Ronnie O'Sullivan's comments earlier in the week now linger awkwardly, as the Rocket has been knocked out of the Northern Ireland Open by Elliot Slessor. O'Sullivan delivered a lengthy treatise on why the players he classes as "numpties" should be barred from entry to tournaments. Those players are the journeymen who are drawn against O'Sullivan in the early rounds of tournaments, with Ronnie angry at how they treat matches against him as an opportunity to snap photos.
Now, since the games opened up and anybody can basically turn up on the tour, we have to go through the numpty phase.
128 players coming in for Round 1. Ronnie plays some fella, never seen him, didn't even know he existed as a snooker player. Turns up with a coachload of people outside because their grandson is playing Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Today, O'Sullivan is out of the Northern Ireland Open, shocked 4-1 by Slessor, a man who would probably fall into O'Sullivan's "numpties" category.
Slessor is ranked 82nd in the world, with his best career performance to date a quarter-final appearance at the Indian Open. He was outstanding today, however, in seeing off the challenge of O'Sullivan on a scoreline of 4-1.
Remarkably, such was Slessor's lack of confidence ahead of today's match, he checked out of his hotel this morning, and had booked a flight home for later today.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) November 23, 2017