Is the National Billiards League legit, or a scam?

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
why wont he say how each place is paid and where the money goes .

this is getting ridiculous as he makes pages long posts but never answers any question about the money.

he may be trying to get something good going but certainly is losing all credibility and so wont go very far with his stance.
Unless the host site runs satellites, Calcuttas(if you participate) or adds money only first place gets paid, PERIOD(from what my noneducated pool ass understands) with all that it would still depend on how many participate in satellites, calcuttas or money added.

Coming on here calling threads slanderous seems a little strange, not sure how it would work out in court when they find out part of the business plan isn't being discussed because of legalities(not my words).

Seems it would be easier to say only first place will be paid unless the host site is adding money somehow and to contact that site(where you plan to play) for specifics.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
but then would they get 32 entries. probably not.

any platform that has to be ambiguous or is, has a failing grade.
 

Sandman

Sandcastle Room Owner
Silver Member
With all due respect, and I mean that whole heartedly as I admire you for taking on a task like trying to create a platform like this, how can the calcutta be considered when saying that the top 8 will be paid?

My question comes from the idea that the calcutta is a separate transaction completely and there is zero guarantee that a player will buy themselves in the calcutta.

I am a pretty good player and a definite candidate for one of your events. That being said, what if I attend the event with the understanding that I pay my entry fee. But then I do not have the financial means or desire or whatever to purchase myself in the calcutta. And for argument sake, lets assume I place in the top 8. Am I safe to assume that any "payment" I may have been due would be either non-existent or greatly reduced because of my decision OR inability to buy myself in the calcutta?

I am in no way bashing you but you want amateurs to commit "do our part by playing". I will likely do that. But help me understand how I could possibly get any return if I do not purchase myself unless I win the entire event. $150 entry isnt peanuts nor is it a US Open entry. Obviously its in between, but why would I pay that if I have zero chance for return on my money unless I win the event OR purchase myself. Because if I have zero chance at return, I am only helping fund the platform for those who make the bigger event. I think that is the position of some of the players asking questions here.

Again, this post is meant with all due respect and should not be considered as confrontational. Its adults having a civilized conversation when one (meaning myself) simply doesnt understand how it could or would work if I dont purchase myself. I mean, what if someone runs me up to $500 in the calcutta for some crazy reason and I wont bid against them or buy half of myself at that price. Am I just out of luck and have to bite the bullet because I wont spend more?

Thank you very much for your inquiry sir. I sincerely appreciate the interest. Please, no admiration necessary. Passion for the game runs deep in all of us and I simply feel we all deserve to have a pro organization / tour to enjoy. It seems I'm the only one dumb enough to take on the venture.

One major factor that many may not be taking into consideration here is that this is a QUALIFIER, not a normal tournament. By definition, multiple industry standards and normal practice, qualifier fees fund the winner's entry into the next level or main event - nothing more. In the NBL it FULLY sponsors the winner's participation in the main event including their $1,000 entry slot, travel expenses, lodging, and 2 custom uniform jerseys.

I'm trying to add incentives for players interested in competing such as yourself by making it a standard of qualifiers for the NBL to offer additional means of reward for those that come in short of 1st place AND add to the winnings of the 1st place finisher by asking all TDs that are permitted to hold "side pots" (participants only) or "calcuttas" (open to anyone) to offer such. It's true, side pots and calcuttas require your involvement to be rewarded. "You've gotta be in it to win it." There's no such thing as free money in this World; at least not that I know of. I wouldn't worry about a local amateur getting bid up to $500.00 however. One of the 2 favorites at my 1st qualifier who wound up winning it, went for $200. The runner-up went for $220 which was the highest bid.

In addition to that, all locations were suggested to hold several mini satellite events to not only fund the top 8 finishers of the actual qualifier, but also to help stimulate pool room activity across the nation at the locations gracious enough to host such events for us. THAT would be "free money" or "added money" for the top 8. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic completely eliminated the possibility of such happening for the first few qualifiers kicking off. There are currently satellite events going on and added money raised through various means (local advertisers, sponsors, promoters, TDs, venue owners, etc.)

As players understandably have concerns of not winning 1st place, I sincerely believe that players getting involved should have more faith in themselves to indeed win as the races are mainly alternate break format to only 5 games which is really a toss up. The 4 rounds on the winners' side are alternate break to 9. I do believe that the winner should truly win and I also believe that the rest of the top 25% finishers should at least get their money back and a free fun day of good competition. Hopefully, as we move forward, these concerns can all be addressed and resolved as we grow.

