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Yoda4962
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Pool must change to survive ! - 04-23-2014, 02:41 PM

After 40 years of playing pool at a high level, I am convinced that pool must become like golf - to even survive at all.

How , you might ask ?

Pool must become player versus the table, and/or player versus a par number. We have proven that player vs player doesn't work, and we have no tour at all. Now is the time to change the game to player vs the table to provide the players with opportunity to excel, and the media an opportunity to market the game and it's stars.

I know you all disagree, ,but this is my opinion.

Yoda


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04-23-2014, 03:23 PM

And what might be your reasons for your opinion?

On the face of it, I don't think "man vs. table" will be more interesting to watch than man vs. man. Most people know what pool is, even if they don't know how to play and they know it as a head-to-head competition game. If you were to say it's somehow man vs. table, they'd probably look at you funny and walk away.


In addition, the golf may not be the best model to look up to:

More courses closed than opened last year and the total number of golfers declined as well

It's gotten to the point that TaylorMade has proposed 15" (that is not a typo) holes as a gimmick for special events to lure people back.

And finally, this year's Masters showed us that without big names, people don't watch.
  
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04-23-2014, 03:27 PM

The biggest difference in golf is that you can't hit your opponents ball into a bush. You seriously want to make pool simply a high-run competition?

Krupa is right imo, the audience has to be able to relate to the sport. Not to mention that one person shooting at a table for best score would be boring as hell. Pool is interesting because you have someone to root for and the players actions influence the course of the game.

Last edited by galipeau; 04-23-2014 at 03:32 PM.
  
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04-23-2014, 04:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda4962 View Post
After 40 years of playing pool at a high level, I am convinced that pool must become like golf - to even survive at all.

How , you might ask ?

Pool must become player versus the table, and/or player versus a par number. We have proven that player vs player doesn't work, and we have no tour at all. Now is the time to change the game to player vs the table to provide the players with opportunity to excel, and the media an opportunity to market the game and it's stars.

I know you all disagree, ,but this is my opinion.

Yoda
Duely noted.
However, we have not proven that man vs man doesn't work. We have proven that without proper marketing and production, pool doesn't attract an audience.

No audience= no sponsors= no money= no tour= no audience.
  
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04-23-2014, 05:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bond View Post
Duely noted.
However, we have not proven that man vs man doesn't work. We have proven that without proper marketing and production, pool doesn't attract an audience.

No audience= no sponsors= no money= no tour= no audience.
Man vs man has worked in the past, for sure—think high profile events such as Mosconi vs. Fats.

I respect Yoda's idea, but isn't the very strategy of playing safety and preventing an opponent from getting a good shot something we enjoy watching?
Further, and subsequently, to see this other player come to the table and execute a potentially exciting kick or even jump shot?

Playing against another player in pool just seems to be more natural.
  
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04-23-2014, 05:36 PM

What game changes would you make to have it "man -vs- table?"

Have a look at what the WPBL is doing with Bonus Ball. It's different & presented really well with top notch production. They need some minor tweaks to the game. Johnny Archer recently said that Bonus Ball was going to move to 10 foot tables. They also need to lose the 3 pockets per team rule IMO.
  
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04-23-2014, 06:32 PM

................

Last edited by Straightpool_99; 11-24-2014 at 10:41 AM.
  
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04-23-2014, 06:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoda4962 View Post
Pool must change to survive !

Yoda
I don't know what pool your looking at, but the pool I see is dead...
  
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04-23-2014, 06:58 PM

From a players point of view I thought that bonus ball was on the right track.
It's debatable whether or not it was fun to watch, but I liked it.
Golf isn't going anywhere, it's just too popular.
Golf may just be leveling out a little after the incredible golf boom over the last 25-years.
In Denver I remember struggling to get a tee-time back in the 80's, but now there are golf courses everywhere.
Golf is not as exclusive as it used to be, so the allure of golf may of dwindled a little.
Maybe as streaming gets more popular pool will develop a bigger fan base, but without television it will never be even close to a mainstream sport, or game, like bowling for instance.
I wonder outside of AZ Billiards how many people actually pay for the pool streams


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04-23-2014, 07:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightpool_99 View Post
I'm sorry to be a negative Nancy, but...Pool has failed on TV over and over. Out of all the failures I think the IPT was the best effort. 8 ball is what people know, so that's what the pros should play, Trudeau got that part right. Not a fan of his (in fact I despise him), but credit where credit is due. People don't understand 9 ball and they certainly do not understand 10 ball. They typically find these games boring and confusing. Most of all pool in America does not have a proper league system to feed into a pro tour. Any schmuck with 500 dollars can enter any tournament. While this could be argued to be a strength, I do not think so. If you get the leagues involved, there is an incentive to do better and weaker players will pay into the system, creating the possibility of a pro tour, which can then be further financed with sponsors once the popularity rises.

The one vs one aspect of pool I think is one of its strongest selling points. IPT tried to build up the players characters with short interview snippets between matches, which was a good idea, but should have been taken even further. Once people know the players and get their own personal favorites, they get sucked into the game and a fan base can be built. While I don't believe you need to go to wrestling-like extremes, building up conflicts and rivalries can really get some life into the sport if done in good taste and with the good of the sport in mind. With only two players playing at a time you can really build up a narrative, and with that suspense and drama (in a sport sense). The players in pool can easily be seen as boring robots, which is why it needs good commentary and background to really "pop" on TV.

