Ronnie O’Sullivan Rockets into Retirement. Or not.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has captured his fifth World Championship tilte at the Crucible and is contemplating his future. First, let's briefly look at his past.

Born December 5, 1975 in Wordsley, O'Sullivan was a child prodigy who ran his first century at age ten and won his first tournament at age 12 and scored his first 147 at age 15. He turned pro at 16 and, in a record that may never be broken, he won his first 38 Ranking Matches as a professional. His career earnings top six milliopn Pounds. In 1997 at the World Championships he scored a 147 in only 5 minutes and 20 seconds. He has won 25 of the 36 "Major" events in which he has competed.

His career has not been unblemished. In the 1996 World Championship he was found guilty of assaulting a Media Official, Mike Ganley, and was fined 20,000 Pounds and given a two-year suspension. After winning the 1998 Irish Masters his drug test for Marijuana came in positive and he was stripped of the title.

After such a long and colorful career O'Sullivan is now, for at least the second time, considering a modified retirement. In an interview with World Snooker after this latest victory he remarked on his ability to perform in the big events. He said you have to react to pressure with increased performance. He thinks the top snooker stars are "about level" when it come to potting skills and table abilities but the champions can perform better iunder pressure.

As for his future, he left that area pretty cloudy, saying only that he would play in the Masters next year and at least in local events that do not require a lot of travel. He is seeking more time with his family. And he says that taking 11 months off from Snooker before winning this latest World Title porved to him that he can take time away from the table for other interests and still compete at a high level.

So what does the future hold for this snooker phenom and his fans? We don't yet know, but since this is O'Sullivan, whatever it is it will be colorful.