It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
It's definitely a sad situation.This guy is a pool champion, well known. He's not starting a career in playing pool professionally. He does give lessons and puts on exhibitions. Sadly, though, he's older now, and when you age as a professional pol player, you find out how many friends and fans you really do have in the industry.
GoFundMe accounts are set up for some pro players who passed away and their families could not afford to bury them. There are other players who may not be a sharp as they once were—Earl Strickland comes to mind—yet they still have game. Unfortunately, when a player devotes their entire life to pool and then ages, eventually cannot run racks anymore, they begin to live a lonely existence. Some ex-pro players figure out a way to eke a living in pool by selling autographs balls and photos, putting on exhibitions, et cetera.
This pro player who wrote those words wants to give it his all on the pool tournament trail and is stating he will devote 100 percent of his attention to competition to a sponsor and/or stakehorse. He's still got game, still passionate about pool, yet he cannot afford to attend Matchroom events that he's been invited to. The expenses are too high. I think that was the purpose of sharing his thoughts.
I view this subject matter differently than most, I realize. The purpose of this thread was to illustrate that although 2023 looks great for pool tournaments by Matchroom and Predator and others, there are many pro-caliber players who cannot afford to go. It doesn't matter how many tour stops there are if you can't afford the cost. Remember that the payouts of these events are not like snooker. You must come in first, second, or third to break even in most tournaments, and even if you do cash in one or two of them, you are probably stuck in expenses from the tournaments that you didn't rise to the top in. This is the dilemma of professional pool today. It's great we have so many events, but if the players cannot afford to go, then what?
Pool payouts are chump change for the most part. The top 3 places might get a little ahead. Even in amateur events the payout is silly. At a sanctioned state tournament my buddy took 2nd in 8 ball standard level. It cost $25 to enter the event. Out of probably 80 people he ended up in 2nd and won a whopping $200. Hotels were anywhere from $70 per night to $250. The event ran multiple days. No way to make money at the amateur level, even though this is a huge event. Every pool discipline costs at least $25 to enter, food is ungodly expensive (we lived out of a cooler packed full of lunch meat and cheese). If you drank, beer was $6 a 12 oz can, bottled water was $4.
I'm not discounting this player's plight. I get it. I'm not even very good in the grand scheme of things, but I love this game. I can only afford to go for a 3 day weekend tournament once or twice a year, and that's if they are only an hour away. It sucks. I love the tournament atmosphere, but it's only gonna happen once or twice a year because it's all expense and no payout. I can't even imagine being at the pro level and having to go through the same type of dilemma.
Pool isn't a career with any kind of security, no matter how you play. It's terrible. Hopefully it can change.