Mark Williams' 11-hour Hong Kong trip to bag £22,500 fuelled by Wetherspoons breakfast

October 18, 2022
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Welsh snooker player Mark Williams has done some crazy things during his career including celebrating wins with kebabs and all-night benders.

So organisers of the Hong Kong Masters, earlier this month, knew who to call as a last minute replacement when Chinese player Zhao Xintong tested positive for Covid-19. Powered by a Weatherspoons breakfast the three-time world champion took a 13-hour flight to pick up a playing fee of £22,500.

"It was one of those phone calls," said Williams talking to Eurosport at this week's Northern Ireland Open.

"I was having breakfast in Wetherspoons on the afternoon before then all of a sudden I'm in Hong Kong the next day."

READ MORE: Snooker ace Mark Williams 'knew he wouldn't win' and 'only came for £25k prize money'

Unsurprisingly 'The Welsh Potting Machine' lost his quarter-final match against Australian Neil Robertson 5-3 before darting back to his Ebbw Vale home. Williams only spent around 11 hours in Hong Kong and admitted that the starting fee of £22,500 was his only reason for making the trip.

"That was a killer that was," added Williams, who did make an impressive 133 break during the defeat.

"It was for £22,500 I would have never gone if it hadn't been for that money. I knew I couldn't win and was going there to lose to Neil Robertson no problem, picked up the £22,500 and came home."

"I would never suggest a day-trip to Hong Kong, it's a bit too far. I was there for about 10 or 11 hours. I arrived in my hotel room at 11am, they picked me up at 11.45am and straight to the venue. I played and lost so back to the hotel at 6.30pm, they picked me up at 7pm, I was in the airport at 7.50pm."

What's the craziest sporting day trip you've made? Let us know in the comments section



Mark Williams said he only made a day trip to Hong Kong for the £22,500 playing fee
Mark Williams said he only made a day trip to Hong Kong for the £22,500 playing fee

Williams has been in impressive form at this week's Northern Irish Open beating Peter Lines 4-2 and then Swiss player Alexander Ursenbacher by the same score on his way to the last 32- including potting a tournament high-scoring break of 139.

The 47-year-old last won the world title in 2018 and reigning world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan feels he can win the championship again.

"He's a much stronger player now than he ever has been," said O'Sullivan. "He's got so much talent and so much game. He's got everything and it wouldn't surprise me if he wins another world championships he's that good.

"He's good under pressure, he's an all-time great, he really is an amazing player."

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