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Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O'Sullivan

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Ronald Antonio "Ronnie" O'Sullivan (born 5 December 1975 in Wordsley
Wordsley
Wordsley with Buckpool is a village south of Kingswinford although is the most northern suburb of Stourbridge in the West Midlands, England. Wordsley still retains its rural character because it abuts open countryside...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

), is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 professional snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

 player known for his rapid playing style and nicknamed "The Rocket". He has been World Champion on three occasions (2001, 2004 and 2008), and is second on the all-time prize-money list, with career earnings of over £6 million, behind only Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

. O'Sullivan has been the world's no. 1 player on five occasions, has won a total of 22 ranking titles, and is second, again behind Hendry, on the list of competitive century breaks with 650. O'Sullivan has compiled a record 11 maximum breaks in professional competition.

O'Sullivan is considered by many fans, critics and fellow professionals, including Hendry and Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

, as the most naturally talented player in the history of the game
History of snooker
The game of snooker is a cue sport which emerged in its modern form in the late 19th century, with roots going back to the 16th century form of English billiards. Billiards was popular among the British Armed Forces stationed in India. As billiards was only a two player game, new games such as life...

. He has also been involved in a number of controversial incidents during his career.

Early career


O'Sullivan grew up, and still lives, in the exclusive Manor Road area in Chigwell
Chigwell
Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles north east of Charing Cross. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London area code.-Etymology:According to P. H...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. He attended Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School , formerly Wanstead County High School, is a co-educational, non-denominational, comprehensive high school in Wanstead, London, United Kingdom.-Admissions:...

. He began his snooker career at an early age, first achieving a break at the age of 10 (making 117). He scored a maximum break at 15, and turned professional at 16. He won his first 38 ranking matches as a professional – a record that still stands – on his way to the 1993 World Championship, where he is the second youngest-ever player to qualify. He lost in the first round 7–10 to Alan McManus
Alan McManus
Alan McManus is a Scottish professional snooker player, known for his tactical play and safety shots, giving rise to his nickname "Angles" McManus.-Career:...

, and in the following season he was ranked 57. He became the youngest-ever winner of a ranking
Snooker world rankings
The snooker world rankings are the official system of ranking professional snooker players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments on the World Snooker Tour. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association...

 tournament when, aged 17, he won the 1993 UK Championship, beating Stephen Hendry in the final, and starting one of the most prominent rivalries in the sport. In 1995, he won his first Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 title.

In the 1996 World Championship, snooker's governing body found him guilty of assaulting Mike Ganley, a media official. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and a £20,000 fine, and advised to donate £10,000 to charity. On 21 April 1997, in the first round of the World Championship against Mick Price
Mick Price (snooker player)
Michael "Mick" Price is a retired English professional snooker player. He turned professional in 1988 and is best known for being Ronnie O'Sullivan's opponent when O'Sullivan scored the fastest 147 break in the game's history, at the 1997 World Championship. O'Sullivan eventually won the match by...

, he made the fastest maximum break, completed in 5 minutes and 20 seconds – an average of one shot every 8.8 seconds. In November, he won his second UK title, beating Hendry 10–6 in the final.

After winning the 1998 Irish Masters 9–3 against Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty is an Irish professional snooker player. He is the only player ever to have been world amateur and world professional champion...

, he was stripped of his title and disqualified after a drug test found cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 in his system. The title then went to Doherty. O'Sullivan made it to the semi–finals of the 1999 World Championship, but lost 13–17 to Stephen Hendry. The last four frames of the third session featured four successive centuries: two from Hendry and two from O'Sullivan. Following his solid performance during the previous year, O'Sullivan's promising campaign in the 1999/2000 season
Snooker season 1999/2000
The snooker season 1999/2000 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1999 and 2000. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

 (during which he won three ranking titles) ended in disappointment. He was a favourite for the 2000 world title, especially after an unexpected loss by Hendry to Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round, but O'Sullivan was also eliminated in the first round by David Gray, who struggled back from 1–5 and 7–9 down to edge out O'Sullivan 10–9 for a place in the second round. In that match, O'Sullivan made five centuries, three in consecutive frames. In 2001, O'Sullivan claimed his first World Championship title (which he dedicated to his father), with an 18–14 victory over Higgins, and his third UK title, with a 10–1 victory over Doherty. He began the 2002/2003 season
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

 ranked number 1.

After the first world title


In 2002 at the World Championship Hendry and O'Sullivan were set to meet in the semi–finals, O'Sullivan having edged out Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee is a professional snooker-player from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, whose smooth cue action is regarded by some pundits as the most natural in the game. He has won four ranking titles, and spent 10 seasons in the Top 16 of the world rankings before dropping out for the snooker...

 in his quarter-final match, 13–10, and Hendry having won his quarter-final match against Doherty. At a pre-match interview, O'Sullivan said, referring to a previous match against Hendry in 1999, "I know if I do get beat, and he comes up and does a moonie in front of me and goes 'Ne ne ne', I'll just look at him and say 'well done', and say 'go back to your sad little life'." In the match, O'Sullivan had the better of the first day's play, opening up an 8–5 lead; but on the second day, Hendry rallied to reach 12–12 before going into the final session. Hendry subsequently outplayed O'Sullivan and won by 17 frames to 13. After the match, O'Sullivan accused Hendry of poor sportsmanship, referring to his conduct over a "miss" shot at an unnamed prior tournament. Hendry did not comment on his opponent's outburst, although O'Sullivan did receive some criticism for his remarks from Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and Clive Everton
Clive Everton
Clive Everton , is a Welsh veteran BBC snooker commentator, journalist and author. He began his BBC career on the radio, but has been commentating on the television from the 1978 World Championship through to the present...

. O'Sullivan later apologised to Hendry for his comments.

Another successful season followed in 2002/2003
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

, with O'Sullivan reaching the last 16 of seven ranking tournaments, and winning the Scottish Masters, the European Open
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

 and Irish Masters, defeating Higgins in the Scottish and Irish finals, and Hendry in the European, and starting the 2003 World Championship as runaway favourite. O'Sullivan's season ended on a disappointing note, however, when he was knocked out in the first round for the third time in his career, losing 6–10 to the unseeded Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

, despite making four century breaks, including another maximum break, in the match. This defeat saw him drop to number 3
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2004/2005 season are listed below. This was Chris Small's only top 16 season, and Paul Hunter's only appearance in the top 4.-References:...

 in the rankings.

In 2004, O'Sullivan's father telephoned 1970s six-time World Champion Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon, MBE is a retired Welsh snooker player. He dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning six World Championships in that decade...

, and asked if he could give O'Sullivan some advice. With Reardon's backing, O'Sullivan recovered his form and claimed the World Championship, beating Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 very convincingly in the final, by 18 frames to 8. He lost the first five frames of the match, however, which he attributed to his opponent's (and O'Sullivan's former) coach's mind games – entering O'Sullivan's dressing room minutes before the match. He also beat Hendry 17–4 in the semi–final – the most one-sided defeat ever in a World Championship semi–final. O'Sullivan was ranked number one for the next two seasons.

2004/2005


O'Sullivan next won the season's Masters and Welsh Open titles. However, he missed the China Open
2005 China Open (snooker)
The 2005 China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 26 March–3 April 2005 at the Chaoyang Sports Centre in Beijing, China...

 on medical grounds; this was criticised by Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

, who said that O'Sullivan has a duty to promote the sport.

In the World Championship, O'Sullivan lost to Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter-final. From 2–8 down, Ebdon began a comeback and eventually won 13–11, by playing in an exceptionally determined and dogged style, with many observers accusing him of deliberate slow play to disrupt O'Sullivan's fast game. After the match, O'Sullivan indicated to the press that he was unlikely to compete in the following season, and perhaps even would retire from the sport altogether. However, in September 2005, he announced that he would play a truncated 2005/2006 season and spend some time playing eight-ball in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after being chosen to compete on the elite International Pool Tour
International Pool Tour
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool to the level of other modern sports. Closely modeled on the PGA Tour, the IPT offered the largest prize funds in pool history in its first year. The tour...

. It turned out, however, that the IPT pool tournament in which O'Sullivan was to make his début clashed with the defence of his Premier League Snooker title. Plans were changed accordingly, and O'Sullivan went on to beat Hendry 6–0 with four century breaks.

2005/2006


After a comprehensive 2–9 loss to John Higgins in the final of the Grand Prix
2005 Grand Prix (snooker)
The 2005 Grand Prix professional ranking snooker tournament was held between 8 and 16 October 2005, at the Guild Hall, Preston, England.John Higgins won in the final 9-2 against Ronnie O'Sullivan. In the final, Higgins set two records...

, O'Sullivan reached the final of the Masters, only to lose again 9–10 to Higgins. In his first-round match with Mark King
Mark King (snooker player)
Mark King is an English professional snooker player. He has not yet won a ranking tournament, but came close when he was a beaten finalist in the 1997 Regal Welsh Open and the 2004 Irish Masters.- Career :...

 at the UK Championship, O'Sullivan sat with a wet towel draped over his head for most of the contest.

The 2006 World Championship began with O'Sullivan defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 10–4, followed by a struggle through 13–10 in the second-round match against Welshman
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

. A similar quarter-final match ensued against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

. O'Sullivan led 10–6 going into the final session. A fightback from Williams saw him take the lead by winning the next five frames, but O'Sullivan held his nerve to take the match 13–11, and faced Graeme Dott in the semi–finals. Dott took an early lead before O'Sullivan drew level at 8–8 at the end of the second session. Cue-tip problems which had dogged O'Sullivan throughout the event recurred, including an incident in which television footage appeared to show O'Sullivan deliberately removing the tip of his cue. This secured him a 15-minute break to re-tip the cue, before he returned and made a 124 break. Tournament Director Mike Ganley accepted the player's assurance that the tip had simply fallen off, and no censure was made. The incident drew criticism from his opponent, and from Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

 and John Parrott
John Parrott
John Parrott MBE is an English professional snooker player and TV personality.He won the World Snooker Championship in 1991, defeating Jimmy White in the final. Two years earlier he had lost 3–18 to Steve Davis, the heaviest final defeat in modern times...

. Dott then took all eight frames of the third session, leaving him one frame away from his second final in three years. The final session saw O'Sullivan stage a minor fightback, taking three frames in a row before a mistake let Dott back in for an eventual clearance on the black. After Dott's win, O'Sullivan gave his cue and case to a boy in the crowd. BBC claims he had used as many as 21 different tips during the fortnight; O'Sullivan later stated he had used seven tips before arriving in Sheffield, and a further eight during the week, and that he would return next season with a new cue. O'Sullivan's decision not to enter the Malta Cup cost him the number one rank for the following season.

2006/2007


On his way to the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy, which he lost 6–9 to Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

, he defeated semi–final opponent Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 6–0, in a record 53 minutes for a best-of-11 frame match.

In December 2006, in his quarter-final match of the UK Championship against Hendry, O'Sullivan conceded in dramatic fashion part-way into the sixth frame of the best-of-17 match. He had gone 0–4 down after a strong start from Hendry, before finally taking a frame back. At the beginning of the sixth frame, O'Sullivan opened with a break of 24, before leaving himself a difficult shot from black to red. After missing the red, he calmly shook the hand of both Hendry (saying to him that he "had enough of it, mate") and the match referee, Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

, and walked out of the arena, stunning everyone present. The incident caused minor disruption to the other quarter-final match, between Graeme Dott and Steve Davis, being played simultaneously in the same arena. Dott later said that he initially thought that O'Sullivan and Hendry were having a fight when he heard an audience member shout "Get a grip, Ronnie". It was later officially confirmed that O'Sullivan had forfeited the match, which was awarded 9–1 to Hendry. The World Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 announced that the fans who had travelled to watch the match would get next-day tickets for free by way of compensation. O’Sullivan issued a statement later that day, apologising and saying that he would be "back on his feet fighting stronger and harder than ever very soon". On 31 May 2007, World Snooker fined O'Sullivan a total of £20,800 and docked him 900 ranking points over this incident.

O'Sullivan returned to action at the Masters, to a mixed response from the audience (being both booed and clapped). He won his first round match on 16 January 2007 against Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 6–1, making two in the process. However, he then created more controversy by failing to attend a post-match press conference. He did record a short interview with Steve Davis for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, stating that he was much happier than at the UK Championship, and that he was playing well once again. Sir Rodney Walker
Rodney Walker (rugby league)
Sir Rodney Walker KBE is a British sports administrator.He was Chairman of Wakefield Trinity RLFC between 1986 and 1993; the Rugby Football League between 1993 and 2002; GB Sports Council between 1994 and 1996; Sport England between 1996 and 1998 and UK Sport between 1997 and 2003.In the Birthday...

 later issued a statement that said O'Sullivan had been excused from dealing with the media because of the exceptional circumstances affecting him. This decision was criticised by Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 and Ken Doherty. O'Sullivan went on to win the tournament against Ding Junhui on 21 January 2007. In the match, he was noted for his good sportsmanship by Steve Davis, specifically for comforting Ding after the twelfth frame, during which Ding had become visibly upset by an overly partisan member of the crowd, who was later ejected. O'Sullivan was leading 9–3 at the time, and won the next frame for a 10–3 victory.

O'Sullivan went out of the Malta Cup
2007 Malta Cup
-Final:-Qualifying:Qualifying for the tournament took place in Pontin's Prestatyn, Wales between 31 October and 3 November 2006.-Qualifying stages centuries:* 138 Mark Allen* 134, 100 Mark Davis* 131 Alfie Burden* 129 Mark King* 124, 102 Liang Wenbo...

 with a 3–5 loss to Michael Holt
Michael Holt (snooker player)
Michael Holt is a professional snooker player from Nottingham, England. , he has reached the quarter finals of three ranking tournaments – the 1999 UK Championship, the 2003 LG Cup, and the 2005 Grand Prix.-Career:...

 in the first round. Later, during the Welsh Open, O'Sullivan announced that his technique would be undergoing major changes, as he was unhappy with his recent performances. These included a 4–5 reverse to Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 in the quarter-finals. In his quarter-final match against Joe Swail
Joe Swail
-External links:*...

 at the Irish Masters
2007 Irish Masters
-Final:-Century breaks:*147, 138, 134, 122 Ronnie O'Sullivan*135 John Higgins*131, 107, 104 Barry Hawkins*109 Fergal O'Brien*103 David Morris*102 Joe Swail...

, O'Sullivan knocked in a 147 on his way to a narrow 5–4 victory. Because the table used did not have officially ratified pockets, however, O'Sullivan's maximum achieved upon it does not count towards his official total. The organisers had initially offered a car to any player who completed a maximum break, but were unable to keep their promise. O'Sullivan defeated John Higgins (6–5) in another decider played later that evening, then easily overcame Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins is an English professional snooker player. He has reached three ranking semi-finals, and spent five seasons inside the top 32 of the rankings. He has also played in the World Championship the last six years running.-Early career:Before taking up snooker professionally he was an...

 9–1 in the final, becoming the first winner of the new Paul Hunter
Paul Hunter
Paul Alan Hunter was an English professional snooker player. His media profile developed swiftly and he became known as the "Beckham of the Baize" because of his good looks and flamboyant style....

 Trophy, awarded to him by Paul's widow Lyndsey.

Just before the World Championship, in which he had a first-round match with Ding Junhui again, O'Sullivan claimed that the draw was fixed. This was subsequently denied by World Snooker and O'Sullivan later retracted his accusation. In the end, O'Sullivan won the tie easily, by 10 frames to 2. He also won his second-round match against Robertson 13–10 (in spite of losing six frames in a row at one point), before losing his quarter-final match 9–13 against eventual champion John Higgins.

2007/2008


O'Sullivan withdrew from the first ranking event of the season, the Shanghai Masters
2007 Shanghai Masters
The 2007 Shanghai Masters was the inaugural event of the Shanghai Masters tournament and the first ranking event of the season. It took place between 6–12 August 2007 at the Shanghai Grand Stage.Dominic Dale won in the final 10–6 against Ryan Day....

, citing back problems for which doctors had advised him not to travel. He also chose not to enter the invitational Pot Black tournament.

He made the final of the Grand Prix, but lost 6–9 against Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

. During the Northern Ireland Trophy, he set a new record, by compiling five centuries in a 5–2 win (over Ali Carter). This also included his seventh official competitive 147 maximum break. O'Sullivan went out of the tournament in the next round, having lost against Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien is an Irish professional snooker player. He has won one ranking title and reached two other major finals, and spent three seasons as a top 16 player.-Career:...

. On 2 December 2007, he won a fourth consecutive (and record seventh in total) Premier League Snooker
2007 Premier League Snooker
* 40–50, 31–73 , -0, 77–0, 0-, 66–52, 3–119 , 1-** 17-, 18–80 , 83–16, 35–87 , 1–93 , 48–56*** -0, 4–84 , 49–82 , 80–26, 77–0, 2–90 , 29-, 14-, 14–111 , 108–0, 0–107 -Century breaks:*143 Steve Davis*141, 141, 124, 120, 119, 113, 110, 105, 104, 103, 101 Ronnie O'Sullivan*138, 138,...

 title, by beating John Higgins in the final by a score of 7–4.

On 15 December 2007, O'Sullivan compiled his eighth maximum break in competition, in the deciding frame of his UK Championship semi–final against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 at Telford
Telford
Telford is a large new town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, approximately east of Shrewsbury, and west of Birmingham...

, equalling Hendry's record. In doing so, O'Sullivan also became only the third person in professional competition to compile a maximum to win a match. Hendry had made the first against O'Sullivan in the 1997 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 final, and Mark Williams had made the second, at the Crucible in the first round of the 2005 World Championship. O'Sullivan is also the second player (after John Higgins) to make 147 breaks in two consecutive ranking tournaments (2007 Northern Ireland Trophy and 2007 Maplin UK Championship). He then went on to win the tournament, beating Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

 10–2 in the final (from 8–0 up), thereby receiving a £100,000 cheque for winning his first ranking tournament in almost three years.

