Leading women’s snooker player Emma Parker believes the chance to play in this week’s BetVictor Shoot Out in Watford is a “massive opportunity.”
Parker, Women’s World Under-21 Champion in 2017, is one of two female players in the field alongside Reanne Evans. It will be the first time that women have competed in televised matches in the final stages of a world ranking event in the UK.
Parker is one of eight players to have been awarded wild card places among the 128-strong field. The tournament, which runs from February 21-24 at the Watford Colosseum, is televised on Eurosport and Quest.
Age 19 from Essex, Parker is currently top of the World Women’s Snooker under-21 rankings and tenth in the overall rankings. She faces India’s Laxman Rawat in the first round in Watford on Friday evening. Match schedule
The Shoot Out has a unique format with all matches played in a single frame and lasting a maximum of ten minutes. There is a shot clock of 15 seconds for the first five minutes and ten seconds for the last five.
“I will be nervous on Friday but hopefully I can put that to one side and play well,” said Parker, who has practised in the past with top players including Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump. “It is a massive opportunity for myself and Reanne to play on television. Hopefully we can win matches. I would love snooker to be my career, I just have to take it step by step.”
Parker won an amateur tournament in London last weekend, beating several male players. “That has given me confidence,” she added. “I don’t know much about my first round opponent on Friday but I’ll just be focused on playing my game. I have been practising with a shot clock, my mum has been counting down the seconds for me! It’s not easy, you have to see the shot quickly and then play it.”
Emma Parker (left) and Reanne Evans
Evans, arguably snooker’s best ever female player having won the women’s World Championship 11 times, is up against legend Jimmy White on Thursday evening.
Other top stars in action include Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Ken Doherty and defending champion Michael Georgiou.
The eight wild cards are:
Ryan Davies, English Junior Champion
Liam Graham, Scottish Under-16 champion
Liam Davies, Welsh Under-14s number one
Stephan Bateman, Irish Under-21 Champion
Ben Mertens, Belgium. European Under-18 Championship quarter-finalist.
Emma Parker, top of women’s world under-21 rankings
Reanne Evans, multiple Women’s World Champion
Brandon Sargeant, top of the Challenge Tour rankings
Tickets for the BetVictor Shoot Out start at just £13.50. Certain sessions will sell out so fans must book now..the clock is ticking! Fast and furious drama is guaranteed. For details CLICK HERE