Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski are good news for snooker, not just in the present but for the future.

These are players not just talented but with a bit of personality. They like their fashion. They like their holidays. They like their social media. They are professional snooker players for the Twitter and Facebook generation.

They used to share a home but Lisowski has now found his own place. I know from the column we did with him in Snooker Scene during the 2010/11 season how inspired he was by Trump’s performances and achievements.

When someone is bringing trophies back home it obviously serves as a motivation to do the same yourself.

And Lisowski has a perspective on snooker which stems from his successful battle against cancer when he was only 16.

Although a frightening time, because he couldn’t play snooker during his treatment it led to him becoming curious about the world. He read newspapers. He subscribed to the Economist. He educated himself in ways many if not most players, trapped in the all consuming snooker bubble, do not.

Today Judd and Jack play each other in the first round of the China Open in Beijing.

Friends playing friends is often tough – and frequently leads to bad matches, as if each player is dragged down by a subconscious desire not to beat the other.

I recall Joe Swail and Patrick Wallace meeting in the quarter-finals of the 2001 World Championship. Ordinarily, they would have been in one another’s corners and neither seemed to derive much joy from taking a frame off the other.

But you have to be professional and the Trump/Lisowski rivalry is surely here to stay.

Trump has obviously had a head start. He’s world no.1 with three ranking titles and a world final to his name.

But Lisowski has won two of their previous three meetings and is becoming a more confident performer on television, as he proved by beating Mark Selby at the PTC Grand Finals, although he would have been disappointed not to put away Tom Ford in the last 16.

It’s a great time to be an early 20s professional snooker player. The money and playing opportunities dwarf those of previous generations.

Without the ties of marriage and children, the snooker world is there to be conquered in single minded fashion and the rewards should be enjoyed.

Trump has struggled for form in 2013 but the campaign isn’t over yet and he will be hoping to end it in a similar vein to how he did two years ago.

But Lisowski, who has learned much from life as a snooker player through his friendship with Trump, has his own career to think about. It promises to be an intriguing contest.


Anonymous said...

looking forward to it

why does Ebdon have to have a moody about something at the end of each match?

Anonymous said...

Because he's been touched by madness !

Anonymous said...

After the dour slogfest that was Ebdon / Campbell, a refreshing glimpse how the game should be played.
Let's hope Ronnie's return is permanent after Sheffield and that he hangs around for a few years because along with Trump and Lisowski he will spearhead an exciting and dominant force that the game badly needs.

Anonymous said...

One welcome bi-product of the blistering pace of play in the Trump / Lisowski match is that the cameramen seemed to have abandoned any attempt at second guessing which pocket to zoom in and out of.
Resultant full view footage is very welcome.

Anonymous said...

Milkins is one ill tempered clown.
Surely tossing your cue on the floor warrants a reprimand ?

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining match Trump/Lisowski!! Jack reminds me of a very young Jimmy White, and the match reminded me of a match in the late 80's during the 2nd round of the Worlds where a very young Hendry played Jimmy.

Jack's a fine prospect, still very raw though and I don't think he had Trumps potential of 2 years ago in this. Jack winning this would be a big surprise but when Judd won the China Open in 2011 it was more of "about time".

Ray said...

An exhilarating performance from Jack Lisowski - raised hairs on the back of the neck or as Clive would say "Snooker from the gods"

I've had a few gripes about Eurosport in the past but without them we would have missed a fantastic match, so well done.

As for Robert Milkins, I hope the WSA fines him a not inconsiderable amount because snooker should not tolerate this sort of behaviour.If the authorities let things drift they are painting themselves into a corner and one thing will lead to another. Before you know it the game will end up like football with all it's inherent bad behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Bring back John Williams. He is the only ref I remember reprimanding players for poor behaviour.
Hoping WS step in and take some sort of action for Milkens' display of petulance.

Anonymous said...

Jack is the real deal. He's going to set the game alight.
On this afternoon's performance, he overtakes Trump as the game's next superstar. He plays with the same natural panache as Ronnie. A Rolls Royce action, coupled with steadfast belief in his ability. A belief no doubt forged having shown incredible courage battling illness, whilst separating just exactly what in life is important, and what is not.
What is for sure is that snooker is lucky to have Jack involved.
Even at his young age, definitely worth a few bob at Sheffield.

Anonymous said...

I really hope that Jack will qualify for the Crucible and gets an opponent like Walden or Dott, because if he gets past them it will be very important for him.I really hope he will get at the top soon, I always enjoyed watching him play.

Anonymous said...

One win doesn't mean he overtakes Trump as the game's next superstar...
Let's not get carried away now - he's a fine prospect but he's still very raw. He'll do very well to reach Sheffield this year (hope he does), but "worth a few bob for Sheffield" save your money for another 2-3 years minimum. Trump has badly lost his way in the last 2 months on the whole and with no momentum going in to Sheffield, I can't see him winning this year.

Anonymous said...

3.58PM I'll give you 500/1 Lisowski at sheffield.


Hi David. A great day's play, in my view.

McLeod did well, to beat Stevens, 5-2.

Carter did well, to beat Xintong, 5-2.

Murphy played well, to beat Higginson, 5-3.

Lisowski did well, to beat Trump, 5-3, in a great match. Great comments, in my view, from Yourself, and Mike Hallett, regarding Paul Hunter, during the commentary, I thought.

Campbell, Did well, to beat Ebdon, the defending champion, in a long and drawn-out match, 5-3.

Milkins did well, to beat Higgins, 5-4.

Poomjaeng did well, to beat Yinghui. 5-2.

I can not wait for more, tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Well, as much as I wouldn't be lectured in conduct by John Higgins, Milkens behaviour throughout his match with Higgins certainly was poor.

Anonymous said...


That's as maybe but, Jack is a more complete player in terms of technique and natural ability than Judd is now, far less 2 years ago.
Jack will win more in the game than Judd. You heard it here first !