Last year’s winner of the Ladbrokes Players Tournament was Judd Trump. This year the trophy and a £125,000 prize went to Ronnie O’Sullivan. On March 25th, Ronnie played the final round against Shaun Murphy and came out victorious. This is the fifth ranking title this season for the 42-year-old snooker player and 33rd in his career. After the 2018 Players Tournament ended, O’Sullivan is ranked as the world’s second best, right behind Mark Selby.
The 2018 Ladbrokes Tournament brought 16 best players in the world to Llandudno. Only top professional players got a chance to play in the tournament, which is quite essential to O’Sullivan. He recently criticized other events that allowed lower-ranked players to join. “I’m absolutely delighted because it’s a great tournament – top 16, no numpties, so it has a bit of quality. At some of the other tournaments it’s like being in the zoo, but this is pretty nice. It’s like first-class,” Ronnie said.
Before meeting in the finals, both Murphy and O’Sullivan had to give their best against other rivals. On the first day of the tournament, Shaun Murphy defeated Kyren Wilson (6-3). In the quarter-final stage, Murphy triumphed over Anthony McGill (6-5). Finally, Murphy’s semi-final opponent was Mark Williams, whom he beat 6-3.
On the other hand, Ronnie was a clear favourite on the betting sites in the UK. He started warming up on March 20th, when he defeated Graeme Dott (6-1). O’Sullivan’s winning streak continued the following day when he scored another victory against Ding Junhui (6-3). In the semi-finals, Ronnie was better than Judd Trump and finished a game with the 6-5 result.
Finally, O’Sullivan and Murphy competed in the final stage of the tournament. Luckily for O’Sullivan, Murphy wasn’t in the best shape. Despite scoring the final’s highest break, Murphy made a series of mistakes during the game. O’Sullivan didn’t score a single century break, but he had eight half-centuries and was in great shape, resulting in a 10-4 victory for the English player.
O’Sullivan summarised the event on social media. “Amazing crowd, top tournament, and quality opposition. Enjoyed this one,” Ronnie said.