At the Masters on 12 January, Stephen Maguire edged out O'Sullivan in a final frame to win their first-round match at Wembley. In the battle of the top two players in the provisional world rankings, O'Sullivan fought back from 4–1 down to level at 5–5 and take the match into a deciding eleventh frame. O'Sullivan missed the final blue with the rest, when poised to win the match, allowing Maguire to reach the quarter-finals.

After withdrawing from the invitational Malta Cup O'Sullivan returned at the Welsh Open in February. Playing a good tournament, he reached the final against Selby. Although O'Sullivan led 8–5, Selby won the last four frames to beat him 9–8.

O'Sullivan was present at the China Open, in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, where he lost 4–5 to Marco Fu in the first round. However, at the press conference, which followed the match, O'Sullivan was heard making some lewd remarks inviting a member of the press to perform fellatio
Fellatio
Fellatio is an act of oral stimulation of a male's penis by a sexual partner. It involves the stimulation of the penis by the use of the mouth, tongue, or throat. The person who performs fellatio can be referred to as the giving partner, and the other person is the receiving partner...

 on him, then laughing with the World Snooker media spokesman. O'Sullivan also joked about the size and girth of his penis
Penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

, before simulating a sexual act on his microphone. In June 2008, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 punished O'Sullivan for his behaviour by docking the appearance money and world ranking points that he had earned from the event.

He compiled a record-breaking ninth competitive maximum break at the Crucible
Crucible Theatre
The Crucible Theatre is a theatre built in 1971 and located in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. As well as theatrical performances, it is home to the most important event in professional snooker, the World Snooker Championship....

 against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 at the 2008 World Championships. It was his third of the season, and also his third maximum at the Crucible. It was the fourth maximum to be compiled in a winning frame of a match (following Hendry, Williams, and O'Sullivan himself). Interviewed by Steve Davis just after beating Williams 13–7, he said "I can finally buy a Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
-Flying Spur:The four door Continental Flying Spur saloon was first displayed at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The Flying Spur utilizes most of the technical underpinnings of the Bentley Continental GT, and was introduced to European and North American markets in the summer of 2005...

". Soon after potting the final black, snooker legend and commentator Dennis Taylor labelled O'Sullivan as a "total genius". However, O'Sullivan's 147 was equalled by Ali Carter in the same tournament, thus halving the prize money. O'Sullivan defeated Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang is a Chinese professional snooker player.-Early life:Liu grew up in Liaoning province in northeast China. Near his parents' house there was a snooker table and when he was 10 he played on it and liked it a lot...

, Mark Williams, Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 and Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 en route to the final of the tournament. He then beat Carter 18–8 for the title on 5 May. In an interview after his third world-title win, he hinted again that he may not play in the 2008/2009 season, but also stated that he might go on to pursue many more world titles.

At the end of the season, O'Sullivan, along with Williams and Maguire, left management company 110sport to join Romford
Romford
Romford is a large suburban town in north east London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Havering. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan...

-based Grove Leisure.

2008/2009


He began the new season by winning the Northern Ireland Trophy
2008 Northern Ireland Trophy
The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 24 and 31 August 2008 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast....

, defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 9–3 in the final. O'Sullivan is the only player to win back-to-back ranking events in the last four years.

O'Sullivan then reached the final of the Shanghai Masters
2008 Shanghai Masters
The 2008Roewe Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 29 September and 5 October 2008 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

. He defeated Stephen Maguire in the semi–finals with two high breaks, of 141 and 145. However, in the final, he was beaten by qualifier Ricky Walden 10–8. O'Sullivan was leading, but Walden pulled back four straight frames in a row to win the match.

In the Premier League
2008 Premier League Snooker
* 83–34, –4, 133–0, –4, –0 ** 55–68, 93–0, 20–93 , 76–8, 24–93, –0, 6–69 , –4, 4–*** 11–121 , 8–82 , 18–74, 14–, 48–83 , 61–58, 13–, –0, 20–...

, he secured a 7–2 win over Mark Selby, which meant that he had won the event eight times in total, and five times consecutively. However, O'Sullivan failed to defend his UK Championship title, losing to Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

 5–9 in the second round. O'Sullivan had conceded the twelfth game of the match to go 5–7 down, although Perry held a lead of only 23 points to zero. Commenting afterwards, O'Sullivan said that "it might have looked like I lost my head or whatever, but I'm sure I'll bounce back." For this he was later fined £300, and was ordered to pay £1000 in costs.

In the Masters, O'Sullivan reached the final by beating Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

, Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 and Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

. In a tense final against defending champion Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

, neither player was able to obtain a sizeable lead, with frames littered with both big breaks and close finishes. After leading 3–1, O'Sullivan ended the afternoon session at 4–4, and took the first frame of the evening session. Selby, however, then won the next 3 frames to lead 7–5. O'Sullivan responded by taking three frames in succession himself, to lead 8–7. The following two frames were shared, and at 9–8, after both players had wasted chances, O'Sullivan constructed a break of 55, beating Mark Selby 10–8 and thereby claiming the title for the fourth time. In doing this, he became only the second player, after Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

, to win the trophy more than three times. In his post-match interview, O'Sullivan proclaimed his victory, composed with a cue that he had obtained only the previous Saturday, as his greatest achievement in snooker. On the way to his fourth title, O'Sullivan surpassed Stephen Hendry's century-break record in the event, bringing his total to 44 as of 2009. He also contributed to the record-breaking 32 century breaks compiled over the course of the tournament, which was six more than the previous record of 26, compiled in 2007.

In the 2009 World Championship, O'Sullivan compiled three centuries in his first match, against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

. In the second frame, he compiled a 140 break, in a later frame he also achieved a break of 104, the 14th frame he scored a clearance of 103. He was defeated in the second round 11–13 by Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 after leading 9–7.

2009/2010


He began the season
Snooker season 2009/2010
The snooker season 2009/10 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2009 and 2010. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :- Official rankings :...

 by winning the Shanghai Masters, defeating Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–5 in the final. On the way to reach the final he lost only 6 frames. He beat Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 5–0 in the first round, Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

 5–2 in the second round, Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 5–3 in the quarter-finals, and John Higgins 6–1 in the semi–finals . After his Shanghai Masters victory he joined the newly founded Snooker Players Association. In the second ranking event, the Grand Prix, he beat Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett is a professional snooker player from Hamilton, Scotland.-Career:During the qualifying stages of the 2004 UK Championship, he achieved the impressive feat of becoming the first ever player to compile a break over 147 in a professional match, in which he made a break of 148 against...

 in the first round 5–3, but then lost narrowly against John Higgins in the second round 4–5. On 29 November 2009, O'Sullivan did not retain his Premier League Snooker
2009 Premier League Snooker
The 2009 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 3 September to 29 November 2009.Shaun Murphy won in the final 7–3 against defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.- Prize fund :Winner: £30,000...

 title, with Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 defeating him 7–3 in the final. Following his 9–3 victory over Matthew Stevens in the first round of the UK Championship on 7 December 2009, O'Sullivan caused controversy in his post-match press conference. He described the outgoing regime at the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 (headed by Sir Rodney Walker) as "a cancer running through the game" and also said, "Leukaemia has set in". He went on to endorse the new era of snooker, headed by Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn is an English sporting events promoter, and the founder and chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport. He is currently the chairman of Leyton Orient F.C., and the Professional Darts Corporation and was also until July 2010 chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker...

. He then won his next two matches, 9–3 against Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the last 16, and Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the quarter-finals, before losing the semi–final 8–9 to John Higgins, despite coming back from 2–8 to 8–8.

O'Sullivan began the defence of his Masters title by defeating Australian Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 6–4 in the first round, after trailing 0–3. After this, he defeated Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter final 6–3 to reach the semi–finals. There he beat Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 6–5 to reach his 6th Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 final in 7 years. O'Sullivan met Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the final for the second consecutive year, but he lost 9–10, despite leading 9–6. In the Welsh Open, he reached the semi–finals by beating Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 5–1 in the first round, Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 5–0 in the second round, and Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 5–2 in the quarter-finals, but lost 4–6 against John Higgins in the semi–finals.

O'Sullivan lost 3–5 in the first round of the China Open against 22-year-old wild card
Wild card (sports)
The term wild card refers broadly to a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play.-International sports:...

 Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei is a professional snooker player from the People's Republic of China.-Career:Tian first competed on the main tour in the 2006/2007 season, dropping off the tour in the following season....

. In the eighth frame, O'Sullivan missed the final black from the spot (a pot that would have levelled the match); the ball finished over the pocket, and O'Sullivan conceded frame and match. With this, he also lost his chance to defend his official World No. 1 spot. At the World Championship, he defeated Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–7 in the first round and Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 13–10 in the second round, before losing 11–13 to Mark Selby in the quarter-finals match.

2010/2011


O'Sullivan began the 2010/2011 season
Snooker season 2010/2011
The 2010/11 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2010 and 2011. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 1
-Section 2:-Section 3:-Section 4:-Section 5:-Section 6:-Section 7:-Section 8:-Finals:-Century breaks:*147 Kurt Maflin*141, 129 Mark Selby*138, 118 Tony Drago*137, 129, 124, 124, 114 Stephen Maguire*136 Jordan Brown*136 Dave Harold...

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 started on 24 June 2010 and ended on 20 March 2011 with events held in Sheffield and Europe. The televised finals took place between the top 24 Order of Merit players, who have played at least 6 events ....

, where he lost in the quarter-finals against Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 0–4. O'Sullivan next competed at event Event 4
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–16 August 2010, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England...

, where reached the final. He lost against Barry Pinches
Barry Pinches
-External links:**...

 3–4. At the World Open
2010 World Open (snooker)
The 2010 12bet.com World Open professional ranking snooker tournament was held at the S.E.C.C., Glasgow between 18–26 September 2010. This was the first time that the World Open was sponsored by 12bet.com....

 O'Sullivan made his record 10th maximum break in the last frame of his match against Mark King, which he won 3–0. However, he had to be persuaded by referee Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

 to play the final black, as he became aware that there was no distinct prize money for a maximum break in the tournament, which only paid £4,000 as the highest break of the tournament. Even then, O'Sullivan played the final black in a nonchalant fashion. O'Sullivan then defeated Jimmy White
Jimmy White
James Warren "Jimmy" White MBE is an English professional snooker player. Nicknamed the "Whirlwind" and popularly referred to as the "People's Champion", White is a multiple World Championship finalist renowned for losing each of the six finals he contested.White's extensive list of achievements,...

 (3–1), Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 (3–1), Stephen Maguire (3–1) and Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 (3–1) to reach the final, where he lost 1–5 against Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

. O'Sullivan participated at the Premier League Snooker
2010 Premier League Snooker
The 2010 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 2 September to 28 November 2010.Shaun Murphy was the defending champion, but Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated him 7–1 in the final.- Prize fund :...

 and qualified for the finals unbeaten. He then defeated Neil Robertson 5–1 in the semi-finals and Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 7–1 in the final, to claim his ninth Premier League Snooker title in 14 years. In the UK Championship
2010 UK Championship (snooker)
The 2010 12BET.com UK Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 4–12 December 2010 at the Telford International Centre, Telford, England.Ding Junhui was the defending champion, but he lost 8–9 against Mark Allen in the last 16....

 in December, O'Sullivan suffered an early exit losing 6–9 against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round.

At the Masters
2011 Masters (snooker)
The 2011 Ladbrokes Mobile Masters professional non-ranking snooker tournament was held between 9–16 January 2011 at the Wembley Arena, London, England...

 in January, O'Sullivan went out 4–6 in the first round against Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

. O'Sullivan reached the semi-finals in the Snooker Shoot-Out
2011 Snooker Shoot-Out
The 2011 CaesarsCasino.com Snooker Shoot-Out was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that took place between 28–30 January 2011 at the Circus Arena, Blackpool, England...

 in January 2011, before losing against Robert Milkins
Robert Milkins
- External links :* * * *...

. He made the two highest breaks of the tournament, 112 and 123. O'Sullivan lost in the first round of the next two ranking tournaments. He lost against Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

 2–4 at the Welsh Open
2011 Welsh Open (snooker)
The 2011 Wyldecrest Park Homes Welsh Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–20 February 2011 in the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales. This was the first time that the Welsh Open was sponsored by Wyldecrest Park Homes....

, and 2–5 at the China Open
2011 China Open (snooker)
The 2011 Bank of Beijing China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 28 March and 3 April 2011 at the Beijing University Students Gymnasium, Beijing, China....

. O'Sullivan reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship
2011 World Snooker Championship
The 2011 Betfred.com World Snooker Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 16 April and 2 May 2011 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It was the 74th edition of the event and was the last ranking event of the 2010/2011 snooker season...

 by defeating Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 10–2 in the first round and Shaun Murphy 13–10 in the second round, but lost 10–13 against John Higgins.

2011/2012



O'Sullivan began the 2011/2012 season
Snooker season 2011/2012
The 2011/12 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2011 and 2012. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place over 18–22 June 2011, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England....

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 started on 18 June 2011 and will end on 17 March 2012 with events held in England and Europe. European events are no longer called Euro Players Tour Championship and are included alongside other PTC events....

, where he won 4–0 in the final against Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

. At the Paul Hunter Classic
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 25–28 August 2011 in Fürth, Germany. Some of the preliminary round matches were held in Nürnberg...

 O'Sullivan made the 11th official maximum break of his career, and set a new record of career maximum breaks. He then reached the semi-finals, but lost 3–4 against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

. O'Sullivan's next tournament was the Shanghai Masters
2011 Shanghai Masters
The 2011 Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–11 September 2011 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

, where he reached the second round of the tournament, but lost 3–5 against Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

. In October O'Sullivan won the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–9 October 2011, at the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester, England....

, by defeating Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens is a Welsh professional snooker player. Stevens has won two of the game's most prestigious events, the Benson and Hedges Masters in 2000 and the UK Championship in 2003. He has also been the runner-up in the World Snooker Championship on two occasions, in 2000 and 2005...

 4–2 in the final. In November he reached the final of the Antwerp Open
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 10–13 November 2011, at the Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium....

, but lost 3–4 against Judd Trump
Judd Trump
Judd Trump is an English professional snooker player from Bristol. He enjoyed considerable success in youth tournaments before turning professional in 2005. On 3 April 2011, Trump won his first ranking title, beating Mark Selby 10–8 in the final of the China Open...

. After 9 of 12 events O'Sullivan is ranked number one on the Order of Merit. O'Sullivan won the 10th Premier League
2011 Premier League Snooker
The 2011 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that was played from 18 August to 27 November 2011....

 title of his career. After topping the table in the league stage, he defeated Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 to reach the final, where he defeated Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 7–1.

Playing style


O'Sullivan plays in a fast and attacking manner. He is a prolific and solid tactical player, although he has stated his disdain for long, drawn-out games, saying that it harms the game of snooker. He is a good front-runner
Front-runner
Front-runner is a term to describe the leader in a race, whether political or athletic. The term arose from the close symbolism between political campaigns and athletic running events. The term is used in the U.S...

, although tends to become demoralised when behind and not playing well, and is liable to lose multiple consecutive frames. When behind and needing , he tends to concede more often than other players, although after Ray Reardon's coaching he does seem to carry on with the frame a lot more than previously.

O'Sullivan is right-handed, but can play to a high standard with his left hand. While not quite possessing the same power in his left arm, being ambidextrous
Ambidexterity
Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages . It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous...

 enables him to attempt shots with his left hand that would otherwise require awkward cueing with a or . O'Sullivan sometimes plays with a variety of

When he first displayed this left-handed ability in the 1996 World Championship against Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux is a Canadian snooker player; he played on the World Snooker tour from 1988 to 2005 and continues to play in events in Canada.-Career:...

, the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 accused him of disrespect. O'Sullivan responded that he played better with his left hand than Robidoux could with his right. O'Sullivan was summoned to a disciplinary hearing in response to Robidoux's formal complaint, where he had to prove that he could play to a high level with his left hand. He played three frames of snooker against former world championship runner-up Rex Williams
Rex Williams
Rex Williams , son of Minnie Roberts and William Williams, is a retired English professional snooker and billiards player.Williams was an excellent junior player in both snooker and billiards. His professional career began in 1951, during a period of decline in snooker...

, winning all three. The charge of bringing the game into disrepute was subsequently dropped.

Status


He is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport, with some labelling him a 'genius'. Several of his peers regard him as the greatest player ever, although a temperamental streak sometimes led to a lack of confidence or interest, and he has performed inconsistently throughout his controversial career thus far, with observers noting the 'two Ronnies' aspect of his character. According to Stephen Hendry after his defeat at the 2008 World Championship, "O'Sullivan is the best player in the world by a country mile".

O'Sullivan is one of the most popular players on the circuit and is noted for being a 'showman'. He is perhaps the biggest draw in the game today, and has helped improve the image of snooker to the general public. O'Sullivan himself has stated his desire for entertaining the watching public, and said that slow, gritty games put viewers off. He has often been compared to Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins
Alexander Gordon "Alex" Higgins , also known by his nickname of Hurricane Higgins, was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who was twice World Champion and twice runner-up. Higgins earned the nickname The Hurricane because of his speed of play...

 and Jimmy White because of both his natural talent and popularity. O'Sullivan has compiled over 650 competitive centuries during his career, second only to Hendry.

Personal life


He has been labelled a perfectionist, and highly self-critical, even in victory. He suffers from clinical depression and has had drug-related problems.

O'Sullivan's mother is from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. His girlfriend is Jo Langley, whom he met at Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous describing itself as a "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem," and it is the second-largest 12-step organization...

, and with whom he has a daughter, Lily Jo (born in February 2006), and a son, Ronnie, (born 12 June 2007). He was reported to have split with Jo in early June 2008. He has another daughter, Taylor-Ann (born in 1997), from a previous relationship.

