Judd Trump vows he will give pool another try – despite seeing his bid for US Open glory come to grief in agonising fashion on Thursday.
The Juddernaut lost a thriller 11-10 to South African ace Jason Theron at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
And this second defeat for the 32-year-old – having led 10-9 before seeing Theron snatch the crucial last two racks – was a bitter blow for the pool rookie.
Despite this being Trump’s debut at nine-ball Theron breathed a huge sigh of relief after potting the winning ball knowing he had been pushed to the limit.
Earlier in the event Trump won three matches against lesser opponents – but against strong pool players his errors and lack of experience were ruthlessly punished.
Trump took advantage of a gap in the snooker calendar to take part – and will be back in snooker action next month at the Northern Ireland Open in Belfast.
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But the player likely to be back at No1 in the next few weeks looks certain to take advantage of an invite for the new UK Open nine-ball event next year at the Copper Box Arena.
He said: “I think I will do it again, as a sport it is on the up. I like travelling to America anyway, and it is good to play a sport in another country.
“I had a lot more support from fans than I was expecting, and there were enough positives to make me do it again. A week’s practice and I’d still be in the tournament.
“I honestly think I was at about five per cent of the level I could reach so that gives you hope, and it was nice to play Jayson Shaw, one of the real top pool players.
“You see the level in a match like that, and he could go close to winning it. But other top players who have won events recently went out in the same round I did.
“It is very cut-throat. People think snooker best-of-five and best-of-seven frame matches are cut-throat, but this is a different level.
“This was a bit of a last-minute thing, and they knew I hadn’t had much chance to practice properly and get my head around the game. Next time I’d like to expect to win more.
“And I think the thing that has been made clear to me is that I would definitely want to put some serious hours in another time.
“But I liked it enough to do that, and it is certainly something I’d like to delve into again in the future. I might try and play a few top players in practice.
“There is a lot to it on the safety side, usually in snooker you put a ball near a cushion, but in pool that doesn’t work because you lose the frame every time and you must be more precise.”