Hello Sneaky Pete Mafia readers! Well we finally made it….with lots of hard work, dedication, a budget of blood sweat and tears, and a team of unique individuals all with a unified overlapping goal in life… TO CHANGE THE FOUNDATIONS OF POOL SO WE CAN ALL MAKE A GOOD LIVING AT IT!
In case none of you don’t know me my name is Jason Christopher Hunt; also known as “Buffalo”, “The Huntsman” and if you knew me prior to 2001, “Quick”—my first nick name given to me by one of the biggest “Ballers” in Buffalo NY after Eddie Murphy’s character in Harlem Nights. I was brought into this amazing team of unique individuals because…..just for that reason… my uniqueness in this game. I have been playing for a living since right after 9/11 when I move to NYC on the 2nd flight into the city that they allowed after the flying ban to be with my girlfriend at the time…who was a professional make-up artist to the STARS. I was a hot shot young player with many talents and puppy dog eyes to the world…and it was here in NYC where I got a hard lesson about the prices you pay for playing good pool….and not playing “good enough” pool. Since I had lots of natural talent, I was able to beat almost everyone….but the top players. And of course you probably now….nobody likes a guy from out of town coming in and dominating the local scene…so they try and get all the big dogs to come eat you… as well as trying to make it impossible for you to win a nickel in their city. (they make it a personal mission to kill your “Action” and slander your name so people will not play you and sabotage every ability for you to make a living in in the game. It’s a very sad state of affairs to be the top of the food chain in your local area…right underneath the “sanctioned Pros” if any…in your community. In NYC where there are LOTS of clicks and coat tailers….it was probably the best “POOL WORLD EDUCATION” I could get at an early age. After I broke up with Candace I have traveled around this whole country playing pretty much the same role. “THE BEST OF THE NON PROFESSIONALS AND TOP ROAD PLAYERS” Remember, top road players play just as good as pros…Sometimes better…they just don’t want to get “KNOCKED” or recognized when they are out on the road so they stay out of the limelight. There’s an old saying…”You can’t make a living signing autographs” So you really can’t blame them. Now in SOME cities…I was THE BEST player… like in Las Vegas…San Antonio…(well I shared the title in San Antonio with Shane Manole and John Haggar—- when he was in town). I was the best in Temple and Killeen Texas and Venice Beach California. So…it’s a tough roll to play…because…people hate you for winning….and it’s your job to win. Or you don’t eat. So….you’re at a paradox. Your get persecuted….for doing your job at its highest level. So without going into too much more about me….let’s get to “WHAT ROLE I WILL BE PLAYING IN THIS MAFIA FAMILY” I am going to be the voice that changes peoples mentality about “HOW TO THINK ABOUT POOL, THE PLAYERS AND THE SUBCULTURE”. Because you know what????!!!! WE ARE ALL ONE BIG FAMILY AND SELF CONTAINED SELF SUPPORTING SELF SUSTAINING SUBCULTURE! And when people start realizing this….and start working together, supporting, congratulating and applauding each other…and condemning the BAD SEEDS and the people who steal from our pockets while smiling in our faces and try to make us feel like THEY ARE DOING US A FAVOR!! Things will get a LOT better in the POOL WORLD> For EVERY ONE….from the professionals….to the people who Samm Diep (an amazing woman in pool by the way…and now currently married to my old friend Mark “SPAIN” Vidal..) wrote about in her book “YOU KNOW YOUR A D PLAYER IF….” which I thought was a very cute book. Lol.
