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Johnny Archer and Earl Strickland Set to Battle in the First-Ever Bad Blood Challenge Match

Posted on by Alison Fischer

Bad Blood: Archer vs Strickland

Bad Blood: Archer vs Strickland

Two of the most legendary living icons in pool, Hall of Famers Earl “The Pearl” Strickland and Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer, are set to face off on April 2-3 in Lincoln, NE in the $10,000 Bad Blood Challenge Match, presented by The Legends and Champions Pool Tour, in association with, and sponsored by Budweiser.

With their vastly differing styles of play and personalities, few players today have the storied history that Archer and Strickland have had over the past few decades.  NYC Grind’s Jerry T. recently spoke with Legends and Champions promotor Mark Cantrill about how his experiences with these two touring partners and rivals lead to the creation of the Bad Blood Challenge Match… read on to hear the story and get all the info on this exciting match-up.

Mark “T-Wheels” Cantrill:

“Well, as you know, I work with a number of top pro pool players including Johnny Archer and Earl Strickland. Johnny, Earl, and myself have been on the road together many, many times over a three-year period as part of the Legends and Champions Pool Tour.  As time has gone by, the tensions have mounted between the two pool greats. Not really sure what the trigger point was, but things were getting brought up between the two of them that had happened 10 to 15 years ago. There were other things that were starting to happen, a obvious lack of respect for the other one thinks the other is trying to sabotage his career, and the other think he is a time bomb.

So it got to the point that they told me they would not work with each other anymore and asked me to rearrange the tours putting someone else with each one for the exhibition and pool clinic tours. So that is what I did, and recently spoke to both of them and said, ”You guys are good together, how do you feel now that time has passed about doing a tour together?” Archer said, “The only way I will do anything with that man is if I get the chance to torture and embarrass him in public.”

I asked Earl about touring also, even though I knew how Johnny felt. Earl said ‘No way’. So old T-Wheels wheels started turning, so I said to Earl, ‘Well, you wanna play him?’ Earl was thrilled with the thought of showing the world that he could still compete and beat anyone at any time, especially Archer. They both agreed to play under a certain format as are explained in the press release. I told them it would be on PPV, and then they were really chomping at the bit to get at each other. The amazing thing with all this up to this point is nether of them had asked about money. This was personal and the money seemed to be a added bonus. I told them I didn’t want any savers or splitting up the money again, both were on the same page. ‘I want ALL the money, why would I do a saver on a match I am going to win?’ one said.

So, I went about getting sponsors and talked to Bob Finke of AirArt1 and told him what I was up to, and he wanted to be a partner in it and help financially and get on the ground, as long as we did it in Lincoln, NE. So there we have it, we are finally here with a line of other top players and legends waiting in the wings with agreements to do the next couple of Legends and Champions ‘Bad Blood’ Matches.”

Bad Blood: Archer vs Strickland

Bad Blood: Archer vs Strickland

Strickland and Archer in Bad Blood Challenge Match: Press Release

“Everything is in place now for the first Legends and Champions “Bad Blood” Challenge in association with Airart1,” announced Mark (T-Wheels) Cantrill. The first Bad Blood Challenge will be between Johnny (The Scorpion) Archer and Earl (The Pearl) Strickland. The Challenge will be played over two days on April 2nd and 3rd and will start an 12.noon each day at Drifters Pool Room in Lincoln, Nebraska. The purse for this match is $10,000 winner takes all. The match will be refereed by one of the worlds best Referees/Tournament Directors, Bill Stock of Cuesports International.

The Legends and Champions “Bad Blood” Challenge will be available for purchase online at for $25.00 for both days of action. Locals and travelers will also be able to attend the event and tickets are available for purchase at Drifters Pool Room. Call 402-261-3617 or online at Ticket price is $25 for the two days and will also be available same day but seating is limited so buy yours early.

There are a few bonuses added to the event, Both players will be wearing wireless mics so we will be able to hear every word, another treat for the PPV audience is there will be two Hall of Famers in the commentary booth with Nick Varner and Buddy Hall giving their expert analysis and play by play of the entire match. Anyone who is signed up for the Pay Per View or who is in attendance will be entered into a drawing for some bonus prizes. Such as a Johnny Archer match worn and signed Mosconi Cup shirt. There will be a few other drawings for a Nick Varner Signature Series cue signed by Nick Varner himself. Other bonuses to the production will be Player interviews before and after the match and a pre game predictions interview with Nick Varner and Buddy Hall.

“I work with a number of top professional players, Johnny and Earl being among them, so I know from personal experience the issues that each of them have with each other and I have a feeling some of these issue are gonna come out at the event. I know they both have respect for the others abilities and accomplishments but unfortunately that is where the respect ends. Although there is $10k on the line the money is almost secondary to these two Hall of Famers they want to win” Said Cantrill.

“Earl has tortured me and most other players over the past 20 years with his antics, well I’m going to torture him for two days and give him a little back of what he gives everyone else,” said Archer.

For more information please go to also become a friend/like the Legends and Champions facebook page at to be entered into more drawings and get up to the minute info on all Legends and Champions events.

The legends and Champions pool Tour and AirArt1 would like to thanks all of the sponsors of this event for their support and for their support to the game of pool. A special mention goes out to AZBilliards for their constant support.

OB Cues
Elder Jewelry
Von Busch and Sons Refuse
Lincoln Heights Hotel
Madsen’s Bowling and Billiards
World Wide pool Stream Promotions
Runout Media

Bad Blood Rules and Info:

* Played on a Diamond Pro with 3 7/8 inch pockets.
* Race to 15 – 10-Ball
* Race to 15 – 8-Ball
Each rack won = 1 point in both games. Example Earl beats Johnny 15 to 10 in 8-Ball. Earl has 5 points.

* Straight pool race to 200.
Each 10 points = 1 point
Winner of the challenge will be determined by who has the most points accumulated over the three sets.

1) Break from the box, 8-Ball and 10-Ball.
2) Alt breaks.
3) Referee racks.
4) 30 Second shot clock – 40 second shot clock after the break. One 30 second time extension per rack per player.
5) Call Ball, call pocket unless obvious, call safety.  (When a player calls a ball and does not pocket the ball in the pocket called, the opposing player has the option of shooting or making the other player continue to shoot)
6) No Jump cues.
7) all other rules are standard.

For more info please contact Mark Cantrill at or by phone at 480-612-7732.

About Alison Fischer

NYC Grind Editor & Contributor
This entry was posted in The Latest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    Johnny Archer when just 17 use to come through my little town of Athens,Al,. as did Varner, Brian Atchley, Allen Hopkins, Mizerak went to college here for 4 years, Terry Bell, Searcy, St. Louie Louie, Country Calvin, Jack Cooney, Stevie Moore, and a whole lot more to play the local hero, Kenneth James. Archer and Atchley were about the same speed and Atchley was becoming the best bar box man in the world and he just gave it up stone cold turkey. He could shoot equally with either hand and jump or break with either hand. The pool world lost a great player when he hung it up. On top of all of that he was probably the nicest pool player that ever played the game. I hope some of you had the privilage of meeting him.

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