic Dale 0-1 Steven Hallworth
Ali Carter 1-0 Elliot Slessor
Cao Yupeng 1-0 Ali Carter
Steven Hallworth 0-1 Mark Allen
Cao Yupeng 0-1 Mark Allen
Featured photo credit: WST