Ronnie O'Sullivan has won a whopping £270,000 in 36 days in prize money since the beginning of the English Open in October to the start of his Northern Ireland prospects this week.

The 41-year-old has notched up 3 tournament finals, 2 of which he won and a runner-up prize at the Champion of Champions which was half of what winner Shaun Murphy won in Coventry of £100,000.

The earnings excluded the £3,000 high break prize of a 144 he made also at the Shanghai Masters where he trounced Judd Trump 10 - 3.

His season's earnings so far have tallied to £347,000 plus

O'Sullivan's Shanghai win meant he shot back up the two-year rankings to World number four.

And, on a return to the UK, The Rocket came up against a steely Lukas Kleckers in the first round of Belfast on Tuesday when the Rocket came out of the blocks punching with breaks of 91 and 126 to go 2 - 0 clearly appearing not affected by jet lag.

But, in a frame of defiance Germany's 21-year-old only pro hit back with a cool controlled 137 and another cool 60 to level up 2 - 2 and give the Rocket a wake-up call.

It was just two balls in the match a yellow and a blue which cost Kleckers losing and O'Sullivan capitalising on it to take him into the next round.

O'Sullivan said after the match on Eurosport, that he learned a lesson from that one: "I mustn't take liberties" as he hadn't seen Kleckers play and didn't know what he could really do.

He said also after:"If it's a tournament of value, I'll come and support it..."


O'Sullivan, who will be 42 next month before Christmas, plays in the Northern Ireland Open which has already seen shock exits of Kyren Wilson and Shaun Murphy, both who have been in the business end of tournaments in recent weeks.

The Shanghai Masters was his 30th ranking title and second Shanghai win since 2009, and his fifth Chinese win with 2 China Opens, 2 Shanghai Masters and a World Open for good measure.

NIO tournament defender Mark King managed to win his first match on Monday against the TV debut of recent addition to the pro circuit billiard player Matthew Bolton, a 15 time Australian National Billiard Champion.

Bolton won the Oceana Snooker Championship to qualify for the pro tour at the end of last season.

King was recently interviewed on and quizzed by fans where he revealed he is a real softie at heart - despite his hard man tattoo image.

He said: "I'm a hopeless romantic."

And also revealed he was into romantic comedies.

For more on the interview with Mark King, go to the Dafa snooker Facebook page and watch the recorded version there.

Trump out of Belfast

Shanghai Masters runner-up Judd Trump has been knocked out of the NI Open by Grimsby's Stuart Carrington 4 - 2.

Trump, a European Masters Champion, will be heading to York next week for the big one - the UK Championship.

For one player to win 28 matches, which can still only be O'Sullivan, in all four of the Home Nations events, the carrot of one million smackers awaits.