STUART BINGHAM admits he is still “baffled” as to why he suffered a shock 6-4 defeat to Yu Delu at the Betway UK Championship in York on Saturday.
World No 2 Bingham started with an opening round 6-0 win over Adam Stefanow and led world No 62 Yu 4-3 before the Chinese star (pictured) took the final three frames, closing with breaks of 66 and 70, for a place in the last 32.
Ballrun said: “I’m still a bit baffled by it really. I don’t know. I’ve been playing so well for six weeks or so, so maybe I was a due a bad game. You can’t keep riding the wave.
“The hardest thing is if I had lost 6-1 – then fine. But he played just as badly as me so that’s why it is even harder to take.
“If I had raised my game just ten per cent then I probably would have won 6-3 or something. And that is why it is hard to take because there was a good chance to get through to the next round.
“I think what happened in my day maybe played a part. We walked over to the town a couple of times and I had an hour to kill so I put the snooker on the TV and laid in bed and decided to have a little sleep.
“So I set my alarm and had about 50 minutes of sleep and then woke up and it took me a minute or two to focus again when I woke up.
“I obviously slipped into a deep sleep and when I went on the practice table everything was going wrong from there. I just could not seem to focus on anything and I obviously took that to the table.
“But they say you win or you learn – you never lose. So I’ll learn not to have a sleep like that again in the future because I would rather play tired and stay focused.”
It has been a fascinating start to the event at the York Barbican with Mark Allen hitting his first-ever 147, Fergal O’Brien knocking in five tons in a 6-5 win over Barry Hawkins, and Peter Lines and son Oliver both progressing to round three with shock wins over Neil Robertson and Judd Trump respectively.
Bingham said: “I was there to see Fergal knocking in those five tons as I was on the next table. I think I was watching that more than my game!
“And it is good to see Ollie beating Judd because that is a big win for him. But I don’t know how much I am going to watch the tournament now because my defeat really hurt.”
Ballrun was also pleased to see fellow Essex player Mark King win his first ranking title in his 25 years as a pro with a 9-8 win over Hawkins in last week’s Northern Ireland Open.
He added: “It was great to see. I have practised with Mark for years and he was one of the first pros I played against, so we go back years.
“It was a very emotional speech he gave at the end and I had a tear in my eye like everyone else.
“He has had his problems and I’ve been round his house and you can see what it means to his family.
“The money will hopefully allow him to have a good Christmas now because Mark is one of those who will graft when he needs to, I know he has done building work to get by before so this really was a nice win to see for a good guy.”
Bingham is next in action at the German Masters Qualifiers at the Barnsley Metrodome between December 6-9.