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View Full Version : The USA Needs Players to Fill the Shoes of Sigel, Varner, Hall, Mizerak, etc.


cuetechasaurus
11-15-2006, 06:45 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

Black-Balled
11-15-2006, 07:05 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

This pool thing is worldwide now, babee! How many Taiwanese champs did you hear of from 1985. Hell, how many Philipinos were on the US radar in TX in 1985:eek: ;) :D

Top% players you mention tho...

YOu have good rep coming you way;)

Hierovision
11-15-2006, 07:06 AM
Wait for this generation to come out... it takes a while for reincarnations of greenleaf, wanderone jr., etc. to be born into the sport. Every generation gets smarter and more skilled than the last (don't tell the old-timers that!) so it's only a matter of time before the machines of the billiards world show themselves.

ioCross
11-15-2006, 07:11 AM
well in asian and some european countries, they treat billiards as a state or government sponsered program. In taiwan, they take kids who have potential at billiards in middle/high school and give them professional instruction. in germany you can join the army to play pool. it only makes sense that with the amount of interest thier countries put in billiards that they wipe the floor with thier american counterparts where even most of the pros/top regional players basically learn by gambling.

gulfportdoc
11-15-2006, 07:39 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.
That is a very interesting question, for which I imagine there are many different answers. I don't see as many poolrooms of the quality that nurture and produce future champions as I used to. Very few rooms today inspire serious learning and developing of a strong pool game. Most rooms seem to be "entertainment centers", where one can play video games, watch sports, chase women, get drunk, and maybe shoot a few racks. Some rooms hardly seem to bother with 9-foot tables anymore. I was 25 years old before I ever saw a juke box, bar box, or liquor in a poolroom. It was rare to see a woman in attendance.

The owners can't be blamed. They're just trying to make a buck. There is just not that much demand for serious poolrooms. Therefore young players are simply not getting good quality exposure to excellence in this difficult game.

The U.S. has had a long history of great poolrooms and players, going back at least to the late 19th Century. I suspect pool is relatively new in the Orient and Europe. Consequently there is a new excitement, a new fever, which we here in the States have let wane. My guess is that there are plenty of good quality rooms in other parts of the world, and that the game is taken very seriously.

There may be some more subtle reasons. I don't want to open up a Pandora's Box, but the U.S. as a whole has lost much of it's spirit and the desire for excellence that once was so prevalent-- that was so widely aspired to. The constant drumbeat from the media and from our enemies within try to convince us every day that we're second rate, that we're evil, that the desire to be the best is passe and undesirable in these modern, progressive times.

Hopefully all these elements will gradually come around, and we can start to see our young pool talent developing again.

Doc

CaptainHook
11-15-2006, 07:44 AM
What about Hoppy's kid? He any good?

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 08:18 AM
Back in the early 20th century of billiards, USA was considered as the domination of Pocket and Carom Billiards. It was where we had the Schafers, Hoppe, Greenleaf, and those greats that made this game the way it was. Then the next half century came upon. Billiards has uprooted into another dimension that even so, we are so rare with tallent. USA is very cocky and not putting enough effort that other contries are. I mean, take a look at Taiwan. Seriously, do you imagine a small country putting such great effort as if there was no tommorow during the WPC. And comparing that to USA, they showed the showmanship that this game put up. I mean, seeing Earl S. put his panties all up-in-a-bunch really just told me that he just "spits" at his competitors and shows no respect. The fact is that if he has problems from whatever aspect of his life is, take it out of the door and not to his opponent. As far as those other talents like Deuel, Jones, and other American cueist, they still need time and discipline to be greats. Archer, as far as he is concerned, need a good look in the mirror and say to himself if he wants "IT" bad!

-- I am entitled to express my own opinion, if you have yours, drop me a line.

no-sho
11-15-2006, 08:58 AM
Maybe it's also the fact they practice, practice and more practice. Drill after drill after drill, Day after day, year after year. Not just throw the balls on the table and shoot them in at warp speed. The European players also play alot of straight pool. Look at the top European players and they are ALL play great straight pool.
Most don't even gamble, their are exceptions though like Sandor and Petroni,Reimering and others!
That's why I don't buy into the rule that you have to play for money to get seasoned BS.
When Hohmann won the WPC in 2003 the most of the members here were saying who is this guy, he was lucky, a one tournament wonder and bla bla bla! YOU STILL BELIEVE THIS NOW???????
It's not just happening in pool either. How long has it been since the Americans won the World Championship in Basketball, Hockey, Volleyball and even Baseball. Tennis, since Sampras retired ???????? Ryder Cup
Maybe we should practice, practice, practice and stop treating every athlete like a prima donna.
I heard on the news yesterday that the Boston Red Sox are going to pay 50 million dollars to some Japanese TEAM for the right to even negotiate for a pitcher of theirs. If they can sign him it will probably be another 50 million dollars. Hellooooo.
300 million people and they can't find a pitcher in America.

