Could y'all explain this to me?

JayRack

Member
How do you determine if somebody is a "professional" pool player? A guy from the pool room I grew up in told me the other day he turned pro 3 years ago. Wasn't sure what he was talking about. He still plays in these regional in state tournaments. He is usually the highest handicap in all these tournaments but a pro?
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
How do you determine if somebody is a "professional" pool player? A guy from the pool room I grew up in told me the other day he turned pro 3 years ago. Wasn't sure what he was talking about. He still plays in these regional in state tournaments. He is usually the highest handicap in all these tournaments but a pro?
My experience has been that means he found a “significant other”, that has a job and doesn’t mind that he can’t even support himself.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How do you determine if somebody is a "professional" pool player? A guy from the pool room I grew up in told me the other day he turned pro 3 years ago. Wasn't sure what he was talking about. He still plays in these regional in state tournaments. He is usually the highest handicap in all these tournaments but a pro?
Know how a professional pool player can get better gas mileage?? Take the Domino's sign off the roof. ;)
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Know how a professional pool player can get better gas mileage?? Take the Domino's sign off the roof. ;)
Neptune Joe frady (RIP) was a "professional" player from N.J.
He played about as good as anyone at one time.
He also worked a full time job unloading ammunition ships at Earle naval base in N.J.
Unload ships all day and run a 100 balls that night.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I'll restrict my observations to men's pool here.

There is no such thing as "turning pro" in America. Once upon a time, when there were national tours for which you had to qualify just to participate, those who, on merit, became permanent members probably had a right to call themselves pros. Today, only those who have sufficient earnings from competing to pay all their bills in life are worthy of being called pros. In America, that's probably about ten people, and I'm not sure players who carry a Fargo of under about 760 have a right to call themselves pros.

There are players who play at a speed approaching the speed of the true professionals, and I like to call them "top level amateurs", corresponding, in my mind to a Fargo of 725-760.

There is also the intent to turn pro, committing oneself to sufficient participation in competitive events with the goal of one day being able to pay all the bills from pool earnings. Players in this category might be called "potential pros" or "aspiring pros" but they are not pros.

To sum, in America, nobody is quite sure what a pro player is. For most of us, it's no more than a perceived level of excellence. As I've noted, for me, that level is Fargo 760 or better, but another measure might be "any player that frequently posts top ten finishes in major events or top regional events."

Of course, there are also "teaching pros" who make their primary living from pool instruction, and they, too, are worthy of being called pros. Certainly, the likes of Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, Randy Goettlicher, and Scott Lee are all pros, as are other comparable instructors.
 

JayRack

Member
I'll restrict my observations to men's pool here.

There is no such thing as "turning pro" in America. Once upon a time, when there were national tours for which you had to qualify just to participate, those who, on merit, became permanent members probably had a right to call themselves pros. Today, only those who have sufficient earnings from competing to pay all their bills in life are worthy of being called pros. In America, that's probably about ten people, and I'm not sure players who carry a Fargo of under about 760 have a right to call themselves pros.

There are players who play at a speed approaching the speed of the true professionals, and I like to call them "top level amateurs", corresponding, in my mind to a Fargo of 725-760.

There is also the intent to turn pro, committing oneself to sufficient participation in competitive events with the goal of one day being able to pay all the bills from pool earnings. Players in this category might be called "potential pros" or "aspiring pros" but they are not pros.

To sum, in America, nobody is quite sure what a pro player is. For most of us, it's no more than a perceived level of excellence. As I've noted, for me, that level is Fargo 760 or better, but another measure might be "any player that frequently posts top ten finishes in major events or top regional events."

Of course, there are also "teaching pros" who make their primary living from pool instruction, and they, too, are worthy of being called pros. Certainly, the likes of Jerry Briesath, Mark Wilson, Randy Goettlicher, and Scott Lee are all pros, as are other comparable instructors.
I like the Fargo rating idea. 760 or over your deemed a pro... That sounds good to me.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I like the Fargo rating idea. 760 or over your deemed a pro... That sounds good to me.
You might go by earnings instead. Here is the 2019 money list. 12 won over $60,000 which I consider about the minimum to be making a living from it.

 

JayRack

Member
You might go by earnings instead. Here is the 2019 money list. 12 won over $60,000 which I consider about the minimum to be making a living from it.

Another good alternative... I was thinking if I don't see you on TV your not a professional. I know TV coverage is not what it once was but I know of two networks that have pro events televised. One of them I get.
 

Biloxi Boy

Man With A Golden Arm
You might go by earnings instead. Here is the 2019 money list. 12 won over $60,000 which I consider about the minimum to be making a living from it.

Wait a minute. Don't get misled, young'ns. This is a gross figure. What we really need to know is what type of net do these players ultimately realize? What expenses do they incur? Travel expenses, Income tax, self-employment tax -- a 60K gross will melt to nothing in 2 seconds, and you can't pay many bills with nothing. Sad truth is what you make ain't what you get.
 
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mikemosconi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
A pro to me means it is how you pay your bills. Sadly pool doesn’t do that for very many.
Most "pro" players in the U.S. don't have many bills to pay- Since 1960 only a handful of true pro players owned their own residence while active.. Most lived with family, friends, basements of pool halls, or had a woman who worked full time and paid the rent, etc. Not unlike pro actors, musicians, artists etc. that I have known. Just part of the lifestyle for fringe sports and other generally low paying professions.
 

cubswin

Just call me Joe...
Silver Member
If a pool player uses the exact phrase of "I turned pro...", then he is probably not even the best player in his hometown pool room.
That seems fairly accurate, only guys I know who say they are pro's are about a 550 fargo and think they are gods because they only play in small town leagues and pool rooms. The op's guy at least sounds like a good player from what he said.
 

JayRack

Member
That seems fairly accurate, only guys I know who say they are pro's are about a 550 fargo and think they are gods because they only play in small town leagues and pool rooms. The op's guy at least sounds like a good player from what he said.
How do you determine your Fargo? I will ask y'all instead of a internet search.
 
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