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KalboKev
04-03-2011, 05:28 AM
Obviously a great player. As mercurial as he is. I don't like him. There are many players as good or better than him with manner's and decorum. There's something to be said for that.

pooltchr
04-03-2011, 06:11 AM
Earl is actually a pretty nice guy. I ran into him practicing alone in a pool room a few years ago. There was an amateur tournament going on, so the room was pretty busy. I approached him, and he was very friendly, and we talked for a few minutes, he posed for a picture with me, and was very cordial.

He is very competitive, and when he is in a tournament, I think he switches gears mentally. He is so focused on his matches that any little thing can be a distraction to him. The problem is that he has a hard time getting past those distractions, and his own responses actually make the distraction even worse. When he is able to channel that negative energy into his game, he is unbeatable. When he doesn't, he seems to get frustrated and his game goes down the tubes.

He gets a bad rap because we usually only see him when he is in competition, and that is frequently at his worst.

Steve

Rich R.
04-03-2011, 06:28 AM
When Earl keeps his mouth shut and plays, he is probably the best 9-ball player, and one of the best all around players, in history. On the other hand, he definitely has mental demons and he doesn't deal with them very well. He tends to attack audience members for things that are so minor most players wouldn't even notice them.

Frankly, I think some of his antics are just shark moves that he uses to throw his opponents off balance. I say this because I have seen him do the exact same things in matches that are years apart and he is always behind in the matches when he does them.

One thing is for sure, Earl will be remembered more of his crazy actions than his superior playing ability and that is sad. I have heard his is a nice guy away from the tables but I have only been close to him during matches and I don't really like the way he handles himself.

Fran Crimi
04-03-2011, 07:21 AM
I don't think there's a switch that suddenly gets turned on and off when a person is in competition. If someone is nasty in competition, you can bet your last dollar they can get nasty when they're not in competition.

Even the nastiest of people can occasionally smile, pat you on the back and pose for a photo if you catch them at the right time.

If Earl has some pathological problems that require medication, I truly feel sorry for him, but when he's in a tournament, he has to find a way to behave with good sportsmanship. If he can't, then unfortunately, he should not be allowed to play. Everyone in a tournament deserves to be able to play without someone distracting them by outrageous behavior.

Bambu
04-03-2011, 08:04 AM
The greatest of the greats get free passes to act like idiots both on and off the field. But, we like watching them anyway(I do).

Baseball players might be the best example. They can snort coke, shoot roids, and beat their wives. As long as theyre nice to the right people, they are still glorified.

Mike was allowed to bite off Evanders ear twice, and still allowed to continue the fight! To take it a step further, look at Michael Jackson, O.J. or Robert Blake. Earl looks soft compared to any of them. He just has issues.

Behavior aside, I will remember Earl as being the greatest American player of my time. I love the excitemet, the drama he brings. Even if its in bad taste, unsportsmanlike....I find his antics entertaining. Love him or hate him, Earl brings color and life to the game. Even hating him is good for pool because Earl is a human marketing tool....the guy you love to hate.

Soflasnapper
04-03-2011, 01:14 PM
During the Shane/Earl match, John Schmidt was co-commentating on the last night, and discussed being on the road with Earl a couple of weeks (not hustling, doing some promotional things, I take it).

John said Earl was totally laid back, nothing riled him up, and he was gracious and very even tempered.

EXCEPT when they were hitting some tennis balls around. John said he wasn't at all a good player, and whereas Earl could return the ball right to him in rallies, John was lucky to get it over the net and occasionally, put a ball past Earl or over his head or something. Earl bristled when that happened, that John had just gotten lucky, and did he know that? John told him of course he knew it, that he'd already told him he was a D player at best (words to that effect).

So on this evidence, Earl appears to be fine except in competitive situations (at least for this somewhat extended period of interacting at close quarters for a couple weeks), and possibly just like some have said when running into him in a pool hall setting where Earl was not competing.

Is this unusual? I'd say yes, but human variation being what it is, I wouldn't say impossible.

BCA Master Instr
04-03-2011, 02:00 PM
<span style='font-size: 20pt'><u>BI-POLAR</u></span>

Fran Crimi
04-03-2011, 03:16 PM
Bringing color to a sport is one thing but being an idiot-magnet is a whole other thing. Ever notice the people lining up to watch him play? Half of them just want to see him go off. They could care less about how he plays. For someone like me who loves the game so much, I find it painful to watch. Truly painful, and definitely not colorful. But hey, that's just me.

Rich R.
04-03-2011, 07:11 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The greatest of the greats get free passes to act like idiots both on and off the field. But, we like watching them anyway(I do).

