Earl and the truth about the "Million Dollar Challenge"

master_cueist

pick your poison
Silver Member
I am just curious about something...Cj Wiley posted pictures of himself giving earl the first 50k check of his 50k for 20 years to come. I am not saying either side is wrong in this considering it happened way before I was part of the pool world, I am just seeing something wrong here, obviously someone is wrong and I am going off the pictures Cj Wiley posted of him handing Earl a 50k check here is the pic for proof....just curious about this...

edit: When Cj posted this on his facebook it actually says, CJ GIVES EARL HIS FIRST PAYMENT OF $50,000 FOR RUNNING 11 RACKS IN THE MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE.
 

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AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... I am just seeing something wrong here, obviously someone is wrong and I am going off the pictures Cj Wiley posted of him handing Earl a 50k check ...

Nothing is wrong here. Jay Helfert was one of the tournament officials, and he racked the last 5 racks. In an earlier thread, Jay said: "It is correct that this was supposed to be an annuity paid off in twenty annual $50,000 installments. CJ did give Earl the first 50K immediately. After a year or two of litigation, there was a settlement. My understanding was that Earl received in the neighborhood of 300K in a lump sum and CJ got back his 50K."

Here is the full post by Jay from 5 years ago, giving a lot more information about the run: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=589981&postcount=11
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nothing is wrong here. Jay Helfert was one of the tournament officials, and he racked the last 5 racks. In an earlier thread, Jay said: "It is correct that this was supposed to be an annuity paid off in twenty annual $50,000 installments. CJ did give Earl the first 50K immediately. After a year or two of litigation, there was a settlement. My understanding was that Earl received in the neighborhood of 300K in a lump sum and CJ got back his 50K."

Here is the full post by Jay from 5 years ago, giving a lot more information about the run: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=589981&postcount=11
What did Earl do with his money? (from this and all of his tournament winnings) Some people say he is struggling financially.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
What did Earl do with his money? (from this and all of his tournament winnings) Some people say he is struggling financially.

He buried it in a fruit jar in his back yard in Greensboro! :wink:
How they heck would I know what Earl does with his money? P.S. He doesn't confide in me.
 

franko

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
maybe

It makes sense if a person has outstanding debts. And needs the cash in a hurry.

Ever see the movies where gangsters "rough people up" to give them incentive?

In a lump sum you get abt.35% but then have to pay taxes on all of it in one year.I guess it does depend on the person and their situation.
 

AtLarge

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
In a lump sum you get abt.35% but then have to pay taxes on all of it in one year.I guess it does depend on the person and their situation.

If the pre-tax lump sum for a 20-year annuity certain was just 35% of the sum of the 20 annuity payments, it would imply an interest rate of about 15.6% per year. I doubt that any legal organization is using an interest rate that high to discount annuity payments.
 

Scott Lee

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
westcoast...AtLarge's description of the proceeds is accurate. As far as what Earl did with his money...How would anybody know, and why is it anybody's (including yours and my) business, but Earl's?

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

What did Earl do with his money? (from this and all of his tournament winnings) Some people say he is struggling financially.
 

boyersj

Indiana VNEA State Champ
Silver Member
I don't know how the calculations were made to determin the odds but I was at a tournament in was 1989-1991 (forget the actual year) in Greensville S.C. It was a shriner's pool tournament, race to 11, winner break. If someone else vaguely remembers this tournament, Steve Mizerak won even though all the greats were there. My dad has the tournament program and we got a lot of autographs, perhaps I will see if I can get them scanned :) the fact that he did this in a tournament more than once indicates the odds were not that high (I doubt he entered even 2,000 race to 11 or more tournaments in his life).

Anyhow back to the tournament, A few of the women pro's played in the tournament but they didn't fare too well! Anyhow My father and I watched Earl the pearl win the lag and run out the set. His opponent submitted when he had 4 stop shots remaining on the last rack. This was not influenced by some prize, Earl was a shot maker, he made at least 2 jump shots during the 99 ball run and I believe he only snapped the 9 twice. Its too bad the tournament was in a pretty small location and few people observed the matches. No TV, few journalists, I think there was 10 tables max. The tournament lasted 3 days and to a teenager who was avid into the game, it was a memory I will never forget!

This tournament was also on GC's with tournament cloth. I don't know if they were triple shimmed, but it was not rack your own. I wish the VCR tape had stood the test of time, but my family would stand before God himself to testify that this event occurred.

*sorry for joining into the high-jacked old thread but I wasn't a member in 2003!
 

master_cueist

pick your poison
Silver Member
Ok that makes sense then. I didn't get a chance to see the earlier thread so I didn't know about the whole litigation thing. Thanks for clearing that up for me!
Nothing is wrong here. Jay Helfert was one of the tournament officials, and he racked the last 5 racks. In an earlier thread, Jay said: "It is correct that this was supposed to be an annuity paid off in twenty annual $50,000 installments. CJ did give Earl the first 50K immediately. After a year or two of litigation, there was a settlement. My understanding was that Earl received in the neighborhood of 300K in a lump sum and CJ got back his 50K."

