Snooker: Carter lines up a payday
His 6-3 win over Stephen O'Connor - a Dubliner who has not fulfilled the promise implicit in winning the World Amateur title nine years ago - here on the first day of the Liverpool Victoria UK Championship was his 15th in 16 matches.
"It was a bit scrappy. Stephen kept me on the cushion a lot," said Carter, whose highest break was 73 in the eighth frame. "I didn't mind playing in the morning because at least I could watch the football."
This 20-year-old from Tiptree stood 142nd in the rankings at the start of the season but in reaching last month's semi-finals of the Grand Prix at Preston he eliminated Stephen Hendry and Asia's best player, Marco Fu. Defeat at the hands of the world number one, John Higgins, left him with take-home pay of pounds 16,500.
Last week, he earned a place in February's Benson and Hedges Masters at Wembley by taking the pounds 5,000 first prize in a satellite event and he is sure of at least another pounds 10,000 from the moment he walks out to play Steve Davis. These are not irrelevant sums to a player yet to establish himself.
For the UK's pounds 178,000 first prize, though, consider first the usual suspects, Higgins, Hendry, Mark Williams and Ronnie O'Sullivan, snooker's fab four. On any given day, though, particularly in the best of nine, they can be vulnerable if their concentration is not focused or if one of the circuit's supporting acts has an inspired day.
This was Hendry's problem when he lost to Carter at Preston. Having cut short his practice because he felt he could not hit the ball any better, he missed, once he was in the arena, several pots at which a decent local- league player would be disappointed to fail.
In Bournemouth a year ago, Hendry was in such psychological disarray that he lost 9-0 to Marcus Campbell. His cueing had also gone slightly out of kilter and he had to summon the will to restore himself technically. This process culminated in winning his seventh World title at Sheffield last spring, surpassing the six that Davis won in the Eighties.
This fortnight he can equal Davis's six UKs and has already won six Masters to Davis's three. He will be very highly motivated to regain the edge of form which gave him the season's first two prizes in the Champions Cup and British Open.
Latest in Sport
New day (slowly) rising – As Brasileirão gets underway, Brazilian football stumbles, rather than leaps into the future
The average Serie A crowd last year was 13,000 - comparable to Australia’s A-League.
by James Young
24 May 2013 04:31 PM
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
Dylan Hartley faces anxious wait on Lions ban
The Calvin report: Stirring Champions League final shows how far English game must advance
Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 2 match report: Arjen Robben proves Mr Reliant for for Bayern
England's versatile quartet to replace old rearguard
Boxing: Revenge for Carl Froch with unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.