Ok, so many of you who follow me may not know that for a very long time I was an avid pool player. That is until 9 years ago when I “got serious” and moved to NJ to start focusing on my career in the hospitality industry. I did what so many of us have done before. I gave up something I loved because I no longer had the time to dedicate to it. One of the many reasons I'm so grateful for having found home business. A few times I picked it back up briefly, when I felt circumstances permitted, only to put it back down again.
I’m excited to say, now that I've earned my time freedom, I’ve picked the game back up, and wasted no time in throwing myself into competition. Recently I made a last minute decision to fulfill a long time dream of mine and follow through on a commitment I had made to myself years ago to enter a high level open tournament. No handicaps and open to all, these tournaments are jam packed with world-class players.
For days leading into the tournament I spoke to those around me and told them that one of the top players of all time had been playing on the east coast lately, and that I had a feeling he would be there. Better yet, I wanted to play him. His name, Earl Strickland. His accomplishments are too many to fully list, but include 5 US Open nine ball championships (most ever) and back-to-back WPA World Nine Ball Championships (the only player to ever repeat in consecutive years). Earl once broke and ran out 10 consecutive 9 ball racks to win 1 Million Dollars. Here's what happened this weekend.
After winning consecutive matches, I suffered my first loss of the double elimination tournament. I sat patiently as other tournament matches played out. At about 11:30 at night, over 10 hours into tournament play, the tournament director came onto the mic. “Playing on table 1 Strickland vs. Eagan…good luck players.” Table 1 was the featured table. It had extra tight pockets and played extremely fast under the heat of the bright lights. Why bright lights? Because all matches on table 1 were being live streamed on the worlds largest pool website. As the crowd gathered along the rail to watch Earl play, I set my equipment up and claimed my chair right under the commentators’ booth.
Earl and I shook hands, flipped a coin, and the match begun. In this recorded call, I share an incredible lesson and tell you exactly what happened next. Find out by listening below.