Well here is once again another story that is a bitch ass move made by people who cant stand that I have been winning most of the time when I come around. I think I am going to get that shirt made that says “ARE YOU HAPPY IM HERE!?” lol/ So I go to this $60 tournament in Rochester NY at Camelot Billiards. Its the old East Ridge Billiards that was owned by the late Tony Vacaro who was murdered tragically by gunfire. This was a famous room back in the day where the likes of Mike Siegal, Deacon Crane and still the current room of Ron “Julio” Cosanzio who was dubbed by Buddy Hall back in the day,”The Best Full Time Working Man Pool Player In The World”. “Julio” is still winning most of the Joss Stops he plays in and plays as good as any regular PROFESSIONAL and not too far below the best in the world.
So I got there with a friend of mine Danny Miosi and his son….who is 11 years old and is going to be a killer in no time. Actually….hes already beat some of the best players in Buffalo in local tournaments and I’ve nicknamed him Jake “The Giant Killer” Miosi. Watch for him. He’s coming. Also, Mark Hatch..Dennis Hatch’s uncle who taught Dennis how to play and is an old warhorse in the game…used to play on the Camel Pro Tour.. is with us also. Mark plays great pool and lots of knowledge and stories come with this colorful character. He’s a “One of a Kind” for sure. Mark and I play pretty even….although I’ve gotten the best of him our last few gambling sessions…but it could go either way at any time.
So we get there and Andy Gipson the tournament director was outside and was all “MR HUNT!!! Great to see ya man how ya been?!!? good to have you…60 bucks please sir….thank you. Tables are open go right inside and get you some practice!” Andy has always been nice to me and we have always got along very well so what I learned what transpired as the day went on….was very surprising to me. But well get to that as the story unfolds. So I pay Andy the money and so does the rest of the crew and we go in to practice. Now…the way the tournament is run….there is an “A” and “B” bracket….which is how I think all “Open” tournaments should be run. The “A’s” play each other and the “B’s” play each other untill the end of the tournament where the winner of the “A” side meets the winner of the “B” side in the finals. This is a good system to ensure that there is a guarantee for a “B” player to be in the Finals…. which ….if it wasn’t run this way…this might never happen….and it discourages the lower caliber players from playing. I totally agree with this format of play in local and larger events. Only in major OPEN TOUR or INDEPENDENT MAJOR Events do I think that the A’s and the B’s should play each other in the regular rounds….just to keep the attendance high and the participation from the “B” players high and positive. Its no fun to go to a tournament as a lower player and just have 2 bad draws and draw “Killers” and get shut out and have to go right home…or sit around and watch your friends play….cuz they got better draws. All tournaments should be OPEN….and all tournaments should have an “A” and “B” bracket in my opinion. That way we can all play fairly and in the same event to ensure it pays well and gets a larger attendance. Anyways…. right before the Calcutta Andy says…”We have a change in the rules guys! Do to a vote….we have decided that there are 4 players that will be giving all the “A” players an extra handicap! Jason Hunt, Ronnie “Julio”, Kito and Dave Grau! They will be giving the “A” players and extra 2 games on the wire…since they are all “OPEN” speed players!” Now I am certainly not in Julios class, and on paper Dave Grau is a better player than me by far…winning Joss Tour stops and finishing very high in big events like The Super Billaird Expo Open event and other various big events…and Kito…who doesnt play in anything anymore….plays as good if not BETTER than all of them when hes in stroke. Hes a truly great player and well respected in Rochester. But for some reason…a reason that I found out later…I was put into that category. Now here’s what makes this so bad. The tournament rules are:
1. 9 ball counts on the break in ALL pockets. (puts a big luck factor in the game—which is why nowadays…a lot of tournaments play rack your own and the 9 ball doesn’t count in the bottom 2 pockets…..and some tournaments…it doesn’t count at all. It gets spotted and you keep on shooting, but you don’t win.