Baseball players might be the best example. They can snort coke, shoot roids, and beat their wives. As long as theyre nice to the right people, they are still glorified.

Mike was allowed to bite off Evanders ear twice, and still allowed to continue the fight! To take it a step further, look at Michael Jackson, O.J. or Robert Blake. Earl looks soft compared to any of them. He just has issues.

Behavior aside, I will remember Earl as being the greatest American player of my time. I love the excitemet, the drama he brings. Even if its in bad taste, unsportsmanlike....I find his antics entertaining. Love him or hate him, Earl brings color and life to the game. Even hating him is good for pool because Earl is a human marketing tool....the guy you love to hate. </div></div>
If you're willing to give a free pass to great athletes acting like idiots, you're part of the problem, not part of the solution. There is no excuse for bad behavior, regardless of the setting.

I don't find Earl's, and others, bad behavior entertaining and I doubt if you would either if you were ever the brunt of one of his tirades.

Earl was recently thrown out of the tournament at Valley Forge for his behavior and total disrespect for his fellow players. IMHO, they should have been throwing Earl out of tournaments years ago and maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't be in the shape he is now. TD's have been enabling Earl for way too long.

Bambu
04-04-2011, 06:39 AM
Guilty as charged, but I have never seen Earl play live, nor do I own any Earl DVD's or products(ok ok, I do have color of money). Telling me you didnt know what Earl was about before you went to go watch him? This is the same concept as people wanting to see a fight at a hockey game. Except, I dont really support because I hardly ever go to games. I just like watching the clips, and hearing about it.

Whats gonna sound better as a story for my grandchildren? Boring, slow, lint picking Johny Archer? I like Earls ass weights and 29 oz cues better. And lets not forget how good he still is, despite all the issues and hangups. When he's on, he is a true artist at work. Yes, I want to see this. It's not up to me to ref the match, so I just go with it.

Say they cracked down on Earl hardcore, and ran him off of mens pro pool. Some people would like that. But hands down, it would be the greatest loss to the game since Jean Baloukas.

04-04-2011, 10:49 AM
What about Earl??

"What about Bob"?


Eric &gt;baby steps

bobroberts
04-04-2011, 11:22 AM
<span style='font-size: 20pt'>[quote=BCA Master Instr<span style='font-size: 20pt'>]BI-POLAR</span>
Agreed</span>

GEORGE 7
04-04-2011, 10:08 PM
I JUST RETURNED FROM VALLEY FORGE. I'VE ATTENDED EVERY YEAR SINCE THE BEGINNING. THIS YEAR I SPOKE TO EARL STRICKLAND OUTSIDE OF THE PRO ARENA. HIS ATTITUDE WAS THAT OF A PERSON WITH A MENTAL PROBLEM. ALL HE SPOKE ABOUT WAS HOW HE HATED EVERYONE IN THE ARENA. AND THEN HE MADE A STATEMENT THAT REALLY SHOCKED EVERYONE WITHIN HEARING DISTANCE. HE SAID THAT IF HE HAD A MACHINE GUN HE WOULD SHOOT EVERYONE IN THERE. I WAS BLOWN AWAY. NEVER HAVE I HERD A PRO POOL PLAYER MAKE SUCH COMMENTS. I THINK EARL NEEDS TO TAKE SOME TIME OFF AND STAY AWAY FROM POOL. I HAVE BEEN AROUND PROFESSIONAL POOL PLAYERS ALL MY LIFE, AND THE ONES I SPOKE TO ABOUT THIS INCIDENT WERE DISGUESTED BUT NOT SURPRIZED BY EARL'S ACTIONS. MOMENTS LATER HE WAS ASKED TO LEAVE FOR CONDUCT UNBECOMMING A PRO PLAYER. NO LONGER EARL THE PEARL, BUT MACHINE GUN EARL.

KalboKev
04-05-2011, 05:12 AM
http://www.insidepoolmag.com/201103/billiard-news/billiards-referee-tells-his-side-of-story.html

At the risk of being "banned" 'cause it comes from a competitor's website.

Here's the tournament director's version of what happened at Valley Forge, I fully believe him:

There have been a lot of rumors as to why Earl Strickland was disqualified from the Diamond Open 10-Ball Professional Players Championship, so InsidePOOL went to tournament director Frank Del Pizzo and asked for his side of the story.

