“I thought he was a little disrespectful to the sport,” a sad and tired Mark Selby murmured after the lost decider. “Not many people get out of snooker at 100 miles per hour. Usually, the players try to figure out what kind of kick to take to get you in trouble, but he did exactly what I said throughout the match.” For fans of Ronnie O’Sullivan after the victory in the decisive frame of the semifinals of the World Cup, this monologue was another reason to walk on the principled opponent.

“Not sure what Ronnie’s disrespect is when Selby spends eight minutes on a kick and forever to get a cue,” one viewer tweeted. “Selby is so boring. Ronnie is always a pleasure to keep an eye on,” added another. Here are a few more posts perfectly illustrating the attitude of Rocket fans to Mark: “When Ronnie finishes his career, snooker will be on his knees. No one would want to look at players like Selby, “Isn’t it just as disrespectful to go to the table when you need three or four snookers?”, “Nobody wanted to see you in the final,” “Only people from Leicester or boring snooker fans wanted Selby to win.”

Fair Play is one of the unique snooker differences from any other sport. Players admit to being fouled and upset by the flukes in their favor. Regardless of the rivalry, snooker players almost always respect each other, rarely engage in a trickle and usually apologize after unpleasant words on emotions. The same goes for fans, but O’Sullivan’s match against Selby is an exception. On them, Ronnie’s fans are not shy about showing hatred for Mark and call his tactics anti-Snooker.

The main reason for this attitude is Mark’s style. Rocket and The Joker from Leicester are snooker antipodes with no contact. One acts at the table brightly and even hooligans, is among the five fastest players of the tour and masterfully the series, the other has won a huge number of trophies and broke to the top of the rankings at the expense of intelligence. 

One is gifted so that even the most brilliant victories seem mediocre, the other learned to torture opponents and contrasted the mentality of genius. One does not have to think – the idea of the right impact and the ability to execute it are taken from him as if by themselves from the same source, which prompted the right words to Shakespeare. The other achieved greatness solely through the ability to think and turned the game into the same art as attacking strikes.