On the day in which a new integrity unit was announced it didn’t say much for the integrity of snooker that a player had to be persuaded by the referee to pot the last ball of a 147.

Jan Verhaas did the right thing, for the watching spectators and the game, by telling Ronnie O’Sullivan to pot the black yesterday.

O’Sullivan, who had at various times in his match against Mark King been mean, moody and magnificent, wanted to flounce off because the bonus prize for a maximum has been scrapped.

I agree with him that this is wrong. A 147 break is still a major achievement. For him to have made ten in his career is remarkable.

World Snooker claims it is too costly to insure against them but there was only one in a ranking event during the whole of last season. They remain relatively rare and should be rewarded.

But O’Sullivan’s behaviour, both in the arena and in interviews afterwards, was crass.

We live in difficult economic times. You don’t have to walk far from the SECC in Glasgow to find people for whom £4,000 would make a huge difference.

I’ve no doubt Ronnie’s many fans will spring to his defence but this was far from his finest hour.

However, the climax should not detract from the fact that the break was sensational and he played by far the best snooker and provided the headlines of what was otherwise a low key day.

In doing so, he did the game a favour. This, as ever, is Ronnie in a nutshell and this, despite what many think, is why we are lucky to have him.

Even when he is doing things that make the sport's wise old heads despair - as they did yesterday - he is still providing entertainment.

The media at large was simply not bothered about any of yesterday's other matches.

Today we have what could be the match of the round as Ali Carter tackles Mark Williams. Both these players are in form but I can’t help thinking Williams will adapt better to the short format.

Stephen Hendry can earn valuable ranking points if he beats Mark Davis to reach the last 16.

I can’t see Peter Ebdon’s match against Fergal O’Brien being a sprint but, again, Ebdon could use the points as he attempts to rejoin the elite top 16.

Here’s an interesting anomaly: Liu Song is eligible for ranking points but, with John Higgins returning to the circuit in November, will have to give up his place on the main tour by November.

So what happens if he wins the tournament?


Anonymous said...

I found O'Sullivan as always ignorant, self centred and without thought for anyone else but himself. It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of the break his tenth 147 etc. The fact of the matter is he could not be bothered to pot a final black for a 147 thus showing utter contempt for the paying public.

Forget all the great break he doesn't have to pot it rubbish, the fact of the matter is he does have an obligation to pot it as he is playing a sport he supposedly loves in front of a PAYING AUDIENCE who aren't quite as lucky as him.

If he is doesn't love the sport then get rid of the cue and go do a 9-5 job for £15K a year, and probably a job he doesn't like, again like a lot of the public. He'll soon come ruinning back to snooker for £4K for a 147.

Anonymous said...

it just shows you what i always say about him comes to the fore time and time again...

great player. joke of a man!!

Donal said...

To answer Ronnie's question:

"What's the point of making a 147 if you're only going to make £4,000?"

* The record books
* Pleasing the crows
* Sense of accomplishment
* 4,000 quid
* Why not?, you've potted the other 35 balls, is it really such a hardship to sink the black too?

Also, if he really believes it's not worth the bother, then why didn't he just give up once he got to 80? Why bother knocking in another 60 points?

I think he's very, very lucky that Jan pressured him into sinking the black. I think his last remaining fans might have turned against him if he'd walked out on a 140.

Matt said...

The main thing is that Ronnie potted the black. 147s are rare and should be rewarded more. £147,000 or even at least £10,000+ for it. 4 grand for one of the bizarre 147s ever. That's just ludirous. Carter and Williams should be a good match. Ding should beat 2002 LG Cup Semi-Finalist Michie. Lee and Bond might dwell on. Hendry could be beaten by improved Mark Davis enjoying the best spell of his career man. and Ebdon could get past O'Brien the 2001 Masters runner-up. Today should be a good day but the Campbell v Dunn lacked quality definitely

Anonymous said...

He knew before the match there was no prize for the maxi!! He was making a point publicly. Anyone with half a brain knows he was winding the WSA up. He didn't really need much talking into before he potted the black! doh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's Ronnie O'Sullivan in a nutshell isn't it, ready to march out of the arena just because he isn't gonna get 20k to add to the £5 million he's already won, yet he gets down and pots the black like there isn't any problem. Many words to describe his behaviour at times but enigmatic sums it up


Dave H said...

Watching the max again on Eurosport. It was an amazing break.

Anonymous said...

agreed dave
i cant stand the man, but hes fantastic at snooker and good to watch.

totally cringeworthy person in front of a camera though, especially if he speaks.

The Snooker Oracle said...

