Mark Selby is confident that the quickfire best-of-five matches at snooker's World Open in Glasgow will suit his temperament.
The tournament runs from September 18 to 26 at the SECC and features an innovative format, including a random draw and short matches up until the best-of-nine final.
“There is added pressure when you are playing best of fives,” said Selby, who proved his ability to thrive under tough conditions by winning the Pokerstars.com Masters final 10-9 against Ronnie O’Sullivan last season. “I don’t tend to feel nervous when a match goes close, because I’m able to draw on the experience of winning tight matches in the past, and I’ve won more final-frame deciders than most players. On the other hand, I can be a slow starter in matches so it could be over for me very quickly!
“I think we might see some players who are not familiar faces doing well in the event, because the short matches will give the lower-ranked players a better chance. It will definitely be an exciting event to watch for the fans in the arena and viewers on TV. I’m all for the changes that have been made to the tournament, it’s great to try new formats.”
Leicester’s 27-year-old Selby has had a strong start to the season, winning a six-red tournament in Thailand as well as one of the new Star Xing Pai Players Tour Championship events.
“I’ve been consistent so far but the season is twice as long as it was before so there’s a long way to go and I hope I haven’t peaked too early,” added the former World Championship finalist. “Usually if you are in a purple patch it lasts for at least a few weeks, so it’s good for me that there are a lot of tournaments coming up and hopefully I can keep playing well.
“Glasgow is a fantastic place to play snooker because the fans love the game there, and when you think of all the great players to come from Scotland over the years you can see why.”
Also battling for the £100,000 top prize at the World Open will be the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Betfred.com World Champion Neil Robertson and top Scots Stephen Hendry, Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott.
What about a set of Eric Bristow Gold Darts for Christmas?