Ronnie O’Sullivan vows to smack his butt at the Crucible at the World Snooker Championships to keep emotions in check

IF RONNIE O’SULLIVAN is seen angrily slapping his butt on the Crucible, there’s an explanation for his insane behavior.

Today, The Rocket is performing at the Crucible for a record 31st time, beating the record he shared with Steve Davis.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is back in action at the Crucible this weekend


Ronnie O’Sullivan is back in action at the Crucible this weekendPhoto credit: Getty
The defending champion will celebrate his 31st appearance in the legendary arena


The defending champion will celebrate his 31st appearance in the legendary arenaPhoto credit: REX

Chinese debutant Pang Junxu will be his opponent – the two sessions start at 10am and 7pm – as he seeks a record eighth crown on Monday 1 May.

After last year’s first-round win over David Gilbert, O’Sullivan got into trouble with authorities for making a “randy and offensive gesture” – one that rival Matthew Selt mischievously shared on his Instagram feed.

It was the second time in five months that O’Sullivan made an inappropriate gesture inside and he was fined £4,000.

Asked by Crucible on the eve how he was going to control his emotions this time, world No. 1 O’Sullivan joked: “I’ve got a new one now. I’m going to smack my butt. Slap my butt really hard.

“Because your emotions are obviously getting high out there, sometimes you gotta let it out.

“But then another player films it and puts it on social media, calls World Snooker and keeps trying to figure out, ‘Are you going to fine him?’

“Then you obviously have 128 police officers watching me. Well, I’m just slapping my butt real hard.

“That’s my thing. If you see me slapping my ass, you’ll know I’m really mad. My ass will be sore at the end of Sheffield!”

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Defending champion O’Sullivan says he’s in a “good mental place” after dismissing a worrisome elbow problem that was the result of an old gym injury.

Doctors recently gave him an injection to numb the pain and a course of antibiotics to prevent a possible infection.

It would be a big surprise if O’Sullivan – who has also had his cue fixed in recent weeks – lost to Pang, despite the 23-year-old winning his only meeting last year 3-1.

O’Sullivan has only been knocked out in the first round of the World Championship four times, but tonight he’s aiming for his 200th breakthrough in the Crucible Century since 1993.

O’Sullivan said, “I might look down on you guys at some point, but there’s a resilience that just comes out.

“That’s proven over the last 30 years, so never count me out, even when I’m down.

“I’ve been in prep mode my whole life. That’s all I do

Ronnie O'Sullivan will try to retain his world title


Ronnie O’Sullivan will try to retain his world titleCredit: PA

“I didn’t wake up last week and decided to become a professional snooker player. I made that decision when I was eight.

“I’m ready for whatever this game throws at me. It’s just experience.

“I’m old enough now to be pretty much everyone’s dad.

“I was a kid when I first came here. I suppose you’re feeling a bit old.

“If you look around, that person over there is about the same age as my son. It’s a bit scary.

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“Pang is a very, very good player. He gave me a good hiding place early in the season.

“I know his skills. He’s an incredible player.”


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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