Earl and the truth about the "Million Dollar Challenge"

CreeDo

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Jay H. is probably tired of setting this straight, but those who got his book will understand this actually happened and is not some pool urban legend. Jay was the guy racking for him at the time. That's about as close to the horse's mouth as you'll get.

I paraphrased what I recall from the book in an earlier post, which I'll just paste here:
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Sometimes you get a table that is 'friendly' to sending the 9 towards the corners. I think Joe Tucker said this happens when the rack settles with a tiny gap behind either of the balls behind the 9... and then you have to break from the side.

I don't think earl did any rack mechanics to make himself a dead 9. He just got fortunate that this table was doing that. So yeah, he got lots of early 9's and 9 on the break.

The insurance company stipulated that after 5 racks, a neutral racker had to be found. Jay, catching on a little late, stepped in after 6. Then jay racked them himself. But still the table broke friendly, and earl was just running out as needed.

He hit the 10, and then, just to be safe, he actually pulled off an 11th break and run (in case the insurance company got squirrelly about the racking issue).

They still didn't want to pay due to the 9's on the break / early 9's. But it wasn't spelled out in the original contract. So while earl didn't win the whole million, he made a settlement with them for something like... I think it was less than half of that? Can't recall. A significant fraction of it.

Efren has run a 9 pack in competition. In fact I think maybe more than one. That one's on youtube. Only Jay H. and maybe a handful of others have the video of Earl's run.

==============================

The odd on this one are not really possible to calculate. You'd need to know how often earl specifically runs out from the break, how often that specific table yields a ball on the break, how often it yields a 9 on the break, what the odds are of getting a look at the one afterwards, plus lots of intangibles (bob mentioned the 9 moving towards the corner, allowing for early 9 opportunities).

People are free to take a stab at the statistics, and I know they're doing it in good faith, but any estimate will probably be way off, maybe by an order of magnitude.

Just remember there are lots of players over the years who have played lots of tournaments. Sort of like how there are lots of people buying powerball tickets. Many attempts have been made at this particular record. Eventually one of them will bear fruit (just as someone will someday break mosconi's 526 and in fact it supposedly already has happened).
 

JB Cases

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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.

Just a small nit to pick. :) 20 years ago pattern racking was known because Mike Sigel was explaining his pattern rack for nine ball on his Perfect Pool tapes. And I think we can all agree that by the time a pro gets around to explaining/revealing something on an instructional tape then it's been around for a while before that.
 

JB Cases

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I would bet that we have some eggheads here who COULD come up with some reliable stats on how likely this accomplishment is factoring in table conditions, racking methods, break cue weight, caliber of player, etc....

The point is though that it's a feat that has not been repeated since in tournament play that we know of - for a HOST of reasons - one of which is that there are very very few tournaments where the preliminary rounds are played to 11 wins.

That said we also live in an era where we now have something like 30 TAR matches with races to 100 winner breaks format and the best we have seen is Shane running a seven pack on tight equipment and Donny Mills running a huge amount of games from the break in his Rack Your Own challenge against Shane, which he still lost and which Shane refuses to play again knowing he dodged a serious bullet.

If anyone thinks that this easy then the answer is to find the players willing to bet on it. Give a guy 10 hours to run an 11 pack and offer to bet something substantial and see if any of the top pros are willing to take the bet. If they are then perhaps you're right and it's not a big deal. If they won't then perhaps they know something you don't which is that it's tough action.

I would say that in the modern era with perfect racks the likelihood of running out 11 racks from the break should be higher than back when this event was held. I have seen mediocre players put up 3-4 packs using template racks and controlled breaks plenty of times. But still I don't know that probability of it happening on the pro level. Just that it hasn't been done that we know of.
 

punter

AzB Silver Member
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The matches were a Race to 13, not 15.

I didn't think it was 15, thanks for setting that straight. But, in Earl's match where he won the mil, I think it has been said that he had to play some extra games due to the specified requirements of getting the million. That is, a neutral racker. Is that correct, and how many did he actually end up running?
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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why a "major pocket billiard tournament" would have races to 11?

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

The races were to 15, I had always heard that to get a good statistical average in anything you must have at least 30 "samples". It always made sense to me to race to 15 to give a possible 29 total games. Then it's fair to say "the rolls" will have an adequate chance to even out.

I don't understand why a "major pocket billiard tournament" would have races to 11? You would still have to play well, but overall the luckiest player will win because the rolls would have no channce of evening out in such a short race. imho
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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I guess I'll never know what kind of "intervention" it truly was.:wink:

I would bet that we have some eggheads here who COULD come up with some reliable stats on how likely this accomplishment is factoring in table conditions, racking methods, break cue weight, caliber of player, etc....

The point is though that it's a feat that has not been repeated since in tournament play that we know of - for a HOST of reasons - one of which is that there are very very few tournaments where the preliminary rounds are played to 11 wins.

