Billy Thorpe gone wild!

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
How about you act better and you make more money? Seems reasonable.

There are two sides to pool - the side we all know (that clearly doesn't work on the big screen) and the side the general public may or may not watch. I honestly don't know or care which side is the "better" side, all I'm saying is this - the man was invited to play pool on the world stage for a production company that is doing good things for pool - why in the hell would they put any money towards him if he doesn't see the big picture? I'm not bashing Billy for his actions as a pool player, he will always be a pool player, but if he wants to play with the professionals then he better act like one. How many sports stars are booted from their contracts for things WAY less aggressive then this? If he doesn't want to be on that stage and wants to act like he did then great, I could care less and will watch every argument he ever has because no-harm and no-foul, but I wouldn't watch the MC if it was a bunch of guys acting like that.
So you're saying they could be millionaires like football players? :)

32DB2463-15A3-4882-A851-90012A2AE9B9.jpeg
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Being a nice person doesn’t mean you’re a smart person. From my perspective on things Jay is not an innocent person in this. No, he’s not the problem either. Do I need to start writing essay’s to fully explain or are people willing to do their own research? If Jay claims Earl behaves himself only when Jay is babysitting him, then that is still a problem. If Billy has an alcohol related meltdown with someone who has been known to have attitude problems of his own, I don’t blame Billy. I blame the people who have allowed Rob to develop that attitude in the first place.

Now we can sit here and bash each other, bash Billy/Rob. At the end of the day the stress players are under to make money because sponsors aren’t there for pro pool is the issue. And the reason sponsors aren’t there is because the failure of past TD’s to contain players attitude. Imagine playing for $5000 for 16th place routinely, rather than just first place. $200/rack gambling at that point is dead.


I wasn't going to honor you with a response until now. I may not be the smartest guy in the room because that is certainly you. But in my role as TD I felt responsible for the conduct of the event, including the behavior of the players. How I handled each situation was wholly dependent on what I thought would work best at the moment. All in all I'm satisfied with the job I did in running over 200 pool tournaments. Not perfect by any means but they all went off for the most part without a hitch from start to finish. I preferred that people didn't see what went on behind the scenes to make it look like the event ran smooth as silk, because they never did, and I always had to put out a few fires along the way. Earl Strickland was probably the single most difficult player I had to deal with over a period of more than three decades. Not the only one, but most certainly the most flagrant offender of whatever code of conduct was in place. Every time he played a match I kept a close watch over him. I had to! And he knew I was watching him too. He also knew when I wasn't there and he could get away with a lot of stuff that wouldn't fly with me.

In this particular situation, the match with Landon, Earl had gone on record that he was going to demolish this kid and put him in his place. The match was played on the BigFoot table in a location near the tournament desk, but we had other matches going on at the same time that somewhat blocked my view. There was a large crowd around the table to watch this match, further blocking me from seeing what was going on. Early in the match, after only two or three games, Landon's father Stan came to me and said Earl was talking to Landon while he was at the table shooting. I told him I would put a stop to that and waited for the next game to begin, and quietly moved closer to the table. Sure enough, when Landon got to the table Earl started talking shit about him and how he was playing. I stepped in and stopped the match. That's when I laid down the law to Earl, "If you want to talk while you're at the table, okay. But when Landon is at the table I don't want to hear your voice." Earl of course objected, saying he wasn't bothering Landon (which may be true. The kid was solid!). Knowing that I would have to come back to the table again and again I decided to pull up a chair and watch the match from there. I could see the other tables as well from that position.

Earl got the message! He started to talk a couple of times and then he looked at me and shut up. He knew I would penalize him games on the wire, which I had done before. Landon went on to put the worst beating on Earl I had ever seen. He made him eat his words! Stan Shuffett thanked me afterward for what I had done. He knew there would have been more problems without me there watching.

Maybe you would have handled this differently, but Earl was a special case. The fans wanted to see him play, so I always preferred not to forfeit him like I had done once before at the U.S. Open, when he used profanity over and over again, including directing it at me. I wanted this match to happen because I knew how much interest there was in seeing these two go at it. Call it what you want, but I call it making the event happen and giving the fans what they paid for. I prefer to stop a train wreck before it takes place. Kapeche
 

Hits 'em Hard

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
At least you're consistent in calling people stupid. I'd suggest getting back on that short bus and licking some windows
There’s a difference between calling someone stupid, and not stupid. There’s a difference between calling someone smart, or calling them not smart.
I wasn't going to honor you with a response until now. I may not be the smartest guy in the room because that is certainly you. But in my role as TD I felt responsible for the conduct of the event, including the behavior of the players. How I handled each situation was wholly dependent on what I thought would work best at the moment. All in all I'm satisfied with the job I did in running over 200 pool tournaments. Not perfect by any means but they all went off for the most part without a hitch from start to finish. I preferred that people didn't see what went on behind the scenes to make it look like the event ran smooth as silk, because they never did, and I always had to put out a few fires along the way. Earl Strickland was probably the single most difficult player I had to deal with over a period of more than three decades. Not the only one, but most certainly the most flagrant offender of whatever code of conduct was in place. Every time he played a match I kept a close watch over him. I had to! And he knew I was watching him too. He also knew when I wasn't there and he could get away with a lot of stuff that wouldn't fly with me.