Sorry for the rant, didn't have my coffee yet!

no-sho

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 09:26 AM
I 2nd that motion above.

ioCross
11-15-2006, 09:39 AM
Maybe it's also the fact they practice, practice and more practice. Drill after drill after drill, Day after day, year after year. Not just throw the balls on the table and shoot them in at warp speed. The European players also play alot of straight pool. Look at the top European players and they are ALL play great straight pool.
Most don't even gamble, their are exceptions though like Sandor and Petroni,Reimering and others!
That's why I don't buy into the rule that you have to play for money to get seasoned BS.
When Hohmann won the WPC in 2003 the most of the members here were saying who is this guy, he was lucky, a one tournament wonder and bla bla bla! YOU STILL BELIEVE THIS NOW???????
It's not just happening in pool either. How long has it been since the Americans won the World Championship in Basketball, Hockey, Volleyball and even Baseball. Tennis, since Sampras retired ???????? Ryder Cup
Maybe we should practice, practice, practice and stop treating every athlete like a prima donna.
I heard on the news yesterday that the Boston Red Sox are going to pay 50 million dollars to some Japanese TEAM for the right to even negotiate for a pitcher of theirs. If they can sign him it will probably be another 50 million dollars. Hellooooo.
300 million people and they can't find a pitcher in America.

Sorry for the rant, didn't have my coffee yet!

no-sho

americans are known for resting on thier laurels :)

honestly i think we're too used to being #1, take that for granted, then get our illusions shattered by other countries who are still hungry to beat americans.

RSB-Refugee
11-15-2006, 09:55 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.
Is it possible that, American pool has not declined, but rather stagnated, while international pool has advanced? It would help if, America appreciated its great players. I mean, we have won the Mosconi cup and I'm sure the winning participants could walk down Mainstreet USA, and not even be recognized. There once was a day when, young kids thought 'maybe I could be the greatest player and be famous'. Today that is a pipe dream. Greatness needs to be recognized, and not just monetarily.

Tracy

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 10:54 AM
I mean, we have won the Mosconi cup and I'm sure the winning participants could walk down Mainstreet USA, and not even be recognized.
Tracy

The Mosconi Cup is a prestegeous prize for pride and honor (and maybe a prize amount of money) for the great Willie Mosconi, but that is just USA vs. Europe. Why not make it an all out mélle and just bring in Team Phillipines and Team Taiwan (or whatever team in Asia [notice that I didn't say Team Asia]). Really wake up the US into realizing what real pool is all about and make them work hard for it.

f210
11-15-2006, 11:14 AM
Team Asia is a good idea. Who do you think should compose team Asia? It is very hard to choose as their are a lot of excellent players over there.

ioCross
11-15-2006, 11:29 AM
i think asia as a continent has way too many strong shooters not to be seperated by country.

Island Drive
11-15-2006, 12:40 PM
There first has to be a platform where each level of skill is pushed to the next level. In the US there is no structure and no realistic setting of goals presently in place to create players like the Asian part of the world plus our economy at present has changed our billiard landscape. Can't think of one pro that would groom his kid to be a pool player in the states, its been this way for along time. Sigel put a golf club in his kids hand from and early age, because "there" lies structure, opportunity and reward.

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 12:51 PM
There first has to be a platform where each level of skill is pushed to the next level. In the US there is no structure and no realistic setting of goals presently in place to create players like the Asian part of the world plus our economy at present has changed our billiard landscape. Can't think of one pro that would groom his kid to be a pool player in the states, its been this way for along time. Sigel put a golf club in his kids hand from and early age, because "there" lies structure, opportunity and reward.

That's what makes this country one of a kind. We have the freedom to do whatever we want to do. And this is where it leads to downfall. I mean, if there were a system where billiards is a sport and not acutally a fallback game where friends just whack balls all around a stupid coin-op table, then we have hope that there will be a (so to speak) dream team. If there were rivalry groups from around the country and maybe a few from each state that meant about the experience of playing and not just always about playing for money (and I stress not just always because pressure is always something to conquer) then becoming the dominance of billiards is in the cards. Sofar, as said above, Island Drive, the economy is decipating the "game" of billiards and as soon as we know it, it will not be terriably big as we all thought it should be.

Craig Fales
11-15-2006, 02:34 PM
Well firstly things like the IPT bullshit doesn't help the image of pool at all...secondly pool isn't supported by the US probably because of lack of pool being considered a serious professional sport...my biggest pet peeve is that there is definaltely no structure for the players...no 'umbrella' organization to support the growth and general public education of where professional pool is going...without putting pool in the mainstream...it's not going anywhere...while not the most entertaining thing to watch there is much room to grow and promote the industry as a whole....mainstream sponsoring of tournaments is a key to moving pool forward...TV coverage has helped but production of what's aired is lackluster and could easily made more entertaining...look at golf...forget 'TV rounds' have early round matches shown and jump from match to match...how hard is that??

I got a little off track there but all the above could certainly be reasons why much less Americans excel as much as our foreign counterparts...
________

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 02:38 PM
I agree, IPT really put a strain to TV programing... as well as what the above said!

wvroadrunner
11-15-2006, 02:52 PM
There first has to be a platform where each level of skill is pushed to the next level. In the US there is no structure and no realistic setting of goals presently in place to create players like the Asian part of the world plus our economy at present has changed our billiard landscape. Can't think of one pro that would groom his kid to be a pool player in the states, its been this way for along time. Sigel put a golf club in his kids hand from and early age, because "there" lies structure, opportunity and reward.

Never heard of Sigel having any kids.

LAMas
11-15-2006, 03:02 PM
Table time can kill your practice time to get really good. You can go on the road until they know who you are like John Schmit until he entered the bigger tourneys. You have to win or finish well at the tourneys to make a living at it.

We don't have a sponser like Puyat Sports as the Philipinos do.

BRKNRUN
11-15-2006, 03:16 PM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

With the developments of late, I personally would like to forget the name Mike Sigel is associated with pool...

