Mark Selby is feeling confident as he prepares to defend his UK Championship title at York's Barbican Centre.
The 30-year-old beat Shaun Murphy 10-6 in last year's final to secure the biggest victory of his career so far.
This year's tournament starts on Tuesday but Leicester's Selby is not in action until Saturday, when he faces 15-year-old amateur Shane Castle.
He said: "I feel in great shape. That's in stark contrast to how I've been for most of this season."
Selby lost to Stuart Bingham in the semi-finals of the inaugural Champion of Champions, the last tournament before the UK Championship.
"It's always nice to beat Ronnie, but what pleased me most was the way I beat him. I won it playing good, attacking snooker - I beat him at his own game," he said.
"If you can't get confidence from that, what can you get confidence from?"
Despite reaching three finals this year, finishing runner-up in the Asian Tour 1 and European Tour 2 events, Selby feels he is not in the best of form.
He said: "I've not been playing diabolical snooker this season, I've just not been winning. And the more you don't win, the more it plays on your mind, certainly in my case anyway."