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04-19-2013, 05:52 AM

I like that stories. And want more

Thank you CJ for sharing them.

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Glad you liked it, here's some more from that same article by Michael Geffner.
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CJ Wiley
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Arrow Glad you liked it, here's some more from that same article by Michael Geffner. - 04-19-2013, 06:22 AM

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Originally Posted by AlexandruM View Post
I like that stories. And want more

Thank you CJ for sharing them.

Glad you liked it, here's some more from that same article by Michael Geffner.



Now semi retired and detached from his hustling days, Wiley lives in the Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas. Almost from the moment he turned pro, he has been the highest-ranked pool player in Texas as well as one of the ten best players in the world. He’ll demonstrate that on January 31, when—in an extremely rare live telecast of pool—ESPN will air the finals of its Ultimate 9-Ball challenge, the sport’s biggest annual nine ball event; he hopes to win the three-way competition for the second straight year, outgunning fellow hotshots Roger Griffis and Johnny Archer. “The funny thing is, I've never really considered myself a pool player,” he quietly confides to me as he sits in a hotel lounge during a weekend trip to New York. “It has always been just a game I played. I played it mostly as a way to make money and to express myself. But lately I've come to the conclusion that I don’t exactly know yet, but I definitely feel like I’m being driven by a higher power.”

It is a Saturday afternoon, and Wiley, who usually dresses in Italian designer suits and custom-made shirts initialed at the cuffs, is wearing faded jeans, a pale green polo shirt, a gold chain, and a gold diamond studded watch with a luminous turquoise face. A lean six-footer, he has dirty-blond hair and pale blue-green eyes that, without warning, can suddenly go cold and stare right through you.”I eventually want to be considered the best player in my era,” he says, speaking in a low, sharp voice with a trace of a Texas twang. “Because if I’m the best player in my era, then I’m the best player ever. The players are just better now.”

Wiley has what other pool players refer to as in the Big Games. He has an opening break in nine ball powerful enough to sink six balls and a shot making ability{using TOI} so stunning that even the longest shots seem like tap-ins. He’s also part of an elite few who can string together bunches of racks without missing (in nine ball, where the lowest-numbered ball on the table must be struck first before pocketing a ball, he has put together nine racks in a row on a regulation table and a staggering twelve on a bar table). But if Willie Mosconi was the Fred Astaire of pocket billiards, then Wiley is the Gene Kelly—not so much about finesse and seamless grace as muscle and macho fearlessness. Holding his stick more firmly than the rest, making his veiny forearms bulge, he simply rams balls into pockets. “CJ rarely thinks about playing it safe or carefully maneuvering his way around the table,” observes Allen Hopkins, a 46-year-old New Jersey pro who has been one of the best all-around players of the past quarter century. “He just attacks the rack.”

ESPN’s corny sportscasters have tagged Wiley “the fast gun of Texas,” but not without reason. In the time it takes others to run a rack, he can run three. A nine ball rack, for instance, often takes him less than a minute. “Think long, think wrong” is his motto. “The conscious mind can really be destructive when you’re playing,” he says. “If I slow down, I tend to start double-thinking and make bad decisions.” He moves around the table so quickly it seems like he’s not thinking at all. For each shot he uses a Touch of Inside, and takes no more than three practice strokes. “It can be demoralizing to a weaker player,” says California pro George “the Flamethrower” Breedlove. “He starts running out from everywhere and nowhere, one tough shot after the other and before you ever get to blink, he’s already up five games on you.”

Certainly Wiley doesn't fit any of the standard pool stereotypes. He has a practitioner’s degree in the self-help technique of neuro-linguistic programming; is a second-degree black belt instructor in Ji Mu Do, a combination of eight martial arts; swallows a daily cocktail of herbs, such as Saint-John’s-wort and ginseng, and a special “cleansing “oolong tea that he buys from a Korean herbalist in Dallas; under-goes sessions of acupuncture; and studies Zen. He often talks of “becoming the game” and breathing deeply to “lower my brain waves” and letting my unconscious mind take over.” He says he has reached the point where he can put himself into a heightened trance like state almost at will, that he all but blacks out and is able to play for hours yet not remember a single shot afterwards—as in 1997’s Texas State Championship in Austin, where he began by winning 24 consecutive games on the way to defending his title.

