Lancaster snooker player bids to upset former world champion Stuart Bingham
A Lancaster snooker player will take on a former world champion in his first TV appearance on Thursday night.
James Silverwood is hoping to make a major breakthrough when he goes up against 2015 Crucible king Stuart Bingham in the one-frame Coral Shoot Out at the Watford Colosseum.
The event, live on ITV4, is one where world rankings go out of the window as players compete against a shot clock with matches lasting no longer than 10 minutes.
“It’s something of a lottery,” said the 26-year-old, who qualified after a strong showing in World Snooker’s Q School last May.
“I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
“I’m a quick player so I won’t have to change my game.
“It’s 15 seconds per shot for the first five minutes and then 10 seconds after that.
“I’m playing Stuart Bingham and with a player of his quality I could break off and that be that.
“On the flipside he could break off and I could get my chance.”
Bingham is the last world champion in the 128-man field with Mark Selby, who won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, sitting out the event.
Top players Shaun Murphy and Mark Williams are amongst those vying for the £32,000 top prize at the end of the four days of frenetic action.
“I’m happy with the draw,” said Silverwood, who plays for current Lancaster & Morecambe Snooker League leaders The Melbourne.
“I’m going to be second favourite no matter who I play.
“I’m a top-up tour player rather than a mainstream tour player.
“No disrespect to any other players but if I lost to the world No.100 people would just say ‘who was that?’.
“If I win then I’ve beaten a world champion in Stuart Bingham and even if I lose I’ve played a world champion.”
Silverwood, who works at Slyne Lodge to supplement his snooker, has been trying to get on the world tour since his late teens.
He saw his progress halted by a serious car accident in May 2015 which left him lucky to be alive and in a coma for a couple of days.
“It’s taken me a while to get back to where I was and even at Q School last May I wasn’t quite myself,” he said.
“I managed to come 11th out of about 250 players and I was hard to beat but had restricted cueing.
“It’s been a long road back from the accident but I’m back playing at my best and just looking forward to it all now.”
ITV4’s coverage of the Coral Shoot Out begins at 6.45pm tonight with Silverwood’s match with Bingham expected at 7pm.