O'Sullivan relieved £1m prize bid over
Ronnie O'Sullivan's bid for the £1million Home Nations jackpot is finally over - and the five-time world champion couldn't be more relieved to see the chance finally shut down.
The Rocket arrived in Belfast this week with a chance to edge closer to history, aiming to become the first recipient of a seven-figure sum if he was to win all four Home Nations events.
But he was humbled in emphatic fashion by Elliot Slessor, clinically dispatching a fatigued O'Sullivan 4-1 as his Dafabet Northern Ireland Open came to a grinding halt.
The World No.4 was far from his best in the Waterfront Hall but, with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn's money now safe, this defeat was far from the end of the world.
"I'm so happy that I don't have to think about the £1m anymore, I'm not motivated by money and all these silly headlines are just ridiculous," said the English Open winner.
"You've got more chance of winning the lottery.
"I'm not a greedy person, I like to prepare for my tournaments and get into a training camp but I haven't had that chance since the English Open. At some point it catches up with you."
Shocks were rife on day four in Belfast as John Higgins also fell - despite hitting three centuries against Gary Wilson.
But the Englishman rallied, cool and composed to clear up in the final frame in the 4-3 victory, while Jimmy White also played his last match in the bid for the Alex Higgins Trophy.
Neil Robertson was another to succumb, criticising the facilities at the Waterfront before falling to Robert Milkins in the last 32.
He compared preparation for matches at the tournament to The Shawshank Redemption, where a character had to crawl through sewage to escape prison.
"It is garbage," he said. "You just have to battle through the mess. Like The Shawshank Redemption, you have to crawl through a lot of c*** to come out the other end a happy person.
"I couldn't book a practice table before this match."
Ulsterman Mark Allen, defeated on Wednesday, donated his £2,500 prize money to two charities - The Welcome Organisation, a homeless charity in the city, and Care for Cam, in support of a local boy suffering from a rare form of cancer.
• WATCH the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds.