Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan OBE (born 5 December 1975) is an English professional snooker player who is one of the most successful players in the modern era of the sport. He has won five World Championships, a record seven Masters titles, and a record seven UK Championships, setting a record total of 19 titles in Triple Crown tournaments. He shares the record for the most ranking titles (36) with Stephen Hendry. His career earnings of over £10 million put him in first place on snooker's all-time prize-money list. Winning the Tour Championship on 24 March 2019 made him the sport's current world number one, the fourth time in his career that he has held the top position and the first time he has been number one since May 2010. This is the longest gap between number one spells by any player in history.
German Masters 2015
|Born||5 December 1975|
Wordsley, West Midlands, England
|Highest ranking||1 (May 2002–May 2003, May 2004–May 2006, May 2008–May 2010, March 2019–)|
|1 (as of 7 May 2019)|
|Highest||147 (15 times)|
O'Sullivan began playing snooker at age seven and turned professional at the age of 16. He won the 1993 UK Championship aged 17 years and 358 days, thus becoming the youngest ever winner of the UK Championship and the youngest ever winner of a ranking title. He is also the youngest winner of The Masters, winning the 1995 tournament at the age of 19 years and 69 days.
A prolific break-builder, O'Sullivan holds the record for the most century breaks in professional competition, and is the only player ever to have achieved 1,000 career centuries. He holds the record for the most officially recognised maximum breaks in professional competition, with 15, and he holds the record for the fastest competitive maximum break, compiled in a time of 5 minutes and 8 seconds at the 1997 World Championship.
Noted for his unpredictable temperament and his struggles with alcohol, drugs, and depression, O'Sullivan has often been a controversial figure in the sport. He has received many warnings and sanctions from its governing body over his conduct and comments, has repeatedly threatened to retire, took a prolonged break from the sport during the 2012/2013 season, and threatened in late 2018 to form a breakaway snooker tour. Outside his playing career, he has worked as a pundit for Eurosport's snooker coverage, has written crime novels and autobiographies, and has starred in the miniseries Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle. He was awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Year Honours.
O'Sullivan plays in a fast and attacking manner. He is a prolific breakbuilder and solid tactical player. He has stated his disdain for long, drawn-out games, saying that it harms the game of snooker. He is regarded by many other professionals as an excellent front-runner. In previous years, he could become demoralized by being behind and not playing well, and was liable to lose several consecutive frames. He is right-handed but can play to a very high standard with his left hand and routinely alternates where needed. While not quite possessing the same power in his left arm, being ambidextrous enables him to attempt shots with his left hand that would otherwise require awkward cueing with a or .
When he first displayed this left-handed ability in the 1996 World Championship against Alain Robidoux, the Canadian accused him of disrespect. He was summoned to a disciplinary hearing in response to Robidoux's formal complaint, where he had to prove that he could play to a high level with his left hand. He played three frames of snooker against former world championship runner-up Rex Williams, winning all three. The charge of bringing the game into disrepute was subsequently dropped.
He is considered by many to be the most naturally talented player in the history of the sport, with some labelling him a "genius". Several of his peers regard him as the greatest player ever. However, a temperamental streak sometimes leads to O'Sullivan having a lack of confidence or interest, and he has performed inconsistently throughout his controversial career thus far, with observers noting the "two Ronnies" aspect of his character. According to Stephen Hendry after his defeat at the time of the 2008 World Championship, "O'Sullivan is the best player in the world by a country mile". O'Sullivan has compiled the highest number of competitive century breaks in the sport's history, surpassing Hendry's previous record of 775. O'Sullivan targeted reaching 1,000 century breaks before he retires, a feat he achieved in the winning frame of the 2019 Players Championship final.
O'Sullivan is one of the most popular players on the circuit, noted for being a "showman", and has helped improve the image of snooker to the general public. O'Sullivan himself has stated his desire for entertaining the watching public, and has said that slow, gritty games put viewers off. He has often been compared to Alex Higgins and Jimmy White, because of both his natural talent and popularity. O'Sullivan has three verified social network accounts, on Twitter, Sina Weibo, and Instagram, with over 300,000, over 160,000 and over 145,000 followers respectively. He updates his Weibo account with the help of two assistants who understand Chinese.
O'Sullivan started broadcasting regularly on Brentwood radio station Phoenix FM in May 2015, co-hosting the Midweek Matchzone show with Chris Hood. O'Sullivan has previously broadcast a number of hour-long specials for the station.
In March 2014, Eurosport announced that it had signed an exclusive deal with O'Sullivan to make him its global ambassador for snooker, with the goal of driving the sport's international appeal. As part of the deal, O'Sullivan creates an exclusive snooker series for the network called The Ronnie O'Sullivan Show, which includes his insights into the game, interviews with other professional players, and playing tips. He also wrote for Yahoo! websites and mobile apps during the World Championship. O'Sullivan works for Eurosport with Jimmy White and Neal Foulds doing analysis for events that he does not take part in or if he is knocked out of an event he joins the team for the later rounds. O'Sullivan also starred in a mini series Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle touring the United States with broadcasting friend Matt Smith. The series showed the pair travelling to different cities in the US learning the art of pool hustling.
