Bingham hoping to blow off some steam at the Shoot-Out

STUART BINGHAM says he is looking forward to “a bit of relief” from a relentless schedule when he breaks off at the Shoot-Out on Friday (February 22).

Ballrun gets underway against Matthew Stevens in the shot-clock ranking event at Watford Colosseum tomorrow.

It comes days after Bingham lost the Welsh Open final to Neil Robertson (9-7) and beat Chen Zifan (6-2) in a China Open qualifier – and just ahead of the Indian Open and Players Championship events.

Bingham, a Shoot-Out finalist in 2014, said: “I think the Shoot-Out now feels like a bit of everything.

“It is a bit of relief and a bit of fun – but then also because of the ranking points there is a little bit of pressure on it.

“Those points can make a hell of a difference. I think at the moment I am ninth on the Tour Championship, where you need to be in the top eight.

“And a few people around me have not entered the Shoot-Out so it can make a difference when it comes to getting into something like that.

“But you can’t really prepare for it – it is literally on that ten minutes and whether you play well or not.

“And your opponent comes massively into it because they have to miss a ball and leave you up or foul or whatever.

“A couple of years on the trot my opponent has fluked the first red and made 40 – and that’s your tournament over. So we’ll see how it goes.”

And five days on from defeat to Robertson, Bingham was philosophical about going so close to claiming his second Welsh Open crown in Cardiff (the pair are pictured above in a photo from World Snooker).

Ballrun, who hit 11 centuries during a week in wins over Ali Carter, Matt Selt, Martin O’Donnell, Robbie Williams, Zhao Xintong and Joe O’Connor, said: “It was good to be in a final but obviously I’m gutted about the way it finished.

“I’d been playing solidly all week and beat some good friends along the way, and they had some good words for me about it.

“Funnily enough it is on Eurosport right now. I played some really good stuff and also missed some absolute sitters – and there is another one on the screen now – so I think I might turn it off!”

In early February it was a second round exit at the World Grand Prix for Ballrun following a 4-0 defeat to Kyren Wilson. That came after a 4-1 opening round win over Zhao Xintong.