Named after Kit Carson, Wiley was born October 18, 1964, in Green City, Missouri, a poor cattle town 125 miles from Kansas City with five churches, no stop-lights, and a population of about 650. The youngest of three children born to Jim and June Wiley, a lumberyard owner and a city clerk, respectively, CJ started playing pool at age seven—first on a miniature table, then a small, smoky pool room owned by a close family friend. Before long, he played every day after school and all day on Saturdays, and by the time he was eleven he was already the best in the area. “There were days when I didn't lose a single game,” he says. At thirteen he could run all fifteen balls in numerical order and, as a challenge, began playing for small amounts of money, anywhere from a dime to $5 a game. Soon after, unable to find a willing opponent in Green City, he ventured out to nearby Kirksville and then to Columbia, where he’d play for $20 to $50 a game. “I especially enjoyed beating people much older than me,” remembers Wiley. “I think it had something to do with getting respect from them. Maybe because my father, who was an alcoholic, was never really around for me.”

In 1982 Wiley placed second in the Missouri state Championship and won the National High School Championship in Chicago. But it was a year later, during Christmas break in his senior year of high school, that he embarked on a three-week adventure that would change his life: his first road trip to hustle pool. Traveling with a pair of seasoned road players who he says “could sell anybody anything,” he hit Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas, and Ponca City, Oklahoma; the trip was such a rip-roaring success that there was no turning back for him. “I learned that there was a life in this,” he says. From age 18 to 25 he worked the road full-time, living out of a motel, a hotel, or a motor home. (In 1987, so he would have a base, he rented an apartment in the Dallas suburb of Carrollton. Why Dallas? It was pretty, equidistant from the coats, bubbled with high-stakes pool, and has “the most gorgeous women I’d ever seen.”)

Like all roads players, Wiley planned his days as if he were on a cross-country vacation—only instead of selling his sights on, say, the Grand Canyon, he sought hotbeds of pool activity, or spots. In fact, he always carried a little black spot book, in which he had scribbled information extracted from an underground network of other hustlers: It had the names of players he should play, where they played, how well they played (their “speed”), and their betting patterns. “I really enjoyed the freedom of it all, of waking up whenever I wanted, of going wherever I wanted, and controlling my own destiny,” he says.

Which isn't to say the road wasn't difficult. Wiley says he has been robbed twice at gunpoint—once around the corner from a pool room in Minneapolis, the other at a bootleg liquor joint with a black-room pool table Albemarle, North Carolina—after he won a ton of money. He was punched in Texarkana and served drinks spiked with drugs, he believes, in Queen City and Memphis. Still, he was predatory and merciless. He says he could sense another player’s weakness without even talking to him and got his kicks by crushing opponents to the point of causing their knees to buckle. “I especially loved seeing fear in my opponent’s eyes,” he says, adding that he has not a hint of a guilty conscience about any of his hundreds of conquest: “Listen, all the guys I beat wanted my money just as badly as I wanted theirs. It’s not my fault I was the better player. And besides, a lot of the guys I beat weren’t very nice. I just carried out their karma. God works in mysterious ways.”


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04-19-2013, 07:01 AM

...And besides, a lot of the guys I beat weren’t very nice. I just carried out their karma. God works in mysterious ways.

Ain't that the truth. God bless, CJ, good luck to you, thanks for the stories.
  
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04-19-2013, 07:05 AM

great stories cj
  
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04-19-2013, 07:33 AM

Thanks for sharing CJ, excellent!
  
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speaking of installments, here's the last one of the Michael Geffner article:
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CJ Wiley
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Arrow speaking of installments, here's the last one of the Michael Geffner article: - 04-19-2013, 07:33 AM

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Originally Posted by SloMoHolic View Post
Ask and you shall receive!

CJ, my hat's off to you. Great story from a great guy. I look forward to the next installment.

