O'Sullivan takes time off to play pool in the US

SNOOKER'S world No 1 Ronnie O'Sullivan has confirmed he intends to carve out a second career in America playing pool.

The 29-year-old will still take part in the four major snooker tournaments but will choose pool over any others that clash with dates in the United States. And his reason for deciding to spend months abroad was simple - there was not enough top-quality snooker available to keep him happy.

O'Sullivan said: "I'm a snooker player and that is all I have done all my life. I love playing snooker but I have found I'm not playing enough.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"We used to play in 14 or 15 events and there are now six. That makes it tough for everyone involved in snooker. So I have decided rather than sit and wait for things to happen I'm going to take the bull by the horns and go elsewhere.

"Going to America doesn't interfere with the events I want to play in on the snooker calendar but obviously there could be a clash if they put on events later on in the year and I have already committed myself to these American pool tournaments."

O'Sullivan, who turned professional when he was just 16, had revealed he felt disenchanted with snooker following his World Championship exit at the quarter-final stage in April.

He had hinted he might turn his back on the game completely for a while but is convinced trying his luck in America, plus a new management deal he has signed with Stirling-based 110sport, could bring back the enjoyment into his game.

"To be honest I get more of a buzz out of pool at the moment," he admitted. "I find with snooker, if things are not going too well, I'm not really that interested and if things are going really well it becomes quite boring because it is too easy.

"I want to be entertaining and if I have to go to America to be that then fine. I will play in someone's back yard if there is a crowd there."

There was one drawback however - O'Sullivan confidently expected to be thrashed on the pool circuit at first.

"I'm an awful pool player," he confessed. "It is completely different from snooker and although it looks simple it isn't unless you know how to work the system."

O'Sullivan will take part in the Grand Prix tournament in Preston this week and also in the UK championships, the Masters and the World Championships plus a number of lower-profile events.

His new deal with 110sport sees him rejoin a company he left acrimoniously four years ago when they were known as Cuemasters.

O'Sullivan admitted: "We parted company for certain reasons but a lot of that was my own fault. My own greed got the better of me. At the time I took the big chunk of dough. I made a mistake but I was just thinking of myself."

The move back to 110sport will guarantee O'Sullivan a greater return than taking part in many of the snooker tournaments he will now miss.