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06-24-2002, 05:58 PM
| To Devon and all Kids that Dream of becoming a Pro
Posted By: thekoreandragon <charlie@koreandragon.net>
Date: June 24, 2002, at 12:01 p.m.

To Devon(& all other Juniors),

I understand what you are going through as I have went through the same scenarios in my life. It is not easy.

Coming up as a junior player can be tough because you will always have your critics and cynics. And there will always be jealousy out there against you because let's face it, there aren't too many sports out there where a young kid can compete with a full grown adult.

But professionals and supporters of pool cannot and should not deter young players from advancing in the game and becoming professionals. If we do that we are killing our own sport that we are trying to save.

My first year on tour, a well known player told me that joining the pro tour was a big mistake. I was horrified with his comment and very disturbed for a long time at what he said. But I didn't quit. And now years later I am very happy with my life and being a professional pool player.

No doubt, there are many obstacles to prevent your growth in pool. And there are many bad roads next to the straight and narrow one. Be careful of who you follow, hang around, and look up to. Drugs, alcohol, uncontrolled gambling, and poor money management are very common problems with pool players on the amateur and professional levels. Avoid these vices. Another very important step is to stay in school. Get your education, at least high school. College is ideal(even though I only went two years; but it doesn't guarantee you success or happiness)Examples of top players with college degrees are Nick Varner and Steve Mizerak. The more you know the better off in life you are.

I grew up playing in the BCA Junior Nationals(which you must be enrolled in school to compete) and competed against over a 100 different kids in my 5 years as a junior. These were all young local prodigies from where they were from and all expected to be would- be champions one day. But out of those 100 young prodigies, only 6 became touring professionals. And out of that 6, 4 have quit playing the tour.

Becoming a professional pool player is not just about playing great pool, it's about becoming somebody. You should be like a fine sword made from a strong blend of metals. Your attitude, lifestyle, habits,discipline, dedication to the sport along with your skills is what makes up a professional pool player.

And contrary to what many people might tell you, a good professional can make good money. of course we're not basketball stars, but I make a good living with my winnings, sponsors, and of course my tournament promoting. And none of those things could have happened without me dedicating myself as a player and following the footsteps of great professionals.

I travel around the world and have made friends in many countries. I've been almost to every US State and played in many different venues and place. I've played in jeans, dress shirts, and tuxedos. I've been on TV around the world and in many magazines. I bought a house, drive a new car every few years, and go out to eat every night. I make my own schedule and I am my own boss. And all of this came from pool.

I've met millionaires and very rich people, and they admire my lifestyle. When I tell them to retire and play pool full time because they can afford to, they can't because of their responsibilities to this and that. A lot of money comes with big responsiblities. In most situations I wouldn't trade my life for theirs(but there are exceptions!). I am truly happy, and happiness cannot always be measured in dollars.

Your role models should be the professionals that have made a great living on this game and have had great lasting power. Becoming a great player has led them to other avenues such as owning their own companies and businesses where they would not have to rely on pool tournaments for an income. Players such as Nick Varner, Steve Mizerak, Johnny Archer, Allen Hopkins, and Mike Sigel are some outstanding examples. But their success in business has all stemmed from their success as professional pool players.

If I could only give you one piece of advice it would be this: DON'T EVER QUIT PLAYING POOL

It's easy to quit and start again over and over, but tough to ride out the ups and downs. But you have to pay your dues. But be careful on what kind of player you want to be. Choose the road of the true professional and you'll make it through at the end with a successful and happy career.

Stay Focused,

Charlie Williams
Former BCA Junior National Champion

PS Myself, The UPA, and Predator Cues are all working on developing more Junior Events and a Junior program to raise future professionals

-

PQQLK9
06-24-2002, 06:06 PM
Well said Charlie...you are wise beyond your years..."Keep on Keeping on"

JimS
06-24-2002, 06:28 PM
Charlie, I've been to 1, yes...ONE, pro event and you were there and you were, I thought, impressive both in your play, (bad memory here but 3rd in Buddy's Super Man Classic?) and especially in the way you interacted with the fans...including me.

I really like what you said to the younger players here and because of your behavior you continue to add credence to my initial impression that Charlie Williams is a good man.

9 Ball Girl
06-24-2002, 07:38 PM
Wow, Charlie. Where were you about 13 years ago when I was playing?! Anyway, I printed your message out and gave it to my 16 year old friend who is now inspired.

BTW, this is Wendy, Tony's friend.

06-24-2002, 08:13 PM
there are too many examples to count of how unrewarding pool is and has been. yet here you stand, telling young kids to forsake a possible better life for the good of pool. since when did pool ever return the favor, except to maybe a small minority. how vainglorious of you.

yeah kids,,, live the life of pool where most of your money is made in cash, so you can't save it unless you declare it. and most don't because they live out of their pocket.

yeah kids,,,listen to the words of this pool player, who is more successful than most of you will ever be.... and who is still young, so he has yet to face the inevitable that age brings. when you're young, everything lasts forever.

weigh what williams says with all the exmples of broken lives that you see around you.