Thanks for all that you do.
Thanks, I'm glad you like the stories, speaking of installments, here's the last one of the Michael Geffner article:


It was a life, too, of pure and wildly creative subterfuge. He had his aliases: Besides Mike from Indiana, there was Chris from Missouri and Butch from Tennessee. He had his fake I.D.’s and phony glasses (“Anybody will play someone with glasses,” he says) and at various times posed as a college student, a computer salesman, and a drug dealer. And he had a way to make money, which was to move around a lot, working states from the outside in (that is, playing in the smaller towns first, then the bigger cities), and staying unknown as much as possible. That meant he couldn’t enter any high-profile tournaments or—God forbid—betray his brethren by turning pro. Only once during those years did Wiley take a shot as a major organized event: the 1986 World Series of Tavern Pool in Las Vegas. He was 21 at the time, and when it was over, he had beaten out a whopping 756 players to win to win first prize: a piddling $7,500, which he had to split with his backers. On a good night of gambling, he knew, he could make nearly three times as much. I convinced him that hustling was still the way to go.

He continued to believe that for five more years, but he ultimately decided there were no challenges left on the road. With some trepidation he finally went straight and joined the now defunct Men’s Professional Billiard Association. “I really didn’t know if I could compete with the best players in the world,” he couldn’t crush mentally.” Of course, in his first pro tournament, the Dufferin Nine-Ball Classic in Toronto, he beat four world-class players in a single day: Earl “the pearl” Strickland, Efren “the Magician” Reyes, Jim “King James” Rempe, and “Spanish Mike” Lebron. Overall, he finished in fourth place, earned $3,500, and afterward veteran Cecil “Buddy” Hall gushingly labeled him “the best unknown player in the world.” Says Wiley with a grin: “I played my game and it held up. I went in half-cocked and I came out full cocked.”

That first year, he managed to crack the top ten in the national rankings. He moved to seventh in 1992, fifth in 1994, and fourth in 1995. Then in December 1995, unhappy with the politics of the men’s pro pool tour, he abruptly quit and a month later started a new one, the professional CueSports Association (PCA). That year he captured first place—and a purse of $88,500, a U.S. record—in the ESPN World Open Billiards Championship; he also won the first-ever PCA tour stop, the Dallas Million-Dollar Challenge, and was eventually named player of the year by Pool and Billiard magazine.

Clearly he’s got something—but what? I wanted to see it for myself. So at eleven o’clock on a Monday night, the two of us walked over to a pool room on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a place a little smaller than CJ’s Billiard Palace, a room Wiley owns back home near White Rock Lake. Decked out in a dark pin-striped suit, he began by casually shooting on a table that was dimly lit, though he didn’t come close to missing a ball. When it was time to share his secret, he set up a long, sharp cut shot on the six ball. “Now watch. I’m going to shoot this shot with a touch of inside,” he said, bending down in a square, powerful-looking crouch. I watched. He popped his heavy thud of a stroke, and the ball split the right corner pocket.

I didn’t really get it; Wiley knew instantly. “Don’t you see?” he asked with some frustration. “With two round objects, it sets up an optical illusion. You can’t aim for a spot on a round object and hit it with another round object. It’s an impossibility. So what I do is look at the two balls as straight lines that bisect.” The explanation only made my head spin faster.

Wiley set up another shot, putting the eight ball on the head spot and the cue ball near the back rail. The balls were about six feet apart—to my mind, a much more difficult shot thank the first one. Yet, surprisingly, he said, “Same shot, with a touch of inside.” And again he knocked it down as if the ball had been magnetically pulled to the center of the pocket.

He sighed dismissively and waved a limp arm in my direction. “Man, this game’s so easy it’s not even funny—once you figure it out,” he said with a sniff. Then, looking straight into my unfocused eyes, he delivered his knew-buckling punch line. “At least it is for me.”


TO BOOK PRIVATE LESSONS EMAIL ME AT thegameistheteacher@gmail.com - For Blogs, Free Video Clips, Instructional Tips and Techniques Check Out www.cjwiley.com

Last edited by CJ Wiley; 04-19-2013 at 07:40 AM.
  
