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Ronnie O'Sullivan cools retirement talk after convincing UK win

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Image: Ronnie O'Sullivan says God told him to quit snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan said he no longer feels "trapped in a prison" and played down retirement talk after a dazzling 6-0 first-round win over Boonyarit Keattikun at the Betway UK Championship in York.

The 40-year-old is looking for the 29th ranking title of his career and started in emphatic fashion after needing just 56 minutes to complete a whitewash victory over an overwhelmed Thai opponent.

Hours before the match, O'Sullivan tweeted that God had told him to give up the sport, but the five-time world champion later had a positive response for his fans.

He said: "I have conversations with God and he said to me, 'Jack snooker in mate, you're better off as a pundit' and I was like, 'Hold on, we will have to have a proper conversation about that'.

"It's not my last tournament until God puts his foot down, he is the boss and I don't want to take liberties with him."

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The five-time UK champion made three centuries during the match and revealed he is enjoying juggling his snooker with commitments away from the table.

"This is like a bit of a hobby. Getting my cue out is a bit of a pleasure whereas before, when that's all I had to do, I felt I was trapped in a prison. Now I feel like it's a bit exciting and I treat it as a bit of fun," he added.

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"My proper job is my punditry and doing all my other bits - that's my salary but this is a bit of a bonus now."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King was docked a frame after forgetting his cue following the interval and arriving back late for the resumption of his first-round match against Sam Craigie.

Mark King: Has reached his first ranking final for 12 years
Image: Mark King was docked a frame after forgetting his cue

King, who claimed his first first ranking title in 25 years as professional by edging out Barry Hawkins in Belfast at the weekend, was not able to start at the allotted time having gone back out of the arena to collect his cue, so was penalised a frame as a result.

He went on to lose 6-2 and was left to reflect on a strange couple of days. 

"The logo on my waistcoat stuck to my cue and I went to the office to get it sewn on. I had my tea and a banana but in a daze and I left my cue in there. 

"In three days I've done two things I'd never done before. One was to win an event and two was to get docked a frame."

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