Voodoo Daddy
06-24-2002, 10:37 PM
Nice post Charlie. There is alot to be said for levels of achievement. Becoming a pro is a achievement that wasnt in the cards for me but I preach professionalism daily. The mentioning of Varner and Mizerak are a focal point, telling our youth to stay in school and play at the same time. Several top pro's other than the two mentioned are college educated. Dan Louie, 2-time ACUI champion {along with Nick} and Howard Vickery who has several degeree's so I'm told. Hats off to Charlie Williams.

Steve Ferraro {aka} Voodoo Daddy

06-24-2002, 11:57 PM
Charlie, isn't your associate Max Eberle a former collegiate champion? Just curious. Tell Max I said "Hi!" This is Lorri from Valley Forge. If he doesn't remember, remind him about borrowing my car!

06-25-2002, 03:43 AM
Well, finally a post that I would like to respond to. First I want to say that I believe that what Charlie said was true. Mainly, that being a professional pool player can be rewarding as long as you manage to avoid the pitfalls along the way. Those pitfalls have certainly caused me pause in my pool career but if you can travel through them there are great rewards.
Second, money is not the biggest reward that you can get from a life involving pool. I do not make the most money in the world but I genuinely enjoy every day that I go to the poolroom and go to "work". I do not play professionally at the moment but I believe that I could if I choose to. I am currently the League Director and House Pro at Amsterdam Billiard Club in NYC and I think that I will join the UPA because I like the direction that Charlie is trying to take the sport.

06-26-2002, 11:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: arnie:</font><hr> there are too many examples to count of how unrewarding pool is and has been. yet here you stand, telling young kids to forsake a possible better life for the good of pool. since when did pool ever return the favor, except to maybe a small minority. how vainglorious of you.

yeah kids,,, live the life of pool where most of your money is made in cash, so you can't save it unless you declare it. and most don't because they live out of their pocket.

yeah kids,,,listen to the words of this pool player, who is more successful than most of you will ever be.... and who is still young, so he has yet to face the inevitable that age brings. when you're young, everything lasts forever.

weigh what williams says with all the exmples of broken lives that you see around you. <hr></blockquote>

What is your problem?
People like you is what holds the game back.
We need more people and especially professionals like Charlie to encourage kids and nurture their talent.

Please keep your negative outlooks to yourself.
You're not helping the game any by them.

Mike A.

Q-guy
06-26-2002, 11:42 AM
I have several times written an answer to this pie in the sky post, and deleted it before posting for fear of how it would sound. The fact is, most pro players I have known, and it is a lot, biggest ambition and goal is the day they don't have to play pool for a living any more. They can just enjoy the game without the desperation of trying to make a meager living at it. Pool can be a very rewarding business such as a billiard supply or own a poolroom, maybe build cues and so on. It is no way a professional sport a young player can aspire to. The majority of top players I have known are dropouts that have forsaken all for the addiction of playing something that is after all, just a game. Sorry Charlie, but your advice to young players is at best, irresponsible. Pool is a great game to play but not a great life.

Q-guy
06-26-2002, 11:45 AM
In other words, Tell me what I want to hear, not the truth. There are many professions that are not what they appear to be. Comedians, actors, musicians, players of almost every sport, will tell you the same thing. For most it is just a means to an end. In pool it is not even that. Why lie to people.

Rich R.
06-26-2002, 12:01 PM
Well said Q-guy. I couldn't agree with you more. Young people should be encouraged to stay in school and get an education first. That could be a college education or a trade school education, but learn something that will pay the rent and put food on the table.
I believe that anyone who encourages a youngster to aspire to be a professional athlete in any sport is being irresponsible and unrealistic. Whether it be baseball, basketball, football or pool, the percentage of kids that can grow up and make a living as a professional athlete is just too small. If it happens, I wish them well, but they should all have something to fall back on. Just think about the thousands of high school and college ball players and the handful that become pros. Also think about the smaller percentage that last more than a year or two in the pro ranks of a sport.
Play pool and love the game all you want, but learn something that will pay the bills.
JMHO. Rich R.

heater451
06-26-2002, 12:15 PM
Q-guy,

Your post reminded me of a short conversation I had last night at a local tournament. . . .

For some reason, we got around to talking about how Steve Mizerak doesn't show up very high in the numbers (finished something like 70th, in a field of 120, I think). . . .Anyway, it occurred to me that Mr. Mizerak doesn't have to "play pool for a living".

