I completely agree with you.. Earl was not selected because of his play. He also doesn't attract crowds because of play. You're kidding yourself if you think it has something to do with 'celebrity status'.
I'll also agree that he is a legend. However his legend has been morphing over the years and I personally believe his invite has more do to with the current version rather than his running/gunning ability from years gone by.
I think you're kidding yourself if you think Earl Strickland has no celebrity status in the pool world, but thanks for sharing your opinion.
When people grow old, they cannot play as well as they did in their prime, but they are still respected as a legend, just like Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry. They can't play well today, but they're still respected by their peers and by the sports world, including the fans and current pros.
Unbelievable the opinions shared in this thread about a 61-year-old Hall of Famer and world champion giving it his all. It's a privilege for some of us to see him compete at this level. For others, Earl has a target on his back for know-it-alls who sit behind a computer and spew their words of wisdom.