View Full Version : The DCC - Greg Sullivan is the MAN!

jalapus logan
01-17-2014, 10:53 AM
I encourage everyone to read AZB's interview of Greg Sullivan discussing the history of the DCC. Greg gives pool fans and players much meat to chew. Here are some of my favorite parts:

AZB: How did you first come up with the idea to have a tournament?
GS: Well, the first year it was me and Ed Hagan who decided to partner up and make an event. I took it over the second year. We had been talking about doing a tournament actually for several years before Derby City ever came about. Eddie was the one who found the location for the event, the Executive West Hotel. Eddie did practically everything that first year, though my ideas were in there like the buy-back format. But as it turned out we lost quite a bit of money the first year, about $52,000, and we knew we had to make some changes.

JL's note on the above comment: think about these losses the next time you feel critical of events and compelled to complain about entry fees, hotel room costs, food costs etc. ad nauseum...

Did you ever go to the Lexington All-Stars tournament?
AZB: Sure.
GS: Well, that was the first event I ever took my tables to, in 1987. But before that I would play in the tournament. Now, there were a lot of good players around then in Louisville. But I would be the only one to make the little drive down to Lexington to play. It was just that way. The mentality was “you don’t want to be a sucker.” I thought it was great, I would be up there playing Earl Strickland and my buddies would be laughing at me wondering what in the hell I was doing playing Earl. They knew I had no chance so they felt I was being suckered.

But that never made any sense to me. Playing the greats is a way to measure yourself, a way to improve. I think everybody should play. So I decided that when I set up a tournament I would do it so that you were a sucker if you didn’t play. The one thing every tournament has to have is a lot of bodies. You need a lot of people to have the numbers work at all. So when I set up Derby City I set it up so that it cost you more to come to watch than it does to come to play. So you’re a sucker if you don’t come play. I wanted to turn my spectators into players.

And fan tickets are a real pain. You have to guard the door against those who try to sneak in, and people sneak in anyway. I just wanted everyone to have a player badge and come take their one shot and then they can come watch the rest of the week if they don’t want to continue playing. So I lose the big gate money but I get folks to be a real part of the event and to me that is more important.

JL's note: Seriously, if this can't get you out there playing in events, not much will! Great thinking by one of the best players in the business...

GS: And I think the DCC has done the pool world a favor by exposing folks to Bank Pool. Efren will tell you he couldn’t bank a lick until he started coming to Derby and had to learn those shots.

JL's note: I'm from KY, gotta promote banks!!!

Derby was never set up to be a strictly professional event. It was set up to give folks a reason to participate by playing. Think about it. I put the professionals in a pretty bad situation, really. I put them in a short race to three where they can’t protect themselves against lesser players. But I also set the added money up where it would be there no matter how many players sign up. No reductions. I always figured that if no one showed up then I would win it cause I would be the only one playing.

So I set this up so that weaker players would be encouraged to take a shot. Don’t be embarrassed, in fact be embarrassed if you don’t take a shot! The main thing for me with Derby City is I want everyone to leave with a story. How they rubbed shoulders with the champs, how they had so much fun, whatever. Everyone leaves with a tale. Even if it is “I made one ball against Efren” that’s a good story for someone. I feel it’s an honor to be able to step up and play those guys and some folks have actually beaten them because it’s a short race.

JL's note: starting to get the itch to play yet???

AZB: I have to take you back. After the first year and you counted up and found you had lost over $52,000 how on earth did you step up and do it again?
GS: Well, the second year we did better. I got more intimately involved and put a lot more work into it and that year we only lost $32,000 and then the third year we brought it down to a loss of only $18,000.

AZB: So after the first three years you were over $100,000 in the hole and yet you continued?
GS: Yeah, well the trend was moving in our direction.

JL's note: gotta love that optimism!

My final take: Greg Sullivan is one of the few folks out there making positive things happen in pooldom. Go play or go check out the event if you can.

And yes, I am a hippocrite. I can not play in the DCC this year. Two jobs + a third in the summer + a wife who is having surgery next week + other pursuits = not enough time off to devote myself to playing. But I will surely try to be there for even a day if I can swing it. The DCC is the only event of its kind that I know of. It is a worthy spectacle of pool, so bring a cue...

jalapus logan
01-17-2014, 10:54 AM
Oh yeah, here's the article in full: