Mark Allen was on a plane home from a tournament in China when he heard the news: his 13-year-old stepson Robbie McGuigan had just hit his first ever 147.
Remarkably, Robbie achieved the maximum break at the same venue at his step-father - the 147 Club in Antrim. It took young Robbie, who is the son of Allen's wife Kyla, just over five minutes.
"There were some expletives in my reply - 'are you serious?'" Allen, the current world number 16, told the BBC regarding the message which informed him.
"Then he rang me and [I] was in hysterics on the phone.
"Obviously we know he's talented and he's going in the right direction, but to make a 147 at 13, is absolutely frightening, I'm not sure if it's ever been done before."
Robbie told the Belfast Telegraph about making the break.
I was on about an 80 break and the reds were sitting nicely. You never really think about it happening at this age, you just get on with it. Then once I got it, I just let it all out.
I had a 135 (break) just two frames before it and I was happy enough just to have that, never mind a 147.
Robbie's ability has been built on hard work. He practices long hours according to Allen but those are not forced. He does it because he loves the game.
"His potting's just frightening and I think that's one part of the game you just can't teach," Allen told the BBC.
"You can't really teach the eye for a pot and I think he has that. He's made seven or eight centuries already and he's only 13.
"He's going in the right direction and he's now starting to show that in the tournaments - he's won the Northern Ireland under-21s and quite a few under-16 events and he's starting to win a lot of matches in the senior events as well."