Shane is not better than Earl

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
What's the deal Jay?......I'm starting to think you don't like Earl......:grin-square:

I don't like or dislike him. I just tell the truth about what I see. Earl is a major head case, way beyond MacEnroe, Rodman or Daly. They weren't sick, Earl is. You don't have to be a therapist to figure that one out.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
There sure isn't much evidence for the claim that Earl is better than Shane, assuming we're talking about the Earl of today and not Earl back in his prime.

In recent years, Shane won the 2007 US Open 9-ball event, Shane won the 2009 Derby City Nine Ball event, won the 2010 Super Billiards Expo 10-ball event, came 2nd in the 2011 Derby City 9-ball event, and won the 2011 US Open 10-ball event.

What accomplishments does Earl have in recent times that suggest his name even belongs in the same sentence as Shane's? When Earl starts snapping off the major events, we can begin to compare him to Shane. Until then, it's time wasted.
 

Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
Well put but I have to disagree with Mika being a B in mental toughness......Mika is as mentally tough as anyone...Period!!

Nah, I have seen him get flustered and shoot bad. He did so in the Mosconi Cup, a couple matches in tournaments when a player goes off on him and some bad swings go Mika's way he has tended to lose abit of the focus. I mean, keep in mind this is relative to other pro's, not Joe the plumber who plays in your league. Mika is at the same position as Archer and Appleton, both champs, and Mika is below the mental toughness of a Wu or a Ralph, I think he is a pretty clear step below their level of focus and mental toughness given the amount of pool I have watched them all shoot.
 

Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
Earl is a major head case, way beyond MacEnroe, Rodman or Daly. They weren't sick, Earl is. You don't have to be a therapist to figure that one out.

If you "were" a therapist you might not have been so quick to put Daly onto that list.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Earl is, indeed, very comparable to John Daly. John was a wonderful golfer, and became one of pro golf's most revered competitors and characters. He won the PGA and the British Open, two of the most coveted titles in golf, and his highest gear absolutely awed golf fans, but like Earl, John had his demons.

In John's case, the problem was alcohol , which affected his play and his demeanor for the worse. At first, golf fans cut him some slack, hoping he'd regain control of his life and find his former game. Sponsors followed suit and gambled on his reemergence, but John continued to disappoint, having regular meltdowns on the course, even walking off the course on more than a few occasions. Now, both fans and sponsors have largely tired of Daly's act, which disgraces the game, and he gains far fewer invitations to compete. Sponsors and professional golf organizations don't want John to be their poster boy anymore, as his deviant behavior reflects poorly on them.

And so it is with Earl. He was a superstar of the highest magnitude, but he became possessed by his demons, which resulted in frequently deviant behavior. His fans, at first, cut him some slack, but as he showed less and less self control and diminished respect for his sport and its constituency, many tired of his act.

Both Earl and John, despite highly impressive competitive achievements and larger-than-life images, hurt the image of their sport, but golf, which weeds out underperformers and those who, through their conduct, demean the sport, has moved past it. Not so with "show up and play" pool, which must continue to tolerate Earl.
 
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westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I see the parallels between Daly and Earl. However, Earl is a much more accomplished pool player than Daly is a golf player.
 

Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
I see the parallels between Daly and Earl. However, Earl is a much more accomplished pool player than Daly is a golf player.

Golf is a far tougher sport to dominate. There is ALOT of money in golf and ALOT of people who want to be professional golfers. There is little money in professional pool and there are not that many people out there that are willing to commit their life to being a professional pool player.

If pool were as popular as golf and paid as much money it would be a far tougher sport as 10 times as many players would be stepping out of the wood work and everyone in the professional ranks would put far more effort into being the best. Instead the sport kinda bites and we get guys like Corey Deuel that put in lack luster amounts of effort into the game when the guy had the potential to be a monster. Cj Wiley as well, that guy had sick skills and he just game up after the Camel Tour collapsed, Mike Sigel, Evgeny Stalev, Reed Pierce, there are a slew of players who were hugely talented in this game that simple quit, that does not happen to guys with that level of skill in golf and it makes the golf scene alot harder. Even guys like Steven Hendry, Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White, John Higgins, ect... if pool was as attractive as the PGA Earl would have been competing on a regular basis against those guys too and they would have gotten their share of titles. Pool simply does not have that draw to get all of the top cueists actually playing the game. I have known at least 3 players that IMO had the ability to be pro level pool players and simply never had the draw to do it because of the lack of money and opportunity in the game.
 

subdude1974

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Golf is a harder sport period. But that is a topic that has been beaten to death. As far as Earl goes, I was an Earl fan back in the day. Loved watching him play. Still do. I watch all kinds of videos of him back 10-20 years ago. As far as comparing the 2, that is easy. As much as I like Shanes game, if the younger Earl was to play Shane now, hate to break it to you SVB lovers out there, but it would get ugly quick. Earl made balls and outs from everywhere. Didnt matter. The only reason he didnt win more was because he had younger Efren to compete against. And he still won his fair share. Not sure about the number, but isnt it 6 US Opens. Let me know when Shane has that many. Hell, Efren 10-20 years ago beats SVB. But today, Earls head gets in the way. Comes with shots, but blows up all the time. The first 10 ball match they played that Earl won, he only won due to his behavior the first day. He was in Ultra Shark Mode. I was actually feeling embarrased watching it and I wasnt even there. But then, he wusses out and wont play the other part of their match to play Shane on a 9 footer. Earl of old beats him on the 10 footer, doesnt miss a beat and says rackem on the 9 footer. But it is pointless to argue either side as it can never be proven.
 