Now HERE is one thing about pool that is different than OTHER professional sports. THERE IS NO BIG OUTSIDE SPONSORS! WHY??? CUZ THE PEOPLE IN POOL SCREWED IT UP FOR US! This is a major underlying theme in pool. The people who run tours, run leagues, run organizations, run major events (like …AHEM… THE FREAKING U.S.OPEN!!!) Are STEALING ALL OF OUR MONEY!!! and manipulating the course of events within their events. NOW….. THIS IS NOT EVERYONE!!! AND EVERYONE WHO IS DOING IT…IS NOT ALL DOING THE SAME THING! BUT! It is ALL GOING ON in some shape or fashion….for the MAJORITY of the events….in the MAJORITY of the country. I want to apologize right now to all the people who are on the UP AND UP in this game….I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. And my Pocket. lol because honestly…I make a living off this competitive Art form…..and it’s the people like you guys…”THE GOOD GUYS” who have kept me from totally going postal….and actually still….despite all the bad…been able to be successful in all my travels…with just a piece of wood, a tip of leather, some chalk…..and a lot of talent and heart. You are role Models for all the new up and comers in the business side of the game….and in my opinion….you should be teaching younger players how to do things right on the opposite side of the counter….so we can start to breed a new fleet of room owners, tournament directors and league organizers…to really make pool worth playing… monetarily, morally and emotionally. Now, I don’t just want to put all the blame on the people involved in running the show. There is much responsibility that lies in the players hands also. The HUSLTING (as in sand bagging) part of the game needs to end in the LEAGUE environments! It will always be a part of the GAMBLING world…so if you agree to play someone you don’t know for money….just understand that there MIGHT be a chance he’s not playing his full speed to keep you on the hook….and milk you while you think you can win and “HE JUST GOT LUCKY”. This is YOUR responsibility to police yourself and as a grown adult….nobody should be there to protect you ANYWAYS. As a matter of fact, if I had a pool room and there was a guy in there who was a “Stool Pigeon” or “action killer” and went around knocking peoples action….he wouldn’t be a customer for very long. That’s bad for business. And let’s face it… PEOPLE MAKE A LIVING AT PLAYING POOL… THEY DON’T NEED OUTSIDE PEOPLE GETTING THEM FIRED FROM A JOB BEFORE THEY EVEN GET HIRED! BUT!! in a LEAGUE ENVIRONMENT…..where people PAY MONEY TO BE INVOLVED IN A FAIR HANDICAPP SYSTEM LEAGUE WITH THE CHANCE TO GO TO LAS VEGAS AND WIN BIG MONEY AS A TEAM AND AN INDIVIDUAL… it’s a real spit in the eye when your honest about your “SPEED” and someone else is “Sandbagging” and when you meet each other in crucial situations to advance you get run over and feel like you just got a gun put to your head and robbed for all your dignity, money and “reward for being an honest human being.” I know of LEAGUE OPERATORS who allow teams to stay low so they can go win in Vegas…..and the operators get a kick back from the winnings in the Championships. This is just one of the many ways that people involved with league play can manipulate the things so that they are raping the system….all for their own monetary and “POPULARITY” gain. Another thing that needs to change is POOLROOM OWNERS ALLOWING BAD THINGS TO HAPPEN IN THEIR POOLROOM!!! I don’t know how many times not only have I witnessed….or personally been involved in….something terrible or morally wrong happening to someone–(getting stiffed for money, having a fight caused, getting into other people’s business, “knocking action”) etc. And the room owner says “that’s not my responsibility”. YES IT ABSOLUTELY IS!!! THIS IS YOUR POOLROOM!! EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!! You should know EVERYTHING that is going on in your room at all times on every table. Whether they are playing for money…for fun ….or for pushups. Pool rooms are like Houses….would YOU leave some stranger in your house unattended and not check in on them when they are wondering around in different rooms with china and crystal and jewelry around? I don’t think so. A good room owner knows EVERYTHING that goes on…..is on a PERSONAL BASIS with EVERYONE who walks in the room….and is neutrally abreast of ALL activity going on in the establishment. The worst thing that ever happened is room owners completely ignorant to all activity in the room….managers who have NO CLUE about pool…and both of them VOIDING THEMSELVES OF ALL RESPONSIBILITY of all negative occurrences in the establishment. AND!!! Allowing those people to come back in and do it AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. THAT IS A HUGE DETRIMENT TO OUR POOL SUBCULTURE AND THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE! Another thing that needs to start taking place is… ROOM OWNERS AND TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS NEED TO START WORKING HAND IN HAND WITH EACH OTHER…NOT AGAINST EACH OTHER!!! Every city has a POOL COMMUNITY. Many players play for more than 1 reason… meaning ….it’s not just all fun and games and relaxation for people. As a matter of fact…MOST of the poolroom communities play SOME TYPE of competitive pool…WITH THE INTENTION OF GETTING BETTER AND MOVING UP THE COMPETITIVE SCALE!! There should be a friendship between the room owners who work together to maximize their business with these players. Instead of being in competition with each other…and breaking up the groups of people who travel for reasons such as tournaments and leagues.
