Why do snooker journalists love Ronnie O'Sullivan?
His press conference today should explain. Whatever anyone thinks of Ronnie, two things are indisputable: he's a genius at the table and often irresistably entertaining off it.
He's in a good mood here and we got the feeling he could have talked for days.
Here are the edited highlights of what he said:
“My potting hasn’t been that great for a few years and I had to hide behind playing a bit of safety.
“But that wasn’t ever going to work for me. I won tournaments but I came away thinking it had all been a waste of time because I didn’t enjoy it.
“OK, I’d got a trophy but I’m not in it for trophies and money, I’m in it for the love. The beauty of the game means more to me.
“I’ve been working for that. The characters in snooker can be intense and you can catch it off them. It’s like a lurgy that goes round if you hang about with them too much.
“You get cloned. You become them without knowing it. I have to be careful that it doesn’t happen because I don’t want to be like that.
“I want to be Billy the Kid. I love the rawness of this game and that’s how I want to play.”
A year ago, O’Sullivan said he was so bored with snooker that he’d rather be at home gardening than take on John Higgins in the Grand Prix final at Preston.
But he rediscovered his enthusiasm after travelling to America in the summer to play on a new big money pool circuit.
He said: “What I learned from the pool was how to enjoy playing and I’ve taken that philosophy to my snooker.
“You can get intense about things and copy what other people do. I’ve gone back to my roots and experimenting a bit.
“I won’t stop being aggressive. For me, to be great at your sport you need to be like that.
“If you look at all the greats – Steve Davis, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher, Phil Taylor – they’re all aggressive. They know how to play a defensive game and so do I but I don’t intend on having many matches like that.
“When I was 16 playing qualifiers at Blackpool I was going through them all with effortless ease and that’s how I need to play.
“I can do that. I can win without feeling like I’ve had to work for it. That’s how I like to play.”