O'Sullivan has written three crime novels in collaboration with Emlyn Rees: Framed (2016), Double Kiss and The Break. The novels are not autobiographical but are somewhat inspired by his early experiences and family life. O'Sullivan has also written two autobiographies. On 31 March 2019 one week after O'Sullivan returned to the world number one ranking after winning the 2019 Tour Championship the first time he has been number one in 9 years; O'Sullivan announced he had written a new book with his nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. the title of the book would be "Top of your Game".
O'Sullivan has been involved with several video games, including his own, released for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on October 3, 2012 named Ronnie O'Sullivan's Snooker. He also worked on World Snooker Championship 2007 in 2007, and Virtual Snooker in 1996.
O'Sullivan was born in Wordsley in the West Midlands. He grew up, and still lives, in the affluent Manor Road area of Chigwell, Essex. He attended Wanstead High School. His parents Ronald John O'Sullivan and Maria O'Sullivan (née Catalano) ran a string of sex shops in Soho. O'Sullivan's father was jailed in 1992 for murder, after stabbing father-of-two Bruce Bryan, and released 18 years later.
O'Sullivan has three children: Taylor-Ann Magnus (born 1996) from a two-year relationship with Sally Magnus; and Lily (born 2006) and Ronnie (born 2007) from a relationship with Jo Langley, whom he met at Narcotics Anonymous. In February 2013, he became engaged to actress and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Laila Rouass, with whom he had been in a relationship since early 2012. O'Sullivan became a grandfather in October 2018 after Taylor-Ann gave birth to her first child.
He has been labelled a perfectionist, and highly self-critical even in victory. He suffered from clinical depression, and has had drugs and drink related problems in his early career. In 2011 he started working with the renowned sports psychologist Steve Peters, who has helped him overcome his mood swings. Noted for repeatedly declaring his intention to leave the sport, O'Sullivan worked during the 2012/2013 season on a pig farm.
In 2003, media sources carried reports that O'Sullivan had converted to Islam, but despite his self-professed interest in the faith, these reports were proved to be false. O'Sullivan also espouses an interest in Buddhism, having spent many lunchtimes at the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green. However, he denies having a firm commitment to any religion.
O'Sullivan is a keen football fan and a supporter of Arsenal. Another of his hobbies is motor racing. In 2004, he appeared on Top Gear as the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car", and finished with a time of 1:47.3 around the test track in a Suzuki Liana. He also succeeded in clearing a snooker table of four reds plus all the colours faster than the Stig was able to drive O'Sullivan's own Mercedes SL 500, with its "147" number plate, around the track. Over the weekend of 15–16 August 2009, in the Volkswagen Racing Cup at Silverstone using a Volkswagen Jetta with the car number "147", he drove two 20-minute rounds. In the first round, he spun off into a gravel trap, but fared better in the second, in which he finished 14th. O'Sullivan is also a keen runner, and runs for Woodford Green with Essex Ladies. He has a personal best of 34 minutes 54 seconds for 10 km races, which ranked him in the top 1500 of 10k runners in the United Kingdom in 2008. O'Sullivan also enjoys cooking, and has said that if he were to go back to school he would study cooking. This was reinforced by his appearance on BBC's Saturday Kitchen, in December 2014.
Performance and rankings timeline
|Ranking[nb 1]||[nb 2]||57||9||3||8||7||3||4||4||2||1||3||1||1||3||5||1||1||3||11||9||19||4||5||10||14||2||1|
|Riga Masters[nb 3]||Tournament Not Held||Minor-Rank.||A||A||A||A|
|International Championship||Tournament Not Held||WD||2R||QF||A||3R||1R||A||A|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||NR||QF||A|
|European Masters[nb 4]||QF||F||SF||1R||1R||NH||1R||Not Held||QF||W||QF||2R||A||1R||NR||Tournament Not Held||F||A||WD|
|English Open||Tournament Not Held||3R||W||SF|
|World Open[nb 5]||1R||1R||QF||1R||2R||2R||3R||QF||F||QF||QF||2R||W||F||QF||F||QF||2R||F||WD||A||A||Not Held||A||A||A|
|Northern Ireland Open||Tournament Not Held||4R||3R||F|
|Scottish Open[nb 6]||2R||LQ||3R||1R||QF||W||2R||W||2R||2R||3R||QF||Tournament Not Held||MR||Not Held||QF||QF||WD|
|German Masters[nb 7]||Not Held||1R||W||SF||NR||Tournament Not Held||WD||W||A||LQ||QF||LQ||1R||WD||A|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||NR||1R||2R||W||1R|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||A||A||A|
|Players Championship[nb 8]||Tournament Not Held||DNQ||WD||DNQ||2R||DNQ||DNQ||QF||W||W|
|Gibraltar Open||Tournament Not Held||MR||A||A||A|
|Tour Championship||Tournament Not Held||W|