In 2003, media sources carried reports that O'Sullivan had converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, but despite his self-professed interest in the faith these reports were proven to be false. O'Sullivan also espouses an interest in Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, having spent many lunchtimes at the London Buddhist Centre
London Buddhist Centre
The London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green, East London, is the main London base of the Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. It opened in 1978, and is located in an ornate, vernacular redbrick Victorian fire station, completed in 1888, and in...

 in Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green is a district of the East End of London, England and part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with the far northern parts falling within the London Borough of Hackney. Located northeast of Charing Cross, it was historically an agrarian hamlet in the ancient parish of Stepney,...

. However, he denies having a firm commitment to any religion.

One of O'Sullivan's hobbies is motor racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

. In 2004, he appeared on Top Gear as the "Star in a

Ronald Antonio "Ronnie" O'Sullivan (born 5 December 1975 in Wordsley
Wordsley
Wordsley with Buckpool is a village south of Kingswinford although is the most northern suburb of Stourbridge in the West Midlands, England. Wordsley still retains its rural character because it abuts open countryside...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

), is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 professional snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

 player known for his rapid playing style and nicknamed "The Rocket". He has been World Champion on three occasions (2001, 2004 and 2008), and is second on the all-time prize-money list, with career earnings of over £6 million, behind only Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

. O'Sullivan has been the world's no. 1 player on five occasions, has won a total of 22 ranking titles, and is second, again behind Hendry, on the list of competitive century breaks with 650. O'Sullivan has compiled a record 11 maximum breaks in professional competition.

O'Sullivan is considered by many fans, critics and fellow professionals, including Hendry and Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

, as the most naturally talented player in the history of the game
History of snooker
The game of snooker is a cue sport which emerged in its modern form in the late 19th century, with roots going back to the 16th century form of English billiards. Billiards was popular among the British Armed Forces stationed in India. As billiards was only a two player game, new games such as life...

. He has also been involved in a number of controversial incidents during his career.

Early career


O'Sullivan grew up, and still lives, in the exclusive Manor Road area in Chigwell
Chigwell
Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles north east of Charing Cross. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London area code.-Etymology:According to P. H...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. He attended Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School , formerly Wanstead County High School, is a co-educational, non-denominational, comprehensive high school in Wanstead, London, United Kingdom.-Admissions:...

. He began his snooker career at an early age, first achieving a {{Cuegloss|Century|century}} break at the age of 10 (making 117). He scored a maximum break at 15, and turned professional at 16. He won his first 38 ranking matches as a professional – a record that still stands – on his way to the 1993 World Championship, where he is the second youngest-ever player to qualify. He lost in the first round 7–10 to Alan McManus
Alan McManus
Alan McManus is a Scottish professional snooker player, known for his tactical play and safety shots, giving rise to his nickname "Angles" McManus.-Career:...

, and in the following season he was ranked 57. He became the youngest-ever winner of a ranking
Snooker world rankings
The snooker world rankings are the official system of ranking professional snooker players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments on the World Snooker Tour. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association...

 tournament when, aged 17, he won the 1993 UK Championship, beating Stephen Hendry in the final, and starting one of the most prominent rivalries in the sport. In 1995, he won his first Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 title.

In the 1996 World Championship, snooker's governing body found him guilty of assaulting Mike Ganley, a media official. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and a £20,000 fine, and advised to donate £10,000 to charity. On 21 April 1997, in the first round of the World Championship against Mick Price
Mick Price (snooker player)
Michael "Mick" Price is a retired English professional snooker player. He turned professional in 1988 and is best known for being Ronnie O'Sullivan's opponent when O'Sullivan scored the fastest 147 break in the game's history, at the 1997 World Championship. O'Sullivan eventually won the match by...

, he made the fastest maximum break, completed in 5 minutes and 20 seconds – an average of one shot every 8.8 seconds. In November, he won his second UK title, beating Hendry 10–6 in the final.

After winning the 1998 Irish Masters 9–3 against Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty is an Irish professional snooker player. He is the only player ever to have been world amateur and world professional champion...

, he was stripped of his title and disqualified after a drug test found cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 in his system. The title then went to Doherty. O'Sullivan made it to the semi–finals of the 1999 World Championship, but lost 13–17 to Stephen Hendry. The last four frames of the third session featured four successive centuries: two from Hendry and two from O'Sullivan. Following his solid performance during the previous year, O'Sullivan's promising campaign in the 1999/2000 season
Snooker season 1999/2000
The snooker season 1999/2000 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1999 and 2000. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

 (during which he won three ranking titles) ended in disappointment. He was a favourite for the 2000 world title, especially after an unexpected loss by Hendry to Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round, but O'Sullivan was also eliminated in the first round by David Gray, who struggled back from 1–5 and 7–9 down to edge out O'Sullivan 10–9 for a place in the second round. In that match, O'Sullivan made five centuries, three in consecutive frames. In 2001, O'Sullivan claimed his first World Championship title (which he dedicated to his father), with an 18–14 victory over Higgins, and his third UK title, with a 10–1 victory over Doherty. He began the 2002/2003 season
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

 ranked number 1.

After the first world title


In 2002 at the World Championship Hendry and O'Sullivan were set to meet in the semi–finals, O'Sullivan having edged out Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee is a professional snooker-player from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, whose smooth cue action is regarded by some pundits as the most natural in the game. He has won four ranking titles, and spent 10 seasons in the Top 16 of the world rankings before dropping out for the snooker...

 in his quarter-final match, 13–10, and Hendry having won his quarter-final match against Doherty. At a pre-match interview, O'Sullivan said, referring to a previous match against Hendry in 1999, "I know if I do get beat, and he comes up and does a moonie in front of me and goes 'Ne ne ne', I'll just look at him and say 'well done', and say 'go back to your sad little life'." In the match, O'Sullivan had the better of the first day's play, opening up an 8–5 lead; but on the second day, Hendry rallied to reach 12–12 before going into the final session. Hendry subsequently outplayed O'Sullivan and won by 17 frames to 13. After the match, O'Sullivan accused Hendry of poor sportsmanship, referring to his conduct over a "miss" shot at an unnamed prior tournament. Hendry did not comment on his opponent's outburst, although O'Sullivan did receive some criticism for his remarks from Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and Clive Everton
Clive Everton
Clive Everton , is a Welsh veteran BBC snooker commentator, journalist and author. He began his BBC career on the radio, but has been commentating on the television from the 1978 World Championship through to the present...

. O'Sullivan later apologised to Hendry for his comments.

Another successful season followed in 2002/2003
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

, with O'Sullivan reaching the last 16 of seven ranking tournaments, and winning the Scottish Masters, the European Open
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

 and Irish Masters, defeating Higgins in the Scottish and Irish finals, and Hendry in the European, and starting the 2003 World Championship as runaway favourite. O'Sullivan's season ended on a disappointing note, however, when he was knocked out in the first round for the third time in his career, losing 6–10 to the unseeded Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

, despite making four century breaks, including another maximum break, in the match. This defeat saw him drop to number 3
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2004/2005 season are listed below. This was Chris Small's only top 16 season, and Paul Hunter's only appearance in the top 4.-References:...

 in the rankings.

In 2004, O'Sullivan's father telephoned 1970s six-time World Champion Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon, MBE is a retired Welsh snooker player. He dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning six World Championships in that decade...

, and asked if he could give O'Sullivan some advice. With Reardon's backing, O'Sullivan recovered his form and claimed the World Championship, beating Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 very convincingly in the final, by 18 frames to 8. He lost the first five frames of the match, however, which he attributed to his opponent's (and O'Sullivan's former) coach's mind games – entering O'Sullivan's dressing room minutes before the match. He also beat Hendry 17–4 in the semi–final – the most one-sided defeat ever in a World Championship semi–final. O'Sullivan was ranked number one for the next two seasons.

2004/2005


O'Sullivan next won the season's Masters and Welsh Open titles. However, he missed the China Open
2005 China Open (snooker)
The 2005 China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 26 March–3 April 2005 at the Chaoyang Sports Centre in Beijing, China...

 on medical grounds; this was criticised by Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

, who said that O'Sullivan has a duty to promote the sport.

In the World Championship, O'Sullivan lost to Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter-final. From 2–8 down, Ebdon began a comeback and eventually won 13–11, by playing in an exceptionally determined and dogged style, with many observers accusing him of deliberate slow play to disrupt O'Sullivan's fast game. After the match, O'Sullivan indicated to the press that he was unlikely to compete in the following season, and perhaps even would retire from the sport altogether. However, in September 2005, he announced that he would play a truncated 2005/2006 season and spend some time playing eight-ball in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after being chosen to compete on the elite International Pool Tour
International Pool Tour
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool to the level of other modern sports. Closely modeled on the PGA Tour, the IPT offered the largest prize funds in pool history in its first year. The tour...

. It turned out, however, that the IPT pool tournament in which O'Sullivan was to make his début clashed with the defence of his Premier League Snooker title. Plans were changed accordingly, and O'Sullivan went on to beat Hendry 6–0 with four century breaks.

2005/2006


After a comprehensive 2–9 loss to John Higgins in the final of the Grand Prix
2005 Grand Prix (snooker)
The 2005 Grand Prix professional ranking snooker tournament was held between 8 and 16 October 2005, at the Guild Hall, Preston, England.John Higgins won in the final 9-2 against Ronnie O'Sullivan. In the final, Higgins set two records...

, O'Sullivan reached the final of the Masters, only to lose again 9–10 to Higgins. In his first-round match with Mark King
Mark King (snooker player)
Mark King is an English professional snooker player. He has not yet won a ranking tournament, but came close when he was a beaten finalist in the 1997 Regal Welsh Open and the 2004 Irish Masters.- Career :...

 at the UK Championship, O'Sullivan sat with a wet towel draped over his head for most of the contest.

The 2006 World Championship began with O'Sullivan defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 10–4, followed by a struggle through 13–10 in the second-round match against Welshman
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

. A similar quarter-final match ensued against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

. O'Sullivan led 10–6 going into the final session. A fightback from Williams saw him take the lead by winning the next five frames, but O'Sullivan held his nerve to take the match 13–11, and faced Graeme Dott in the semi–finals. Dott took an early lead before O'Sullivan drew level at 8–8 at the end of the second session. Cue-tip problems which had dogged O'Sullivan throughout the event recurred, including an incident in which television footage appeared to show O'Sullivan deliberately removing the tip of his cue. This secured him a 15-minute break to re-tip the cue, before he returned and made a 124 break. Tournament Director Mike Ganley accepted the player's assurance that the tip had simply fallen off, and no censure was made. The incident drew criticism from his opponent, and from Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

 and John Parrott
John Parrott
John Parrott MBE is an English professional snooker player and TV personality.He won the World Snooker Championship in 1991, defeating Jimmy White in the final. Two years earlier he had lost 3–18 to Steve Davis, the heaviest final defeat in modern times...

. Dott then took all eight frames of the third session, leaving him one frame away from his second final in three years. The final session saw O'Sullivan stage a minor fightback, taking three frames in a row before a mistake let Dott back in for an eventual clearance on the black. After Dott's win, O'Sullivan gave his cue and case to a boy in the crowd. BBC claims he had used as many as 21 different tips during the fortnight; O'Sullivan later stated he had used seven tips before arriving in Sheffield, and a further eight during the week, and that he would return next season with a new cue. O'Sullivan's decision not to enter the Malta Cup cost him the number one rank for the following season.

2006/2007


On his way to the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy, which he lost 6–9 to Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

, he defeated semi–final opponent Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 6–0, in a record 53 minutes for a best-of-11 frame match.

In December 2006, in his quarter-final match of the UK Championship against Hendry, O'Sullivan conceded in dramatic fashion part-way into the sixth frame of the best-of-17 match. He had gone 0–4 down after a strong start from Hendry, before finally taking a frame back. At the beginning of the sixth frame, O'Sullivan opened with a break of 24, before leaving himself a difficult shot from black to red. After missing the red, he calmly shook the hand of both Hendry (saying to him that he "had enough of it, mate") and the match referee, Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

, and walked out of the arena, stunning everyone present. The incident caused minor disruption to the other quarter-final match, between Graeme Dott and Steve Davis, being played simultaneously in the same arena. Dott later said that he initially thought that O'Sullivan and Hendry were having a fight when he heard an audience member shout "Get a grip, Ronnie". It was later officially confirmed that O'Sullivan had forfeited the match, which was awarded 9–1 to Hendry. The World Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 announced that the fans who had travelled to watch the match would get next-day tickets for free by way of compensation. O’Sullivan issued a statement later that day, apologising and saying that he would be "back on his feet fighting stronger and harder than ever very soon". On 31 May 2007, World Snooker fined O'Sullivan a total of £20,800 and docked him 900 ranking points over this incident.

O'Sullivan returned to action at the Masters, to a mixed response from the audience (being both booed and clapped). He won his first round match on 16 January 2007 against Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 6–1, making two {{Cuegloss|Century break|centuries}} in the process. However, he then created more controversy by failing to attend a post-match press conference. He did record a short interview with Steve Davis for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, stating that he was much happier than at the UK Championship, and that he was playing well once again. Sir Rodney Walker
Rodney Walker (rugby league)
Sir Rodney Walker KBE is a British sports administrator.He was Chairman of Wakefield Trinity RLFC between 1986 and 1993; the Rugby Football League between 1993 and 2002; GB Sports Council between 1994 and 1996; Sport England between 1996 and 1998 and UK Sport between 1997 and 2003.In the Birthday...

 later issued a statement that said O'Sullivan had been excused from dealing with the media because of the exceptional circumstances affecting him. This decision was criticised by Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 and Ken Doherty. O'Sullivan went on to win the tournament against Ding Junhui on 21 January 2007. In the match, he was noted for his good sportsmanship by Steve Davis, specifically for comforting Ding after the twelfth frame, during which Ding had become visibly upset by an overly partisan member of the crowd, who was later ejected. O'Sullivan was leading 9–3 at the time, and won the next frame for a 10–3 victory.

O'Sullivan went out of the Malta Cup
2007 Malta Cup
-Final:-Qualifying:Qualifying for the tournament took place in Pontin's Prestatyn, Wales between 31 October and 3 November 2006.-Qualifying stages centuries:* 138 Mark Allen* 134, 100 Mark Davis* 131 Alfie Burden* 129 Mark King* 124, 102 Liang Wenbo...

 with a 3–5 loss to Michael Holt
Michael Holt (snooker player)
Michael Holt is a professional snooker player from Nottingham, England. , he has reached the quarter finals of three ranking tournaments – the 1999 UK Championship, the 2003 LG Cup, and the 2005 Grand Prix.-Career:...

 in the first round. Later, during the Welsh Open, O'Sullivan announced that his technique would be undergoing major changes, as he was unhappy with his recent performances. These included a 4–5 reverse to Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 in the quarter-finals. In his quarter-final match against Joe Swail
Joe Swail
-External links:*...

 at the Irish Masters
2007 Irish Masters
-Final:-Century breaks:*147, 138, 134, 122 Ronnie O'Sullivan*135 John Higgins*131, 107, 104 Barry Hawkins*109 Fergal O'Brien*103 David Morris*102 Joe Swail...

, O'Sullivan knocked in a 147 on his way to a narrow 5–4 victory. Because the table used did not have officially ratified pockets, however, O'Sullivan's maximum achieved upon it does not count towards his official total. The organisers had initially offered a car to any player who completed a maximum break, but were unable to keep their promise. O'Sullivan defeated John Higgins (6–5) in another decider played later that evening, then easily overcame Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins is an English professional snooker player. He has reached three ranking semi-finals, and spent five seasons inside the top 32 of the rankings. He has also played in the World Championship the last six years running.-Early career:Before taking up snooker professionally he was an...

 9–1 in the final, becoming the first winner of the new Paul Hunter
Paul Hunter
Paul Alan Hunter was an English professional snooker player. His media profile developed swiftly and he became known as the "Beckham of the Baize" because of his good looks and flamboyant style....

 Trophy, awarded to him by Paul's widow Lyndsey.

Just before the World Championship, in which he had a first-round match with Ding Junhui again, O'Sullivan claimed that the draw was fixed. This was subsequently denied by World Snooker and O'Sullivan later retracted his accusation. In the end, O'Sullivan won the tie easily, by 10 frames to 2. He also won his second-round match against Robertson 13–10 (in spite of losing six frames in a row at one point), before losing his quarter-final match 9–13 against eventual champion John Higgins.

2007/2008


O'Sullivan withdrew from the first ranking event of the season, the Shanghai Masters
2007 Shanghai Masters
The 2007 Shanghai Masters was the inaugural event of the Shanghai Masters tournament and the first ranking event of the season. It took place between 6–12 August 2007 at the Shanghai Grand Stage.Dominic Dale won in the final 10–6 against Ryan Day....

, citing back problems for which doctors had advised him not to travel. He also chose not to enter the invitational Pot Black tournament.

He made the final of the Grand Prix, but lost 6–9 against Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

. During the Northern Ireland Trophy, he set a new record, by compiling five centuries in a 5–2 win (over Ali Carter). This also included his seventh official competitive 147 maximum break. O'Sullivan went out of the tournament in the next round, having lost against Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien is an Irish professional snooker player. He has won one ranking title and reached two other major finals, and spent three seasons as a top 16 player.-Career:...

. On 2 December 2007, he won a fourth consecutive (and record seventh in total) Premier League Snooker
2007 Premier League Snooker
* 40–50, 31–73 , -0, 77–0, 0-, 66–52, 3–119 , 1-** 17-, 18–80 , 83–16, 35–87 , 1–93 , 48–56*** -0, 4–84 , 49–82 , 80–26, 77–0, 2–90 , 29-, 14-, 14–111 , 108–0, 0–107 -Century breaks:*143 Steve Davis*141, 141, 124, 120, 119, 113, 110, 105, 104, 103, 101 Ronnie O'Sullivan*138, 138,...

 title, by beating John Higgins in the final by a score of 7–4.

On 15 December 2007, O'Sullivan compiled his eighth maximum break in competition, in the deciding frame of his UK Championship semi–final against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 at Telford
Telford
Telford is a large new town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, approximately east of Shrewsbury, and west of Birmingham...

