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Ranking Points Notice to All Pro Players - 10-26-2010, 04:37 AM

Players,

There are still two BCA Ranking Points events in 2010 and I want to make certain that you are aware of these. As many of you are interested in qualifying for World Championship events and specialty events such as the Mosconi Cup you should be aware that these two events carry a lot of influential points for all events of this type. Remember, the Mosconi Cup (for instance) uses the rankings list from just after the US Open each year and these two events will make up the first events on that calendar for the 2011 event. Don't allow other players to get an early jump on you and force you to play catch-up the rest of the year.

The Steve Mizerak Championship is a $50,000 added money event that is just around the corner. It rolls into the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida from November 4-7. Register online at: http://semprotour.com/mizerak/reg.php.

The $25,000 added Turning Stone Classic will be running from December 16-19 and there are only a few slots left. This one always fills early so please go ahead and contact Mike Zuglan by email at mzjosstour@aol.com or by phone at 518-356-7163.

Good Shooting,
Jerry Forsyth
  
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11-08-2010, 11:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Forsyth View Post
Players,

There are still two BCA Ranking Points events in 2010 and I want to make certain that you are aware of these. As many of you are interested in qualifying for World Championship events and specialty events such as the Mosconi Cup you should be aware that these two events carry a lot of influential points for all events of this type. Remember, the Mosconi Cup (for instance) uses the rankings list from just after the US Open each year and these two events will make up the first events on that calendar for the 2011 event. Don't allow other players to get an early jump on you and force you to play catch-up the rest of the year.

The Steve Mizerak Championship is a $50,000 added money event that is just around the corner. It rolls into the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida from November 4-7. Register online at: http://semprotour.com/mizerak/reg.php.
The $25,000 added Turning Stone Classic will be running from December 16-19 and there are only a few slots left. This one always fills early so please go ahead and contact Mike Zuglan by email at mzjosstour@aol.com or by phone at 518-356-7163.

Good Shooting,
Jerry Forsyth

While we are on the subject of ranking points Jerry, as Press Officer for the WPA could you please explain the WPA decision to base the 2010 World Rankings on just 3 events?

While I am delighted to see my good friend Django head the list it doesnt seem fair that the best in the world are judged based on their efforts in 3 tournaments.

The all round performance of any player should be looked at as a result of his performances in at least a dozen events.

The three events chosen for 2010 were not open events and therefore not a true reflection of who is best at our sport.
Interestingly enough, these 3 tournaments were all on the other side of the world, Arab Emirates, Philippines and China.
Wouldnt it be fairer to take the largest events for each of the continents as the yardstick?

I am sure that our world governing body is going to get some stick for this blunder.
  
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11-09-2010, 03:10 AM

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Originally Posted by Peter@CEP View Post
While we are on the subject of ranking points Jerry, as Press Officer for the WPA could you please explain the WPA decision to base the 2010 World Rankings on just 3 events?

While I am delighted to see my good friend Django head the list it doesnt seem fair that the best in the world are judged based on their efforts in 3 tournaments.

The all round performance of any player should be looked at as a result of his performances in at least a dozen events.

The three events chosen for 2010 were not open events and therefore not a true reflection of who is best at our sport.
Interestingly enough, these 3 tournaments were all on the other side of the world, Arab Emirates, Philippines and China.
Wouldnt it be fairer to take the largest events for each of the continents as the yardstick?

I am sure that our world governing body is going to get some stick for this blunder.
I read that the WPA instituted a new requirement for all WPA-ranked events that they need to have $75,000 added to meet the WPA's qualifications to be ranked.

This requirement kills the majority, if not all, of American pool events to be considered for ranking, and I'm sure there are many other countries around the world are in the same situation, except, of course, the Middle East countries that will pay the WPA their 10-percent sanctioning fee.

Darren Appleton won the 2010 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, but this is not considered a ranking event by the WPA. He's ranked currently at 19 on the WPA's ranking system because the WPA now decides that it will not consider the 2010 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, one of the most heralded titles in the entire pool world, as worthy, since it doesn't have $75,000 added.

It is difficult for me to post unfavorable comments about the WPA on this forum because not only is Jerry Forsyth a moderator of this AzBilliards forum, but he is also on the board of the WPA. With Jerry being a member of the Fourth Estate, I believe he may understand the freedom for folks to express their opinions about various political matters in the pool world.

