Hardships of Professional Pool as a Career

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ok, so I don't mean this to be as negative as I'm sure you may take it. However I keep seeing you state that this player's "financial inability" to travel to events as a hardship. The honest truth is, he/she just isn't putting enough effort into raising the funds to do so.

There's a ~740 player down the road from me and he manages to do ok as a full time player. Know what he does...? Lessons, tons of lessons, exhibitions, and sells himself for pool room sponsorships. To the best of my recollection, he doesn't have any pool related manufacturing sponsors, (predator, toam, etc). Others slightly down the food chain start GoFundMe accounts when the expensive events come about and it works. I personally wanted to play in the Canadian 10b Championships but maxed out after paying out of pocket for the 9 and 8 ball events. What did I do..? I asked for help and I got it. I was also voluntarily supported by the man who keeps my equipment in shape for me. Thanks Bruno ;) (<- see what I did there?)

The point... Yes I highly doubt that someone who is struggling on the fringe of being considered a pro (based on Fargo), would be able to drum up enough sponsorship to attend everything. Not being able to attend one here and there is more a testament to their commitment than a failure of the system. The idea that this player got an invite to the Worlds and turned it down annoys the crap out of me. Now of course you don't convey how much effort he/she made to collect resources to go. I narrowly missed a chance to go to the Predator World 10 ball. If I got that call, you can guarantee I'd be knocking on doors and selling every square inch of my jersey.

Boils down to how you want it, versus how much you want someone to give it to you.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think this pro wants to be a "regular" on the pro tournament trail. It's not about drumming up money to attend one event a year. I probably have not worded well the dilemma he feels.

FWIW, he already gives lessons, does exhibitions, and a whole slew of other pool-related things. It's just not enough to compete full-time on the professional tournament trail today with payouts being what they are. Only the top 2 percent, in my honest opinion, can turn a profit competing in professional pool full-time.

Interestingly, while pool struggles to increase its popularity with mainstream viewers in hopes of getting better payouts for the pros, the recent Cazoo Masters for snooker, won by Judd Trump last night, paid out $330,000-plus (250,000 pounds) for first place. Last year's first place prize was $273,000-plus (200,000) pounds, so this year's Masters got a bump up of $60,900-plus (50,000 pounds) in the first-place prize monies. Not too shabby for the snooker pros. You can live off of that for one year quite nicely.

I appreciate you taking the time to write your opinion.
 
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336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Silver Member
Ok, so I don't mean this to be as negative as I'm sure you may take it. However I keep seeing you state that this player's "financial inability" to travel to events as a hardship. The honest truth is, he/she just isn't putting enough effort into raising the funds to do so.

There's a ~740 player down the road from me and he manages to do ok as a full time player. Know what he does...? Lessons, tons of lessons, exhibitions, and sells himself for pool room sponsorships. To the best of my recollection, he doesn't have any pool related manufacturing sponsors, (predator, toam, etc). Others slightly down the food chain start GoFundMe accounts when the expensive events come about and it works. I personally wanted to play in the Canadian 10b Championships but maxed out after paying out of pocket for the 9 and 8 ball events. What did I do..? I asked for help and I got it. I was also voluntarily supported by the man who keeps my equipment in shape for me. Thanks Bruno ;) (<- see what I did there?)

The point... Yes I highly doubt that someone who is struggling on the fringe of being considered a pro (based on Fargo), would be able to drum up enough sponsorship to attend everything. Not being able to attend one here and there is more a testament to their commitment than a failure of the system. The idea that this player got an invite to the Worlds and turned it down annoys the crap out of me. Now of course you don't convey how much effort he/she made to collect resources to go. I narrowly missed a chance to go to the Predator World 10 ball. If I got that call, you can guarantee I'd be knocking on doors and selling every square inch of my jersey.

Boils down to how you want it, versus how much you want someone to give it to you.

There is a huge disconnect between the Pro Players and the Amateurs and that is partly to blame for the Amateurs not knowing who the players are. I have never heard of a player led clinic but being retired if there was one nearby I'd go. I was all signed up for one of Mark Wilsons when the pandemic hit.

I can't think of a room owner in the country who wouldn't put up a sign that a Pro Player wants to run a clinic on a certain date and have that day at $100 per that wouldn't fill the class. 10 people is a thousand dollars. 3 such clinics is enough to cover entry, travel and food to a Matchroom or Predator event. You're right. If people really want it there is a way but its not easy by any means when the player has to make a living also and that is part of the whole enchilada.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Silver Member
Plus, it's more expensive now just in terms of table time to get better.

