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Them, who really are they?
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ImaPoolnut
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Thumbs down Them, who really are they? - 11-06-2018, 10:13 AM

I am not a room owner but one of my best friends has been for over 35 years. He's not the most technically proficient guy in the world so when he asked me to post this for him, I said no problem. here it goes....

Well, that’s it! I have to write! No one mentions “THEM”, no one notices “THEM”. Does anyone in our industry ever see “THEM”? Who is “THEM”?

THE FANS!! Remember them? The ones that no one sees because they just came to watch a good show & go home, or a good performance by the greatest (the best) players around. “THEM” are the people who sometimes come in & are watching live pool for the first time. “THEM” are the ones who sometimes, not always, pay the price for a ticket to get in!

So question #1. The most important source of income for a promoter is what? Customers! (FANS) Just ask Match Room sports. I was at the Mosconi Cup in Las Vegas 2017 for the first time. Lets see, I paid around $175 for an all week pass, multiply by 300 spectators, $52,500. That’s a good start for a major “added” tournament. FYI when the Cup is in Europe (England) they have some 2000 spectators. You do the math! Berry Hearn & his Match Room sports is an exception. Mr. Hearn is some kind of Promoter, WOW!

Forgetting the Mosconi Cup for a moment, the 2nd question promoters must ask: What kind of show are we giving “THEM”? Are we giving them an exciting show? Do we hear them saying oooh or ahhh or breaking out in cheers after a good shot? Or maybe a big roar because the 9 Ball is slowly rolling toward the pocket on the break and may go in to win the game! Oh! That’s right, the 9 Ball on the break isn’t a win any longer, or why aren’t the players taking a 9 Ball Combo to win the game, oh yeah that’s right again, they took the combo out of the equation, no longer a win! Some of the most exciting shots for “THEM” to watch and cheer about are now taken out of the game, Why?

The break, before the break, you all know what I’m talking about, the racking BS. Do you think the casual spectator wants to see that? It’s ridiculous! It’s boring! Did you ever go to a tournament & find out you are eye level with the rail and there are no over head screens? How about sitting & watching players on a 4 ball runout with no tie ups take 3-4 minutes to finish? Brutal!

As I was reading this letter to my wife, who by the way has been a room operators wife for 33 years, when she heard that the 9 ball on the break doesn’t win any longer, she had 3 words for me “that’s really DUMB!”

A “THEM” shows up to watch professional pool for the first time, they just bought their first cue & case (retail $150) joined a league & plays 2-3 x a week at the “Billiard Club”. The perfect customer! He’s heard that the pro’s can string racks together w/ breaks & runs. He’s hoping to see a 4 or 5 pack. What does he get? ALTERNATE BREAKS! Great, what does the player who just won the rack get to do? Sit and wait his turn! Do players, can players ever catch a rhythm? Another rule changed.

Lastly, tight pockets, tighter pockets, tightest pockets, let’s make them even tighter! Pretty soon, the “customers” will be watching Snooker, and we all know how well that took off! It died in Canada after the Color of Money & in the US, we never gave it a second thought. So I pose this next question to our industry: How do we get “THEM” into the show?

Carl Galante, Room Owner - Classic Cue Billiards, Buffalo NY
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garczar
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11-12-2018, 07:16 AM

Where is a 9b on the break not a win? Maybe on a break where three don't get to the kitchen?
  
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Maniac
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11-12-2018, 09:59 AM

All I can say is....pool players are the biggest tightwads on the planet. They're cheaper than week-old lettuce.

If you gave them the ultimate pool playing display (as Mr. Galante would have it), you still couldn't get but a handful of people to pay money to watch. That's just the way it is and I cannot see that changing anytime soon.

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Texdance
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02-05-2019, 12:34 PM

In the true heyday of pool, what was lacking? Hmm, let me think, how about kid's all playing some after school sport, or in a drumline, or ballet classes. Or soccer moms rushing about because dad comes home late too often. Or breadwinners who used to work one job now have two.

But most of all, there was no radio. Pool's heyday, when big cities had hundreds of pool rooms, most on a bus or subway line, was that long ago. People had no radio, and of course no TV, so maybe the cheapest entertainment in town was to take a bus to a pool hall, splurge on a coke, and watch guys play pool, maybe even getting in a few games of their own.

Once or twice a year there would be a tournament or exhibition, worth the price of a ticket and attracting spectators, maybe the 50-100 who would fit inside the room. It was almost all male, no one expected otherwise.

Along with the boom in pool was the post-Civil War boom in fraternal organizations, which boasted hundreds of thousands of members. Elks, Masons, Woodmen of the World, and for a time the largest of them all the Knights of Pythias, all had lodge halls, with meetings weekly and weekend activity - and they were designed to give the man of the house a place to go hang out with the guys, have a beer and a cigar, and play pool.

In the late 60s and early 70s I was a member and spent lots of time inside two Texas KP lodges built about 1895, and each still had six or eight of the finest pool and billiard tables of that earlier era. But just like the old tables, the membership was old and frayed around the edges.

Our lodge downsized, and the idiot in charge sold all the antique tables for pennies, bought a new 9 ft with Red cloth, instead of the two bar boxes with green cloth that would have provided a lot more use, since only two of us could make two in a row on a 9 ft table. Our Kelly pool games became a joke of hit it hard, and luck in in somewhere, anywhere.

Anyway, the heyday of pool was gone by WW II. The heyday of fraternal organizations was over about then, too. There are still a few areas with pool halls, as well as Elks, KP, Masons, and newer VFW, which usually managed to retain a couple of bar boxes. I sure wish it was different, but the Depression, WW II, radio, TV and a push for upward mobility changed all that.

Heck, nobody even wears a suit and tie to go to a baseball game now The world has changed.


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Utley J. Puckett, in avatar looking serious in coat and tie,
wielding a short point cue sometime in the 50s or early 60s.
By the 70s he adopted the big white hair and hat.

Last edited by Texdance; 02-05-2019 at 12:40 PM. Reason: sp.
  
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06-26-2019, 02:56 AM

"Heck, nobody even wears a suit and tie to go to a baseball game now The world has changed. "

I don't like baseball, but the biggest fans of baseball never wore a suit and tie, they have always been too poor for that. That is the same with the biggest fans of billiards or any sport or game... "they" can only afford to watch from the cheap seats.

So "they" are not the people with lots of money, just people with a few dollars to spend. If you want those few dollars, be ready to house thousands of people, which the professional sporting industry figured out long ago, hence 30,000 seats instead of 2,500 (although there still is a 100 or so private boxes for the people with money).

Last edited by Cron; 06-26-2019 at 02:58 AM.
  
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