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Footage shows what happened when Ronnie O'Sullivan decided to play pool in a television tournament

Footage shows what happened when Ronnie O'Sullivan decided to play pool in a television tournament

Ronnie O'Sullivan picked up a pool cue in the late '90s.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is regarded by many as the greatest snooker player of all time, but what about nine-ball pool?

'The Rocket' has played in two Mosconi Cups – an annual nine-ball pool tournament contested between teams representing Europe and the United States.

He made his much-anticipated debut in December 1996 and won two of his three singles matches that year, including victories over Earl Strickland and Allen Hopkins.

Despite his individual success, however, Europe were beaten 15-13 by the United States.

A year later, the fresh-faced O’Sullivan returned to Team Europe where he was used more often. In fact, he featured in five games in total, prevailing twice and losing three times.

Image credit: Matchroom Pool/YouTube
Image credit: Matchroom Pool/YouTube

USA legend Nick Varner was one of his tougher opponents during the week.

Varner, who is widely considered one of the greatest pool players of all time, narrowly came out on top in both games, beating O'Sullivan [2-3,2-3] in session 5 and [2-3,1-3] in session six.

Ronnie gave an impressive account of himself, though, and cleared the table to level the tie.

You can watch that rapid-fire break at the York Hall below.

O'Sullivan, who is currently the snooker world number one, says playing nine-ball pool on a smaller table helped his overall game.

"It is a little secret I let people in on, I actually played some of my best snooker because I played nine-ball pool,” he told Eurosport.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports - X/@147Magtr

Topics: Ronnie OSullivan, Snooker