“There were three separate incidents with Earl,” Del Pizzo began. “He played the match with Jose Parica and he was being loud and sharking other players on other tables, so I had to ask him to stop yelling to the crowd … He’s playing Jose Parica, who’s a gentleman in there. So I asked him to stop talking to the crowd—we’re not allowing it, it’s something we went over in the players’ meeting … I said to him to stop, and he gets up and he says, ‘You’re a fool. You’re a fool. You have no idea what you’re doing.’ I said, ‘You’re warned.’ And then I told him, ‘Don’t ruin your day, Earl. You’re warned.’
Frank del pizzo sbe Billiards Referee Tells His Side of Story

Frank Del Pizzo is in the center of controversy after expelling Strickland from the Super Billiards Expo Diamond Professional 10-Ball Championships.

Del Pizzo continued, “And then he got a couple different little things where I had to tell him to calm down, and he made it through the entire set after that … He won, and then playing Alex, he immediately started in on Alex, on the rack. The rack was sideways, so he came over and said, ‘The rack’s sideways.’ So I went over and looked, and it was sideways, so I helped Alex fix it. He racked and then ran out, and then Earl ran out, and then back and forth, and then Alex started to pull away from him and the antics got worse and worse and worse.

“He [Earl] was yelling at the crowd, yelling at Alex, telling Alex not to do certain things, just sharking, constantly sharking. I warned him again, and it got to the point where he was losing at this point now. It was the first shot on the table. It was the one ball, he was going to bank the one so he took the cue and went whack whack whack whack whack on the side pocket like ‘It’s going in here!’ and he was whacking the side of the table.

“I went out and told him [Earl] to stop and that was when he called me a clown,” Del Pizzo recalled. “He said, ‘You’re a clown.’ And I asked him to stop and said, ‘You can either stop or you can go.’ He said, ‘Well, I’ll go then.’ I said, ‘Then go then. You’re all done. Just go.’ And he said, ‘I’ll execute my second option.’ I said, ‘Which is?’ He said, ‘I’ll finish.’ I said, ‘Okay, then keep your mouth shut and finish. There are other players in this poolroom. There are other players in here that are playing. Keep your mouth shut and finish. This is your final warning. That’s it. There will be no other warnings.’

“When it came to his match later in the evening, the matches, because they’re races to ten, they go a little long sometimes. One was about fifteen to twenty minutes late, which is not really bad, if you think about it, considering it went hill-hill. He is standing out [in the hallway] pacing and people wanted to take pictures with him, and I was standing over there by the water, and these people want to take a picture with him. He goes, ‘Why would I want to take a picture with you?’

“These are fans,” Del Pizzo explained. “[Earl says] ‘Why would I want to take a picture with you? What am I, a clown? Am I funny to you? Is that why you want to take a picture?’ He says to the people, ‘Why don’t you take a picture with the tournament director? He’s a fool. Why don’t you take a picture with him?’ So I said, ‘Earl. Don’t come in here like that. Don’t start like that.’

“The table finally cleared off that I could put him on, and I said, ‘Come on Earl.’ He followed me in, and as he’s walking in he’s yelling and talking to the people, and I said, ‘Earl, just knock it off, we’ve got players playing here. Just stop.’ I finally got him down to the table, and he said, ‘Where’s my opponent? He should be here.’ I said, ‘Well, he has fifteen minutes, from the time I call his name, to get here.’

“‘Call him? You gotta call him?’

“‘No, Earl. From the time I call him. You know what, Earl? You’re done. You’re just all done. Winner by default, Hancock. You know what else? Your behavior is unbecoming of a professional. You’re an embarrassment to this tournament and to this business, and you’re done. Winner by default, Hancock. Disqualified. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Earl Strickland on Table Seven. Disqualified.’ And I walked out. He walked out like a mouse and didn’t say a word. Tried to stare me down and I stared right back.

Del Pizzo continued, “I don’t care what you do, but you disrespect this tournament, which is Allen Hopkins’ tournament, you’re disrespecting every player that’s in that room, every fan that’s paid to come in here. You’re disrespecting me, you’re disrespecting Allen who’s worked nineteen years to make this what it is. He is not an ambassador to this sport. It’s really not nice what he does. It’s not right what he does. On the street, I wouldn’t let anyone talk to me like that, and I’m not going to let it happen in there.

Regarding his feelings about Earl, Del Pizzo clarified, “Whatever that man plays—nine-ball, ten-ball, one-pocket, straight pool—he can play it lights out. He truly is very good. Probably one of the best. That gives you no right. I’m a performer. I wouldn’t walk into a room and insult my room, because they’re there to see me, and then insult them because they applaud the person before me because he’s not as funny as I am or I think he might not be as funny as I am. It’s wrong. You thank the people for being there. You show them that you appreciate them being there by being a gentleman to yourself, number one, and number two, to the people that are watching you and to the other people around you. These guys are all performers. This is how they make their living. It’s ridiculous. It’s unheard of. I don’t like it. I don’t allow it. He’s welcome to come back, but if he acts the same way, he’s going home early again.”

