Mark Allen: NI player to continue playing after bankruptcy ruling

Mark Allen
Mark Allen celebrates winning the Northern Ireland Open for the first time last year

Mark Allen says the "shackles are off" after revealing that he will stay in the game following a successful court ruling last month.

The world number 13 from Antrim said his future in snooker was uncertain after declaring himself bankrupt in May.

But following Wednesday's 6-5 defeat by Judd Trump in the Masters he said any concerns are "all gone now".

"I'm free to play snooker again, which is what I want to do," he added.

"It's the only thing I'm good at in life except apart from 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 so much pressure from the Trustee, given my bankruptcy, that I may not be able to play snooker going forward.

"It wasn't so much that he would tell me not to play - it was the fact that I might be playing just to pay him and I wasn't prepared 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 before and said was "unsure if I will get any" of his £70,000 prize money for winning the event.

Mark Allen
Mark Allen has won six ranking events after becoming a professional in 2005

Allen said he also attended a court hearing - in relation to access to his daughter - which finished less than an hour before his dramatic first-round game against Trump at Alexandra Palace.

"It probably wasn't ideal prep - it finished at 12:30 and I had to drive quickly to the venue and it went great as well," added the 35-year-old.

"I got pretty much got everything I wanted by the judge. I'm so happy and win or lose today, that wasn't really important to me.

"I can see light at the end of the tunnel now which I couldn't see a few months back. Things are going so well for me back home and hopefully it's just the start of things to come for me.

"I've done okay in the game considering the pressure I've been under - I've nicked a couple of tournaments and kept my ranking as well as I can.

"It's really hard - as much as people say 'just block it out and play snooker' that's nearly impossible to do when you've a lot of very important things going on in the background. I think I've handled it all very well. The shackles are off now with good things to come."

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