The positional shot in and out of baulk for the last two reds was one of the greatest maximum making shots in history.

Anonymous said...

No question, it was an amazing break, even though the balls were well spread. He was confident of the 'maxi' from ball 1! His position from black onto the penultimate red was a joy to behold.

I wonder how other referees would have reacted to Ronnie's handshake on 140?

Michaela Tabb: Would have grinned and stood there, ditzily,..hoping the Ronnster was only joking...final black would have been allowed.

John Williams: Would have disallowed the black to have been played after the handshake. 140 break and a disciplinary.

Len Ganley: Would have body-checked the Ronnster forcing him to play the shot. 147 break.

kildare cueman said...

O'Sullivan was within his rights not to pot the black. It would have been a shame, but it was his way of making a protest at the loss of what was a serious earner for him.

What concerned me more was his slapdash attitude in frame 2. The way he played the green when he lashed into it, and even the pink, when King needed a snooker, the shot was to double it back up over the yellow pocket but he chose to cut it in, almost missing it completely and sending the white around the table.

While we know it was the usual O'Sullivan implosion, had there been large bets for King at 1-0 and he'd went on to win the match(which he probably would have done if he'd won frame2), the bookies, tabloids and naysayers would have been out in their droves.

I think when he starts that type of thing, getting bored, not trying etc, then he does far more damage to snooker than he realises.

Then again, maybe he doesn't care. His money is made, he's near the end of his career and the games' future is no concern to what must be the most self centred player ever.

Cloudyman said...

I agree Dave, there should be an added prize for a 147.

I thought that stopping and asking about the prize however, was hugely dis-respectful to his opponent Mark King. Firstly, it meant that he would be sitting in the chair longer, and secondly the frame/match wasn't won, and I think that shows a lack of respect for the opponent. "I've got a 147 chance here, I'm not concerned about my opponent".
I always think, win the frame first, and then go for glory - but I guess Ronnie lives on another planet, and doesn't consider these things.

Anonymous said...

tso, youre obviously not a snooker player to any level

he had a box about 1/2 a metre by half a metre that he colud land on to be on them.

granted he got in the centre of the box, but it was a fairly big target to aim for.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous' thoughts on how other referees would've handled the situation...

I have to disagree with your opinion of Michaela Tabb. She'd have made him pot that last black, then made sure he apologised to every person in that audience one-at-a-time. You don't want to get on the wrong side of her. If you can, find the footage of American pool player Earl Strickland from the 2003 World Championship match against Steve Davis. That will show you how she can easily handle a petulant cue man.

Anonymous said...


Clearly you're not a snooker player to any level.
It wasn't where the cue ball ended up, but the route to get there that was magnificent - finding the gap between green and brown in that way was pure brilliance.
And my highest break is 17 - but that doesn't stop my appreciation of it.

Anonymous said...

Having seen the backlash, Ronnie is now claiming that what he did had nothing to do with money despite he himself saying it was to Rob Walker immediately after the match.

Strange lad.

Anonymous said...

Kildare cueman is right, O'Sullivan is the game's most self centred, ignorant player there has ever been but how many other players could nonchalantly knock in a black like that after shaking hands with King and the ref? Arrogant and magnificent.


Anonymous said...

TSO, that was a basic shot. All he had to do was get enough screw into it to make sure he didnt cannon the brown.
Secondly, there was no pressure on the break, as he didnt intend to complete it. So it wasnt that great. Sorry to burst your bubble.

John McBride said...

Any 147 break is amazing Dave.

For someone who has publicly said that he doesn't feel comfortable in the limelight & the pressure that it brings, you do wonder why he has to be so different, on so many occasions & grab headlines that do not justify his outstanding ability. He doesn't realise, does he? He's an enigma I suppose.

We have him now, lets enjoy him, all be it hard work at times.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I am a snooker player and the shot Ronnie played to get behind the last 2 reds was a brilliant shot on many levels.
The route through baulk was a good shot but the pace of the shot remarkably judged, any further he might have been on a red but not to stay on blacks.
Secondly, if the 4k for a 147 means nothing why didn't Ronnie donate it to a charity during his interview with Rob Walker afterwards.
That would have shown some class, something Ronnie for all his brilliance sadly lacks.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Ronnie defender by any means but he's the one with the talent, he's the one who potted the first 35 balls and without him there wouldn't have been a possible 36th so it's his choice whether to pot the last ball or not and nobody elses.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Couple of other points regarding O'Sullivan - 12.30pm on a Monday, no matter what the tournament has done to jazz things up - there was a huge crowd there for the 147. Let's compare to today's lunchtime crowd? 50...100 people?

