Congratulations to Barry Hawkins, a nice guy and a quality player who is £32,000 richer tonight after winning the Partypoker.com Shootout in Blackpool.
Hawkins beat Graeme Dott in the final of the super-fast event, which gave 64 players a chance of scooping the loot over three days.
Barry was once ranked 12th in the world. He has appeared in four ranking event semi-finals without quite making a final.
He has been looking for a step forward for some time and maybe the confidence this will bring will herald a general improvement in fortunes.
The tournament is intended as a bit of fun, but there was pressure on the players in matches which lasted only ten minutes.
The two highlights came today. Martin Gould produced a 135 total clearance, a sensational break given the time pressures.
And Barry Pinches pulled off a dramatic last gasp win over Liang Wenbo, potting the winning ball with a second to spare.
Not everyone or every player is a fan of the Shootout by any means and it perhaps made less of an impact this year.
This is understandable. Last year it was a novelty but novelties soon wear off.
This is why Barry Hearn was right not to listen to those – including players – who called for more of these events or even to incorporate some of the rules into established tournaments.
But I don’t see the harm in the Shootout. It entertained those who enjoyed it, is not a serious threat to snooker as we know it and was a chance for players to get together, however briefly, and have some fun.
The crowds, who were nowhere near as boorish as at Power Snooker, seemed to have a good time too.
The players have been granted two days off before the German Masters – an altogether more serious and significant affair – gets underway on Wednesday.