Has the Parade Passed By

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's sort of what I was getting at too. Some may think it's unfair to name names here, but two guys I can't help but wonder about are Brandon Shuff and Hunter Lombardo. They have 735 and 736 FR'ings. I know Hunter does some instruction and whatnot, but I have no idea how they could possibly make a living at this game. If they find a way, more power to them. We could go up the list from there and still wonder how players make it all the way up to 780 or even higher. Professional pool has been in trouble in the U.S. for quite some time, now with an accurate measuring stick of performance, it may only get worse as more players get wake up calls.. The numbers don't lie when it comes to measuring performance.

In my state of Michigan, I know most of the really good amateur players, and NONE of them really had aspirations of becoming pro players. Jeremy Seamen is the true exception and probably the model for how someone could compete with the big boys while working full-time. As far as the parade passing by, yes I think it has for those working 9-5, being married, and maybe being involved in the lives of your kids, etc. In other words, if pool is lower than #2 on your priority list, it's not happening anymore. (Not implying this is Seaman's route, just generally speaking). This is probably the natural evolution of every sport. Time to switch to corn hole or pickleball before they mature beyond our reach too although those parades who maybe be interesting to watch.
Does Brandon Ashcraft(sp?) still play? He came thru Tulsa yrs ago. Played really sporty. Kirkwood still at it?? Saw him gamble 24/7 at Derby back in '07.
 

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ashcraft's name has been heard the last few years. Last year he played in the inaugural Ohio vs Michigan Mosconi style event. I don't think he was on the team this year. As for Kirkwood, he's still doing his thing. I used to lament that he could have been but wasn't a top US professional. Maybe he saw the light early on (or it was other things) and has just stuck to being a barbox bandit of sorts. I still love watching him play when I get the chance. I tracked his play just a few years back as I was on an 8 ball team with him. In 25 racks of 8 ball, he missed 1 ball and made 1 positional error. I know...I know....it's bar table some would say -- but that's about as good as anyone can do. The parade hasn't quite passed him by yet.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ashcraft's name has been heard the last few years. Last year he played in the inaugural Ohio vs Michigan Mosconi style event. I don't think he was on the team this year. As for Kirkwood, he's still doing his thing. I used to lament that he could have been but wasn't a top US professional. Maybe he saw the light early on (or it was other things) and has just stuck to being a barbox bandit of sorts. I still love watching him play when I get the chance. I tracked his play just a few years back as I was on an 8 ball team with him. In 25 racks of 8 ball, he missed 1 ball and made 1 positional error. I know...I know....it's bar table some would say -- but that's about as good as anyone can do. The parade hasn't quite passed him by yet.
At DCC in '07 Kirkwood never left the action room other than to hose off and take a quik nap. He was in action the whole week.
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
MON quite accurately said:
The players playing today are the best who have ever played the game, period.
And that's ideally what we want for any sport.

And why shouldn't it be true -- because for any contemporary players in almost any sport -- in any era -- they logically and fortunately have:

-- Skilled previous role models to emulate and exceed; superior visual and printed instructionals; advanced equipment; increasingly qualified coaches; better nutritional options & advice; better physical therapy insights & options/remedies; and not least: the stimulation of an always-widening field of eager and simultaneously improving national- and world-class competitors to learn from & measure the rate and extent of their own progress against.

Arnaldo
 
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Positively Ralf

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
These guys are also destroying players that where on top of the pool world 20 or so years ago. As much as a health nut and disciplined player as he is, guys like Thorsten are probably never going to win another major tournament again. Same with Mika and Neils.
 

mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The players playing today are the best who have ever played the game, period.
I agree with this statement. the other day I watched a 9 ball match- Albin Oushan vs. Josh Roberts. - Albin was so dominating against a really, really good player. I don't remember anyone in the 1960s/70s/80s. etc. who had such perfect form, could execute shots so consistently, could move the CB so perfectly, all on a pro cut table!

No doubt the top pros today are the best that ever played the game - it is at a much higher level now- and I think the reason why most of the guys who "retired" never tried serious comeback attempts,even in their 50s - of course the lack of money in the sport also had a lot to do with those decisions.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Look around. Today's player, IN ALL SPORTS/GAMES, is better. Training, equipment, video feedback, diet, etc all have led to what we see today. I never thought i'd see pro golfers ROUTINELY hit tee-balls that CARRY 350yds but they now do it. These top players from Europe start getting top instruction and tough competition at a very early age. And its ALL on 9ft tables. American players in general are so far behind it makes me wonder if US pool will ever catch up. BTW, i fully believe that the greats would have been great in any era. They would have had access to whatever equip. was used at that time. Earl, Buddy, Sigel, Wimpy, Efren, Willie, etc. would all have been monsters in any era.

great post. i've tried to make the same points to the nostalgiacs for years, to no avail. same in snooker, they cling onto alex higgins and steve davis like it's a religion. i like the good ole times too, but i am also a realist.

and to the "diet" factor mentioned above we can add alcohol habits. if you want to keep up with practice beasts like shane or fedor you simply can't be partying all night. that kind of lifestyle just wont get you there.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
great post. i've tried to make the same points to the nostalgiacs for years, to no avail. same in snooker, they cling onto alex higgins and steve davis like it's a religion. i like the good ole times too, but i am also a realist.

and to the "diet" factor mentioned above we can add alcohol habits. if you want to keep up with practice beasts like shane or fedor you simply can't be partying all night. that kind of lifestyle just wont get you there.
steve would have been a champion in any era. not so sure about the king of burning the candle at both ends. alex could play no doubt but his style is from another time.
 

