Michael Holt is hoping for another “day in the sun” as he looks to defend his title at the Shoot Out.
Holt won his first ranking title in 24 years as a professional when he triumphed at the event last season, having finished as runner-up the previous year.
The event sees players compete in one-frame matches which last 10 minutes and with a shot clock that limits players to 15 seconds per shot for the first five minutes of each frame, and 10 seconds for the last five minutes.
Day ends spell in the wilderness with win over Selby in Shoot Out final
It will be held in Milton Keynes this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Holt is relishing the chance for more success.
Holt hoping to stage repeat in single-frame event
“Going back as champion is great, especially after getting to the final the year before,” he told Eurosport.
“It’s a fun event and to win it last year and pick up a trophy was brilliant. A lot of my family were there and my dad was watching at home. It was nice to have a day in the sun.
“I’m looking forward to going back and trying to do it again.”
Holt had a touch of good fortune last year to avoid losing in the opening round to Amine Amiri.
Amiri was leading 29-1 when he rolled up behind the black, which is against the rules as players must hit a cushion or pot a ball with every shot.
“I was lucky last year,” says Holt. “Amiri forgot the rules when he should have beaten me. Luckily for me he didn’t get the rules right and he rolled up to the black, giving me ball in hand, and I won the frame.
“I was so close to losing in the first round, it just shows when your name is on it the stars will align for you, and they did last year.
“I took advantage of it. I have not won a ranking event before that and I’ve been around a long time.”
Reflecting on his form heading into this year’s tournament, Holt added: “I feel like I have drawn a bit of confidence from it and I am playing pretty well at the moment.
“I have dragged as much out of it as I possibly can and am looking forward to doing it again if possible.”
Holt gets the event started with his first-round match against Jamie Jones on February 4.
The 2021 Snooker Shoot Out is live and exclusive on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
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