In this particular situation, the match with Landon, Earl had gone on record that he was going to demolish this kid and put him in his place. The match was played on the BigFoot table in a location near the tournament desk, but we had other matches going on at the same time that somewhat blocked my view. There was a large crowd around the table to watch this match, further blocking me from seeing what was going on. Early in the match, after only two or three games, Landon's father Stan came to me and said Earl was talking to Landon while he was at the table shooting. I told him I would put a stop to that and waited for the next game to begin, and quietly moved closer to the table. Sure enough, when Landon got to the table Earl started talking shit about him and how he was playing. I stepped in and stopped the match. That's when I laid down the law to Earl, "If you want to talk while you're at the table, okay. But when Landon is at the table I don't want to hear your voice." Earl of course objected, saying he wasn't bothering Landon (which may be true. The kid was solid!). Knowing that I would have to come back to the table again and again I decided to pull up a chair and watch the match from there. I could see the other tables as well from that position.

Earl got the message! He started to talk a couple of times and then he looked at me and shut up. He knew I would penalize him games on the wire, which I had done before. Landon went on to put the worst beating on Earl I had ever seen. He made him eat his words! Stan Shuffett thanked me afterward for what I had done. He knew there would have been more problems without me there watching.

Maybe you would have handled this differently, but Earl was a special case. The fans wanted to see him play, so I always preferred not to forfeit him like I had done once before at the U.S. Open, when he used profanity over and over again, including directing it at me. I wanted this match to happen because I knew how much interest there was in seeing these two go at it. Call it what you want, but I call it making the event happen and giving the fans what they paid for. I prefer to stop a train wreck before it takes place. Kapeche

That’s not what I have the issue with. You were the only one doing it. So when you have to watch a guy because the other 20 TD’s who failed at their job to allow Earl to develop that behavior, that is the issue. Not because you watched him, but because no one else did. You turned into a babysitter and not a TD because of the failures of others. And you shouldn’t have needed to take that role. If you held your role of TD so highly, why didn’t you pressure the others to do the same?
 
Last edited:

Jimmorrison

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There’s a difference between calling someone stupid, and not stupid. There’s a difference between calling someone smart, or calling their a


That’s not what I have the issue with. You were the only one doing it. So when you have to watch a guy because the other 20 TD’s who failed at their job to allow Earl to develop that behavior, that is the issue. Not because you watched him, but because no one else did. You turned into a babysitter and not a TD because of the failures of others. And you shouldn’t have needed to take that role. If you held your role of TD so highly, why didn’t you pressure the others to do the same?
Dude, put down the shovel. Soon, you won't be able to see the sky.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
There’s a difference between calling someone stupid, and not stupid. There’s a difference between calling someone smart, or calling their a


That’s not what I have the issue with. You were the only one doing it. So when you have to watch a guy because the other 20 TD’s who failed at their job to allow Earl to develop that behavior, that is the issue. Not because you watched him, but because no one else did. You turned into a babysitter and not a TD because of the failures of others. And you shouldn’t have needed to take that role. If you held your role of TD so highly, why didn’t you pressure the others to do the same?
A nice, neat world you live in...how would you have handled it?
 

Dead Money

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I seem to remember an incident where Jeremy Jones got hot at Earl, invited him to the parking lot, and threatened him with bodily harm. This is available for all to see. Seems like Matchroom was able to move on from this incident and include JJ in their plans.

Also, a professional golfer, major winner, was recently caught on camera calling his ball a f****ot when a putt slid past the hole. He lost a sponsor or two, but will be there swinging at Augusta National in a couple of months.

None of this excuses BT's actions. But this cancel culture crap has to stop. He apologized WITH THE OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN THE INCIDENT, and we have people analyzing facial expressions and opining on his sincerity. For others, the apology is not contrite enough for their tastes, or it wasn't worded as if written by a PR firm.

Yes it is a bad look for a professional. Maybe with enough hand wringing and clutching of the pearls Emily Fraser will see this thread and ban Billy from Mosconi Cup. It seems like some folks won't be happy with anything less. I don't think a young dude making a drunken mistake deserves to have his livelihood threatened, especially when he is "off the clock" so to speak. If all pro sports were held to that standard, the list would be long and distinguished of those disqualified. Just my 2 cents.