With that said, I do believe that Jerry Forsyth believes with all his heart that the WPA is moving in the right direction, and I also know that he is one of pool's strongest supporters, wanting only the best for pool.

I think this latest move by the WPA is wrong. Pocket billiard payouts pale in comparison to other sports, and for the WPA to raise the bar by requiring tournmaments to be $75,000 added in order to be WPA ranked during these difficult economic times occurring around the world, well, they might as well put a cement boot on professional pool in America and throw it overboard. That is my opinion, and I'm sticking with it.


.

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11-09-2010, 03:41 AM

Are they ANY tournaments in the US that that count? I don't think so. That leaves all but the few sponsored players in the US SOL. All the more reason for the US players to get together and organize and help to make something happen in the US. Johnnyt


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11-09-2010, 03:56 AM

Let me clear up a couple of misconceptions. First, the $75,000 in added money to be a ranking event is not at all new. This has been the threshold for several years. But the economy has been hit hard of late and the number of events that can still add this much money is less than it was just two years ago. That is why the US Open was a WPA ranking event last year when it had $75,000 added but not this year when it had $50,000 added. Barry Behrman is very keen on getting the added money back up to the area where he can again be a World Ranking event.

Now, the WPA could certainly reduce the added money requirement, but that would harm the players and I will always vote against doing so. To allow promoters around the world to host events that determine a players ranking and therefor demand they suffer the travel expenses to go to events with $50,000 added where they have to place in the top 8 to cover their travel costs is, to me, unreasonable. In fact, if it were up to me, an event would have to post up at least $100,000 in added money to be a ranking event. If we keep reducing the required amount then pool players everywhere will be worse off financially than they are now.

This year was particularly hard on promoters and their ability to raise added money. Two ranking events from 2009 (the Philippine Open and the World Ten Ball) did not take place at all due to financial problems. So I agree that the three events to determine ranking is not a representative listing of our player's skills. Not enough events to form a meaningful average. But the alternative, to include lower paying events, is unacceptable. So what is being done is that the WPA is in discussions with several new and old promoters to get more events on the calendar in 2011. Unfortunately for American players, there is not a plethora of promoters in the USA who can raise that amount of money. Our economy has been hurt far more than the economies of countries where there is a growing middle class with new disposable income to spend on things like cues and tables and so we are trailing behind in promotion opportunities. Indeed, our middle class (as many of you know first-hand) is actually shrinking.

JAM, you know I love you and of course you may post anything you wish. Everyone can. But I do wish you would realize that folks read what you post and take it as gospel, so please get your facts straight before posting. I am always available to you for any queries you may have. What I am speaking of here is that you say the WPA collects a 10% sanction fee on prize funds. They do not. The standard fee has always been half of that amount and only on the added money, not on the prize fund totals. And this amount usually does not cover the cost for WPA officials to travel to the event site, survey the site and consult with the promoters to set up the events and then return to be present at the events and provide tournament services there. So when you wonder why the WPA does not do all sorts of things to promote the game the answer is very simple: lack of funds. Everything you want the WPA to do (like lobby the IOC) is VERY expensive stuff and the funds just are not there.

Do I think the BCA and the WPA are on the right track? Certainly not always. But they are the only horses we have in the race so we either ride them or get off the track. I see a lot of folks come on AZB all the time with ideas to help the game grow. I see none of them willing or able to actually do the things they suggest. So until a finer stallion comes along with more than just verbiage I will continue to support the only vehicles we have that are currently in motion.

Finally. JAM, you urge the USA to move forward without the BCA or the WPA. And how would we do that? Go back to the days when promoters would have ten World Championships a year with $10,000 added or less? Go back to when players held up big phony checks for the cameras and then collected 10% of that amount for their actual prizes? Thanks, but no thanks. The current structure may be constraining in some ways, but at least everyone knows what they have to do, knows what the rules are, and the promoters know that they must go out and get added money to put in players pockets in order to hold ranking events, either here in the US (where the minimum is $25,000 to be a BCA points event) or internationally as we have already discussed. Everyone involved in the BCA and the WPA knows that there is a long road to travel to get this game where it needs to be. But we will not get there by just chirping on the sidelines. We will get there when enough folks get behind the truck and push hard enough to get it out of the mud. That push comes in the form of cash.
  
