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Pool's "image" has nothing to do with it's lack of popularity - Science
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Pool's "image" has nothing to do with it's lack of popularity - Science - 06-20-2018, 05:04 PM

I posted this in another thread, but felt it deserved a wider audience.

The seediness of pool has absolutely nothing to do with it's lack of popularity. Let me spit some knowledge at you, so we can all just stop throwing out that old chestnut because we don't know the reason why. Once I explain it, you will know why pool is failing, and you no longer have to make up a reason.

Pool, and all other competitive games/sports, rely on a new influx of young, aggressive, competitive males to fill the ranks vacated by those too old to effectively compete. (Because males compete at a far higher rate than females..) With the rise of high fidelity video games with competitive leagues and leaderboards, these young aggressive males have an outlet to compete, that would have historically been provided to them by pool. And they start participating in this outlet far before they ever would have been able to set foot in a pool hall.

In addition, what makes any competitive outlet attractive is the endorphin/dopamine rush one gets once one has conquered a major hurdle. Young males get that constantly from playing video games custom-built to trigger these responses, so running a 9 ball rack is always gonna pale in comparison, and require WAY too much work. In fact, dopamine burnout may very well be responsible for skyrocketing rates of depression in today's society..

So, drop the BS about how pool's "image" is responsible for it's failure to be popular. Both movies in the past 50 years that caused huge resurgences in the game expressedly focused on the seedier aspects of the game.

No teenager/20 year old decides not to pursue a hobby just because the older generation doesn't approve. They decide to pursue it because it is "fun", nothing more. And pool has to compete against video games/social media for the "fun" factor, and is found lacking.

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06-20-2018, 05:17 PM

in addition to the fun factor for these kids, there also is the money making factor. just recently there was some gaming competition going on over at the Barclays' center in brooklyn. a basketball/concert arena-pool during its peak the best it could do was maybe get a major tourney at a spacious casino.
  
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06-20-2018, 06:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBusRuss View Post
I posted this in another thread, but felt it deserved a wider audience.

The seediness of pool has absolutely nothing to do with it's lack of popularity. Let me spit some knowledge at you, so we can all just stop throwing out that old chestnut because we don't know the reason why. Once I explain it, you will know why pool is failing, and you no longer have to make up a reason.

Pool, and all other competitive games/sports, rely on a new influx of young, aggressive, competitive males to fill the ranks vacated by those too old to effectively compete. (Because males compete at a far higher rate than females..) With the rise of high fidelity video games with competitive leagues and leaderboards, these young aggressive males have an outlet to compete, that would have historically been provided to them by pool. And they start participating in this outlet far before they ever would have been able to set foot in a pool hall.

In addition, what makes any competitive outlet attractive is the endorphin/dopamine rush one gets once one has conquered a major hurdle. Young males get that constantly from playing video games custom-built to trigger these responses, so running a 9 ball rack is always gonna pale in comparison, and require WAY too much work. In fact, dopamine burnout may very well be responsible for skyrocketing rates of depression in today's society..

So, drop the BS about how pool's "image" is responsible for it's failure to be popular. Both movies in the past 50 years that caused huge resurgences in the game expressedly focused on the seedier aspects of the game.

No teenager/20 year old decides not to pursue a hobby just because the older generation doesn't approve. They decide to pursue it because it is "fun", nothing more. And pool has to compete against video games/social media for the "fun" factor, and is found lacking.

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06-20-2018, 06:31 PM

Iíve made similar arguments. Given the Super Bowl has around 100 million viewers, viewership counts for these eSport streams rival or beat the NBA finals, MLB World Series, NHL Stanley Cup, etc.




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06-20-2018, 07:14 PM

Professional croquet isn't very popular...and it certainly isn't "seedy".

.


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06-20-2018, 07:41 PM

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Professional croquet isn't very popular...and it certainly isn't "seedy".

.
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Image - 06-20-2018, 07:59 PM

Your reasoning bears much weight. I would be curious to know if there is a younger generation of snooker players preparing for the English Snooker League? As these players rank among their nationís top athletes (money + recognition), a lack of incoming players would substantiate these thoughts. However, if there is another group working to get in, I believe this theory is in error. These youths have the same access to video and other games.
  
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06-20-2018, 08:10 PM

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Your reasoning bears much weight. I would be curious to know if there is a younger generation of snooker players preparing for the English Snooker League? As these players rank among their nationís top athletes (money + recognition), a lack of incoming players would substantiate these thoughts. However, if there is another group working to get in, I believe this theory is in error. These youths have the same access to video and other games.
Not an equal ( or fair ) comparison. In England, the top snooker players make, literally, millions a year in prize money ( on par {no pun intended} with US professional golfers ) and even more in endorsements. Thus, the draw is infinitely stronger than in the US where, maybe, a kid can justifiably dream of making 40,000 a year playing pool professionally, with little to no monetarily substantial endorsements, *IF* he ( or she ) ends up ranked among the top 10 or 15 players in the world. Yes, the top 3 players ( or so ) make more than 40K a year. But there is tremendous difference between 40K to 60K to 80K and millions.




