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STUART BINGHAM was left cursing some dreadful luck which saw his exit from the Riga Masters with defeat to eventual finalist Michael Holt.

Ball Run was 3-2 up in the first-to-four clash and in control of the frame he needed for victory when his promising crack at the first tournament of the season was ended at the last 16 stage.

He said: “How I lost from there is a joke – I felt it was a million to one shot he would beat me from there.

“I was 36 up after laying a snooker and just had to roll one in to stay on the black. There had been some kicks in the tournament but this one jumped on me and he pinched the frame to make it 3-3.

“Then he broke off in the next frame and left me shot to nothing and I got a really bad kick and he made 69 to win. I was left scratching my head to be honest.

Read more: Bingham rues bad luck in Riga

STUART BINGHAM says Matt Selt’s two-tournament ban for ‘offensive’ tweets is “harsh” and is concerned about the growing problem of internet trolling.

Selt, 31, felt the governing body’s decision to exclude him from this month’s Riga Masters and August’s Paul Hunter Classic is “draconian” after he was punished for a Twitter exchange with a member of the public.

And he received some sympathy from Bingham, who has been repeatedly subjected to online abuse on social media for many years now.

Bingham said: “I do not know the specifics of Matt’s case but I do know it does not help when you get abused by online trolls.

Read more: Bingham: Selt’s ban is "harsh" and trolling needs to be tackled

STUART BINGHAM has warned the “joke” decision to make the Shoot-Out a ranking event could cost a top player a place at the Crucible.

World Snooker announced today (May 11) that money earned at the shot-clock timed, one frame knock-out tournament will count towards the sport's money ranking list when it is next staged in February 2017.

The competition will be opened up to all 128 of the Tour’s players and not just the top 64 seeds, as has been the case since it started in 2011.

And world No 2 Bingham is one of a number of critics of the decision, saying it could see snooker's biggest stars failing to qualifying for the biggest tournaments because they dropped prize money at a tournament which is supposed to be "a bit of fun".

The 2015 world champion, who made the Shoot-Out final in 2014 but has gone out in the early rounds in the past two years, said: “I think it is an absolute joke. My last two defeats in that tournament came after my opponents fluked reds then made 30s. How can you have ranking money riding on a set-up like that?

Read more: Bingham blasts "joke" plans for the Shoot-Out

STUART BINGHAM is determined to start his season right over a week of qualifying tournaments at Preston Guild Hall which will define his summer.

Ball Run will start the new campaign at the Indian Open Qualifiers (May 28-30), the World Open Qualifiers (May 31 to June 2) and Riga Masters Qualifiers (June 3-4).

Bingham warmed up this week by practicing with world No 77 Martin O’Donnell and 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy and says his game is in a good place after the short off-season break.

He said: “I was practicing on my own but felt I needed to play some other players and see how that went.

“I played Martin the other day and I came out on top, so that was a good sign because he is a good player.

Read more: Birthday boy Bingham looking for solid start in Preston

STUART BINGHAM says he would love to see his old amateur rival Marco Fu replace him as snooker’s world champion this year.

Ball Run won the world amateur title in 1996 then lost that crown following an 11-10 defeat in the final in Zimbabwe to Fu the following year.

And after his Crucible win in 2015, Bingham pointed out the symmetry of their progress to Fu and suggested it was only reasonable to assume his own 19-year wait to win the big one would end in 2016.

Bingham said: “I spoke to Marco at the Crucible last year and said it would be his turn next year, and I hope that is right because he is an unbelievable talent and a really nice guy.

Read more: Bingham wants Fu to beat Selby as he bids to be world No 1

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