Buying a hot tub proved money well spent for Ryan Day after landing £50,000 by winning Snooker’s Shoot Out in Milton Keynes.
Day has struggled over the past two seasons with his place on tour under threat after a wretched time at the table.
But that all turned on its head behind closed doors in Milton Keynes, with the one-frame showcase Shoot Out marking the third ranking title of his career.
The Shoot Out – played against a shot-clock in ten-minute matches – is seen as a lottery event with unpredictable results in the shorter format.
But Day didn’t do things the easy way, overcoming three-time world champions Mark Williams and Mark Selby in his last two matches to make a recent purchase worthwhile.
“We haven’t been able to go on holiday, so when the weather turned better we were spending a lot more time in the garden,” he told Eurosport.
“So on the Friday before coming to the event, we visited a place in Bridgend and purchased a hot tub that was a bit more expensive than I thought.
“This win will go a long way towards paying for that.”
The Shoot Out is a big source of fun on tour but this week’s event had rather serious ramifications for Day.
Formerly a regular member of the top 16, the Welshman’s ranking slipped to 50 earlier this month – needing something special to ensure he could keep on playing the sport he loves.
There were times where he questioned his future in the game but those fears were cast aside in emphatic style, winning seven matches across the weekend to reign supreme.
“It’s been a bit of a struggle for the past couple of years, it’s been quite barren and hopefully this is just the start of things to come,” he added.
“It’s going to take a bit of pressure off me ranking wise with the cut-off coming after the World Championships.
“If I’d had a stinker of a back-end of the season, there was potential that I could have fallen out of the top 64 and off the tour.
“You never know what this win and ranking points might bring in the future. It will certainly give me a bit of confidence.
“It’s not snooker as we know it but it’s still great to win, I’ll take a lot from it.”
But Day knows full well how much good fortune he had in the competition.
One mistake could mark the end of your time in the competition, a fate that appeared to be bestowed in the 40-year-old’s fourth match against Zhou Yuelong.
Day scraped over the line in dramatic circumstances against the Chinese cueman and didn’t look back, beating three of the top eight seeds thereon to lift the trophy in an empty Marshall Arena.
Indeed he also needed a slice of luck in the final, with Selby missing a multitude of chances before the Welshman took his with a break of 67.
He continued: “I’m made up, it’s a funny event and I’m delighted to have won it.
“If Zhou had pushed the blue safe, I’d have been out. But these are the kind of things that happen within the Shoot Out, it’s a crazy format and very difficult to win seven matches.
“But somebody has got to do it and I’m just thrilled it’s me.”
Follow the snooker season live on Eurosport and Eurosport app. https://www.eurosport.co.uk/snooker/