Maverick five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has admitted to sabotaging his own chance at making a maximum break of 147 because the £10,000 prize on offer was too low.
O’Sullivan grinned as he opted for the pink, rather than an achievable black, off the penultimate red ball as he coasted to a first-round victory at the Welsh Open on Monday.
The Essex cueman had appeared to ask members of the audience what the bonus would be for making the 14th maximum of his career before choosing a 146 to close out a 4-1 win over Barry Pinches.
“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,” said O’Sullivan, who has won more than £8m in career prize money.
“To make a maxi, it’s such a massive achievement and if they’re going to pay us 10 grand, I think it’s 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.”
The bonus pool for a 147 grows by £5,000 with every event that passes without a maximum break. Neil Robertson banked £44,000 for doing so in December’s UK Championship final.
O’Sullivan’s move comes days after he said he had lost a six-figure sum in a failed business venture.
The 40-year-old has enjoyed a hugely successful and at times colourful career. He played in his socks at last year’s World Championship in Sheffield before borrowing shoes from the tournament director and was fined £20,000 for abandoning a match after just four frames in 2006.