The 48-year-old has had an incredible season so far, winning the UK Championship, Masters and Shanghai Masters, sitting top of the world rankings at the start of 2024.
He is in action this week in Leicester at the World Grand Prix, but is planning to have a rest from competition after this event, likely to skip the upcoming German Masters and Welsh Open.
However, he says he fancies a crack at qualifying for the World Open in Yushan, with qualifiers in Barnsley next week, and wants to play in the Players Championship in Telford, starting on 17 February, so it doesn’t sound like too long a break for the Rocket.
‘I’ll be missing quite a few tournaments now after this,’ claimed on ITV after beating Pang Junxu in round one of the Grand Prix.
‘I shouldn’t even really have come here to be honest with you, butI thought I’d earned me right here so I’d turn up, in hindsight I should have just bailed on this one as well. But I’m here now so I’m going to give it my best shot.
‘I’ll try and qualify for the China even because I like the China events and that will be me pretty much done until the next ITV event.
‘I’ll try and show up for that [the Players Championship] because that’s quite a decent tournament.’
O’Sullivan says he will not be putting his cue away entirely when not playing in upcoming events, but will be playing plenty of exhibitions.
‘I just think the main thing for me now is my exhibitions,’ he said. ‘I’m contracted to do 20-25 exhibitions a year so I’ve got to make time for them and I’ve got 20-30 days of commitments for my sponsors, so there’s two months.
‘There’s two months, that’s important stuff for me, that’s my own stuff really so I just play enough tournaments to make me get my cue out the case basically. If I didn’t have tournaments I probably wouldn’t practice.
‘I’d like to think if I fell off the tour I might get a wildcard, but knowing World Snooker they’d probably go “no you ain’t getting one.” I’m just trying to keep my tour card really, I ain’t bothered about winning tournaments.’
The Rocket plays his second round match at the World Grand Prix on Thursday afternoon against Zhou Yuelong.
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