Here is a few snippets from a post I read earlier today: I dedicated my life to pool achieving significant results and often representing my country abroad ... a “name” in the world of billiards. Along this journey I've faced several really tough obstacles to overcome and somehow I've always made it. Today is different though. Today the difficulties seem more cruel than yesterday and the obstacles insurmountable. I don't know if it's me who changed. Asking myself unanswered questions today.
I wonder if it's fair for a player with my history to refrain from competing because the economies won't allow him to. I wonder if it's normal for said player to constantly receive invitations from many parts of the world and is forced, for the same reason, to always reply with a "no thanks" (and God knows if I would want to go and prove what I've got). I wonder if it makes any sense to continue all this in a country that seems to have forgotten (if it ever fully understood) the meaning of the term "sport billiard."
I can't keep deceiving myself. I don't want to. If no one believes anymore, then I give up. With no drama or regrets.
I almost hesitate to post this thread, but I empathize with the plight of those who have devoted their lives to professional pool. As the saying goes, only the strong survive, but in pool, this has a broader meaning. Unless you're in the top 5 percent of professional-caliber players, I do not think it's possible to make ends meet, unless you have a sponsor, stakehorse, or rich spouse. It's not possible to hold down a 9-to-5 job if you're traveling around the world to compete on the tournament trail, and then there's the time that's needed to devote to practice to keep your skills up.
I recently read this post from a pro player I really do admire and like. Unlike some who think pro pool players are "looking for handouts," there are those who truly do want to give it their all and rise to the top. This is not possible without funding in today's pool world. I've heard and read all the swipes written by those who have a disdain for professional pool players, saying they're bums, substance abusers, and need to get a job. But let it be known that there are some pro-caliber players, aspiring and seasoned, who do want to work hard and give it their all.
I'm not sure what the answer is today to help aspiring and veteran players stay in the sport. Matchroom and Predator are doing a lot with their tour stops, providing a lot of opportunities for pro players to follow their dreams and develop their professional career. However, without funding, it is not possible in 2023 to attend all of these great, great pool competitions.
I am looking forward to seeing how 2023 unfolds for professional pool. There is hope with the multitude of competitions up ahead, but one cannot compete if they do not have the means or funding. I'm hoping 2023 will be the year that pool makes headway and brings in new blood as well as keep the existing lot of professional players in the sport.