Young Achiever | Rising star Jake Thompson is right on cue

With a billiard table and an eight-ball table taking up space, it can sometimes feel like there isn’t much room to move in the Thompson household.

Cue sports have long been a part of the family, and Jake Thompson looks set to take that pedigree to the next level.

The 16-year-old has been one of Victoria’s best up-and-coming snooker and billiards players for the last five years, and has made a little bit of local history on his way to the top. 

Thompson’s list of accomplishments across billiards, snooker and eight-ball makes for lengthy reading – the teenager boasts multiple junior state and nationals victories since 2012.

Last year he was invited to represent Australia on the under-21 snooker team which played against New Zealand.

That selection was hot off the heels of winning the under-18 Victorian billiards championship and finishing runner-up in snooker.

Thompson has been either the champion or runner-up at the Victorian level every year since 2012, a remarkable run of consistency since joining the competitive circuit not long after his 10th birthday.

For the last six years he has been selected to the five-strong Victorian team to compete at the Australian Snooker Championships.

While his father was his early inspiration, it was the mentoring of Shirley Ridley, mother of fellow Yarrawonga cue sports prodigy Adrian, that helped elevate his game sooner rather than later.

Perhaps one of his proudest accomplishments though, comes a little closer to home – winning the Club Mulwala club championship in the singles and doubles, with his dad.

“Dad always played, so he took me along into it,” he said

“We always played at home a lot with family, and it sort of went from there. I started playing, then started getting a bit of coaching, then started competing.” 

The 16-year-old keeps a busy schedule, working as an apprentice electrician in between training and practice.

“Working full-time makes it a bit difficult to train sometimes, but I’m hoping to keep it going as long as I can,” Thompson said.

“I’ll maybe go to worlds next year, I need to finish top six at nationals to make it.

“I’m a couple of spots back, I just need to keep at it.”

While he’s proven to be an ace at all forms of cue sports, Thompson believes his biggest chance lies in snooker, his preferred discipline. 

“I enjoy it a bit more skill-wise,” he said.

“There’s a community aspect to it that’s important and enjoyable as well.

“There’s heaps of opportunity for people to play.

“If I make it to worlds I’ll hopefully be able to learn a lot from it.”