View Full Version : Emotion and Professionalism in Pool

09-13-2002, 03:58 AM
I was reading online about the Cardiff International that took place back in July. One story in particular caught my interest.

Cory Deuel, a betting favorite for the tournament, got knocked out of the competition early on in a 4-5 match to Robles. The story goes that Deuel, after a disagreement with the ref on the matter of racking the balls and the subsequent match loss to Robles, stormed away from the pool table, throwing his cue case and kicking a trash can. This is disappointing to me (if the story above is accurate), since Deuel is so talented a pool player and his successes at such a young age make him an exciting part of professional pool.

At my level of play, that is, the local amateur level of play, where the stakes and pressure are much lower, I have felt the same urge (though perhaps not in the same magnitude) to break my cue on the table and harpoon my "inferior" opponent with the splintered shaft, after I've completed an embarassingly low run or poor shot. But of course I don't throw a tantrum out of respect for my opponent and pool in general.

I would like to hold professional players to AT LEAST the same standard of self-restraint, though I understand the frustration of losing a match when I knew with god-like certainty that I should have won. Of course ego comes into play here, and that is one of the aspects of pool that I find so interesting. The more I play this game, the more it highlights those weaknesses and strengths of my character. I have found that I lose almost as much as I win, and I play bad seemingly twice as much as I play good, but after wading through an endless swamp of horrible games, there has always been that amazing game or handful of games that makes the struggle that much better and the fact that I maintained my composure throughout the bad times that much more rewarding. For me, ego has been a stumbling block to real improvement at this game.

As I said earlier, I am not under nearly the same amount of pressure as Deuel, so I may change my perspective on the life-affirming realization above as my level of competition increases. But professional players like Deuel may do well for themselves and this sport to adhere to sportsman-like conduct even when the referee was completely wrong and robbed the player out of winning a tournament.

09-13-2002, 04:11 AM
Thanks. Glad you brought this topic up. Some of us were brought up to be good sportmen/women,,to be a good loser and a gracious winner,etc. I have learned that not everybody was brought up the time way and some people act like ass&s when things dont go their way.I used to be idealistic and thought every one should come up to my expectations of different moral things like sportsmanship.Not anymore. I have learned that I have no control over what anyone says or does.There is only one person I can change, and that is me.

Thanks for the post.


09-13-2002, 07:44 AM
Apparently you haven't read internet pool forums very much. Temper tantrums are one of the most frequent topics. Stick around awhile, you'll see what I mean.

09-13-2002, 08:17 AM
We bemoan the boring, mechanical, emotionless performances of the televised matches and then turn around and berate the players for unprofessional displays of emotional behavior. What is it we want here from our professionals? You can't have it both ways. Personally I like to see some of these emotional outbursts and behavior (good or bad) that reveals something of the personality of the players. It gives them and the matches some entertainment value; something that televised pool sorely lacks. Tennis was interesting with MacEnroe and Connors. Boxing was interesting with Ali and Tyson etc., etc. Mere technical virtuosity isn't enough promote the sport and entertain the audience. Most professional athletes recognize their role as entertainers and the importance of putting on a "show" for the spectators. I'd rather watch Vivian than Karen. I'd rather watch Earl than Johnny for that very reason. Who cares if Corey is immature; he IS young and immature. But he can PLAY!

09-13-2002, 10:39 AM
The need for emotional displays is driven by the media's desire to sensationalize everything which promotes their self interest which is circulation/ratings equals higher revenues. The quality of the event is less meaningful unless it creates controversy. The greatest tennis player during the Conners and McEnroe era and argueably the greatest player ever was Bjon Borg. He displayed little emotion but the quality of his play defined the consumate professional. The media found McEnroe and Conners more newsworthy and promoted their bad behavior instead of Borg's superior game. Both Conners and McEnroe obviously were great champions but they will be remembered most for their bad manners. When I feel the need for entertainment and sensationalism I tune in the WWF.

09-13-2002, 01:11 PM
I was in the crowd watching this match,acctualy he played with Marcus Schamat and at the end he really did trow his cue case and kicked a trash can.But from what i saw he,s a nice person.I took a picture with him and he was very friendly.I like his game a lot,he,s a very smart player.


09-13-2002, 11:03 PM
If u want entertainment, look for Jimmy Mattaya and Keith McCreedy.I heard thru a friend that Jimmy is thinking of playing in a senior tour event scheduled to be played in ? Miami in Nov or Dec this year.Don Macky always talked about this issue and he thought that pros should entertain the paid audience.Cheers