Yes..one of them Caught a touchdown pass in the super bowl yesterday!- I never thought AB would make it back on the field!--lol not.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
So leave it up to the TD of the non event he was in...? Or do you mean future TDs in events yet to happen...?

IMHO Billy has made himself slightly toxic on some level here. Someone that holds sway over the professional masses should make an example of it. Not saying ban the guy for life or anything, but do something to send a message. For example, Team Mosconi should be a representation of the best the USA has to offer. That should be more than just good results in tournanment play leading up to the event.
As they were gambling and it wasn’t a tournament, in that case the TD would essentially be the room owner/manager at the time, that shouldn’t have put up with that kind of language/behavior for that length of time. A simple warning followed by kicking one or both players out of the establishment.
 

Dead Money

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
It was taken off mainly because there was a gay player I believe. Apparently the NFL doesn't like gays 🤷‍♂️

If a show came out now they'd be pissed because at least half the players weren't gay, Trans, or Women. Really can't make this shit up
LMAO!!


I miss the TV Show "The Game". It was a show like the HBO show and it ran for a number of years.. I think it preceded the HBO show. It is a neat watch now because all of the Cameos in it. Some small time stars....some much bigger.
 

Dead Money

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
There’s a difference between calling someone stupid, and not stupid. There’s a difference between calling someone smart, or calling their a


That’s not what I have the issue with. You were the only one doing it. So when you have to watch a guy because the other 20 TD’s who failed at their job to allow Earl to develop that behavior, that is the issue. Not because you watched him, but because no one else did. You turned into a babysitter and not a TD because of the failures of others. And you shouldn’t have needed to take that role. If you held your role of TD so highly, why didn’t you pressure the others to do the same?
Come on man..this is getting ridiculous. Mr. Helfert has done plenty for the game over the years. There are underlying "issues" with Earl. Great player, legend of the game but then there is the behavior..etc. To now call out Mr. Helfert for not meddling in how other people ran their events?
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Come on man..this is getting ridiculous. Mr. Helfert has done plenty for the game over the years. There are underlying "issues" with Earl. Great player, legend of the game but then there is the behavior..etc. To now call out Mr. Helfert for not meddling in how other people ran their events?
Jay might just be the best poster on AZB, in part because he possesses the widest experience in pool of anyone. I believe he has been an event producer, a tournament director, a referee, a poolroom owner, a pool commentator, a pool author, an action player, a stake horse, a fan of the game, a very close friend of many prominent pro players, and much much more. He is also a man of limitless knowledge and integrity and he holds himself to very high standards.

It is pool's bad luck that there aren't more like Jay Helfert. On AZB, who among us has experienced pro pool to the extent that Jay has? My guess is that the answer is nobody. Jay's knowledge of pool goes back so many years that he makes me feel like a newbie --- I like that!
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
As they were gambling and it wasn’t a tournament, in that case the TD would essentially be the room owner/manager at the time, that shouldn’t have put up with that kind of language/behavior for that length of time. A simple warning followed by kicking one or both players out of the establishment.

Billy probably should have been kicked out for the weekend at a minimum, if it was a few seconds and he didn't physically go after Robb that's one thing, but that display should have had consequences unless that behavior is common and allowed in there.

I think missing the 9ball event would have sent a message to everybody planning on acting like a fool in the future.
 

Hits 'em Hard

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Come on man..this is getting ridiculous. Mr. Helfert has done plenty for the game over the years. There are underlying "issues" with Earl. Great player, legend of the game but then there is the behavior..etc. To now call out Mr. Helfert for not meddling in how other people ran their events?
From 1990 to now, how many TD’s are still around? How many sponsors have dropped from pool? Yes he could have helped more than he did.

In a perfect world this whole issue with Bill and Rob wouldn’t have been possible. They would have been sleeping. The tournament would have held their attention longer directly due to a better pay out. I directly blame Earl for the state pool is in right now. I don’t blame Jay. I blamed the TD’s that allowed Earl’s behavior to escalate. Somehow Jay decided himself that I was attacking him. I implied that he shouldn’t be Earl’s babysitter. Not the smartest move to have to babysit a player because you’re unwilling to enforce sportsmanship rules.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Billy probably should have been kicked out for the weekend at a minimum, if it was a few seconds and he didn't physically go after Robb that's one thing, but that display should have had consequences unless that behavior is common and allowed in there.

I think missing the 9ball would have sent a message to everybody planning on acting like a fool in the future.
in that little town, Billy was the biggest celebrity of the area.
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
From 1990 to now, how many TD’s are still around? How many sponsors have dropped from pool? Yes he could have helped more than he did.

