After three days of a bit of everything, the field is now reduced to 32 players and we will go through no less than 5 rounds today.
Here is the draw for the last 32 round:
he draw for the last 32 of the BetVictor Shoot Out has been made.
Jak Jones v Xu Si
Fergal O’Brien v Julien LeClercq
Lukas Kleckers v Yuan Sijun
Dylan Emery v Noppon Saengkham
Cao Yupeng v Ali Carter
Fan Zhengyi v Michael Holt
Liam Highfield v Martin Gould
Mark Williams v Dechawat Poomjaeng
Michael White v Alexander Ursenbacher
David Grace v David Lilley
Joe Perry v Chris Wakelin
Tom Ford v Vladislav Gradinari
Zhou Yuelong v Gary Wilson
Mark Davis v Jack Lisowski
Daniel Wells v Ben Woollaston
Dominic Dale v Asjad Iqbal
And the WST reports on what happened yesterday
Iqbal Keeps Run Going
Pakistan’s Asjad Iqbal reached the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time with a marvellous break of 64 to beat Jimmy Robertson in the second round of the BetVictor Shoot Out.
Iqbal is playing on the pro tour for the first time this season after coming through Asia-Oceania Q School in 2022, and has enjoyed some impressive results, notably beating Barry Pinches and Gerard Greene to reach the third qualifying round of the UK Championship.
And the 31-year-old has shown his quality on live television this week in Leicester, seeing off David Gilbert in the first round and then coming from 33-9 down to beat Robertson with an excellent clearance.
Michael Holt, who won this event in 2020 before being relegated from the tour two years later, scraped past Robbie McGuigan. Holt led 16-8 when he went in-off, gifting his opponent a chance, but McGuigan potted just one red before missing the pink and that proved the key moment.
“I am absolutely blessed!” Holt told Eurosport. “If you want to have a run in this tournament you need a bit of luck. In this format you are always so close to losing. You have to take it for what it is, you have to embrace the atmosphere and enjoy the chaos.”
Julien LeClercq made the highest break of the day so far with a 93 to beat Haydon Pinhey. The tour rookie from Belgium said: “I am very happy to win the frame in one visit. The crowd is so funny and I really enjoy it. I am starting to win more matches and get confidence.”
David Grace trailed Ashley Hugill 42-46 with the clock running down, but enjoyed a massive fluke on the last red, escaping from a snooker, and added the black for victory.
Mark Davis compiled a run of 66 to knock out Shaun Murphy, while 2014 Shoot Out winner Dominic Dale made a 42 as he beat Ken Doherty.
Ali Carter came from 37-0 down to beat Gerard Greene while Fergal O’Brien made an excellent 65 to beat Jackson Page.
I have no clue why someone put the first c in Julien’s surname in capital… anyway. Julien’s 93 break attracted a lot of praise from Neal Foulds in commentary. It was indeed a fantastic break to make under any circumstances, even more so in the middle of this circus.
WST shared these short videos on their YouTube Channel:
David Grace extraordinary fluke
Iqbal’s comeback and winning break
Wonderkid Gradinari Wins Again
Teenage starlet Vladislav Gradinari scored another impressive victory at the BetVictor Shoot Out, beating Victor Sarkis to reach the last 32.
On Wednesday, Moldova’s 14-year-old Gradinari became the youngest player to win a televised ranking event match when he knocked out Ng On Yee. And the Leeds-based cueman showed his potential again by beating Sarkis in a close match, making a crucial break of 28 to set up a third round tie with Tom Ford.
“I tried to be as calm as possible and pot some balls,” Gradinari told Eurosport. “I am trying to go as far as possible, this is the dream. I can’t wait for tomorrow, I’m very excited. I look forward to a bigger and more noisy crowd.”
The other 14-year-old in the second round, Riley Powell, was beaten in a Welsh derby by Daniel Wells.
Charismatic crowd favourite Dechawat Poomjaeng reached the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time since 2016 by beating Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in an all-Thai battle. Un-Nooh trailed 57-1 but fought his way back into the frame and had a chance to snatch it in the dying seconds, but ran out of position from brown to blue, then missed a difficult blue to a baulk corner.
Poomjaeng will now face three-time World Champion Mark Williams, who survived a late scare to beat Dean Young. Williams led 45-19 when he missed a red to centre, and Young had a chance for glory but failed to pot the last red along a side cushion, when he trailed by four points with a few seconds remaining.
Williams is the only top-16 ranked player left in the field other than Jack Lisowski, who beat Adam Duffy to earn a meeting with Mark Davis.
On Thursday, Reanne Evans became the first woman to win a match in this event, but tonight she was no match for Gary Wilson, who compiled breaks of 44 and 39.
“It’s a great atmosphere and a great tournament, you’ve got to have some fun,” said Wilson, who won his first ranking title at the BetVictor Scottish Open in December. “Winning a tournament was something I wanted to do for a long time but I was soon back down to Earth and I’ve had a few bad results since. No one can take that victory away from me but I’m still the same player, you need to play well otherwise you have no chance. Getting into the top 16 in time for the Crucible is a big goal as I have not done that before, but I need to win matches first.”
Vladislav Gradinari comes across as a very level-headed, mature beyond his years boy. Victor Sarkis, despite the defeat looked the happier and more excited of the two!
Poomy got the crowd in a frenzy right from the start. Theppy looked philosophical and slightly amused, literally sitting on the fence. When he got the opportunity presented itself though, he played very well … he almost caused an “upset”. The crowd was clearly willing Poomy to win. Today we have Willo vs Poomy in the afternoon. It’s gonna be interesting that one: the “King of cool” vs the “Master of mayhem”.