Since Mr. Mizerak has name recognition, a name-product line, and probably swings the occasional endorsement, he's pretty much 'set'. He can enjoy showing up at events and playing, yet not be pressured to show in the top.

--I suppose that this could be the goal of a current professional player, but it seems pretty improbable, for all but the most exceptional.

--Also, I agree that encouragement of young players to 'go pro' is somewhat irresponsible, especially considering that the percentages against obtaining a position in ANY professional sport is incredibly hard. And, the payoff in becoming a pro pool player doesn't quite equal that of a football, baseball, or basketball player. . . .

--One more thing, before I shut up, you can consider someone like Jeanette Lee exceptional, not only because she had the dedication and skill to get to where she is, she also has the benefit of style and marketability. She appeals to several segments at once: males and females, young and mature, and, she secured a position in the general public, by working the whole black dress/"Black Widow" thing. Even her name is perfect, it's "American", yet slightly exotic, and easy to remember (not to mention that everyone knows Bruce Lee, with or without any connection). And, of course, the whole "Sexiest Athletes" bit did nothing but help spread her name and face.

. . .Alright, I've rambled here enough.

MikeM
06-26-2002, 12:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Rich R.:</font><hr> Well said Q-guy. I couldn't agree with you more. Young people should be encouraged to stay in school and get an education first. That could be a college education or a trade school education, but learn something that will pay the rent and put food on the table.
I believe that anyone who encourages a youngster to aspire to be a professional athlete in any sport is being irresponsible and unrealistic. Whether it be baseball, basketball, football or pool, the percentage of kids that can grow up and make a living as a professional athlete is just too small. If it happens, I wish them well, but they should all have something to fall back on. Just think about the thousands of high school and college ball players and the handful that become pros. Also think about the smaller percentage that last more than a year or two in the pro ranks of a sport.
Play pool and love the game all you want, but learn something that will pay the bills.
JMHO. Rich R. <hr></blockquote>

Rich,

I agree that every one should have a solid educational foundation to rely on, but I also believe that you should encourage young people to follow their dreams, whatever they are. Especially if you encourage them to do it the right way, which Charlie is doing. Nothing says that you HAVE to go to college or trade school right out of high school. You can always go back. If any of my kids have a chance and a dream of doing something that they love to do, for a living, I will be behind them 100% to follow their dream. You also have to be realistic about it and if it's not working out, move on.

IMO, there's too much emphasis these days on being "successful" and not enough on being happy. Charlie's advice is very sound and this kind of approach is what we need to lift the sport of pool.

MM

Scott Lee
06-26-2002, 12:43 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: heater451:</font><hr> Q-guy, Since Mr. Mizerak has name recognition, a name-product line, and probably swings the occasional endorsement, he's pretty much 'set'. He can enjoy showing up at events and playing, yet not be pressured to show in the top.<hr></blockquote>

Heater451...I agree with you and Rich and Q-guy. The overall quality of life for a professional poolplayer is VERY low, imo. I can name a dozen pros, all name players, who are doing as well, or better than me. That's TWELVE out of literally 1000's who have the skills and desire to "be the best"! Pretty short odds, if you ask me!

Also, the Miz recently sold his cue products line to a big company for what I'm sure was a huge profit. Also he has opened a poolroom in Lake Worth, FL, that occupies his time.
Steve's skills have deteriorated somewhat over the past few years, partially due to health problems...so selling out was a smart business move, imo.

Scott Lee

06-26-2002, 12:50 PM
you're spittin' in the wind and you've got nothing to stand on. just open your eyes and look around you.

the follow your dream issue that williams touches upon is very laudable. the risk/reward for following your dream in pool is poor. and you can follow that dream without having to commit to it on a professional level. also the reality of following that dream is that you can be sure kids with the talent are being raised in a gambling enviroment, where they are learning how to hide their game and all the other dirty little tricks they can use to make money gambling in pool. it's not quite so easy to "pick your path". the good and bad in pool are intertwined. the players whom charlie mentions are hall of famers, or will be. they're set. and as others have mentioned, circumstances of players like jeanette of maybe eva are specific unto them.

i love the game of pool, and i'm not holding it back. THE PLAYERS ARE!

06-26-2002, 02:30 PM
I agree completely. Financial success is WAY over rated and happiness is WAY under rated. I've had both, and they never seemed to coincide.

Every young person should be encouraged to follow their dreams, be it an ACLU lawyer, a poet, an architect, an NBA star OR a pool player. Most poets dont make 1/4 of a living. You don't hear anyone discouraging them. Do what you love, and be happy, life is short. I wish I had figured that out sooner than I did....
Jason

06-26-2002, 09:25 PM
Charlie, although sometimes I can't understand your deliberate style over the ball (for someone as talented as you), I think I've just adopted a new favorite male pro player to pull for! I find your advice admittedly a little biased, but yet very passionate and honest.