|China Open[nb 9]||Tournament Not Held||NR||2R||W||W||QF||Not Held||WD||1R||SF||1R||QF||1R||1R||QF||A||A||WD||A||2R||1R||A|
|Paul Hunter Classic||Tournament Not Held||Pro-am Event||Minor-Ranking Event||Ranking Event|
|Shanghai Masters||Tournament Not Held||Ranking Event||W|
|Champion of Champions||Tournament Not Held||W||W||WD||F||F||W|
|Championship League||Tournament Not Held||A||A||RR||RR||A||A||A||WD||F||A||A||A|
|Former ranking tournaments|
|Dubai Classic[nb 10]||LQ||SF||SF||1R||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Malta Grand Prix||Not Held||Non-Ranking Event||QF||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Thailand Masters[nb 11]||2R||1R||F||2R||SF||2R||1R||2R||2R||SF||NR||Not Held||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|British Open||LQ||W||F||SF||1R||QF||3R||SF||QF||SF||3R||F||SF||Tournament Not Held|
|Irish Masters||Non-Ranking Event||W||QF||W||NH||NR||Tournament Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Tournament Not Held||NR||F||QF||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Shanghai Masters||Tournament Not Held||WD||F||W||WD||2R||A||A||1R||A||2R||W||Non-Rank.|
|Paul Hunter Classic[nb 12]||Tournament Not Held||Pro-am Event||Minor-Ranking Event||A||A||A||NR|
|Indian Open||Tournament Not Held||A||A||NH||A||A||A||NH|
|Former non-ranking tournaments|
|China Open[nb 9]||Tournament Not Held||SF||Ranking Event||Not Held||Ranking Event|
|Champions Cup[nb 13]||Not Held||QF||W||F||F||F||SF||W||RR||Tournament Not Held|
|Scottish Masters||A||A||SF||SF||QF||QF||W||QF||W||F||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Northern Ireland Trophy||Tournament Not Held||1R||Ranking Event||Tournament Not Held|
|Pot Black||SF||A||Tournament Not Held||QF||A||A||Tournament Not Held|
|Irish Masters||A||QF||1R||QF||SF||DQ||QF||SF||W||QF||Ranking Event||NH||W||Tournament Not Held|
|Premier League[nb 14]||RR||RR||RR||RR||W||RR||SF||SF||W||W||SF||A||W||W||W||W||W||F||W||W||A||Tournament Not Held|
|World Grand Prix||Tournament Not Held||F||Ranking|
|Shoot-Out||Tournament Not Held||SF||A||A||A||2R||A||Ranking Event|
|China Championship||Tournament Not Held||WD||Ranking|
|Hong Kong Masters||Tournament Not Held||F||Not Held|
|Performance Table Legend|
|LQ||lost in the qualifying draw||#R||lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
|QF||lost in the quarter-finals|
|SF||lost in the semi–finals||F||lost in the final||W||won the tournament|
|DNQ||did not qualify for the tournament||A||did not participate in the tournament||WD||withdrew from the tournament|
|DQ||disqualified from the tournament|
|NH / Not Held||event was not held.|
|NR / Non-Ranking Event||event is/was no longer a ranking event.|
|R / Ranking Event||event is/was a ranking event.|
|RV / Ranking & Variant Format Event||means an event is/was a ranking & variant format event.|
|MR / Minor-Ranking Event||means an event is/was a minor-ranking event.|
|PA / Pro-am Event||means an event is/was a pro-am event.|
|VF / Variant Format Event||means an event is/was a variant format event.|
Ranking finals: 51 (36 titles, 15 runners-up)
Minor-ranking finals: 6 (3 titles, 3 runners-up)
Non-ranking finals: 49 (32 titles, 17 runners-up)
Variant finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up)
Pro-am finals: 1 (1 title)
Team finals: 2 (2 titles)
Amateur finals: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)
Maximum and century breaks
Ronnie O'Sullivan has completed 15 maximum breaks from his first in the 1997 World Snooker Championship against Mick Price; to his 2018 English Open maximum against Allan Taylor. O'Sullivan's maximum in 1997 also holds the record for the fastest maximum in competitive play; Guinness World Records recorded the time at 5 minutes and 20 seconds, but recent evidence suggests this is incorrect as a result of the BBC starting the timer too early on the break. Depending on the timing methodology used, the break took between 5 minutes 8 seconds, and 5 minutes 15 seconds, with World Snooker now officially acknowledging the shorter time.
O'Sullivan has refused to complete maximum breaks due to opinions on the maximum break prizes. In the 2016 Welsh Open, O'Sullivan intentionally played a pink ball, and recorded a 146 break. It was suggested that O'Sullivan did this out of protest due to the maximum break prize being only £10,000, but he claimed it wasn't about the money and just wanted to have a little fun. Six years earlier, at the 2010 World Open, referee Jan Verhaas convinced O'Sullivan to complete the break, in which O'Sullivan had turned down to pot the final black ball.
O'Sullivan also holds the record for the total amount of century breaks, compiling over 1,000 century breaks in competition in his 26-year professional career. He scored his 1,000th century in the winning frame of the 2019 Players Championship final against Neil Robertson in March 2019.
Since then, O'Sullivan has won the following prize money amounts per season, leaving his career total at:
Last updated on: 23 April 2019.