, equalling Hendry's record. In doing so, O'Sullivan also became only the third person in professional competition to compile a maximum to win a match. Hendry had made the first against O'Sullivan in the 1997 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 final, and Mark Williams had made the second, at the Crucible in the first round of the 2005 World Championship. O'Sullivan is also the second player (after John Higgins) to make 147 breaks in two consecutive ranking tournaments (2007 Northern Ireland Trophy and 2007 Maplin UK Championship). He then went on to win the tournament, beating Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

 10–2 in the final (from 8–0 up), thereby receiving a £100,000 cheque for winning his first ranking tournament in almost three years.

At the Masters on 12 January, Stephen Maguire edged out O'Sullivan in a final frame to win their first-round match at Wembley. In the battle of the top two players in the provisional world rankings, O'Sullivan fought back from 4–1 down to level at 5–5 and take the match into a deciding eleventh frame. O'Sullivan missed the final blue with the rest, when poised to win the match, allowing Maguire to reach the quarter-finals.

After withdrawing from the invitational Malta Cup O'Sullivan returned at the Welsh Open in February. Playing a good tournament, he reached the final against Selby. Although O'Sullivan led 8–5, Selby won the last four frames to beat him 9–8.

O'Sullivan was present at the China Open, in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, where he lost 4–5 to Marco Fu in the first round. However, at the press conference, which followed the match, O'Sullivan was heard making some lewd remarks inviting a member of the press to perform fellatio
Fellatio
Fellatio is an act of oral stimulation of a male's penis by a sexual partner. It involves the stimulation of the penis by the use of the mouth, tongue, or throat. The person who performs fellatio can be referred to as the giving partner, and the other person is the receiving partner...

 on him, then laughing with the World Snooker media spokesman. O'Sullivan also joked about the size and girth of his penis
Penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

, before simulating a sexual act on his microphone. In June 2008, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 punished O'Sullivan for his behaviour by docking the appearance money and world ranking points that he had earned from the event.

He compiled a record-breaking ninth competitive maximum break at the Crucible
Crucible Theatre
The Crucible Theatre is a theatre built in 1971 and located in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. As well as theatrical performances, it is home to the most important event in professional snooker, the World Snooker Championship....

 against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 at the 2008 World Championships. It was his third of the season, and also his third maximum at the Crucible. It was the fourth maximum to be compiled in a winning frame of a match (following Hendry, Williams, and O'Sullivan himself). Interviewed by Steve Davis just after beating Williams 13–7, he said "I can finally buy a Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
-Flying Spur:The four door Continental Flying Spur saloon was first displayed at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The Flying Spur utilizes most of the technical underpinnings of the Bentley Continental GT, and was introduced to European and North American markets in the summer of 2005...

". Soon after potting the final black, snooker legend and commentator Dennis Taylor labelled O'Sullivan as a "total genius". However, O'Sullivan's 147 was equalled by Ali Carter in the same tournament, thus halving the prize money. O'Sullivan defeated Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang is a Chinese professional snooker player.-Early life:Liu grew up in Liaoning province in northeast China. Near his parents' house there was a snooker table and when he was 10 he played on it and liked it a lot...

, Mark Williams, Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 and Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 en route to the final of the tournament. He then beat Carter 18–8 for the title on 5 May. In an interview after his third world-title win, he hinted again that he may not play in the 2008/2009 season, but also stated that he might go on to pursue many more world titles.

At the end of the season, O'Sullivan, along with Williams and Maguire, left management company 110sport to join Romford
Romford
Romford is a large suburban town in north east London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Havering. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan...

-based Grove Leisure.

2008/2009


He began the new season by winning the Northern Ireland Trophy
2008 Northern Ireland Trophy
The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 24 and 31 August 2008 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast....

, defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 9–3 in the final. O'Sullivan is the only player to win back-to-back ranking events in the last four years.

O'Sullivan then reached the final of the Shanghai Masters
2008 Shanghai Masters
The 2008Roewe Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 29 September and 5 October 2008 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

. He defeated Stephen Maguire in the semi–finals with two high breaks, of 141 and 145. However, in the final, he was beaten by qualifier Ricky Walden 10–8. O'Sullivan was leading, but Walden pulled back four straight frames in a row to win the match.

In the Premier League
2008 Premier League Snooker
* 83–34, –4, 133–0, –4, –0 ** 55–68, 93–0, 20–93 , 76–8, 24–93, –0, 6–69 , –4, 4–*** 11–121 , 8–82 , 18–74, 14–, 48–83 , 61–58, 13–, –0, 20–...

, he secured a 7–2 win over Mark Selby, which meant that he had won the event eight times in total, and five times consecutively. However, O'Sullivan failed to defend his UK Championship title, losing to Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

 5–9 in the second round. O'Sullivan had conceded the twelfth game of the match to go 5–7 down, although Perry held a lead of only 23 points to zero. Commenting afterwards, O'Sullivan said that "it might have looked like I lost my head or whatever, but I'm sure I'll bounce back." For this he was later fined £300, and was ordered to pay £1000 in costs.

In the Masters, O'Sullivan reached the final by beating Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

, Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 and Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

. In a tense final against defending champion Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

, neither player was able to obtain a sizeable lead, with frames littered with both big breaks and close finishes. After leading 3–1, O'Sullivan ended the afternoon session at 4–4, and took the first frame of the evening session. Selby, however, then won the next 3 frames to lead 7–5. O'Sullivan responded by taking three frames in succession himself, to lead 8–7. The following two frames were shared, and at 9–8, after both players had wasted chances, O'Sullivan constructed a break of 55, beating Mark Selby 10–8 and thereby claiming the title for the fourth time. In doing this, he became only the second player, after Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

, to win the trophy more than three times. In his post-match interview, O'Sullivan proclaimed his victory, composed with a cue that he had obtained only the previous Saturday, as his greatest achievement in snooker. On the way to his fourth title, O'Sullivan surpassed Stephen Hendry's century-break record in the event, bringing his total to 44 as of 2009. He also contributed to the record-breaking 32 century breaks compiled over the course of the tournament, which was six more than the previous record of 26, compiled in 2007.

In the 2009 World Championship, O'Sullivan compiled three centuries in his first match, against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

. In the second frame, he compiled a 140 break, in a later frame he also achieved a break of 104, the 14th frame he scored a clearance of 103. He was defeated in the second round 11–13 by Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 after leading 9–7.

2009/2010


He began the season
Snooker season 2009/2010
The snooker season 2009/10 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2009 and 2010. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :- Official rankings :...

 by winning the Shanghai Masters, defeating Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–5 in the final. On the way to reach the final he lost only 6 frames. He beat Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 5–0 in the first round, Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

 5–2 in the second round, Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 5–3 in the quarter-finals, and John Higgins 6–1 in the semi–finals . After his Shanghai Masters victory he joined the newly founded Snooker Players Association. In the second ranking event, the Grand Prix, he beat Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett is a professional snooker player from Hamilton, Scotland.-Career:During the qualifying stages of the 2004 UK Championship, he achieved the impressive feat of becoming the first ever player to compile a break over 147 in a professional match, in which he made a break of 148 against...

 in the first round 5–3, but then lost narrowly against John Higgins in the second round 4–5. On 29 November 2009, O'Sullivan did not retain his Premier League Snooker
2009 Premier League Snooker
The 2009 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 3 September to 29 November 2009.Shaun Murphy won in the final 7–3 against defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.- Prize fund :Winner: £30,000...

 title, with Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 defeating him 7–3 in the final. Following his 9–3 victory over Matthew Stevens in the first round of the UK Championship on 7 December 2009, O'Sullivan caused controversy in his post-match press conference. He described the outgoing regime at the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 (headed by Sir Rodney Walker) as "a cancer running through the game" and also said, "Leukaemia has set in". He went on to endorse the new era of snooker, headed by Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn is an English sporting events promoter, and the founder and chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport. He is currently the chairman of Leyton Orient F.C., and the Professional Darts Corporation and was also until July 2010 chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker...

. He then won his next two matches, 9–3 against Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the last 16, and Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the quarter-finals, before losing the semi–final 8–9 to John Higgins, despite coming back from 2–8 to 8–8.

O'Sullivan began the defence of his Masters title by defeating Australian Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 6–4 in the first round, after trailing 0–3. After this, he defeated Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter final 6–3 to reach the semi–finals. There he beat Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 6–5 to reach his 6th Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 final in 7 years. O'Sullivan met Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the final for the second consecutive year, but he lost 9–10, despite leading 9–6. In the Welsh Open, he reached the semi–finals by beating Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 5–1 in the first round, Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 5–0 in the second round, and Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 5–2 in the quarter-finals, but lost 4–6 against John Higgins in the semi–finals.

O'Sullivan lost 3–5 in the first round of the China Open against 22-year-old wild card
Wild card (sports)
The term wild card refers broadly to a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play.-International sports:...

 Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei is a professional snooker player from the People's Republic of China.-Career:Tian first competed on the main tour in the 2006/2007 season, dropping off the tour in the following season....

. In the eighth frame, O'Sullivan missed the final black from the spot (a pot that would have levelled the match); the ball finished over the pocket, and O'Sullivan conceded frame and match. With this, he also lost his chance to defend his official World No. 1 spot. At the World Championship, he defeated Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–7 in the first round and Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 13–10 in the second round, before losing 11–13 to Mark Selby in the quarter-finals match.

2010/2011


O'Sullivan began the 2010/2011 season
Snooker season 2010/2011
The 2010/11 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2010 and 2011. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 1
-Section 2:-Section 3:-Section 4:-Section 5:-Section 6:-Section 7:-Section 8:-Finals:-Century breaks:*147 Kurt Maflin*141, 129 Mark Selby*138, 118 Tony Drago*137, 129, 124, 124, 114 Stephen Maguire*136 Jordan Brown*136 Dave Harold...

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 started on 24 June 2010 and ended on 20 March 2011 with events held in Sheffield and Europe. The televised finals took place between the top 24 Order of Merit players, who have played at least 6 events ....

, where he lost in the quarter-finals against Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 0–4. O'Sullivan next competed at event Event 4
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–16 August 2010, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England...

, where reached the final. He lost against Barry Pinches
Barry Pinches
-External links:**...

 3–4. At the World Open
2010 World Open (snooker)
The 2010 12bet.com World Open professional ranking snooker tournament was held at the S.E.C.C., Glasgow between 18–26 September 2010. This was the first time that the World Open was sponsored by 12bet.com....

 O'Sullivan made his record 10th maximum break in the last frame of his match against Mark King, which he won 3–0. However, he had to be persuaded by referee Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

 to play the final black, as he became aware that there was no distinct prize money for a maximum break in the tournament, which only paid £4,000 as the highest break of the tournament. Even then, O'Sullivan played the final black in a nonchalant fashion. O'Sullivan then defeated Jimmy White
Jimmy White
James Warren "Jimmy" White MBE is an English professional snooker player. Nicknamed the "Whirlwind" and popularly referred to as the "People's Champion", White is a multiple World Championship finalist renowned for losing each of the six finals he contested.White's extensive list of achievements,...

 (3–1), Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 (3–1), Stephen Maguire (3–1) and Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 (3–1) to reach the final, where he lost 1–5 against Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

. O'Sullivan participated at the Premier League Snooker
2010 Premier League Snooker
The 2010 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 2 September to 28 November 2010.Shaun Murphy was the defending champion, but Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated him 7–1 in the final.- Prize fund :...

 and qualified for the finals unbeaten. He then defeated Neil Robertson 5–1 in the semi-finals and Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 7–1 in the final, to claim his ninth Premier League Snooker title in 14 years. In the UK Championship
2010 UK Championship (snooker)
The 2010 12BET.com UK Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 4–12 December 2010 at the Telford International Centre, Telford, England.Ding Junhui was the defending champion, but he lost 8–9 against Mark Allen in the last 16....

 in December, O'Sullivan suffered an early exit losing 6–9 against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round.

At the Masters
2011 Masters (snooker)
The 2011 Ladbrokes Mobile Masters professional non-ranking snooker tournament was held between 9–16 January 2011 at the Wembley Arena, London, England...

 in January, O'Sullivan went out 4–6 in the first round against Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

. O'Sullivan reached the semi-finals in the Snooker Shoot-Out
2011 Snooker Shoot-Out
The 2011 CaesarsCasino.com Snooker Shoot-Out was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that took place between 28–30 January 2011 at the Circus Arena, Blackpool, England...

 in January 2011, before losing against Robert Milkins
Robert Milkins
- External links :* * * *...

. He made the two highest breaks of the tournament, 112 and 123. O'Sullivan lost in the first round of the next two ranking tournaments. He lost against Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

 2–4 at the Welsh Open
2011 Welsh Open (snooker)
The 2011 Wyldecrest Park Homes Welsh Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–20 February 2011 in the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales. This was the first time that the Welsh Open was sponsored by Wyldecrest Park Homes....

, and 2–5 at the China Open
2011 China Open (snooker)
The 2011 Bank of Beijing China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 28 March and 3 April 2011 at the Beijing University Students Gymnasium, Beijing, China....

. O'Sullivan reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship
2011 World Snooker Championship
The 2011 Betfred.com World Snooker Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 16 April and 2 May 2011 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It was the 74th edition of the event and was the last ranking event of the 2010/2011 snooker season...

 by defeating Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 10–2 in the first round and Shaun Murphy 13–10 in the second round, but lost 10–13 against John Higgins.

2011/2012



O'Sullivan began the 2011/2012 season
Snooker season 2011/2012
The 2011/12 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2011 and 2012. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place over 18–22 June 2011, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England....

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 started on 18 June 2011 and will end on 17 March 2012 with events held in England and Europe. European events are no longer called Euro Players Tour Championship and are included alongside other PTC events....

, where he won 4–0 in the final against Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

. At the Paul Hunter Classic
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 25–28 August 2011 in Fürth, Germany. Some of the preliminary round matches were held in Nürnberg...

 O'Sullivan made the 11th official maximum break of his career, and set a new record of career maximum breaks. He then reached the semi-finals, but lost 3–4 against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

. O'Sullivan's next tournament was the Shanghai Masters
2011 Shanghai Masters
The 2011 Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–11 September 2011 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

, where he reached the second round of the tournament, but lost 3–5 against Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

. In October O'Sullivan won the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–9 October 2011, at the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester, England....

, by defeating Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens is a Welsh professional snooker player. Stevens has won two of the game's most prestigious events, the Benson and Hedges Masters in 2000 and the UK Championship in 2003. He has also been the runner-up in the World Snooker Championship on two occasions, in 2000 and 2005...

 4–2 in the final. In November he reached the final of the Antwerp Open
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 10–13 November 2011, at the Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium....

, but lost 3–4 against Judd Trump
Judd Trump
Judd Trump is an English professional snooker player from Bristol. He enjoyed considerable success in youth tournaments before turning professional in 2005. On 3 April 2011, Trump won his first ranking title, beating Mark Selby 10–8 in the final of the China Open...

. After 9 of 12 events O'Sullivan is ranked number one on the Order of Merit. O'Sullivan won the 10th Premier League
2011 Premier League Snooker
The 2011 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that was played from 18 August to 27 November 2011....

 title of his career. After topping the table in the league stage, he defeated Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 to reach the final, where he defeated Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 7–1.

Playing style


O'Sullivan plays in a fast and attacking manner. He is a prolific {{Cuegloss|Breakbuilder|breakbuilder}} and solid tactical player, although he has stated his disdain for long, drawn-out games, saying that it harms the game of snooker. He is a good front-runner
Front-runner
Front-runner is a term to describe the leader in a race, whether political or athletic. The term arose from the close symbolism between political campaigns and athletic running events. The term is used in the U.S...

, although tends to become demoralised when behind and not playing well, and is liable to lose multiple consecutive frames. When behind and needing {{Cuegloss|Snooker|snookers}}, he tends to concede more often than other players, although after Ray Reardon's coaching he does seem to carry on with the frame a lot more than previously.

O'Sullivan is right-handed, but can play to a high standard with his left hand. While not quite possessing the same power in his left arm, being ambidextrous
Ambidexterity
Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages . It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous...

 enables him to attempt shots with his left hand that would otherwise require awkward cueing with a {{Cuegloss|Cross|rest}} or {{Cuegloss|Spider|spider}}. O'Sullivan sometimes plays with a variety of {{Cuegloss|Bridge hand|bridge hands.}}

When he first displayed this left-handed ability in the 1996 World Championship against Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux is a Canadian snooker player; he played on the World Snooker tour from 1988 to 2005 and continues to play in events in Canada.-Career:...

, the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 accused him of disrespect. O'Sullivan responded that he played better with his left hand than Robidoux could with his right. O'Sullivan was summoned to a disciplinary hearing in response to Robidoux's formal complaint, where he had to prove that he could play to a high level with his left hand. He played three frames of snooker against former world championship runner-up Rex Williams
Rex Williams
Rex Williams , son of Minnie Roberts and William Williams, is a retired English professional snooker and billiards player.Williams was an excellent junior player in both snooker and billiards. His professional career began in 1951, during a period of decline in snooker...

, winning all three. The charge of bringing the game into disrepute was subsequently dropped.

Status


He is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport, with some labelling him a 'genius'. Several of his peers regard him as the greatest player ever, although a temperamental streak sometimes led to a lack of confidence or interest, and he has performed inconsistently throughout his controversial career thus far, with observers noting the 'two Ronnies' aspect of his character. According to Stephen Hendry after his defeat at the 2008 World Championship, "O'Sullivan is the best player in the world by a country mile".

O'Sullivan is one of the most popular players on the circuit and is noted for being a 'showman'. He is perhaps the biggest draw in the game today, and has helped improve the image of snooker to the general public. O'Sullivan himself has stated his desire for entertaining the watching public, and said that slow, gritty games put viewers off. He has often been compared to Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins
Alexander Gordon "Alex" Higgins , also known by his nickname of Hurricane Higgins, was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who was twice World Champion and twice runner-up. Higgins earned the nickname The Hurricane because of his speed of play...

 and Jimmy White because of both his natural talent and popularity. O'Sullivan has compiled over 650 competitive centuries during his career, second only to Hendry.

