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Prestigious Snooker Gala in Budapest with World Star Ronnie O’Sullivan

Hungary Today 2023.03.06.
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Snooker Gala in Budapest

This year’s most famous guest of the OMV VI Hungarian Snooker Gala was seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, and the event attracted so much interest from the Hungarian audience, that it consisted of three performances on two days. Although real big breaks were not made, the audience left satisfied after the champions’ performance.

The Gerevich Aladár National Sports Hall hosted two performances on Saturday and one on Sunday, due to the high level of interest. The spectators were not left dissatisfied with the performance of the world stars, and a young Hungarian talent, 16-year-old Bulcsú Révész, also played. Although he did not win a match against the world’s best, he was able to show off his talent.

The gala match featured seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and world number three Mark Allen, both of whom entertained the crowd with great performances.

O’Sullivan is a big name in snooker, as his record shows: seven world titles, the same number of Masters and UK Championship wins, a total of 39 tournament wins with points, the most (15) maximum breaks of 147, and the fastest 147 break in 5 minutes 8 seconds.

One of the showpieces of the gala was a lightweight version of the attempt to beat the fastest ever maximum break of 147, where after 15 reds, the player puts the most valuable black ball of all the colored balls in each case, and then in the correct order, the colored balls are put in the hole. The red balls were placed separately on the table, and the colored balls were replaced by black balls only.

Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen once “cleared” the table in 4:17 minutes, almost a minute faster than his rival’s record of 5:08, which he had set in competition. Hungarian player Révész also excelled in the summit attempt, and even although he did not manage to put all the balls away, he did push the most beautiful and difficult train of the day.

After the first pause on Saturday, the show, which had been a bit stagnant at the beginning, picked up with the English world champion starting the first really interesting game with a break of 100 and then doubling his lead with 78. His rival made up for it, but then Ronnie won the frame again to take a 3:1 lead. Then Allen leveled, and at 3-3 the deciding set came with ten minutes to 17. In official matches, the Englishman leads the duel 7-4, but in the end Allen was more focused and won at the gala.

Speaking to Hungarian sports website, Nemzeti Sport, after the first set, O’Sullivan said he felt great, the crowd was fantastic and so was the arena, as they were surrounded by spectators on four sides. In the end, nothing was more indicative of the crowd’s satisfaction than when the players left the arena to the usual cheering applause as in theaters.

Featured photo via MTI/Mohai Balázs

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