A pro snooker player with $4 million career earnings lost to an amateur, then threw a tantrum saying his opponent shouldn't have been allowed to compete

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A pro snooker player with $4 million career earnings lost to an amateur, then threw a tantrum saying his opponent shouldn't have been allowed to compete
Shaun Murphy was knocked out of Cazoo UK Championship by amateur Si Jiahui.Getty/Mike Egerton
  • A professional snooker player who has earned over $4 million during his career lost to an amateur.
  • He then launched at wild tirade against his opponent, claiming he shouldn't have been allowed to compete.

A professional snooker player who has earned over $4 million during his career lost to an amateur in the first round of a tournament, then threw a tantrum saying his opponent shouldn't have even been allowed to compete in the tournament.

Shaun Murphy, runner-up in this year's World Championship, suffered a shock early exit from the UK Championship on Tuesday, losing 6-5 to China's Si Jiahui.

After the defeat, the former world champion launched an extraordinary tirade against Si, who entered the championship in the city York as an amateur. Si was once a pro, but stopped playing professionally in 2019, and regained amateur status.

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According to Eurosport, he was "effectively brought in to make up the numbers," at the tournament.

"I am going to sound like a grumpy old man but that young man shouldn't be in the tournament," Murphy told the BBC. "It is not fair, it is not right."

He added: "I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn't even be in the building.

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"This is our livelihood. This is our living. We are self-employed individuals. It is wrong, in my opinion, to walk into somebody who is not playing with the same pressures and concerns I am.

"He played like a man who does not have a care in the world, because he does not have a care in the world."

According to Snooker Database, Murphy has earned $4.26 million in an illustrious career that was seen him win nine major titles. Murphy himself also competed as an amateur as a youngster, playing the 1998 Doc Marten's European League aged just 13.

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"I am not picking on him as a young man, he deserved his victory," he continued. "Amateurs should not be allowed in professional tournaments, the end."

The World Snooker Tour responded to Murphy's comments by saying, per the BBC: "We respect Shaun's opinions but in this case we strongly disagree with his comments.

"[Si] deserves his place in our events based on his results."

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Reigning champion Neil Robertson backed Murphy saying, according to The Metro: "I totally get where Shaun's coming from. When you're playing one of the Chinese boys, some of them are amateurs, but some are as good as anybody in the top 50 in the world.

"Amateurs are under a completely different pressure where there's actually no pressure, because they're not competing for ranking points.

"They're basically on a free hit at a pro, so I completely agree with what Shaun's saying there, because it is very dangerous."

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Robertson went on to lose 6-2 in the first round on Tuesday to amateur John Astley.

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