Moving forward for places that are now reopened, hopefully we can have $25-$50 minis/satellites to make it even more affordable for players and generate top 8 "added" money. With a 16 player field at $25, the top 2 can be entered into the NBL Stage 1 Qualifier (S1Q) as all top 4 receive their money back. More reward obviously with a $50 entry mini.

Thank you once again for kind and genuine inquiry sir.
 

Sandman

Sandcastle Room Owner
Silver Member
Isn't it ok to talk about those things on this forum? The most recent round of discussion has been about calcuttas and how that money translates into 1st-8th payouts. Are you not free to address that on this forum?
Couple quotes from Ed's previous posts----"The top 8 players win cash via money raised from preceding satellite events run locally and/or Calcutta where allowed." The part in red is easy to understand, the part in yellow not so much.
" My only request is that PLAYERS do their part and participate in their local AMATEUR ONLY Qualifiers for $150 where the top 8 out of the 32 max players win cash that day just like any other weekly tournament, weekend tour stop or monthly event."
This is not like any weekly/monthly tournament where the 1st-8th money comes from the entry fees and if there's a calcutta that money is completely separate and sharing in those proceeds is contingent upon whether or not you invested in it.
In my area the TD has held some virtual events where you pay 25.00 to try and win the 150.00 qualifier fee. How much has been raised thru that no one has any idea and it will surely vary from area to area.
Maybe I'm way off base but I think these are the questions people want answers to.
Thank you Sparkle for clarifying. Yes, in open forum, these CAN be discussed as opposed to an official website where they cannot.

I know I'm long winded but there is no easy short answer. "Top 8 payouts vary between locations. Ask your local TD for details." will be added on the website. I have no problem with being transparent and am happy to elaborate on any unclear points.
 

billb

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thank you very much for your inquiry sir. I sincerely appreciate the interest. Please, no admiration necessary. Passion for the game runs deep in all of us and I simply feel we all deserve to have a pro organization / tour to enjoy. It seems I'm the only one dumb enough to take on the venture.

One major factor that many may not be taking into consideration here is that this is a QUALIFIER, not a normal tournament. By definition, multiple industry standards and normal practice, qualifier fees fund the winner's entry into the next level or main event - nothing more. In the NBL it FULLY sponsors the winner's participation in the main event including their $1,000 entry slot, travel expenses, lodging, and 2 custom uniform jerseys.

I'm trying to add incentives for players interested in competing such as yourself by making it a standard of qualifiers for the NBL to offer additional means of reward for those that come in short of 1st place AND add to the winnings of the 1st place finisher by asking all TDs that are permitted to hold "side pots" (participants only) or "calcuttas" (open to anyone) to offer such. It's true, side pots and calcuttas require your involvement to be rewarded. "You've gotta be in it to win it." There's no such thing as free money in this World; at least not that I know of. I wouldn't worry about a local amateur getting bid up to $500.00 however. One of the 2 favorites at my 1st qualifier who wound up winning it, went for $200. The runner-up went for $220 which was the highest bid.

In addition to that, all locations were suggested to hold several mini satellite events to not only fund the top 8 finishers of the actual qualifier, but also to help stimulate pool room activity across the nation at the locations gracious enough to host such events for us. THAT would be "free money" or "added money" for the top 8. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic completely eliminated the possibility of such happening for the first few qualifiers kicking off. There are currently satellite events going on and added money raised through various means (local advertisers, sponsors, promoters, TDs, venue owners, etc.)

As players understandably have concerns of not winning 1st place, I sincerely believe that players getting involved should have more faith in themselves to indeed win as the races are mainly alternate break format to only 5 games which is really a toss up. The 4 rounds on the winners' side are alternate break to 9. I do believe that the winner should truly win and I also believe that the rest of the top 25% finishers should at least get their money back and a free fun day of good competition. Hopefully, as we move forward, these concerns can all be addressed and resolved as we grow.

Moving forward for places that are now reopened, hopefully we can have $25-$50 minis/satellites to make it even more affordable for players and generate top 8 "added" money. With a 16 player field at $25, the top 2 can be entered into the NBL Stage 1 Qualifier (S1Q) as all top 4 receive their money back. More reward obviously with a $50 entry mini.

Thank you once again for kind and genuine inquiry sir.
Thank you for your response. This is a perfect scenario should help me get very clear clarification.....

Now that you have stressed QUALIFIER as opposed to tournament, I see that point more clearly. Given the fact that its a QUALIFIER, no ALL money will be paid back because something has to fund the winners trip the the larger tournament. Very clear and completely understood. Not ALL of the money will be paid back. But, with a full field, we are talking about $4800 in total.

