Judd Trump will return to his bread and butter when he faces Andrew Pagett on Sunday 10 October in the opening round of the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast (LIVE on Eurosport), but the man dubbed 'The Ace in the Pack' admits he is keen for a second helping of gravy in nine-ball pool.
Despite an 11-1 drubbing by 2010 Blackball world champion Jayson Shaw of Scotland and a narrow 11-10 defeat to South Africa's Jason Theron before the last 16 of the US Open Pool Championship, the world number two enjoyed three wins on his competitive debut, including an 11-5 victory over Abdullah Al-Shammari of Saudi Arabia.
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The 2019 world champion believes he has massive room for improvement in pool after his Atlantic City learning experience saw him use the jump cue for the first time. The 22-times ranking event winner plans to return to the blue baize in the future.
Trump is a glorious entertainer with a snooker cue in hand and it would not take too much time and effort to transport those time-honed skills onto the smaller table if he is serious about competing in both cue sports in the future.
“I think I will do it again, as a sport it is on the up," said Trump, who will chase a record fourth straight victory in Belfast. "I like travelling to America anyway, and it is good to play a sport in another country.
“I had a lot more support from fans than I was expecting, and there were enough positives to make me do it again. A week’s practice and I’d still be in the tournament.
I honestly think I was at about five per cent of the level I could reach so that gives you hope, and it was nice to play Jayson Shaw, one of the real top pool players.
“You see the level in a match like that, and he could go close to winning it. But other top players who have won events recently went out in the same round I did.”
The Northern Ireland Open is the third ranking event of the season and is LIVE on Eurosport and Quest between October 9-17 as part of the Home Nations Series including the English Open, Scottish Open and Welsh Open
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