That said we also live in an era where we now have something like 30 TAR matches with races to 100 winner breaks format and the best we have seen is Shane running a seven pack on tight equipment and Donny Mills running a huge amount of games from the break in his Rack Your Own challenge against Shane, which he still lost and which Shane refuses to play again knowing he dodged a serious bullet.

If anyone thinks that this easy then the answer is to find the players willing to bet on it. Give a guy 10 hours to run an 11 pack and offer to bet something substantial and see if any of the top pros are willing to take the bet. If they are then perhaps you're right and it's not a big deal. If they won't then perhaps they know something you don't which is that it's tough action.

I would say that in the modern era with perfect racks the likelihood of running out 11 racks from the break should be higher than back when this event was held. I have seen mediocre players put up 3-4 packs using template racks and controlled breaks plenty of times. But still I don't know that probability of it happening on the pro level. Just that it hasn't been done that we know of.

Earl did a LOT of research that he shared with me in the interview about improving your odds of running racks. Some of them I had never considered, and I wasn't crazy enough to think I could run 11on that equipment and was playing well enough to win the tournament.

The biggest issue in my opinion is not the odds. You can argue that it was 4 Million to 1 or 8 Million to 1, they're both esentially impossible. Just like I said about the lottery, when something is 14 million to one you have just a good a chance NOT buying a ticket. This is difficult to agree with, but it's said by top notch statisticians....1 on 14 Million in effect is 0 (if you find yourself disagreeing with that then hold on tightly to that lottery ticket you bought earlier today LoL). Carlin said the lottery is the way the government found to tax the "not so smart" people. He said it in a worse way.:wink:

No, I'm kidding about that, but the fact is for Earl to do this it took more than luck, more than skill and more than opportunities. For me it was an example of "Fate"...I truly believe my Million Dollar Tour was going to gain momentum and become a Big TV Deal. We already had ESPN's ears wide open to do more TV Events,(I had just won the ESPN World Championship and $88,000) we just needed a hook...something that would get enough attention to bring in a outside sponsor. And this WAS IT.


Even on the very last shot Earl made the cue ball was heading for the side pocket.....a dead scratch shot and out of no where the eight ball (of all balls) "cut it off at the pass" and KEPT it from scratching. "Intervention" at it's finest, I guess I'll never know what kind of "intervention" it truly was.:wink:
 

Bob Jewett

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The matches were a Race to 13, not 15.
Hi Jay,

In the original post by John McChesney, he states:

By the way .. Earl was playing Nick Mannino in the match and the final score was 15-1.

Was John mistaken?

Were there only two early nines? I sure remember 5 from the reports at the time.
 
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Bob Jewett

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I had always heard that to get a good statistical average in anything you must have at least 30 "samples". ...
The fractional error is roughly one over the square root of the number of samples. That means that if you have 30 samples, your estimate is likely off by 18% and it would not be surprising if your estimate is off by twice that. (This depends a lot on exactly what you are trying to "measure.")

In polls you often hear "the results are about +- 3%". That's one in 33 which means they had about 1000 people in the poll (roughly 33x33).

Another example is flipping coins. If you flip a coin 100 times you expect 50 heads on average but the expected variation is 1/10th of that or 5. And a deviation from 50 of 10 would not be surprising.
 
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Bob Jewett

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"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.
It seems that risky has left us permanently, which I think is a good thing, but no, I'm not saying that Earl had gaffed the racks. What I'm saying is that if what I heard about the early nines was true -- which is to say 5 out of 11 -- then the odds change a lot. Also, I've seen tables where the nine "wants" to go to the pocket through no fault of the racker. Of course this doesn't happen with a tight rack.

On the other hand, a suspicious insurance person, hearing that Earl was the one racking at the start and that the nine headed more than once for the pocket, might assume that something funny was going on.
 

Bob Jewett

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... I don't understand why a "major pocket billiard tournament" would have races to 11? ...
Because a long time ago someone made the mistake of doing double elimination and if you do double elimination you can't afford long matches unless you are willing to take an extra day or two.

Double elimination is a crock of foolishness that has to go.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
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.what Earl did we all considered nothing short of miraculous.

It seems that risky has left us permanently, which I think is a good thing, but no, I'm not saying that Earl had gaffed the racks. What I'm saying is that if what I heard about the early nines was true -- which is to say 5 out of 11 -- then the odds change a lot. Also, I've seen tables where the nine "wants" to go to the pocket through no fault of the racker. Of course this doesn't happen with a tight rack.

On the other hand, a suspicious insurance person, hearing that Earl was the one racking at the start and that the nine headed more than once for the pocket, might assume that something funny was going on.

It was a race to 15 like I said a few post ago.....and the odds don't change because some irregular thing happens ie: nines on the break - The odds don't change and there was never any argument over him doing it or if the odds were correct.....the odds were correct according to the insurance co. so I'm not sure what your point of refiguring the odds is....they had their way of doing it and they are the professionals.

