# Earl and the truth about the "Million Dollar Challenge"

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... 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? ...
Since no one seems to have worked on this, I did a simple Excel spreadsheet that calculates the chances. With the assumptions stated, the chance for such a run by one player in one match is 1 in 27. The key, which a lot of people overlook, is that a wired nine ball is a huge, huge factor. Also, the fact that the match is 15 games long roughly triples the chance of a run of 10 racks because the player probably gets multiple chances.

#### PoolBum

##### Ace in the side.
Silver Member
The matches were to 15, so each contestant who did not start with a 6-pack or better would have gotten at least two chances.

If my opponent starts with a 5-pack, then I win game 6 and break game 7, only one of us had a chance to break and run 10.

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
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Silver Member
If my opponent starts with a 5-pack, then I win game 6 and break game 7, only one of us had a chance to break and run 10.
Yes, I got the number wrong and it is different for the two players.

You still have a chance to run 10 if you come to the table needing 11 after your opponent misses. You win that game and then break and run out the match for 10 break-and-runs.

If you start the match, and only run a 4-pack or less, you get a second chance since the matches are to 15.

If you are the second player, you come to the table on a miss, so you don't get credit for that first game. If you get the first win and run 3 and then miss in the next rack, you still need 11. So the second player doesn't get a second chance if he starts with a 4-pack.

My main point was that having long matches greatly increases the chances for exceptionally long runs.

#### AtLarge

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Hi Steve,
I've heard various counts on the number of 9's on the break. Do you remember how many there were?

Thanks,

According to Jay Helfert, who was the official who racked the last several games of Earl's 11-game run, Earl had only two 9's on the break during the run, and they were both in the first 5 games of the run. Here is Jay's account: http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=589981&postcount=11

#### SakuJack

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Since no one seems to have worked on this, I did a simple Excel spreadsheet that calculates the chances. With the assumptions stated, the chance for such a run by one player in one match is 1 in 27. The key, which a lot of people overlook, is that a wired nine ball is a huge, huge factor. Also, the fact that the match is 15 games long roughly triples the chance of a run of 10 racks because the player probably gets multiple chances.

1 in 27 for a 10 pack? Yeah I think you're more than a little off there - if not mathematically (I can't be bothered spending any time looking at this), then at least realistically.

#### Luxury

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bob, you greatly disappoint me here.

#### jay helfert

##### Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
The matches were a Race to 13, not 15.

#### sydbarret

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I haven't read the whole last couple pages, but lol at anyone thinking you need any kind of pattern ranking to run packages in 9 ball. fyi, there was no such thing as pattern racking 15 or 20 yes ago and people were still getting out. My high run in 9 ball is 10 and all is we knew was you racked the 9 in the middle and the 1 on the spot.

point is gettin out in rotation pool is still a skill no matter how you rack em. pool aint easy an easy game... and running 11 for a mill is up there with one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history. I can't wait to see the documentary.

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#### risky biz

##### Banned
If the probability of a B&R is .208 (20.8%) for every game, the odds of running 10 in a row are approximately 1 in 6.5 million.

According to a study by Phil Capelle, Earl was well above 21% B&R in the 90's, but can you imagine how the pressure would affect a normal pro as the game count mounted toward the magic 10 (or 11)?

I lost \$20 on the under. The pressure almost killed me.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
The reason to take the lump sum instead of the annuity is a smart decision if you can invest wisely. The theory goes, you can take the lump sum and invest it and, with interest, make much more than the annuity.

The annuity is "cash basis", they pay you the sum of the annuity over a long time period without interest. Most mutual funds could provide a much better return than the lump sum.

However, with the stock markets over the last 4 years, nothing is guaranteed.

I would take the lump sum, myself.

The annuity is just a guaranteed payout of the principal + low interest over a specified period of time, in this case 20 years. If Earl got halfway decent advice he could get three to four times more return on that principal even if he was investing relatively conservatively. Stocks aren't the only investment in the world.

Also- another poster implying that Earl is "irresponsible", even if it is true that other highly accomplished pool players are (unproven also), need to come up with a shred of evidence which I don't think they have.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
I was actually able to do it in just 5 million tries.

Best,
Brian kc

Spot me 4.8 million tries and we've got a game.

#### risky biz

##### Banned

This link includes an image of Earl receiving his "first insatllment" but the OP states he chose a lump sum. Which was it?

#### risky biz

##### Banned
Dude, what is it with you bumping nearly decade old threads? It's annoying.

I agree. Get a life. I mean how many pages back did you go to dig this up? Posts from yesterday are 2 pages back.

What difference does it make?

#### risky biz

##### Banned
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.

Maybe in a state lottery jackpot but that's because the state pockets close to half of it. Not the same thing.

#### itsfroze

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This link includes an image of Earl receiving his "first insatllment" but the OP states he chose a lump sum. Which was it?

CJ payed Earl out of his own pocket 50K, knowing as he states that
the courts would take a while. Which he latter got back when Earl was
payed.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
Here are more probabities:

- The chances of Earl still having annuity income today if he would have accepted \$50,000 annually - 99.79%

- The chances of Earl taking an annuity instead of a lump sum : .000319%

- Probability that Earl has any of the lump sum payment left: calculator came up with "false" never seen that before.

What is it that you think Earl did with the money?

#### risky biz

##### Banned
Thanks Doug....yeah, the funny thing about arguing with the odds is no one has ever ran 11 racks in a row in a professional tournament before or since this has happened......if anyone has I"m not aware of it anyway. And Earl himself said it had been approximately 8 Million racks since HE had done it practice OR a tournament...and HE hasn't done it since in private OR a tournament. Remember, this was done on a table with TRIPLE SHIMMED pockets....no one will ever do this again under these conditions even with 16 Million to 1...LoL...it's like playing the lottery, your chances are just as good if you NEVER play it.

The odds of winning the lottery actually improve astronomically when you buy a ticket.

But I agree with the rest of what you're saying. Does anyone who says the odds are much lower have one example of another player in a professional tournament running 11 racks?

The fact of the matter is that Earl is one of the greatest players who ever lived and some people let it get under their skin. They can't tolerate an overachiever who isn't humble and diplomatic. They don't qualify to be their hero without those traits.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
Since no one seems to have worked on this, I did a simple Excel spreadsheet that calculates the chances. With the assumptions stated, the chance for such a run by one player in one match is 1 in 27. The key, which a lot of people overlook, is that a wired nine ball is a huge, huge factor. Also, the fact that the match is 15 games long roughly triples the chance of a run of 10 racks because the player probably gets multiple chances.

"wired nine ball"

What are you trying to say? Are you implying that Earl had gaffed racks or are you saying that whoever calculated the odds didn't factor in the "odds" of making the 9-ball on the break and should have.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
The matches were a Race to 13, not 15.

LOL. So "people say":

• Earl got the nine on the break five times
[but it was actually only two]
• They were races to 15
[but they were actually races to 13]
• Earl took a lump sum and irresponsibly blew it all
[but they actually don’t have the first clue what Earl did with the money]

Jesus wept.

#### risky biz

##### Banned
CJ payed Earl out of his own pocket 50K, knowing as he states that
the courts would take a while. Which he latter got back when Earl was
payed.

I saw the later post. Thanks.