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Buffalo Unleashed: Attitude is Everything. ~ Jason “Buffalo” Hunt

Well it’s time again for another issue and I was trying to figure out  from everything that I feel is needed to be said in and about this subculture that we call pool.

I sat up long nights and pondered away hot days trying to weigh the most important thing to say to all the readers out there and since it’s the beginning issues of what is going to be—no doubt—a hugely read publication. I wanted to set an imprint in people’s minds that will stick first and foremost thought the life of Sneaky Pete Magazine.

And here it is:

Be happy, proud and congratulatory for the winners of events and action.

There’s a saying: “To The Victor Goes the Spoils.”

Yet this is not so true in pool I’m afraid, unless you’re a professional. The majority of the population in the local pool scenes hate the guy who wins the most. They talk bad behind his back, they jack up his handicap so hopefully he can’t win anymore even when he’s already the highest handicap in the city and they even go as far as to ban him from tournaments and establishments when he wins even through all that effort to stop his success in this game.

Not only does this hurt this players life—-its hurts the rest of the pool community because now you have taken away the ability to witness and play against a high level player who has been handicapped down so that you have a very good chance to beat him.

I remember an article that Samm Diep wrote called “When Handicaps Handicap” or something to that effect. She talked about how her now husband Mark “Spain” Vidal played in a local tournament at a handicap where if he lost one game. He was out of the tournament. He ended up winning the tournament and people not only complained, they tried to get him banned from the event. She talked about how he had to play at an amazingly high level and had to have luck on his side at that and when he won it was another high level player who had won the event many times in the past. This person was the biggest complainer and was trying to have him banned.

This same scenario has happened to me many times—and I’m sure to many other players who have worked hard to be a good player—to have their efforts pay off by finally getting to a level where they can win tournaments. If we don’t give people in this game love and credit for their very high level of play and the respect they deserve, why would anyone want to be a good player?

How many times have you heard someone say: I don’t want to be good! Good players are broke. Hated and can’t get a game nor can they play in any of the local events!

And the sad thing is, they are right! This rhetoric is terrible for other people to hear. and it’s also terrible for it to be true! Why would anyone want to get good if this is what they run into at the top  (before they go pro that is). Then everyone is on their you know what.

And at that point they have sponsors; people who want to let them stay with them and help pay for their life and then they don’t need to play in the local events regardless so why would they care at that point if they can’t play or they are at a handicap they can’t win? They don’t. So it doesn’t affect them. It affects the rest of us.

The 99% of people who play pool and who don’t have those luxury of other people helping them with their lives. So we need to not make it harder for these people (if they can win) to make a living. Or at least win, without negative consequences.

We need these people in the pool world.

They are the people we should be looking up to in our own communities. We need these people so others have a goal to work toward—to be the best themselves—so they can win the money that that other player is winning. We need to elevate their game so they can reap the rewards that other players reap, and to have a goal.

The goal to beat someone is what motivates them to come spend the time and the money in their local pool room—to get better. It’s so they can be that dude (or dudette).

We need to be happy for the winners in the pool world. Give them the credit and respect they deserve. Give them the spoils that come along with being the victor.

And give people in this subculture—a reason to be the best they can be. This is an important life lesson for everyone in the world: To be the very best we can be because it pays off in the end.

Sincerely, Jason”Buffalo” Hunt

Photo: 2ilorg/Flickr

Editor: Dana Gornall

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