Thanks for all of your questions. I hope I did not miss any. Here are the responses from JR:
Thanks for agreeing to answer some questions for us. Many of the posters at Snooker Island have been impressed with your performances this year. Do you feel a difference in your game this season?
Yes, I can feel a difference this season, I feel a lot more positive and confident, though yesterday’s match was a minor set back against Selby as it was an awful game and I had more than enough chances to win, so a bad day at the office. But I have been working with a confidence coach this year and I feel it has helped me a lot, not there yet but going in the right direction.
This is the third time that you have been on tour. What do you feel has made the difference this time?
I feel that age and my experience has helped me this time around, as well as being dedicated and putting the time in on the practice table, making progress slowly but surely.
Building on your successes this year, are you hopeful that you can go on to achieve a top 16 ranking in the near future?
That is the aim - to try and get into the top 16 and start to win tournaments. I can feel a breakthrough coming and I am hoping it can lead to that.
What was your path to becoming a professional snooker player?
I had a few jobs to pay my way, and I used to play football when I was younger but after taking up the game when I was 9, I have always loved it. My parents have been a great support over the years, helped fund it and took me all over the country, so a lot of credit goes to them. Otherwise I most probably wouldn't be where I am today.
In your opinion who are the top ten greatest players of all time?
My top 10 players of all time are:
1. Ronnie O’Sullivan
2. John Higgins
3. Stephen Hendry
4. Mark Selby
5. Steve Davis
6. Mark Williams
7. Jimmy White
8. Neil Robertson
10. Alex Higgins
What cue due you use, and have you had the same one for a long time?
I have a John Parris special, ash. I have had it for over 10 years now. My previous cue was a Cuecraft Baron.
What is your opinion on kicks? Do they come from bad cueing, chalk, something else or all of these things?
No idea why there are kicks, can be bad cueing, but there are always chalk marks on the object ball after a kick. The new Taom chalk that myself and lots of tour members are using is so good, it leaves no chalk marks on the tables and very rarely get kicks or bounces. Everyone should try it - Taom chalk.
We had some questions regarding the tour. Ideally, how many tournaments would you like to see in a calendar year?
Me personally - I love playing in tournaments, the more the merrier, more tournaments equals more earning opportunities. The top boys have great bank accounts and can pick and choose their events.
Which tournament do you rate more highly: the UK or the Masters?
I feel the Masters is the one, it’s a tournament for the best 16 players in the world to battle it out with a one table set up. UK is massive too but I would prefer to play in the Masters if I was a top 16 player.
Is it difficult to handle the financial pressure of being on tour?
It is difficult yes, it was harder in earlier years, before I started to earn a living but still plenty of pressure having to win games to earn your wage. With myself funding my own expenses and plenty of bills to pay and two kids, it can be tough but there’s plenty of rewards if you’re performing well. But anyone willing to come forward with sponsorship would be much appreciated
What is your opinion on the Shootout being a ranking event?
The shootout is a great event - great fun and entertaining, but should never ever be a ranking event. I think whoever made that decision needs to be fired - ha.
What are your opinions on the recent changes to the China Open?
The changes are brilliant, best of 11s with it being the second biggest prize on the calendar. Everyone’s happy with that change
I know that you practice in the brilliant O'Sullivan's club in Bexhill, East Sussex. Mark Davis and Leo Fernandez also play there. Is it useful to have fellow pro's to practice with or do you prefer solo practice?
I prefer to practice with people all day rather than solo. Sometimes solo needs to be done and you need to work on things but some good sparring partners are very important to see where your game is at.
Finally, what would you say to a young player trying to join the tour that you wish you had been told at that stage?
It’s a great time to be a young snooker player, exciting times, and prize money is going up every year. The game is getting more and more popular once again. I’d advise any young players to try and enjoy it, play in as many competitions as possible, and just practice as much as you possibly can. What better job - to travel the world doing something you enjoy doing and getting paid for it. Anything is possible.
Thanks again for your time Jimmy and all the best for the rest of the season. I know a lot of people will be following your progress and wishing you well.