Chatteris potter Perry set for revolutionary one-frame tournament as snooker returns to Sky Sports

CHATTERIS potter Joe Perry is preparing to compete in a one-frame knockout tournament which he says will put the personality back into snooker.

The inaugural World Snooker Shoot-Out begins in Blackpool tonight and Perry will be one of 64 players vying to win the �32,000 prize.

In a revolutionary new format of the game, matches will be decided by a single quickfire, ten-minute frame. Players will have 20 seconds to complete shots and this will be cut to 15 seconds in the second half of the frame.

Perry, ranked 32nd in the world, said: “If you end up winning it, you will only have played an hour of snooker - that’s not bad money for an hour’s work.

“Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose without doubt the most natural player in the game, has an average shot time of 19 seconds. There’s going to be absolutely no thinking time - we’re going to be running around the table like headless chickens.

“It’s going to be amazing to see some of the players that are a bit steadier. I don’t think many of them could chalk their cue in that time let alone play a shot.

“Everyone is looking forward to it. It’s something different and it’s getting snooker back on Sky Sports.”

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The fast and furious event is World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn’s latest attempt to reinvigorate the game.

Perry, nicknamed the Fen Potter, faces the highly-rated Ricky Walden in his first match on Saturday.

“It’s putting the personality back into snooker,” said the 36-year-old, who has never won a major ranking tournament. “It’s going to be fun until it gets to the quarter-final stage, then it might turn serious.

“I think these new tournaments will give every player a massive lift. It’s bringing in new opportunities and it’s bringing in atmosphere. The crowd are going to be encouraged to cheer instead of the normal silence.

“Every tournament we go to is normally like a matter of life and death so it’s great to be in one like this where we can relax.

“Any win is a confidence boost - the difference with this tournament is that a defeat won’t bother you. If I win any game, whether it’s one frame or the best of 19, it’s a great feeling. This tournament could be a stepping stone for my season.”

Television coverage of the World Snooker Shoot-Out starts tonight at 6pm on Sky Sports One.