In a perfect world this hole issue with Bill and Rob wouldn’t have been possible. They would have been sleeping. The tournament would have held their attention longer directly due to a better pay out. I directly blame Earl for the state pool is in right now. I don’t blame Jay. I blamed the TD’s that allowed Earl’s behavior to escalate. Somehow Jay decided himself that I was attacking him. I implied that he shouldn’t be Earl’s babysitter. Not the smartest move to have to babysit a player because you’re unwilling to enforce sportsmanship rules.
💩🪠💩🪠💩🪠🤣
 

Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
Jay might just be the best poster on AZB, in part because he possesses the widest experience in pool of anyone. I believe he has been an event producer, a tournament director, a referee, a poolroom owner, a pool commentator, a pool author, an action player, a stake horse, a fan of the game, a very close friend of many prominent pro players, and much much more. He is also a man of limitless knowledge and integrity and he holds himself to very high standards.

It is pool's bad luck that there aren't more like Jay Helfert. On AZB, who among us has experienced pro pool to the extent that Jay has? My guess is that the answer is nobody. Jay's knowledge of pool goes back so many years that he makes me feel like a newbie --- I like that!
Spot on sjm. I am fortunate to have met many of the top members on this site. Jay has made me feel like I am a friend even though we have only met a few times. If I remember correctly you introduced us. As you once told me, the movers and shakers in the game are a very small community and Jay is one of the Keystones.
 
Last edited:

jwilliams

Lapsus calami!
Silver Member
I grew up in SEMO.

I know plenty of rednecks.

You don’t have to be from a small town to be a redneck.

Redneck is a mentality.

Most rednecks of today aren’t working the fields like they were back in the day.

If he would have pulled that stunt down in the Cardwell Country Club back in my time, he probably wouldn’t have been able to walk out on his own.
I would second this. I am not a redneck...never have been. However, I did grow up on a farm (in Missouri.) I baled hay during the summers, fixed fence, helped round-up the cattle, etc. Most of the people I grew up with working on farms didn't identify as rednecks either...just country.
 

Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
I would second this. I am not a redneck...never have been. However, I did grow up on a farm (in Missouri.) I baled hay during the summers, fixed fence, helped round-up the cattle, etc. Most of the people I grew up with working on farms didn't identify as rednecks either...just country.
Central Eastern Nebraska, much the same way. We used to cross the river, just to look around:cool:
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
There’s a difference between calling someone stupid, and not stupid. There’s a difference between calling someone smart, or calling them not smart.


That’s not what I have the issue with. You were the only one doing it. So when you have to watch a guy because the other 20 TD’s who failed at their job to allow Earl to develop that behavior, that is the issue. Not because you watched him, but because no one else did. You turned into a babysitter and not a TD because of the failures of others. And you shouldn’t have needed to take that role. If you held your role of TD so highly, why didn’t you pressure the others to do the same?


I feel like I'm taking to someone in Kindergarten. There is not now or ever an organization of TD'ers. Everyone pretty much acts on their own, and we aren't all in attendance at every event to see what other TD's are doing. I did take care of the events I was responsible for and occasionally had issues with other co-directors who espoused a different line about Earl. I will not name names on here, but let's say we were not all in agreement on how to deal with him, and yes some TD's pretty much left him alone to make a mess of things. THEY thought he was entertaining. I did not! I will only add this. There was no other TD who tried to stop me from corralling him. I wouldn't let them. They just left that up to me and sat back and watched the show. I did have issues with a couple of them and they know who they are. That said there were other high profile TD's who did try to reign Earl in using different methods to do so, some more effective than others. He was a handful for just about everyone who had that responsibility, including my friend Michaela Tabb. I think she and I took the firmest approach in dealing with him.

Earl definitely had (and has) mental issues and I was never paid to be his personal psychiatrist, or am I qualified for that position. I was able to find a common ground which he understood though, and a line he couldn't cross. He was able to comprehend that if he crossed that line he would be penalized, and I believe that if you asked him today he would tell you he respected me for that.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Jay might just be the best poster on AZB, in part because he possesses the widest experience in pool of anyone. I believe he has been an event producer, a tournament director, a referee, a poolroom owner, a pool commentator, a pool author, an action player, a stake horse, a fan of the game, a very close friend of many prominent pro players, and much much more. He is also a man of limitless knowledge and integrity and he holds himself to very high standards.

It is pool's bad luck that there aren't more like Jay Helfert. On AZB, who among us has experienced pro pool to the extent that Jay has? My guess is that the answer is nobody. Jay's knowledge of pool goes back so many years that he makes me feel like a newbie --- I like that!


Damn Stu, I told you I would pay you that twenty I owe you. :)
God bless you my friend for the kind words. People can say what they want about the pool world in general or AZB specifically, but I will tell you that there are MANY very classy people that populate this forum and our sport. I've been fortunate to have met many of them and consider them my most dear friends, even if we only see each other once a decade.
 
Top