Yes, making a living at pro pool is very, very tough financially. It's not good enough just to be a great player - there are countless numbers of those out there. You must also be very intelligent, driven, creative, outgoing and a visionary/entrepreneur. You must get out there and make it happen to try and change things - as you seem to be doing. When you look at the women pros, the most successful one (financially speaking) isn't even one of the top 2 players.

Sadly though, the fact is there are just far too many cases of great players that have been frustrated with the lack of money in the sport and have given up their playing careers to make their living in something else - pool related or otherwise. Or far worse yet, those that have struggled for years and continue to hang on to the pool scene, barely eeking out an existence - as it's the only thing they've ever known to do. I've just recently heard of a yet another well known young pro who has (at least for now) given it up for a regular job. It's very sad that someone so incredibly talented at a game in which 40+ million Americans enjoy playing cannot make a decent living at it in some capacity.

My 13 year-old son, who is very talented and gifted at pool (played in Jr. Nationals last year) has basically given up the game. That's pretty hard to do for a kid of his talent at the game - considering his Dad runs a reputable pool room right next door to his house! He's an honor student in school and has other career interests - so a big part of me knows he's making the right decision. I try to tell him that as gifted as he is at it, he should at least keep playing pool occasionally just for the fun of it - but only if he enjoys it and wants to. His expectations are just so high, as he improved so drastically for the first 3-4 years of playing. Now at his level, the improvement doesn't come so easily so he's frustrated.

Although he has every opportunity to further his game (which I never had growing up) obviously he could care less - as he doesn't love it as I did at his age (and still do). He closely follows pro pool, and knows how bleak the future is for pro pool players - so he's smart enough NOT to get further involved / addicted to the game. I can't really argue with him on that, but it's still sad for me (as his Dad and a pool player) to see him give up a game he is so talented in.

Charlie, all the best to you and your endeavors, and we hope to see you at the U.S. Open in September. - Chris in NC

06-27-2002, 01:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: JasonG NYC:</font><hr> I agree completely. Financial success is WAY over rated and happiness is WAY under rated. I've had both, and they never seemed to coincide.

Every young person should be encouraged to follow their dreams, be it an ACLU lawyer, a poet, an architect, an NBA star OR a pool player. Most poets dont make 1/4 of a living. You don't hear anyone discouraging them. Do what you love, and be happy, life is short. I wish I had figured that out sooner than I did....
Jason <hr></blockquote>

Jason, I agree with you in principle. However, the life of a poor pool player is not really something that can be romanticized. It's sad, but we've all seen many examples of players who have no "real" job, no "real" skills, and no way to support themselves, much less a family. The really sad examples are the young ones, who you know will just not end up well.

Most of the talented kids I see are in real trouble. By the age of 20, many are either on drugs, involved with minor crimes, or have no education. And I do believe it is a function of the game's environment. There's easy money floating around, and you don't need any qualifications to grab it. That's not a great life lesson. To a teenager, making a $500 score is the nuts. They don't have the perspective - and they SHOULDN'T have the perspective - to understand that that's not real money. And that that's not going to happen every day, or every month. And that, sometimes, they can even lose that $500 bet. Where are they then?

I was recently in a poolroom in Pennsylvania, and someone was pointing out to me a young kid, who played pretty well. The local told me that he's "really a good kid. No drugs, no booze, nothing. I mean, he dropped out of school, but that's it." This kid didn't look 16.

I don't disagree with Charlie's letter, because it stresses hard work and discipline, and it's all excellent advice. The only part of it I might change is to more emphasize the college degree. In today's world, you're nothing without that diploma. And an education is something important in and of itself. You take that with you forever.

I'm not begrudging anyone's opinion on this, because in all honesty I can't disagree with the idea of chasing a dream. I just wish that this particular dream came with it a viable backup plan, as do most other sports. Football, baseball, and basketball are all firmly entrenched in college play, and those that don't make it to the top still have something to fall back on.

- Steve

Rich R.
06-27-2002, 04:26 AM
Chris, although I know you are sad, the Dragon is making the right choice, as you said. Some day, when you least expect it, he will come back to pool. At that time, he will come back for the pure enjoyment of the game and not as a career choice.
Rich R.

Rich R.
06-27-2002, 04:40 AM
Mike, chasing dreams is a wonderful concept and I am sure that you would encourage your children in any way you can.
But, I am also sure that you do not want to support them, financially, for the rest of their lives. The day has to come when they can support themselves and, unfortunately, being successful and self supporting in professional pool is a very low percentage possibility.
Rich R.

06-27-2002, 07:39 AM
Steve, et al

There is indeed an underbelly to pool, and it's a big one - drugs booze obsessive gambling etc.

