Ronnie O'Sullivan admits Barry Hearn (pictured) has the pulling power to ensure he is not lost to snooker forever.
The man chasing his fifth World Championship title raised the stakes for his semi-final showdown against Judd Trump by stating this would be his last tilt at Crucible glory.
He claimed on Wednesday night that he would fulfill a sponsor's commitment to play 10 tournaments, mostly low-profile events, and then give up the game, having earned enough to pay his children's school fees for years to come.
But O'Sullivan has confirmed he could be swayed by World Snooker chairman Hearn to play in tournaments if the circumstances suit him.
Hearn, who has managed O'Sullivan in the past, has vowed not to stand in the 37-year-old's way should the latest in a long line of retirement warnings be one he sticks to.
O'Sullivan said: "I'm not going to be chasing rankings points, I'm not going to be going to China six times a year, and if I'm not prepared to do any of that I might as well find something else to do.
"But you never know with Barry, he's always changing things.
"He might go, 'Look Ronnsy, I've got a little tournament for you, you can turn up, do two weeks' practice'.
"And I might go, 'You know what, I'm up for that'.
"But I'm not up for the constant putting my life into snooker."