Lets break down your sentence you typed in the response to my original question........ "One of the 2 favorites at my 1st qualifier who wound up winning it, went for $200. The runner-up went for $220 which was the highest bid."

So the player who placed first went for $200......help me understand his total payments in each of these three scenarios:
1) he paid his $150 entry AND purchased himself in the calcutta
2) he paid his $150 entry AND purchased half of himself from whoever bought him in the calcutta
3) he paid his $150 entry and DID NOT participate in the calcutta in any way

And, please help me under stand the total payouts for the player who got second place for the same 3 scenarios:
1) he paid his $150 entry AND purchased himself in the calcutta
2) he paid his $150 entry AND purchased half of himself from whoever bought him in the calcutta
3) he paid his $150 entry and DID NOT participate in the calcutta in any way

If player 2 bought himself completely, his entry was $150 and his calcutta was $220. He was $370 in was far as entry fees plus other costs for the day. He placed second in the calcutta. This assumes he bought himself. Help me see the TOTAL breakdown of his day financially under the assumption that HE bought HIMSELF. Total meaning tournament payout (if any) and calcutta payout. I know the calcutta is based off of how much was bid on other players. But since this is a your recent real life scenario as you mentioned, you should have all the numbers right in front of you. We know the top two bids total $420 based on your response to my first question.

I am asking for the comparison because the player who won it got the prize package. Thats a little easier to swallow if you are the winner regardless of whether you participated in the calcutta. My interest is for those who dont win first place.

I live in a rural area and would willingly drive the two hour minimum distance for myself to one of these events IF I feel like everything is on the up and up. And based on your business model, you need players like me who have the financial means to participate, the skills to effectively participate, the desire to participate and who are willing to participate. You said yourself......players have to "do their part". And I agree.....we as players do have to do our part to help bring everything together. But we also have a right to understand the big picture.

I have been reading and reading and reading without responding for a while on the subject trying to gain a clear understanding of everything. I am excited about your venture but just cannot get over the hump of 32 players at $150 per person for a total of $4800 and the top 8 POTENTIAL payouts having to be only funded based on a side pot that may or may not even be legal in some areas. And the idea to "contact each tournament director" for final clarification seems evasive. Wouldnt it make sense to have a consistent answer.......regardless of what that answer may be and even if we dont like the answer. Hypothetically, I understand that hosts may "add" money and blah blah blah. But the reality is thats an absolute best case scenario. Lets for conversation sake assume they are not adding money. Lets assume that 9 out of 10 qualifiers will not be adding money. Thats the breakdown and answer I am seeking. If we show up and a TD adds money, that just makes life a little sweeter. But, as one response to my earlier question stated, "nothing is free" in life.

If there is one thing I have learned about this board, its that there are some very smart people here who sometimes see things from a different perspective than I do and who help me see situations more clearly when I read about them. Thats basically what I am hoping to gain from my posts on this. That way, I can decide whether its a fit for me. And it could help others do the same.

Oh.....lastly, what happens if we move into this, have multiple qualifiers, etc, etc and then the wheels fall off and you dont have the bigger events. What happens to the "prize package" funds that the qualifier winners won and have coming to them?

Now, its your venture and kudos to you for doing it. If I have crossed a line, ticked you off and you dont want me as a customer, no harm no foul. I will move on and have a good day and wish you the same. :)
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
One major factor that many may not be taking into consideration here is that this is a QUALIFIER, not a normal tournament. By definition, multiple industry standards and normal practice, qualifier fees fund the winner's entry into the next level or main event - nothing more. In the NBL it FULLY sponsors the winner's participation in the main event including their $1,000 entry slot, travel expenses, lodging, and 2 custom uniform jerseys.
People don't realize it because it isn't true. In my experience, it wasn't true for either the WPBA qualifiers (chiefly from 1992-2003, when earning a WPBA spot was difficult) or the IPT eight ball qualifiers of 2006, the most noteworthy qualifiers I can think of in the recent past of American pro pool. In recent times, qualifiers in America are quite a rarity, although the NBL may change that.

Digging down a little deeper, I probably attended over twenty five different WPBA qualifiers. These events paid down to several places (there was no Calcutta). Good thing, too, for if these events compensated the winner only, then in 1998-2000, when Karen Corr (who travelled the country to earn WPBA spots) won virtually every qualifier she entered., nobody else would have ever shown up.

