Jack Lisowski wants shot clock brought in to combat 'gamesmanship' he faces

Jack Lisowski has called for a shot clock to be brought in for more snooker tournaments as he feels some opponents are playing too slowly and employing gamesmanship against him.

Lisowski has had a good season so far, reaching the semi-finals of the Masters and UK Championship after finishing the last campaign with his best run at the World Championship, falling at the quarter-final stage.

He is playing well and edging closer to the elusive first big title, but thinks he is being hampered by opponents playing especially slowly to knock him out of his rhythm.

Jackpot is playing at the quickfire Shoot Out this week, which is the only professional event played under a shot clock and he sees the merits of it.

‘You see players these days, some of them are getting slower and slower so it’s nice to play in a tournament where that doesn’t happen,’ Lisowski told Metro.co.uk. ‘I think we need a shot clock now because it’s getting very slow these days.’

Lisowski was beaten 5-4 by Mark Allen in the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix last week with the Pistol certainly playing a steadier game than he often does.

The eventual champion said after his deciding frame victory: ‘My game plan worked, it wasn’t pretty but I played a lot of good stuff as well.’

Asked if he was talking about that game in particular, Lisowski said: ‘I’m not saying anything but I think some players now are getting very slow. I get a lot of people messaging me on social media saying they’re sick of it and they don’t enjoy watching it.

‘The game could do with a shot clock because you don’t need more than 20-odd seconds a shot to think about anything. Longer than that and you’re walking round the table looking at the same thing again and again.

‘For me, make some tournaments have a shot clock and maybe there’d be less gamesmanship when some players try to upset your rhythm. ‘

Lisowski is the kind of free-flowing, quick, attacking player that is likely to be targeted by anyone willing to employ tardy tactics and he thinks his good recent form encourages it even more.

‘I think they’ve started to [target me] because my good game’s getting really strong now,’ he said. ‘I think they think it’s too strong for them and maybe as a tactic they try and slow me down because I am a rhythm player.

‘I think I’m learning to deal with it much better though, I think I’ve proven I can live with it this season, no one’s slaughtered me because they’re playing really slow.

‘I’m sticking with it now, I’m just happy with how my game’s progressing, I think I’m going along nicely and enjoying my snooker, most game I play. I’m continuing to improve, I’m in a good place with my snooker, I’d say.’

The world number 12 is still hunting down a first title, but he is more confident now than ever before that it is right around the corner.

The 31-year-old is pleased with how his game is improving and as his experience of the biggest stages also increases, he believes the breakthrough is close.

‘I’m knocking on the door now at most competitions. I believe now I can do it, fully,’ he said. ‘I’ve served my apprenticeship, played every player there is to play, I feel like I know what I’ve got to do now, my game’s ready and I’m getting to the business end of tournaments more and more, it’s good fun.

‘I did well at the Worlds, the UK, the Masters. I feel like I’ve seen all there is to see, I’ve seen every venue – apart from 9,000 people in Hong Kong – all the places you dream about playing. I’ve been there, got a bit of form at each event and going into those big ones I believe I can do it, I can see a path now. I’m enjoying it, I’m looking forward to the next few months, next few seasons, I’m in a good place.’

With six runs to ranking finals and becoming a fixture in the top 16, the questions over when Lisowski’s first title will emerge just keep on coming.

He admits that the same narrative can get annoying, but he’s not concerned about it, expecting plenty of titles in the years to come.

‘My thing is I just want to keep improving my game,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to just win one, there’s players that have won one tournament and I wouldn’t want their career, I’d much rather have mine.

‘I want to win as many as I can, I believe I’m going to win many, I just want to start that process sooner rather than later. Let’s get it. It’ll happen when it happens, but hopefully when I get one it’ll start the ball rolling for more.

‘At times this season I’ve played some of the best stuff I’ve ever played. I feel like I am the most improved player over the last year. That’s not bragging or anything, I just genuinely believe that. Where my game was and how I’ve progressed it’s amazing for me to say I’ve done that. A lot of my weaknesses I’ve improved on, if I can do that next year who knows what I’ll be like then?

‘I think a lot of criticism I get comes from a good place, they want to see me do well and believe I should be doing well. Even though it is a bit annoying that people always ask me about it, I guess it is a nice question to be asked. I feel a bit privileged to be in that position…but it is annoying.’

Jack’s work with former world champion Peter Ebdon has been credited at least partially for his impressive form over the last year and Lisowski can’t praise the Force enough for his help.

‘Peter, for me, is such a good combination,’ he said. ‘I can ask him a lot of questions about things I don’t understand, We were together in Covid but couldn’t really do much, it was only really since the World Championship he’s been able to come to tournaments with me, so it’s not even been a full season.

‘It’s so nice having him around, I can ask him anything, he really helps me. It’s a combination of listening to him, doing what he says and hard work. My game has really improved, I’ll keep doing that and see where I am this time next year. Who knows what it’ll be like.’

While Ebdon and Lisowksi might feel like they come from different eras, they played six times as professionals, including at the World and UK Championships.

Jackpot’s respect for Ebdon stems from those battles but they have since become good pals during their work together.

‘Whenever I played him we had good games,’ said Jack. ‘He beat me 10-9 in the Worlds, I had some really good scraps with him. That’s another reason I like working with him because he was so strong to play against, I thought, “wow this guy’s brilliant.”

‘We have such a laugh. A lot of people send me things about him making notes on his notepad, that cracks me up. But he’s brilliant, he’s helped me learn a lot but just enjoy my snooker more, it’s more fun.

‘I’m looking forward to keeping it going, I’ve got a lot to thank me for already but I think he’s going to get me over the line and get my first title sooner rather than later.’

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