Rich R.
04-05-2011, 07:23 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Guilty as charged, but I have never seen Earl play live, nor do I own any Earl DVD's or products(ok ok, I do have color of money). Telling me you didnt know what Earl was about before you went to go watch him? This is the same concept as people wanting to see a fight at a hockey game. Except, I dont really support because I hardly ever go to games. I just like watching the clips, and hearing about it.

Whats gonna sound better as a story for my grandchildren? Boring, slow, lint picking Johny Archer? I like Earls ass weights and 29 oz cues better. And lets not forget how good he still is, despite all the issues and hangups. When he's on, he is a true artist at work. Yes, I want to see this. It's not up to me to ref the match, so I just go with it.

Say they cracked down on Earl hardcore, and ran him off of mens pro pool. Some people would like that. But hands down, it would be the greatest loss to the game since Jean Baloukas. </div></div>
If you've never seen Earl play in person, it is hard to explain the things he does. I don't know for sure, but I doubt the DVD's show it all. You really should get out and see some pool in person, both for the good and the bad.

Although I don't plan on having any grandchildren, if I did, I'd prefer to tell them stories about great pool players that were mentally stable, rather than a great pool player with mental problems.

If TD's had cracked down on Earl many years ago, maybe he would have gotten the help he needs. Hopefully now, it is not too late.

Jean Balukas was a different story. I've read many things about her leaving and there seem to be many issues, the least of which was the small fine that was levied against her. I may be wrong, but I think she was just ready to leave tournament pool and she has never looked back. However, I still see her in the stands at an event now and then.

Rich R.
04-05-2011, 07:24 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: GEORGE 7</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I JUST RETURNED FROM VALLEY FORGE. I'VE ATTENDED EVERY YEAR SINCE THE BEGINNING. THIS YEAR I SPOKE TO EARL STRICKLAND OUTSIDE OF THE PRO ARENA. HIS ATTITUDE WAS THAT OF A PERSON WITH A MENTAL PROBLEM. ALL HE SPOKE ABOUT WAS HOW HE HATED EVERYONE IN THE ARENA. AND THEN HE MADE A STATEMENT THAT REALLY SHOCKED EVERYONE WITHIN HEARING DISTANCE. HE SAID THAT IF HE HAD A MACHINE GUN HE WOULD SHOOT EVERYONE IN THERE. I WAS BLOWN AWAY. NEVER HAVE I HERD A PRO POOL PLAYER MAKE SUCH COMMENTS. I THINK EARL NEEDS TO TAKE SOME TIME OFF AND STAY AWAY FROM POOL. I HAVE BEEN AROUND PROFESSIONAL POOL PLAYERS ALL MY LIFE, AND THE ONES I SPOKE TO ABOUT THIS INCIDENT WERE DISGUESTED BUT NOT SURPRIZED BY EARL'S ACTIONS. MOMENTS LATER HE WAS ASKED TO LEAVE FOR CONDUCT UNBECOMMING A PRO PLAYER. NO LONGER EARL THE PEARL, BUT MACHINE GUN EARL. </div></div>
If this is true, it is very scary.

Bambu
04-05-2011, 08:13 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Guilty as charged, but I have never seen Earl play live, nor do I own any Earl DVD's or products(ok ok, I do have color of money). Telling me you didnt know what Earl was about before you went to go watch him? This is the same concept as people wanting to see a fight at a hockey game. Except, I dont really support because I hardly ever go to games. I just like watching the clips, and hearing about it.

Whats gonna sound better as a story for my grandchildren? Boring, slow, lint picking Johny Archer? I like Earls ass weights and 29 oz cues better. And lets not forget how good he still is, despite all the issues and hangups. When he's on, he is a true artist at work. Yes, I want to see this. It's not up to me to ref the match, so I just go with it.

Say they cracked down on Earl hardcore, and ran him off of mens pro pool. Some people would like that. But hands down, it would be the greatest loss to the game since Jean Baloukas. </div></div>
If you've never seen Earl play in person, it is hard to explain the things he does. I don't know for sure, but I doubt the DVD's show it all. You really should get out and see some pool in person, both for the good and the bad.

Although I don't plan on having any grandchildren, if I did, I'd prefer to tell them stories about great pool players that were mentally stable, rather than a great pool player with mental problems.

If TD's had cracked down on Earl many years ago, maybe he would have gotten the help he needs. Hopefully now, it is not too late.

