SNOOKER: Lewis goes to pot for a living

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STAMFORD teenager Lewis Roberts has made his last Court appearance after being found guilty of harbouring ambitions of being a big name in the world of snooker.

STAMFORD teenager Lewis Roberts has made his last Court appearance after being found guilty of harbouring ambitions of being a big name in the world of snooker.Roberts was a regular for the all- conquering Peterborough Snooker League side Court B, but his decision to turn professional has put an end to his days on the local circuit.

Having become a member of the WPBSA he is no longer eligible to play for his club side, which means he is now working hard at establishing himself on the professional circuit.

It is a big step for the 18-year-old who was recently involved in the qualifying rounds for the Embassy World Championships - he won his first match before losing in the next round 5-4.

But he is definitely mixing in the right circles if he wants to eventually go all the way to The Crucible.

Having once played against former World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in an exhibition frame organised by The Evening Telegraph, Roberts is now practising alongside 2002 title winner Peter Ebdon at Rushden.

Roberts said: "I've always thought about seeking my fame and fortune in the world of snooker and now I have decided to try and do something about it.

"I'm only just starting out but I will see how I get on.

"I've just played in the World Championships and have been practising regularly in Rushden at the same club James Wattana and Peter Ebdon use. It is good for my game to be practising with such good players. I have played a few frames with Peter and he tries to encourage you, but I can tell you one thing – he doesn't like missing.

"It is good to have role models like Peter around to learn from."

While walking out at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the World Championships is the dream, Roberts knows he faces a lot of hard work and heartache before he can start rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ebdon in tournaments.

Firstly he has to try and force his way onto the Challenge Tour, which operates below the main tour for the top players.

From the Challenge Tour Roberts can start to work his way up the rankings and take part in the Main Tour events and eventually make the top 16 where he will automatically qualify for the televised rounds of all the top tournaments.

"I'd like to get on to the Challenge Tour this year but it will not be easy," added Roberts who will only qualify for it if he wins either the English Open or English Amateur championship or finishes high up in the order of merit on the Natioanl Tour or Under 19 Tour.

"It is a very high ladder to climb and it is gong to take a lot of work and practise if I am to make it. But if I put in the effort I think I will be okay.

"Peter Ebdon told me that you only get out of the game what you put in, so I will be working on it."

If Roberts gets anywhere as near as much as Ebdon has got out of the game then Stamford may have a world snooker star to shout about.