This is gonna hurt
I would be curious to see what Kelly would have to say....
I’m curious if the WPA is voting to suspend players for (1) participating in unsanctioned events, (2) participating in unsanctioned events when a sanctioned event is available, or (3) participating in an unsanctioned event when a significantly major sanctioned event (like a World 8-ball Championship) is available. I don’t like player suspensions at all. But I do wonder if most of the public is assuming #1 and maybe the intent is actually #3. There’s definitely a lot of knee jerk emotional reactions and exaggerations going on. I’m trying to make sure I have a good grasp on the facts and getting a chance to respond rather than react.
that's a very good point. they would have their hands full with (1) and all the unsanctioned events in the USA, for example. but if the polish federation's action is anything to go by it's (3) and effectively two events per year.
estonia is a very small country, but it's the same in sweden. the direct support is insignificant for big names (not that sweden has many big names atm). the local elite events have good organization, drug testing and low prize money.
i assume he means poland, netherlands and austria. but even there i'm not sure govt support is more important for the top names than not being able to play certain events. that's the real squeeze
And it will take much more then an apology to make things right again.I think the banning of the Singapore players was a bad omen, as none of them even participated in the unsanctioned English Billiards event. Of course, that may have been a one off mistake that will be addressed by the the WPA. Or we need to add another category to Matt’s list.
This may be just my dumb opinion but I think snooker is better on tv because the balls are a solid color. Stripes and numbers do not look good on a screen. They dilute the sharp looks of a sphere by breaking it up. They also have better production methods, or did, now pool is catching up.I find myself watching vintage snooker matches quite often. They are great to drift off to sleep to. Anyway, snooker both pre and post Matchroom did and have done a way better job of building their product. Pool has just never been able to do that without Matchroom.
I think this is a great breakdown. As much as I support t matchroom there is a danger present when the major tour is wholly owned by a private multimedia organization. It’s not like the ATP would ever shift gears and promote pickle ball. But matchroom could, in theory, either pull out or pull back without leaving anything to fill the void. But that’s not to say they shouldn’t be supported.None of this is cut and dried. As Fran Crimi has rightly pointed out, there are aspects of this dispute that are not out in the open. She is also right in saying that this is as it should be.
Most us can only assess this matter on a very macro level and consider some of the possible issues and outcomes of this dispute. This requires, at least, some speculation, but I’ll take a shot.
This is what you call a turf war. WPA has never had a serious rival for control of the world of pro pool until now, and that rival is formidable. The two are not working together, and it’s water under the bridge, because the reasons no longer matter.
In the last few months alone, Matchroom paid out about $1,000,000 combined at a) the World Pool Masters, b) the World Cup of Pool, c) the UK Open, d) the Spanish Open, and e) the European Open. They’re about to pay out another $300,00 at the US Open 9-ball, another $200,000 at the Asian Open and another $300,000 at the Mosconi. They are blowing WPA out of the water in many respects and WPA has to scramble just to keep pace.
Many are tempted to conclude that this turf war will come down to financial muscle, with Matchroom having deeper pockets than WPA. These are likely the same people that believed that the IPT in 2006 would last forever as Trudeau had very deep pockets, certainly far deeper than anyone involved with pool. The truth is that successful business people are the first, not the last, to pull the plug on a losing business venture. Underperforming divisions are regularly shut down even in the world’s largest companies.
Hence, one cannot expect Matchroom to blow WPA out of the water by making their tour so lucrative that most of the top pros will follow them. One thing I love about how Matchroom is managing its growing pro pool empire is that they are growing things gradually, and that prize money will only grow to the extent that revenues dictate. Kevn Trudeau and the IPT offered us a virtual tutorial on the danger of setting costs very high before the revenue model is fully validated. I really don’t think that Matchroom’s exceptional management team will repeat that error, instead staying the course as they gradually grow our sport.
The growth that has been brought about by Matchroom is the only really significant growth in our game in many years, and now I sense that WPA is scrambling to compete. They can do so in two ways that I’d like to consider: 1) add events and, thereby, make regular participation more attractive to pro players, or 2) by obstructing or undermining the efforts of Matchroom. I’ll steer clear of the Olympic/IOC/Federation money issues, deferring it for another day.
This would be taking the high road. If that’s what WPA does to make pool a better career for players, that’s great.
Obstructing or Undermining the Efforts of Matchroom
Taking sanctions against those who participate in Matchroom events, regardless of whether those events coincide with Matchroom’s events, would be taking the low road. There’s growing evidence that WPA is planning on pursuing this course.
Best case would be if WPA and Matchroom found some path to settling their differences. I still believe it is possible, even though things have become rather contentious. Nonetheless, it can be easily argued that pool has outgrown the WPA and its capabilities.
All that said, if no reconciliation is forthcoming between WPA and Matchroom, I want Matchroom to win this turf war, because if they don’t, I believe that pro players will see their income drop precipitously.
Surely, Matchroom won’t be bullied here, but they must still tread carefully. If WPA scares Matchroom away from the major pool scene, an unlikely but possible outcome, they will have done great damage to the sport worldwide.
Matchroom is the best thing to happen to pool in decades, but the WPA needs to get out of the way. If they put their organizational pride before the best interests of the players, woe is all of us.
Finally, as noted at the beginning of my post, I’ve engaged in at least some speculation in this post. I'll also note that I've not considered WPA as it pertains to women's pro pool.
There is a big "BUT" here but it's not with Matchroom. For many years Matchroom tried to work with the WPA. They sat down with them many times and tried to resolve their differences, all to no avail. Matchroom did not ignore the WPA, until they found them to be intransigent and unwilling to compromise. It was only in the last year they finally gave up and decided to go it on their own with the Matchroom Nine Ball Tour, plus the Asian Nine Ball Tour. The WPA had their chance, many of them, to work in harmony with Matchroom, but they were unwilling to give up their control of Matchroom produced events. There is more to this story but this is the essence of what took place. The letter above from the Bulgarian Federation is an attempt to place blame on Matchroom for the success they have achieved in elevating pro pool to a stature not seen before, with no help from the WPA or its member associations.View attachment 717318
So the head of a national federation views himself as a visionary that can see the best interest of the players (10 years into the future) and views the athletes as being unable to make decisions for themselves beyond 48 hours into the future. That sounded a bit insulting. Are the players not adults with agency, freedom and respect?
I support Matchroom giving date consideration to any WPA sanctioned “world championship” with $200k+ total prize fund. But not a continental championship that’s only offering medals. That much you have to let the players decide for themselves.