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04-19-2013, 11:04 AM

I always love reading the road stories, people like CJ have a way with words being so descriptive you can actually picture it.


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04-19-2013, 02:15 PM

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Originally Posted by CJ Wiley View Post
Thanks, I'm glad you like the stories, speaking of installments, here's the last one of the Michael Geffner article:


It was a life, too, of pure and wildly creative subterfuge. He had his aliases: Besides Mike from Indiana, there was Chris from Missouri and Butch from Tennessee. He had his fake I.D.’s and phony glasses (“Anybody will play someone with glasses,” he says) and at various times posed as a college student, a computer salesman, and a drug dealer. And he had a way to make money, which was to move around a lot, working states from the outside in (that is, playing in the smaller towns first, then the bigger cities), and staying unknown as much as possible. That meant he couldn’t enter any high-profile tournaments or—God forbid—betray his brethren by turning pro. Only once during those years did Wiley take a shot as a major organized event: the 1986 World Series of Tavern Pool in Las Vegas. He was 21 at the time, and when it was over, he had beaten out a whopping 756 players to win to win first prize: a piddling $7,500, which he had to split with his backers. On a good night of gambling, he knew, he could make nearly three times as much. I convinced him that hustling was still the way to go.

He continued to believe that for five more years, but he ultimately decided there were no challenges left on the road. With some trepidation he finally went straight and joined the now defunct Men’s Professional Billiard Association. “I really didn’t know if I could compete with the best players in the world,” he couldn’t crush mentally.” Of course, in his first pro tournament, the Dufferin Nine-Ball Classic in Toronto, he beat four world-class players in a single day: Earl “the pearl” Strickland, Efren “the Magician” Reyes, Jim “King James” Rempe, and “Spanish Mike” Lebron. Overall, he finished in fourth place, earned $3,500, and afterward veteran Cecil “Buddy” Hall gushingly labeled him “the best unknown player in the world.” Says Wiley with a grin: “I played my game and it held up. I went in half-cocked and I came out full cocked.”

That first year, he managed to crack the top ten in the national rankings. He moved to seventh in 1992, fifth in 1994, and fourth in 1995. Then in December 1995, unhappy with the politics of the men’s pro pool tour, he abruptly quit and a month later started a new one, the professional CueSports Association (PCA). That year he captured first place—and a purse of $88,500, a U.S. record—in the ESPN World Open Billiards Championship; he also won the first-ever PCA tour stop, the Dallas Million-Dollar Challenge, and was eventually named player of the year by Pool and Billiard magazine.

Clearly he’s got something—but what? I wanted to see it for myself. So at eleven o’clock on a Monday night, the two of us walked over to a pool room on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a place a little smaller than CJ’s Billiard Palace, a room Wiley owns back home near White Rock Lake. Decked out in a dark pin-striped suit, he began by casually shooting on a table that was dimly lit, though he didn’t come close to missing a ball. When it was time to share his secret, he set up a long, sharp cut shot on the six ball. “Now watch. I’m going to shoot this shot with a touch of inside,” he said, bending down in a square, powerful-looking crouch. I watched. He popped his heavy thud of a stroke, and the ball split the right corner pocket.

I didn’t really get it; Wiley knew instantly. “Don’t you see?” he asked with some frustration. “With two round objects, it sets up an optical illusion. You can’t aim for a spot on a round object and hit it with another round object. It’s an impossibility. So what I do is look at the two balls as straight lines that bisect.” The explanation only made my head spin faster.

Wiley set up another shot, putting the eight ball on the head spot and the cue ball near the back rail. The balls were about six feet apart—to my mind, a much more difficult shot thank the first one. Yet, surprisingly, he said, “Same shot, with a touch of inside.” And again he knocked it down as if the ball had been magnetically pulled to the center of the pocket.

