Snooker Shoot Out: When is it, who’s in it and why is Ronnie O’Sullivan not taking part?

Following an exhibition of snooker excellence that was the Masters, it’s time for the ‘brown sauce’ event known as the Snooker Shoot Out.

Some people love it, some hate it. But the one thing no one can deny, is that the Snooker Shoot Out is the fastest and perhaps one of the most exhilarating events in the sport.

This year marks the 12th edition of the event and for the first time since it's inception, it's going to be held in Leicester.

The one-frame tournament begins this Thursday with a £50,000 prize on offer. Some of the biggest names in the sport will be participating, although there is one key absentee - Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Here's all you need to know ahead of the three-day event.

Who is involved?

Mark Selby of England considers a shot to Sunny Akani of Thailand at the first round of 2020 Snooker Shoot Out in Watford, the United Kingdom, 20 February 2020. Mark Selby of England was defeated by Sunny Akani of Thailand with 0-1.

Mark Selby reached the final of last year's event and he'll be hoping to go one step further in 2022. He takes on Li Hang in his first-round match on Thursday.

Former world champion Shaun Murphy is also in the draw. The 39-year-old is a former Shoot Out semi-finalist, but comes into the tournament on the back of some disappointing results.

Jack Lisowski, Noppon Saengkham, Mark Williams, Kyren Wilson, Stuart Bingham, Ding Junhui and 2012 winner Barry Hawkins are also part of the star-studded line up.

If that wasn't enough, the legendary Jimmy White will be making his sixth appearance at the event. The 59-year-old has never been past the third-round stage in the one-frame extravaganza.

Why is Ronnie O'Sullivan not involved?

Ronnie O'Sullivan of England plays a shot to Alan McManus of Scotland at the second round of 2020 Snooker Shoot Out in Watford, the United Kingdom, 21 February 2020. Alan McManus of Scotland was defeated by Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan of England with 0-1.

While many of the big names are in the draw, there is one major omission - Ronnie O'Sullivan.

On paper, the one-frame format looks perfect for a maverick like O'Sullivan. However, the six-time world champion simply doesn't see value in the event.

The 46-year-old last played in the Shoot Out back in 2020 and was eliminated by world number 111 Billy Joe Castle in the second round.

Speaking after the defeat, O'Sullivan said: "I will never play in the Shoot Out again. I love it as an event, but as a player there is no value.

"As a player it's not the best because there are so many variables. But as a spectator I'd rather watch it than the World Championship.

"There is so much going on it keeps you interested, it's like an exciting film - a real cliff-hanger.

"As a player I don't like playing in it, but I can step back and see as a spectator - which is the most important thing at the end of the day - it is enjoyable to watch."

Who is the defending champion?

Welshman Ryan Day enters this year's tournament as the defending champion.

The 41-year-old powered past Mark Selby to claim the title in 2021. This year, he kicks off the defence of his crown against Jak Jones.

How does the shot clock work?

For the first five minutes of the frame, players will have 15 seconds per shot.

In the final 10 minutes of the frame, that time is cut to just 10 seconds.

When is it and where can you watch it?

The opening round of the tournament will run over the course of two days - from Thursday, January 20 to Friday, January 21.

The remainder of the rounds, including the final, will all take place on Saturday, January 23.

All the games will be shown live on Eurosport.

Full Draw

Shaun Murphy of England plays a shot to Anthony McGill of Scotland at the fourth round of 2020 Snooker Shoot Out in Watford, the United Kingdom, 23 February 2020. Shaun Murphy of England was defeated by Anthony McGill of Scotland with 0-1.

Thursday - Afternoon session

Ryan Day vs Jak Jones

Allan Taylor vs Liam James Davies

Jimmy Robertson vs Simon Blackwell

Dylan Emery vs Simon Lichtenberg

Lu Ning vs Stan Moody

Allister Carter vs Matthew Stevens

Craig Steadman vs Gerard Greene

Pang Junxu vs Cao Yupeng

James Cahill vs Jackson Page

Martin Gould vs Nigel Bond

Dominic Dale vs Oliver Lines

Jamie O'Neill vs Liang Wenbo

Gao Yang vs Jamie Wilson

John Astley vs Ian Burns

Haydon Pinhey vs Farakh Ajaib

Chang Bingyu vs Shaun Murphy

Thursday - Evening session

Mark Selby vs Li Hang

Paul Deaville vs Chen Zifan

Michael Judge vs Mark Lloyd

Fraser Patrick vs Andrew Higginson

Akani Songsermsawad vs David B Gilbert

Ross Bulman vs Martin O'Donnell

Aaron Hill vs Lee Walker

Stuart Carrington vs Mark J Williams

Lyu Haotian vs Dean Young

Ricky Walden vs Zak Surety

Zhao Jianbo vs Fergal O'Brien

Ben Woollaston vs Jack Lisowski

Peter Lines vs Joe O'Connor

Lei Peifan vs Alfie Burden

Reanne Evans vs Fan Zhengyi

Kyren Wilson vs Elliot Slessor

Friday - Afternoon session

Ashley Carty vs Mark Allen

Barry Pinches vs Ross Muir

Iulian Boiko vs Robbie Williams

Tian Pengfei vs Rebecca Kenna

Stuart Bingham vs Mark Davis

Noppon Saengkham vs David Grace

Mitchell Mann vs Xiao Guodong

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Soheil Vahedi

Ding Junhui vs Barry Hawkins

Michael Georgiou vs Si Jiahui

Duane Jones vs Xu Si

Mark Joyce vs Yan Bingtao

Zhang Jiankang vs Zhang Anda

Jamie Clarke vs Ben Hancorn

Andrew Pagett vs Liam Graham

Jimmy White vs Sanderson Lam

Friday - Evening session

Luca Brecel vs Joe Perry

Chris Wakelin vs Michael White

Scott Donaldson vs David Lilley

Hossein Vafaei vs Peter Devlin

Yuan Sijun vs Tom Ford

Billy Joe Castle vs Sean Maddocks

Anthony Hamilton vs Robert Milkins

Jordan Brown vs Jamie Jones

Mark King vs Graeme Dott

Lukas Kleckers vs Louis Heathcote

Robbie McGuigan vs Liam Highfield

Zhou Yuelong vs Steven Hallworth

Bai Langning vs Ken Doherty

Andy Hicks vs Gary Wilson

Matthew Selt vs Ashley Hugill

Michael Holt vs Zhao Xintong

Read more: Premier League Darts - Who will make the eight-player line-up?

Latest news