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whitewolf

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
....... Earl? He has so much freaking skill that he sometimes actually wins despite his complete lack of mental game. If you took Earl's skills and natural talent and put them into a head as cool as Ralph you would have a pool playing monster that would never lose a tournament.

One of the best pool players ever told me that Earl cannot play pool the way it should be played. He choses the wrong shots, wrong position, etc. but since he is so talented he gets by with this. Earl should even be kicking everybody's a s s today. Earl should be in his prime. His inability to play pool the way it should be played holds him back, plus his obvious lack of mental control.
 

jaybanthony

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Golf is a harder sport period. But that is a topic that has been beaten to death. As far as Earl goes, I was an Earl fan back in the day. Loved watching him play. Still do. I watch all kinds of videos of him back 10-20 years ago. As far as comparing the 2, that is easy. As much as I like Shanes game, if the younger Earl was to play Shane now, hate to break it to you SVB lovers out there, but it would get ugly quick. Earl made balls and outs from everywhere. Didnt matter. The only reason he didnt win more was because he had younger Efren to compete against. And he still won his fair share. Not sure about the number, but isnt it 6 US Opens. Let me know when Shane has that many. Hell, Efren 10-20 years ago beats SVB. But today, Earls head gets in the way. Comes with shots, but blows up all the time. The first 10 ball match they played that Earl won, he only won due to his behavior the first day. He was in Ultra Shark Mode. I was actually feeling embarrased watching it and I wasnt even there. But then, he wusses out and wont play the other part of their match to play Shane on a 9 footer. Earl of old beats him on the 10 footer, doesnt miss a beat and says rackem on the 9 footer. But it is pointless to argue either side as it can never be proven.



Very well put, skill wise there is no comparison. I'm not knocking Shane I just don't believe he is as skilled as Earl, Even the Earl of today......Antics aside of course..........Did anyone see the whooping he put on Johnny at Turning stone yesterday?.......where's shane at?..:cool:
 

jaybanthony

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of the best pool players ever told me that Earl cannot play pool the way it should be played. He choses the wrong shots, wrong position, etc. but since he is so talented he gets by with this. Earl should even be kicking everybody's a s s today.


That's a ridiculous comment to make no matter how great the player who told you was. He was obviously hating on Earl. His Position play was and is as good as anybody. What was he watching?:confused:
 

Klink

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Mental

Earl has more natural talent then SVB, it is not even close in that aspect. He is the better overall player "when" he can keep his head in check. Earl's top speed is higher then SVB's top speed, Earl's top speed is higher then anyone out there in fact.

BUT, and this is a huge but. Earl has absolutely no mental toughness, very little ability to grind, he is unable to draw deep and pull himself back into a match.

Truth is I don't think SVB himself has a huge mental game or amazing grinding ability, but compared to Earl SVB is a rock. Compared to Alex though? SVB gives up some in the mental toughness and grinding aspects of the game, the "heart" portion of the game when compared to Alex. It is why Alex is so able to compete with SVB despite a serious disadvantage in the break. SVB pretty much said the same thing on the commentary on the Raj/Oscar match, he learned alot from playing Alex in how he approached the game and commented on times he himself has had problems with negative feelings hurting his performance at times.

Mental toughness? The ability to keep your focus and your cool under tough circumstances? This is how I would mark things for alot of the top pros. This is NOT a ranking of skill, it is a ranking of how mentally tough the player is, I think alot of the people lower on the list have ALOT more skill and natural talent then some of the people who are higher up.

Ralph: A+
Wu: A+
Efren: A
Orcullo: A
Bustamante: A
Thorsten: A
Alex A-
Yang A-
Mika: B+
Appleton: B+
Archer: B+
SVB: B
Deuel: B
Dechaine: C
Morris: C
Hatch: C
Putnam: D
Earl: F

Guys like Ralph, Wu, Dennis, Efren, Busta, Thorsten, those guys are rocks under the pressure, they are able to perform when the pressure is on and when things go bad they do NOT let their emotions get the better of them and give themselves the best chance of anyone to get back into a match because of it. Mika, Appleton, Archer, SVB, those guys are all super skilled and they have some strong mental game at times, but they have been known to occasionally lose their composure and it has at times really dropped their game down at crucial moments when they needed it most. Morris, Hatch, these guys have alot of skill, but their mental games are erratic and it costs them. Sometimes they shoot like world champs, other times they cannot get out. Their inconsistent ability to play their top game due to emotions has cost both of these guys alot of success. Earl? He has so much freaking skill that he sometimes actually wins despite his complete lack of mental game. If you took Earl's skills and natural talent and put them into a head as cool as Ralph you would have a pool playing monster that would never lose a tournament.