How about replacing him with a name that actually helped launch pool into the public eye in a positive way..."The Miz"

Or how about a name that helped educate many a beginner student learn the jargon of pool and many ideal tips through video study.....Grady Mathews and or Billy Incardona

Finally...as far as other contries making a joke out of american players today ....Nobody new about overseas players during yesteryear...Today there is internet, much more efficient travel etc....

Years ago...there were only a handful of really good players....Today again with internet, more effective training tools & teachers (that are willing to share the pool "secrets") there are way more good players just in the US...It is MUCH more difficult to stand out as a TOP pool player, cause there are so many in line waiting to knock you off your perch...

Methodman201
11-15-2006, 03:20 PM
You know,
This could be a great BilliardsDigest artical.
This would be a great indepth artical.
I.E. Who has whos personallity, Who playes like who, Etc....
Damn, Yeah......
I think I'll be writing an E-mail soon.
-Vincent

Aaron_S
11-15-2006, 03:24 PM
What about Hoppy's kid? He any good?

If you're talking about Willie Hoppe, any "kids" of his would be senior citizens by now since he died in '59 at the age of 71.

fanthom
11-15-2006, 03:35 PM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

'To be the best, you have to beat the best the WORLD has to offer'. This is not to take anything away from the good US 'ol timers of pool. Keep in mind that the old timers were known 'local' top talents of their time. It wouldn't be fair or accurate to label them as world champions as they nor the rest of the world were given the opportunity to compete against each other at that point in time. Today's pool is a more precise representation of what a 'world champion' is about. As the word 'world' implies, you play with the very best in the world.

Like many has mentioned in this thread, the demise of top pool play or players in the US is due to waning support for the sport. It is not given as much recognition/importance as that of mainstream-high sponsorhsip sports such as golf, football, basketball, baseball etc. In countries such as those in Europe and Asia-Pacific, the sport has government backing and victorious players are hailed as national heroes similar to gold medalist athletes in the summer and winter olympics. So there is not only a financial incentive involved but more importantly honor and national pride. In the three WPC's that Earl Strickland have won, how many times has he had audience with the US president of the time? Zero. Win the World Series or the NBA finals and you'll be having berakfast and taking photo ops with the president the following week.

Vices also play as an important factor. Knowing some and following a few of the latest WPC champions, a good number of them do not succumb to substance abuse. Gambling of course is another issue.

Sadly, pool in the US still has the stigma of the typical blue collar, back-room, smoke-filled, booze infested, shady character type of activity. Surprisingly poker has risen from that image but perhaps only because of the amount of money involved in those multi-million dollar tourneys.

No matter what generation and unless the perception and the waning support changes it is unlikely that the US will become a world pool powerhouse in the near future or any future.

Island Drive
11-15-2006, 04:04 PM
If you're talking about Willie Hoppe, any "kids" of his would be senior citizens by now since he died in '59 at the age of 71.

Probably meant Hoppe, Alan Hopkins nickname.

I also think Sigel has two children.

Pinocchio
11-15-2006, 05:51 PM
Give the top 5 Filipenos U.S. citizenship an your wish is granted.


Pinocchio

elizabeth
11-15-2006, 06:09 PM
You dont have a clue as to what you speak and talk about rude.You just want to hear yourself talk.

BigDaddyInc.
11-15-2006, 06:11 PM
Wait for this generation to come out... it takes a while for reincarnations of greenleaf, wanderone jr., etc. to be born into the sport. Every generation gets smarter and more skilled than the last (don't tell the old-timers that!) so it's only a matter of time before the machines of the billiards world show themselves.
Yes hierovision hit the nail on the head this new generation with the likes of cory deuel and others i mean when i watch cory play i see an absolute stroke of genius the newer players are very smart in this present moment as the older pros where very smart in their particular time frame and the more the american players play the foreignors they shall learn from them then take that knowledge put it with their own knowledge and goodnight! Just a side note: i have great respect for all players but i gotta root for the home team.

I rack balls
11-15-2006, 06:23 PM
I am on my way, just wait another year or three.

Eric.A.

Craig Fales
11-15-2006, 06:38 PM
You dont have a clue as to what you speak and talk about rude.You just want to hear yourself talk.

One poster...you should direct your post to someone....

Yes hierovision hit the nail on the head this new generation with the likes of cory deuel and others i mean when i watch cory play i see an absolute stroke of genius the newer players are very smart in this present moment as the older pros where very smart in their particular time frame and the more the american players play the foreignors they shall learn from them then take that knowledge put it with their own knowledge and goodnight! Just a side note: i have great respect for all players but i gotta root for the home team.

I hope some up-and-comers start showing signs of raw skill...Corey Deuel however isn't exactly new to the scene, he does give me hope for US player success...I know of alot of US talent out there but I think some organized, disciplined practice will put them over the top...
________

Gerry
11-15-2006, 06:54 PM
I think the great game of pocket billiards takes too long for us minuscule attention spanned Americans. Back in the day before Computers, instant EVERYTHING, microwaves, 500 satellite channels, pizza in 30 minutes or it's free, 30 second abs....etc, we liked things that took a little time to perfect.

Billiards went from 2 week long balk line tourneys, to week long 3 cushion events, to 200 point 14.1 challenge matches, to 1/2 hour 9ball races to 7, and throw 8 ball in there for laughs, and each one of those games in progression takes less time til you have a winner.

Our attention span is ever shortening til we all are watching 30 second hands of Texas Hold Em' and bichin about how long the guy takes to deliberate over how much to bet!

