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Northern Ireland Open champion Mark Allen returns to the Waterfront Arena to defend his title in front of what’s sure to be a noisy home crowd.

His final victory against John Higgins was one he won’t forget easily, and prior to the 2022 edition, he spoke to the World Snooker Tour to share his hopes ahead of this year’s tournament.

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I can’t wait! Going there on the back of winning last year should take a bit of pressure off. You know yourself; I’ve not handled it too well in the past, but as the years have gone by, I’ve felt more comfortable, and last year was the ultimate for me.

Even if I would’ve lost, I would still say it was the best atmosphere I’ve experienced and one I’ll never forget. It was a really proud moment for me coming from Northern Ireland, and to do it in front of my own fans was great.

Even though the crowd were noisy, I thought they were really fair. John had more than his share of support, and I think they were both very respectful.

The noise that went round after I potted the brown to win was something I’ll never forget. I gave me goosebumps, and I couldn’t really settle to play the blue after it.

It was an amazing moment.

To do it in front of my home crowd and coming from behind against one of the all-time greats means I’ll put that as my top moment in snooker so far.

The Northern Ireland Open starts on October 16th, and ahead of the action, sign up with BetVictor and you’ll get £40 in Bonuses to use on Snooker or any other sport when you bet £10.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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