Personal life


He has been labelled a perfectionist, and highly self-critical, even in victory. He suffers from clinical depression and has had drug-related problems.

O'Sullivan's mother is from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. His girlfriend is Jo Langley, whom he met at Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous describing itself as a "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem," and it is the second-largest 12-step organization...

, and with whom he has a daughter, Lily Jo (born in February 2006), and a son, Ronnie, (born 12 June 2007). He was reported to have split with Jo in early June 2008. He has another daughter, Taylor-Ann (born in 1997), from a previous relationship.

In 2003, media sources carried reports that O'Sullivan had converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, but despite his self-professed interest in the faith these reports were proven to be false. O'Sullivan also espouses an interest in Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, having spent many lunchtimes at the London Buddhist Centre
London Buddhist Centre
The London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green, East London, is the main London base of the Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. It opened in 1978, and is located in an ornate, vernacular redbrick Victorian fire station, completed in 1888, and in...

 in Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green is a district of the East End of London, England and part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with the far northern parts falling within the London Borough of Hackney. Located northeast of Charing Cross, it was historically an agrarian hamlet in the ancient parish of Stepney,...

. However, he denies having a firm commitment to any religion.

One of O'Sullivan's hobbies is motor racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

. In 2004, he appeared on Top Gear as the "Star in a

Ronald Antonio "Ronnie" O'Sullivan (born 5 December 1975 in Wordsley
Wordsley
Wordsley with Buckpool is a village south of Kingswinford although is the most northern suburb of Stourbridge in the West Midlands, England. Wordsley still retains its rural character because it abuts open countryside...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

), is an English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 professional snooker
Snooker
Snooker is a cue sport that is played on a green baize-covered table with pockets in each of the four corners and in the middle of each of the long side cushions. A regular table is . It is played using a cue and snooker balls: one white , 15 worth one point each, and six balls of different :...

 player known for his rapid playing style and nicknamed "The Rocket". He has been World Champion on three occasions (2001, 2004 and 2008), and is second on the all-time prize-money list, with career earnings of over £6 million, behind only Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

. O'Sullivan has been the world's no. 1 player on five occasions, has won a total of 22 ranking titles, and is second, again behind Hendry, on the list of competitive century breaks with 650. O'Sullivan has compiled a record 11 maximum breaks in professional competition.

O'Sullivan is considered by many fans, critics and fellow professionals, including Hendry and Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

, as the most naturally talented player in the history of the game
History of snooker
The game of snooker is a cue sport which emerged in its modern form in the late 19th century, with roots going back to the 16th century form of English billiards. Billiards was popular among the British Armed Forces stationed in India. As billiards was only a two player game, new games such as life...

. He has also been involved in a number of controversial incidents during his career.

Early career


O'Sullivan grew up, and still lives, in the exclusive Manor Road area in Chigwell
Chigwell
Chigwell is a civil parish and town in the Epping Forest district of Essex. It is located 11.6 miles north east of Charing Cross. It is served by two London Underground stations and has a London area code.-Etymology:According to P. H...

, Essex
Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. He attended Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School
Wanstead High School , formerly Wanstead County High School, is a co-educational, non-denominational, comprehensive high school in Wanstead, London, United Kingdom.-Admissions:...

. He began his snooker career at an early age, first achieving a {{Cuegloss|Century|century}} break at the age of 10 (making 117). He scored a maximum break at 15, and turned professional at 16. He won his first 38 ranking matches as a professional – a record that still stands – on his way to the 1993 World Championship, where he is the second youngest-ever player to qualify. He lost in the first round 7–10 to Alan McManus
Alan McManus
Alan McManus is a Scottish professional snooker player, known for his tactical play and safety shots, giving rise to his nickname "Angles" McManus.-Career:...

, and in the following season he was ranked 57. He became the youngest-ever winner of a ranking
Snooker world rankings
The snooker world rankings are the official system of ranking professional snooker players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments on the World Snooker Tour. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association...

 tournament when, aged 17, he won the 1993 UK Championship, beating Stephen Hendry in the final, and starting one of the most prominent rivalries in the sport. In 1995, he won his first Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 title.

In the 1996 World Championship, snooker's governing body found him guilty of assaulting Mike Ganley, a media official. He was given a two-year suspended sentence and a £20,000 fine, and advised to donate £10,000 to charity. On 21 April 1997, in the first round of the World Championship against Mick Price
Mick Price (snooker player)
Michael "Mick" Price is a retired English professional snooker player. He turned professional in 1988 and is best known for being Ronnie O'Sullivan's opponent when O'Sullivan scored the fastest 147 break in the game's history, at the 1997 World Championship. O'Sullivan eventually won the match by...

, he made the fastest maximum break, completed in 5 minutes and 20 seconds – an average of one shot every 8.8 seconds. In November, he won his second UK title, beating Hendry 10–6 in the final.

After winning the 1998 Irish Masters 9–3 against Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty
Ken Doherty is an Irish professional snooker player. He is the only player ever to have been world amateur and world professional champion...

, he was stripped of his title and disqualified after a drug test found cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

 in his system. The title then went to Doherty. O'Sullivan made it to the semi–finals of the 1999 World Championship, but lost 13–17 to Stephen Hendry. The last four frames of the third session featured four successive centuries: two from Hendry and two from O'Sullivan. Following his solid performance during the previous year, O'Sullivan's promising campaign in the 1999/2000 season
Snooker season 1999/2000
The snooker season 1999/2000 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1999 and 2000. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

 (during which he won three ranking titles) ended in disappointment. He was a favourite for the 2000 world title, especially after an unexpected loss by Hendry to Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round, but O'Sullivan was also eliminated in the first round by David Gray, who struggled back from 1–5 and 7–9 down to edge out O'Sullivan 10–9 for a place in the second round. In that match, O'Sullivan made five centuries, three in consecutive frames. In 2001, O'Sullivan claimed his first World Championship title (which he dedicated to his father), with an 18–14 victory over Higgins, and his third UK title, with a 10–1 victory over Doherty. He began the 2002/2003 season
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

 ranked number 1.

After the first world title


In 2002 at the World Championship Hendry and O'Sullivan were set to meet in the semi–finals, O'Sullivan having edged out Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee is a professional snooker-player from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, whose smooth cue action is regarded by some pundits as the most natural in the game. He has won four ranking titles, and spent 10 seasons in the Top 16 of the world rankings before dropping out for the snooker...

 in his quarter-final match, 13–10, and Hendry having won his quarter-final match against Doherty. At a pre-match interview, O'Sullivan said, referring to a previous match against Hendry in 1999, "I know if I do get beat, and he comes up and does a moonie in front of me and goes 'Ne ne ne', I'll just look at him and say 'well done', and say 'go back to your sad little life'." In the match, O'Sullivan had the better of the first day's play, opening up an 8–5 lead; but on the second day, Hendry rallied to reach 12–12 before going into the final session. Hendry subsequently outplayed O'Sullivan and won by 17 frames to 13. After the match, O'Sullivan accused Hendry of poor sportsmanship, referring to his conduct over a "miss" shot at an unnamed prior tournament. Hendry did not comment on his opponent's outburst, although O'Sullivan did receive some criticism for his remarks from Steve Davis, Dennis Taylor and Clive Everton
Clive Everton
Clive Everton , is a Welsh veteran BBC snooker commentator, journalist and author. He began his BBC career on the radio, but has been commentating on the television from the 1978 World Championship through to the present...

. O'Sullivan later apologised to Hendry for his comments.

Another successful season followed in 2002/2003
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

, with O'Sullivan reaching the last 16 of seven ranking tournaments, and winning the Scottish Masters, the European Open
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

 and Irish Masters, defeating Higgins in the Scottish and Irish finals, and Hendry in the European, and starting the 2003 World Championship as runaway favourite. O'Sullivan's season ended on a disappointing note, however, when he was knocked out in the first round for the third time in his career, losing 6–10 to the unseeded Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

, despite making four century breaks, including another maximum break, in the match. This defeat saw him drop to number 3
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2004/2005 season are listed below. This was Chris Small's only top 16 season, and Paul Hunter's only appearance in the top 4.-References:...

 in the rankings.

In 2004, O'Sullivan's father telephoned 1970s six-time World Champion Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon
Ray Reardon, MBE is a retired Welsh snooker player. He dominated the sport in the 1970s, winning six World Championships in that decade...

, and asked if he could give O'Sullivan some advice. With Reardon's backing, O'Sullivan recovered his form and claimed the World Championship, beating Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 very convincingly in the final, by 18 frames to 8. He lost the first five frames of the match, however, which he attributed to his opponent's (and O'Sullivan's former) coach's mind games – entering O'Sullivan's dressing room minutes before the match. He also beat Hendry 17–4 in the semi–final – the most one-sided defeat ever in a World Championship semi–final. O'Sullivan was ranked number one for the next two seasons.

2004/2005


O'Sullivan next won the season's Masters and Welsh Open titles. However, he missed the China Open
2005 China Open (snooker)
The 2005 China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 26 March–3 April 2005 at the Chaoyang Sports Centre in Beijing, China...

 on medical grounds; this was criticised by Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

, who said that O'Sullivan has a duty to promote the sport.

In the World Championship, O'Sullivan lost to Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter-final. From 2–8 down, Ebdon began a comeback and eventually won 13–11, by playing in an exceptionally determined and dogged style, with many observers accusing him of deliberate slow play to disrupt O'Sullivan's fast game. After the match, O'Sullivan indicated to the press that he was unlikely to compete in the following season, and perhaps even would retire from the sport altogether. However, in September 2005, he announced that he would play a truncated 2005/2006 season and spend some time playing eight-ball in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after being chosen to compete on the elite International Pool Tour
International Pool Tour
The International Pool Tour is a professional sports tour created in 2005 by Kevin Trudeau and hosted by Rebecca Grant. It aims to elevate pool to the level of other modern sports. Closely modeled on the PGA Tour, the IPT offered the largest prize funds in pool history in its first year. The tour...

. It turned out, however, that the IPT pool tournament in which O'Sullivan was to make his début clashed with the defence of his Premier League Snooker title. Plans were changed accordingly, and O'Sullivan went on to beat Hendry 6–0 with four century breaks.

2005/2006


After a comprehensive 2–9 loss to John Higgins in the final of the Grand Prix
2005 Grand Prix (snooker)
The 2005 Grand Prix professional ranking snooker tournament was held between 8 and 16 October 2005, at the Guild Hall, Preston, England.John Higgins won in the final 9-2 against Ronnie O'Sullivan. In the final, Higgins set two records...

, O'Sullivan reached the final of the Masters, only to lose again 9–10 to Higgins. In his first-round match with Mark King
Mark King (snooker player)
Mark King is an English professional snooker player. He has not yet won a ranking tournament, but came close when he was a beaten finalist in the 1997 Regal Welsh Open and the 2004 Irish Masters.- Career :...

 at the UK Championship, O'Sullivan sat with a wet towel draped over his head for most of the contest.

The 2006 World Championship began with O'Sullivan defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 10–4, followed by a struggle through 13–10 in the second-round match against Welshman
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

. A similar quarter-final match ensued against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

. O'Sullivan led 10–6 going into the final session. A fightback from Williams saw him take the lead by winning the next five frames, but O'Sullivan held his nerve to take the match 13–11, and faced Graeme Dott in the semi–finals. Dott took an early lead before O'Sullivan drew level at 8–8 at the end of the second session. Cue-tip problems which had dogged O'Sullivan throughout the event recurred, including an incident in which television footage appeared to show O'Sullivan deliberately removing the tip of his cue. This secured him a 15-minute break to re-tip the cue, before he returned and made a 124 break. Tournament Director Mike Ganley accepted the player's assurance that the tip had simply fallen off, and no censure was made. The incident drew criticism from his opponent, and from Steve Davis
Steve Davis
Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

 and John Parrott
John Parrott
John Parrott MBE is an English professional snooker player and TV personality.He won the World Snooker Championship in 1991, defeating Jimmy White in the final. Two years earlier he had lost 3–18 to Steve Davis, the heaviest final defeat in modern times...

. Dott then took all eight frames of the third session, leaving him one frame away from his second final in three years. The final session saw O'Sullivan stage a minor fightback, taking three frames in a row before a mistake let Dott back in for an eventual clearance on the black. After Dott's win, O'Sullivan gave his cue and case to a boy in the crowd. BBC claims he had used as many as 21 different tips during the fortnight; O'Sullivan later stated he had used seven tips before arriving in Sheffield, and a further eight during the week, and that he would return next season with a new cue. O'Sullivan's decision not to enter the Malta Cup cost him the number one rank for the following season.

2006/2007


On his way to the final of the Northern Ireland Trophy, which he lost 6–9 to Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

, he defeated semi–final opponent Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 6–0, in a record 53 minutes for a best-of-11 frame match.

In December 2006, in his quarter-final match of the UK Championship against Hendry, O'Sullivan conceded in dramatic fashion part-way into the sixth frame of the best-of-17 match. He had gone 0–4 down after a strong start from Hendry, before finally taking a frame back. At the beginning of the sixth frame, O'Sullivan opened with a break of 24, before leaving himself a difficult shot from black to red. After missing the red, he calmly shook the hand of both Hendry (saying to him that he "had enough of it, mate") and the match referee, Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

, and walked out of the arena, stunning everyone present. The incident caused minor disruption to the other quarter-final match, between Graeme Dott and Steve Davis, being played simultaneously in the same arena. Dott later said that he initially thought that O'Sullivan and Hendry were having a fight when he heard an audience member shout "Get a grip, Ronnie". It was later officially confirmed that O'Sullivan had forfeited the match, which was awarded 9–1 to Hendry. The World Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 announced that the fans who had travelled to watch the match would get next-day tickets for free by way of compensation. O’Sullivan issued a statement later that day, apologising and saying that he would be "back on his feet fighting stronger and harder than ever very soon". On 31 May 2007, World Snooker fined O'Sullivan a total of £20,800 and docked him 900 ranking points over this incident.

O'Sullivan returned to action at the Masters, to a mixed response from the audience (being both booed and clapped). He won his first round match on 16 January 2007 against Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 6–1, making two {{Cuegloss|Century break|centuries}} in the process. However, he then created more controversy by failing to attend a post-match press conference. He did record a short interview with Steve Davis for the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, stating that he was much happier than at the UK Championship, and that he was playing well once again. Sir Rodney Walker
Rodney Walker (rugby league)
Sir Rodney Walker KBE is a British sports administrator.He was Chairman of Wakefield Trinity RLFC between 1986 and 1993; the Rugby Football League between 1993 and 2002; GB Sports Council between 1994 and 1996; Sport England between 1996 and 1998 and UK Sport between 1997 and 2003.In the Birthday...

 later issued a statement that said O'Sullivan had been excused from dealing with the media because of the exceptional circumstances affecting him. This decision was criticised by Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 and Ken Doherty. O'Sullivan went on to win the tournament against Ding Junhui on 21 January 2007. In the match, he was noted for his good sportsmanship by Steve Davis, specifically for comforting Ding after the twelfth frame, during which Ding had become visibly upset by an overly partisan member of the crowd, who was later ejected. O'Sullivan was leading 9–3 at the time, and won the next frame for a 10–3 victory.

O'Sullivan went out of the Malta Cup
2007 Malta Cup
-Final:-Qualifying:Qualifying for the tournament took place in Pontin's Prestatyn, Wales between 31 October and 3 November 2006.-Qualifying stages centuries:* 138 Mark Allen* 134, 100 Mark Davis* 131 Alfie Burden* 129 Mark King* 124, 102 Liang Wenbo...

 with a 3–5 loss to Michael Holt
Michael Holt (snooker player)
Michael Holt is a professional snooker player from Nottingham, England. , he has reached the quarter finals of three ranking tournaments – the 1999 UK Championship, the 2003 LG Cup, and the 2005 Grand Prix.-Career:...

 in the first round. Later, during the Welsh Open, O'Sullivan announced that his technique would be undergoing major changes, as he was unhappy with his recent performances. These included a 4–5 reverse to Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 in the quarter-finals. In his quarter-final match against Joe Swail
Joe Swail
-External links:*...

 at the Irish Masters
2007 Irish Masters
-Final:-Century breaks:*147, 138, 134, 122 Ronnie O'Sullivan*135 John Higgins*131, 107, 104 Barry Hawkins*109 Fergal O'Brien*103 David Morris*102 Joe Swail...

, O'Sullivan knocked in a 147 on his way to a narrow 5–4 victory. Because the table used did not have officially ratified pockets, however, O'Sullivan's maximum achieved upon it does not count towards his official total. The organisers had initially offered a car to any player who completed a maximum break, but were unable to keep their promise. O'Sullivan defeated John Higgins (6–5) in another decider played later that evening, then easily overcame Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins
Barry Hawkins is an English professional snooker player. He has reached three ranking semi-finals, and spent five seasons inside the top 32 of the rankings. He has also played in the World Championship the last six years running.-Early career:Before taking up snooker professionally he was an...

 9–1 in the final, becoming the first winner of the new Paul Hunter
Paul Hunter
Paul Alan Hunter was an English professional snooker player. His media profile developed swiftly and he became known as the "Beckham of the Baize" because of his good looks and flamboyant style....

 Trophy, awarded to him by Paul's widow Lyndsey.

Just before the World Championship, in which he had a first-round match with Ding Junhui again, O'Sullivan claimed that the draw was fixed. This was subsequently denied by World Snooker and O'Sullivan later retracted his accusation. In the end, O'Sullivan won the tie easily, by 10 frames to 2. He also won his second-round match against Robertson 13–10 (in spite of losing six frames in a row at one point), before losing his quarter-final match 9–13 against eventual champion John Higgins.