Here is an example:
Let’s say there are 4 rooms in a 50 square mile radius. Now each room is going to have its locals….its regulars. BUT…if it holds leagues, (especially multiple leagues), it’s going to obviously have people who travel TO AND FROM it to play. It’s going to be the same with tournament players. So let’s say there are 40 people who like playing tournaments in the 50 square mile radius. 30 of the players are aspiring players who are trying to get good enough to feel they can take that step into tournament play. The room owners should get together and make a TOURNAMENT TRAIL…where they work together to make sure that EACH ROOM GETS ALL 50 PLAYERS at least once a week in their room.. So …Monday room A has a 9 ball tournament….and NO OTHER ROOM HAS A TOURNAMENT THAT DAY! So EVERYONE GOES TO ROOM A. THEN Tuesday…..the tournament is at room B. So EVERYONE is at B. Then wed. Room C has the 9 ball tournament… then Thursday its room D.
NOW….that way….ALL ROOMS CAN GET ALL 50 Players at THEIR ROOMS once a week….and the tournaments will get huge….and grow even more cuz the only thing that grows a tournament… IS THE ABILITY TO WIN MONEY!!!!!
THAT’S IT!!! The more money you can win…whether it’s on the Tournament or the break and run or whatever….THAT’S WHAT BRINGS IN PLAYERS!!!! And the more players….the more people are spending Money….and the more people match up…and the more table time you get as an Owner….and the more excitement you draw to you room. And it grows like cancer…but in a good way. And that way…ALL THE ROOMS can enjoy that GOLDEN AGE at least once a week.
The worst thing poolroom owners can do is schedule tournaments on the same day… it’s like 2 Gunslingers drawing at the same time and shooting each other in the head…EVERY WEEK. Nobody wins….they all loose.
Another thing I am known for…and this wasn’t my intention…it just seemed to happen that way….is my Facebook page. It has been called “The Most famous Facebook Page In all of Pool” and has been quoted to be “More interesting and entertaining to read than Billiard Digest. Pool and Billiard Magazine and Inside Pool all put together. I have been quoted many times by both Ray “BIG TRUCK” Hansen and the boys at On Site Pool Network (Zach Goldsmith and TV Mike Warden) to be a “POOL INTERNET CELEBRITY” Now I don’t really think about those things…I’m too busy living my life…and writing about it. But I think I got this recognition due to my brutal honesty and exact reporting about what I have exactly been through.
My goal is this:
One day it will be worth saying to your Mother, Father and Teachers when you’re young and they ask you, “So what do you want to be when you grow up little fellow??” and you can proudly answer “A PROFESSIONAL POOL PLAYER!” And they will be very proud and supportive or your answer. Because to be a Professional Pool player will be a prestigious place in life and generate millions of dollars as a career.
Thank you everyone and thank you Garret and Suzanne for giving me this opportunity and believing in my vision and my love for the game. I look forward to writing and supporting the family and helping change the face of pool which is ALL OF OUR CONGLOMERATE GOALS in this FAMILY. For that’s what we all truly are here in pool. ONE BIG FAMILY.
I hope to be a powerful role in that effort and ultimate goal. I love pool…and for the majority…I love the people within it. We need to all come together and not be selfish and look out FOR THE PLAYERS…and constant progression for everyone playing …all over the world.
Jason “Buffalo” Hunt