Day 2 at the 2023 Shoot Out

The first round concluded yesterday evening at the 2023 Shoot Out in Leicester providing more surprises, “first times”, drama and laughter. All the detailed results are on

The reports by WST, as usual, cover only a fraction of what happened in the circus … sorry, in the arena.

Afternoon session

Shoot Out Success Is Life Of Riley

Riley Powell became the second 14-year-old to reach the second round of this year’s BetVictor Shoot Out as he knocked out five-time ranking event winner Kyren Wilson.

On Wednesday, Vladislav Gradinari became the youngest ever winner of a televised ranking event match when he beat Ng On Yee. Teenager Powell is just two months older than Gradinari and turns 15 in August this year. He has an ideal environment to develop his skills on the baize as he comes from Tredegar in South Wales and practises with the likes of Mark Williams, Lee Walker and Jackson Page.

World number eight Wilson, who has won just three matches in this event since 2017, opened with a break of 30, but Powell battled his way back into the frame. Wilson led 31-18 when he potted a long red but went in-off, and his opponent’s run of 19 got him into the last 64.

That was amazing, the best event I have played in,” said Powell, who won a Welsh under-16 event to earn a place in the field. “The crowd were so good. I had a couple of early mistakes but then got back into it. I just tried to enjoy the occasion and I loved every bit of it.

I soon as I started playing snooker I loved it. Mark Williams has been fantastic with me, I’d like to thank him, Jackson and Lee for all the help they have given me. Any practice I can get them with is fabulous, I have learned a lot from them. I want to be world number one and World Champion.

Michael Holt won this event in 2020 before dropping off the pro tour two years later. He is in the field this time as one of the amateur top-up players, and proved he still thrives in the format as he beat Lei Peifan with a 116 – a strong contender for the £5,000 high break prize.

Another former Shoot Out champion now playing as an amateur, Michael Georgiou, is also into round two as he beat Tian Pengfei with a break of 46.

Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens contested the first blue-ball shoot out of this year’s event, after finishing tied 49-49. Dale was five points ahead during the regulation frame when he missed the blue, and Stevens potted it to force sudden death. But the former Masters and UK Champion missed the extra blue twice, allowing Dale to progress.

Rebecca Kenna came close to becoming the first woman to win a televised ranking event match, but narrowly lost out to Yuan Sijun. Kenna trailed 43-44 with just over a minute to go when she missed a tricky black on a break of 28. That proved crucial as Yuan potted the last red and added the points for victory.

Potting boffin Callum Beresford, who has just finished university exams in mechanical engineering, constructed a break of 45 to beat Zhang Anda. Fan Zhengyi made a 63 to win a Chinese derby against Ding Junhui, while Zhou Yuelong came from 46-0 down to beat Duane Jones with a run of 78.

Rebecca really impressed despite the defeat. She has only recently acquired a star table and get it installed so that she can now practice in professional conditions. If what we saw yesterday is anything to go by, it’s paying off. Rebecca is running her own business in parallel to trying to grow as a professional player. That’s not easy and she deserves every credit for her efforts.

Here is Riley Powell’s effort, shared by ES on their YouTube channel:

The young man showed a lot of maturity in his post-match interview.

And here is Michael Holt 116 from the same source:

Probably the most baffling aspect of the above report is that there is no mention of Dechawat Poomjaeng performance. Maybe that’s because the guy, or gal, in charge of the reporting didn’t really know what to make of it. So, here is is, again from ES YouTube channel:

All credits to Si Jiahui who managed to see the funny side of it.

Evening session

Landmark Win For Evans

Reanne Evans became the first woman to win a televised ranking event match as she beat former World Champion Stuart Bingham in the first round of the BetVictor Shoot Out in Leicester.

It’s a first win in a pro event for Evans since 2017, and she also becomes the first woman to win a match in the Shoot Out. The 37-year-old looked composed throughout the tie and won 60-8.