2007/2008


O'Sullivan withdrew from the first ranking event of the season, the Shanghai Masters
2007 Shanghai Masters
The 2007 Shanghai Masters was the inaugural event of the Shanghai Masters tournament and the first ranking event of the season. It took place between 6–12 August 2007 at the Shanghai Grand Stage.Dominic Dale won in the final 10–6 against Ryan Day....

, citing back problems for which doctors had advised him not to travel. He also chose not to enter the invitational Pot Black tournament.

He made the final of the Grand Prix, but lost 6–9 against Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

. During the Northern Ireland Trophy, he set a new record, by compiling five centuries in a 5–2 win (over Ali Carter). This also included his seventh official competitive 147 maximum break. O'Sullivan went out of the tournament in the next round, having lost against Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien
Fergal O'Brien is an Irish professional snooker player. He has won one ranking title and reached two other major finals, and spent three seasons as a top 16 player.-Career:...

. On 2 December 2007, he won a fourth consecutive (and record seventh in total) Premier League Snooker
2007 Premier League Snooker
* 40–50, 31–73 , -0, 77–0, 0-, 66–52, 3–119 , 1-** 17-, 18–80 , 83–16, 35–87 , 1–93 , 48–56*** -0, 4–84 , 49–82 , 80–26, 77–0, 2–90 , 29-, 14-, 14–111 , 108–0, 0–107 -Century breaks:*143 Steve Davis*141, 141, 124, 120, 119, 113, 110, 105, 104, 103, 101 Ronnie O'Sullivan*138, 138,...

 title, by beating John Higgins in the final by a score of 7–4.

On 15 December 2007, O'Sullivan compiled his eighth maximum break in competition, in the deciding frame of his UK Championship semi–final against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 at Telford
Telford
Telford is a large new town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, approximately east of Shrewsbury, and west of Birmingham...

, equalling Hendry's record. In doing so, O'Sullivan also became only the third person in professional competition to compile a maximum to win a match. Hendry had made the first against O'Sullivan in the 1997 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 final, and Mark Williams had made the second, at the Crucible in the first round of the 2005 World Championship. O'Sullivan is also the second player (after John Higgins) to make 147 breaks in two consecutive ranking tournaments (2007 Northern Ireland Trophy and 2007 Maplin UK Championship). He then went on to win the tournament, beating Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

 10–2 in the final (from 8–0 up), thereby receiving a £100,000 cheque for winning his first ranking tournament in almost three years.

At the Masters on 12 January, Stephen Maguire edged out O'Sullivan in a final frame to win their first-round match at Wembley. In the battle of the top two players in the provisional world rankings, O'Sullivan fought back from 4–1 down to level at 5–5 and take the match into a deciding eleventh frame. O'Sullivan missed the final blue with the rest, when poised to win the match, allowing Maguire to reach the quarter-finals.

After withdrawing from the invitational Malta Cup O'Sullivan returned at the Welsh Open in February. Playing a good tournament, he reached the final against Selby. Although O'Sullivan led 8–5, Selby won the last four frames to beat him 9–8.

O'Sullivan was present at the China Open, in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, where he lost 4–5 to Marco Fu in the first round. However, at the press conference, which followed the match, O'Sullivan was heard making some lewd remarks inviting a member of the press to perform fellatio
Fellatio
Fellatio is an act of oral stimulation of a male's penis by a sexual partner. It involves the stimulation of the penis by the use of the mouth, tongue, or throat. The person who performs fellatio can be referred to as the giving partner, and the other person is the receiving partner...

 on him, then laughing with the World Snooker media spokesman. O'Sullivan also joked about the size and girth of his penis
Penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

, before simulating a sexual act on his microphone. In June 2008, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 punished O'Sullivan for his behaviour by docking the appearance money and world ranking points that he had earned from the event.

He compiled a record-breaking ninth competitive maximum break at the Crucible
Crucible Theatre
The Crucible Theatre is a theatre built in 1971 and located in the city centre of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. As well as theatrical performances, it is home to the most important event in professional snooker, the World Snooker Championship....

 against Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 at the 2008 World Championships. It was his third of the season, and also his third maximum at the Crucible. It was the fourth maximum to be compiled in a winning frame of a match (following Hendry, Williams, and O'Sullivan himself). Interviewed by Steve Davis just after beating Williams 13–7, he said "I can finally buy a Bentley Continental GT
Bentley Continental GT
-Flying Spur:The four door Continental Flying Spur saloon was first displayed at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The Flying Spur utilizes most of the technical underpinnings of the Bentley Continental GT, and was introduced to European and North American markets in the summer of 2005...

". Soon after potting the final black, snooker legend and commentator Dennis Taylor labelled O'Sullivan as a "total genius". However, O'Sullivan's 147 was equalled by Ali Carter in the same tournament, thus halving the prize money. O'Sullivan defeated Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang
Liu Chuang is a Chinese professional snooker player.-Early life:Liu grew up in Liaoning province in northeast China. Near his parents' house there was a snooker table and when he was 10 he played on it and liked it a lot...

, Mark Williams, Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 and Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 en route to the final of the tournament. He then beat Carter 18–8 for the title on 5 May. In an interview after his third world-title win, he hinted again that he may not play in the 2008/2009 season, but also stated that he might go on to pursue many more world titles.

At the end of the season, O'Sullivan, along with Williams and Maguire, left management company 110sport to join Romford
Romford
Romford is a large suburban town in north east London, England and the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Havering. It is located northeast of Charing Cross and is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan...

-based Grove Leisure.

2008/2009


He began the new season by winning the Northern Ireland Trophy
2008 Northern Ireland Trophy
The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 24 and 31 August 2008 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast....

, defeating Dave Harold
Dave Harold
David 'Dave' Harold is an English professional snooker player from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He is known by the nicknames of "the Hard Man" and "the Stoke Potter"...

 9–3 in the final. O'Sullivan is the only player to win back-to-back ranking events in the last four years.

O'Sullivan then reached the final of the Shanghai Masters
2008 Shanghai Masters
The 2008Roewe Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 29 September and 5 October 2008 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

. He defeated Stephen Maguire in the semi–finals with two high breaks, of 141 and 145. However, in the final, he was beaten by qualifier Ricky Walden 10–8. O'Sullivan was leading, but Walden pulled back four straight frames in a row to win the match.

In the Premier League
2008 Premier League Snooker
* 83–34, –4, 133–0, –4, –0 ** 55–68, 93–0, 20–93 , 76–8, 24–93, –0, 6–69 , –4, 4–*** 11–121 , 8–82 , 18–74, 14–, 48–83 , 61–58, 13–, –0, 20–...

, he secured a 7–2 win over Mark Selby, which meant that he had won the event eight times in total, and five times consecutively. However, O'Sullivan failed to defend his UK Championship title, losing to Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

 5–9 in the second round. O'Sullivan had conceded the twelfth game of the match to go 5–7 down, although Perry held a lead of only 23 points to zero. Commenting afterwards, O'Sullivan said that "it might have looked like I lost my head or whatever, but I'm sure I'll bounce back." For this he was later fined £300, and was ordered to pay £1000 in costs.

In the Masters, O'Sullivan reached the final by beating Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

, Ali Carter
Allister Carter
Allister "Ali" Carter is an English professional snooker player, who lives in Tiptree. He reached the final of the 2008 World Championship, his first major final. Although he lost heavily to Ronnie O'Sullivan, this run allowed him to reach the top 8 of the rankings for the first time...

 and Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is a Scottish professional snooker player.-Early career:Maguire almost qualified for the 2000 World Championships, leading eventual semi-finalist Joe Swail 9–6 in the final qualifying round before losing 9–10, but first served notice of his true potential by knocking out Stephen...

. In a tense final against defending champion Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

, neither player was able to obtain a sizeable lead, with frames littered with both big breaks and close finishes. After leading 3–1, O'Sullivan ended the afternoon session at 4–4, and took the first frame of the evening session. Selby, however, then won the next 3 frames to lead 7–5. O'Sullivan responded by taking three frames in succession himself, to lead 8–7. The following two frames were shared, and at 9–8, after both players had wasted chances, O'Sullivan constructed a break of 55, beating Mark Selby 10–8 and thereby claiming the title for the fourth time. In doing this, he became only the second player, after Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

, to win the trophy more than three times. In his post-match interview, O'Sullivan proclaimed his victory, composed with a cue that he had obtained only the previous Saturday, as his greatest achievement in snooker. On the way to his fourth title, O'Sullivan surpassed Stephen Hendry's century-break record in the event, bringing his total to 44 as of 2009. He also contributed to the record-breaking 32 century breaks compiled over the course of the tournament, which was six more than the previous record of 26, compiled in 2007.

In the 2009 World Championship, O'Sullivan compiled three centuries in his first match, against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

. In the second frame, he compiled a 140 break, in a later frame he also achieved a break of 104, the 14th frame he scored a clearance of 103. He was defeated in the second round 11–13 by Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 after leading 9–7.

2009/2010


He began the season
Snooker season 2009/2010
The snooker season 2009/10 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2009 and 2010. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :- Official rankings :...

 by winning the Shanghai Masters, defeating Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–5 in the final. On the way to reach the final he lost only 6 frames. He beat Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

 5–0 in the first round, Marco Fu
Marco Fu
Marco Fu Ka-chun , commonly known as Marco Fu, is a professional snooker player from Hong Kong. He currently resides in Happy Valley. He is best known for winning the 2007 Grand Prix, beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final, and for being runner-up in the 2008 UK Championship...

 5–2 in the second round, Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 5–3 in the quarter-finals, and John Higgins 6–1 in the semi–finals . After his Shanghai Masters victory he joined the newly founded Snooker Players Association. In the second ranking event, the Grand Prix, he beat Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett
Jamie Burnett is a professional snooker player from Hamilton, Scotland.-Career:During the qualifying stages of the 2004 UK Championship, he achieved the impressive feat of becoming the first ever player to compile a break over 147 in a professional match, in which he made a break of 148 against...

 in the first round 5–3, but then lost narrowly against John Higgins in the second round 4–5. On 29 November 2009, O'Sullivan did not retain his Premier League Snooker
2009 Premier League Snooker
The 2009 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 3 September to 29 November 2009.Shaun Murphy won in the final 7–3 against defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.- Prize fund :Winner: £30,000...

 title, with Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 defeating him 7–3 in the final. Following his 9–3 victory over Matthew Stevens in the first round of the UK Championship on 7 December 2009, O'Sullivan caused controversy in his post-match press conference. He described the outgoing regime at the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, often abbreviated to the WPBSA, founded in 1968 and based in Bristol, England, United Kingdom is the governing body of professional snooker and English billiards...

 (headed by Sir Rodney Walker) as "a cancer running through the game" and also said, "Leukaemia has set in". He went on to endorse the new era of snooker, headed by Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn is an English sporting events promoter, and the founder and chairman of promotions company Matchroom Sport. He is currently the chairman of Leyton Orient F.C., and the Professional Darts Corporation and was also until July 2010 chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker...

. He then won his next two matches, 9–3 against Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the last 16, and Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the quarter-finals, before losing the semi–final 8–9 to John Higgins, despite coming back from 2–8 to 8–8.

O'Sullivan began the defence of his Masters title by defeating Australian Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

 6–4 in the first round, after trailing 0–3. After this, he defeated Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 in the quarter final 6–3 to reach the semi–finals. There he beat Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 6–5 to reach his 6th Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 final in 7 years. O'Sullivan met Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

 in the final for the second consecutive year, but he lost 9–10, despite leading 9–6. In the Welsh Open, he reached the semi–finals by beating Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 5–1 in the first round, Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 5–0 in the second round, and Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

 5–2 in the quarter-finals, but lost 4–6 against John Higgins in the semi–finals.

O'Sullivan lost 3–5 in the first round of the China Open against 22-year-old wild card
Wild card (sports)
The term wild card refers broadly to a tournament or playoff berth awarded to an individual or team that has not qualified through normal play.-International sports:...

 Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei
Tian Pengfei is a professional snooker player from the People's Republic of China.-Career:Tian first competed on the main tour in the 2006/2007 season, dropping off the tour in the following season....

. In the eighth frame, O'Sullivan missed the final black from the spot (a pot that would have levelled the match); the ball finished over the pocket, and O'Sullivan conceded frame and match. With this, he also lost his chance to defend his official World No. 1 spot. At the World Championship, he defeated Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

 10–7 in the first round and Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 13–10 in the second round, before losing 11–13 to Mark Selby in the quarter-finals match.

2010/2011


O'Sullivan began the 2010/2011 season
Snooker season 2010/2011
The 2010/11 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2010 and 2011. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 1
-Section 2:-Section 3:-Section 4:-Section 5:-Section 6:-Section 7:-Section 8:-Finals:-Century breaks:*147 Kurt Maflin*141, 129 Mark Selby*138, 118 Tony Drago*137, 129, 124, 124, 114 Stephen Maguire*136 Jordan Brown*136 Dave Harold...

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 started on 24 June 2010 and ended on 20 March 2011 with events held in Sheffield and Europe. The televised finals took place between the top 24 Order of Merit players, who have played at least 6 events ....

, where he lost in the quarter-finals against Jamie Cope
Jamie Cope
-External links:***...

 0–4. O'Sullivan next competed at event Event 4
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–16 August 2010, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England...

, where reached the final. He lost against Barry Pinches
Barry Pinches
-External links:**...

 3–4. At the World Open
2010 World Open (snooker)
The 2010 12bet.com World Open professional ranking snooker tournament was held at the S.E.C.C., Glasgow between 18–26 September 2010. This was the first time that the World Open was sponsored by 12bet.com....

 O'Sullivan made his record 10th maximum break in the last frame of his match against Mark King, which he won 3–0. However, he had to be persuaded by referee Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas
Jan Verhaas is a Dutch snooker referee. He lives in Brielle.-Career:After working as a process operator for Shell Chemicals, Verhaas qualified as a class 1 snooker referee in 1990. At the age of 25, he was discovered during a tournament in Rotterdam...

 to play the final black, as he became aware that there was no distinct prize money for a maximum break in the tournament, which only paid £4,000 as the highest break of the tournament. Even then, O'Sullivan played the final black in a nonchalant fashion. O'Sullivan then defeated Jimmy White
Jimmy White
James Warren "Jimmy" White MBE is an English professional snooker player. Nicknamed the "Whirlwind" and popularly referred to as the "People's Champion", White is a multiple World Championship finalist renowned for losing each of the six finals he contested.White's extensive list of achievements,...

 (3–1), Stephen Hendry
Stephen Hendry
Stephen Gordon Hendry, MBE is a Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He has won the World Championship a record seven times and was snooker's world number one for eight consecutive years between 1990 and 1998, and again...

 (3–1), Stephen Maguire (3–1) and Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon
Peter "Ebbo" Ebdon is an English professional snooker player and former world champion renowned for his remarkably focused, determined style of play.-Early years:...

 (3–1) to reach the final, where he lost 1–5 against Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4...

. O'Sullivan participated at the Premier League Snooker
2010 Premier League Snooker
The 2010 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 2 September to 28 November 2010.Shaun Murphy was the defending champion, but Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated him 7–1 in the final.- Prize fund :...

 and qualified for the finals unbeaten. He then defeated Neil Robertson 5–1 in the semi-finals and Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy (snooker player)
Shaun Murphy is an English professional snooker player, who won the 2005 World Championship. Nicknamed "The Magician", Murphy is noted for his straight cue action and his long potting. He is known for his dedication and for being a devout Christian.Born in Harlow, England, Murphy turned...

 7–1 in the final, to claim his ninth Premier League Snooker title in 14 years. In the UK Championship
2010 UK Championship (snooker)
The 2010 12BET.com UK Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 4–12 December 2010 at the Telford International Centre, Telford, England.Ding Junhui was the defending champion, but he lost 8–9 against Mark Allen in the last 16....

 in December, O'Sullivan suffered an early exit losing 6–9 against Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham is an English professional snooker player. He was the 1996 English Amateur and World Amateur champion, but for many years was something of a journeyman professional. He had a run of strong results in late 2005, to earn him a top 32 world rankings place he has yet to lose...

 in the first round.

At the Masters
2011 Masters (snooker)
The 2011 Ladbrokes Mobile Masters professional non-ranking snooker tournament was held between 9–16 January 2011 at the Wembley Arena, London, England...

 in January, O'Sullivan went out 4–6 in the first round against Mark Allen
Mark Allen (snooker player)
Mark Allen is a Northern Irish professional snooker player. He won the World Amateur Championship in 2004. The following year he turned professional and took only three seasons to reach the elite top 16...

. O'Sullivan reached the semi-finals in the Snooker Shoot-Out
2011 Snooker Shoot-Out
The 2011 CaesarsCasino.com Snooker Shoot-Out was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that took place between 28–30 January 2011 at the Circus Arena, Blackpool, England...

 in January 2011, before losing against Robert Milkins
Robert Milkins
- External links :* * * *...

. He made the two highest breaks of the tournament, 112 and 123. O'Sullivan lost in the first round of the next two ranking tournaments. He lost against Ryan Day
Ryan Day
-External links:* * *...

 2–4 at the Welsh Open
2011 Welsh Open (snooker)
The 2011 Wyldecrest Park Homes Welsh Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–20 February 2011 in the Newport Centre in Newport, Wales. This was the first time that the Welsh Open was sponsored by Wyldecrest Park Homes....

, and 2–5 at the China Open
2011 China Open (snooker)
The 2011 Bank of Beijing China Open professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 28 March and 3 April 2011 at the Beijing University Students Gymnasium, Beijing, China....

. O'Sullivan reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship
2011 World Snooker Championship
The 2011 Betfred.com World Snooker Championship professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 16 April and 2 May 2011 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England. It was the 74th edition of the event and was the last ranking event of the 2010/2011 snooker season...

 by defeating Dominic Dale
Dominic Dale
-External links:**...

 10–2 in the first round and Shaun Murphy 13–10 in the second round, but lost 10–13 against John Higgins.

