Jack Lisowski is a sure bet to be one of the leading lights in the future of snooker but his story to become a professional is already an inspirational one.
Jack shares a house in Romford with another young player who has been thrust into the limelight over the past few years, Judd Trump.
At one stage in his life though, becoming a snooker player was the least of his concerns as at 16 years old he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer.
He had to go through 16 sessions of chemotherapy plus radiotherapy and after eight months of torture, Jack finally pulled through and was able to re-commence his snooker career.
Lisowski had shown great promise as a youngster, and had reached the final of Junior Pot Black in 2007, losing to Mitchell Mann.
In 2009 he was awarded the inaugural Paul Hunter Scholarship which allowed him to practice on a regular basis with professional players.
After overcoming his illness, Jack had a successful season in the Pontins International Open Series, winning the first and eighth events whilst consistent finishes in the other events saw him finish top of the competition’s rankings, earning him a place on the main tour.
He showed great promise in his first season as a professional, and reaching his first minor ranking final of the Third event of the Player’s Tour Championship (PTC). He came from 3-1 behind to beat Mark Selby 4-3 in the semis but his run was ended abruptly as Tom Ford won the final 4-0.
He was awarded the World Snooker Newcomer of the Season after also qualifying for the German Masters and Welsh Open that season.
The 2011/12 season was less successful for Jack after being unable to qualify for the majority of the major ranking events but he did impress again in the PTC series that season, qualifying for the Grand Finals.
Beginning this season at world number 40, Lisowski had the chance of winning his first professional tournament after beating Trump and Mark Williams amongst others, to reach the final of PTC event one. He was tied at 3-3 with Stephen Maguire and had a clear run to the finish line but missed a simple yellow, allowing his opponent to clear up to take the title.
Again, he made the PTC Grand Finals earlier in March and again managed to beat Selby 4-3 to progress to the last 16. He seemed on course to reach the Quarter-Finals of his first ever full ranking event at 3-1 up over his bogey player Ford but a great comeback from Tom saw him take a 4-3 win.
This week Jack’s in Beijing for the penultimate event of the season, the China Open. He must first win his wildcard match against Chinese amateur player Zhou Yuelong to reach the first round match where he will face his housemate Trump.
Home hero Ding Junhui looks like a good bet for the event with the Chinese in good form after winning the PTC Grand Finals a few weeks back. He faces Barry Hawkins in the first round.
The defending champion is Peter Ebdon who raised quite a few eyebrows last season on his charge to take the title last year. He’s had a bad season by his accounts failing to reach the latter stages of most events and faces Scot Marcus Campbell in the first round.