Also, and I can't remember when this last happened - Sky Sports News actually gave 5 minutes to the sport with O'Sullivan's press conference.

You can't buy that publicity for the game - and O'Sullivan is the only one that gets it!

Like you say, the sport 'is lucky to have him.'

Enjoy it while it lasts...

Thanks, Joe

Anonymous said...

Good Point John.

he must crave attention to do what he did yesterday and not Shunt it as we are lead to believe.

he is a strange little pathetic man.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked about the prize money. The magic of all magic is the maximum which, to me, ranks just below winning the tournament. It is an amazing achievement and should be duly rewarded.

It is too expensive? Then first prize is too expensive as well. Let us say that 5 or 10% of the prize money is reserved for the maximum and if it doesn't happen - which is the case most times - then give the prize money back to the sponsors. Or spend it on crisps, it doesn't matter.

I thought this was a World Open mistake. If they deliberately have removed this prize from the tour they have done huge damage to snooker. It DOES take away from the achievement just like if there was no prize for winning the tournament.

Didn't Betfred have TWO £147,000 cheques when Hendry made the maximum? One for him and one for charity?

Please reduce the other prize money if that is what it takes to fund the 147 prize. Getting screwed like Ronnie did is a disgrace, regardless of his behaviour.

Anonymous said...


The screw required for the shot was indeed the easy part which you managed to stumble upon.
However, the screw aounnd 2 cushions to drop in behind the reds to land straight enough to hold for the black was different.
Have 20 goes on a lightening quick table and see if the screw to avoid the brown is the tough part mate.

Anonymous said...

With only one televised maximum on last season the insurance costs should go down in future, especially if Ronnie tries not to play the final black ball.
Maybe he was being clever to keep the insurance premium down but I doubt he has the brains to blow his hat off.

Anonymous said...

Insurance inschmurance. There is no argument not to reward this level of excellence. A maximum is every spectator's wet dream. Good for telly, good for the crowd, pure gold for the sponsors.

Anonymous said...

To make a maximum is the drawing together of all things splendid in snooker parlaunces.
Similar to the Russell Brand voicemail to Andrew Sachs but considerably more prudent.

Anonymous said...

I am not Ronnie's biggest fan but i think you guys should lay off him.

He is just making a point that the prize money for the maximum break is an absurdly low 4000 pounds. That's all! A point made not just for himself but his fellow pros.

Especially those down the ranking orders for whom making a maximum would be a rarity. But nevertheless makes one only to find a mickey mouse cash prize on offer.

I doubt he would have walked away from potting the final black anyway. Remember, its his 10th 147 which puts him one above you know who....

Dave H said...

The biggest joke of all was Jamie Burnett getting nothing for his 148

Anonymous said...

Dunno what all the hoo haa is about. Maximums are ten a penny these days and only win you one frame.

Did notice though, on facebook, about 12 of my FB friends raving about the break and the antics of O'Sullivan.
These are people with zero interest in snooker and just goes to show, that whether we like it or not, O'Sullivan IS snooker, regarding newsworthiness.

Sky, newspapers, websites, they're all O'Sullivan. What media coverage will there be if hes knocked out.
Answer, not a sausage.

John McBride said...

Re:The biggest joke of all was Jamie Burnett getting nothing for his 148

That anomaly is still out there as far as I'm aware in the World Championship.

If.....someone hit a 148 or above in the World Championship, where a maximum break was is still on offer, that someone would still receive nothing.

What would happen Dave if someone hit a 155? Probably Ronnie's next target too....?

Anonymous said...

So what? Are they going to watch the rest of the tournament?

If not, who cares what they say?

Anonymous said...

an interesting anomaly:
Liu Song...what happens if he wins the tournament?

He would be seeded #1 in next year's World Open,
whether or not he's on next year's pro tour.

jamie brannon said...

O'Sullivan was outrageous, sexy, petulant, mercenary, churlish, funny and a total genius in just fifteen minutes yesterday.

Surely, Burnett would have recieved the non-televised high break prize?

What is the head-to-head between King and O'Sullivan?

Also, do thse matches count in this regard? As they are no longer than Championship League matches, which are not counted.

Dave H said...

If you count yesterday it's 4-4

Anonymous said...

They should have an accumulator running for the maximum break prize so it builds up over time. First one to get a 147 takes the money and then start again at the next event.

Dave H said...

Like Eggheads? Very good idea.

Anonymous said...

The 147 jackpot. Interesting.

There should be something, that is for sure.

Snookerfan4711 said...