I wondering, however, whether this is a chicken and the egg issue. How many of these pool playing kids that get involved in drugs, booze, etc come from broken, abusive homes, etc. Perhaps they are DRAWN to pool because it represents a lifestyle they are used to at home. This is likely a GROSS generalization. However, I know one "kid" who comes from a great home and has a great mentor who will never get involved in that stuff.

The question Im posing is: Does pool cause the behavior, or is the behavior really already there. Impossible to answer really without some kind of longitudenal study, but worth thinking about nonetheless

06-27-2002, 08:06 AM
1st of all, what the heck are "negative unsupporters(!)" ? What IS clear though is that your concept of freedom of speech stops short at differing opinions: "Please keep your negative outlooks to yourself." Sorry bud, but I and many others wanna hear all the opinions, even your confusing ramblings.
Mike Mc.

eg8r
06-27-2002, 03:06 PM
I think it is pretty funny that Charlie has never responded to anyones ideas. I am sure it is so he does not get into an argument but it seems earily like what Grady Mathews was doing. I say earily because Grady came on here bashing people and Charlie is not doing that at all. However, out of the blue Charlie posts something that has turned out to be a little controversial and he is nowhere to be found.

I would like to see what he has to say after reading what everyone has posted.

eg8r

06-27-2002, 05:07 PM
the supposition of the chiken or egg theory is inconsequential. the effect of the poolroom is real and easiest to be dealt with. whether the kid was already ripe for "corruption" is a matter for a social worker.

06-27-2002, 05:17 PM
he trumpets these pronouncements and says bye-bye. you never get a "three dimesional" view of his thoughts.

Mike H
06-28-2002, 11:13 PM
While there are the upsides to going pro that Charlie mentioned, there are also many downsides. I, like Charlie, make my living playing pool. I am 25 and also have a four-year degree from Temple University. For all intents and purposes, I am much like the "fine sword" described by Charlie: I'm dedicated to my game, educated, in good shape, of sound mind, street smart, and not a slave to any vices. Unlike Charlie, I have to make my living gambling at pool. I play the occasional regional tourney, but with no sponsorship, and little name recognition, it's not easy to travel as a tourney player and even come close to breaking even. Unlike Charlie, I don't own a house, I don't get a new vehicle every few years, and I don't eat out every night (unless you count making a Domino's large pie last 3 days LOL). I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, own a decent vehicle, and basically make a pretty good living. I do make decent money, but travel costs combined with bills at home means I have to win almost every time I play. If I don't win, I don't get paid. If Charlie doesn't win, he's still got money coming from sponsors and promoting. My point is, Charlie is part of a minority. Look at the AZBilliards money leaders. See those people? They're the ONLY ones making money as touring pro's. The rest of us? Well, some have found a good life in pool without being a touring pro or a full-time gambler...Scott Lee is an example, he makes his living teaching and giving exhibitions. But the Scott Lees of the pool world are a minority also. Too many of us spend countless hours practicing, then negotiating, then finally playing for what feels like forever sometimes. And for whatever reason, some of us love it. There are those of us who love the road life. But lots of us hate it, and can't wait to play their last game for money. I would advise anyone who decides they're going to do this for a living to think long and hard. It's no easy life, nothing is nearly for sure, and you have all the negative influences Charlie mentioned breathing right down your neck. And make sure there's someting else you can do with your life. You may decide you're better off doing that.

Q-guy
06-29-2002, 02:05 AM
Just curious, where do you see yourself say, 5, 10 or 15 years from now? I believe the pool you are playing now is just a diversion and not a profession. It is what you are doing till you decide what you are going to do with your life. I assume you pay no taxes, have no health plan or anything that would resemble a plan for your future. If it is a profession, could you raise a family from it? You sound like you live day to day. It seems more like a sentence, rather then a profession. I can't honestly believe you enjoy this existence.

06-29-2002, 02:31 AM
is this life your choice?

or, is it tough making use of your degree?

or, are you consumed by the game?

Mike H
06-29-2002, 06:44 AM
I received my B.S. not long before 9/11. At the time, I had made my way through school playing pool since I was 19. I was able to pay my rent and whatever other bills I had and have some extra money without really spending too much time playing. Since 9/11, jobs in the IT field in my area are practically non-existent, at least lower-level jobs. I've taken the time to send out countless resumes and been on a few interviews, but with no luck. So to answer your questions, I don't do this for a living by choice, although I do truly love the game and I do find it consuming. But I survive doing this. I would love to be able to make a living strictly playing tourneys, but like I said, not many people in the world can do that. Someday, hopefully, I'll be able to live a normal life, and put this game back into perspective.

