Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed that he has played some of his best snooker because he played nine-ball pool, and has credited the sport with helping his game.
The Rocket explained why playing pool and billiards can help with the snooker game - and vice versa - because of the crossover between the sports and even in the mindset required for matches.
The 45-year-old has also said that pool players could benefit from playing snooker due to the technical demands of the sport and has encouraged players to experiment.
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"It is a little secret I let people in on, I actually played some of my best snooker because I played nine-ball pool," O'Sullivan told Eurosport in a special extended interview ahead of the English Open.
"You are playing on a smaller table and trying to pot a ball over 12 foot is a lot - a long ball over 12 foot is quite a hard thing to do. But when you get an a pool table, you start potting long balls on a nine-foot table, it's just like, you stop fearing the long distance as much.
"In some ways, you have to use different techniques on the pool table, which you can then bring to the snooker table.
I think I learned a lot and played some of my best snooker through playing nine-ball pool.
"I always think there is a good crossover between playing a bit of nine-ball pool, a bit of billiards and a bit of snooker. Because there are crossovers.
"It's like being a pool player, a lot of pool players would be better pool players, if they had played a bit more snooker because it would tighten their technique up a bit."
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Judd Trump has recently spoken of the enjoyment he had travelling to America for the US Open Pool Championship, and O'Sullivan gave his views on the subject having previously taken a trip to Las Vegas to play pool.
"It sounds like Judd likes America, and I know he likes going out there for a holiday and he maybe takes his brother and some friends out there," he said.
"It's like killing two birds with one stone, and sometimes it's good to have something to do while you're out there because otherwise you get you can get bored. I know I wouldn't enjoy just going to Vegas for a week and just sitting around going to bars and restaurants.
"The one time I did go to Vegas and play pool I really enjoyed the experience of being in Vegas because I was able to work, a bit of normality, a bit of being in your comfort zone, but also getting to experience a bit of Las Vegas. So yeah, I think it was quite a good experience.
"Would I do it again? You know, if the money was right, probably, but they probably wouldn't offer me the money that I would want to go and do something like that, so it's probably off my wish list now.
"It's just a bit of fun and I'm sure it's something that you do because you think you might like it, and if you do like it, then you do more of it. If you don't, you just go, 'It wasn't what I wanted it to be' and swerve that one or whatever, so sometimes you have got to try these things out."
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O’Sullivan begins his English Open campaign on Monday November 1 against David Lilley at 19:00 after a shock defeat to Hossein Vafaei at the German Masters.
Vafaei compiled breaks of 52, 50, 81, 64 and a magical 141 as the world number 60 stunned six-time world champion O'Sullivan 5-0 in the German Masters in Cannock in only 54 minutes. The last 32 qualify for the final stages of the German Masters, with the Tempodrom in Berlin staging the tournament between 26-30 January 2022.
Apart from breaking down among the balls in the second frame, O'Sullivan did little or nothing wrong as the inspired world number 60 raced to 4-0 clear in under an hour.
That became a 5-0 victory quickly after the mid-session interval with the world number three only making 24 after potting a red off the break-off shot – going for broke with an ultra-aggressive opening play – in throwing caution to the wind before Vafaei pounced with another lovely knock of 64 to end any hopes of a recovery by the record 37-times ranking event winner.
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