View Full Version : Gentlemen: A Group of Players That Made Me Proud !

10-31-2003, 03:22 AM
Seven of the most well-seasoned pool players in the country gathered on October 25, 2003, at Southern Billiards in Starkville, MS, for a 10-ball invitational tournament of incredible interest. (InsidePool, 10/26/2003)

The tournament referred to was the 10-Ball Invitational Ring-Game Tournament, which has been mentioned in several threads on this board, as well as on others boards. As is most always the case, some comments were made here and on other forums regarding the devious behavior such a game might elicit. We always hear about the bad behavior displayed by pool players, and even when something hasn’t happened there is speculation about the negatives, but seldom if ever do we hear of the positive nature in which pool players conduct themselves.

The group that gathered for the Ring-Game was a group of seasoned players with tremendous heart and egos to match. In additions to their talents with a cue, they are all known for their hard-ball action play and willingness to send it in. On this particular day they did, posting up entry fees of $1,500 each, with no option to withdraw once the game began.

The Ring-Game was great, and lasted for approximately 12 hours with the wager varying from $50 per game to $1,000 per game. There were some outstanding displays of talent and some unbelievable shots. This I had expected. But, if you had told me that these guys would get together and play for the kind of money that was at stake, for the length of time they did, and never bitch and complain, or whine and moan, or bicker and fuss; I simply would not have believed it.

They are to be commended for their display of talent, but they should be praised for the professional and courteous manner in which they conducted themselves. Truly it was a sight to behold. I have been around this game more years than I care to mention and never have I witnessed anything associated with it that pleased me more than the behavior of these seven gentlemen.

Someone questioned me unbelievingly about this, and I said “Oh yes, there was that thing about the break pad they had to break off of.” And the person querying me replied, “Yea, I know they really didn’t like having to use that did they! I‘ll bet they really complained about that, didn’t they.” To which I replied, “No, it wasn’t that, it was just at some point they asked if they could get a new pad, they said the one they were using was about worn out.” Believe it or not, it is true; they exemplified what it means to be a sporting gentleman.

Danny “Kid Delicious” Basavich was the first man out, never winning a game. Now you would think that would put anybody in a foul mood, especially if they had traveled from New Jersey to Mississippi to play. As I shook Danny’s hand as he withdrew from the game, he said to me: “Professor, I never won a game. I lost 25 straight games, but I had a wonderful time!” The next thing out of his mouth was, “When are we going to do this again Professor?” You have got to love it!

They complimented each other through out the match, and as each player fell, the others shook his hand and complimented him on his play. Often the remaining players made comments to the spectators regarding the high caliber of the player eliminated.

I am sure that someone can, and probably will, say what they saw some of them do at some other time. And, to be honest so could I with regard to some of them. But, I am telling you this was what I witnessed during the Ring-Game, and it was simply outstanding. They exhibited the finest sportsmanship I have ever witnessed among pool players, and it was in the heat of battle!

The Ring-Game Tournament was great, and was enjoyed by all that watched it. What made it work? Without a doubt, it was the seven players that played in it; the talents they brought to the table; and their outstanding display of sportsmanship. I have never seen a group of players play for so long, for so much, and behave in a more professional and courteous manner, than the group that gathered at Southern Billiards on October 25, 2003, composed of:

Bobby Pickle;
Buster Merchant;
Danny Basavich;
Jamie Ferrall;
John D. Hager;
John Macias; and
Jonathan Hennessee.

Gentlemen my hat is off to you. Ya'll made me proud!
Prof. R H Gilmer