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11-09-2010, 04:15 AM

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Let me clear up a couple of misconceptions...We will get there when enough folks get behind the truck and push hard enough to get it out of the mud. That push comes in the form of cash.
That is a very well-written reply to this thread, Mr. Forsyth. You must write for a living or something.

I understand that talk is cheap when it comes to those criticizing on the rail. Maybe if the WPA was more forthcoming with their activities, as in being more transparent, the public would understand the motives behind their actions.

You have stated yourself that the BCA is suffering due to the current economic climate which is why they do not sponsor American pros to represent the United States when attending overseas tournaments. As well, they have discontinued the BCA "invitational" Open.

One has to live under a rock to not be aware that the entire world is suffering financially at this time. Why would the WPA raise the bar at this time, of all times? It doesn't seem logical, IMO, to do so when pool industries are hitting hard times. This recent raising of the bar prohibits American professional players to be ranked because, in case you haven't noticed, Johnny and Shane are basically the only two American pros who attend overseas events on a regular basis, and that is because they are sponsored.

So, if pool ever does hit the Olympics in, say, maybe 2075, when we're all dead and gone, Americans will have one or two competitors representing these United States, and the Asian countries will have 500 plus. The majority of our American professional players cannot afford it.

Man, there's now a class system in pool that will have considerable power over pocket billiards in a global scale. I never thought I'd see this happen.

Anyway, Jerry, thanks for the kind reply. I respect you always as well as your efforts to promote pool. When it's all said and done, I think we both want the same end result. Sadly, I don't think either one of our methods to get there will work with the WPA restrictions currently in place. Time will tell, as they say.


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11-09-2010, 04:48 AM

JAM,

The WPA has not raised any bars. The bars have been lowered. It now only takes $250,000 in added money to host a World Championship in most disciplines, down from the former $400,000. The only bar that was raised is that a 14.1 World Championship must now post up $75,000 in added money. That game has in the past had trouble raising sponsor interest so the threshold is lower. But it had to be raised to an at least respectable level because the promoters who are holding 9-Ball and 8-Ball and other competitions look askance at the WPA allowing someone to hold ANY world Championship event for very little added money. And I don't blame them. If I was out humping my butt to raise a quarter-million dollars to give away while someone else only had to raise pocket change to hold one I would be upset and feel as if I were being treated unfairly.

That is the only bar that has been raised. The other bars have been lowered. To my objections I might add. If it were up to me (and this is why it isn't up to me) the prize requirements would go up, not down. When I see what our players have to spend to go to these events I just shake my head. And I think the game itself suffers when the prize monies are lowered to the point where the fans yawn at the amounts. My method would probably result in fewer events in the short term but would hopefully lead to prize funds that would allow the pros to earn a living. I do not think we will get to that point on lower prize fund pools.
  
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11-09-2010, 07:16 AM

Jerry, could you clarify the difference between BCA ranking events and points and WPA ranking events and points. Like Jam, I'm kind of new around here, so it'd be nice to know what's going on.

By the way, what sanctions does the WPA have in place for promoters who do not pay prize money as advertised? And since you are so concerned for the players (like me), what is the WPA policy for assuring that players will be paid after incurring substantial travel expenses to participate in world wide events? I am referring to WPA sanctioned events with "guaranteed" prize funds. I think it is great to be an advocate for the players, but I think that should include making sure that all these large added money events (75K+) are in fact paying that money (in a timely fashion, like two to four weeks for wire transfers) and not just advertising it as a come-on to players.

Like you, I see the need for "organizations" to govern our sport and if it's called the WPA or BCA that's fine as well. I fully understand the limitations of underfunding, but policy making does not require funding. It requires a group of people who are cognitive about our sport in all it's aspects and aware of the problems faced by promoters and players alike.


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11-09-2010, 08:59 AM

When a promoter or event does do as requested to meet these "governing body" demands, what does said governing body do in return? I realize they keep some sort of rankings, but other than that how do they help promoters? Do they guarantee certain players show up? Do they promote the event among players? Do they promote the event to corporations outside the industry in an attempt to gain sponsorship?

