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Shoot Out preview: Elliot Slessor amongst those fancied in Swansea

The unique and quick-fire Snooker Shoot Out gets underway on Wednesday and it promises to be an entertaining event in Swansea. 

The tournament will be played using a variation of the traditional snooker rules and a random draw takes place after each round. 

All matches are a one-frame shoot out and each rack lasts a maximum of ten minutes. 

There's a shot clock in operation, players must hit a cushion (with any ball) or pot a ball with every shot and all fouls result in ball in hand, but perhaps the biggest difference from a regular snooker event is the participation of the crowd. 

There will be a lively and loud audience in attendance at the Swansea Arena and they will be well invested in the thrills and spills of the one-frame extravaganza. 

It's a thrilling betting heat too, with bet365 making Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams the 25/1 co-favourites of three and there's an opportunity to find a big-priced winner. 

There have been 13 different champions in the 13 runnings of the Snooker Shoot Out, with Nigel Bond, Barry Hawkins, Martin Gould, Dominic Dale, Michael White, Robin Hull, Anthony McGill, Michael Georgiou, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, Michael Holt, Ryan Day, Hossein Vafaei and Chris Wakelin the previous winners. 

It would be no surprise if a new name was added to that list and below are three cuemen to consider for success in Swansea. 

Tyneside Terror can scare away rivals 

Gary Wilson has struggled to make an impact in ranking events this season, but the Tyneside Terror is a capable cueman and he can star in Swansea. 

The Wallsend potter lifted the first ranking title of his career when collecting the Scottish Open crown last season and the 38-year-old is a serious contender in any event that he enters. 

Wilson has been playing in a variety of pool events this year, which are played under shot-clock conditions, and with fan interaction, and the Tyneside Terror should feel at home in similar surroundings at the Shoot Out. 

The 38-year-old is a fluent break-builder when on-song, and although a first-round contest against Jordan Brown is tricky, Wilson is fancied to come through that tie and outrun odds of 50/1.

Slessor set to star in Swansea

Elliot Slessor is another north east cueman that can go well at a big price in Swansea. The Gateshead potter is a two-time ranking event semi-finalist and the 29-year-old is a far better performer than this season's record suggests. 

Slessor has been beaten in the first-round of the last two ranking events, but he ran into Kyren Wilson in the International Championship and then took the in-form Zhang Anda to a final-frame in the opening round of last week's UK Championship. 

With a little more luck of the draw, he may have progressed deeper into recent events, and the 29-year-old looks to have a nice chance in Swansea. 

Slessor opens up against Ryan Thomerson, who has failed to qualify for all eight ranking events this season and hasn't won a single WST match in his career. It should be comfortable work Slessor, even over a one-frame format. 

That's a kind tie for Slessor to start with in Swansea and the confidence should be flowing moving into the random draw stage. He's 66/1 that the Gateshead man triumphs in Wales and that looks worth a punt. 

MOD could scoot to victory 

Martin O'Donnell wouldn't be the speedist potter on tour, but tactically MOD is a quick-thinking cueman and that has been evident in his previous performances at the Shoot Out. 

The 37-year-old reached the semi-finals of this event in 2018 and the quarter-finals in 2021 and it has been a pretty good season for O'Donnell. 

MOD regained his tour card at the start of the current campaign and he made a swift impact when reaching the quarter-finals of the English Open earlier this year. 

The 37-year-old beat Mark Selby and Stephen Maguire on that run to the last-eight in Brentwood and that indicates that the Londoner can pull off big victories against snooker's top performers. 

O'Donnell should take care of veteran Andy Hicks in round one of the Swansea spectacular, and at 66/1, MOD could make a bold bid for the Shoot Out title. 

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