Some people love it, some hate it. But the one thing no one can deny, is that the Snooker Shoot Out is the fastest and perhaps one of the most exhilarating events in the sport.
This year marks the 12th edition of the event and for the first time since it’s inception, it’s going to be held in Leicester.
The one-frame tournament begins this Thursday with a £50,000 prize on offer. Some of the biggest names in the sport will be participating, although there is one key absentee – Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the four-day event.
Who is involved?
Mark Selby reached the final of last year’s event and he’ll be hoping to go one step further in 2022. He takes on Li Hang in his first-round game on Thursday.
Former world champion Shaun Murphy is also in the draw. The 39-year-old is a former Shoot Out semi-finalist, but comes into the tournament on the back of some disappointing results.
Jack Lisowski, Noppon Saengkham, Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, Stuart Bingham, Ding Junhui and 2012 winner Barry Hawkins are also part of the star-studded line up.
If that wasn’t enough, the legendary Jimmy White will be making his sixth appearance at the event. The 59-year-old has never been past the third-round stage in the one-frame extravaganza.
Why is Ronnie O’Sullivan not involved?
While many of the big names are in the draw, there is one major omission – Ronnie O’Sullivan.
On paper, the one-frame format looks perfect for a maverick like O’Sullivan. However, the six-time world champion simply doesn’t see value in the event.
The 46-year-old last played in the Shoot Out back in 2020 and was eliminated by world number 111 Billy Joe Castle in the second round.
Speaking after the defeat, O’Sullivan said: “I will never play in the Shoot Out again. I love it as an event, but as a player there is no value.
“As a player it’s not the best because there are so many variables. But as a spectator I’d rather watch it than the World Championship.
“There is so much going on it keeps you interested, it’s like an exciting film – a real cliff-hanger.
“As a player I don’t like playing in it, but I can step back and see as a spectator – which is the most important thing at the end of the day – it is enjoyable to watch.”
Who is the defending champion?
Welshman Ryan Day enters this year’s tournament as the defending champion.
The 41-year-old powered past Mark Selby to claim the title in 2021. This year, he kicks off the defence of his crown against Jak Jones.
How does the shot clock work?
For the first five minutes of the frame, players will have 15 seconds per shot.
In the final 10 minutes of the frame, that time is cut to just 10 seconds.
When is it and where can you watch it?
The opening round of the tournament will run over the course of two days – from Thursday, January 20 to Friday, January 21.
The remainder of the rounds, including the final, will all take place on Saturday, January 23.
All the games will be shown live on Eurosport.
Thursday – Afternoon session
Ryan Day vs Jak Jones
Allan Taylor vs Liam James Davies
Jimmy Robertson vs Simon Blackwell
Dylan Emery vs Simon Lichtenberg
Lu Ning vs Stan Moody
Allister Carter vs Matthew Stevens
Craig Steadman vs Gerard Greene
Pang Junxu vs Cao Yupeng
James Cahill vs Jackson Page
Martin Gould vs Nigel Bond
Dominic Dale vs Oliver Lines
Jamie O’Neill vs Liang Wenbo
Gao Yang vs Jamie Wilson
John Astley vs Ian Burns
Haydon Pinhey vs Farakh Ajaib
Chang Bingyu vs Shaun Murphy
Thursday – Evening session
Mark Selby vs Li Hang
Paul Deaville vs Chen Zifan
Michael Judge vs Mark Lloyd
Fraser Patrick vs Andrew Higginson
Akani Songsermsawad vs David B Gilbert
Ross Bulman vs Martin O’Donnell
Aaron Hill vs Lee Walker
Stuart Carrington vs Mark J Williams
Lyu Haotian vs Dean Young
Ricky Walden vs Zak Surety
Zhao Jianbo vs Fergal O’Brien
Ben Woollaston vs Jack Lisowski
Peter Lines vs Joe O’Connor
Lei Peifan vs Alfie Burden
Reanne Evans vs Fan Zhengyi
Kyren Wilson vs Elliot Slessor
Friday – Afternoon session
Ashley Carty vs Mark Allen
Barry Pinches vs Ross Muir
Iulian Boiko vs Robbie Williams
Tian Pengfei vs Rebecca Kenna
Stuart Bingham vs Mark Davis
Noppon Saengkham vs David Grace
Mitchell Mann vs Xiao Guodong
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Soheil Vahedi
Ding Junhui vs Barry Hawkins
Michael Georgiou vs Si Jiahui
Duane Jones vs Xu Si
Mark Joyce vs Yan Bingtao
Zhang Jiankang vs Zhang Anda
Jamie Clarke vs Ben Hancorn
Andrew Pagett vs Liam Graham
Jimmy White vs Sanderson Lam
Friday – Evening session
Luca Brecel vs Joe Perry
Chris Wakelin vs Michael White
Scott Donaldson vs David Lilley
Hossein Vafaei vs Peter Devlin
Yuan Sijun vs Tom Ford
Billy Joe Castle vs Sean Maddocks
Anthony Hamilton vs Robert Milkins
Jordan Brown vs Jamie Jones
Mark King vs Graeme Dott
Lukas Kleckers vs Louis Heathcote
Robbie McGuigan vs Liam Highfield
Zhou Yuelong vs Steven Hallworth
Bai Langning vs Ken Doherty
Andy Hicks vs Gary Wilson
Matthew Selt vs Ashley Hugill
Michael Holt vs Zhao Xintong
Read more: Premier League Darts – Who will make the eight-player line-up?