Mark Wilson. ~Serena Black {Interview}

Serena Black: When did you first begin shooting?

Mark Wilson: I began playing pool at age 18, and during these times we did not have a professional tour. The B.C.A. U.S. Open Straight Pool in Chicago and a major 9-Ball tournament in Dayton, Ohio was about it. I first began really trying to play while in my first year of college. Prior to college I had always played every sport, but upon entering college on a partial baseball scholarship I was no longer good enough for the football and basketball teams. Pool took up those hours and a real passion was ignited… I was horrible, however.

SB: How old were you when you hit pro rating?

MW: My skills became professional level when I was 22 years old. I had been playing 10 hours a day, every day, for four years. I wanted this so bad, and was willing and keenly interested to pay the price.

SB: What is your favorite game to play?

MW: I grew up playing Straight Pool, but now recognize that Rotation is my preferred game.

SB: Who taught you to play? How did you pick up the game?

MW: I learned to play and had many mentors along the way. The first major influence is Jerry Briesath and “Sailor”—aka Frank Stellman—Jeff Carter, and later Efren Reyes. However I do not wish to minimize contributions from many others, because the trail to excellence has someone new nearly every day.

Competitors, professionals, amateurs, challengers, supporters, and beginners have all taught me, inspired me, and helped create my skills and passion. My parents taught me organization, discipline, and work ethic along with moral character and they contributed mightily to any success.