It's a Catch-22. For big events that require use of the grand ballroom of a hotel, pool's business model doesn't work without the kickback to the event producer that comes from the promise to fill an agreed to number of room nights at the hotel. That's the event producer side of the coin. The player side of the coin is that there will almost always be somewhere else to stay that's cheaper, and it's tough enough to earn an income as a player, so why not stay elsewhere and save some money?
Should players understand that event producers need to make these deals with hotels in order to make the economics of event production work and support them by staying in the host hotels? Should event producers understand that if players can't keep expenses in check that fewer of them can make financial ends meet? The answer to both questions is yes.
The players can support the event producers, and they usually do, by staying in the host hotel. The event producers can support the players by adding events, growing added money and by producing some special events with no entry fee available to all who earn an invitation based on their play. Matchroom is adding events, growing total added money and has four events with no entry fee (Premier League Pool, World Pool Masters, World Cup of Pool and Mosconi Cup) that pay out more than half a million dollars in prize money in those events alone. Matchroom has recently created both an Asian Tour and an Australian tour, as well, extending pro pool's international reach. More than any event producer, Matchroom is supporting its players and growing the sport.
Of course, our sport doesn't offer a good living to many, and the economics don't work for as many players as we'd prefer. For the countless players having Fargo of under 725, the economics of participation in the major events are super-tough, but Matchroom events seem to sell out in a single day, which suggests that the many who represent either semi-dead or dead money are essentially hobbyists who are investing their money in a way that, financially, is illogical and virtually every single one of them knows it but they still embrace participation. Still, as a group, they make events better by being there.
High profile pro pool was bleeding to death when Matchroom, in 2019, became producer of some major championships, reenergizing the World 9-ball, bringing the US Open to a new level, and adding the UK Open and the European Open to pool's calendar of majors. Matchroom has pro pool on a nice track and the day may come when middle of the pack players can make ends meet, but we're not nearly there yet and unless the players support the most innovative and aggressive event producer we've seen in pool in a long time, Matchroom will be less likely to succeed in its ambitious plan for our sport.