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Captain Hoping To Cash In On Win

Recently crowned BetVictor German Masters champion Ali Carter is in poll position to scoop a bumper £150,000 next week and he is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

Victory for the Essex cueman last week in Berlin saw Carter finally capture silverware for the first time in almost seven years. His ranking title drought extended all the way back to the 2016 World Open.

Carter looked determined all week to set that record straight and after a nerve shredding 6-5 win over Robert Milkins in the semis, only Tom Ford stood between him and the Brandon Parker Trophy. Carter stormed to a 10-3 win and collected the £80,000 top prize.

That puts the now five-time ranking event winner top of the standings in the BetVictor Series. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the qualifying events will land the £150,000 bonus. However, 11 players remain in contention ahead of next week’s series ending BetVictor Welsh Open in Llandudno, where Carter faces Ian Martin in his opening tie.

Tickets remain for the event, which runs from February 13th to 19th. Click here to get yours now

“I didn’t even know that I was in line for the bonus, but I have shown consistency on top of last week. I’ve had a tournament win, a quarter-final at the English Open and a semi-final appearance at the European Masters. I just hope I can have a good week in Llandudno. If I can keep getting through matches, then pressure is on the other guys to win quite a few more than me,” said 43-year-old Carter.

“I’m seeing it as a big week, but I’ve got to put the bonus out of my head when I’m playing. I’ve got a tournament to win and if that is in my head I won’t be giving myself the best chance. If I can go on a good run and do well then the bonus will take care of itself.”

Carter hasn’t had long to reflect on his victory, with a big week ahead in North Wales. However, he admits that having been forced to wait so long for a return to the winner’s circle, this title tasted extra sweet.

“It has all been a bit of a blur since Berlin, as if it didn’t happen. I got back on Monday with a raging hangover! We have had a good few days now though and I’m delighted to be back home having secured another ranking event victory. The doors that it opens in terms of other tournaments are massive.

“It was a big victory for me, knowing that I hadn’t won for so long. What I was so pleased about is that I did a job on Tom in the final and played really well. When I got to nine, as soon as I got a chance, I did it in one hit without any stuttering or extra added stress. I know that tournament wins don’t come around very often and there are a lot of guys who haven’t won for a very long time. I’ve had a couple of finals and I should arguably have won the Masters in 2020, but Stuart Bingham played a fantastic match. I am glad to have got it off my back and have so much to look forward to for the rest of the season.”

In addition to almost certainly qualifying for the remaining two Duelbits Series events, the Players and Tour Championships, Carter is also looking good to earn a place at the Crucible for the Cazoo World Championship.

As a two-time finalist, Carter knows what it takes to achieve success at Sheffield’s Theatre of Dreams. However, he is yet to win the sport’s ultimate prize after suffering title match defeats at the hands of Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2008 and 2012.

“Well coming through the qualifiers themselves is like winning a big tournament, it is such a big event. It will be so nice if I do secure my Crucible seeding and not need to qualify. It is a big target to win the World Championship and I am better suited to the longer format games. The final at the German Masters was obviously a long format, over two sessions, and I played some great snooker. My game is suited to the World Championship and I hope that I can do the business.

“To get to two finals is brilliant, but it is all about winning and that is what I want to do. Can I win the World Championship? Who knows. It is a big ask for anyone to win that event, but all I can say is that I know I have the game to do it and that I have the experience. I will go there and try my best.”

Away from the baize, Carter has had a number of health battles over the years. On top of conquering cancer on two occasions, he has also had trouble with Crohn’s Disease. A strict diet regime a few years ago has helped him hugely with the latter and he is now in a clean bill of health. Carter believes this has helped him to achieve higher standards on the table.

Carter explained: “It was a long process of getting to where I am now, being able to eat pretty much anything I want. I had to heal my stomach and in order to do that, I needed a very strict diet over a period of three or four months. I went vegan. I basically just had steamed vegetables during that time. It was like eating baby food. If you have a digestive problem, not putting anything difficult to digest through gives you a chance to heal. Anything that is hard to digest makes things worse. Gluten, coffee and alcohol are all things which attack your stomach lining. I did the diet and then I slowly reintroduced foods. I stay away from the foods that are particularly bad and I’ve also stayed away from gluten products. That has made all the difference. I’ve played with a handicap for pretty much most of my career, so it is great to now not have to do that anymore.

“I haven’t been blessed with the best temperament over the years. I am addressing that now. Getting success empowers you on to go and get more success. The whole thing is keeping calm. My competitive nature underneath the surface will always be there. You need to just make sure you don’t lose your cool. When you do that there is more of an opportunity to perform at the best level. In the past I haven’t been able to do that as I haven’t been able to keep my emotions under wraps. Now I am doing that more frequently I hope there are plenty more trophies to come.”