Mike H
06-29-2002, 07:03 AM
I don't know if day-to-day is the right way to describe the way I live, but let's say I'd rather have a job that utilizes my degree, offers a health plan, and something to build my life around better. I'm not destitute, but part of that is due to stingy money management. And to be quite honest, after playing one-pocket for so long that my eyelids feel like they're made of lead and my legs feel like Jell-o, it feels like a damn sentence. But my point is, there is another side to doing this for a living, not just what Charlie presented. And there are a lot more players in my position than there are in Charlie's. Regarding plans for the future, if I had my way, I would've much rather spent the last 6 months working for the same money I'm taking home right now (which is about par for my field). Some guys say they wouldn't trade this life for anything, and while I actually enjoy it sometimes, I also know better.

Q-guy
06-29-2002, 07:45 AM
Thank you for the your interesting perspective and your honesty.

06-29-2002, 10:35 AM
IT. very tough. i hope you're not trying JUST your area.

Barbara
06-29-2002, 10:38 AM
Mike,

IT is a very tough field. In addition to your degree, it might a good thing to seek certification in something, too.

BTW, are you in th Philly area? Where do you play?

Barbara

9 Ball Girl
06-29-2002, 10:43 AM
I'm an IT. Have you tried http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/ ?

06-29-2002, 12:40 PM
Mike, I won't ask where you play, though I'm very curious. I'm guessing that an entry-level position in IT might pay somewhere between $40k and $50k per year, so take-home from that would be $600 to $700 a week.

In NY, a city rife with would-be and self-proclaimed hustlers, I can't think of one person who could bring home anything close to this on a weekly basis. If you're not doing serious road traveling, the word must be out on you. After your first few scores, how can you possibly find people to play you bad games - again and again? Especially for that kind of money?

It's not so much that I'm doubting your story, because you seem to be pretty honest and straightforward. It's just that I'm baffled as to how the city (whichever one it is) has not completely dried up for you.

Is this a Polish city?

- Steve Lipsky (half-Polish, so, yes, that was just a joke)

shojingod
06-29-2002, 01:01 PM
Another piece of advise. Always keep a back door open. Try your best but as with everything it is not always fair or possible. Make sure you have other aspirations to fall on. This can be said with any other sport or life in general.

jjinfla
06-29-2002, 01:42 PM
Chris, Did you ever think that maybe the Dragon IS following his dream. That what he really enjoys is the academic field and only plays pool to make you happy? He tried pool and apparently didn't fall in love with it. He may be very good at pool but since he doesn't win every tournament he enters he will never be as good as Varner, Cory, Sigel, Williams. While at Kennedy's tournament a couple weeks ago I heard a pro who was very good a couple of years ago but has been slipping in the standings lately tell someone that "you pay more money in taxes than I make playing pool". Nice guy, but we probably will read about him dead in some motel, drug overdose. And once a top pool player drops and can't win anymore he is just forgotten. Even Varner plays $50 sets and enters local amateur tournaments to pick up some cash. Why do the "pros" do that? Jake

Mike H
06-30-2002, 08:42 AM
Hi Barb, I actually just scheduled my MCSE exam a few weeks ago.....so I do have that to look forward to, and I was thinking of taking the A+ and Net+ exams also, since that couldn't hurt my chances of getting my foot in the door anywhere. And, yes, I am from the general Philly area, and up until a few months ago you might've found me in Tacony. I play in various rooms, some in NJ, at Pete's, Drexeline, Tacony occasionally, and a few others.

Mike H
06-30-2002, 08:43 AM
I'll check that out. Thank you! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Mike H
06-30-2002, 09:26 AM
Steve, while I wouldn't call my area (Philadelphia suburbs)a Polish area (LOL although I am 1/4 myself), I would attribute my luck/success on my home turf to a few different factors: Affluency among younger pool players here, overinflated egos, 2 new room owners with a tendency to go off, and the fact that most of these players WANT to see each other get robbed. With the exception of the room owners, action does dry up from time to time. It's not always easy to get a lock, and I do play tough games if the money's there. But in this area, from what I've seen, an entry-level IT position will gross me $30-40K, meaning about $450-600 a week take home. Some weeks I make less, some weeks I make more. Road travel for me essentially consists of traveling to tournaments (Joss, Tri-State, Planet-Pool) and trying to drum up a good game there. I would say I've just about broken even (give or take a few hundred) over the last 9 months in my trips to these tourneys.

06-30-2002, 03:37 PM
Hi everyone,
Just want to share a small story.

I'm from the Philly area and I used to play and hang around the pool scene a lot. There was this kid that used to play everyday and he was pretty good. I think he was only 14 or 15 years old. He was a good money player. But he was not in school and I though that wasn't good. IHe told me he was going to be a road player and eventually a world champion. I knew how tough this racket could be so naturally i told him he should just quit. I mean how many guys can actually make a living doing this.

