New York New York

Ronnie is in New York, filming a pool documentary … and taking and sharing some pictures. He clearly loves the place.


Speaking of pictures,

Ronnie is now on Instagram: his username is ronnieo146.

The name ronnieo147 was already taken and that account is a fake.

I already warned people countless times before about this account being fake, in vain. Now Ronnie has asked on his facebook to raise awareness and share the info.

America America …

Ronnie is in America, with his partner, Laila Rouass and his close friend, pool player Raj Hundal. Ronnie and Raj go a long way back: they both played on the pool circuit in the US, in 2005/2006, when Ronnie decided to give pool a go …

Some of us will remember this epic piece of news 

Rocket in a stew

Nov 20 2005

Peter Shuttleworth, Wales on Sunday

RONNIE O’Sullivan’s recipe for snooker success is simple – just add carrots.

Arguably the most naturally gifted player of all time, Ronnie insists he has no intention of ditching the game he loves – despite suggestions to the contrary.

He wants to be remembered as the finest ever player to grace the green baize, but in order for the mercurial world No 1 to pacify his tortured soul, change could be as good as a rest.

So in order to get his potting passion bubbling again, ‘The Rocket’ is prepared to make a splash on the eight-ball pool circuit across the pond in the US. As a philosophical O’Sullivan puts it: “Sometimes if you just eat potatoes you become sick of potatoes.

“You can boil them, make chips or have a jacket potato but after a while you want something a little different. “Maybe you want to put a few carrots in the pot, some celery or a swede and add a bit of salt and pepper and it becomes a nice bit of stew. And I like stew.

“So snooker is my potato and pool is my carrots.

“It’s like anything. It’s nice to have a few things boiling in the pot, it gives it a bit more flavour and a bit more spice and variety.

“I like to enrich myself by having a variety of things on the boil otherwise things become too predictable.”

Move aside Plato, or should that be Gordon Ramsay!

O’Sullivan adds: “Pool is something new for me and it’s kind of a trial period.

“I’m not taking Pool too seriously but I want to play in a competition now to suss out the opposition and see how much I’d have to improve.

“It’s all about getting the blend right.

“People automatically assume the transition from snooker to pool is easy because the pockets are bigger but that’s nonsense.

“It’s tougher than it looks and if you’ve any aspirations of doing well then dedication, effort and time is needed because the game deserves respect.”

Snooker is still gripped by the collective fear that the game is close to losing its great entertainer, its flawed genius, its iconic figure in the wake of O’Sullivan admitting his ‘disillusionment’ with the sport.

But the two-time World Champion admits a string of perplexing public utterances, including ‘I can’t take much more of this’ and ‘I probably won’t play next year’, are often made in the ‘heat of battle’ and should be taken with a pinch of his favourite condiment.

“Getting p***ed off is part and parcel of sport,” he explains, with perhaps a little less eloquence.

“It’s all about riding the wave and being patient.

“A team sport is easier when you’re unhappy because you can hide but in individual sports, sportsmen’s vulnerabilities are all the more striking. And I’m just a human being who is not always as cool and relaxed as people think.

“Sometimes people hold you to things you say when it is said in the heat of the moment,” said O’Sullivan.

“But everyone forgets the 50 positive things you say about the game.

“I want to win many more titles and I want to stay world No 1 for a long time – is that the wish of someone who is fed up with the game?

“The measure of a great player is how many titles you win. Stephen Hendry has won seven World Championships, 36 titles and has been in the top two in the world for more-or-less 15 years and that’s an amazing achievement.

“If I achieve half of what Hendry has I’ll be satisfied, and to remain in the top eight for the next ten years will be an achievement.

“I want to be classed as an all-time great when I eventually retire.

“Whether I’m one of the great snooker players of all-time is for other people to judge. If at the end of my career, some old pros debate the best players and I was in the top four or five I’d be happy.

“It depends whether judges put results ahead of style and entertainment. Sometimes it’s hard to be successful and entertaining. I’m a naturally attacking player so people like watching me play for entertainment value.

“I don’t want to change my style of play as I haven’t done bad thus far but what drives me now is to beat Hendry’s record so there’s no question about my all-time status.”

The Rocket has come of age in terms of tournament victories as his five major title victories last season – not including his fourth BetFred Premier League crown – ensures O’Sullivan hit 18 and is the third most successful player on tour behind Hendry and Steve Davis.

The Essex showman is the youngest player ever to win a ranking tournament, the 1993 UK Championship aged 17, while his two Crucible successes were in 2001 and 2003.

