ALI Carter has vowed to keep a cool head at this weekend’s fast-and-furious snooker Shoot-Out.
The Colchester-born potter has his eyes firmly set on the £32,000 prize as he and 63 other star players go for glory at the Tower Circus Arena in Blackpool.
The one-frame knockout event, which features ten-minute frames and a shot clock, is being screened live on Sky TV.
And Carter gets his campaign under way tonight with a first-round match against Anthony Hamilton.
“I’m really looking forward to it and enjoyed it last year, even though I lost my game against Rob Milkins,” said Carter, who grew up in Tiptree.
“The main thing I learnt was to keep a cool head and take my time.
“You feel under pressure to speed things up and rush, because of the 15-second shot clock.
“But that’s longer than you think and more than enough time to concentrate and make sure you play the right shot.”
Carter says he enjoys the razzamatazz of the event, in which the audience are allowed to shout and cheer during frames – totally against normal snooker etiquette.
“I really like all the glitz of it,” said the 34-year-old, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer last year.
“It’s very different to what we’re used to and you never know which way it’s going to go.
“You might get an early chance and wrap the frame up very quickly, or you might barely get to play a shot, or somewhere in between.
“The prize money is an added incentive.
“To win it you need to win six frames at ten minutes a time, so it’s a huge amount of money for what would effectively be an hour’s work.”
The first-round matches continue tomorrow, with the last-32 stage getting under way at 6pm.
The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final then take place on Sunday.
Martin Gould is the defending champion, following last year’s success against Mark Allen.
Meanwhile, Carter already has one eye on next week’s German Masters.
He will be defending champion when the ranking gets under way at the Tempodrom, in Berlin, on Wednesday.
“This weekend will be fine but the German Masters is more important, because I’m out to defend my title,” said two-time World Championship finalist Carter.