I Love ….

poolSynergy Logo When I first decided to host this topic, I believed I would write about how much I love Xioting Pan’s focus, Alison Fisher’s dominance, Ga Young Kim’s ferocity, Jeanette’s business savvy or Jasmin’s KILL mode.

But each article I began seem to be missing something.  I’d write, “They’re my favorite …" and then feel sorta empty.

Another face kept popping into my head as sentence three and four emerged and I’d hit delete and the computer’s black screen faced me again.

While these ladies of pool do inspire me so, my favorite pool player is someone much closer to me than I realized a month ago when I picked this topic.  He is a champion in 9-ball, 8-ball & 14.1.   A teacher, a promoter, enthusiast, but more than his accomplishments, it’s his character that makes him my favorite.  How important it is that the game be respected, how overjoyed he feels at the glee in his student’s eyes when they learn something new and how he can’t seem to muster enough hatred in his heart to damn a person that just stabbed in him the back.

Maybe this is cliché or just annoying even.  That’s ok.  If you don’t like the mushy stuff, I’ll give you free access to click that little “X” at the top right hand corner of your screen and “have a nice day.”  🙂

If I’m being honest with myself, my favorite pool player truly is my boyfriend, Tony Robles.  He embodies all that I wish the pool industry were … a gentleman.  Our sport would be the gentlemen’s sport, not the hustler’s.

He’s the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.

TR & GG 2

I know him behind closed doors, before and after a win … and a loss.  I’ve seen the good days, and the bad.  I’ve seen the good rolls, and the bad.  I’ve seen the man get thrown some really nasty hands and you know what?  I’ve never met anyone that still finds a way to smile and gives thanks for what he still has despite what he’s lost.

He has this uncanny ability to have his kill mode on the table, and remove that chip off his shoulder the moment he breaks down his cue.

I’ve never in my life met someone who GENUINELY treats everyone as his equal.  Despite his pro status, no one is beneath him in his eyes.  As he’ll tell you himself, “Just because I’m better at pool than you, doesn’t mean I’m better than you!  You might be better at math, or computers or history than me!  Everyone has their strengths.  Why should singling out just one subject make someone a more important person than another?

This humility is not all that common in the pool world.  I’ve seen pros snarl at a kid that asked for an autograph, gawk at a lower handicap who asks if they’d like to shoot a set, and hustle a fan out of money by using their appreciation against them.


Ralf’s got it.  Efren’s got this class.  Thorsten’s a gem.  Bustamente, in spades.  Santos for sure.  Alison big time.

There are those good guys of the game, but more often than not, the bad boys reign supreme in the showcase of the pool world.  And we wonder why we can’t rise to a higher level of respect among the other sports.

I came into this industry with NO knowledge of the pool community and all it’s followers.  I was just a banger, drinking just as much as I was pocketing … ok, I was drinking more than I was pocketing … ALOT more even as the nights went on.  But this was back when pool was fun and competition a joke.  I didn’t know how seedy this arena could be, how much you had to watch your back and how two-faced so many were.

Knowing now all the hands that sift threw the cookie jar of the pool world, I’m thankful Tony was my introduction to the batter.  He’s been a steady guide to the good of the sport and a great detour from the dark path so many follow.  A great encyclopedia for the game’s inner workings & the champions of the sport.

TR & GG He lets me see the game through his eyes, and he is truly in love with this game.  His’ enthusiasm is infectious.  His dreams, inspiring.  His goals, thoughtful.  His intentions, genuine.

Without Tony, this game would have beaten me a long time ago.  I’d have surrendered to all the grime of the pool world and moved on to something else.  I thank God Tony holds my hand through it all, inspiring me and my character each day.

He is my best friend … He is my better half.


~ by g2 on February 15, 2010.

6 Responses to “I Love ….”

  1. […] in the picking process.  Perhaps inspired by the lovey-doveyness of Valentine’s Day, in, "I LOVE…" I write a love letter to my favorite player of the […]

  2. I really appreciate your openness regarding your feelings about Tony. I know him a little, talked a few times and I got to lose to him at a Glass City event, lol. I realized right away that he is genuine and a fine individual. I am happy for both of you. By recognizing the higher self in someone you encourage and strengthen it. It seems you both do that equally for each other. That’s rare in a relationship. Nice that two decent people found each other.

  3. Maybe you were surprised at who you would write about, but I wasn’t, and I bet not very many others who know or read you were either. That’s a very good thing, though. It’s relationships and people who are important; pool’s just a game. Your feelings for Tony come through loud and clear, but so do your many reasons, and those makes me wish I knew him too. Best of luck to you two.

    I wish that the sport of pool had the aura and character of golf or tennis. Both have their good guys and bad guys, but in golf & tennis the good seem to outnumber the bad by a wide margin. In pool, alas, not so much. I find it particularly sad because people see golf and tennis as white collar compared to pool’s blue collar. But the blue collar people I know aren’t of inferior character to the white collar people I know, not by a long shot. It’s a puzzlement.

  4. Sweet stuff, G2.
    You are both a couple of lucky people!

  5. interesting post, in a sticky, gooey, mushy sorta way . . .

    somebody hose me down. all this sugar’s gonna attract ants. shouldn’t this be a private post or sumthin’?

  6. U guys r so in love………when you gettin married???? I have known Senor Robles…….for a very short time………..excuse me…..I really don’t know TR. But the fact remains, he is a gentleman. Did I say gentleman….who dat sayin who dat when I say WHO DAT!!!!!!! Yes. If there is to be a genuine friend whom treats you as his equal, it is TR. I had heard of TR through the grapevine about 10 years ago…he sounded like a man unaproachable. I mean who calls himself the Silent Assassin??? Certainly, in the beginning of my aquantance of TR I kept my distance. Afterall, THE SILENT ASSASSIN sounds pretty deadly. However, I found him to be approachable and an enthusiastic proponent of the game. I consider him a friend among many aquantances. Good Guys come along few and far between……he is one of those few. u r a good person Charlie Brown..keep up the good work.

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