Online gaming operator 888 has agreed a deal to become the new title sponsor of UK snooker tournament Snooker Shoot-Out, replacing Betfair. will sponsor the event for the first time next year. The one-frame knockout event, with ten-minute frames and a shot clock, will run from January 24th to 26th at the Tower Circus Arena in Blackpool.

The world's top 64 players will all be invited to compete in the three-day event, which will receive extensive television coverage from Sky Sports. Martin Gould will defend the title which he won last season by beating Mark Allen in the final.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are thrilled to welcome on board for what has quickly become known as snooker's most exhilarating quick-fire event. Snooker is a rapidly growing sport and the exposure we can offer for the brand has led them to get involved with a range of events this season.

“The Shoot-Out will once again provide fantastic entertainment for the fans. The arena in Blackpool produces a cauldron-like atmosphere so it's all about which player can think quickly under pressure. It's a dramatic three days of snooker.”

888 senior vice president Itai Pazner added: “The 888casino Snooker Shoot-Out will join several other partnerships we have made with the popular sport recently and over the years. The fast paced format should offer an entertaining event that we hope the fans and our customers will truly enjoy.”