I dunno, give me hour long safety battles, and loooong runs, and I'm happy as a clam.....as my Mom would say....who was a spectator at more than one Mosconi tourney!!:D

Gerry

Craig Fales
11-15-2006, 07:24 PM
I think the great game of pocket billiards takes too long for us minuscule attention spanned Americans. Back in the day before Computers, instant EVERYTHING, microwaves, 500 satellite channels, pizza in 30 minutes or it's free, 30 second abs....etc, we liked things that took a little time to perfect.

Billiards went from 2 week long balk line tourneys, to week long 3 cushion events, to 200 point 14.1 challenge matches, to 1/2 hour 9ball races to 7, and throw 8 ball in there for laughs, and each one of those games in progression takes less time til you have a winner.

Our attention span is ever shortening til we all are watching 30 second hands of Texas Hold Em' and bichin about how long the guy takes to deliberate over how much to bet!

I dunno, give me hour long safety battles, and loooong runs, and I'm happy as a clam.....as my Mom would say....who was a spectator at more than one Mosconi tourney!!:D

Gerry


All the more reason for table jumping tv coverage....
________

VIProfessor
11-15-2006, 07:33 PM
To add to the debate, I support the view that the lack of structure in the sport is a key factor in the relative decline of American pool versus Europe and Asia in particular. The fact is that other nations are developing strong billiard federations, and the results that they have been achieving speak for themselves. I remember going to Aruba in 1999 with two buddies (the best of which was a good 'A' player and robbing the whole island! They are well organized, however, and today you enter into Aruba at your peril unless you have a world class player in your retinue! I've seen a similar development in Puerto Rico over the last decade. We are seeing no comparable efforts to develop young players in the United States and the stature of American pool is suffering for it. Even the more structured practice routines of European players, for example, is a reflection of the fact that the European players have been emerging from a veritable system in which they have been training and receiving professional instruction.

One thing, however, cannot be left out of the equation--money. Until and unless more players can make a decent living from playing and instruction, American pool will not achieve the pinnacle of excellence in world competition. How many 200 ball runners do we know who have to work full-time in some other occupation? How many world-class and professional players still have to rely on gambling income because tournament prize money just can't pay the bills? How many A- and A players can't or won't commit the additional time and effort to become professional class players because there just isn't any percentage in it? And last of all, how many professional quality players still won't participate in tournaments for fear of destroying the gambling income on which they survive?

We have got to get outside sponsors into the game at all levels, national, regional and local. It is fine for the professional organizations to pursue R.J. Reynolds and the like, but what about local organizations seeking the sponsorship of the local hardware store? These are the type of things that we will have to do to revive our sport. The bottom line? More players have to be able to make some type of living from tournaments. If that can happen, watch out world!

quitecoolguy
11-15-2006, 07:53 PM
I posted some time ago about introducing pool to young children and have the pool industry here in America support it. WELL here is my 2 cents it wont happen here...the reason..money. In Asia it is about pride..The people, the government support the pool player there because when a pool player win they are bringing a wave of pride to its people. here in america..if it doesnt make me a buck, why should i do it. There are two few organizations willing to not look at the profit margin and just make American proud of being number one. The only time we respond as a organized, pride filled nation is when something bad happens or Some one calls us out. Other than that we are what the Jappenese called us after the attack on Pearl Harbor. ... We are a sleeping Giant. I wish this sleeping Giant would wake up and support the sport i love and live for. I accept my responsibility as a player to train to get better..but i wonder how much money a 34 year old guy in Asia has to shell out to get a decent playing table and cue over there? How profit driven are they there? I only hope a wind of change will blow over American players and ask for the respect that other sports simply demand.

RiverCity
11-15-2006, 11:35 PM
I wouldnt say the overall skill/talent base in this country is weak. I think its as strong, probably stronger than its ever been. What we are seeing now, is the worlds insurgence into our little corner we call home. The games played are ours (9 ball, 14.1 etc), but that doesnt mean we dominate them, or ever really did. 40,50,60 years ago, you didnt see the masses of players coming over here from europe, and asia etc to play.
There were "WORLD CHAMPIONS"..... but were they really? If players from the other side of the globe arent playing, or invited to play..... you cant really call it a world championship. Other sports are more notorious for this than pool, its a self important ego thing that has been around for a very long time.
But to truely dominate in a field as strong as we are seeing in the world of pool today, would take a lifestyle, few if any american citizens live. Other folks have mentioned the other goverments backing their players. The sport for them is not just a game, its not a pastime..... hell its not even just a job for them. Its a measuring stick of them against us. I love this country, I really do. But the fact is, most of the rest of the world looks at us as arrogant, over valued, under educated heathens. And those observations arent without some validations. :eek: Kids in this country arent raised with the same work ethics, and moral values they were 50+ years ago. And it shows to the rest of the world. :(
Now, how this relates to pool...... if there was the dedication built into some of the kids of today, and Im not talking about what we think of as deication. Im not just talking about a love for the game. Im not just refering to long hours playing and practicing...... Im talking about hardcore something to prove motivation.....the "we" are better than "you" kind.... if there was that kind of dedication to dominate.....we would have players consistantly winning the world stage tournaments.
Chuck

SlickRick_PCS
11-15-2006, 11:49 PM
So what now, Chuck? Want our future to rely on video games and sit on their rears and inhale radiation? Is that their eye candy for being good at hand-eye coordination? Or does the future of tommorow want a further understanding and respect for a piece of furniture with cushions and phenolic balls and learning how to control one's self. Seriously, you're comments are right on and I respect that, but it is comments like that that put the fade into the society of billiards really is. It is not like I do not play video games because I occasionally do, but if I had to choose whether to play a dull videogame and sit on my butt for hours trying to configure how to end this game or go on a 24 hr streak with me and a billiard table, I would go with billiards anytime. ;)

I rack balls
11-16-2006, 12:19 AM
I blame McDonald's, poor nutrition = poor development = no talent.