The event producer of a WPBA qualifier had to purchase the spot at a cost of $500 from the WPBA in advance of the qualifier and often added additional money. The qualifying spot was, of course, the grand prize. Upon completion of the event, the payouts as published might look something like this:

1st place: Jane Q Public $200 + paid spot into WPBA Michigan City
2nd Place: Rita Q Public: $150
3rd Place: Angela Q Public $100
4th Place: Marion Q Public $50

The suggestion that all money added by the room running the qualifier and entry fees funded only the winner's prize is inaccurate. The payouts beyond first place didn't come from a side pot funded primarily by the players.

Suggesting that there has always been a clear and consistent distinction between a qualifier and a tournament in America is, quite simply, uninformed. In the eyes of most, including this AZB poster, who has been attending pro events regularly since the mid-1970's, a qualifier is a type of tournament, with the distinction being that a paid spot in a future event is part of the prize fund.

It's time to stop wrapping yourself in the flag of "this is how it's always been done" because it isn't. For example, I have never seen Calcutta money included in the added money or in published payouts for an event in all my years around pool, yet that's how it's presented in the article summing up your event. It's time to clarify things.

Finally, despite the unfortunate thread title, I haven't read a single post in which anyone concluded that NBL is a scam or is illegit. You have been very defensive in your comments, and that was really quite unnecessary. Everyone here understands it is a legitimate business and an ambitious venture. We all want it to succeed, but participants in these events were misled. To your credit, you have placed much of the blame on yourself, admitting that your website's vagueness lay at the heart of a breakdown in communications.

We all know what a special presence you are and can be in our sport, so we'll stay optimistic, but for the NBL it's time for greater frankness with its patrons and would-be patrons.
 
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maha

from way back when
Silver Member
it isnt likely to be a scam. he doesnt seem or come across like that. he seems like a good guy.

but by not publishing the cash flow it makes it appear to be a scam. plus it gives him a backdoor to get out with the cash if this whole thing falls through.

or it simply is a very bad deal for the players money wise, and he thinks it should be worth playing just to play.
this seems the most likely thing.

but that scenario works for bangers in leagues for small amounts of money, having fun. not so for better players putting up time and 150 bucks and traveling.
 

KissedOut

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the thread of my original post AND in this slanderous post insinuating ill intent, that question was answered AND sited by another member as well as myself. Can we please wager that nothing was mentioned? LOL:😉: I ask that people read things thoroughly. If still uncertain, contact your local TD or even myself to answer all questions. MANY things CANNOT be stated on the main website as it enters gray areas of legality in various jurisdictions. What is perfectly legal and okay to post in one state or even local municipality, may not be in the next. I will NOT incriminate venues or TDs working diligently and working together on this to offer players something new, refreshing and rewarding. That too was stated several times. Feel free to message me with contact info to discuss.
Maybe the AZB search function doesn't work, because I had it search both those threads for the word Calcutta and came up empty. Rather than throwing around terms like libel you could point to where in those 2 voluminous threads you explained this all.
 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Pool players destroying something that could be good for pool....say it ain't so?

Be an adult. Be informed. Then decide to play or don't...better yet start your own event.

Why resort to disparriaging a man who has done so much for the game?
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
nobody is disparaging him. just people want to know exactly how the thing works. is that so hard to want to know.

do you go to tournaments where they dont tell you what you win or if you get paid what they tell you.
 

SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
nobody is disparaging him. just people want to know exactly how the thing works. is that so hard to want to know.

do you go to tournaments where they dont tell you what you win or if you get paid what they tell you.
People who are uninformed simply need to inform themselves...not post nonsense questioning if it is a scam. Although it is typical to do this it leads to nothing which is pretty much what pool has.
 

jimmyg

Mook! What's a Mook?
Silver Member
If the owner of the website needs help with wording his business plan so as to avoid legal issues, I would suggest hiring an attorney to help.
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
If the owner of the website needs help with wording his business plan so as to avoid legal issues, I would suggest hiring an attorney to help.
I believe I read he has an attorney.

I suggested earlier to simply state only first place gets paid unless the venue has some other way to add money and to please contact the site you'll be playing for more info as often these sites can pay up to 8 places.

No confusion this way
 

jasonlaus

Rep for Smorg
Gold Member
Silver Member
From what I read, everybody on here hopes this will succeed, I for one would love to see a "PRO TOUR" in the US, especially with amateurs being able to qualify.

I would hope he also has a Bio Page and require everybody to fill it out, Pros at a minimum

Years played
Titles
Cues, tips, cases, etc used
Sponsors
Favorite Players and why, etc

Others
House Pro/Room owner @______
Lessons available and rates
Charities(other than themselves) 🤣

Anything to help the players gain fans.
 