Jean Balukas was a different story. I've read many things about her leaving and there seem to be many issues, the least of which was the small fine that was levied against her. I may be wrong, but I think she was just ready to leave tournament pool and she has never looked back. However, I still see her in the stands at an event now and then.
</div></div>

If you believe he has real mental problems, then how can you even blame him? That would be like blaming a slow kid for failing a math test. Another thing I am thinking, is how often does this happen? Earl has played probably thousands of matches by now. Not that it serves as a good excuse, but what are his "freak out" percentages? (I'm not sure how bad he has really been.)

A good tournament director should be able to control the situation(good job Del Pizzo). If anything, I blame him because its his job to know when things are getting out of hand. You cant fault a mental case. The guy has practically been rewarded for bad behavior in the past. To expect Earl to control himself would be foolhardy.

Fran Crimi
04-05-2011, 08:43 AM
Bambu I apologize in advance for this sounding tough but I'm going to give it to you straight.

When you put up your 500 to play an event, pay airfare, travel across the continent, or even worse --- half-way across the world, and then pay for a week's worth of hotel and food, only to find out that you have to play against or next to someone who flies into a rage and doesn't shut up, then you'll understand what it means. Until then, all you can do is speculate.

I've been there. Remember, the women used to play side-by-side with the men. I've also had close friends who have had to endure it. It's a terrible hopeless feeling that makes you angrier by the minute. You find yourself constantly looking around for the tournament director, wondering when he's going to step in. You don't want to get out of your own game by going over to the TD so you try to bear it. You're down on a shot, ready to shoot and you hear a commotion from two tables down. You miss. No, it's not because you're not tough enough, it's because someone just created a scene.

Once in awhile, sure it happens. But when it happens regularly? No way. Not acceptable.

GEORGE 7
04-05-2011, 12:48 PM
THIS IS A TRUE AND FACTUAL ACCOUNT OF WHAT HAPPENED. BUT IT ALSO INCLUDED THE INCIDENT OUTSIDE THE PRO ARENA. AND WE HAVE PICS AND VIDEO TO BACK IT UP.

pooltchr
04-05-2011, 12:53 PM
Unless you plan on sharing the pics and videos, they don't mean a whole lot.

Steve

eg8r
04-05-2011, 01:41 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Del Pizzo continued, “And then he got a couple different little things where I had to tell him to calm down, and he made it through the entire set after that … He won, and then playing Alex, he immediately started in on Alex, on the rack. The rack was sideways, so he came over and said, ‘The rack’s sideways.’ So I went over and looked, and it was sideways, so I helped Alex fix it. He racked and then ran out, and then Earl ran out, and then back and forth, and then Alex started to pull away from him and the antics got worse and worse and worse.

</div></div>Seems like Del Pizzo was "out to get" Earl at this point. Here is gives an example of Earl "starting in" on Alex. Turns out Earl was correct but this bonehead calls it "starting in" on Alex.

I know Earl is a psycho but if he is going to give examples of Earl being a problem don't point out the one where his opponent was in the wrong and Earl in the right.

Quick question here, I know it is fun to talk down about Earl's behaviour but...How often do you think the other players instigate Earl because they know once he goes so far he is out of control?

eg8r

bradb
04-05-2011, 01:46 PM
If this was just one incident then an argument maybe could be made for Earl, but his disruptive behavior goes back years and is getting worse. Brad

Bambu
04-05-2011, 01:58 PM
No offense taken Fran, I'm sorry I had not condidered the players perspective. No doubt, its not fair to other players. I do know what you mean. I'm no pro, but I have had to match up against some tough personalities too. Even playing near them can take its toll. Some local names that come to mind are Ervalino, Gypsy, Meo, and Mike 31. As you know, they would talk the game out of the whole room if you let them. But this isnt gambling. A good TD shouldnt stand for that stuff.

So I have to blame the tour director, not the fans for enjoying the drama. Especially with Earl in the house, there should be an extra ref on hand to keep him in check. Earls opponent and those around him shouldnt have to go through anything different. But because pro pool has allowed this to happen repeatedly, Earl has evolved into Earl. Has he even been fined for his actions over the years? I dont know how that stuff works, but there should be a system in place to deter scene makers.

In school we have what we call "paras." A paras sole job is to follow one "bad" kid around all day long. They make sure the kid goes to class, and keeps his mouth shut. They sit next to him during every period, just to keep him out of trouble. I say we get Earl one of those. His play is worth it, and its not his fault hes crazy.

Bambu
04-05-2011, 02:06 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Del Pizzo continued, “And then he got a couple different little things where I had to tell him to calm down, and he made it through the entire set after that … He won, and then playing Alex, he immediately started in on Alex, on the rack. The rack was sideways, so he came over and said, ‘The rack’s sideways.’ So I went over and looked, and it was sideways, so I helped Alex fix it. He racked and then ran out, and then Earl ran out, and then back and forth, and then Alex started to pull away from him and the antics got worse and worse and worse.

