Ronnie O'Sullivan will play on after landing his fourth World Championship but he warned snooker chiefs they would have to treat him better.
The 36-year-old from Chigwell demolished Ali Carter's Crucible hopes with an 18-11 victory in the final.
He was joined on the arena floor immediately after his triumph by his four-year-old son, also named Ronnie, and the pair savoured the triumph that O'Sullivan feared would never come in his darkest days.
But with Dr Steve Peters, a sports psychiatrist, having worked wonders over the past year in improving his star patient's mental state, the future could still be bright.
O'Sullivan will take a short break from the sport, but the plans to retire that he mooted on Saturday came to nothing.
He said: "I'm not saying I have retired.
"I'm saying family is the most important thing in my life.
"I work as hard as anyone in snooker and I just want to be treated fairly.
"That's up to the governing body to treat players right."
O'Sullivan repeated his claim that World Snooker are "blackmailing" players into appearing at the low-profile Players Tour Championship events, and he added: "I'm not going to hang around two years to wait for things to be fair.
"I'm having four, five, six months off and I'll assess the situation."
O'Sullivan's son, from a previous relationship, was picked up in his father's arms as the celebrations began.
"It's the best feeling," O'Sullivan said.
"I didn't think I'd have the opportunity. But it's so nice to have him here.
"He loves snooker. I'm trying to turn him but he's having none of it.
"It was great to have him here watching, I got emotional even before the match was over because it felt like just me and him in this whole arena.
"It didn't feel like there were people watching.
"I just felt this massive buzz and connection between me and him.
"It was the best feeling I've had in my entire life.
"To have close ones with me when I'm world champion is very special."
O'Sullivan paid fresh tribute to Dr Peters, the man who helped steer many of Britain's cyclists to Olympic glory in Beijing four years ago.
"If I was Manchester City I'd go and buy him," he said.
"Steve helped me understand my brain is a machine.
"Deep down I'd love to play snooker, but I just got too involved. Wrapped up in it. It's not when I'm playing, it's when I go home, I'm a nightmare to be around.
"I'm shut off from the world because I'm too wrapped up in trying to be perfect. It just made me realise you can't be perfect but as long as you give it your best that's all you can do.
"I've learnt a lot over the last 12 months.
"I'm not a better player. I've just given myself more of a chance."
Carter claimed the scalps of Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire among his victims on the way to the final.
The man who was considering retirement at the start of the year found it hard to be upbeat about his achievement, which came as he battles Crohn's disease.
Carter has managed it well during his stay in Sheffield, in part due to a high intake of carrot juice, juiced each day in his dressing room.
He said: "I'm just disappointed to lose. I didn't feel I played well in the final.
"Ronnie put me under all sorts of pressure. His safety game was unbelievable. I was just under it from the start."
O'Sullivan was at times outstanding, making three centuries including a 141 yesterday which goes down as the biggest break in a World Championship final.
But Carter, 32, also believed fortune frowned on him at key stages in the contest. It was his second World Championship final, and his second loss to O'Sullivan after an 18-8 drubbing four years ago.
"I didn't get any form when I needed it," Carter said.
"But the better man won. He's a genius. It's the Ronnie O'Sullivan show, isn't it.
"I'm pleased for the game that he's carrying on playing. He's got so much more to give."
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what do you think?
genuis is a word used to often only a handful of sports people are genuis messi in football mccoy in horse racing snooker have Ronnie maybe the most gifted player snooker have ever seen
Most gifted snooker player maybe, but has to moan all the time about how bad he has it. He is the Robbie Williams of snooker.
well done ronnie, i saw the look in your eye in the early stages and new you wanted this world championship, you had the look of a winner again. now youve achieved this result i believe you have to understand what barry hearn is trying to do with snooker. it was dying because of old fashioned ideals and loss of sponsorship money and to get the money up sponsors want something more and they have to deliver. its not all about you ronnie its about the whole sport globally and barry hearn will lead the way for better prizes.
Wonderful to see Ronnie with his old sparkle back, what a pleasure to watch him play when he is on form, and how lovely to see him and Ronnie junior celebrating his win, he is clearly a doting dad, I hope he does't retire but he and only he will know when that time comes, wish him and his family all the best.
Put up or shut up same old story after every tournament, the game will carry on with or without you. I do not watch snooker any more since the Higgins saga.
Good Snooker brain but jeez what a whinger. No one player is bigger than the game Ronnie, no matter what sport..