While I understand the intent of raising money for players, I personally do not think promoters should be required to keep adding more and more money, specifically because there is nowhere for them to get it from. The model that everyone keeps trying to make work doesn't seem to be working, at least not here in the USA. The US Open is a wonderful, prestigious event. If Barry has trouble coming up with that kind of added money for his event, how can any other "new" promoters be expected to do so? This is not a knock on Barry, it is a statement on the current state of affairs. Apparently it is too difficult.

How about the BCA and WPA bring money into the industry and add money to events themselves? And then they in turn can try to recover that money by attracting outside sponsors, since they want to represent the pros as a whole? Why don't they sanction an event and use their corporate muscle to attract Coca-Cola as a sponsor. Perhaps they are doing this, excuse my ignorance if so. I am merely asking questions and trying to learn more.

And not to keep beating a dead horse, but did you mention that the WPA sanctioned the US Open last year, because Barry added $75K? Well, wasn't the winner put on a payment plan, as well as other rumored financial woes? Isn't the whole point of WPA sanctioning to avoid these circumstances? What do they do to ensure these types of things don't happen, because although Barry will always come through and make good on the money, lots of other promoters may not. Was Galveston sanctioned in any way? I know lots of players traveled far for that one.

Thanks for providing some answers and dialogue, I am not trying to be nitty, I am just trying to learn more and ask some questions that people may be wondering.
  
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11-09-2010, 09:06 AM

I guess I am beginning to understand, I think. They lowered the bar for the 14.1 Championship, raised the bar for the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, and Darren Appleton is caught in the middle of the WPA rule changes and is denied his rightful place in the so-called "world rankings."

Here is lastest rankings: WPA's Ranking List with New Rules.

It is awful that Appleton is ranked 19 after just winning the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship. In the top 50, there are two Americans, the two who are sponsored and afforded the opportunity to compete overseas: Shane and Johnny.

American professional players are truly now at a severe disadvantage because the BCA does not support them.

The WPA's ranking system is based on three tournaments. It's incredible and hard to believe that the WPA can enforce this ranking system with three tournaments.


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11-09-2010, 10:11 AM

Jay,

What you have to get your hands around is that there are lots of different ranking systems used around the world. The BCA has one to rank American players. The EPBF has one to rank European players, etc. These continental rankings are used to determine the players within a continent who get invited to the international events such as World Championships.

Now, some events are large enough to become WPA World Ranking Events. Those are events that have added money in excess of $75,000. These events will award both WPA points and local continental points. So last year when Mika won the $75,000 added (and once again, that limit has never changed) US Open he got both BCA points for it being a BCA ranking event and WPA points for it being a WPA Ranking event. Additionally, the WPA World Championships also award WPA ranking points. And that is how the WPA points list works and interacts with the continental federation points list.

As far as sanctions for promoters who do not pay off there is only one: the promoter cannot hold another WPA event until he pays the players. And anyone who is tardy in payment must escrow their next set of prize funds. If they do not do this the continental federations may (and the BCA does) tell the players who are invited to the next event exactly how much is in escrow and how much is "at risk". The WPA does not guarantee any prize funds because it does not possess the financial wherewithal to do so. Every invitation that goes out to every player contains the statement that the players are participating in an event without any guarantees of payment from the WPA, the BCA or any representative of those organizations. They make the choice whether to participate or not. Thus far every WPA event has eventually had every player get paid. We are all aware of the payment fiasco that occurred in 2009 but that was the exception, not the rule, and eventually all prize monies were forthcoming.

And again, as for the comments about "why doesn't the BCA put more money into the game", well, I can tell you they want to do this. They have initiated a plan to raise monies for this purpose. Encourage your local poolroom to join the BCA (and make a profit on joining, by the way) and those funds will be available sooner rather than later. And the idea that the BCA can just call up industry members in this economy and have them donate to fund pro events is a bit silly. You do not give away money without proof of return and that is something that our game has always lacked. You keep seeing new sponsors at pool events because the old ones learned about the payback. Remember how we celebrated two years ago when Kia sponsored an event? Seen them back lately? Reckon there is a reason for their absence?

Sorry. I do not mean to sound bitter. But there are so many folks in this game waiting for someone to give them something instead of actually working to do that for themselves that it just gets old listening to the whining. I admire the ladies who formed the WPBA back in the 80's and then worked their tails off to form their own tour, provide their own prize monies and fund their own television production. That work ethic seems to have evaporated in the mist.
  
