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Ronnie O’Sullivan turns down 147 break opportunity at Welsh Open snooker tournament

Colourful character: Ronnie O’Sullivan. Photo: Getty Images English snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan was a few pots away from achieving perfection in a frame of snooker on Monday. But, with a maximum break of 147 in his grasp, the sport’s most charismatic player turned down the chance to complete the coveted feat – because he felt the prize money of £10,000 ($20,220) was “too cheap”.

In the final frame of his 4-1 win over Barry Pinches during a first-round match at the Welsh Open on Monday – and on track for the 14th maximum break of his career – O’Sullivan made the bold move.

The player, nicknamed ‘The Rocket’, asked the match referee midway through his break what the bonus prize was for a 147, and appeared disappointed when told he could win up to £12,000 ($24,260) comprising of £10,000 ($20,220) for the 147 and £2000 ($4040) for the highest break of the tournament.

He also asked TV commentators in the commentary box for information.

Apparently disappointed with the information, he opted to play a simple positional shot and the pink ball off the next-to-last red instead of continuing his bid for the perfect break with the more difficult black.

The world number five then proceeded to clear up for a 146 break and a beatable marker for the tournament’s high-break prize.

O’Sullivan told BBC Wales, “I could have got on the black and possibly made a 147.”

“I knew it was 10 grand and I just thought that’s a bit too cheap really,” he said.

“To make a maxi, it’s such a massive achievement and if they’re going to pay us 10 grand, I think its worth a bit more than that.”

“Once the prize goes up a bit, I’ll go for the 147. A 146 is just as good!”

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn described O’Sullivan’s actions as “unacceptable” and “disrespectful”.

“This is not a crime, but a shame.”

“Players have a duty to the fans to deliver the best standard and entertainment they can. Anything less than playing to their best ability is unacceptable and disrespectful to the paying public.”

The incident revived memories of a frame O’Sullivan played at the World Open in Glasgow in 2010.

On that occasion, he just needed to pot the black ball to complete a 147 when he decided to end the frame, on a break of 140. But after the match, the referee pleaded with him to “do it for the fans,” so O’Sullivan returned to the table and sank the black.

There wasn’t a prize for a 147 in that tournament.

with AP

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