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12-05-2004, 10:52 PM
Sports Help Executives Network, Relieve Stress

The rare executive can engage people through competition without ever changing clothes or even working up a sweat. They're not couch potatoes. They just seem to be more at ease when their business associates are on the other end of a pool cue or a virtual gridiron.

Robert J. Struble, 41, chief executive of Ibiquity Digital Corp. in Columbia, skis, scuba dives and plays golf, but prefers to close a deal over a friendly game of pool. "I grew up in Buffalo. We came from a lower-middle class family and the ultimate in luxury was having a pool table in the basement." So his house has a billiards room on the first floor, with a pool table and neon lights. And a stuffed buffalo head named Thurman.

"I've done a lot of business in that room literally. I know it's totally cliche: Let's have a cigar, listen to some music and talk business," Struble said. "But deals have in fact happened in that room after dinner."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38028-2004Dec5.html