O’Sullivan has fired six maximum 147 breaks including the five fastest on record and is just as comfortable with the left hand as he is with the right. He’s got the lot. Double Welsh Open champion Ronnie is back in Wales this week for the last leg of the Premier League snooker event at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, before next month’s play-offs. O’Sullivan has already qualified for the finals in Manchester but he wants to pour some more cash into the coffers.

“I’ll keep on my snooker journey as long I keep winning,” said O’Sullivan. “But the difficult thing is when I’ve stopped winning, I might still feel I’m capable of winning tournaments.

“When you’re used to winning, you always believe you can win titles. That’s why many sportsmen go beyond their best years as they win off memory, they still believe they are capable of winning a title.

“I suppose you could put Steve Davis in that column. He knows if he hits top form he can win a title, it’s just a case of being consistent.”

O’Sullivan may be planning his 30th birthday bash but he’s still a child at heart and loves being centre of attention, a fact endorsed by my first audience with him at this year’s Wales Open.

I spoke to O’Sullivan as he sat eating a ham sandwich, with mouth wide open, in the middle of the press room.

And there’s no indication that the habitual fidget, who hops up and down in his seat like an excited school kid, growing up. “Age is just a number,” he says.

“I know many 60-year-olds who act like teenagers and teenagers who act like 60-year-olds.

“I’ve a young soul and all I want to do is enjoy myself.”

O’Sullivan clearly follows his Welsh coach and mentor Ray Reardon as he said of the six-times World Champ: “He’s 73 going on 23! Ray’s not just a world-class player but he’s a worldly guy.

“Forget sports psychologists, I’d rather spend a bit of time with Ray. “He keeps it simple and that’s what most things are about. It’s like Gordon Ramsay having a chat with Jamie Oliver. They have food in common while Ray and I both love snooker.”

it may be more than 10 years old, it still makes me smile …

Anyway, Ronnie tweeted this today:

In New York now so lots of posts and tweets about what I’m doing here with my American pool trip

Whilst Laila and Raj posted these pictures

Ronnie had hinted at that trip in one of his Eurosport blogs with Desmond Kane.

So we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

Ronnie didn’t travel unprepared … he practised “One Pocket” pool with Raj before heading to America and apparently loved the experience, as he tweeted:

Playing some one pocket it’s a great game

OnePocket1

This one pocket is the best game I’ve played in years. Think it would go down well with cue sport fans

OnePocket2

 

à suivre …

Whodunit?

I had heard about this a couple of months ago but now it’s out in the press …

Snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan pens ‘gritty’ crime novel

Published July 6, 2016 by Katherine Cowdrey

Snooker genius Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan is publishing a “grittily authentic” crime novel with Orion. 

O’Sullivan, 40, is a five-time world snooker champion and in May received an OBE at Buckingham Palace. He is also Eurosport’s global snooker ambassador.

His upcoming thriller, Framed, is set in the “dog-eat-dog underworld of 1980s Soho” and is about “a young man with a lot on his shoulders”, called Frankie James. 

Said to draw on O’Sullivan’s own compelling life story, the book tells the tale of James, whose parent aren’t around after his mother disappeared when he was 15 and his father is in jail for armed robbery. James owes rent on a snooker club in Soho he’d inherited to one of London’s toughest gangsters. Worse, he swore to his mother that he’d look after his younger, “wilder” brother, Jack. So when Jack goes to prison after turning up at the club early one morning with blood on his hands, Frankie must do all he can to help his brother avoid conviction: he needs to find out who framed Jack and why. The task will mean “entering the sordid world of bent coppers, ruthless mobsters and twisted killers he’s tried all his life to avoid getting sucked into”.

O’Sullivan’s own parents both went to prison – his father was convicted of the murder of a driver of the Kray twins’ brother Charlie, for which he was given a life sentence, and his mother went away for tax evasion – leaving him to take care of his younger sister.

The book will be O’Sullivan’s first crime novel, after publishing his autobiography, Running, with Orion in 2014. 

Framed is due to be published in hardback on 17th November, priced £16.99. 

Now I’m curious …

Meet Daniela, artist.

Yesterday artist Daniela Reich published this great pencil portrait of Ronnie, on twitter.

DanielaReichRonnie

If you don’t know Daniela, here is an article written by Hector Nunns (inside-snooker) before the World Championship.

