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Snooker icon joins Ronnie O’Sullivan in threat to quit sport after row | Other | Sport


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extreme hd iptv
extreme hd iptv

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Mark Williams is the second star to threaten to compete in Chinese eight-ball pool rather than play on the professional snooker tour. Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted last year that he would quit snooker if blocked from competing in Asia after reaching a “crossroads” with the World Snooker Tour (WST).

Three-time world champion Williams remains at the top of the sport but has warned snooker chiefs of an exodus to China. However, he does not anticipate that many of his colleagues will defect full-time. The Welshman is planning to snub snooker events in order to compete in pool.

“I think if it doesn’t clash with tournaments I think a lot more (snooker players) will play in it,” Williams told SportsBoom. “I’m going the other way and if a couple of the tournaments do clash with snooker events then I’ll pick the Chinese pool over the snooker tournaments.

“I went over earlier this season and it was brilliant. I’m going to try, if I can, to do a full Chinese pool circuit this year or as many as I can. There’s a big one coming up in March so I’m going to play in that.

“I’m going to try and play in them all because I enjoy it. It’s the number one game in China. The following that it’s got is massive. The prize money is big, but I don’t think a snooker player has a chance against the top Chinese boys, unless you really practice hard at it.”

Last year, five players opted to take part in a £150,000 exhibition in Macau rather than the WST’s Northern Ireland Open, where the top prize is £80,000. The exhibition was rescheduled but snooker players can face sanctions if they snub tour events for foreign tournaments, leading O’Sullivan to back the ‘Macau 5’ and threaten to quit in favour of pool.

“If I can’t go out and do what I need to do – which is play a lot in China – then I won’t ever play again,” O’Sullivan told the BBC in November.

“We are at a sort of crossroads now. There’s not enough here for me in the UK to justify the effort that I put in. When I go to China I play in great venues, great crowds, great prize money. And I love it.

“If that gets to the point where I’m not able to do that or I’m not allowed to do that, then I probably won’t play. I’ll probably go and play Chinese 8 ball (pool) because I still want to play snooker. I still want a cue in my hand.”

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