NEWLY-CROWNED Snooker Shoot Out champion Martin Gould hopes his Blackpool success inspires him to win his first ranking tournament and regain his place in the world’s top 16 ... and he thinks he knows how to do it.
Londoner Gould joked: “I’ll have to ask Barry Hearn to use a shot clock in all tournaments, then I might have a chance of winning a ranking event!”
He’s referring to the unique feature of last weekend’s Circus Arena event, in which players have either 10 or 15 seconds to play each shot in the sudden-death knockout tournament made up of single-frame matches lasting no more than 10 minutes each.
The 31-year-old’s Blackpool triumph on Sunday night resulted in his biggest career pay-day of £32,000 – not bad for an hour’s work over the weekend – £7,000 more than he earned as runner-up (to Shaun Murphy) in the 2011 Players Tour Championship Finals in Dublin, Gould’s best performance in a major ranking tournament.
“It would be nice to get a major under my belt this season. I’ll keep practising hard and doing the right things,” added Gould, who admitted that the “nice trophy” and Sky TV exposure he gained from Blackpool have provided a welcome boost after he had slipped back to 19th in the world. He’s now moved inside the top 16.
The breakneck Blackpool format certainly suits Gould, who added: “I’m one of the quicker players. I’m quick thinking and I like to get on with it. I’ve got a pool background, where we had a shot clock too, so I’m used to it.”
He certainly appeared calm and unruffled in the final, in which he hammered Ulsterman and world number 12 Mark Allen 104-0.
Gould added: “I probably felt more calm in the final than any other match. The money is nice when it goes into the bank but that didn’t bother me.
“I just had the same philosophy all the way through: if you win you win, if you lose you lose.”