JOKER Judd Trump left fans tickled pink as he conned the referee at the World Championship.
Trump snookered himself but distracted Ben Williams so he could move the pink ball aside and resume a century bid against Stuart Bingham.
The trickster found the moment as funny as the fans did – but his quarter-final comeback against Bingham was deadly serious.
Having trailed 8-3, Trudd won that 15th frame and then the next to enter the break level at 8-8.
In fact, the 2019 world champion suggested after the session that laughter was one of the best therapies for him as he battles to rediscover his love for the sport.
He said: “My main aim in snooker always is to enjoy it, and at the moment I am not.
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‘So whether I have to start missing more events or even do what Ronnie [O’Sullivan] did and miss a season out, I don’t know.”
Trump certainly wowed the Crucible crowd with his impromptu prank.
He saw his white ball nestle near to the pink – completely blocking him from the clear shot he needed at the brown.
As he weighed up his options, a supporter coughed.
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And when the seated supporter did it again, Trump saw his chance to fool ref Williams.
The Bristol star looked over the official’s shoulder and pointed to where the coughing came from.
And as a bemused Williams turned round, Trump quickly moved the pink and rattled a way a shot at the brown – which he missed.
Trump beamed broadly as he returned to his chair, while the crowd roared its approval.
Eurosport commentator David Hendon responded: “Fantastic! Ben Williams fell right for that, didn’t he?’
‘”Look away, I’ll move the pink.
“Things are turning round maybe for Trump, he’s enjoying it suddenly.”
Hendon might just have got a bit carried away when he added: “Well, that was like something out of a sitcom.”
But you must at least admire Trump’s comic timing – it was right on cue.