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11-09-2010, 10:28 AM

I am not sure the way to judge a player´s all round ability has anything to do with the amount of money a promoter has raised from sponsorship.
A player who beats off the challenge of 255 opponents as in the case of Daz Appleton surely has proved his talents. If I remember correctly the participation in the World 8 Ball Championship was 64 players, how can this be compared to the US Open?
This thread is not a personal attack on Jerry Forsyth for whom I have the utmost respect but for once I am not in agreement with his views.
I have said before that ranking events should certainly include such as the US Open which is a true open in which anyone can play. For the World Championships there is a quota of players for each Continental Federation if I am not mistaken but certainly in the case of Europe.
For players to attract sponsorship, their ranking point are very important so they should be seen to be fair.
Please WPA, think again about this.
  
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11-09-2010, 10:41 AM

I think the point that Jerry is trying to convey is that the WPA rankings are intended to measure how you fare against the best in the world and players are only willing to travel if there is sufficient money added to realistically cover their expenses, which is why the bar is set as high as it is.


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11-09-2010, 10:44 AM

Peter,

The World Championships are comprised of fields of 64-128 of the worlds best players. Every match is tough. They are an excellent test of a player's ability. In an Open event where anyone can play then a champion may play Joe the house painter in the first round or two. After that, when the filed is down to 128 or 64 or whatever, it becomes a fine test. But field size does not in and of itself guarantee a real test. I remember some of the old Reno Opens where there were 300 players or more but only a dozen of them had a chance at winning.
  
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11-09-2010, 11:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Forsyth View Post
Jay,

What you have to get your hands around is that there are lots of different ranking systems used around the world. The BCA has one to rank American players. The EPBF has one to rank European players, etc. These continental rankings are used to determine the players within a continent who get invited to the international events such as World Championships.

Now, some events are large enough to become WPA World Ranking Events. Those are events that have added money in excess of $75,000. These events will award both WPA points and local continental points. So last year when Mika won the $75,000 added (and once again, that limit has never changed) US Open he got both BCA points for it being a BCA ranking event and WPA points for it being a WPA Ranking event. Additionally, the WPA World Championships also award WPA ranking points. And that is how the WPA points list works and interacts with the continental federation points list.

As far as sanctions for promoters who do not pay off there is only one: the promoter cannot hold another WPA event until he pays the players. And anyone who is tardy in payment must escrow their next set of prize funds. If they do not do this the continental federations may (and the BCA does) tell the players who are invited to the next event exactly how much is in escrow and how much is "at risk". The WPA does not guarantee any prize funds because it does not possess the financial wherewithal to do so. Every invitation that goes out to every player contains the statement that the players are participating in an event without any guarantees of payment from the WPA, the BCA or any representative of those organizations. They make the choice whether to participate or not. Thus far every WPA event has eventually had every player get paid. We are all aware of the payment fiasco that occurred in 2009 but that was the exception, not the rule, and eventually all prize monies were forthcoming.

And again, as for the comments about "why doesn't the BCA put more money into the game", well, I can tell you they want to do this. They have initiated a plan to raise monies for this purpose. Encourage your local poolroom to join the BCA (and make a profit on joining, by the way) and those funds will be available sooner rather than later. And the idea that the BCA can just call up industry members in this economy and have them donate to fund pro events is a bit silly. You do not give away money without proof of return and that is something that our game has always lacked. You keep seeing new sponsors at pool events because the old ones learned about the payback. Remember how we celebrated two years ago when Kia sponsored an event? Seen them back lately? Reckon there is a reason for their absence?

Sorry. I do not mean to sound bitter. But there are so many folks in this game waiting for someone to give them something instead of actually working to do that for themselves that it just gets old listening to the whining. I admire the ladies who formed the WPBA back in the 80's and then worked their tails off to form their own tour, provide their own prize monies and fund their own television production. That work ethic seems to have evaporated in the mist.

To some extent it seems like as far as the US players go, it really is more relevant whether or not it is a BCA ranking event than a WPA ranking event. You mention the added money requirements for these two different types of ranking events, but what is the (smaller?) required amount for it to be WPA recognized (rather than WPA ranking) and therefore supposedly reserved on the WPA recognized calendar? Thanks for all the inf
  
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