Tower Circus Arena, Blackpool
27-29 January 2012
TOURNAMENT DRAW - OFFICIAL SITE
PHOTOS - MONIQUE LIMBOS - SOUTH WEST SNOOKER ACADEMY
Kent's Barry Hawkins is one of the most friendliest players on the circuit and has been a professional since 1996 but has never even reached a final of a televised event before.
Today at the PartyPoker.com Snooker Shoot Out at the Tower Circus Arena in Blackpool he managed to put that finally to rest by beating the 2006 world champion Graeme Dott 61-23 in the final of the one-frame a match tournament.
The On Q player didn't have the easiest path to the final as he came through against the 2010 Masters champion Ding Junhui 53-27 in the first round. His next two encounters went slightly smoother for Hawkins as he came through 90-0 and 77-12 against Fergal O'Brien and Mark Davis respectively to reach the semi-finals.
He faced Stoke's Dave Harold next who was having a good weekend himself, having just beaten Martin Gould and the crowd's favourite; Tony Drago. It was a close encounter between the two with the Hawk just edging it 56-30 to reach the final where he faced Dott who came through 56-38 himself against Tom Ford.
In the final Dott went for a long one but missed it letting Hawkins straight in. He then proceeded to make 46 before missing a tricky red with the rest. Dott got in again after missing on 8 but only could make 15 before missing a double with Hawkins winning the match 61-23.
It is a great reward for Hawkins who in recent seasons hasn't been reaching the latter stages of many events. Since he beat Stephen Maguire 10-9 to reach the Crucible last 16 for first time where he narrowly lost 13-12 to Mark Allen he seems to be back in form and pushing on to the top 16 again.
Some quotes from Hawkins (courtesy of World Snooker);
"It's a brilliant feeling, definitely the best moment of my career so far," said Hawkins, whose only previous professional title came at the Masters qualifying tournament in 2007. "I've played in big matches at the Crucible, but to win a tournament live on television is amazing. It's a shame there were no ranking points but I'm still delighted.
"The money is amazing, especially as I'm getting married in June (to Tara) in Dartford. This will pay for the whole thing and we'll be able to have a great day."
"World No 23 Hawkins, who has appeared in the semi-finals of four ranking events, added: "I've shown spells of form but always struggled with consistency. I've been working with Terry Griffiths for the last few months on mental strength because in the past I have lacked self-belief. Terry is brilliant and has helped me a lot.
"I've always scored very heavily in practice so it's a case of taking that to the match table. I made a lot of 50 and 60 breaks in this event, kept my composure under pressure and didn't miss much. Hopefully this is the start of things to come."
About the event it self, it seemed to have been popular with the fans watching in the arena again but due to less close matches and exciting finishes this year, some viewers at home haven't been as interested as the previous staging. But for the players at the event they still love the format and it is a great chance for the lower ranked pros to get some exposure and win some cash.
The idea for Sky to broadcast the final day in 3D was a good one and for those that have a 3D enabled TV seemed to really enjoy the coverage. Maybe the premier league and world seniors will be in 3D this year?
Once again congratulations to Barry Hawkins the PartyPoker.com Snooker Shoot Out 2012 champion!
PartyPoker.com Snooker Shoot Out 2012 champion Barry Hawkins with manager Paul Mount (photo - On Q)