</div></div>Seems like Del Pizzo was "out to get" Earl at this point. Here is gives an example of Earl "starting in" on Alex. Turns out Earl was correct but this bonehead calls it "starting in" on Alex.

I know Earl is a psycho but if he is going to give examples of Earl being a problem don't point out the one where his opponent was in the wrong and Earl in the right.

Quick question here, I know it is fun to talk down about Earl's behaviour but...How often do you think the other players instigate Earl because they know once he goes so far he is out of control?

eg8r</div></div>

Thats a good point eg. Maybe Alex tilted the rack a little on purpose, just to start him up. Wouldnt surprise me. But for a big match, I would expect to see a neutral racker to avoid things like that.

Fran Crimi
04-05-2011, 05:19 PM
I absolutely agree with you. Earl has been allowed to get away with his behavior for way too long. TDs and refs are not supposed to look to win popularity contests. If they're looking to do that, then they have the wrong job.

The para idea of yours is interesting but I doubt it would work for Earl.

We just need more TDs and refs who are willing to step up and do the right thing.

Rich R.
04-05-2011, 08:24 PM
Let me respond to several different points here.

First of all, no TD really wants to throw any player out of an event. Every player has someone who wants to see them play and it is a bad thing to throw someone out of a tournament, even Earl.

I have seen Frank Del Pizzo working as TD at Valley Forge for a number of years now. He is a standup guy and he does as good a job as anyone controlling a tournament. He has a good grasp on what is good for the tournament and he is not out to get anyone. From everything I have read and heard, Earl took him to the brink and Frank had no choice other than throwing Earl out.

For those who say, how can we blame him if we think he has mental problems, I say, it is up to Earl, or the people around him, to get any help he may need. It certainly isn’t the job of the TD.
BTW, I do blame a kid for not passing a math test. If he didn’t study or he studied, didn’t understand it and didn’t get help, it is his fault. I take full responsibility for any bad marks I got when I was a kid.

Just for the record, I have seen Earl play in many tournaments. At one time or another during any given tournament, he has blown up in some way in almost all of them. He rarely gets through a tournament without some problem. This is in complete contrast to the other 99% of the players who I have never seen get out of line.

I don’t think that it is a TD’s job to control Earl. When Earl gets out of hand, it is a TD’s job to throw him out of the tournament. Through the years, too many TD’s have not done their job.

For those who think that Alex may have twisted the rack on purpose, to put Earl on tilt, you may be correct. We will never know. The fact is, other players would have just handled it at the table or asked the TD for a racker and things would have been settled.

Someone stated that there should have been a racker for such a big match. The truth is, this was just a normal tournament match. All other players were racking for their matches and any problems are handled by the TD. Frankly, it would be great to have rackers for all matches but it just doesn't happen that way at any tournaments I know of. There just aren't enough rackers.

Although I was not witness to what happened at Valley Forge, I did talk to Frank Del Pizzo after the fact. He pretty much told me the same stuff that someone else posted and he said he just had to do something. I told Frank he is my new hero.

KalboKev
04-06-2011, 04:56 AM
Well said!

JoeW
04-06-2011, 06:28 AM
I have observed Earl's public behavior for several years and have concluded that he is a "shark" who pumps it for all it is worth as needed.

Bambu
04-06-2011, 10:25 AM
If you are the TD and you know Earl is playing, you should give him a warning as soon as he comes through the door. I didnt mean for the TD to babysit earl all night. Thats what I meant by giving him a para, someone to watch and make sure he isnt playing dirty. It could be almost any player willing to get the TD involved if the need should arise. I agree with Joe. Hes more of a shark than a nut, but maybe a little of both.

Brian in VA
04-06-2011, 10:36 AM
I've read the entire thread and can't really add anything. Excellent points made all around. I think Earl is one of the two or three best to ever pick up a cue, certainly the best I've ever seen in person. When things are going his way, he is a player's player; I've seen him compliment his opponents on excellent shots from time to time. And when his game is on, I've never seen anyone play like him. I saw him play 6 or 7 perfect racks in a row one time at the Open and I don't mean he just ran them. His position was perfect, to within a half inch, on every shot and the only time he didn't make a ball dead center in the pocket was because he was cheating it for position.

His behavior from time to time has been abominable and he should have been DQed. No other answer is acceptable, to me. What causes his behavior is out of my area of expertise but I tend to think it's more shark than psychotic. If the "mental" part of the game is in play for the individual then some competitors feel you can pick at your opponent in the same way. (I disagree, vehemently.)

