View Full Version : One good thing KT did...

11-16-2006, 02:15 PM
(and please read before flaming)

KT took the lead, acted aggresively, and had a vision. I'm an outsider/amatuer in the pool world, but it appears that there is a bit of a leadership vacuum in US pool. The beurocratic organizations (e.g. BCA) don't seem overly interested in organizing a national major-league pool tour. There are a lot of successful regional tours, and some great annual events, like the US Open and DCC. But a national tour wasn't/isn't materializing.

A while back, Ronnie O'Sullivan commented that snooker needed a "dictator" like Bernie Ecclestone, who runs Formula One in an a fairly authoritarian (and successful) style. He said this in support of KT and the IPT. Here's the link:

I think his point is valid (and applies to US pool as well). Of course, when you get a dictator, you need to hope for a benevolent and qualified one. In my opinion, KT's not so good in this regard: checkered history, rampantly dishonest, doesn't know pool very much (or even care so much about the sport or players IMO), and everything else people have mentioned.

But at least he stepped up and took command. And even when he was making crazy/disrespectful remarks, most of the community, the players in particular, stood behind him. People who disagreed with some of his decisions nevertheless went along with the whole vision. His clout wasn't earned, it was purchased, but still, he was definitely the boss.

Looking back, a lot of good things happened, and there was a great sense of excitment and possibility. IMO, the fact that KT stepped up as a leader was probably more important than the amount of cash he put up. Of course, he was only able to attain his authority by posting (or promising) big cash, and in this sense the money was essential. But the authority itself was a more crucial component in making things come together, rather than just the money.

As far as the future, I have no idea what is going to happen with the IPT, like I said I'm an outsider (and I know my place...). But, while some people have suggested that the failure of the IPT somehow shows that pool can't make it big even with big money behind it, I feel the opposite way. We've seen a glimpse of what pool could be with some organization and leadership (and yes, money is important too). And this is under the leadership of a questionable character with no real knowledge about pool, and no apparent qualifications other than big pockets and a smarmy infomercial-salesman personality.

Now imagine if the leader wasn't KT, but someone who knew the sport and the players, and had experience promoting and running tournaments. Someone honest and dedicated to the sport. Someone with some business savvy, who could perhaps raise outside capital, or maybe get initial support from within the industry. I have no idea who this might be, but it's very encouraging that a player union is forming. I believe that if someone from within the pool world could step up, take the lead, and command the unified respect of the players and tournament organizers (and not just by flashing dollar signs), some great things could happen.

PS. I hope none of this is taken as disrespect towards the many people who have dedicated years of service to the sport, whether by organizing, promoting, helping out with the players union, or anything else. I am aware that the pool community has some very admirable citizens, and I also know that a lot of the regional tours are very well run. My point is just that nobody seems to have taken the lead and acted decisively at the national level. I'm also aware that it's not as simple as "just stepping up", there are a lot of political complications, etc., and it's actually quite difficult. And, being an outsider with big pockets probably made it easier for KT than for someone in the community, because taking charge also usually means rubbing some people the wrong way.

11-16-2006, 04:10 PM
Your post is reasonable in some repsects, and KT deserves some crdit for having a vision and taking a chance on pool.

Still, I'd have to contest the suggestion that he showed leadership. He stepped up to the plate with the money, then, pep rally style, made a lot of empty promises. Unfortunately, his organization rarely communicated with the players between tournaments. His press releases routinely misrepresented the operations and results of the IPT within and outside the organization. He did little to associate his organization with the governing bodies of pool, and little to try to advance the sport itself.

I'll always give KT his due for taking a chance on pool, but I think he's come up very short in the area of leadership.

11-16-2006, 04:34 PM
KT backed a product that just wouldn't sell.

11-16-2006, 06:34 PM
KT backed a product that just wouldn't sell.


Craig Fales
11-16-2006, 07:15 PM
Think of pool as a car...right now it's a 1985 Chevy Impala....with strong leadership and organization it could be a 2006 Lotus Elise...something that everybody wants but would be happy just looking....