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06-20-2018, 08:21 PM

Kids now suck because a game like pool takes too much honest time put in with little gratification.Pool is also the most personal competition of any sport I have ever played.When you are getting destroyed in a match in front of a crowd there is nowhere to hide and you just have to take the ego crush.These puke kids are used to just resetting or turning off a game the nano second it stops going their way.The games also allow total anonimity....Today’s kids are not built for pool,or life.
  
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06-20-2018, 08:26 PM

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Originally Posted by Lucasi53 View Post
Your reasoning bears much weight. I would be curious to know if there is a younger generation of snooker players preparing for the English Snooker League? As these players rank among their nationís top athletes (money + recognition), a lack of incoming players would substantiate these thoughts. However, if there is another group working to get in, I believe this theory is in error. These youths have the same access to video and other games.
I believe the logic still holds. Young aggressive males would play tiddlywinks with a killer instinct if they thought they could pull down a million dollars a year doing it. American pool has always been a low income competitive venture, but maintained a strong following because of the romance of going on the road, gunslinging, and the competitive aspect.

The difference between 30 years ago and now, was that people gambled to get their dopamine fix, and there was no easy way to identify if you were over your head, so people just took their chances. There was no bigger rush than gunslinging against some unknown road player and testing yourself.

These days, the same adrenaline rush can be gained from one's living room with a video game once you beat a raid boss with a group of 40 other people, or by getting a kill streak in the latest Call of Duty franchise.

That being said, I believe I read something recently that said that snooker purses are falling fairly dramatically, and both Neil Robertson and Ronnie O'Sullivan are on record as saying Snooker is an absolutely brutal game to earn a living at, for anyone with the stratospheric levels of talent the top 10 bring to the table...
  
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06-20-2018, 08:30 PM

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Not an equal ( or fair ) comparison. In England, the top snooker players make, literally, millions a year in prize money ( on par {no pun intended} with US professional golfers ) and even more in endorsements. Thus, the draw is infinitely stronger than in the US where, maybe, a kid can justifiably dream of making 40,000 a year playing pool professionally, with little to no monetarily substantial endorsements, *IF* he ( or she ) ends up ranked among the top 10 or 15 players in the world. Yes, the top 3 players ( or so ) make more than 40K a year. But there is tremendous difference between 40K to 60K to 80K and millions.
I just looked it up.. Millions per year for snooker players is an exaggeration. The World Championship only pays around 450 thousand pounds, and snooker players pay all their own travel and lodging expenses.

It's more like, over a 20+ year career, a snooker player of immense talent "can" earn millions (from 2-10 these days), but it's brutally competitive, and one could make much more in virtually any other sport with the extreme level of hand eye coordination required to be a snooker top 10...
  
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06-20-2018, 08:35 PM

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Kids now suck because a game like pool takes too much honest time put in with little gratification.Pool is also the most personal competition of any sport I have ever played.When you are getting destroyed in a match in front of a crowd there is nowhere to hide and you just have to take the ego crush.These puke kids are used to just resetting or turning off a game the nano second it stops going their way.The games also allow total anonimity....Today’s kids are not built for pool,or life.
Sorry, but I am 40, and POOL sucks these days. You actually have to drive 30-60 minutes to find a $5.00 8 ball game, or a tournament that pays $100.00 for first.

I am not in pool for the money, but the collective group at a tournament needs some incentive to all travel to compete against each other, and the same pool hall in Tacoma I used to play at had a $150.00 first prize 20 years ago for the Wednesday night 9 ball event, against some of the best in the state, now struggles to get 16 players, and might have a $80.00 first prize.

It's a LOT of work to get good enough to compete with good players, and then you have maybe 2-3 rooms in a 50 mile radius.
  
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06-20-2018, 09:00 PM

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I just looked it up.. Millions per year for snooker players is an exaggeration. The World Championship only pays around 450 thousand pounds, and snooker players pay all their own travel and lodging expenses.

It's more like, over a 20+ year career, a snooker player of immense talent "can" earn millions (from 2-10 these days), but it's brutally competitive, and one could make much more in virtually any other sport with the extreme level of hand eye coordination required to be a snooker top 10...
Russ - I had nothing more to go on than hearing commentators making comments about it, so... but I think my point still stands. He was saying, basically ( at least the nuance I was getting from his post was ) that your theory wouldn't really hold in England, as it does here. My contention was, when there are millions ( or thereabouts ) at stake as opposed to tens of thousands, kids will tend to drift away from the video games and toward snooker as opposed to here. I agree with your contention 100% regarding kids here. He was saying if there was no drop-off in England with kids filling the ranks in snooker then your point was incorrect. I believe that's an unfair comparison due to the $ involved, respectively.




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06-20-2018, 09:05 PM

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Professional croquet isn't very popular...and it certainly isn't "seedy".
Yeah, but at the collegiate level, it's brutal. Beat Navy!

Or is this too obscure without a connection to Annapolis, also site of one of the first pool tables in America?

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06-20-2018, 10:22 PM

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