Over the next two weeks we’ll be finding out more about some of the new World Snooker Tour players, and those that came through Q School or finished high on the Order of Merit, with a series of Q and As.
First up it’s Lincoln teenager Steven Hallworth.
How are you finding life on the World Snooker Tour so far?
I’m finding the tour great. I love the competition and there is always something to work towards. It’s the best feeling in the world knowing I am one of very few professional players in the world and it’s a privilege to be on the tour, which makes me more hungry to try to do well and make a name for myself. As there are so many tournaments though, it can be very costly and it’s putting a massive strain on my parents to help fund my career at the minute. It’s very difficult being able to afford everything and it’s not just the entry fees, but the hotels and other expenses which come with being a professional player. I don’t have sponsorship but I’m looking hard, it just seems there isn’t a lot of help around at the moment.
What are your hopes and expectations for the next two years on the tour?
My hopes for the next two years are most importantly to stay on the tour! I try not to give myself any expectations as that can lead to a lot of stress and pressure so I just try to enjoy every match I play, but put everything I have into battling out a win. I hope to try to progress through to the latter stages of the European Tour events and I would love to qualify for a ranking event venue, I just think it will be a great experience and the big hype around a ranking event is what every player feeds off.
When did you first start playing snooker?
I first started playing snooker at the age of 8, then it turned into a real hobby at the age of 10, when I took it a bit more seriously and started to realise that I could get good at the game. It all started at a family holiday in Spain when I was 5 years old. I walked up to a pool table and potted all the balls without ever being shown how to play or hold a cue or anything. Obviously this was a shock to my father, who then bought a half size table when we got home…and I’ve never looked back since!
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player?
My strength is that I feel I have a good all-round game. In tournament conditions I can concentrate very well and seem to play a lot better in competitions. I also have a great temperament which is something I’ve worked very hard on as it never used to be as good as it is now, and this is what can give a player the winning edge. I think my weakness at the moment is that I need to be more consistent. When I play well and I’m at the top of my game I feel great and I’m confident and feel like I can’t miss. But this is the feeling I need all the time, which isn’t there at the minute. I’m a little bit inconsistent which is what will change with more experience, so hopefully I can be the best in the world.
Where do you practise, who with and how many hours a day?
I have my own Star snooker table on RAF Waddington Camp in Lincoln where I live. This is where I do all of my solo practice. I try to get to the Star Snooker Academy in Sheffield once or twice a week depending on which other pros are there to play, and I also practise with Stuart Carrington regularly.
Do you play full time or do you have a job as well?
I play full time and treat it seriously as a full time job. I do about 6-8 hours a day depending on solo/match practice. I don’t have any other jobs, though it would be good to get a bit of evening work to earn a bit of money to recycle back into funding my snooker. But as of now I just focus purely on my snooker and put everything into it as this is what I want to do for the rest of my working life.
Who are your snooker idols?
I only have one snooker idol: Ronnie O’Sullivan. That man is an absolute machine and I’ve always looked up to him ever since I was young. He is such a character on and off the snooker table and he has become a massive role model of mine over the past few seasons.
What are your hobbies and interests away from snooker?
I don’t have many. I used to play football until the age of 16 but then stopped playing when I started playing snooker full time, so it’s been two years since I last played football. I love going to the gym and keeping myself fit and healthy. I enjoy any type of sport as I’m naturally a sporty person.