ARTIST DANIELA IS ALWAYS IN THE FRAME

Hector Nunns April 4, 2016

daniela_moto

Always fancied a portrait of your favourite player, or something for the club walls beyond a bog-standard photo? Then salvation may be at hand in the form of Austrian artist Daniela Reich.

Snooker has been fortunate over the years to have had a number of talented painters and caricaturists – not to mention pro David Grace – take an interest in the sport and its leading names.

And another enjoying a growing reputation and profile within the sport is 31-year-old Daniela from the town of Altheim, who produces high-quality pencil portraits.

MarkSelby

Mark Selby

A quick browse through Daniela’s web site, www.reichdaniela.com in German and English, and you will find an eclectic mix of pictures of snooker players, her friends and family, movie stars and the Downton Abbey cast.

HughBonneville

Hugh Bonneville

But as she looks forward to the World Championship at the Crucible, why the particular love of snooker?

Daniela says: “I first got interested in snooker during the World Championship 2012. My granny had been a huge snooker fan for years and I began to see it was a very fascinating game.

JuddTrump

Judd Trump

“She explained to me some of the rules and I watched the rest of the WC at home. I fell in love with snooker right from the start and I have been hooked since then!

“In 2013 I attended the Paul Hunter Classic in Fürth, for the first time seeing it live and really enjoyed the atmosphere and meeting some players.

“Since then I go up to Fürth, which is about three hours away from where I live, every year and I’m looking forward to it all year round. It’s great watching the snooker, chatting to and getting some pictures with the players, and meeting other snooker fans.

“John Higgins is definitely my favourite player, I’m also a huge fan of Joe Swail, Alan McManus, Martin Gould and Ali Carter.

“Some snooker players bought a drawing but they asked me not to make it public. I did a drawing of little Finley, the son of Kyren Wilson, I was very happy about this commission.

KyrenWilson

Kyren Wilson

“I also got a commission from Allan Taylor for doing a drawing of his late friend and coach Vic Harris, which was really an honour for me.

“It’s difficult to choose a favourite drawing, but it has to be one of the recent ones, as over the last year there was quite some development in my drawing style; my latest drawings have got even more realistic.

“My favourite snooker drawing is the one of Paul Hunter I’d say, apart from that I did a drawing of Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, I really like that one, too.

PaulHunter

Paul Hunter

“If I post drawings of players on Twitter I get reactions from most of them, they often like and retweet the drawing, some tweet me back, saying thanks, telling me they really appreciate it.

“Some even use the pictures of the drawings as profile pics. It’s nice and I’m always happy if players are recognizing my work!”

RonnieO'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Daniela has had other jobs, having worked in an office and as a personal assistant. But with the orders coming in thick and fast, her passion became a full-time career rather than just a sideline.

She adds: “I did my first pencil portrait in school when I was about 14 and my teacher was pretty surprised how good it was.

“When I was 16 I started doing some drawings at home, still lifes and moved on to drawing portraits of my favourite actors and musicians.

“Soon my parents thought that I might have some talent. They encouraged me and bought me some proper pencils and drawing paper. Until then I used only one single pencil on copy paper.

“When I was about 20 I did drawings of my grandparents as gift and they all loved my drawings. As I got older I lost interest in drawing a bit and other things got more important.

Stephen Hendry

Stephen Hendry

“That was until 2014 when I drew some snooker players and posted them on Twitter. The snooker community seemed to like them from the start and I started doing it seriously as a freelance.

“Business was pretty good right from the start and since then it’s my main job. I’m really happy I could turn my passion into profession and if the order situation continues to flourish I really can make a living from it. It would be great if I could also do prints of my portraits.

“Portraits are definitely my favourite. I did some still lifes and landscapes, they were nothing special.

AlexHiggins

Alex Higgins

“All my drawings are done with art pencils; I also tried charcoal pencils but they didn’t work for me. I use pencils in five different strengths, paper stumps, brushes and art erasers.

“The drawings are made on a very smooth Bristol paper now. After sketching the features I work out the details step by step, then shading and highlighting. Each drawing takes me about six to eight hours.”

StuartBingham

Stuart Bingham

Much as I love spending time with the snooker-playing fraternity, sadly I must confess I didn’t want any of their mugs on the wall at home.

But appreciative of Daniela’s work and coincidentally on the lookout for something along these lines I commissioned three portraits of my wife and two daughters (no need for one of me spoiling it!)

They are superb, just what I wanted, and will have pride of place in the hall in the house.

Further details and prices at www.reichdaniela.com