Eric.A.

I guess its a not so happy meal after all.

Stones
11-16-2006, 01:21 AM
'To be the best, you have to beat the best the WORLD has to offer'. This is not to take anything away from the good US 'ol timers of pool. Keep in mind that the old timers were known 'local' top talents of their time. It wouldn't be fair or accurate to label them as world champions as they nor the rest of the world were given the opportunity to compete against each other at that point in time. Today's pool is a more precise representation of what a 'world champion' is about. As the word 'world' implies, you play with the very best in the world.

Like many has mentioned in this thread, the demise of top pool play or players in the US is due to waning support for the sport. It is not given as much recognition/importance as that of mainstream-high sponsorhsip sports such as golf, football, basketball, baseball etc. In countries such as those in Europe and Asia-Pacific, the sport has government backing and victorious players are hailed as national heroes similar to gold medalist athletes in the summer and winter olympics. So there is not only a financial incentive involved but more importantly honor and national pride. In the three WPC's that Earl Strickland have won, how many times has he had audience with the US president of the time? Zero. Win the World Series or the NBA finals and you'll be having berakfast and taking photo ops with the president the following week.

Vices also play as an important factor. Knowing some and following a few of the latest WPC champions, a good number of them do not succumb to substance abuse. Gambling of course is another issue.

Sadly, pool in the US still has the stigma of the typical blue collar, back-room, smoke-filled, booze infested, shady character type of activity. Surprisingly poker has risen from that image but perhaps only because of the amount of money involved in those multi-million dollar tourneys.

No matter what generation and unless the perception and the waning support changes it is unlikely that the US will become a world pool powerhouse in the near future or any future.

As Jimmy Mataya said, "If pool had golf's money, they'd be the bums!"
Money is what it's all about. Put enough money out there for a sustained period of time and world class talent will come out of the woodwork.
Everyone talks about TV exposure. Without TV, no sponsorship. Years ago, great athletes took it upon themselves to promote their sport. Remember seeing a picture of Willie Hoppe playing billiards on a table that was mounted on top of a car or tennis great Rod Laver stringing a tennis net across a major street in NYC and playing Ken Roswall just for the exposure. Today, there is too much of the "what's in it for me" attitude. These athletes paved the way for the players of today to earn the huge incomes they make.
How much exposure and credibility would KT and the IPT have gotten if KT had said, "There's a 3 million dollar prize fund but one million of it will go to the American Cancer Society, not under my name, but under each player's name. (Of course, this couldn't happen because there is a "natural cure" for cancer.)
I was told Efren made the cover of Time magazine when he donated a lump of money to the tsunami victim relief fund.
How about a major table manufacturer taking their pro staff on the road and doing exhibitions and clinics (Play the Pro for X amount with all the proceeds going to charity) in major malls before a major tournament in the area with a certain percentage of any money (prize fund or donations) to go to a charity. The local TV stations would be crawling all over each other to cover this. Do this long enough and see what happens to pool's overall image.
You just can't buy that kind of exposure.

arsenius
11-16-2006, 02:42 AM
As far as Asia goes, they treat the sport totally different here in South Korea. Table time is free if you're practicing, you only pay if you're competing. When you play someone, it is always handicapped. The loser always pays the table time, so you always have some incentive to try to win your set. You _never_ever_ever_ see two people trading games of 9 ball all night with no purpose, like you do in the states. You are practicing, or you are competing. And though it is always handicapped, you never have any reason to sandbag, because if you do, you pay the table time!

Then, let's talk about the people. If there is a pro player in your pool room, he will help you with your game. Everyone that I've seen play here, from C players on up, has decent fundamentals. Decent stance, grip, etc... Not all perfect or great, but you don't see the "league bangers" that you do in the states. That's because they all receive free instruction as soon as they pick up a cue with any kind of real interest. Everyone is looking to help everyone else improve. They're not afraid to tell you what's wrong with your game. The first time I walked into a pool room here, I had 2 different pros tell me "You're quite good, but you really need to work on A, B, and C. Then you will be better."

Yeah, the attitudes are a bit different.:)

jay helfert
11-16-2006, 06:24 AM
Many reasons for the decline in American domination of Pool.

Number one, I agree with the statement that the rest of the world has made huge advances, while the USA has not.

Number two, why would a good young athlete in this country chose pool, when many other sports offer much greater monetary rewards. Pool remains a choice primarily for young men and women who do not excel at other sports. There are exceptions to this of course.

Number three, the older players mentioned had a background in 14.1 first and also learned games like Three Cushion Billiards. This made them better players overall. Notice almost all the top players of yesteryear came from the Eastern part of the country where 14.1 was so strong.

I agree with the poster who said that if there were a major pool tour in the USA, many young people would get involved in the game. Not a sham tour, but a true national (or International) tour. Look at what the WPBA has done for women's pool. All the good young girls picking up cues. The level of play among the women has increased rapidly since the advent of the WPBA, especially with the ESPN coverage of all events.