In some locales its very prohibitive.

Lou Figueroa

You're right, I'm finding it prohibitively expensive.

The Sports Bar is more geared towards the recreational adult who plays once a week, not the skill artist.
Pool Rooms were glad to have your repeat business and made it affordable. We need those retired folks for
parttime pool room owners to open one in the small towns where they live.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think this pro wants to be a "regular" on the pro tournament trail. It's not about drumming up money to attend one event a year. I probably have not worded well the dilemma he feels.
Well I'm not a pro, and will never be one so take this with a grain of salt. However, it's about baby steps imo... You need to be marketable if you're going to try and sell yourself. An up and comer would need to build momentum, and capitalize on prior success to open more doors in the future. This player you speak of must already have some level of clout if MR is directly offering him opportunities. Surprised he/she couldn't muster some level sponsorship, even if it was to only make the World MR event. That would have been great exposure to gain new marketability.
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Interestingly, while pool struggles to increase its popularity with mainstream viewers in hopes of getting better payouts for the pros, the recent Cazoo Masters for snooker, won by Judd Trump last night, paid out $330,000-plus (250,000 pounds) for first place. Last year's first place prize was $273,000-plus (200,000) pounds, so this year's Masters got a bump up of $60,900-plus (50,000 pounds) in the first-place prize monies. Not too shabby for the snooker pros. You can live off of that for one year quite nicely.
These thoughts come to mind; how do they dress?, how do they behave on and off the table?, how have they been able to so successfully sell snooker to Europe?
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Silver Member
Matchroom took over... Maybe just maybe we should let them have a go at doing the same for pool before worrying about fixing anything.

I would agree with you, but the lack of views for some of the YouTube videos is concerning.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I would agree with you, but the lack of views for some of the YouTube videos is concerning.
Matchroom's primary distribution is on live events, both broadcast and streaming. For the US, that is on matchroom.live and DAZN. In addition, I think a few live events have been on Facebook and YouTube. I think recorded/edited videos on YouTube is way down their list of views. The Matchroom Pool YouTube channel has had a total of 100,000,000 views. They may have had that many viewers for a single event through the other distribution channels.
 

dendweller

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Well I'm not a pro, and will never be one so take this with a grain of salt. However, it's about baby steps imo... You need to be marketable if you're going to try and sell yourself. An up and comer would need to build momentum, and capitalize on prior success to open more doors in the future. This player you speak of must already have some level of clout if MR is directly offering him opportunities. Surprised he/she couldn't muster some level sponsorship, even if it was to only make the World MR event. That would have been great exposure to gain new marketability.
I don't think it's whole lot different than anyone deciding to start a business or be self employed in a variety of lines of work. Less security, more risk but a possible upside that you may not have a shot at being someone's employee.
 

336Robin

Multiverse Operative
Silver Member
Matchroom's primary distribution is on live events, both broadcast and streaming. For the US, that is on matchroom.live and DAZN. In addition, I think a few live events have been on Facebook and YouTube. I think recorded/edited videos on YouTube is way down their list of views. The Matchroom Pool YouTube channel has had a total of 100,000,000 views. They may have had that many viewers for a single event through the other distribution channels.

Matchrooms posting style is different than that of the World Billiard Channel so it's hard to tell by event. I don't doubt those numbers
but wonder where you get the numbers from? Could that number be the sum of all YouTube, website and social media views, likes and follows? Sounds like this is total viewership for as long as there has been a channel. Last I looked there were 266k subscribers.

I saw the facebook likes (over 67k) and the YouTube views of the event you mentioned (over 1million) when Dazn dropped the ball.

This is how I interpret that big number (if they were all YouTube numbers in one year and if they had a full-time sponsor.) This is (if) all those things were true.

If a YouTube (dedicated sponsor) were employed and they paid the minimum as I understand it 0.08cents per view then 1 million views is 80k dollars. There for 10m views that would be 800k and 100m views would be 8 million dollars but....I haven't been on the channel recently (but I don't remember a dedicated sponsor). I think that starts becoming more of a possibility when the subscriber rate gets a lot higher.