The current "cash based" system where the leagues have handicaps and cash prizes with little prestige and the "pro tour" being a few separate tournament with no actual ranking system, there is no way to build respect for pool as a real sport. It will forever remain a fringe activity for bar flies, hustlers and low-lives. No one will ever sponsor something like that except alcohol or tobacco companies and perhaps online gambling. Of these three only the latter remains a viable option, and with pools reputation being so poor, even that seems far fetched.
I'm not optimistic that pool will ever become a mainstream sport again, but I think with the above changes it can at least get on TV once in a while and maybe sustain a dozen full time pro players.

To launch something new like Bonus Ball and expect to be successful you need a massive advertising budget and good pr people. And most of all you need a budget to stay on the air, even if it is not an instant success. Even Seinfeld needed a couple of attempts and some passionate people to believe in it before it finally succeeded. When you look at Bonus Balls previous attempts at making it "throwing a toothpick at a lumberyard" is the expression that first comes to mind. Today you need funding and powerful supporters to break through, even if the product you are launching is interesting (exceptions to the rule are porn and fighting).
This is a very astute observation.
AND the players themselves do not help things very much. Just look at how many people sit in awe at road stories from, in my opinion, borderline criminal types like this Freddie The Beard or Ronnie Allen. Tales of how many pistols were at a certain gambling session, how this guy was going to shoot so and so and take all the money back, etc etc. How this guy got drunk and stole all the road money while his partner was asleep, "I robbed the coca-cola man out of $500 by giving him the 8 and the snap (and then sneaked off with his wife)...he never had a clue" and on and on it goes....cutting up jackpots about those big scores is not helping a thing.
In fact, it's just feeding hay to a dead horse
And so many players just lap all that up while being oblivious to the facts of the real world....decent people do not want to be seen around these 'pool room bums'.
Certainly no sponsor in their right mind.
Now you got women in the mix and some of their language and behavior is worse than the men.
The last thing I'd want one of my children to be is a 2 bit pool player out there trying to stick somebody up with propositions.
It is a dirty game and will remain a dirty game in a dirty environment...adored by losers.
  
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04-23-2014, 08:12 PM

I hate to be the Gloomy Gus...but think about it for a second....Pool is excruciatingly boring to watch on TV, much like golf.....except Golf has the drama for whatever reason, like Tiger and his affairs...While I think televised golf is about as exciting as watching flies f**k, pool is no better when televised. I wish I had the answer that would bring our beloved sport back into the mainstream, but I really don't see it ever happening. Infact, I don't follow the pros at all....I just love to play it.


If you tolerate this, then your children will be next.


I have never quoted someone in my signature....but I found such a shallow, idiotic, and inane comment like this worthy!
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04-23-2014, 08:16 PM

For what it is worth, snooker sure seems to have a solution. One set of rules, one size table, championship prize for 250,000 pounds sterling, electrifying play and shot making. Elegantly dressed players and referees. Polite applause for great shot making. Seems to create an event that is grand and people want to be part of it. And the matches last for many, many games (frames). But the Brits and outlying former members of the Empire also like Cricket which can last for days, and football where a great game scores 1-0.

Maybe Americans and television sponsors no longer have the attention span for one pocket and 14.1. I find 8 and 9 ball hopelessly boring and repetitious...but I must be in the minority. Somehow, in the USA our game(s) seem to have lost touch with nearly every human in the country. Maybe too much confusion over different games, rules, sanctioning bodies? Not much drama when the games are over so quickly? Maybe dress up the players and the game, standardize it into an event that is not slam-bam-thank you madam. And I find interesting the idea noted above, of playing against the table, like a golf handicap system.

Just tossing my 2 cents.
  
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04-23-2014, 08:39 PM

pool needs to be brought back to peoples conscience by pop culture, that being a TV show, movie or even a high profile documentary. no other way, and you can't and I won't let you argue that point, im right. bonus ball was bashed by everyone in this forum, and some guy wasted millions on it. the world has changed, Staples arena sold out in 6 minutes or something for a ****ing computer game competition. its a joke. If its made to look cool and interesting, people will follow like the monkeys that they are. If hipsters start playing pool "ironically" maybe it'll catch steam in the web or something, but than ill ****ing quit. who knows, I play bc it brings me solace when Im on my own, it kills time when Im playing with friends and it gets my blood pumping when I compete in tourneys, which I can't even do anymore bc of my ****ed up work schedule. oh well, we learned and play arguably the most difficult game there is, I know what I had to put in it to undrstand it, for me its enough. I wish the pros could do better financially with it, but obviously theres not one out there to bring it to that level of pop recognition. efren reyes has no teeth and is old, real cool. earl is volitile and unpredictable and past his prime, nope, SVB is deaf and to quite, nothing. anyone else?? jeanette at least had some moments, but lets be real, shes not near the level that men play at. so what else is there, its a moot point to be honest with you.
  
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04-24-2014, 08:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bond View Post
Duely noted.
However, we have not proven that man vs man doesn't work. We have proven that without proper marketing and production, pool doesn't attract an audience.

No audience= no sponsors= no money= no tour= no audience.

THAT is the answer. But marketing is the hard part, the expensive part, and the part most would rather leave out of any plans for growth.

One nice thing about marketing is the job can be spread out amongst other players, IF given the right incentives.

Jeff Livingston
  
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04-24-2014, 08:36 AM

Modern Marvels: The professional pocket billiard player

How it Works: How do pool players control the cueball

......
  
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