Martin Gould says his run to the final of the Bulgarian Open has given him greater belief as he looks to break into snooker’s elite.
Gould is ranked 26th in the world after winning six matches on his way to a 4-2 defeat against world number seven Shaun Murphy in Sofia.
“I beat a few household names and played some really good stuff so there are a lot of positives to take,” Gould said.
“Reaching the final of any tournament has to be good.
“I got the same flight back home as Mark Selby (world number one) and he agreed that from 2-1 I didn’t really get a chance.
“Shaun went for everything; he was really hot and sometimes that happens.”
Gould, 33, experienced the other side on his way to the final, playing some superb snooker to secure a meeting with Murphy.
But he knows it could easily have ended even better, and he feels slightly aggrieved that he had the disadvantage of not playing on the main show table in his run to the final.
“I was a little bit upset,” the Pinner potter said. “Maybe it was a bit unfair as Shaun had played so many games on the table.
“I was not used to it. It’s not an excuse – a few people said it to me. And you know that when it’s Murphy-Selby and Murphy-Jimmy White those games are always going to be on the main table so I was shipped off to an outside table.
“But Shaun knew every nook and cranny and I took me a while to adjust to the pace of the cloth and the lights, which are a lot brighter.
“It can be a factor and took a while to get adjusted to it. The cloth caught me out a couple of times, but it’s not an excuse, he played really well.”
Gould was still chuffed with his efforts in the Bulgarian capital, but his success has affected his body clock since returning home.
“I thought Monday was Sunday,” Gould added. “Normally that’s when I come home!
“But I really enjoyed it. I got there Friday, met some friends and chilled and got out of the hotel. I woke up on Saturday nice and relaxed and ready to go.”
It proved that way as he eased to impressive 4-1 wins over Ross Muir, David Grace and Jamie Jones on a busy first day.
“Against Jamie it was one of those games where everything clicks,” Gould said. “Sometimes it happens and it always seems to happen for me against him.
“He tweeted about it saying I never miss a ball against him!”
Although he did not finish his final Saturday game until just before 11pm, Gould’s Sunday best also proved too good for his next three opponents.
World number 11 Ricky Walden was then beaten 4-1 before another fine victory – this time 4-2 against world number 17 Mark Davis – saw him face another former world champion, Peter Ebdon, in the last four.
Gould explained: “Ricky started off like a train and got a hundred in the first frame but I managed to get to 1-1 and turning point was the third frame when he was 50-up and needed a red and black but let me in.
“I potted a very good blue and very good black down the rail and then had two good breaks to finish it.
“Against Mark Davis everything that could go wrong did. I had lots of bad luck, bad kicks and then I started playing really well, the luck completely turned around and I was getting all of it and took advantage.
“Pete looked quite good. He was pretty fluent not getting bogged down and was going for his shots.
“It got a bit sticky at 3-2 up and it could have gone 3-3 so I was pleased to get through after potting a very handy long red.”
Now Gould is looking forward to playing a bit more golf before resuming his practice following his exploits at the third European Tour event of the season.
“I will have a bit of a break. Sometimes after a good run, you can throw in a bad performance. So it will probably do me good to have a rest before the China International Championship (in Chengdu, beginning on October 26th).”
But one person not necessarily benefiting from Gould’s mini-break from the baize is his father Michael.
Gould explained: “Dad dropped himself in it a bit when I spoke to him as he said he had a week off work and was a loose end so I’ve got him down with me to help out with the some decorating!”