2, Its alternate break. So that takes out the ability for a good player to outrun the handicap by putting a package on someone. That is a huge thing to take away from a good player…and a huge equalizer in a tournament if the race is short.
and 3. Its a short race. In a long race…these handicaps don’t have such a powerful impact on the outcomes of the sets. They show up….but they are not as deadly to the better player. A longer race allows the better player chances to outrun the spot. Which is what should be allowed to happen if the player can rise to the occasion. A handicap should be implemented to take the edge off the better players advantage. It should not cripple the better player…which is what these handicaps have done. ESPECIALLY since us 4 players are NOW giving those same handicaps to ALL THE “A” PLAYERS in the tournament!! ITS CRAZY!!! NOW, WE are are the underdogs in the event…..and if you say that you do this to give everyone a fair chance…WE NO LONGER HAVE A FAIR CHANCE!! We have to hope people fall dead every time they play us.. for as we all know…even “B” players can break and run out. And in a short race….with alternate break format….that is bound to happen. There is just too much going against us. All the stars have to be aligned for us to have a fair shot meaning….we win every one of our breaking games….AND the other player messes up in crucial times of easy outs to give us games they should have won, AND they never make a 9 ball on a break or luck in a 9 to win. For all those things to happen for 9 sets in a row….or more if your on the losers side…is VERY VERY improbable. And just to let you know….MANY 9 balls were made on the break.. 5 total against me. 2 in one set where I’m giving an “A” player 2 games in a race to 5. So don’t think that “9 ball winning in all pockets” thing isnt strong and going to show up. Cuz it does.. Especially when you DON’T need it to. lol That’s just the “Law of the Pool Gods”. I think you’ll all agree if you’ve played enough pool…especially competitive pool in tournaments or for money. So anyways… I voiced my opinion in protest of the “miraculously appearing rule” but it was met with a angered “IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MONEY BACK AND DON’T PLAY!” lol. pretty much a common retort from a tournament director who you have a difference of opinion with…its usually met with immediate anger and hostility even when you have a very valid point. “At least make the 9 balls not count on the break…” I said, knowing how strong that is with the newly implimented, improvised, detrimentally imposed handicap that had just been placed upon us 4 players. But again…no headway was made for our hero so I just left it at that…and still bought the first blind for 130….and bought myself. My buddy and I were going in half on all calcutta buys so we also took the second blind and bought Julio. He opted not to buy half himself because he knew how strong the new “4 player handicap” was so he didn’t want to even waste the money (he went for $180—90 would have been his half.) So we owned all of him. He got 3rd. And like I said… Ronnie is BY FAR the best player in the tournament. Just look him up…he wins a lot of Mike Zugland Joss stops….which are no walk in the parks. lol. By any means. I wont gamble in rotation games with any less that 2 games on the wire in a race to 10. He wont give it up…..but thats why we havnt played. If he’s playing well….I still probably cant get there with THAT spot. But yeah…I’m in his class… lol Whatever. So I got horse fucked. And that was huge cuz first place in the tournament was $1,000 and $700 for the first place calcuta. That really hurt me…. and it was a very frustrating thing to have happen to me when they know I dont play like Julio.Dave Grau is even the underdog playing him “even” and Kito…who just may play BETTER than Ronnie if plays every day…. doesnt play every day..and he hadnt played in a tournament for ten years. This was his “Coming Out of the Closet” tournament we joked at him… for he plays so good. But never gambles or plays competitive pool. So ..we were glad he started playing in this one. The tournament was actually a Birthday Tournament for a local player who is a hell of a guy and happens to be Spanish so all this sooked pork, rice and beans and salads galore along with 2 cakes were carted in for all the players and we sang Happy Birthday and gave him the whole experience.. It was a great tournament…..but it was a shame what they did to us 4…and especially me since I CERTAINLY should NOT have been put in that category. The other 3 certaily diddnt deserve it either but they play better than me on paper so…even if they made them do it…I should have been left alone. NOW…..I heard through the grape vine that Andy told someone “Jason thinks he’s a professional….so well MAKE him a professional. Im sick of him coming here and winning our tournaments… Hes got no shot like this. Julio Dave and Kito….maybe. But not Jason. ” This was told to me by 2 different people. And I was completely shocked cuz Andy was always nice to me. I never caused a problem in the room….and they never led on that they hated the fact that I won there all the time. So it just goes to show ya….the hate and the Jealousy that is harbored by others when your a winner….and what they do purposely to me…to keep me from having that happen. Winning that is. A good friend of my Grandfather once told me “a good way to ensure yourself not to have many friends is to usually be right….and be better than most at something…especially in competitive situations.” lol. No truer words were ever spoken I think. Mr. Markarian is a smart man. He is my favorite friend my Grandpa had.