I have no idea how anyone could question SVB's mental toughness or grinding ability. At long races SVB excels like no other. I mean you don't see anyone jumping up to play him a TAR match do you? In my opinion that is why TAR is going to shorter races because no one besides Shane likes the long races.

Also as far as being mental tough he sure faded Earl didn't he? If Earl and SVB each played the same ten champions in a round robin right now Shane's record against them would just crush Earls.
 

Icon of Sin

I can't fold, I need gold. I re-up and reload...
Silver Member
Thread title should read...

Shane is not better than Earl... at tennis.

Out of the three large race TAR matches Shane was won 2. Both of the Shane won were on Standard equipment. The match Shane lost was on a 10 foot table that was heated with 860 on the bed and 760 on the rails and a shot clock.

If Earl was the better player then Earl would be able to beat him regularly on regular equipment. Not a gimmick match like the 10 footer.
 
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Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
I have no idea how anyone could question SVB's mental toughness or grinding ability.

Don't listen to me then, listen to SVB himself. He has said that he had issues getting his game going against Earl in both of the last two matches, he was unable to filter out Earl and play his actual game. When Alex made the huge comeback on Shane and it came down to the wire Shane felt the heat and he blew his late chances in that match. Even in the most recent Alex match Shane went through highs where he was making everything, and went into lows where he missed shots in clusters. You could see very clearly "before" the misses that Shane was not quite confident at the table, not focused into the game and was playing more "scared" pool. The other moments when he is running 7-packs and 6-packs? There is no lack of focus, there is no fear in his game, he is shooting high offense pool with a different style of game with more purpose.

The difference between SVB and Raplh? Ralph does not really have those low confidence moments or let a player get into his head to the point it affects his game. Earl can blow a gasket and do whatever he wants but Ralph has shown time and time again that Earl cannot faze him and normally drills Earl in those instances. Ralph does not have the inter-match or even inter-tournament highs and lows, his game is pretty much constant pressure. You are not going to get lucky and get a "bad" Raplh in a match who missed a few shots and lacks confidence in his game, the only time Ralph loses a match are when people beat him, he never beats himself.

I am sorry for you SVB fans but his mental game is simply not at the level of a Ralph or some of the more dominant Taiwanese and Filipino players. That is not to say it is bad, but there are better and I graded on a curve.
 

whitewolf

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's a ridiculous comment to make no matter how great the player who told you was. He was obviously hating on Earl. His Position play was and is as good as anybody. What was he watching?:confused:

Actually, he and Earl are good friends. He did not make this comment to belittle Earl, as he has a lot of respect for Earl's game. He has played Earl many times and has had first hand experience observing Earl's game.

How many times have you played Earl? I might point out here that you seem to be such an Earl fan that you let you emotions overrule your common sense, or better yet, lack of pool knowledge, possibly (?) i.e. there are so many ways to play a pool shot that a talented player may not choose the preferable way a lot of times. Fans overlook this because they are dazzled by Earl's smoothness/stroke.
 

Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
Silver Member
Actually, he and Earl are good friends. He did not make this comment to belittle Earl, as he has a lot of respect for Earl's game. He has played Earl many times and has had first hand experience observing Earl's game.

I don't really care how good the guy plays if he is saying

Earl cannot play pool the way it should be played. He choses the wrong shots, wrong position, etc.

he is clueless.

I have known alot of REALLY good pool players who are not that smart and simply have natural talent and the eyes for the game and who also don't have to worry about their brain getting in the way of their success, he sounds like one of them. Anyone who can watch Earl's pattern play and the way he shoots pool and could say the above seriously has no clue what they are talking about, whether they can shoot pool or not.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thread title should read...

Shane is not better than Earl... at tennis.

Out of the three large race TAR matches Shane was won 2. Both of the Shane won were on Standard equipment. The match Shane lost was on a 10 foot table that was heated with 860 on the bed and 760 on the rails and a shot clock.

If Earl was the better player then Earl would be able to beat him regularly on regular equipment. Not a gimmick match like the 10 footer.

Some people would argue that a match on a 10 footer is the gold standard of top play
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Some people would argue that a match on a 10 footer is the gold standard of top play

Yes, especially those who played 60 years ago, when the governing bodies of the sport last thought such equipment to be appropriate for finding out who's the best.

Someone with a little more insight would say that a player that demands to have the equipment his way, the rules his way, the balls racked his way, and can't help but continually shark and show disrespect for his opponent knows just how little chance he'd have using standard euqipment, normal rules, balls racked the normal way, and sitting still and shutting up while his opponent shoots.
 
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