2011/2012



O'Sullivan began the 2011/2012 season
Snooker season 2011/2012
The 2011/12 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2011 and 2012. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

 at the Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place over 18–22 June 2011, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England....

 of the Players Tour Championship
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 started on 18 June 2011 and will end on 17 March 2012 with events held in England and Europe. European events are no longer called Euro Players Tour Championship and are included alongside other PTC events....

, where he won 4–0 in the final against Joe Perry
Joe Perry (snooker player)
-External links:*...

. At the Paul Hunter Classic
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 25–28 August 2011 in Fürth, Germany. Some of the preliminary round matches were held in Nürnberg...

 O'Sullivan made the 11th official maximum break of his career, and set a new record of career maximum breaks. He then reached the semi-finals, but lost 3–4 against Mark Selby
Mark Selby
Mark Anthony Selby is an English professional snooker and pool player. Runner up in the World Snooker Championship 2007, he was the 2006 WEPF World Eight-ball Champion. Selby has won the Masters on two occasions, the Welsh Open and the Shanghai Masters...

. O'Sullivan's next tournament was the Shanghai Masters
2011 Shanghai Masters
The 2011 Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–11 September 2011 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

, where he reached the second round of the tournament, but lost 3–5 against Anthony Hamilton
Anthony Hamilton (snooker player)
Anthony Hamilton is an English professional snooker player noted for his strong break-building technique and distinctive appearance. He has spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16, and fifteen in the top 32, reaching a career-high at number #10 in the world in the 1999/2000 season...

. In October O'Sullivan won the Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–9 October 2011, at the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester, England....

, by defeating Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens
Matthew Stevens is a Welsh professional snooker player. Stevens has won two of the game's most prestigious events, the Benson and Hedges Masters in 2000 and the UK Championship in 2003. He has also been the runner-up in the World Snooker Championship on two occasions, in 2000 and 2005...

 4–2 in the final. In November he reached the final of the Antwerp Open
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 10–13 November 2011, at the Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium....

, but lost 3–4 against Judd Trump
Judd Trump
Judd Trump is an English professional snooker player from Bristol. He enjoyed considerable success in youth tournaments before turning professional in 2005. On 3 April 2011, Trump won his first ranking title, beating Mark Selby 10–8 in the final of the China Open...

. After 9 of 12 events O'Sullivan is ranked number one on the Order of Merit. O'Sullivan won the 10th Premier League
2011 Premier League Snooker
The 2011 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that was played from 18 August to 27 November 2011....

 title of his career. After topping the table in the league stage, he defeated Mark Williams
Mark Williams (snooker player)
Mark James Williams, MBE is a Welsh professional snooker player who has been World Champion twice, in 2000 and 2003. Often noted for his single-ball potting, he has earned the nickname, The Welsh Potting Machine...

 to reach the final, where he defeated Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

 7–1.

Playing style


O'Sullivan plays in a fast and attacking manner. He is a prolific {{Cuegloss|Breakbuilder|breakbuilder}} and solid tactical player, although he has stated his disdain for long, drawn-out games, saying that it harms the game of snooker. He is a good front-runner
Front-runner
Front-runner is a term to describe the leader in a race, whether political or athletic. The term arose from the close symbolism between political campaigns and athletic running events. The term is used in the U.S...

, although tends to become demoralised when behind and not playing well, and is liable to lose multiple consecutive frames. When behind and needing {{Cuegloss|Snooker|snookers}}, he tends to concede more often than other players, although after Ray Reardon's coaching he does seem to carry on with the frame a lot more than previously.

O'Sullivan is right-handed, but can play to a high standard with his left hand. While not quite possessing the same power in his left arm, being ambidextrous
Ambidexterity
Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages . It is one of the most famous varieties of cross-dominance. People that are naturally ambidextrous are rare, with only one out of one hundred people being naturally ambidextrous...

 enables him to attempt shots with his left hand that would otherwise require awkward cueing with a {{Cuegloss|Cross|rest}} or {{Cuegloss|Spider|spider}}. O'Sullivan sometimes plays with a variety of {{Cuegloss|Bridge hand|bridge hands.}}

When he first displayed this left-handed ability in the 1996 World Championship against Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux
Alain Robidoux is a Canadian snooker player; he played on the World Snooker tour from 1988 to 2005 and continues to play in events in Canada.-Career:...

, the Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 accused him of disrespect. O'Sullivan responded that he played better with his left hand than Robidoux could with his right. O'Sullivan was summoned to a disciplinary hearing in response to Robidoux's formal complaint, where he had to prove that he could play to a high level with his left hand. He played three frames of snooker against former world championship runner-up Rex Williams
Rex Williams
Rex Williams , son of Minnie Roberts and William Williams, is a retired English professional snooker and billiards player.Williams was an excellent junior player in both snooker and billiards. His professional career began in 1951, during a period of decline in snooker...

, winning all three. The charge of bringing the game into disrepute was subsequently dropped.

Status


He is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport, with some labelling him a 'genius'. Several of his peers regard him as the greatest player ever, although a temperamental streak sometimes led to a lack of confidence or interest, and he has performed inconsistently throughout his controversial career thus far, with observers noting the 'two Ronnies' aspect of his character. According to Stephen Hendry after his defeat at the 2008 World Championship, "O'Sullivan is the best player in the world by a country mile".

O'Sullivan is one of the most popular players on the circuit and is noted for being a 'showman'. He is perhaps the biggest draw in the game today, and has helped improve the image of snooker to the general public. O'Sullivan himself has stated his desire for entertaining the watching public, and said that slow, gritty games put viewers off. He has often been compared to Alex Higgins
Alex Higgins
Alexander Gordon "Alex" Higgins , also known by his nickname of Hurricane Higgins, was a Northern Irish professional snooker player who was twice World Champion and twice runner-up. Higgins earned the nickname The Hurricane because of his speed of play...

 and Jimmy White because of both his natural talent and popularity. O'Sullivan has compiled over 650 competitive centuries during his career, second only to Hendry.

Personal life


He has been labelled a perfectionist, and highly self-critical, even in victory. He suffers from clinical depression and has had drug-related problems.

O'Sullivan's mother is from Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. His girlfriend is Jo Langley, whom he met at Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve-step program modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous describing itself as a "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem," and it is the second-largest 12-step organization...

, and with whom he has a daughter, Lily Jo (born in February 2006), and a son, Ronnie, (born 12 June 2007). He was reported to have split with Jo in early June 2008. He has another daughter, Taylor-Ann (born in 1997), from a previous relationship.

In 2003, media sources carried reports that O'Sullivan had converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, but despite his self-professed interest in the faith these reports were proven to be false. O'Sullivan also espouses an interest in Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, having spent many lunchtimes at the London Buddhist Centre
London Buddhist Centre
The London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green, East London, is the main London base of the Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly known as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. It opened in 1978, and is located in an ornate, vernacular redbrick Victorian fire station, completed in 1888, and in...

 in Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green is a district of the East End of London, England and part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with the far northern parts falling within the London Borough of Hackney. Located northeast of Charing Cross, it was historically an agrarian hamlet in the ancient parish of Stepney,...

. However, he denies having a firm commitment to any religion.

One of O'Sullivan's hobbies is motor racing
Auto racing
Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

. In 2004, he appeared on Top Gear as the "Star in a {{sic", and finished with a time of 1:47.3 around the test track in a Suzuki Liana
Suzuki Aerio
The Suzuki Aerio is a compact car that was built by Suzuki Motor Corporation. It was introduced in 2001 as a replacement for the Suzuki Esteem/Baleno, with a tall 5-door SX model hatchback and a 4-door sedan body...

. He also succeeded in clearing a snooker table of four reds plus all the colours faster than the Stig
The Stig
The Stig is a character in the British motoring television show Top Gear. The character plays on the anonymity of racing drivers' full-face helmets, with the running joke that nobody knows who, or indeed what, is inside the character's racing suit. The character was the creation of presenter Jeremy...

 was able to drive O'Sullivan's own Mercedes SL 500
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
The Mercedes-Benz SL is a grand tourer manufactured by Mercedes since 1954. The designation SL derives from the German Sport Leicht, or Sport Lightweight — and was first applied to the 300SL 'Gullwing' named also after its gullwing or upward-opening doors.The term SL-Class refers to the...

, with its "147" number plate, around the track. Over the 15–16 August 2009 weekend, in the Volkswagen Racing Cup at Silverstone
Silverstone Circuit
Silverstone Circuit is an English motor racing circuit next to the Northamptonshire villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury. The circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border, with the current main circuit entry on the Buckinghamshire side...

 using a Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Jetta
Although the Golf had reached considerable success, in the North American markets, Volkswagen observed that the hatchback body style lacked some of the appeal to those who preferred the traditional three-box configuration...

 with the car number "147", he drove two 20-minute rounds. In the first round he spun off into a gravel trap, but fared better in the second, in which he finished 14th.

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1992/
93
Snooker season 1992/1993
The snooker season 1992/1993 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1992 and 1993. The following table outlines the results for ranking, minor-ranking and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1993/
94
Snooker season 1993/1994
The snooker season 1993/1994 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1993 and 1994. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1994/
95
Snooker season 1994/1995
The snooker season 1994/1995 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1994 and 1995. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1995/
96
Snooker season 1995/1996
The snooker season 1995/1996 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1995 and 1996. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1996/
97
Snooker season 1996/1997
The snooker season 1996/1997 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1996 and 1997. The following table outlines the results of the finals for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1997/
98
Snooker season 1997/1998
The snooker season 1997/1998 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1997 and 1998. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1998/
99
Snooker season 1998/1999
The snooker season 1998/1999 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1998 and 1999. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

1999/
00
Snooker season 1999/2000
The snooker season 1999/2000 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 1999 and 2000. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:...

2000/
01
Snooker season 2000/2001
The snooker season 2000/2001 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2000 and 2001. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2001/
02
Snooker season 2001/2002
The snooker season 2001/2002 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2001 and 2002. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2002/
03
Snooker season 2002/2003
The snooker season 2002/2003 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2002 and 2003. This was the final season to have tobacco sponsored events to a legal ban apart from Embassy which would continue to sponsor the World Championship for another two years...

2003/
04
Snooker season 2003/2004
The snooker season 2003/2004 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2003 and 2004. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2004/
05
Snooker season 2004/2005
The snooker season 2004/2005 was a series of snooker tournaments played during the years 2004 and 2005. The following table outlines the results for ranking events and the invitational events.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2005/
06
Snooker season 2005/2006
The snooker season 2005/06 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2005 and 2006. The following table outlines the results and dates for the ranking and major invitational events that took place.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2006/
07
Snooker season 2006/2007
The snooker season 2006/2007 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2006 and 2007. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.-Calendar:- Official rankings :...

2007/
08
Snooker season 2007/2008
The Snooker Season 2007/2008 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2007 and 2008. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events...

2008/
09
2009/
10
Snooker season 2009/2010
The snooker season 2009/10 was a series of snooker tournaments played during 2009 and 2010. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :- Official rankings :...

2010/
11
Snooker season 2010/2011
The 2010/11 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2010 and 2011. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

2011/
12
Snooker season 2011/2012
The 2011/12 snooker season is a series of snooker tournaments played during 2011 and 2012. The following table outlines the results and dates for all the ranking and major invitational events.- Calendar :-New professional players:...

Ranking
Snooker world rankings
The snooker world rankings are the official system of ranking professional snooker players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments on the World Snooker Tour. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association...

{{nowrap|UR
Snooker world rankings 1992/1993
Snooker world rankings 1992/1993: The professional world rankings for the top 32 snooker players in the 1992/1993 season are listed below.-References:...

New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.}}
57
Snooker world rankings 1993/1994
Snooker world rankings 1993/1994: The professional world rankings for the top 32 snooker players in the 1993/1994 season are listed below.-References:...

9
Snooker world rankings 1994/1995
These are the Snooker world rankings of 1994–1995: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1994–1995 season are listed below.-References:...

3
Snooker world rankings 1995/1996
Snooker world rankings 1995/1996: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1995/1996 season are listed below.* Peter Francisco was banned for five years.-References:...

8
Snooker world rankings 1996/1997
Snooker world rankings 1996/1997: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1996/1997 season are listed below.-References:...

7
Snooker world rankings 1997/1998
Snooker world rankings 1997/1998: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1997/1998 season are listed below.-References:...

3
Snooker world rankings 1998/1999
Snooker world rankings 1998/1999: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1998/1999 season are listed below.-References:...

4
Snooker world rankings 1999/2000
Snooker world rankings 1999/2000: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 1999/2000 season are listed below.-References:...

4
Snooker world rankings 2000/2001
Snooker world rankings 2000/2001: The professional world rankings for the top 32 snooker players in the 2000/2001 season are listed below.-References:...

2
Snooker world rankings 2001/2002
Snooker world rankings 2001/2002: The professional world rankings for the top 32 snooker players in the 2001/2002 season are listed below.-References:...

1
Snooker world rankings 2002/2003
Snooker world rankings 2002/2003: The professional world rankings for the top 32 snooker players in the 2002/2003 season are listed below.-References:...

3
Snooker world rankings 2003/2004
Snooker world rankings 2003/2004: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2003/2004 season are listed below.-References:...

1
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005
Snooker world rankings 2004/2005: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2004/2005 season are listed below. This was Chris Small's only top 16 season, and Paul Hunter's only appearance in the top 4.-References:...

1
Snooker world rankings 2005/2006
Snooker world rankings 2005/2006: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2005/2006 season are listed below.-Note:...

3
Snooker world rankings 2006/2007
Snooker world rankings 2006/2007: The professional world rankings for the top 64 snooker players in the 2006/2007 season are listed below.-Notes:...

5
Snooker world rankings 2007/2008
Snooker world rankings 2007/2008: The professional world rankings for the top 75 snooker players in the 2007/2008 season are listed below...

1
Snooker world rankings 2008/2009
Snooker world rankings 2007/2008: The official world ranking points for the 96 professional snooker players in the 2007/2008 season are listed below. The total points from the seasons 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 were used to determine the rankings for the season 2008/2009.- Ranking points :...

1
Snooker world rankings 2009/2010
Snooker world ranking points 2008/2009: The official world ranking points for the 96 professional snooker players in the 2008/2009 season are listed below. The total points from the seasons 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 were used to determine the ranking for the season 2009/2010.- Ranking points :...

3
Snooker world rankings 2010/2011
Snooker world rankings 2010/2011: The professional world rankings for all the professional snooker players who qualified for the 2010/2011 season are listed below. The rankings worked as a two-year rolling list. The points for each tournament two years ago were removed, when the corresponding...

11
Snooker world rankings 2011/2012
Snooker world rankings 2011/2012: The professional world rankings for all the professional snooker players who qualified for the 2011/2012 season are listed below. The rankings work as a two-year rolling list. The points for each tournament two years ago will be removed, when the corresponding...

Ranking tournaments
Shanghai Masters Not Held 1R F W 1R 2R
UK Championship
UK Championship (snooker)
The UK Championship is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It is the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship and is one of the Triple Crown events.-History:...

1R W QF QF 1R W 1R QF SF W QF SF 2R 1R QF W 2R SF 1R
German MastersThe event run under different name as German Open (1995/1996-1997/1998) Not Held 1R W SF NR Not Held 1R
Welsh Open
Welsh Open (snooker)
The Welsh Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It replaced the Welsh Professional Championship, which started in 1980 and was only open to Welsh players.- History :...

1R 1R QF 2R 2R 4R SF 3R 2R 2R QF W W 2R QF F 2R SF 1R
World OpenThe event run under different name as LG Cup (2001/2002-2003/2004) and Grand Prix (1984/1985-2000/2001 and 2004/2005-2009/2010 1R 1R QF 1R 2R 3R 3R QF F QF QF 2R W F QF F QF 2R F
China Open
China Open (snooker)
The China Open is a professional snooker tournament. It is one of a number of ranking tournaments and began in 1997.-History:The first international snooker tournament in China was the China International in September 1997, a non-ranking tournament for the top 16 players and local players. The...

The event run under different names as China International (1998/1999)
Not Held NR 2R W W QF Not Held 1R 1R SF 1R QF 1R 1R
World Championship
World Snooker Championship
The World Snooker Championship is the leading professional snooker tournament in terms of both prize money and ranking points. The first championship was held in 1927; since 1977, it has been played at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England...

1R 2R QF SF 2R SF SF 1R W SF 1R W QF SF QF W 2R QF QF
Non-ranking tournaments
Premier LeagueThe event run under different name as European League (1992/1993-1996/1997) RR RR RR RR W RR SF SF W W SF A W W W W W F W W
The Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

A WR W F F QF QF QF 1R QF QF F W F W 1R W F 1R
Former ranking tournaments
Scottish Open
Players Championship (snooker)
The Players Championship was a professional snooker tournament. It is the most recent name of the ranking tournament held in Scotland every year. The tournament has had a bewildering number of name changes in its history. Until recently it was commonly known as the Scottish Open, and prior to that...

The event run under different names such as International Open (1992/1993–1996/1997) and Players Championship (2003/2004)
2R LQ 3R 1R QF W 2R W 2R 2R 3R QF Not Held
British Open
British Open (snooker)
The British Open was a professional snooker tournament. It was a ranking tournament from 1985. The tournament has not been held since the 2004/2005 season....

LQ W F SF 1R QF 3R SF QF SF 3R F SF Not Held
Irish Masters Non-Ranking Event W QF W NH NR Not Held
Malta Cup
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

The event run under different names such as European Open (1988/1989-1996/1997 and 2001/2002-2003/2004) and Irish Open (1998/1999)
QF F SF 1R 1R NH 1R Not Held QF W QF 2R A 1R NR Not Held
{{nowrap|Northern Ireland Trophy
Northern Ireland Trophy
- History :First contested in 1981 and named Northern Ireland Classic. It was an invitational event held at Ulster Hall, Belfast, and Jimmy White beat Steve Davis in the final....

