This is a very well considered post.
The chance for a skilled, but relatively unknown, player to emerge in a pro event is a positive, not a negative, and the sport needs even more of it if participation is to grow substantially. I would prefer that the game itself be modified, rather than frequently breaking a tie with something as ridiculous as a spot shot shootout. Ten ball last, ten doesn't count on the break, and call shot are all examples of rules that reduce the chance of weaker players beating stronger players. These rules, which pros will argue are necessary to ensure that the best players have the advantage they deserve, actually discourage growth in participation. The recent World 10-ball championship took elitism in the sport to a truly embarrassing level when it seeded Stage 2 based on WPA ranking rather than performance in that event.
Poker has shown that if amateurs who perceive themselves as competent feel they have a chance to take down a substantial prize, they'll show up in a big way for the chance. Pool is more committed than ever before to ensuring that few amateurs will feel justified in rolling the dice on participation in pro events. The delusional feel that a chance to mix it up with the best is a sufficient lure for the longshots, but it doesn't draw that many participants. There won't be a Chris Moneymaker type story in pool, in which a relative unknown takes down a very prestigious event, and yet every person who makes a living at poker will tell you how much growth in poker resulted from Moneymaker's improbable nut truly memorable win.
Jeremy Seaman's deep run was, indeed, good for our sport.