We can't play a race to 500, but a race to 15 is a test that allows enough games to equal out the equation of luck, however you choose to figure that one...it's just an educated guess at best. From my experience this is true, a race to 15 will produce the best player more than a race to 11 for example. But, again, the argument was never over the correct odds...what Earl did we all considered nothing short of miraculous. :eek:
 

Rockin' Robin

Mr. Texas Express
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I did not see the first 5 games, and the rumor of Earl making the 9 five times on the break is not true. Also my former partner (may God rest his soul) was wrong when he said Earl had to run an eleventh rack because he did not stop at rack 5. As the crowd starting to amass around the table, and Earl completed the fifth run out, I immediately stopped play and went and got CJ to bring his camera.

At the conclusion of the 10th rack, Earl speared his cue straight into the floor, grabbed McChesney and lifted him off the floor in a bear hug. After the celebration had died down a bit, Earl grabbed another shaft and ran rack 11.

In rack 12, if he would have made a bank on the one ball, he might still be running out to this day.
 

CJ Wiley

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I believe it was the most miraculous thing I've ever seen.....by far

I did not see the first 5 games, and the rumor of Earl making the 9 five times on the break is not true. Also my former partner (may God rest his soul) was wrong when he said Earl had to run an eleventh rack because he did not stop at rack 5. As the crowd starting to amass around the table, and Earl completed the fifth run out, I immediately stopped play and went and got CJ to bring his camera.

At the conclusion of the 10th rack, Earl speared his cue straight into the floor, grabbed McChesney and lifted him off the floor in a bear hug. After the celebration had died down a bit, Earl grabbed another shaft and ran rack 11.

In rack 12, if he would have made a bank on the one ball, he might still be running out to this day.

That's right Robin, he missed the bank on the 1 and tried a carom at the 9 and barely missed both of them.....what's ironic is we did end up having to have the 11th rack because of a technicality.....this was a miracle and the more I find out about some of the subtleties the more I believe it was the most miraculous thing I've ever seen.....by far :wink:
 

Rockin' Robin

Mr. Texas Express
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I had the pleasure of watching Bob Vanover run 9 racks and out during the finals of the Texas Open. A feat that I would think was maybe a once in a lifetime experience.

Then the Earl show came to town. The tables were set up by Big Dave from Houston, all new black laquer Gold Crowns. The corner pockets were the tightest I had ever seen in any venue up until this time. In between 4 and a quarter and 4 and three eighths inches.

A two pack wasnt very common, and I think I only heard of one 3 pack during the entire event, and the room was full of champions.

As Earl got to 7 and then the 8th rack, the crowd had grown to standing room only, and all play had ceased on the other tables. It was beyond a madhouse, but while Earl was busy running balls, you could hear a pin drop.

Anyways, at the conclusion of the feat, Earl sat down and signed autographs for probably everyone in the building.
 

punter

AzB Silver Member
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I had the pleasure of watching Bob Vanover run 9 racks and out during the finals of the Texas Open. A feat that I would think was maybe a once in a lifetime experience.

Then the Earl show came to town. The tables were set up by Big Dave from Houston, all new black laquer Gold Crowns. The corner pockets were the tightest I had ever seen in any venue up until this time. In between 4 and a quarter and 4 and three eighths inches.

A two pack wasnt very common, and I think I only heard of one 3 pack during the entire event, and the room was full of champions.

As Earl got to 7 and then the 8th rack, the crowd had grown to standing room only, and all play had ceased on the other tables. It was beyond a madhouse, but while Earl was busy running balls, you could hear a pin drop.

Anyways, at the conclusion of the feat, Earl sat down and signed autographs for probably everyone in the building.

Great stuff. Thanks, Robin.
 

Luxury

AzB Silver Member
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Did I make a mistake in the arithmetic again? Did you get a different answer given the stated assumptions? Do you disagree with the assumptions?

I was drunk and I thought you were serious about the 1 in 27 joke at the time.
 

TATE

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

I have a confession to make. I know nothing of Earl's finances.

Just for the record, it was a joke.

I view myself as a generally unfunny ****sucker who lacks any sort of sense of humor. I come here seeking others like myself and am occasionally rewarded like in this case.

Chris


PS. When we stop talking about Earl, THAT is the time for concern.
 
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Luxury

AzB Silver Member
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Is there any question that this will be the best selling pool dvd of all time?
 

CJ Wiley

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Now it's time to do it again, just in a slightly different way

I have a confession to make. I know nothing of Earl's finances.

Just for the record, it was a joke.

I view myself as a generally unfunny ****sucker who lacks any sort of sense of humor. I come here seeking others like myself and am occasionally rewarded like in this case.

Chris


PS. When we stop talking about Earl, THAT is the time for concern.

He goes into a bit of a rant about how the money was spent and hindsight is always 20/20 ... I'm just glad he was happy about how it turned out, because it was a pretty brutal experience at times on my end. But it's funny now Chris :)

It's always interesting to see how fate works and the twists and turns that result from something like this happening. It had a dramatic effect on several people and at least one business was closed down. I found out when there's a million dollars at stake it makes the game of life and business very serious.....but now I can look back and laugh because everything worked out in the end. Now it's time to do it again, just in a slightly different way. :wink:
 
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