Ronnie O’Sullivan happy 'ridiculous' £1m jackpot dream is over as John Higgins exits
Ronnie O'Sullivan's hopes of a £1m jackpot were ended by world number 82 Elliot Slessor during a 4-1 defeat in the last 32 of the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.
And four-times world champion John Higgins is also out of the tournament having suffered a 4-3 defeat to Gary Wilson despite making three century breaks in succession and enjoying a pot success rate of 95 percent.
After Wilson opened with a run of 63, Higgins produced splendid runs of 142, 107 and 135 to lead 3-1.
But the Wallsend player's response was outstanding as breaks of 84, 75 and 59 saw him secure a meeting with Li Yuan on Thursday evening. It was even more impressive after the Scotsman applied the pressure with a 51 in the deciding frame.
O'Sullivan was never at his best against Slessor - whose highest break was a 62 - and must regroup ahead of the UK Championship in York next week.
His hopes of winning a £1m jackpot bonus for lifting the English Open, Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Opens are ended for another year despite the feat being highly unrealistic.
O'Sullivan had raised the unlikely prospect with a 9-2 win over Kyren Wilson in the final of the English Open last month.
“I am so happy the chance of the £1million is gone, all the silly headlines, it was ridiculous. I went along with it, but you have more chance of winning the lottery," said O'Sullivan.
“Elliot played really well and handled the situation well. He potted some good balls, and was solid and sometime solid is good enough.
"I am a bit fed up with playing, all the travelling and going from one hotel to another, one country to another. It’s greed really, and I’m not greedy, and haven’t done my training camps."
O'Sullivan - winner of the Shanghai Masters last weekend after losing to Shaun Murphy in the final of the Champion of Champions a week earlier - refused to become embroiled in a verbal joust with Mark King.
Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Northern Ireland Open - picture courtesy of Daniel RusheEurosport
O’Sullivan said: “Mark King..he doesn’t like me anyway, he’s never liked me so we’ll get over that, move on."
- Elliot Slessor v Li Yuan
- Mark Williams v Mike Dunn
- Yan Bingtao v Robert Milkins
- Tian Pengfei v Lyu Haotian
LAST 16 RESULTS
- Mark Williams 4-2 Dave Gilbert
- Yan Bingtao 4-3 Ryan Day
- Ricky Walden 2-4 Robert Milkins
- Tian Penfei 4-1 Chris Wakelin
- Liam Highfield 4-2 Lyu Haotian
- Gary Wilson 1-4 Li Yuan
- Sam Craigie 1-4 Elliot Slessor
- Mike Dunn 4-1 Joe Perry
LAST 32 RESULTS
- Ronnie O'Sullivan 1-4 Elliot Slessor
- Mark King 1-4 Yan Bingtao
- Robert Milkins 4-3 Neil Robertson
- Ricky Walden 4-3 Jimmy Robertson
- Ryan Day 4-3 Robin Hull
- Lyu Haotian 4-2 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
- Mike Dunn 4-1 Michael Holt
- Iiao Guodong 1-4 Joe Perry
- Ken Doherty 3-4 Liam Highfield
- Akani Songsermsawad 1-4 Mark Williams
- Anthony McGill 3-4 Li Yuan
- Mei Xi Wen 2-4 Sam Craigie
- Elliot Slessor 1-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- Chris Wakelin 4-0 Jimmy White
- John Higgins 4-3 Gary Wilson
- David Gilbert 4-3 Ross Muir