Pool champ at the Impy

REVAMPING pool tables is just another day in the life of pool maestro, Jack Halligan, as he passed through the Lockyer Valley to re-felt pool tables.

Mr Halligan said it is just a way to earn a living compared to when he was shooting the eight-ball down the pockets in just a few shots.

Known in his hometown of Kalgoorlie as the “Kalgoorlie Kid”, he said the pool table at the Imperial Hotel in Gatton was still a walk in the park.

“It only takes a couple of hours but that one at the Impy is a different type and takes a bit longer.”

Mr Halligan is a former world-number-one-ranked pool player.

He has been number one twice in the 1990s and has led Australia at the world championships on five occasions.

Mr Halligan said world-class Australian snooker champ Eddie Charlton further encouraged him into the sport in 1984 when he visited Kalgoorlie.

“I have been playing pool since I was about 10,” he said.

He said what keeps him going is the love of the sport and the money.

“You've got to earn a living and do what you do best. It's recreation for most people but I do it as a job.”

Mr Halligan said although he was just passing through town for the day, he was impressed with the local area.

“I did a show there a while back and I tour all year doing exhibitions from North Queensland to southern New South Wales,” he said.

“My next stop is the Leyburn pub to cover a table before the races start.”

Mr Halligan said he got into the sport because he simply found something he was good at.

“When you're a kid you do the running and jumping and footy and cricket and you pick the one you're most natural at,” he said.

Mr Halligan said he had to give up playing serious competitions two years ago because it cost too much to travel and play.

“I played my last national title the year before last,” he said.

“It has become expensive and you have to take weeks off work but I've got every award you could possibly win in Australia.

“You have to have goals or aims when you play and I ran out of goals.”

Mr Halligan said he took the easy option and is doing the easy circuit.

“I am still playing exhibition tours and I enjoy playing as an entertainer rather than a competitor,” he said.

“I travel around Australia non-stop from the end of January to mid-December.

“I do quick set-up trick shots including a few that no one else does.

He said another pool Australian champion, Eddie Charlton, taught him a few things about the game.

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