View Full Version : Romana Dokovic Article in BD - Outstanding

09-02-2002, 08:46 PM
Finally instead of another article about a young player throwing their life away, a long overdue article about a deserving pool player who loves the game, but seems to have his/her priorities in order. The article in the current September BD by Mike Geffner is very refreshing - to hear that there is a pool player out there who has a chance to make something of themselves in another more accepted (and more lucrative) field. If you've ever heard Romana play the violin, you wonder why she even bothers wasting her time with pool - that is until you see her play pool - what natural talent! I know Romana and I know she dearly loves pool, but based on the current state of the pro game her career decision will likely be made for her - and hopefully she'll make the right one.

In the pages just before her artricle, Sueyen Rhee (an excellent young player in her own right from the mid-Atlantic region) has an excellent article about two young talented players - Sarah Rousey and Josh Brothers. Unfortunately (IMO), both have dropped out of school to pursue their pool careers, and their propensity to gamble is now a big part of their lives. I've got news for them - if they wish to make a career as a pro, their gambling will continue to be their major income for the rest of their lives.

I'm sorry, but if I sound a little pessimistic about our pro tours and the chance for it's players to make a respectable and legitimate living, it's because I've seen no progress made on either tour in my entire lifetime, and don't see any prospects for that to change in the near future.

Sarah says she's discontinuing her school for 2-3 years to see if she can make it to the top 16. Well so what if she does? Has she bothered to take a look at the purse earnings list for those top 16? Only a couple of players on each tour make a decent living from the game, and most of that is the result of sponsor contracts - not purse winnings.

In all candidness, if I was in their position I'd do the same - because of my passion and love for pool. It tears me apart that my 13 year-old son who is very talented at the game doesn't really care about it anymore, but luckily is an honor student in school. Obviously he's smarter than I am (LOL). My advice to any of them would be to stay in school and keep your career opportunities open. Easy for me to say, but hard to do with that kind of talent and passion for the game. Any opinions from others who've read the articles? - Chris in NC

09-02-2002, 09:32 PM
I have not read the articles Chris, but I certainly agree with you about staying in school.

I couple months ago I met a very nice 17 year old girl in her first year of college. She has tremendous natural talent, but becomes very nervous in local tournaments. By now she has heard Tournament Tough numerous times and she is improving greatly.

Sadly though, her Mother has suggested this girl take a year or two off from college to chase the same dream you talk about. Not that my opinion matters, but I think it's really Mother's failed dream.


09-02-2002, 09:51 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if some of the big manufacturers in the billiard industry offered scholorships to aspiring / deserving young players ...they could even sponser collegiate tournaments and exhibitions...oh well...just thinking out loud...

09-03-2002, 08:48 AM

I tend to agree with you. But I don't know how I would handle it if I was in the same situation.

If Ms. Rousey was quoted correctly her tone was almost giddy when discussing her gambling winnings. Like she felt she was getting over on somebody by the free money that was pouring in. I'm sure she realizes it's not always going to be that easy.

Then young Mr. Brothers claims he had to quit school and gamble because his dad took sick. That make my stomach a little queasy. I could almost hear "Patches" by Clarence Carter playing in the background. That's a very unhealthy lifestyle for a 17 year old. Nobody likes losing big bucks, especially to a kid. The last time I got beat in a tournament by a high school kid I got so mad I forfeited my loser bracket match and left. And that was only $20.

I hope I'm not being judgemental. Just my opinion.

I admire Tiffany Nelson for finishing college. I'm positive she won't regret it.

09-03-2002, 09:14 AM
Wally, I second your praises for Tiffany Nelson, who made it through college AND managed to play pool full-time on the WPBA tour the last 2-3 years! Since graduating in May, she's living in Florida now and playing alot of pool, but her degree will allow her many more opportunities at finding a good job (even jobs within the pool industry) - and she still doesn't have to give up her passion for and competition in pool.

Yeah, as for the article on Sarah and Josh, I find it amazing a player of Sarah's age can start out playing a session for $1,000 a set, and then up to $3,000 a set! Are we expected to believe (as the article insinuated) that she wasn't being staked? My guess is Mr. K likely had some financial interest in the game.

As for Brothers, it's sad that due to dropping out of school he hasn't even been able to participate in the BCA junior nationals, as Sarah did. Personally, I'd rather see a BD article featuring a deserving young player that's at least still in school! The young male talent at the BCA Jr. Nationals is staggering - Bateman, Banks, the Rakin twins, Gray, Straun, Hennen, McMinn - and none of them even won it this year! How many of them are still actually in school or what their current standing in school is would be interesting to know, and I probably don't wish to know. Sadly, pool at that level is a very time consuming and addicting pasttime - leaving little time for anything else such as school and studies. - Chris in NC

09-04-2002, 03:56 AM
it's hard to turn someone away from their passion, especially when they're so good at such a young age. it's empowering because they can do well what most adults can't.

the only thing to do is make them aware of the facts. i'm sure in their young lives, gambling and making money is very exotic. however i'd be willing to bet there's more than meets the eye. because of all the cons you mentioned about pool, i'm wondering if 1.these two have good parental guidance(i don't know how old they are though), 2.they're not that bright(in a school sorta way). smart kids know the value of a good education.

09-04-2002, 08:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Chris in NC:</font><hr> Wally, I second your praises for Tiffany Nelson, who made it through college AND managed to play pool full-time on the WPBA tour the last 2-3 years! Since graduating in May, she's living in Florida now and playing alot of pool, but her degree will allow her many more opportunities at finding a good job (even jobs within the pool industry) - and she still doesn't have to give up her passion for and competition in pool.


I agree. I think its awesome that Tiffany finished college. I wish I would have done the same thing. I was 19 and in college when I first picked up a cue. I had to drop my classes because I spent too much time at the pool hall. 9 years later, I'm not as good a player as I had hoped I would be and I'm degree-less! I've started back in school 2 years ago and working full time and playing pool. It'll be a while before I finish my degree.. and I totally regret not finishing the first time around.


09-10-2002, 11:47 PM
By your posting regarding Sarah Rousey it is obvious you have never met her or else you would not have judged her so harshly. She is one of the most exceptional people that you will ever meet. From the moment I met her I knew she was someone that had a passion for the game and the courage to follow her dream. How many people do you know that actually follow their dreams instead of talking about them? If you are fortunate enough to ever meet her you will find, as I did that she is intelligent, well spoken, goal-oriented,pleasant, respectful and very determined. She is a high school graduate and attended a private four year college in Illinois for two years before she decided to break from the norm and pursue her dream. My impression of Sarah is that she is in it for the love of the game and is well aware of the pitfalls. There is one more piece of information about Sarah that you should know. She uses her talent to participate in charity events to promote awareness and raise money for the American Diabetes Association. I hope you meet her someday because I'm sure she will impress you as well. You are correct,higher education is important, but it won't guarantee you a job, money or success. Sarah will be able to finish her education in the future, and also never have to look back with regret that she never took the risk to pursue her dream. She is the most together 19 year old that I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

09-11-2002, 07:04 AM
I agree Anon. I sat in the stands with Sarah's dad and brother(s) in Valley Forge this year. She definitely has a great supoort team. I've since watched her play in a few CAT tour events and have had the chance to chat with her a few times. She's a very nice girl and seems well grounded. She's also got a killer break. I hope to see her challenging the top of the WPBA soon.