Years later I was at the Valley Forge and I am completely out of the pool scene for the last 5 or 6 years. I inquired about this kid because I remembered his name. I told this story to somebody while watching the junior event and the guy started laughing when I reminisced about whatever happened to that kid that was good and I had told to quit. He said, "well that kid didn't take your advice and now he's the #1 player in the world." The kid was Cory Deuel.

I guess in a way it's people like us that sometimes indirectly motivate people like the Cory Deuel's and the Charlie Williams in the world. By no means am I taking credit. But I'll definitely think twice about trying to change a young man's dreams.

Too embarrassed to post my name

PS Kids should definitelt stay in school and goto college, but if they have talent for something, nurture it. They can make it with help and faith.

Barbara
06-30-2002, 04:06 PM
Sorry, but I heard/know too much about Cory Deuel's childhood to agree with you about nuturing your "dream" and not realizing that you have to have a backup plan for life. What other skills does he have to help him through life if he should ever lose his pool skills either through and accident or a personal problem?

Sorry, I'm not going to get into this argument online. I live in the Philly area, too, and my info is first rate about Cory.

Barbara

Eric.
07-01-2002, 09:24 AM
Hi Babs,

I think Fran made a great point in a recent post about "men being more selfish than women in pool". One of her points was that some men will give up everything for pool, which is a great romantic notion, but like she said, you have to bring home the bacon. I believe the point being that maiking it in pool, whether hustling or playing as a "legit Pro" is a bit of a dead end career.
Personaly, I love pool but I have to agree that you need more than one bullet to get you by in life.

Eric &gt;just what I see out of my window

07-01-2002, 10:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Barbara:</font><hr> Sorry, but I heard/know too much about Cory Deuel's childhood to agree with you about nuturing your "dream" and not realizing that you have to have a backup plan for life. What other skills does he have to help him through life if he should ever lose his pool skills either through and accident or a personal problem?

Sorry, I'm not going to get into this argument online. I live in the Philly area, too, and my info is first rate about Cory.

Barbara <hr></blockquote>

What other skills do any of us really have if we lose our ability to perform our main occupation?
Of course we can always perform manual labor jobs or flip burgers, but how many people out there that have good jobs can actually do something else in case something happens to them?

07-01-2002, 10:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Barbara:</font><hr> Sorry, but I heard/know too much about Cory Deuel's childhood to agree with you about nuturing your "dream" and not realizing that you have to have a backup plan for life. What other skills does he have to help him through life if he should ever lose his pool skills either through and accident or a personal problem?

Sorry, I'm not going to get into this argument online. I live in the Philly area, too, and my info is first rate about Cory.

Barbara <hr></blockquote>

What is it that you know about Cory's childhood? Share please!

Mike

Barbara
07-01-2002, 11:01 AM
Actually, I've heard that Corey is pretty smart. But he did drop out of school around 8th grade, from what someone told me, so he could keep on playing pool.

This can't help pool's image, now can it?

Barbara

Barbara
07-01-2002, 11:03 AM
No Mike, not on this forum. I wouldn't want my private life made public, I'll retain that respect for someone else's.

Barbara

07-01-2002, 11:56 AM
men are more focused on small things and don't always see the "big picture" as women do. that is why they collect baseball cards, etc

MikeM
07-01-2002, 12:26 PM
To all the naysayers out there, if we don't encourage young pool players to pursue their pro dreams, where will the next generation of pros come from? We need to encourage the smart, athletically gifted kids to pursue a career in pool, if they are so inclined, to make sure that pro pool isn't just for the 8th grade dropouts. We also need to do what we can to "make pool flourish" so that there are greater opportunities for pool players in the future.

Charlie is a great example of a positive role model for aspiring pool players. Everyone may not agree with his positions on different issues but I think most will agree that he has made himself a nice career doing something he loves.

If a kid has the talent and desire to play pool for a living all he needs from there is hard work, opportunity and a helping hand here and there. The hard work is up to him (or her) and includes staying away from the vices that plague pool. The helping hands can come from many sources and take many forms, from sponsorships to encouragement. Opportunity is the real bitch in this sport. But if the right kind of people are working hard and working together, opportunities will start to increase. Charlie went out and created some of his own opportunities.

Read Charlie's post again. It's sound advice and good encouragement for would be pros.

MM

07-01-2002, 01:16 PM
Actually one of those people are right here. I am currently have a good carreer in the air force and i also enter tournaments regularly and do pretty well. i am a good enough player to make a living on the road. but unforfunately i have a contract to uncle sam. just wanted to share that with you all.

Mr Ingrate
07-01-2002, 02:50 PM
Mike,

If memory serves, Charlie is about 25. I would suggest that someone of his tender years has not yet had a career. Let us check back when he is 50.

Oops, you'll have to check without me. I expect I'll be toast by then.

