Ronnie O’Sullivan has hit out at Shaun Murphy after the Magician was eliminated from the UK Championships in the first round by Chinese youngster Si Jiahui.
O'Sullivan told Murphy to "get another job" after the 39-year-old complained about amateur players being allowed to compete in professional tournaments.
The Rocket got his bid for an eighth UK Championship victory under way with a 6-3 win over Wales’s Michael White at York’s Barbican Centre.
And afterwards the 45-year-old insisted he doesn't share Murphy’s anger about top-up players making up the numbers in pro events.
"I play this for a hobby and am basically on holiday. If I had to play for a living I’d be like Shaun Murphy – in bits," O'Sullivan said.
"As for what Shaun said about the amateurs, I hope it gets worse for the top players, they had better get another job if they don’t like it.
"He’s got to get used to it or get his head around it, because it’s going to get worse but speak to the other guys as they seem to have plenty to say."
Murphy said he's upset that professional players are forced to compete against amateurs who "don't play with the same pressures and concerns" as they're not self-employed.
"I am going to sound like a grumpy old man but [Si Jiahui] shouldn't be in the tournament. It is not fair, it is not right," he said on Wednesday.
"I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn't even be in the building.
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"I don't know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our living. We are self-employed individuals and not contracted sportsmen. We don't play for a team."
"He played like a man who does not have a care in the world, because he does not have a care in the world. It is not fair."
O'Sullivan however wasn't having any of it.
"My advice to Shaun and anyone else would be lick your wounds and come back stronger and try even harder. He’s a big boy now, he’s 39 years of age – he’ll figure it out," he said.
"I don’t really care about it all and have no real opinion but I hope Shaun is all right. I know what it feels like to lose to amateur, it happened to me at the Crucible."