That being said, there is always the possibility of a great player developing here. I like Shane a lot, Justin B. and Austin Murphy.

ShootingArts
11-16-2006, 07:21 AM
Jay,

You did a good job covering the bases. Simply no incentive for a very talented male to play pool here. If he has good hand eye coordination and spatial vision he can make millions doing something else so why be a chump playing pool? If he does play pool, he spends a major portion of his time hustling a dollar or working a real job to live.

I read on here about how many racks people can run and I wonder how many I could have ran at my best. Truth is I can only remember a few occasions when I uncorked and shot my best game. I was too busy making a buck gambling to play pool. I made a lot of money and don't regret the choices I made but I considered trying to play pool seriously in the early seventies. At the time something else that I knew was a very long shot still offered a much better chance than pool. Pool's position in the US has improved slightly since then but not much. Who in their right mind would encourage their child to devote themselves to pool right now?

Hu



Many reasons for the decline in American domination of Pool.

Number one, I agree with the statement that the rest of the world has made huge advances, while the USA has not.

Number two, why would a good young athlete in this country chose pool, when many other sports offer much greater monetary rewards. Pool remains a choice primarily for young men and women who do not excel at other sports. There are exceptions to this of course.

Number three, the older players mentioned had a background in 14.1 first and also learned games like Three Cushion Billiards. This made them better players overall. Notice almost all the top players of yesteryear came from the Eastern part of the country where 14.1 was so strong.

I agree with the poster who said that if there were a major pool tour in the USA, many young people would get involved in the game. Not a sham tour, but a true national (or International) tour. Look at what the WPBA has done for women's pool. All the good young girls picking up cues. The level of play among the women has increased rapidly since the advent of the WPBA, especially with the ESPN coverage of all events.

That being said, there is always the possibility of a great player developing here. I like Shane a lot, Justin B. and Austin Murphy.

uwate
11-16-2006, 07:27 AM
You can point to a number of factors like resting on our laurels, nutrition, tv, video games, pool rooms that cater to drunks and bangers, but imo the main reason why there are so many great players coming from other countries is that pool is BIGTIME popular in those countries. Correct me if I am wrong but doesnt Taiwan have huge pool rooms on just about every street? And they are always PACKED?

Pool gets live primetime coverage overseas. That wouldnt happen unless the networks overseas knew that they had a viable audience base. Alot of people overseas watch pool and know the game. In the USA most don't even know the rules to 9ball. People overseas give pool players alot of respect and alot of times they are hailed as heroes. In the USA if someone finds out that you play competitive pool, the first question out of their mouth usually is "Oh so you hustle pool eh?" There is a confused look in their eyes if you tell them that pool played for money is rarely played against know nothing idiots that you have conned into playing with remarks like "oh how do you play this game?". People in the USA think pool players are con men. (not so far off the mark unfortunately)

That 16 year old kid Chia-Ching Wu was given a 6 figure bonus by the Taiwanese Government after he won the world 9ball championship. Just ask Earl Strickland how much Uncle Sam gave him for winning it all 2002. His reward was maybe customs allowed him to carry the trophy aboard the plane instead of checking it at the counter.

Face it, the United States does not have the needed support from fans, our government and the billiard industry to get the base of young players large enough to generate champions that can compete with other countries. Thats not saying we do not have amazing talent here. Shane Van Boeing will beat just about anyone with a USA birth certificate in 9ball for the cash right now.

cueandcushion
11-19-2006, 01:04 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

In my humble opinion. NO ONE will ever replace Nick Varner for talent in so many different pool games and class for how he acted win or lose in a match. Also his behavior; whether in gambling or helping kids learn pool has been matched by no one in this sport. His love of the game and endless support to keep his ethics higher than expected will always be remembered. As for having another Mike Sigel. I dont think Mike will allow that.

rossaroni
11-19-2006, 02:48 AM
How about a major table manufacturer taking their pro staff on the road and doing exhibitions and clinics (Play the Pro for X amount with all the proceeds going to charity) in major malls before a major tournament in the area with a certain percentage of any money (prize fund or donations) to go to a charity. The local TV stations would be crawling all over each other to cover this. Do this long enough and see what happens to pool's overall image.
You just can't buy that kind of exposure.

Although I do mostly agree with what you said, I have to disagree with this paragraph. It would be nice for this to happen, but TV stations crawling all over each other to cover pool??? I would think that pool is one of the last things that the media wants to cover. Plus, the malls would probably rather host a concert for an up and coming boy band(seems to happen often) then to host something pool related. Also, a major tournament is only major to us- the general public really could care less most of the time. Of course, doing things for charity is great, but I just don't see it making an impact on pool, as far as the general public goes.

Gerry
11-20-2006, 05:15 AM
After re-reading this thread, I had a flash. I'm a relatively small dude at 5'6", and going on the "we want to be better than the Americans" theory, maybe the asian countries like pool so much because they would have more trouble competing on a World level at say American Football, basketball, etc?

I know I've excelled at "non-team" sports my whole life like bowling, pool, golf, etc. being a short fat kid, I always got picked last anyway!:D

Gerry

tigerallenyim
11-20-2006, 08:02 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.
I don't think it is the intention of International Superstars to make a joke out of Americans. Pride does not make a champion, at least in my book. :)
Not to stir-up any emotions, but I think it's gr8 that other countries have exposure.
We can learn from them new theories of play, or at least see a fresh perspective. And I am certain, they do the same thing vice versa.