I wish that the US Open would ask for volunteers to man the racking duties for matches. I'd love to rack for him. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Brian in VA

eg8r
04-06-2011, 11:02 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For those who think that Alex may have twisted the rack on purpose, to put Earl on tilt, you may be correct. We will never know. The fact is, other players would have just handled it at the table or asked the TD for a racker and things would have been settled.
</div></div>We get it, you don't like him and won't accept any explanation at all. I also agree that Earl is out of control and it is easy to get him to that point which is why I posed the question.

Seriously, there is no chance to have "discussion" because all the views are so polarized and I don't see any value-add in continuing to talk about how out of control he gets or what he might have said to you or I that was uncalled for. Alex comes across as a very intelligent, crafty, innocent individual whom I would not put it past him to push (read: shark) someone like Earl to gain an advantage, needed or not.

eg8r

bradb
04-06-2011, 11:16 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JoeW</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have observed Earl's public behavior for several years and have concluded that he is a "shark" who pumps it for all it is worth as needed. </div></div>

Joe, I am interested in your take on Earl clinically.

Do you think he could be bi-polar as some have suggested? Sometimes when you hear him interviewed he displays paranoid behavior. Could this manifest its self into his sharking?

The reason I ask is because a shark wants to win, not be thrown out of a tournament.

-Brad

Fran Crimi
04-06-2011, 11:56 AM
Joe, what about narcissistic personality disorder? Any possibilities there?

bobroberts
04-06-2011, 02:57 PM
Earl goes off even after he wins. So i would say is he has a mental problem. Seems that most people who are extremely great at 1 thing are way off on normal life.
If he took meds for his problem then he probably wouldn't play as good, at least thats what i believe.
If you like him or not, he has to be 1 of the greatest of all times.

Rich R.
04-07-2011, 07:12 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For those who think that Alex may have twisted the rack on purpose, to put Earl on tilt, you may be correct. We will never know. The fact is, other players would have just handled it at the table or asked the TD for a racker and things would have been settled.
</div></div>We get it, you don't like him and won't accept any explanation at all. I also agree that Earl is out of control and it is easy to get him to that point which is why I posed the question.

Seriously, there is no chance to have "discussion" because all the views are so polarized and I don't see any value-add in continuing to talk about how out of control he gets or what he might have said to you or I that was uncalled for. Alex comes across as a very intelligent, crafty, innocent individual whom I would not put it past him to push (read: shark) someone like Earl to gain an advantage, needed or not.

eg8r </div></div>
My feelings for Earl have never been a secret on this forum. I think his behavior is an embarrassment to the pool world. However, I do recognize him as one of the best to ever play the game. We were just discussing how things could be done differently, both by him and by others.

As for Alex, he is far from innocent. If I didn't say it clear enough the first time, I definitely believe Alex may have twisted the rack to get Earl going and give himself an edge.

Rich R.
04-07-2011, 07:15 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Bambu</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you are the TD and you know Earl is playing, you should give him a warning as soon as he comes through the door. I didnt mean for the TD to babysit earl all night. Thats what I meant by giving him a para, someone to watch and make sure he isnt playing dirty. It could be almost any player willing to get the TD involved if the need should arise. I agree with Joe. Hes more of a shark than a nut, but maybe a little of both. </div></div>
IMHO, Earl is both, shark and nut.

His Boy Elroy
04-07-2011, 02:10 PM
The weirdest thing I remember reading about Earl was how he had a temper tantrum while playing Corey Deuel because Deuel was effectively employing a soft break in the match. Seems Earl believed that the soft break, while legal, was still an affront to how the game should be properly played. That was strange! Deuels' use of the soft break brought a whole new dimension of skill to the game and it was weird that Earl, skilled as he is, couldn't recognize this.

Deeman3
04-07-2011, 02:35 PM
I played Earl both before and after he got more, shall we say, animated but never let him bother me, really! That being said, he never got that upset with me, mostly spectators and players around us. I really think it effected his play more than mine! He is probably tame by Johnny Mac of tennis standards but, of course, we are accustomed to more sedate settings in pool.

Overall, he can be childish but does more harm to himself than others. You have to be "shark able" to let him really hurt your game anyway!

JoeW
04-07-2011, 06:57 PM
It is inapproprate for me to comment about Earl from a clinical perspective. I think Fran's take is probably in the ball park. People can (and do) simulate pathological states for various reasons and at times they go overboard.

Back when we were children we learned not to allow ourselves to throw a temper tantrum. In general the outcome was embarrasing and the loss of self control was not something we wanted to repeat. None-the-less people do have various roles they assume and they can get out of hand.

On occassion this leads to the need for some clinical intervention to get the person back on track -- so to speak.

