Hustle or Crucible?

Ronnie also spoke yesterday with Desmond Kane (Eurosport) and hinted that he could – possibly – miss the World Championship 2018.

So here is the article:

Ronnie O’Sullivan threatens to miss World Championship for reality TV

Desmond Kane

Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he could forfeit the chance to bid for a sixth World Championship due to his business interests off the table.

O’Sullivan has said he could be filming a second series of reality TV programme Hustle in Australia – where he plays pool against local players – when the sport’s biggest tournament begins on April 21 in Sheffield.

He has not missed a World Championship since his first appearance as a teenager at the event in 1993.

“Eurosport events are a priority for me,” said O’Sullivan after his emphatic 4-0 victory over world number 113 Duane Jones at the Northern Ireland Open. “The China events are a priority for me because of my commitment to sponsors.

“If I wasn’t to play in this year’s World Championships, or play in the UK. Or play in any of those tournaments like the German Masters, don’t be surprised. Because I know I can’t play every week.

“For me, I don’t need another UK, another world or another Masters. If my agent thinks it is right for me to go, I’ll go.

” It is a toss up whether I’ll do another Hustle or play in the World Championship in May. I can’t do both. “

“If I do another Hustle, I can’t really play in the World Championship.”

O’Sullivan is the sport’s leading money winner this season having won the English Open in Barnsley and the Shanghai Masters on Saturday. He has also lost finals at the Hong Kong Masters and the Champion of Champions.

“It is good that I’m doing well now because then it doesn’t really matter about the World Championships,” said O’Sullivan. “We’ll just have to wait and see. It is nice to have a safety net.

“I have to prioritise the events I play in. I want to do another Hustle because that is something away from snooker that I can do. There are no restrictions there.

“It is about getting the balance right. 17 days at Sheffield is okay if you win it, but if you don’t win it is a waste of time.

“For me, it is just about managing my time and my diary. I don’t think it is going to be possible to do the show and the World Championships because I have a few things I want to do at the end of May.

“I’ve got some other stuff to do in early June in China. I have a really great relationship with the people in China. It is more important that I put Hustle and that first.”

O’Sullivan has hinted that he would be open to sitting down and listening to a sponsor if there is the incentive of appearance money, a principle World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has publicly rejected.

“For me, the World Championship is just another tournament. It is about doing what is right for Ronnie, not just being too focused on titles. That is the old me,” said O’Sullivan.

“If the terms are right and we can agree to certain stuff, there should be a way round it. If not, then Hustle is something that is on the table. Everyone enjoyed the last one in America. “

“There is loads of people who want me to do another one in Australia; I have to look beyond snooker. For me, this is just a shop window. It is tournaments rather than doing I’m A Celebrity. It is just keeping playing and having fun.

“I know people want to see my playing snooker, but there are other things I like to do away from snooker. Those are the reasons I’m happy today so why would I turn my back on something that has made me happy?

“If people can get round the table and come to some common sense..but it is difficult sometimes to come to that middle ground. You have to make some tough decisions.

“I probably have to give them six or seven weeks notice before they begin doing their research in Australia. They go out there and pick spots and places to go. Once the wheels in motion, you can’t let them down. Otherwise there won’t be another series of Hustle.

“Once I commit to it, I have to commit to it. If people want me there, they’ll get round the table sooner rather than later because it is never nice to leave it to the last minute.

“It is not just money, there are certain other things. My agent will sit down with me, and we’ll make the decision.”

O’Sullivan thumped Jones in a very one-sided encounter to reach the third round of the tournament and a last-32 meeting with Elliot Slessor on Thursday.

Obviously, as a fan, I want to see Ronnie play at the Crucible and it certainly wouldn’t be the same without him. But, at the end of the day, he’s nearly 42, it’s his life, his career, his future … and his happiness, therefore it’s his decision and his only. I still really hope things get sorted and that somehow he can do both.

And I don’t like the word “threatens”, he’s not threatening anyone.



10 thoughts on “Hustle or Crucible?

  1. I’ve loved Hustle in America, I like Australia and I think Hustle in Australia will be so good. Let Ronnie make a decision himself, that’s his right. World Champ is very long and very tough. Australia is better.

      • I don’t know, Monique, I think that even people who are rich, powerful and famous have responsibility. they get the money and the love, we get the show. I don’t think it’s too bad to be Ronnie O’Sullivan. playing snooker is his job, he says that all the time. so, entering the World Championship is like the least he can do for his fans. if he cancels, it will be hard to defend

      • Then we have to agree to disagree Adam. Maybe because I’m an older person, I’m very conscious that we have only this life, and it’s short enough. There is no point to make oneself miserable just to comply to others demands and desires. The players contract doesn’t specify that players have to play in any specific event, and, at the end of the day, players are self-employed and responsible to manage their own career, and prepare for the time their career is over. Money in snooker is not at the level of sports like tennis or football, or formula 1. You can’t expect to live for the rest of your life on what you earned playing snooker. I’d say that Ronnie’s responsibility towards his family, the future of his kids, is more important, and should be more important, than the demands of the fans.

  2. It was a surprise to hear Ronnie say that he might skip the UK and WC, though I suppose it shouldn’t have been given his past and the fact that he’s having to play all of the Home Nations events this year plus several events in China. I’ve been getting excited about the prospect of Ronnie winning 1 or more of the Triple Crown events this year given how well he’s been playing, so it would be a bit of a bummer if he didn’t even play. At the very least, I’m sure he’ll show up for the Masters…

    There’s one thing I don’t quite understand. On one hand, Ronnie is consistent in saying that he doesn’t organize his snooker schedule around making money, which I’m inclined to believe. But on the other hand, he gives the impression that his schedule is completely determined by his agent, who decides whether Ronnie will play in an event or not based on whether the agent can secure a good enough financial deal for Ronnie from the tournament sponsor. That makes it seem as if it’s all about the money (though perhaps it’s just an issue of “fairness” from Ronnie’s perspective…?)

    • PS: Perhaps Ronnie’s early loss today in Belfast will help him catch up on his rest and make him more likely to play in the UK next week…

    • Well Ronnie has entered the UK and the draw is out, so I would be surprised if he doesn’t play in it.Wether he will be rested enough to do well in it remains to be seen. He looked really tired the last couple of matches. As for this agent thing, I don’t know what kind of contract he has with this person or company.

  3. In my opinion Ronnie can make the Hustle in another period of the next year. After the World Championship there a lot of time – 3-4 months – to go to Australia. The WC ist the biggest tournament of the year. Obviously whether Ronnie don’t care about than he can do what he wants. For me he shouldn’t delegate the decision to his agent. He has to make this choice alone. Also for the first time in the last years he has a very positive ranking, so he will avoid the big players on the first stages of the WC. And the form he’s showing these days tell us that he can really perform well in Sheffield. I hope that Ronnie will change his mind and that at the end he will play at the Crucible. Without Ronnie the WC would be quite poor.

    • When the Hustle has to be done probably isn’t in his hands. It’s the promotor of the documentary that will decide. The filming team has to be available and they probably have a precise idea as to when they want to broadcast it, if they do it. The American Hustle was fimed in July to be shown in January the next year. These things need time and planning.

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