Mark Allen has revealed how he didn’t feel he deserved to be in the Champion of Champions tournament before going on to win the trophy.
The Northern Ireland potter beat Neil Robertson 10-6 to win his first major trophy in almost two years – his last title coming in the 2018 Scottish Open.
But Allen was only picked for the annual ITV event due to his high world ranking position as (due to Judd Trump’s dominance) there were not enough tournament champions from last season to enter via the traditional method.
However, former Masters champion Allen made the most of his good fortune and produced brilliant displays against Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Robertson to win the trophy and a whopper cheque for £150,000.
Allen said: “I did what Stephen Maguire did at the Tour Championship; I didn’t feel I deserved to be here but I took full advantage by going on to win.
“I could have been beaten first round against Scott Donaldson, I was a few balls away from losing that match 4-2.
“Beating the World No.1, 2 and 3 in succession to win a big tournament like this, it’s what we play for.
“A few splits here and there and that could have been a lot closer, because Neil didn’t look like missing when he was in.
“My safety was pretty good all day and I feel like I played pretty well.”
Allen also shed light on how difficult it is to win major tournaments these days due to high standard of players.
He added: “Guys like Neil (Robertson), Ronnie (O’Sullivan), Judd (Trump) and (Mark) Selby, they make winning look easy and it’s not.
“I work really, really hard on the practice table and if I can pick up a tournament or two every season or every other season, I feel like I am doing well because the standard is that good.”