}}
Not Held NR F QF W Not Held
Former non-ranking tournaments
Scottish Masters A A A SF QF QF W QF W F W Not Held
Irish Masters A A 1R QF SF DQ QF SF W QF Ranking Event NH W Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF advanced to but not past the quarterfinals
SF advanced to but not past the semi–finals F advanced to the final, tournament runner-up W won the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament A did not participate in the tournament 1R withdrew from the tournament
NH / Not Held means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.

Ranking event finals: 33 (22 titles, 11 runner-ups)

EWLINE
Legend
World Championship (3–0)
UK Championship (4–0)
Other (15–11)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1. 1993 UK Championship
UK Championship (snooker)
The UK Championship is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It is the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship and is one of the Triple Crown events.-History:...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 10–6
Runner-up 1. 1993 European Open
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 5–9
Winner 2. 1994 British Open
British Open (snooker)
The British Open was a professional snooker tournament. It was a ranking tournament from 1985. The tournament has not been held since the 2004/2005 season....

  {{sortname|James|Wattana}} 9–4
Runner-up 2. 1995 Thailand Open   {{sortname|James|Wattana}} 6–9
Runner-up 3. 1995 British Open
British Open (snooker)
The British Open was a professional snooker tournament. It was a ranking tournament from 1985. The tournament has not been held since the 2004/2005 season....

  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 6–9
Winner 3. 1996 Asian Classic   {{sortname|Brian|Morgan|Brian Morgan (snooker player)}} 9–8
Winner 4. 1996 German Open   {{sortname|Alain|Robidoux}} 9–7
Winner 5. 1997 UK Championship
UK Championship (snooker)
The UK Championship is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It is the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship and is one of the Triple Crown events.-History:...

 (2)
  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 10–6
Winner 6. 1998 Scottish Open
Players Championship (snooker)
The Players Championship was a professional snooker tournament. It is the most recent name of the ranking tournament held in Scotland every year. The tournament has had a bewildering number of name changes in its history. Until recently it was commonly known as the Scottish Open, and prior to that...

  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–5
Winner 7. 1999 China Open
China Open (snooker)
The China Open is a professional snooker tournament. It is one of a number of ranking tournaments and began in 1997.-History:The first international snooker tournament in China was the China International in September 1997, a non-ranking tournament for the top 16 players and local players. The...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Lee}} 9–2
Winner 8. 2000 Scottish Open
Players Championship (snooker)
The Players Championship was a professional snooker tournament. It is the most recent name of the ranking tournament held in Scotland every year. The tournament has had a bewildering number of name changes in its history. Until recently it was commonly known as the Scottish Open, and prior to that...

 (2)
  {{sortname|Mark|Williams|Mark Williams (snooker player)}} 9–1
Runner-up 4. 2000 Grand Prix   {{sortname|Mark|Williams|Mark Williams (snooker player)}} 5–9
Winner 9. 2000 China Open
China Open (snooker)
The China Open is a professional snooker tournament. It is one of a number of ranking tournaments and began in 1997.-History:The first international snooker tournament in China was the China International in September 1997, a non-ranking tournament for the top 16 players and local players. The...

 (2)
  {{sortname|Mark|Williams|Mark Williams (snooker player)}} 9–3
Winner 10. 2001 World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship
The World Snooker Championship is the leading professional snooker tournament in terms of both prize money and ranking points. The first championship was held in 1927; since 1977, it has been played at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England...

  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 18–14
Winner 11. 2001 UK Championship
UK Championship (snooker)
The UK Championship is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It is the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship and is one of the Triple Crown events.-History:...

 (3)
  {{sortname|Ken|Doherty}} 10–1
Winner 12. 2003 European Open
Malta Cup
The Malta Cup was a professional snooker tournament that has been on the World Snooker calendar since the 1988/89 season. It was previously known as the European Open as the sole ranking tournament in Europe, outside the British Isles.- History :Prior to the 1988/89 season, there were no ranking...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 9–6
Winner 13. 2003 Irish Masters   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 10–9
Runner-up 5. 2003 British Open
British Open (snooker)
The British Open was a professional snooker tournament. It was a ranking tournament from 1985. The tournament has not been held since the 2004/2005 season....

 (2)
  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 6–9
Winner 14. 2004 Welsh Open
Welsh Open (snooker)
The Welsh Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It replaced the Welsh Professional Championship, which started in 1980 and was only open to Welsh players.- History :...

  {{sortname|Steve|Davis}} 9–8
Winner 15. 2004 World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship
The World Snooker Championship is the leading professional snooker tournament in terms of both prize money and ranking points. The first championship was held in 1927; since 1977, it has been played at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England...

 (2)
  Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott is a Scottish professional snooker player from Larkhall in Scotland. He won the 2006 World Championship, which was his first ranking title after four previous runner-up spots...

18–8
Winner 16. 2004
2004 Grand Prix (snooker)
The 2004 Totesport Grand Prix was the 2004 edition of the Grand Prix snooker tournament, held from 2 to 10 October 2004 at the Guild Hall, Preston, England. World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan won the tournament, defeating Ian McCulloch by nine frames to five in the final. In the semi-finals,...

Grand Prix   {{sortname|Ian|McCulloch|Ian McCulloch (snooker player)}} 9–5
Winner 17. 2005 Welsh Open
Welsh Open (snooker)
The Welsh Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It replaced the Welsh Professional Championship, which started in 1980 and was only open to Welsh players.- History :...

 (2)
  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 9–8
Winner 18. 2005
2005 Irish Masters
-Final:- Qualifying :Qualifying for the tournament took place between 10–13 January 2005 at Pontin's in Prestatyn, Wales.- Qualifying stages centuries :* 141, 125, 110 Ding Junhui* 138 Mark Selby* 138 Jamie Burnett* 132 Barry Pinches* 130 Gary Wilson...

Irish Masters (2)   {{sortname|Matthew|Stevens}} 10–8
Runner-up 6. 2005
2005 Grand Prix (snooker)
The 2005 Grand Prix professional ranking snooker tournament was held between 8 and 16 October 2005, at the Guild Hall, Preston, England.John Higgins won in the final 9-2 against Ronnie O'Sullivan. In the final, Higgins set two records...

Grand Prix (2)   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 2–9
Runner-up 7. 2006 Northern Ireland Trophy
Northern Ireland Trophy
- History :First contested in 1981 and named Northern Ireland Classic. It was an invitational event held at Ulster Hall, Belfast, and Jimmy White beat Steve Davis in the final....

  Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

6–9
Runner-up 8. 2007 Grand Prix (3)   {{sortname|Marco|Fu}} 6–9
Winner 19. 2007 UK Championship
UK Championship (snooker)
The UK Championship is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It is the second biggest ranking tournament after the World Championship and is one of the Triple Crown events.-History:...

 (4)
  {{sortname|Stephen|Maguire}} 10–2
Runner-up 9. 2008 Welsh Open
Welsh Open (snooker)
The Welsh Open is a professional ranking snooker tournament. It replaced the Welsh Professional Championship, which started in 1980 and was only open to Welsh players.- History :...

  {{sortname|Mark|Selby}} 8–9
Winner 20. 2008 World Snooker Championship
World Snooker Championship
The World Snooker Championship is the leading professional snooker tournament in terms of both prize money and ranking points. The first championship was held in 1927; since 1977, it has been played at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, England...

 (3)
  {{sortname|Ali|Carter|Allister Carter}} 18–8
Winner 21. 2008
2008 Northern Ireland Trophy
The 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 24 and 31 August 2008 in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast....

Northern Ireland Trophy
Northern Ireland Trophy
- History :First contested in 1981 and named Northern Ireland Classic. It was an invitational event held at Ulster Hall, Belfast, and Jimmy White beat Steve Davis in the final....

  {{sortname|Dave|Harold}} 9–3
Runner-up 10. 2008
2008 Shanghai Masters
The 2008Roewe Shanghai Masters professional ranking snooker tournament took place between 29 September and 5 October 2008 at the Shanghai Grand Stage, Shanghai, China...

Shanghai Masters   {{sortname|Ricky|Walden}} 8–10
Winner 22. 2009 Shanghai Masters   Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo
Liang Wenbo is a Chinese professional snooker player. He is left-handed and ranked as China's number 2 player, after Ding Junhui. Liang is based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, United Kingdom.-Career:...

10–5
Runner-up 11 2010
2010 World Open (snooker)
The 2010 12bet.com World Open professional ranking snooker tournament was held at the S.E.C.C., Glasgow between 18–26 September 2010. This was the first time that the World Open was sponsored by 12bet.com....

{{sort|Grand Prix (4)|World Open {{H:title|The World Open is a continuation of the Grand Prix but under a different format|(4)}}}}   {{sortname|Neil|Robertson|Neil Robertson (snooker player)}} 1–5

Minor-ranking event finals: 4 (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Runner-up 1 2010 Players Tour Championship – Event 4
Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4
The Players Tour Championship 2010/2011 – Event 4 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 14–16 August 2010, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England...

  {{sortname|Barry|Pinches}} 3–4
Winner 1 2011 Players Tour Championship – Event 1
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 1 minor-ranking snooker tournament took place over 18–22 June 2011, at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, England....

  {{sortname|Joe|Perry|Joe Perry (snooker player)}} 4–0
Winner 2 2011 Kay Suzanne Memorial Trophy
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 7 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 5–9 October 2011, at the South West Snooker Academy, Gloucester, England....

  {{sortname|Matthew|Stevens}} 4–2
Runner-up 2 2011 Antwerp Open
Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9
The Players Tour Championship 2011/2012 – Event 9 professional minor-ranking snooker tournament took place between 10–13 November 2011, at the Lotto Arena, Antwerp, Belgium....

  {{sortname|Judd|Trump}} 3–4

Non-ranking event finals: 34 (23 titles, 11 runner-ups)

EWLINE
Legend
Masters (4–5)
Premier League (9–1)O'Sullivan won the Premier League for a 10th time in 2011
2011 Premier League Snooker
The 2011 PartyPoker.com Premier League Snooker was a cue sport tournament played under a variation of the standard rules of snooker, that was played from 18 August to 27 November 2011....

, but the tournament didn't use the standard rules of snooker.
Other (10–5)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1 1993 Nescafé Extra Challenge   {{sortname|James|Wattana}} No Play-off. Title decided on league table only.
Winner 2 1993 Benson and Hedges Championship   {{sortname|John|Lardner}} 9–6
Winner 3 1995 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–3
Winner 4 1996 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–6
Runner-up 1 1996 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 5–10
Runner-up 2 1997 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

  {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 8–9
Runner-up 3 1997 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (2)
  {{sortname|Steve|Davis}} 8–10
Winner 5 1997 {{sort|Premier League Snooker|European League}}   {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 10–8
Winner 6 1997 Riley Superstar International   {{sortname|Jimmy|White}} 5–3
Runner-up 4 1998 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 (2)
  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 8–9
Disqualified Ronnie O'Sullivan was stripped of his title due to failing a drugs test after winning 9–3. 1998 Irish Masters   {{sortname|Ken|Doherty}} 9–3
Winner 7 1998 Scottish Masters   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–7
Runner-up 6 1999 Charity Challenge
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 (3)
  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 4–9
Runner-up 7 1999 Millenium Cup   {{sortname|Stephen|Lee}} 2–7
Winner 8 2000 {{sort|Charity Challenge (2)|Champions Cup
Champions Cup (snooker)
The Champions Cup was a professional non-ranking snooker tournament held in England that ran for eight seasons starting in the 1994/1995 season and was originally known as the Charity Challenge.-History:...

 (2)}}
  {{sortname|Mark|Williams|Mark Williams (snooker player)}} 7–5
Winner 9 2000 Scottish Masters (2)   {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 9–6
Winner 10 2001 Irish Masters   {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 9–8
Winner 11 2001 Premier League Snooker {{H:title|The Premier League Snooker is a continuation of the European League|(2)}}   {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 9–7
Runner-up 8 2001 Scottish Masters   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 6–9
Winner 12 2002
2002 Premier League Snooker
* 93–6, 37–67, 70–20, 79–0, 108–17, 69–9, 62–9** 75–33, 68–55, 59–23, -0, 0-, 112–6, 1–76 , 73–0...

Premier League Snooker (3)   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–4
Winner 13 2002 Scottish Masters (3)   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–4
Runner-up 9 2004 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (3)
  {{sortname|Paul|Hunter}} 9–10
Winner 14 2005 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (2)
  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 10–3
Winner 15 2005
2005 Premier League Snooker (2004/05)
* 34–71 , 0–68, 0–134 , 15–61, 9–** 36–61, 38–85 , 6–74, 8–, 33–81*** 52–70, 19–, 0–, 1–, 34–60, 0–-Century breaks:Each century break was worth a £1,000 per break.*134, 132, 121 Ronnie O'Sullivan...

Premier League Snooker (4)   {{sortname|Mark|Williams|Mark Williams (snooker player)}} 6–0
Winner 16 2005
2005 Premier League Snooker (2005/06)
* –0, 105–1, –72 , 0–103 , 50–75, 122–0, –0, –0** 43–88, 98–36, 62–21, 67–26, 97–0, 13–, 76–0*** –6, 62–60, 73–29, 88–0, 65–41, 65–51-Century breaks:...

Premier League Snooker (5)   {{sortname|Stephen|Hendry}} 6–0
Runner-up 10 2006 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (4)
  {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 9–10
Winner 17 2006
2006 Premier League Snooker
* -18, 100–16, 74–1, 48–66, 106–17, 28–64, 71–14** 50–67, 0–71 , 0-, 20–62, -1, 63–28, 57–9, 90–16, 11–60–11*** 77–7, 62–49, -0, -0, 46–13, 98–1, -9-Century breaks:...

Premier League Snooker (6)   {{sortname|Jimmy|White}} 7–0
Winner 18 2007 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (3)
  Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui is a Chinese professional snooker player. Ding Junhui is China's most successful player ever, having become only the second teenager, after John Higgins, to win three ranking titles...

10–3
Winner 19 2007
2007 Irish Masters
-Final:-Century breaks:*147, 138, 134, 122 Ronnie O'Sullivan*135 John Higgins*131, 107, 104 Barry Hawkins*109 Fergal O'Brien*103 David Morris*102 Joe Swail...

Irish Masters (2)   {{sortname|Barry|Hawkins}} 9–1
Winner 20 2007
2007 Premier League Snooker
* 40–50, 31–73 , -0, 77–0, 0-, 66–52, 3–119 , 1-** 17-, 18–80 , 83–16, 35–87 , 1–93 , 48–56*** -0, 4–84 , 49–82 , 80–26, 77–0, 2–90 , 29-, 14-, 14–111 , 108–0, 0–107 -Century breaks:*143 Steve Davis*141, 141, 124, 120, 119, 113, 110, 105, 104, 103, 101 Ronnie O'Sullivan*138, 138,...

Premier League Snooker (7)   {{sortname|John|Higgins|John Higgins (snooker player)}} 7–4
Winner 21 2008
2008 Premier League Snooker
* 83–34, –4, 133–0, –4, –0 ** 55–68, 93–0, 20–93 , 76–8, 24–93, –0, 6–69 , –4, 4–*** 11–121 , 8–82 , 18–74, 14–, 48–83 , 61–58, 13–, –0, 20–...

Premier League Snooker (8)   {{sortname|Mark|Selby}} 7–2
Winner 22 2009 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (4)
  {{sortname|Mark|Selby}} 10–8
Runner-up 11 2009
2009 Premier League Snooker
The 2009 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 3 September to 29 November 2009.Shaun Murphy won in the final 7–3 against defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.- Prize fund :Winner: £30,000...

Premier League Snooker   {{sortname|Shaun|Murphy|Shaun Murphy (snooker player)}} 3–7
Runner-up 12 2010 Masters
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...

 (5)
  {{sortname|Mark|Selby}} 9–10
Winner 23 2010
2010 Premier League Snooker
The 2010 PartyCasino.com Premier League Snooker professional non-ranking snooker tournament was played from 2 September to 28 November 2010.Shaun Murphy was the defending champion, but Ronnie O'Sullivan defeated him 7–1 in the final.- Prize fund :...

Premier League Snooker (9)   {{sortname|Shaun|Murphy|Shaun Murphy (snooker player)}} 7–1

Team event finals: 1 (1 title)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1 2000 Nations Cup
Nations Cup (snooker)
The Nations Cup was an invitational snooker tournament created in 1999, and the second team tournament after the World Cup. The annual contests featured team of four players representing their country against other such teams.-History:...

 (with )
 Wales 6–4

Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score Ref.
Winner 1 1988 British Under-16 Championship
Runner-up 1 1991 English Amateur Championship   {{sortname|Steve|Judd}} 10–13
Winner 2 1991 IBSF World Under-21 Championship
IBSF World Snooker Championship
The IBSF World Snooker Championship is the premier non-professional snooker tournament in the world. The event series is sanctioned by the International Billiards and Snooker Federation...

  {{sortname|Patrick|Delsemme}} 11–4
Winner 3 1991 Junior Pot Black   {{sortname|Declan|Murphy}}

External links


{{Commons category}}

{{World snooker champions}}
{{Snooker World Number Ones}}
{{Top sixteen male snooker players}}
{{Snooker player of the year}}
{{1996 European Mosconi Cup team}}
{{1997 European Mosconi Cup team}}
{{Cue sports bios}}
{{Good article}}

{{Persondata
| NAME = Osullivan, Ronnie
| ALTERNATIVE NAMES = The Rocket
| SHORT DESCRIPTION = snooker player
| DATE OF BIRTH = 5 December 1975
| PLACE OF BIRTH = Wordsley
Wordsley
Wordsley with Buckpool is a village south of Kingswinford although is the most northern suburb of Stourbridge in the West Midlands, England. Wordsley still retains its rural character because it abuts open countryside...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...


| DATE OF DEATH =
| PLACE OF DEATH =
}}
{{DEFAULTSORT:Osullivan, Ronnie}}