Three-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will not compete in January's Shootout tournament, OnCue learned today.
Although the reason still remains unclear, I guess this is because the Rocket doesn't want to play in every single tournament this season.
Given his precarious placing in the world rankings, just inside the top 16, he's not a position to skip ranking events, so this seems a fair compromise.
I'm sure this will leave many fans disappointed but it doesn't mean the tournament is in ruins. Snooker is in no way a one-man sport and last year's Shootout proved the star of the show could come from anywhere in the rankings, with Nigel Bond the eventual winner.
O'Sullivan withdrawal does mean Welshman Michael White will take his place in the 64-man draw, having missed out finishing 65th in the world rankings at the recent mid-season seedings revision.
The show must, and will go on.