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Ronnie O'Sullivan begins lucrative exhibition tour after Crucible heartbreak

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RONNIE O’SULLIVAN embarks on four weeks of money-spinning exhibitions as he tries to banish his Crucible woe.

The Rocket, 48, was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2024 World Snooker Championships when he lost 13-10 to Stuart Bingham.

Ronnie O'Sullivan will now fly around the world to compete in exhibition matches

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Ronnie O’Sullivan will now fly around the world to compete in exhibition matchesCredit: Reuters

But rather than put the cue down for the summer, the former world No1 has flown to the Far East to entertain crowds in a series of friendlies.

O’Sullivan has challenge matches with Ding Junhui in Luoyang and then takes on the likes of Judd Trump, John Higgins, Jack Lisowski and Si Jiahui in Chengdu, Kunshan and Shanghai.

Then in June, he travels to Finland and Bulgaria before returning to the UK.

SunSport spoke to O’Sullivan recently about his favourite travel destinations and he gave us an idea of where globally he would love to pot balls.

The seven-time world champion said: “I love experiencing different countries.

“I’d like to play in Brazil. I have heard it is quite funky out there. They like their snooker.

“I know India. I went there as a kid. I wouldn’t mind going there to play again.

“I’d love to go to Australia as well. And I know it’s a tough one but Iran would be cool. I know they love their snooker out there.

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“There are so many places where I know that they love snooker and that’s why I do these exhibitions and I do these tours.

“I like to go away and play in front of different crowds. They get to see you on TV. It is nice to give them the opportunity to see you play live.”

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It comes off the back of O’Sullivan having one of his most successful seasons financially.

He finished the season having banked over £1million before the World Championship – as he won five tournaments.

His UK Championship, Masters in London and Masters of Snooker in Saudi Arabia all had a £250,000 mega bonus.

Since the beginning of his professional career, last season was the first time O’Sullivan had banked over the £1m mark in the same season.

The potter also signed a lucrative three-year deal to become an ambassador for Saudi snooker with Turki Alalshikh.

Snooker rich list

After Ronnie O’Sullivan had his most successful year in terms of winnings, here’s a look at snooker’s richest.

  1. Ronnie O’Sullivan £32m – ‘The Rocket’ leads the way in the rist list with a reported net worth of £32m. He may have raked in over a million in prize money alone last season but he has other income streams such as sponsorship deals and other business ventures.
  2. Stephen Hendry £13.2m – The man with the joint highest number of World Championship victories as O’Sullivan with seven. Hendry retired in 2012. He works in punditry and has his own YouTube channel named Cue Tips.
  3. Mark Selby £9.3m Selby – has always had a taste for the finer things in life. He once bought a £250k Lamborghini Huracan to celebrate winning a tournament. The star also had an impressive mansion in Leicester, which features a playground in the garden and an indoor swimming pool – despite Mark not being able to swim.
  4. Steve Davis £8m – Davis dominated snooker during the Eighties, winning six of nine World Snooker Championship finals and holding the world number one ranking for several years. The star, now 65, retired in 2016 after 38 seasons before going on to work as a BBC commentator and appearing on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! In 2013. In 2019, the sportsman listed his luxury Essex mansion, which has four bedrooms, for £1.25million after buying it for £735,000 nine years earlier.
  5. Mark Williams £4.8m – Three-time snooker World Champion Mark Williams, 48, who is known as ‘The Welsh Potting Machine’, is reportedly worth £4.83million. Amusingly, back in 2016, bosses from the UK Snooker Championship accidentally paid him £165,750 instead of the tournament winner Mark Selby. Four years later misfortune struck again when Mark revealed his bank account had been hacked and fraudsters had emptied his account. He only noticed when his bank card was declined in Wetherspoons after con artists bought eight pairs of trainers, including one for £1,200, a spa day, takeaways and a kitchen sink.
  6. John Higgins £4.8m – The majority of Higgins’ wealth comes from winnings. In 2021, John put his luxury five-bed mansion, which had a detached games room and sat along the River Clyde, in Scotland, up for sale for offers over £825,000.
  7. Ken Doherty £4m – Doherty has one World Championship to his name, which he won in 1997. He has also picked up plenty of cash working as a pundit down the years and is a familiar face on World Championship coverage.
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