Player Profile

Erl Stickland

NameDate of Birth Country
Erl Stickland08-06-1961United States

Name             :        Erl Stickland

Earl "The Pearl" Strickland (born June 8, 1961 in Roseboro, North Carolina) is an American professional pool player who is considered one of the best nine-ball players of all time. He has won numerous championship titles and, in 2006, was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame. He is also known as one of the sport's most controversial players for his outspoken views and his sometimes volatile behavior at tournaments.
Early days
Strickland started playing pool at the age of 9. After intensive practice, he entered his first professional tournament aged 15.
Career
Strickland rose to national prominence in 1983 with a victory in Lake Tahoe. This was followed in 1984 by the Caesars Palace Pro Billiard Classic in Las Vegas.
According to sources, Strickland played "like a polished gem." He was beginning to be a dominant force on the tournament trail and recognized as a future world champion. He had the "skill, endurance, patience, temperament, and tenacity of which champions are made." Because of his dominance, Strickland was named The National Billiard News Player of the Year in 1984. He won the 1988 World Open championship, after a momentous final confrontation between himself and Mike 'Captain Hook' Sigel".
A 45-second shot clock was used to monitor each shot because the tournament was being recorded for broadcast for a seven-week series. At the conclusion, Sigel commented he could feel the pressure of being clocked. Strickland, on the other hand, said they "could have made it only 30 seconds between shots, and it wouldn't have mattered." 
At the 2004 Derby City Classic, a week-long multiple tournament event held every January in Louisville, Kentucky, Strickland was one of six competitors in a nine-ball ring game. Veteran Grady Mathews, when introducing Strickland, says that when Strickland is in the house, "A hush ensues, and there is an expectation" due to his brilliant shot-making capabilities and unpredictable behaviour. 
Awards and accolades
Strickland is a multiple winner of the prestigious Player of the Year Award, and his career highlights include five wins at the United States Open Nine-ball Championships (more than any other professional pool player worldwide), and the WPA World Nine-ball Championships. Strickland is the only WPA World Nine-ball Champion ever to win the event in consecutive years. He was also an ever-present player for the American team in the annual Mosconi Cup tournament, from its inauguration in 1994, up until 2009.

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