It appears they are in the adsense program and that is something I know little about. So, 8 million dollars is probably just a potential figure and not real at all. Adsense pay is much less and dependent on people watching the ads. I don't see many pool players doing that.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Matchroom's posting style is different ...
I think at this point their posting style is irrelevant. The views they have had on Facebook and YouTube are unimportant.

What is important are the paid views of the live broadcasts on DAZN and other PPV streaming platforms, if any, and the views through commercial live channels like Sky Sports. I'm pretty certain that the real money is generated there.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
simple, if you cannot raise the money to play in a tournament you aren't good enough to win enough in it.

to think otherwise is wishful foolish thinking. but being a dreamer isn't all that bad in life.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
These thoughts come to mind; how do they dress?, how do they behave on and off the table?, how have they been able to so successfully sell snooker to Europe?

I think snooker is a more interesting game to watch for many people. Almost every frame has a certain amount of drama and suspense. Many 9-ball racks do not. (I love 9-ball for what it's worth).
 

dnschmidt

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You would probably make more money doing just about anything over playing pool. The game is ruthless, uncaring and offers no reason for anybody except SVB to bother to play it. Work at most decent jobs and you get healthcare, vacation and overtime. In pool you get none of this. Darren was one of the best players in the world and got sick and now has to start a go fund me to pay for his medical bills which will no doubt be enormous as there is a 100% chance that he has no insurance. Pool in America is frankly a hobby it's not a job. Anybody that thinks otherwise is delusional.
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think snooker is a more interesting game to watch for many people. Almost every frame has a certain amount of drama and suspense. Many 9-ball racks do not. (I love 9-ball for what it's worth).
I don't play snooker...the damned balls are too small and the tables are too big. It's really fun to watch though. I love watching people who know what they are doing. I also like pomp and circumstance. I've read most of Kipling's prose, and he mentions it sparsely. I can see the young officers now
 

Boxcar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You would probably make more money doing just about anything over playing pool. The game is ruthless, uncaring and offers no reason for anybody except SVB to bother to play it. Work at most decent jobs and you get healthcare, vacation and overtime. In pool you get none of this. Darren was one of the best players in the world and got sick and now has to start a go fund me to pay for his medical bills which will no doubt be enormous as there is a 100% chance that he has no insurance. Pool in America is frankly a hobby it's not a job. Anybody that thinks otherwise is delusional.
Welp, there it is, Bs and Gs. In one paragraph you've told the undeniable truth and you've rendered everything I've said moot. Thank you, Good Sir, I wish you'd been here yesterday.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Bo
Matchroom's primary distribution is on live events, both broadcast and streaming. For the US, that is on matchroom.live and DAZN. In addition, I think a few live events have been on Facebook and YouTube. I think recorded/edited videos on YouTube is way down their list of views. The Matchroom Pool YouTube channel has had a total of 100,000,000 views. They may have had that many viewers for a single event through the other distribution channels.
Bob, 100,000,000 views is definitely not irrelevant! That is a huge number of views and may well be earning them substantial income in and of itself. That is also very attractive to their various sponsors whose advertising is being seen by this audience, as well as the live audience.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
Darren was one of the best players in the world and got sick and now has to start a go fund me to pay for his medical bills which will no doubt be enormous as there is a 100% chance that he has no insurance.
Actually, Darren is from England, where everybody has medical insurance through the National Health Service. If his heart attack was attended to in England, he would have been covered. No idea where he had his heart attack.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Bob, 100,000,000 views is definitely not irrelevant! That is a huge number of views and may well be earning them substantial income in and of itself. That is also very attractive to their various sponsors whose advertising is being seen by this audience, as well as the live audience.
That's the total views on YouTube that they have had on all of their videos. The channel started nine years ago. I would guess that it is less than 2% of their total pool revenue over that time. My point is that YouTube for them is still a comparatively small source compared to more traditional distribution channels.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You would probably make more money doing just about anything over playing pool. The game is ruthless, uncaring and offers no reason for anybody except SVB to bother to play it. Work at most decent jobs and you get healthcare, vacation and overtime. In pool you get none of this. Darren was one of the best players in the world and got sick and now has to start a go fund me to pay for his medical bills which will no doubt be enormous as there is a 100% chance that he has no insurance. Pool in America is frankly a hobby it's not a job. Anybody that thinks otherwise is delusional.
I think Darren has hospitalized in the UK though- which may have universal health care. Not sure though
 
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