He sighed dismissively and waved a limp arm in my direction. “Man, this game’s so easy it’s not even funny—once you figure it out,” he said with a sniff. Then, looking straight into my unfocused eyes, he delivered his knew-buckling punch line. “At least it is for me.”
i remember the texas Open about 3 years ago. CJ was a bit removed and rusty, but played some fine matches.
Against David G he had a shot with the cue ball on the end rail and the ball about 6 inches away from the pocket and barely past the pocket. Well, he jacked up and slice a coat of paint off the ball and it split the pocket.
his reaction is what got to me. he smiled his usual smile and said," I ca't believe I made that, this is so much easier than people pretend"!
I am not sure how many saw that, but I stared and thought. "Bullshit, easy for you maybe"!
There are those who are naturals and those who struggle their entire lives with this game. Sometimes neither make sense to me.
I love these stories though. The making of a good book!
lewis
  
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Great Road Stories!
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Great Road Stories! - 04-19-2013, 02:52 PM

CJ,
those were just the greatest road stories ever!, I love the way you write, I felt like I was on the rail watching them all!


David Harcrow


"Playing pool is like riding a bicycle"...Jack Hynes


"Oops, sorry I won, And for the record I'm never in a bad game!" ...Brandon Shuff

"That guy won't bet fat meats greasy or waters wet!"...Country Calvin

(Quote from the Legend himself:"Greatest Hustler that has ever lived".....Raggs

"If I could cut a 9-Ball as thin as this bacon on my plate, I would be World Champion!"...U.J.Puckett)

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When it comes to the mental side of pool there's a lot we can learn from artists
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CJ Wiley
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When it comes to the mental side of pool there's a lot we can learn from artists - 04-19-2013, 02:57 PM

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Originally Posted by ironman View Post
i remember the texas Open about 3 years ago. CJ was a bit removed and rusty, but played some fine matches.
Against David G he had a shot with the cue ball on the end rail and the ball about 6 inches away from the pocket and barely past the pocket. Well, he jacked up and slice a coat of paint off the ball and it split the pocket.
his reaction is what got to me. he smiled his usual smile and said," I ca't believe I made that, this is so much easier than people pretend"!
I am not sure how many saw that, but I stared and thought. "Bullshit, easy for you maybe"!
There are those who are naturals and those who struggle their entire lives with this game. Sometimes neither make sense to me.
I love these stories though. The making of a good book!
lewis
Yes, I think we all tend to pretend we have the most difficult job in the world. I have spent countless hours in the bar business managing and talking to service staff and they really do have a difficult job.

Those that have never been in the service industry may not "real eyes" how difficult it is to be a bartender or a server, between time management, remembering orders, handling customers, organizing service strategies, and up-selling products it's a challenging "juggling act" at times.

I've seen bartenders and servers that handle all of these things like it's a "way of expressing themselves and bring enjoyment to others," and I've seen others agonize over ever aspect of "the job".

Learning and playing pool has all the same elements, and at the end of the day, it's simply how we choose to think about it. Pool to me is a way of self expression much like art, or music, an "art form" is how I perceive it.

I've never seen an artist get mad at the paint brush or a musician get upset at the piano, after all they are just instruments. When it comes to the mental side of pool there's a lot we can learn from artists and musicians, after all, at some level that's what we all are doing, expressing ourselves through our performance.

'The Game is the Expression'


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04-19-2013, 03:32 PM

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Originally Posted by CJ Wiley View Post
Sure, I was on the road for 7 straight years so I have quite a few stories from playing several hundred gambling games with various players. I'll start out with one that involves a peculiar Pool Stick....one like few have ever played with, especially for $50. a game.

I was in Detroit and was struggling, I only had $500. so it was important to get "pumped up" as quick as possible. I was steered to a small bar that the owner played at and was also told he would lose a lot if someone would play with "The Stick".

I walked into the dimly lit bar, taking in the smell of cigarettes, and stale beer as I quickly cased the joint. The bar was on the left side, just past the one bar table, the bar was small with four men sitting around it drinking their favorite "poison". I was dressed to fit in with a camouflage vest, Wolverine boots, a Skoal can visible in my back pocket and a hat that had two pigs "gettin it on" labelled "Makin Bacon".

I went up to that bar and ordered a Bud and made some small talk with one of the regulars. He was dressed much like I was, and after they heard me talk they relaxed knowing I was nothin but a country bumkin kid.

