Sharing The Light – Question 6 March 2022

Question #6, March 2022:

Is it possible to reach pro level without the experience of playing for money?

Mike Massey

Mike Massey:

Of course it is. Ralf Souquet is a good example. He doesn’t gamble, and I believe he never did. He’s in the BCA hall of fame and one of the best players for decades from Europe.

When I first accepted Jesus, I didn’t gamble for quite a few years. Then, because I didn’t get grounded in The Word, Satan deceived me into thinking that matching up with players was okay as long as I didn’t hustle. I also thought that drinking alcohol was okay as long as I didn’t get drunk. The next thing I knew, I was cheating on my wife. It all destroyed my marriage, and also my fellowship with God and other Christians.

Don’t underestimate Satan, the deceiver, and also the human heart which the Bible says is evil and deceitful. The good news is, God is there with open arms to take us back if we repent. Just like the prodigal son. Go to Jesus and tell God your sorry and ask him to help you overcome this problem. God is stronger than the desires of the heart.  If you truly go to the light and don’t try to rationalize the wrong things in your life, he will reveal them and help you overcome, if you let him.

In the last few years, I have participated in Calcuttas. I also believe this is wrong for me, and I quit recently.

What I’m saying is meant for Christians. Non-Christians don’t have the Holy Spirit to teach them, so to them it seems okay. But they also believe a lot of other things are okay, that aren’t.

The Bible says, what seems right is wrong and wrong is right in the last days, which I believe we’re living in. No one knows, but the Father. Even the angels don’t know, and Jesus didn’t claim to know.

Tom Rossman

Tom Rossman:

I believe it is absolutely possible to reach pro level without playing for money. The last time I wagered on a pool game was in the Spring of 1972. My opponent broke my heart and my wallet one night playing my favorite game with me. I had a good job working with Brunswick, so I could afford the wallet issue; however, when my heart was “broken” I realized my first love for the game (sights and sounds of the pool balls) had been put on hiatus because of some very poor free will decisions on my part as they applied to the game, including the gambling factor.

That night I made another free decision to “never” play for money again, as I was convicted that it was God’s money and that I should not use it as a pawn in my pool journey any longer. Beating someone for money became a short-lived emotion for happiness, and I realizing if I hurt that much by “losing God’s money”…then, just maybe a person that I may take their money from could hurt him or her even worse with irreparable results.

From 1972 until present day, I have thanked God for the ability and joy in playing “His” game in a positive, sharing, and loving capacity in relation to anyone I may play. After that decision in 1972 to steward over God’s game in this manner, I started winning in my heart each time I played. God even allowed over 40 major professional victories on the table via Artistic Pool, plus a special BCA Hall Of Fame induction in 2017.

So, I am firmly convinced that one can reach pro level without playing for money and play with the “heart” of Jesus…focusing on Him and what He did for us on the Cross. By doing so, the Holy Spirit will be activated, which can take anyone to the next level and beyond.

Best Victories to All…

Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman

Steve Lillis

Steve Lillis:

The answer is absolutely yes and I will use various examples of recent top professional pool players.  Let’s look at a few Christian BCA Hall of Famers first.  Mike Massey (2005) and Robin Dodson (2005) both made commitments early on to stop gamboling and play professionally without wagering as they both felt it was a poor witness for Jesus Christ.  They both went on to become World Champions after they stopped playing for money.  Tom Rossman (2017) made a similar decision and had a very successful career as a top showman and World Artistic Pool Champion.  Tommy Kennedy became a Christian as a young man and went on to win the 1992 U.S. Open and many other titles inspiring people like me to play pool competitively and use it as an opportunity to share the love of Jesus.  Other top European players who I respect and admire like BCA Hall of Famers Ralf Souquet, Thorsten Hohmann, and Mika Immonen fine-tuned themselves into world class athletes and World Champions with rigorous discipline and training and did not play for money.  I could go on and on and name many more but all these mentioned above not only earned the respect of their peers with their pool playing ability but also earned the respect of sponsors and fans by not playing for money!