How Many "A+" Players Have Families?

the420trooper

Free T-Rex
Silver Member
I've been wondering how many good players out there are able to balance between practice, action, tournaments, and still having time to spend with their wives and kids?

Do these guys exist? Or are all the good players besides Johnny Archer (who is the only family man/pro that I can think of) trying to go at it alone?

I ask because I've been playing pretty well lately, but my family is way higher on my priority list...

Is it possible for an average player to become a great player (or even just above average) without totally dedicating your whole life to the game?
 
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The Chinchilla

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think the real question is how many smart and respectable strong players have families and continue to play consistently. Very few, the money to support their needs just isn't there unless the wife is a good earner. I always note Ernesto Dominguez as a great example. He could have been maybe about CJ Wiley speed, but he chose his family -- a wise man.

If you haven't reached close to near your top level before you have a family, I don't think you'd get there. There has to be a good 5 years or so when it is about you and your game and nothing else.
 
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manwon

"WARLOCK 1"
Silver Member
I've been wondering how many good players out there are able to balance between practice, action, tournaments, and still having time to spend with their wives and kids?

Do these guys exist? Or are all the good players besides Johnny Archer (who is the only family man/pro that I can think of) trying to go at it alone?

I ask because I've been playing pretty well lately, but my family is way higher on my priority list...

Is it possible for an average player to become a great player (or even just above average) without totally dedicating your whole life to the game?



Most, in my opinion.
 

billy bones

billy bones
Silver Member
a+ players w/ families

To answer the short question, most I imagine. Some keep them, some lose them & I am sure there are a few who don't even know they have a family :eek:
 

the420trooper

Free T-Rex
Silver Member
If you haven't reached close to near your top level before you have a family, I don't think you'd get there. There has to be a good 5 years or so when it is about you and your game and nothing else.

Very good point, and I agree. I had about three years of married life before my son entered the picture...My pool game never suffered until he came along, and became way more important than knocking balls around.

I used to play seven nights a week for 6+ hours, now I might practice twice a week for 2 hours each night...but I feel like I'm playing better overall than I ever have.

It's tough to choose to spend a night at home instead of going out...I'm happy with the results so far. I just wonder if it's even realistic to strive for greatness at a game which will never be the most important thing in my life.
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
To be an A+ player and follow today's "international" tournament trail, it is difficult to be a family man in the stereotypical meaning of the word "family."

The spouse or significant other must be strong-willed emotionally and able to manage the family while the pool player is on the road. Most pool players who play pool full time and follow the tournament trail live out of a suitcase. Somebody needs to keep the home base and household afloat, and this is especially true when children are involved.

There are some players who make the sacrifice of family life and decide that living out of a suitcase, not having a permanent home, is the lifestyle they want to pursue. Unfortunately, when their talents and skills diminish with age, these poor souls go to their graves often forgotten by those who used to love them for their prowess on a field of green.

Some players, though, are very fortunate to have families that love them throughout their life, even when the family structure breaks up due to divorce or death. Ronnie Allen comes to mind. Allen Hopkins is a very loving father. Nick Varner has a strong woman who keeps the home front and family intact, allowing him to go on the road to promote pool as well as compete. Buddy Hall has a very nice family surrounding him in the autumn of his life. Johnny Archer's faith helps him keep his priorities straight. Robin Dodson has a very loving family.

It's a tough balance, and not everyone can hack it. The majority of so-called male professional pool players are unmarried. Some do seem to enjoy that single lifestyle, but they better enjoy it while they can still shoot. Fame in the pool world is short-lived, as one quickly finds out who really are their true friends if they get sick, go broke, become incarcerated, die, or can't pocket a ball anymore.

BTW, a big shout-out of thanks goes to Ronnie Wiseman, et al., for sending his friend, an incarcerated pool player, a whopping $500 earlier this week.
 
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ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
George Breedlove

There is a fellow named George Breedlove who is a devoted family man with a full time business who seems like he can run with anyone on a given day. His wife plays a little bit too.

Hu
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There is a fellow named George Breedlove who is a devoted family man with a full time business who seems like he can run with anyone on a given day. His wife plays a little bit too.

Hu

That's a great example. Fortunately, each understands the pool culture and lifestyle, which helps to make it work. :cool:
 

Perk

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I really believe for the most part a person can only be really good at 2 of the following 3 things no matter how you slice it without neglecting or risking the third.

Family, Work, Pool

There is not enough time in a week to be top notch at all three of those. How you set your priorities dictates the type of person you are.

~Perk
 

Johnnyt

Burn all jump cues
Silver Member
Unlike other pro sports pool has very little money in it. If pool had big money in it there would be more married pool players. Any woman married or playing house with a pool player out of the top 20 in the world HAS to love him dearly IMO. Johnnyt
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
Very good point, and I agree. I had about three years of married life before my son entered the picture...My pool game never suffered until he came along, and became way more important than knocking balls around.

I used to play seven nights a week for 6+ hours, now I might practice twice a week for 2 hours each night...but I feel like I'm playing better overall than I ever have.

It's tough to choose to spend a night at home instead of going out...I'm happy with the results so far. I just wonder if it's even realistic to strive for greatness at a game which will never be the most important thing in my life.

I think it's time you got your own table...and play a lot of straight pool.

The Miz taught school till he was 36, I believe.He only quit when pool
and his related businesses started producing sufficient income.

I think you can have it all without living out of a suitcase.
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
...I think you can have it all without living out of a suitcase.

One alternative is sleeping on the sofa after returning home from an extended Vegas pool tournament trip. Some players may be welcomed home by unconditional love from one family member. :p
 

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justadub

Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
One alternative is sleeping on the sofa after returning home from an extended Vegas pool tournament trip. Some players may be welcomed home by unconditional love from one family member. :p

That is frickin' awesome.... :thumbup:
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Gold Member
Silver Member
One alternative is sleeping on the sofa after returning home from an extended Vegas pool tournament trip. Some players may be welcomed home by unconditional love from one family member. :p

JAM....I think I just spotted your next avatar pic......
....that's awesome
 

Mr441

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Your title says 'A+' players but your post indicates 'top players'....where I come from those are two totally different things. In NYC an A+ is a very good amateur player but still under shortstop level. An A+ would usually get the 5 ball from a top pro and still won't like it. So it's quite easy to become an A+ (by that definition) and raise a family.

If you're talking about top pros though, it's harder but still quite possible. Some examples I can think of: Mosconi, Tony Robles, Tony Crosby, Johnny Archer, Jeanette/George, Don Willis. A lot of pro snooker players have families but they do get paid a lot more so maybe that's a bad example.
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
I know one "master" player whose game has declined since marriage & baby. I knew his odds of turning pro were over when I offered to give him a free ride (pay his room, entry fees, etc.) to the Reno Open (this before it became a fiasco). He replied he couldn't go because it was his wife's (then girlfriend) birthday weekend.

He's still a darned fine player, just not at the level he once was.

Priorities DO change, yes they do.

Oh well...that saved me some $$$. :smile:
 
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