MARK ALLEN has transformed his fortunes on the baize by sorting out his life off the snooker table.
The Pistol, 36, won £250,000 as he became UK Champion late last month – the biggest night of his professional life.
Mark Allen divorced snooker player wife Reanne Evans and filed for bankruptcy but now he’s shed five stone, got mentally healthy and is UK Champion
AFPMark Allen cut a svelte figure as he posed with his UK Championship trophy[/caption]
By his own admission, he is a different man mentally and emotionally to the one who thought his career could end 12 months ago.
Physically Allen is much fitter these days, having lost close to five stone in weight since the start of May.
He has gone through divorce and sorted out his finances following bankruptcy.
Allen said: “It’s crazy how much has changed and I’m in such a good place.
“Everything is going positively and I’m getting the boxes ticked to get rid of all the problems from the past. I’m just in a good place and enjoying life.
“Previously, you’d wake up and be reading solicitors’ letters and get voicemails saying you owed this much money.
“It was constant for months and months and you never knew what was going to happen.
“I’d go in to practice some days and my solicitor would ring and that ruined your practice.
“I’m just really glad those days are behind me because they were very difficult.
“Without going into all the details, the Reanne situation is still ongoing and I’d love nothing more than to get that sorted and then we could all move on.
“Because it isn’t nice. You come to tournaments and we aren’t even saying hello and we have a child together.
“As much as I don’t see Lauren I still think about her all the time. And it would be great that’s sorted one way or the other.
“The bankruptcy is completely done and the divorce with Kyla is completely done.
“Since my bankruptcy things are different for me financially. I won’t see all this money and that’s my own fault for the way I have had to sort my life out.
“I have now a more guaranteed income just to get everything sorted out going forward off the table and that has really helped me.”
Allen stayed up until 2am on Monday morning in the VIP section of the York Barbican Centre but did not party hard like he had done in previous years.
Today from 10am he is scheduled to be in Leicester to face Peter Lines in the German Masters qualifiers.
Antrim ace Allen is the man of the season so far and could head to the Crucible in the best position possible to emulate fellow Northern Ireland potters Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor who both won world titles.
Allen said: “We are building up to try and get a good run at Sheffield in April – but there are no guarantees.
“The weight loss and the work on the mental side probably will see me head there in the best shape ever.
“And the biggest thing for me – and I hope this doesn’t come across in any way arrogant – is that I feel like I have so much more improving to do.
“If I can then leave some sort of legacy like Alex and Dennis did, then I’ve done my job.”