Looking at the pool table I said "I'm a really good pool shot," partly to myself, but loud enough that the four barflies could hear me.

"How good do you shoot, boy, good enough to shoot for a beer?"

I responded "a beer....sh*t I play a whole lot better than that, there's nobody around here that can beat me". This got there attention and they all looked at me closer, a little bit more intently, trying to figure me out.

"The owner'll play ya if ya use "The Stick", ain't nobody ever beat him with 'The Stick".......the other four men laughed an eerie laugh at the same time...."yeah, get the Stick, get the Stick" they all chimed in together.

The Bartender reached up above the bar and pulled down a one piece house cue, only this cue didn't have a tip OR a ferrule, just jagged wood where the tip would normally be. The bartender handed it to me and I pretended to study it intently.

Just then the owner walked in the bar and walked toward us. "this boy wants to play ya with "The Stick"....he thinks he's a pool shooter."

"Wait a minute, I didn't say anything about using this thing, it doesn't even have a tip, how can I even hit the dang cue ball right, hell there's no way to play pool with this piece of crap?"

The owner looked at me, sized me up from head to tow, pausing to chuckle to himself at my two pigs "makin love" on my hat, then said, "I'll spot ya the 6 ball if you use that thing and play ya for $50. a game if you wanna gamble."

I said slowly and thoughtfully "you mean if I make the 6 or the 9 I win and you only win if you make the 9 ball....but I gotta use this crazy stick?"

Yep.....and we can play all night long. I nodded my head "you gotta game, I gotta try just to see what happens."

We started playing and each time I broke the balls pieces of "The Stick" flew on the table and sometimes across the room. I knew I could win at this game, but it suddenly dawned on my I might "run out of stick" before I could "bust" the guy. I must have taken 3 inches off the stick in the next 4 hours, but I played really good with that primitive "stick" and beat the owner 20 games ahead, by grinding the "stick" on the floor between shots and chalking it like a regular cue, before long it was fairly smooth and besides whittling it down it actually played ok......considering.

The owner paid me off with 20 brand new fifty dollar bills and I was on my way, now I had $1500. and I was heading to THE RACK....the big action pool room in Detroit. There a guy could get rich playing pool, there were guys winning and losing millions. I was ready to fire my "match" at their wood pile. I had already overcome "The Stick," what could they have in store for me at THE RACK? Surely nothing a country boy with a "Makin Bacon" hat couldn't deal with.

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Mr. CJ,
I saw a Cowboy movie the other night, with Audie Murphy in it. They were shooting pool in town and the cues were like tree limbs crooked as could be and they had no tip or anything on them. The table had wood pockets. I enjoyed the movie.
But I enjoyed your story above better. Great story. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Many Regards,
Lock N Load.
  
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04-19-2013, 05:32 PM

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Originally Posted by CJ Wiley View Post
Yes, I think we all tend to pretend we have the most difficult job in the world. I have spent countless hours in the bar business managing and talking to service staff and they really do have a difficult job.

Those that have never been in the service industry may not "real eyes" how difficult it is to be a bartender or a server, between time management, remembering orders, handling customers, organizing service strategies, and up-selling products it's a challenging "juggling act" at times.

I've seen bartenders and servers that handle all of these things like it's a "way of expressing themselves and bring enjoyment to others," and I've seen others agonize over ever aspect of "the job".

Learning and playing pool has all the same elements, and at the end of the day, it's simply how we choose to think about it. Pool to me is a way of self expression much like art, or music, an "art form" is how I perceive it.

I've never seen an artist get mad at the paint brush or a musician get upset at the piano, after all they are just instruments. When it comes to the mental side of pool there's a lot we can learn from artists and musicians, after all, at some level that's what we all are doing, expressing ourselves through our performance.

'The Game is the Expression'
Good stuff here, CJ.

Best,
Mike
  
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04-19-2013, 06:58 PM

Good stuff, CJ. Thanks for sharing your stories.

This thread has epic potential!
  
