'Nothing compared to that night' - Masters victory left Allen feeling flat
Masters champion Mark Allen admits the joy of landing his first major title at Alexandra Palace left him feeling flat at subsequent tournaments, saying: "Nothing compared to that Sunday night in London."
Allen beat Kyren Wilson in January for his maiden victory at a 'Triple Crown' event, having lost to Judd Trump in his only previous appearance in a major final - at the UK Championship in 2011.
However, the Northern Irishman has struggled to string together a run of form since then, failing to make it beyond the third round at any event between the Masters and World Championship, where he will begin his campaign against qualifier Liam Highfield on Sunday.
Allen concedes the hangover from his Masters triumph had a lasting impact on his results, but says he sought the advice of other professionals, including 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, in a bid to resolve the issue.
"Since the Masters has been hard," Allen told Omnisport. "I've had a bad run.
"I felt for the month or six weeks afterwards I was going into matches really flat. Nothing compared to that Sunday night in London.
"I spoke to Shaun about that and he said it was fully expected, that he went through the same thing.
"It didn't really help me but it was comforting to know that it wasn't just me that went through that.
"But it wasn't like I was playing badly, I was just getting on the wrong end of results.
"There's obviously more expectation being Masters champion, but that's never really bothered me because I'm always putting pressure on myself to do well.
"Hopefully I can put it all right here this week. It would turn an okay season into a great one if I could do really well here."
Allen does accept that the experience of having finished the job at a major tournament makes him better mentally prepared for a tilt at a first world title at the Crucible Theatre over the next fortnight.
"We're all human at the end of the day, so you'll always have those little demons in your head asking 'can I get over the line?'," he added.
"Now I know I've done it on one of the biggest stages, so there's no reason why I can't do it again.
"I'm ready. I feel like I've put the work in and I'm just looking forward to playing."