07-01-2002, 04:48 PM
very important point, indeedy do. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

the dragon is still young and youth thinks things will last forever.

mike, i'm not of the mind to assume any responsibility in promoting pool to our youth. not my job, not my burden, i don't trust those involved, and i don't believe in it's future. i just love THE GAME.

dragon is wonderfully idealistic, so i nominate him. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

07-01-2002, 11:28 PM
Well let's see.

I have known Corey from the moment he first walked into that pool room so many years ago before he moved to ohio. He's like a brother.
Barb can attest to group of us that used to travel around all over the place together, especially to South philly and Tacony back in the day.

Corey is a VERY intelligent person. Although he was never really cut out for school. We're talking about the kid who took the BCA by storm last year with that soft break of his. It figures HE'S the one who figured out how to do it. Same thing at the U.S. Open. You think that soft break was a fluke...or he stumbled upon it? Pretty sharp cookie if you ask me.
If anyone helped mold him (or corrupt him)...it was the group of us philly kids that would keep him out with us all night playing pool, till 9 or 10 the next morning...dropping him off at school LATE.

The boy was a pool prodigy from the start. Absorbing pool like a sponge. Just a matter of time before he took off.
I think that anyone from philly who KNEW him could see that.
As for his backround. Some things are better left unsaid. And believe me...i know it ALL.
Let's just say that sometimes in life....the choices aren't yours to make. He's made the best hand with the cards he was dealt.

As for pool's image. I don't think education is really a factor for a player. Maybe for the industry...yes. I would think that the people working to better pool need to be educated and shrewd. Trying and take pool to a new level.
As for the players....
You don't watch bowling and wonder what the guy got on his SAT's...you just want to see a strike.
I think education COULD be a factor in how a pool player comes off or how personable he/she is towards the fans. I mean if this is ever going to be a spectator sport...the players are going to have to communicate. But i don't think people are going to want to know if a player aced accounting or not.
I don't think you'd EVER hear a complaint about dropping out of school if the money was there.
Did Kobe make the right choice.....play ball for millions of dollars or go to college.
If a crappy pro tour player could make $300 grand a year, like so so golfers do...i don't think there would be one complaint.
You'd be hearing "He made the right choice"
"if I could do it..I would!"
"more power to 'em"

Unfortunately...since only the top few in this sport are getting PAID (and not much at that)......to drop out of school...seems like suicide when you think about how much HARDER life is gonna be. There is NO money in it.

Hopefully one day..Corey and other players like him will still be pulling the trigger, if/when this industry ever shapes up. Hopefully they will one day be rewarded for the sacrifices they made.
To judge them is unfair. You can't put yourself in their shoes.

catch you later
Raph

PS. Barb...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can i get the nut recipe?
i know i know...but can you blame me?

Barbara
07-02-2002, 02:49 PM
Oh, I've got you addicted BIG TIME!!!

Okay Raph, give me a million dollars and I'll give you that recipe.

BTW, did you know that Bob Maidhof and Jimmy Caras got the township to change the law to allow minors at Drexeline? One of the townies was shooting when he realized there were minors at Bob's place and that was illegal. So Jimmy and Bob petiitioned the town and got the law changed.

Barbara

07-02-2002, 03:43 PM
Those nuts are like a needle in my arm.

Yes..i remember it well. Lots of supporters from the pool room, parents as well as patrons, showed up at the meeting. It seemed ridiculous because to hang out and play pool was totally harmless. At least the kids weren't hanging out by the train tracks or in parking lots. They were in a safe place.
Bob would get the parents to sign a card with their kids picture, stating they could hang out at the pool hall. The card had the phone number and address of the parents. This also had the stamp of a local notary public so that it was all official. That way, kids wouldn't be in there if there parents hadn't approved.
If i'm not mistaken..Bob did this BEFORE the incident happened. I believe he took the box of cards to court as evidence. Very insightful on his part.
So lets see.....a million dollars. So if i get a sample of nuts to approach planters with....hmmm....i'd...excuse me..WE'd be making millions. It would be worth it. I'll just need a sample. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Raph

PS. I recently heard through the pool vine that Colleen....well i'm not going to get into it here.
Anyway. Please give her my regards.

07-02-2002, 04:47 PM
Charlie: This is the greatest post I have ever read. Thank you for your leadership and wise words to our youth.

For many years I was one of the team leaders for the BCA Jr. Championships. I was impressed with you then and more so now.

God bless you and your new Pro Organization the UPA.

Good Luck.......Randy Goettlicher BCA Master Instructor

Barbara
07-02-2002, 06:26 PM
Raph,

Pete and I just got back from Harrisburg this afternoon. I'll pass your regards to her. She may even be reading this as we speak since she sometimes lurks out there. But don't confuse her with the other "Shoop" that posts, it's not her.

I forgot to tell Tony P (the cook) at Tacony I'll call him tomorrow with any info he needs.

Barbara