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I'll always remember that lesson Omaha John Shuput taught me in the little bar
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Thumbs up I'll always remember that lesson Omaha John Shuput taught me in the little bar - 04-19-2013, 08:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lock N Load View Post
Mr. CJ,
I saw a Cowboy movie the other night, with Audie Murphy in it. They were shooting pool in town and the cues were like tree limbs crooked as could be and they had no tip or anything on them. The table had wood pockets. I enjoyed the movie.
But I enjoyed your story above better. Great story. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Many Regards,
Lock N Load.
The "Dynamic Duo" of road players were the ones they called "Omaha John," and "Surfer Rod". They mostly hustled bars and Rod was the 8 Ball player with a thousand and one propositions and John was the player that might go three days without making a mistake on "the bar rag". Rod could play run out 8 Ball with a mop handle and would carve the "tip" and chalk it like a regular playing cue. He was quite a hustler and could also do more one handed push ups on his head than most people could do with two hands.

Omaha John took me under his wing when I was 18 and we traveled together quite a bit and won tons of money. John also taught me something about "heart" in a small bar in South Carolina. Here's the story:

I remember when I was 19, "Omaha John" and I were touring around the Carolina's and ended up in a small bar in South Carolina. The owner of the bar was a BIG gambler and would take the 5 and the break from anyone playing on the bar table with the Big Cue Ball.

I had been going through a time when I was "breaking even" with everyone. Usually I would get ahead, then start "letting up," they would come back, "get even" and quit. This was getting annoying and I was beginning to question if I had any "heart," or not.

This was a big thing in the gambling days, if you have the heart to close someone out. To put them away. And it was happening again, I had got up over 2k for $200. a game and now we raised it to $300. a game and the guy beat me 7 IN A ROW and we were just $100. winner.

Omaha John came up to me and said "if you're ever going to be a "road player" you better do it now. I'm not out here "for my health," I have a wife and kid at home and I have to win, breaking even is for "suckers!"

I knew he was serious, so I stopped playing and went to the bathroom. I knew it was "now or never," and I looked in the mirror. Straight into my own eyes and ask "do you really want to be a pool player, do you really have what it takes?" I hesitated slightly, waiting for the answer to come. Not the answer "I wanted to hear," I HAD to know the truth....I needed to know and my life would change from that moment.

I finally knew in my "heart of hearts" that I was ready. Ready to not be a sucker and be "stuck" at my current level, struggling to break even and making up excuses. I was ready to become a winner and break out of that "victim level" and do whatever it takes to learn the Truth about pool and what it takes to be the best. I made that decision right then because I had to. And it's a decison that continues because life's much more about the "journey," than the "destination." Life is the best teacher.

Often times we are held back because we don't have to win, we don't have to get better. I didn't have the luxery that day and I thank Omaha John for putting me in a situation where I had to be honest with myself. No one else matters when you're trying to get to the "next level,"{in life} it's all about ourselves.... it's about looking ourselves in the mirror.

I went back out there and was like an entirely different person. John had been telling me to stop spinning my ball and playing low percentage shots....so I did. Others had made comments about my game that I had ignored because of my ego, so I incorporated those suggestions too.

From that point I beat the guy out of over 8K and he looked like he had been run over by a truck. I didn't care what it took I shot the right shot, in the right way and forgot forever my childish reasons for not playing the Game correctly. To be a Champion at anything we all must keep doing "the next right thing," to get results, not just do "what feels comfortable."

The main thing was I had BROKEN the chains of mediocrity and become a player. From that moment on I had a "6th Sense" about pool and knew what I HAD to practice to improve and what I needed to ignore.

I believe we all have this ability inside us, however, we can't channel it while trying to "make excuses," of why we "can't get better," it's about the decision to either commit to improving OR take a few days off and quitting entirely.

No matter what business I'm in or what game I'm playing I'll always remember that lesson Omaha John Shuput taught me in the little bar in South Carolina...that gave me "eyes" that could look myself in that mirror and "do the right thing." 'The Game is the Teacher'


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04-19-2013, 11:45 PM

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Originally Posted by CJ Wiley View Post
... Wiley has ... a shot making ability{using TOI} so stunning that even the longest shots seem like tap-ins. ...
Hey, are you editing what Geffner wrote?
  
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