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Decent people talk themselves in to doing things they normally would not. This falls into that category for me. This is a step beyond flashy advertising. Sadly, the whole "added money" situation used by pool promoters has been a stain against the sport for quite some time. So long, that most players no longer even give it a second thought. While this isn't a "added money" situation, it's in the same ball park.

The sad but stone cold reality here is once players realize that only the 1st place position is getting paid from the tournament funds -- this whole thing will fizzle out.
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Decent people talk themselves in to doing things they normally would not. This falls into that category for me. This is a step beyond flashy advertising. Sadly, the whole "added money" situation used by pool promoters has been a stain against the sport for quite some time. So long, that most players no longer even give it a second thought. While this isn't a "added money" situation, it's in the same ball park.

The sad but stone cold reality here is once players realize that only the 1st place position is getting paid from the tournament funds -- this whole thing will fizzle out.
Yes, obviously the promoter realized that if he was clear and up front about this to start with, the interest in this league/tour would be minimal except for top amateur and semi pro level players. Sadly, even though he’s now being called out in this forum on this very issue, he still can’t bring himself to very simply state the facts of where the $ goes.

I don’t think anyone would have a problem if he accurately explained exactly where the $150 per player qualifier entry goes - without ever making mention of a separate auction/Calcutta. Then players would know exactly what they were signing up for.
 
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lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ed, I am disappointed in how you have advertised this endeavor.

It is total bullshit.

What pool needs, after all the scams dating back to Trudeau and further back, is total transparency. Not some weasel-worded advertisement that requires a tortured explanation after-the-fact which attempts to disguise the true nature of what players put in and can expect out. I know how to read promotional text and yours is totally misleading -- there's just no way around that.

In my heart, I believe you are a good guy and don't know what drove you to try and run this scam -- and I do not use that word lightly -- but this whole thing, IMO, is a sham that should and will die a quick death. Projects like this are not what pool needs.

Lou Figueroa
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is from the web site in at least two places, and clearly needs to be removed or at least added that this depends on extra money that needs to be put in on top of the entry fee. My son actually signed up to play in one of these in our area, not sure if I really want him to. Lots of respect for Ed and his pool hall and other things he works on, but this is clearly shady and misleading.

"Stage – Qualifiers

32 Amateurs will compete locally at each sanctioned location where the top 8 finishers win cash prizes that day. The winner advances to the national main"

"1st set of the Finals are a race to 9 and if it goes to a 2nd set, it’s a race to 5

Top 8 finishers out of 32 (25%) get paid cash that day.

The WINNER will ALSO be awarded with a FREE $1,000.00 ENTRY SLOT INTO THE MAIN EVENT, FREE FLIGHT, FREE HOTEL, TOUR CARD & 2 PERSONALIZED UNIFORM JERSEYS (last name, state and qualifying venue on back) – a $2,500.00 prize package on top!"


If the plan was to have more than just one winner get a reward, that should be taken out of the entry fee not as some hidden extra payment. The Bud yearly tournament that was held several times near me guaranteed $1,000 to first place, that was the only money they put in, then the other places were paid from the entry fees for the qualifiers they held, and that was stated exactly as that. So if they had 100 players trying to quality at $20 they had another 2k in the pot to give something to the people running it and hand out to the top whatever finishers and maybe add to 1st place.

Remove any mention of "top 8" and put in "winner of the qualifier gets the entry fee and travel, if there is any pay out to the rest of the field that will be determined by the details of the hosting room event". Although even that is a bit odd to do, it ends up being like 9 ball break rules, every 3rd place you visit has something different you need to adjust to, no standards in rules just causes a lot of confusion and bitching. "What do you mean I have to call the 9, the other 4 tournaments I did not" "Wait, 9 on the break counts here and rack your own?". Just bad. For a fully setup organization just letting the local areas do what they want is not a good idea. Make a single payment that is known for every location, with the same payout structure maybe based on entries. If 32 are in, then top 4 are paid. Anything less to say 24 then top 3, if less then only winner gets the trip.
 
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sparkle84

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have to go to bed and will get back to this tomorrow but I will say right now that this has really gotten out of hand. I had doubts and questions about this way back when it was introduced but didn't then nor would I now ever use the words scam, shady or total bullshit to describe what has happened. Ed is trying to do something good here. Mistakes have been made and adjustments may need to be made but I think we'd all be better off trying to help instead of doing everything possible to tear it down.
 
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