Here is the full post by Jay from 5 years ago, giving a lot more information about the run: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=589981&postcount=11
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Documentary Being Completed on the Dallas Million Dollar Challenge

I am just curious about something...Cj Wiley posted pictures of himself giving earl the first 50k check of his 50k for 20 years to come. I am not saying either side is wrong in this considering it happened way before I was part of the pool world, I am just seeing something wrong here, obviously someone is wrong and I am going off the pictures Cj Wiley posted of him handing Earl a 50k check here is the pic for proof....just curious about this...

edit: When Cj posted this on his facebook it actually says, CJ GIVES EARL HIS FIRST PAYMENT OF $50,000 FOR RUNNING 11 RACKS IN THE MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE.

Wow, I just saw this thread while looking back through some of the older ones on the Forum. This makes for some interesting reading because we are almost completed with a Documentary of this very subject. We have a two hour interview with Earl Strickland, which changed my whole perception on the event. I saw it, and have a video of him doing it and still don't believe it. We also have a great interview with Jay Helfert and Max Eberle along with many other's involved in this historic event.

We are shooting for the last of October to have this out and I"m excited for everyone to find out "the real story"....I wasn't allowed to talk because of a confidentiality agreement concerning the lawsuit and no one else knew the facts behind the despute. John McChesney was acurate about his description of some of the things that were apparent, but had no way of knowing the inside story regarding the legal despute, and preseding 2.5 years of litigation. It is true that I gave him the first payment of $50,000 so he wouldn't have to wait on the lawsuit which I knew would last over 2 years and that's typical for any lawsuit in the Million Dollar and up range.
 

wahcheck

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
oboy

Glad this will be coming out. I consider it one of the greatest feats in pool history. Sure, many will say others have run many racks and more, but try doing it when the chips are down......and a million is to be had....
Will be looking forward to the documentary.. Thanks, C.J.
 

TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold Member
Silver Member
Where did they get these odds of 1 in 6.5 million attempts?

It was actually simple. They counted the number of pool players (6.5 million) and divided by the number of Earl's (1). Guess they forgot to look at the entry list...
 
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CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Earl is the only pool player on this planet that could have run those racks

It was actually simple. They counted the number of pool players (6.5 million) and divided by the number of Earl's (1). Guess they forgot to look at the entry list...

A statistics professor was used and the odds were actually 7.8 Million to 1 of anyone EVER doing it....that means for someone to do it the first day the odds were probably like winning a 20 Million Dollar lottery buying 1 ticket or something rediculous like that...I know it's the most incredible thing ever done in pool and after interviewing Earl at Tunica I realize something even more destrurbing.....HE KNEW HE WAS GOING TO DO IT.

On the car ride with his ex wife he looked at her and said "I'm going to do this thing....I'm going to run 10 racks and win the Million".

There's some things he told me in that interview that really made me think. I know one thing, Earl is the only pool player on this planet that could have run those racks under that kind of pressure....I have no doubt about that.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
A statistics professor was used and the odds were actually 7.8 Million to 1 of anyone EVER doing it. ...
Someone must have given him bad info. And not told him the stories about dozen-rack-plus runs, or about the bar player in LA who ran 30 racks or that the nine on the break would count and that some tables/racks tended to make the nine nearly automatic. Or that if a million was on the line and the races were to 15, some players might not play safes when they otherwise might. Garbage in, garbage out.

I suspect it was not Earl's first 11-pack. Or was it a six-pack, since the nine went on the break 5 times by one report and Earl had to run an extra rack because the video taping started late? It was a great run, but clearly the odds were not as the professor thought.

Here is a related statistical problem: given that a player will make the nine on the break (or very early) half the time and that his run-out percentage from the break is 30%, what is the chance in a 15-rack game that he will have a run of 10 racks? This is not a hard problem for statisticians. I think it is best studied by a Markov chain.
 

rrick33

Rick
Silver Member
statistical illusions

I think that when the statistics were run, it would have been based on a random rack. I would highly suspect that if Earl really did run all those racks, it was likely that the rack was set in a specific or fairly similar order every time and that the order lent itself toward a more consistent outcome on every break.

I've seen several telivised tournaments where a third party racking the balls did it in the same order every time.

Under those conditions, it would be easy to calculate where each ball would likely end up with a consistent break and therefore much easier to run. You would find yourself essentially playing the same rack several times in a row with a few variations here and there.

If these conditions existed, then the idea that the odds were anywhere close to 6-7 million to one is ridiculous. If you are essentially playing the same lay-out after the break just about every time, then the only statistic that carries significant weight is the odds of making a ball on the break 15 times in a row. The only thing you'd have to practice is putting the 1 ball in the side pocket on the break....everything else would be predetermined by the staked rack.

I would say that if you are really familiar with the table and can put the 1 ball in the side with a fair degree of consistency then it's possible that a competent player might acomplish this feat under the conditions above 2 or 3 times over a 30 year carrer....assuming that every attempt was a race to 15.

Imagine that you racked the balls the same way every time and used the same break every time and got a similar result nearly every time. If you played the same rack over and over again 1000 times, how often do you think you would find yourself consistently running 5 or more consecutive racks?
 
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