I felt comfortable,” said the 12-time Women’s World Champion. “If you get in early you want to make a break and get your cue action going. Then Stuart missed a few and left them on for me to win the frame. I have been working for the last three or four years and it has not happened for me. I am just waiting for it to go in the right direction, fingers crossed it will come one day.

I am never usually one for the Shoot Out, it is so noisy out there, you don’t know what’s going on. But it was a good atmosphere tonight and I won so I enjoyed it.

Four-time World Champion and local favourite Mark Selby lost to Mark Davis in an exciting finish. Selby led 20-17 with a minute to go, but then missed a straight-forward red to a top corner. Davis potted red, green and red to edge it 22-20.

Xiao Guodong made the second century of the day, 106, though he missed the chance to eclipse Michael Holt’s target of 116 for the £5,000 high break prize when he failed to pot the final blue.

Farakh Ajaib trailed Chris Wakelin by seven points with just seconds remaining when he smashed into a cluster of reds and fluked one to a top corner, then potted the pink to leave the scores tied. But he then missed the blue in the sudden death shoot out and Wakelin potted it to advance.

Pakistan’s Asjad Iqbal scored a surprise victory over David Gilbert, winning 35-30 thanks to a late break of 15.

I couldn’t find any “legit” footage of the second session on YouTube so far.

Asjab Iqbal was absolutely beaming after his win. I used to be extremely critical of the Shoot Out, but the sheer joy on some of the lowest ranked players after a win vindicates its staging really. These guys spend hundred of hours practising, play most of their matches on and outside table away from the spotlight. They deserve to take centre-stage and enjoy the fans cheers once a year.

Second round draw was made yesterday evening:

BetVictor Shoot Out Second Round Draw

The draw for the last 64 of the BetVictor Shoot Out has been made.

Jordan Brown v Yuan Sijun
Ken Doherty v Dominic Dale
Julian LeClercq v Haydon Pinhey
Mark Williams v Dean Young
Sam Craigie v Lukas Kleckers
Michael White v Callum Beresford
Barry Pinches v Cao Yupeng
Shaun Murphy v Mark Davis
Joe Perry v Jamie Jones
John Astley v Dylan Emery
Gerard Greene v Ali Carter
Chris Wakelin v Alfie Burden
Jak Jones v Michael Georgiou
David Grace v Ashley Hugill
Vladislav Gradinari v Victor Sarkis
Jamie O’Neill v Martin Gould
Ben Woollaston v Rory McLeod
Steven Hallworth v Noppon Saengkham
Daniel Wells v Riley Powell
Michael Holt v Robbie McGuigan
David Lilley v Elliot Slessor
Xu Si v Xiao Guodong
Jack Lisowski v Adam Duffy
Gary Wilson v Reanne Evans
Jackson Page v Fergal O’Brien
Ben Mertens v Fan Zhengyi
Asjad Iqbal v Jimmy Robertson
Ross Muir v Tom Ford
Zhou Yuelong v Robbie Williams
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Dechawat Poomjaeng
Liam Highfield v Louis Heathcote
Robert Milkins v Alexander Ursenbacher

I have highlighted some that attract my attention.

The two Belgian rookies are still in the mix. Ben vs Fan could be a cracker. Fan yesterday showed the type of snooker that won him the European Masters last season, Ben always goes for his shots. This should be good.

Vladislav Gradinari and Victor Sarkis were both “story makers” on the first day. It’s a bit of a shame they have to clash in the second round.

The all-Thai clash between Theppy and Poomy promises to be absolutely bonkers.

3 thoughts on “Day 2 at the 2023 Shoot Out

  1. Yes, indeed this is the only event on the calendar where everyone plays in front of main-venue crowds, but of course some of the top players are missing. The idea of selecting young players to fill up the draw is of course very successful in this kind of format, even though they are ‘amateurs’ playing in a ‘professional’ tournament.

    Si Jiahui would have been well-prepared: Dechawat Poomjaeng is based at Victoria’s Academy, and they have been practicing specifically for this.

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