SmoothStroke

Swim for the win.
Silver Member
That's sort of what I was getting at too. Some may think it's unfair to name names here, but two guys I can't help but wonder about are Brandon Shuff and Hunter Lombardo. They have 735 and 736 FR'ings. I know Hunter does some instruction and whatnot, but I have no idea how they could possibly make a living at this game. If they find a way, more power to them. We could go up the list from there and still wonder how players make it all the way up to 780 or even higher. Professional pool has been in trouble in the U.S. for quite some time, now with an accurate measuring stick of performance, it may only get worse as more players get wake up calls.. The numbers don't lie when it comes to measuring performance.


Life is full of highs and lows for all of us.
It must be tough for these mid tier guys to keep pushing. Twenty years ago you were Americas next greatest up and comer, full of potential. Now 20 years later you haven't won a thing, or anything that mattered, while Wu wins 2 World Championships at 16 years old. That's enough to make you want to sit on your cue with a 95mm shaft, unchalked, and rotate.

Watching all these great young players winning world championships and big events must be hard to swallow for these guys.
I give them a lot of credit to continue on and follow a dream. Those brief moments of playing perfect pool are highly addictive. At what point do you answer that wake up call?
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think, a decade or two ago, I always felt I had a chance against the big dogs when playing my best shortstop quality game -- maybe not to win but to be semi-competitive and win a couple of games.

But now, the ball striking by so many of the players has become so good I wonder if your slightly better than average guy has any chance whatsoever against many of the guys out there nowadays. I recall an Accu-Stats tape (yes, tape) during which Danny Dilberto laments: in the old days the young guys would dog it against a better player. They don't dog it anymore.

Lou Figueroa

They don't always play their best game. I see Billy Thorpe tied with about 30 guys for 51st at DCC 9 ball. Several names I don't recognize higher are on the list. I'm guessing some pros didn't even get that far.

Finding a backer might be difficult but you could win a match or two.
 

MitchAlsup

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with the sentiment, but this is just not so. As John McEnroe said last year, Serena Williams couldn't beat a #400 man on the courts...
Serena (of 2017) probably could beat Arthur Ash (mid 1960s) when both were in their primes.
 
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RingKing

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think, a decade or two ago, I always felt I had a chance against the big dogs when playing my best shortstop quality game -- maybe not to win but to be semi-competitive and win a couple of games.

But now, the ball striking by so many of the players has become so good I wonder if your slightly better than average guy has any chance whatsoever against many of the guys out there nowadays. I recall an Accu-Stats tape (yes, tape) during which Danny Dilberto laments: in the old days the young guys would dog it against a better player. They don't dog it anymore.

Lou Figueroa
Parade might have passed but there is still alot of candy to pick up off the street.
 

Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think, a decade or two ago, I always felt I had a chance against the big dogs when playing my best shortstop quality game -- maybe not to win but to be semi-competitive and win a couple of games.

But now, the ball striking by so many of the players has become so good I wonder if your slightly better than average guy has any chance whatsoever against many of the guys out there nowadays. I recall an Accu-Stats tape (yes, tape) during which Danny Dilberto laments: in the old days the young guys would dog it against a better player. They don't dog it anymore.

Lou Figueroa
I I know a lot more about playing pool than I did 60 years ago but that knowledge has been compromised with age. the information one can gather just from the internet was not available in my youth.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's some high level pool hanging with Joe Frady with just the 8. In his prime, Joe didn't have to lose to anyone.
I was just one of many short stops in the N.Y.-N.J.-Philly area at that time in the 80's.
He played me straight pool 100 to 80.
We played many 14.1 games but the best one we ever played was he broke and I ran 53 and missed and said "Take that Joe".
He ran 100 and out, when he was right he was a monster.
RIP Joe.
He passed a couple years ago Alzheimer or Dementia or maybe it was both.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

They don't always play their best game. I see Billy Thorpe tied with about 30 guys for 51st at DCC 9 ball. Several names I don't recognize higher are on the list. I'm guessing some pros didn't even get that far.

Finding a backer might be difficult but you could win a match or two.

oh, I've knocked off a champ or two, but now the current crop is almost impossible to get passed

Lou Figueroa
 

Z-Nole

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think, a decade or two ago, I always felt I had a chance against the big dogs when playing my best shortstop quality game -- maybe not to win but to be semi-competitive and win a couple of games.

But now, the ball striking by so many of the players has become so good I wonder if your slightly better than average guy has any chance whatsoever against many of the guys out there nowadays. I recall an Accu-Stats tape (yes, tape) during which Danny Dilberto laments: in the old days the young guys would dog it against a better player. They don't dog it anymore.

Lou Figueroa
Not only does the spread between the short stop and pro seem further than ever but there's more pro's these days. Or at least it seems that way partially due to the amount of information available with the internet.
 
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