So anyways…I’m out of the tournament. And of course…now the thing to do is get into some action and try to recoup some of the money that I spent in the tournament I was sabotaged in. So since everyone is scared of me…even when I offer very good games..I end up asking Dave Grau to play some $100 sets even. Now Dave and I have had a long history of barking at each other but we never have played. Dave said he was a little tipsy so he’s play only 1 set. Dave and I are friends and he knows how far I’ve come in this game and he has always given me high praise so I respected his decision and we matched up one set…race to 9 for $100. Now since I was in partners with my buddy he staked the game and we would split the winnings 50/50 if I won.
The scores of the set went like this. First game…I ran out and scratched on the 8 getting to the 9. 1-0 Dave. He broke and ran the next game. 2-0 Dave. He broke dry..and I ran out. 2-1 Dave. Then I broke and ran out…2-2. The set went like this until we got to 7. He would be up 2 games and I would get it back to even. Then at 6-6 he won the game and it went to 7 and I won the next 3 games in a row to win the set 9-7. It was a terrible set we both played….playing way under our speed even though he played well during the tournament and I struggled the whole way. Playing on the Diamond tables of Camelot Billiards…if you don’t know the tables…they are very difficult to play on. They have very fast rails and the cloth is very fast so it takes some adjustments and time to get used to. This is Dave’s home room and I actually figured I was going to loose but somehow I pulled it out. Dave missed a semi easy 4 ball to make it when it was 8-7 for him to get on the hill and I made a pretty easy run-out to win the match. We laughed the whole way through the set talking shit and bantering back and forth since we are friends and we both have that “NY shit talking personality” under the comfortable conditions that we were in…. laughing at each others mistakes and commending each other when we made nice outs. Dave is a great player and I have a lot of respect for him and his game…and it was finally nice to have gotten in a money match with him after all these years of barking at each other. Also….I know I was very fortunate to have won the set seeing as how below par I was playing during the tournament…and continued to play during the set…..even though I played better in the set for $100 than I did in the tournament. I usually play better for money as it is but im trying to get my tournament play better as I get older so….I have been doing well at that I think and I have been winning a decent amount of the things I have been entering. Although they are nothing really that big, they are still wins…and money is money..and a WIN is a WIN..no matter which way you look at it.
After the set was over I started barking at the room if anyone wants to play a set for $2-500 and for anyone to make a game they thought they could win. This one guy started talking all this shit about me playing Julio “even” and I told the guy to “go sit on his thumb and spin”. Plus…nobody was talking to you…Julio can speak for himself if he wants and he knows the game…it’s 10-8. And that’s more than fair. The guys started talking all this shit about how nobody likes me and how I would get hurt if I keep barking and he’ll break “my other jaw”….so obviously someone was in this guys ear telling him a half truth about how I got my jaw broken in Las Vegas in a poolroom cuz of my mouth. Actually…its cuz I was protecting the DJ’s girlfriend from this huge drunk black guy who wouldnt leave her alone and the DJ was too pussy to say anything to the drunk guy cuz he was huge. I went over to him….stood up to him and told him to leave the girl alone. We had some words….and the situation was squashed..and when I turned around to go back to my table…he sucker punched me when my back was to him…catching me in the side of my jaw….and shattering it. It had NOTHING to do with pool…. It had everything to do with my respect for women…and my hear to protect them in a bad situation. Guess that has always been one of my flaws… I got too big of a heart. But anyways….nobody stepped up….so we packed our stuff up…and hit the road Jack.
Oh…Also.. Mark Hatch also got into action with a local player for $100 a set..and won his set also…and I had a piece of his bet…so I only ended up loosing about 80 bucks for the trip….when I came with almost $400 and was down to my last crumb. Julio took 3rd and Danny and I got back $100 a piece for that….along with some side bets I placed with some brothers in the room who were gambling amongst themselves that I meandered in on and got myself aquainted with, as they passed 20’s and 50’s back and forth.
The best thing about a room full of action…is there is always a way to get money if you can talk your way into a bet…and get on the right side of it. Now that always isn’t the easiest thing to do….but if you work on your craft…you learn how to interact and get yourself into a position to be able to….if you can win….get yourself a nice daily check. A good hustler is a smart hustler…and you don’t have to be a thief or a con artist or a snaky underhanded individual to be a successful hustler. There is such thing as an HONEST HUSTLER. I’m a living example. To “Hustle” means to work hard. That is the original definition. You just gotta be smart…make the right bets….and perform when it comes time to perform. All legal….and all good money….with a clean conscience.
Keep your conscience clean my friends. And Keep Hustlin. Till next time. Good Night and God Bless.