Dominic Dale insists he’s one of snooker’s quickest players as he looks ahead to next week’s Betway Shoot-Out in Blackpool.
Welshman Dale won the unique tournament last year, beating Stuart Bingham in the final to collect the £32,000 top prize. The 64-man knock-out tournament features matches lasting just one frame and a maximum of ten minutes, with a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and ten seconds for the last five.
“You have to be a quick thinker to start with,” said Dale. “You need to be working out which shot you are going to play next while the cue ball is still rolling. In my amateur and early pro days, I was as fast as Ronnie O’Sullivan. That’s why I read the game quickly.
“Just after the Shoot-Out last year, I played in a speed-snooker event in Germany with Ronnie, Jack Lisowski and Shaun Murphy. I won that as well so it shows how fast my natural game is. I just don’t feel that’s the way for me to play in the main ranking events.
“I just love the Shoot-Out because it suits my extrovert nature. It’s a brilliant event and it gives snooker a new dimension.”
In the opening match of the tournament next Wednesday at 6pm, Dale faces Belgian teenager Luca Brecel. Judd Trump, John Higgins and Jimmy White are among the top stars competing on the same night, while Thursday sees the likes of O’Sullivan and Mark Selby in action.
Dale will also be competing in the Betway World Seniors Championship at the same venue on Monday and Tuesday, alongside legends including Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Dennis Taylor, Cliff Thorburn and John Parrott.