Don't get me wrong, I understand how u feel. Take a look at the ALMS. It took a very long time before USA recaptured their title. Not only did they do that last year, but went to great lengths this year: 8 Starts, 8 First place finishes.

justnum
11-13-2011, 08:50 PM
bump

most days I think the American players dump because foreign players have more expenses.

The Renfro
11-13-2011, 08:54 PM
2006????

203047

sjm
11-13-2011, 09:15 PM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

The biggest difference is that the players of yesteryear regularly competed against the best players in the world, because most of them were American. Even when the stength of the Fillipinos became known, Parica, Reyes, Andam, Luat, Lining and Bustamante were all regulars on the PBT of the mdi to late 1990's. And the Americans continued to develop as players because all the big pool events were played in the USA.

American pool is down, way down, and most of the big events are played overseas. Other than Van Boening, American pros do not seem to show up consistently to many of the big events played overseas. Until they do, the pedigrees of young American pros will not develop to the point that they will
return to the ranks of the most elite.

Fifteen years ago, the Asians understood that America was the place to be if you wanted to develop your professional pedigree to the fullest, the place where you'd often get to compete with the very best. Today, Americans don'tsee things that way, and are happy to sit out the big events worldwide.

American pros, Shane aside, are much less dedicated to the game than the past generation of players. Unless this changes, American pool will remain in decline and the stars of Europe and Asia will widen the gap between themselves and the American pros not named Shane.

The scarcity of American players under 30 that look like they'll ever be among the world's 50 best players is undeniable, and it doesn't bode well. American pool is not just in a down cycle, but there are few signs that suggest that things will be better in the next decade.

Most of the great American champions of yesteryear were starting to win the biggest titles in their early 20's. You could tell early in the going that they'd be worldbeaters. The list of such players today begins and ends with Shane.

I sure hope I'm wrong about all this. Only time will tell.

The Chinchilla
11-13-2011, 11:54 PM
The biggest difference is that the players of yesteryear regularly competed against the best players in the world, because most of them were American. Even when the stength of the Fillipinos became known, Parica, Reyes, Andam, Luat, Lining and Bustamante were all regulars on the PBT of the mdi to late 1990's. And the Americans continued to develop as players because all the big pool events were played in the USA.

American pool is down, way down, and most of the big events are played overseas. Other than Van Boening, American pros do not seem to show up consistently to many of the big events played overseas. Until they do, the pedigrees of young American pros will not develop to the point that they will
return to the ranks of the most elite.

Fifteen years ago, the Asians understood that America was the place to be if you wanted to develop your professional pedigree to the fullest, the place where you'd often get to compete with the very best. Today, Americans don'tsee things that way, and are happy to sit out the big events worldwide.

American pros, Shane aside, are much less dedicated to the game than the past generation of players. Unless this changes, American pool will remain in decline and the stars of Europe and Asia will widen the gap between themselves and the American pros not named Shane.

The scarcity of American players under 30 that look like they'll ever be among the world's 50 best players is undeniable, and it doesn't bode well. American pool is not just in a down cycle, but there are few signs that suggest that things will be better in the next decade.

Most of the great American champions of yesteryear were starting to win the biggest titles in their early 20's. You could tell early in the going that they'd be worldbeaters. The list of such players today begins and ends with Shane.

I sure hope I'm wrong about all this. Only time will tell.

I agree with most of that, but feel Deschaine can be as great as he wants. As you say, how much a player wants it is the deciding factor.

The Chinchilla
11-13-2011, 11:56 PM
2006????

203047

The op's sentiment has even more validity today than it did in 2006. This is an "issue," make no mistake.

BFrench501
11-14-2011, 12:43 AM
An interesting thread. It's interesting to read that most asian and european countries back pool in some form, yet the main success is coming from the UK and we have absolutely no backing, no proper tournament structure aside from the GB9 Tour and no official coaching systems. The main coaches are the professional players themselves...

Why has Darren Appleton become one of the top 5 players in the world right now with no backing or structure etc?? Simple answer is he is a phenomenal cueist who has an insatiable desire to learn about any nuance of any pocket billiards game. Wouldn't surprise me to see him playing Pyramid or 3 Cushion in a few years time...

In a lot of the asian countries like China and Thailand snooker is a big sport. Snooker promotes good fundamentals and is quite regimented if you wish to improve. They all might stroke different but all have very solid fundamentals and great timing. Whereas my observation is the US dont give a crap about snooker unless its played on a mickey mouse 10x5 table. I think if snooker was bigger in the US you would have a cross section of very good cueists who would perhaps take up 9ball and eventually be a force to be reckoned with.

lee brett
11-14-2011, 01:44 AM
An interesting thread. It's interesting to read that most asian and european countries back pool in some form, yet the main success is coming from the UK and we have absolutely no backing, no proper tournament structure aside from the GB9 Tour and no official coaching systems. The main coaches are the professional players themselves...

Why has Darren Appleton become one of the top 5 players in the world right now with no backing or structure etc?? Simple answer is he is a phenomenal cueist who has an insatiable desire to learn about any nuance of any pocket billiards game. Wouldn't surprise me to see him playing Pyramid or 3 Cushion in a few years time...

In a lot of the asian countries like China and Thailand snooker is a big sport. Snooker promotes good fundamentals and is quite regimented if you wish to improve. They all might stroke different but all have very solid fundamentals and great timing. Whereas my observation is the US dont give a crap about snooker unless its played on a mickey mouse 10x5 table. I think if snooker was bigger in the US you would have a cross section of very good cueists who would perhaps take up 9ball and eventually be a force to be reckoned with.


