Mark Allen: NI player will continue to play after bankruptcy ruling

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Mark Allen celebrates his first win at the Northern Ireland Open last year

Mark Allen says the “chains are off” after revealing he would stay in the game following a successful court ruling last month.

The Antrim world number 13 has said his snooker future is in doubt after declaring himself bankrupt in May.

But after Wednesday Defeat 6-5 by Judd Trump in the Masters, he said all worries were “all gone now”.

“I’m free to play snooker again, that’s what I want to do,” he added.

“It’s the only thing I’m good at in life, other than being a good dad to [daughter] Harleigh. It’s huge because it allows me to play snooker now without that threat hanging over me. It was major.

“I was under such pressure from the trustee, given my bankruptcy, that I may not be able to play pool in the future.

“It wasn’t so much that he was telling me not to play – it was the fact that maybe I was playing just to pay him and I wasn’t ready to do that.”

Career in doubt

Allen cited “personal reasons” for not defending his champion of champions crown in November.

The former Masters champion won the Northern Ireland Open for the first time a month ago and said he ‘didn’t know if I would get part’ of his £70,000 prize money for winning the event.

Mark Allen
Mark Allen won six ranking events after turning pro in 2005

Allen said he also attended a court hearing – regarding access to his daughter – which ended less than an hour before his dramatic first-round match against Trump at Alexandra Palace.

“It probably wasn’t ideal preparation – it ended at 12:30 and I had to drive quickly to the venue and it went well too,” added the 35-year-old.

“I got pretty much everything I wanted from the judge. I’m so happy and winning or losing today didn’t really matter to me.

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now that I couldn’t see a few months ago. Things are going so well for me at home and I hope this is just the start of things to come for me.

“I did well in the game considering the pressure I was under – I managed a few tournaments and kept my ranking as best I could.

“It’s really difficult – as much as people say ‘block it and play pool’, it’s almost impossible to do when there’s a lot of really important stuff going on in the background. I think I have very handled it all well. The chains are off now with good things to come.”

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