Earl's public behavior is indicative of a spoiled child and this does at times go beyond what he was striving for.

In my observations of Earl I have noted that he brings out his behaviors when they suit his purposes. In general, we all refer to this as "sharking" and I think that is exactly what he does.

Someone said that you can only get sharked if you let someone do it. I don't think this is always true. A great shark will use our own needs against us. I remember when Earl played Allen Hopkins and about half way through the match he accused Hopkins of unethical conduct, loose racks and similar things. Hopkins had just been elected as the president of the then Men's Pro league and was trying to professionalize the sport. Strickland's comments got to Hopkins in a way that Hopkins had not seen before. Strickland's sharking worked and he threw Hopkins off his game. Classic Earl behavior.

I think that Earl has a good thing working for him. He is an obvious (to me) shark and masks it with other behaviors that lead to a result in which his sharking is far too often tolerated.

2424
04-08-2011, 08:16 AM
Thank you very much.

bradb
04-08-2011, 12:46 PM
Thanks Joe... with what you are saying then it seems that in the case of the disqualification he had miscalculated the amount of impact his antics would have on the official. He had thought he was too important to the tournament to be ejected and so after he was thrown out, his anger and ego betrayed him and he made those inflamatory comments to bystanders outside. He could'nt accept that he might be wrong and lashed out because in his mind the world was against him.

I still believe though that there might be something deeper in Earl, we may never know what it is. If it's true then it's too bad he can't get past it.

Brad

gabeski
04-08-2011, 01:08 PM
I can remember, when I was young and just starting to get serious about pool, there was this "old" guy where I was learning. All he ever did was play really good pool, he would talk to his opponent, but never in a "sharking" way. I asked him about others sharking their opponents. His comment has stuck with me all these years. "If you are good enough you won't have to shark anyone" Maybe Earl could learn from this. Don't get me wrong, Earl is a fantastic player, but sharks belong in the ocean, and not at a pool table.

JoeW
04-08-2011, 02:30 PM
Then too his comments after being removed enable him to build or continue in a persona that he can use in other events.

One strategy would be to build a character that is able to do things that other players could not do or get away with. Perhaps there is a long term strategy that includes several components to be used throughout one's career. Such a strategy could be used to one's own benefit in several different ways.

Like all of us, once you get in character and allow yourself to live the role, spontaneity helps to build credability in one's charcter.

I am not being cynical just analytic with regard to motivation and emotional displays by Earl and other people who use similar tactics. And like everything in life some people are better at it than others.

eg8r
04-08-2011, 04:59 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If I didn't say it clear enough the first time, I definitely believe Alex may have twisted the rack to get Earl going and give himself an edge. </div></div>Yeah, I missed that part in your response but it is exactly what I believe happened. However based on that, from the testimony given, it appears that the TD had it for Earl already and all he was doing was complaining about the poor rack.

If what we believe might have happened was true then all we have is one guy cheating and the other guy is getting pissed off about it. Which is worse, considering both are despicable to the game of pool.

eg8r

Rich R.
04-08-2011, 07:18 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If I didn't say it clear enough the first time, I definitely believe Alex may have twisted the rack to get Earl going and give himself an edge. </div></div>Yeah, I missed that part in your response but it is exactly what I believe happened. However based on that, from the testimony given, it appears that the TD had it for Earl already and all he was doing was complaining about the poor rack.

If what we believe might have happened was true then all we have is one guy cheating and the other guy is getting pissed off about it. Which is worse, considering both are despicable to the game of pool.

eg8r </div></div>
From what I have read, the guy was thrown out because of his behavior in several matches, not just one.
You'll have to take my word for it but, I have seen Frank in action and he gives players more than enough chances before cracking down on them. There has to be a limit and the TD has to take charge at some point.
If anything, Earl had it in for himself.

jjinfla
04-08-2011, 09:06 PM
Earl got disqualified walking to the table? That sucks. What business does a TD or ref have going out to the hall to go get him and then interfere with Earl and his fans? If Earl doesn't want to take pictures then that should be his business unless you are paying him to take pictures. People paid to watch the players? And then Earl gets dq'd before the match started? Even before the opponent got there? That really sucks. Was the player intentionally late to shark Earl?

I haven't been following pool much the past 3 years but the 10 years before that I watched quite a few matches Earl played down here in Florida. He sure can play. I was just interested in watching him play and I ignored his antics. He's sure not perfect; but then who is? I got a signed cueball and he posed for pictures and talked with us. Truth be known the fans and players sharked Earl a lot more than people want to admit.

I still can't believe that the ref dq'd Earl before the match began. Oh well, maybe it was late and Earl wanted to go play golf.