Thanks for that BLOG, love it :-) In one of the Forums I write they called him an idiot right after he made the MAX. Highly unfair.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Didn't World Snooker offer Jamie Burnett 2 tickets to game of his choice for the 148 he hit in the final round of qualifying for the UK?

He turned it down!

I think when Snooker 147's begin to happen frequently like the Darts (they are happening all the time now..) then prize money wouldn't be a issue.

But yes, O'Sullivan should've got more than the capital on offer!

Thanks, Joe

Alain (not Robidoux) said...

"Even when he is doing things that make the sport's wise old heads despair - as they did yesterday - he is still providing entertainment."

Exactly... Enjoy it while it lasts... ;-)

Anonymous said...

mention of eggheads and ronnie in the same blog?

surely it should have been di....

just kidding, honest.

CHRISK5 said...

Len Ganley wouldn't have put up
with Ronnie's nonsense - I'm loving
the clothesline/bodycheck theory
by the way !

Everybody knew (including) Ronnie,
several months ago that the max
break prizes were getting dropped.

To then criticize Hearn afterwards
was daft & stupid - I would rather have more meaningful events on the
calendar than the max prize anyday.

Ronnie can't see beyond his own nose.

Now Ali Carter has gone out the
W.O - looks like Neil Robertson
will become the 8th official
World Numero Uno,however he fares
in this event from here on in.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait till the day Ronnie calls it a day, and lets be honest it won't be long. What is there left for him to do in this great game? Snooker need's Ronnie more than Ronnie need's snooker. Who else would of filled today's column inches up in the national's if it wer'nt for Ronnie? Breaking news today in the paper's Ebdon win's in a struggle against O'Brian, blow your sock's off headlines. Love him or not, Ronnies the heatbeat of the game, yes the game will continue without Ronnie but at what cost...

Betty Logan said...

Hearn said in an interview if Ronnie hadn't potted the black he would have brought him up on a disrepute charge. Is this even possible? Lots of players don't even attempt to sink the black once they've won, the only thing different here was the context, not Ronnie's conduct.

Anonymous said...

to all of you with brown tongues

ronnie will quit snooker at some point, be it naturally in 15 years or tomorrow.

if everyone would stop mollycoddling him then maybe the rest of the gang would get a look in. no wonder lots of the players are sick of his "pooh"

Anonymous said...

chrisk the 8th official no.1 means absolutely nothing to anyone except you and your obsession with lists. Only the rankings at the cut off point matter. Why do you waste your time typing such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Some people say it is okay to drop the prize because it will be common for players to make a maximum. I doubt the average future player will be better than Ronnie and he has "only" made 10 in his long career. Think about it! It will NEVER not be special.

Wakey, wakey.

Anonymous said...

Betty at 5.50. I don't think it would be possible to have him on a charge. Once you are 8 or more ahead on the black the game is over.

With no extra prize for a max it just becomes another century.

Anonymous said...

8.50, why do you read chris5? I just skip by him. Hes like that snookerbocker. just surfs for info/stats then puts it up as his own work. They have the writing skills of a 7 year old.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the fact that Robertson is becoming only the 8th world number one is interesting.

CHRISK5 said...

For the umpteenth time,the official
rolling rankings do count & Robertson will be recongised as
World No 1 after World Open.
(if only for afew days,weeks or

Yes,the seeding list also matters,
but for only 6 of the 20 events.

Some people are unable to fathom
the new systems - but all is crystal clear to me.

Ronnie might disagree - but for the
vast majority of snooker players,
having records & lists to aim for,
gives them a sense of purpose.

Greg P said...

Can you imagine if this blog (and others) was around 10-15 years ago, and we had all the prissy and judgmental newspaper columnists we have now?

Alex Higgins would have been denied cancer treatment on grounds of "being a right bastard" and O'Sullivan would have been jailed for being "rude" to Alain Robidoux...

Greg P said...

Just to clarify Dave I meant all the commenters more than your actual blog...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone read CHRISK5 comments, once i see the name its a quick skip to the next person, i used to read them but its constant waffle, waffle,stat,stat, i know this, i know that, blah,blah ****ing blah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If anyone does read his comments is he still the same or has he changed?

Anonymous said...

anon 4.41, hes the same. I skip him as well now. I think he should be banned from the blog as he ruins an otherwise good discussion with his .

Greg P said...

Here's a question. If he hadn't potted the black would that have been better? Because surely it would have been a much bigger story?

Anonymous said...

Its all very well having an integrity unit for the players but who is going to police the people involved around the sport.
quite shocked to learn that barry hearn has bought half ownership in the snooker forum, always thought the forum was independent and owned by the fans