Hearn warns O'Sullivan skipping too many events will have rankings consequences
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn will not stand in the way of Ronnie O'Sullivan skipping tournaments but has warned his ranking will suffer as a result.
O'Sullivan, 36, has said he will play a reduced schedule rather than spend months away from home.
Speaking after beating defending champion Ding Junhui in the first round of the BGC Masters on Sunday, O'Sullivan said: 'I'm not prepared to travel 28, 29 weeks of the year, living out of a suitcase in hotel rooms.'
Home boy: Ronnie O'Sullivan says he will not travel abroad extensively to play
He is determined to find the right balance between his career and life as a father to two young children, and while O'Sullivan seems certain to play in snooker's premier tournaments, long trips away from home will hold less appeal.
The three-time former world champion has slipped to 16th in the rankings after a run of mediocre results but believes he will enjoy the game more if he plays selected events.
Family guy: O'Sullivan wants to spend more time with his young children
Hearn, who has had two years at the helm of the professional game, has introduced a host of new tournaments, many of them overseas, which have bulked up what was previously a thin snooker calendar.
'There is a lot of overseas travel and the bad news for Ronnie I suppose is it's going to get more and more,' Hearn told BBC Radio Five Live. 'We're just about to announce five major ranking events in China in the next 12 months so it's part of the global expansion of snooker.
Flying start: The Rocket shot past Ding Junhui (left) at The Masters on Sunday
'It won't suit every player but every player has the choice of the type of life he wants to lead.
'The downside for Ronnie is if he doesn't compete he will inevitably slip down the rankings through non-attendance, but I think it's a decision he's made himself and I welcome the decision for him personally.
'If it makes sense in his life that's what he's got to do.'