O’Sullivan hits tenth 147…eventually

Congratulations to Ronnie O’Sullivan who today made the tenth maximum break of his career during his 3-0 victory over Mark King. The 147 was the 73rd in professional competition, please see my page here for the others.

Strangely enough however, the outcome could have been all so different as on 140, O’Sullivan who had already enquired as to the prize money available for a maximum break decided to leave the black as a form of protest. As he put it to the BBC:

“I wasn’t going to pot the black to be honest with you because I asked the ref and was told there was no break prize for a 147,”

“I wanted to make sure because if there was a decent prize then I would definitely have gone for it and I thought I might as well go for it anyway.

“Jan talked me into it [potting the black]. My whole thing was I was going to make 140 and leave the black What’s the point of making a 147 if they’re only going to give you four grand for it?

“I’m surprised. They’re getting stingier. I thought Barry Hearn was supposed to be putting more money into the game, not taking it out.

“I’ve had loads of 147s so I don’t really get excited by it and thought I needed to give myself something to go for. I just thought ‘why not?'”

While I agree with him in principle, I would not have been particularly impressed had he decided to leave the black, more for the fans in the arena more than anything as having been there for Mark Williams’ effort at the Crucible in 2005, I know what a special atmosphere it does create.

Still, in went the black and he now moves back clear of Stephen Hendry at the top of the maximum breaks list on 10.

In the other two matches today, Alan McManus held off a brave fightback from Matthew Stevens before prevailing 3-2 while Liu Song, presumably playing in his last full ranking event of the season, defeated Joe Jogia to progress.