Some good points made Barry, i have offered to cycle from amsterdam billiards to hollywood Billiards to raise funds for a junior academy, so that the juniors can be trained on having proper fundamentals. To build the juniors of the future and create future champions.

I have to apply for jobs in the far east and middle east etc.. as there is no structure here in the UK or America, yet i believe we produce more players than them due to the players snooker and 8 ball backgrounds and their stronger fundamentals than their American counterparts, and also that they compete on a regular basis against world class players. You have to get comfortable in your enviroment to compete with the best.

JB Cases
11-14-2011, 02:19 AM
What is it that separates the calibur of play from the top players of yesteryear, from the players today? Is the USA going to have another Buddy Hall, Mike Sigel, Nick Varner, Johnny Archer, Kim Davenport, etc.? It seems like the other countries are beginning to make a joke out of American poolplayers.

Back when those guys were on top the amount of top players from other countries was lower. The guys that were good back then weren't as experienced. So America had both a skill advantage and a psychological advantage.

But as the players elsewhere got better and got more experience they stopped being intimidated by the American pros. Meanwhile in the USA the pro tours fell apart and so the incentive for up and comers to really get on top and stay there diminished.

There is a BIG difference when you have a city like Manilla/Taipei/Shanghai where a lot of top players converge and play serious sets all the time to stay sharp and cities like Dallas where you might have one or two true pros and the rest aren't even close.

In Germany they have a national league where the top players are in teams and they play against each other team every couple months. They also have a strong league systems that is tiered to allow the best players to filter UP into the national teams.

And as SJM pointed out it's much more lucrative for the Asian players than it is for the Western players. Much more incentive when the median income is $10,000 a year than in a place where you need to make $25,000 a year just to stay above the poverty level.

Seen as a purely expenses vs. income proposition pool doesn't look like a very good deal to American professionals. So it's hard to continue to be motivated when you are facing a world full of great players who aren't afraid of you and when you win you still can't make the nut and don't know if you're even going to get paid.

When the Americans do go to overseas events then they are WAY outnumbered. So the odds are stacked against them anyway regardless of relative skill.

But in general it's that American players just either don't work hard enough to stay in fighting shape either because they are not motivated enough or because they really don't have the opportunities to do so.

The nut is way higher in the USA so just existing costs more.

Personally I think that a group of pros ought to form a team and get together to train and travel as a group. Then they agree to split expenses and winnings. They can act like a cycling team and work the tournaments as a team. And there can be other teams as well, at the end of the event it's still an individual fight. But there is strength in numbers and if there was a team behind you then you get pumped up and confident.

All that said Shane Van Boeing is doing a pretty good job of carrying the legacy of American championship caliber pool into overseas events.

JB Cases
11-14-2011, 02:31 AM
An interesting thread. It's interesting to read that most asian and european countries back pool in some form, yet the main success is coming from the UK and we have absolutely no backing, no proper tournament structure aside from the GB9 Tour and no official coaching systems. The main coaches are the professional players themselves...

Why has Darren Appleton become one of the top 5 players in the world right now with no backing or structure etc?? Simple answer is he is a phenomenal cueist who has an insatiable desire to learn about any nuance of any pocket billiards game. Wouldn't surprise me to see him playing Pyramid or 3 Cushion in a few years time...

In a lot of the asian countries like China and Thailand snooker is a big sport. Snooker promotes good fundamentals and is quite regimented if you wish to improve. They all might stroke different but all have very solid fundamentals and great timing. Whereas my observation is the US dont give a crap about snooker unless its played on a mickey mouse 10x5 table. I think if snooker was bigger in the US you would have a cross section of very good cueists who would perhaps take up 9ball and eventually be a force to be reckoned with.

Darren has quite strong backing. Snooker is not "big" in China. It's popular in SOME places but not popular everywhere. In Xiamen where I live pool tables outnumber snooker tables by 20:1 at least.

In Beijing you can't hardly find a pool table with "American" pockets. Most of them are like mini-snooker tables with regular sized pool balls. And you don't see a lot of full sized snooker tables either. They play Chinese 8 Ball almost exclusively in Beijing.

Conversely in Shenzhen across from Hong Kong it's mostly Snooker but where there are pool tables it's American style.

The UK certainly has a few top players on the world stage but you are hardly dominating. But the fact is that you live on a small island where you have the opportunity to constantly test each other. You have snooker fundamentals to use as a guide. And as you said it, you have COACHES who come from the professional ranks.

You can take the top ten players in the USA and put them all together in one city and let them play against each other for six months for the right to be on a team that plays any other team in the world and I guarantee you that no other team on the planet has to like it one bit. Take them from all over the USA where they haven't been competing hard against each other and they probably won't have the best chance. They will STILL have a chance though because they are still top players.

But it is how a blade is forged (motivation) and how it is honed that determines how sharp it it and how well it does the job. Right now the motivation isn't there.

Although I argue that it should be. Thorsten lives in Florida, Mika in NYC, Darren in Philly. So if they can do it then so can the Americans.

paksat
11-14-2011, 06:56 AM
Our youth just sucks pretty much. No desire and drive to take care of themselves, let alone get good at something as hard as pool is to master. Lot of it has to do with our "culture".. or more accurately, lack thereof.

Reminds me of yesterday when I was talking to a girl on the phone and discussing hobbies.. tell her you play competitive pool is like saying you're a professional beer pong player :/