CJ Wiley: The Tao Of The Pool Warrior ~ Patrick Sampey

The Tao flows through all things, and is the underlying current that electrifies CJ Wiley’s pool game — guiding him towards a greater meaning and purpose in life — the life of a consummate martial artist, and professional pool player.

“Lao Tzu, in the Tao Te Ching explains that the Tao is not a ‘name’ for a ‘thing’ but the underlying natural order of the Universe whose ultimate essence is difficult to circumscribe due to it being non conceptual yet evident’ in one’s being of aliveness. The Tao is ‘eternally nameless’ (Tao Te Ching-32. Lao Tzu) and to be distinguished from the countless ‘named’ things which are considered to be its manifestations, the reality of life before its descriptions of it.” — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao

Born and raised in Green City, Missouri, population 657 as of a 2010 census, about 140 miles from Kansas City — CJ Wiley began shooting pool at age 7, standing on wooden soda cases to reach the shots on the table, at the town’s pool hall.

“I started out at age 7 in a city with a population of 629, called Green City, Missouri in a pool room with three tables. I went in there with a friend from first grade, beat him two games, standing on Pepsi crates to reach the table, and I just had a knack for it from the beginning.” Wiley regales me, of his introduction into pool. “I ran two racks in a row playing 8 ball when I was 11, and a rack of rotation, which is all 15 balls in order when I was 13, and won my first tournament, which was a regional tournament in Missouri when I was 12…I mainly just played in the pool room there in Green City. They didn’t have tournaments there, they just had a lot of players, and it was 10¢ if you lost, so that was basically the bet.” Said Wiley of his youth in th