It's a rare sight to find a defending champion preparing by sinking a couple of pre-match pints - but the madness of snooker's BetVictor Shoot Out is all about thinking a little differently.
Back for a 12th edition at Leicester's Morningside Arena with its famous shot-clock rules, Ryan Day is excited to welcome back the crowds and try to retain his title - but he will be standing by his tradition of heading to the bar before he plays.
"I enjoy the event but I get nervous," he said. "It's probably the only time that I'd have a couple of beers to try to calm my nerves before playing. It's something I've done from the start."
"The first time I came to Blackpool (in 2011), it was completely new to everyone and I remember my heart was pounding out my chest so I had a couple of beers to take the edge off. It's something I've done ever since."
The pressure is like nothing else on the snooker tour with each match lasting a maximum of 10 minutes. The players also only have 15 seconds to make each shot in the first five minutes of the match, which reduces to 10 seconds for the climax.
Performing under pressure
Day is proud of his success 12 months ago and he's well placed to provide an insight on what it takes to get to grips with the unique 128-player event, with runs to the quarter-finals and semi-finals in previous years. He says the key to success is a quick brain.
"Some players think it's a bit gimmicky but (for me) it's a nice thing to have on my CV.
"I've had the trophy in my snooker room for 12 months and it's been a great reminder of a fantastic weekend."
"I think you need to be in a certain bracket to do well in the event. The boys that do well are quite high on the average shot time list. You need to be a quick player and have a quick mind; be able to spot the layout of the table quickly."
Even for those with a track record of doing well here, or tournament favourite Mark Selby (pictured below), the format is daunting.
"The time is against you all the time and you're always on edge," he explained. "When the clock goes down to 10 seconds you've got no time to worry about anything else other than playing the shot in the time you've got."
This event comes a unique atmosphere to match the innovative format, with the crowd encouraged to make plenty of noise and cheer on the players throughout rather than the hushed silence you'd usually associate with an evening at the snooker.
"The atmosphere depends on what time of day you play; sometimes if you're playing on the Friday or Saturday night and they've been in there all day drinking, it can be a bit a bit over the top but it's something you just deal with," said Day.
"It's like playing pool in the pub and having the jukebox on. There's constant chatter. You carry and don't really notice."
"I think a couple more tournaments could be played under more of a club type environment with background music and when people are able to talk and move around.
"It's more difficult when there's silence and then the odd noise; that's the one that gets you and puts you off. If you're in a quiet venue the whole crowd can hear if someone starts to unwrap a sweet but it's not like that here.
"If there's constant noise it's easier for players just to carry on."
The Shoot Out was one of the radical new formats introduced by snooker supremo Barry Hearn (pictured below) a decade ago. It began in 2011 and was upgraded in 2017 to the status of a ranking event, so there's a serious side to the razzmatazz of the event these days with a £50,000 top prize up for grabs for the winner.
Day said: "Every player turns up and is only one hour and 10 minutes and seven matches of snooker away from winning it. Unless you're right at the top of the game that's going to immensely help most players in the rankings list.
"You can't prepare for it; it doesn't matter who you play it's just about hoping you get a chance in the 10 minutes and taking it on that particularly day.
"You always feel the atmosphere change on the Sunday; players start to realise the prize money at stake. It's a pure lottery and more players probably think they've got a genuine chance.
"You'd have players who can get an extra two years on the tour and this allows them drop part-time jobs and dedicate full time to snooker. It could be potentially life-changing for players lower down the rankings."
Looking back on the event now it's been on the calendar for more than a decade and embedded itself on the tour, Day believes any snobbery from snooker purists has subsided and admits it's one of the events he enjoys watching most of all.
"It's 100 per cent been a great thing. I'm not a great watcher of snooker unless one of my good pals are playing or it's a big match one of the Welsh lads are involved, but the Shootout is the one thing I will watch from the Thursday afternoon right through to the Sunday evening," he said.
"It's just so tense and gripping. Each match is over so quickly and I think it's really good entertainment."
Can Day defend his title? If you think so, you can back him at 40/1 in the outrights market.