Pro Pool Is Exactly As It Should Be

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I think the game is wonderful but if by "product" you mean the entirety of the culture, you are probably right. There's always some good insight in your posts.
The "product" is the pro pool production itself, which is a composite of both the technical presentation and the play and behavior of the competitors. Agreed that the game is wonderful, but the "product" that pro pool is trying to deliver and sell to its current and potential fan base needs development.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Just need to get the dispensaries/growers on-board. You could have one hellacious good paying tour if you had some weed $$ backing it. Plus everyone would be chill and food/munchy sales would be truly epic. ;)
Be careful you don't get the edibles mixed up with the munchies. 🤣
Will they have treadmills and exercise bikes set up for us more hyper stoners?
Nope, you just gotta be circling the table on each shot like a hyper stoned shark. Just don't forget to blink. :LOL:
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
Amen to that. Let's preface this post by saying that it pertains to American pool only.

At least in America, it would be very hard to argue that the amateur league systems are the breeding ground for pro players in the first place.

If a national league organization in America opts to invest in pro pool, fine, but why would they? The pros add virtually nothing to enhance the world of American amateur pool, and this was true even when there were major pro tours in the United States. I'm not convinced that the complete disappearance of pro pool would affect the world of American amateur pool at all.

Pool players are, far too often, negative role models. In the other "individual" sports, like bowling, golf and tennis, things are different. In those other sports, you don't get things like Jeremy Jones challenging Earl Strickland to a fight during a Bonus Ball event, or Billy Thorpe drowning us in profanities while threatening Robb Saez in a streamed match. You don't get things like Dennis Hatch refusing to shake Josh Filler's hand after a Mosconi match in 2017 despite Johan Ruijsink practically begging him to do so. You don't get Jimmy Mataya showing up rip roaring drunk to a match at the ?2006? WPA World 14.1 Championships. You don't get Earl Strickland going after Hunter Lombardo at the American 14.1 Championships, earning an ejection from the event. Pool players are not role models for the amateurs, nor do they do anything that tends to add any value for the amateurs.

Matchroom and a few others are taking their best shot at monetizing pool and they are making some progress, but in the long run, only a good product can be sold, and pro pool players have, far too often, devalued the pro pool product through deviant behavior and a genral failure to support the efforts of those production companies that invest in their sport.

In Marketing 101, one learns that good product development is usually a prerequisite to selling something effectively. In pro pool, the players often forget that they have a large part to play in the development of that product, but in so forgetting, they have done a lot of damage to the public image of those that play pool for a living.

The delusional in our sport believe that pro pool is a high quality and highly marketable product that pool event producers and promoters have, inexplicably, been unable to sell. The sad truth, however, is that the product itself needs improvement, and while some event producers and promoters understand this, until the players join them in their attempt to grow the pro pool product, there is a limit to how far pro pool can go as a sport.
Excellent post. Though I think the public is more accepting of some poor behaviour in this reality TV age so long as it doesn’t cross certain lines.

But the main thing people miss when they talk about the rise of professional snooker is how much work the pros put into promoting the game and doing the exhibition circuit. Players from the 70-80s were as much entertainers as they were competitors.

Matchroom has me more optimistic than I have been for a very long time because they do understand that they need to do more than put on tournaments. That there is a foundation that they need to build underneath the game before it can flourish. And that changing rule sets and formats every other tournament is not a formula for success.
 
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Jaden

"no buds chill"
Silver Member
You left out the reason why those other sports have obscene amounts of money thrown at them.

It's because, to the average person, they are a thousand times more entertaining than watching 2 guys play 9-ball.
Bullshit, it's because society has convinced them that it's an important part of being a part of society to follow those sports AND not others...

Jaden
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bullshit, it's because society has convinced them that it's an important part of being a part of society to follow those sports AND not others...

Jaden

Oh, so I guess society has convinced people that they should watch cornhole.

Look at the threads for any of the long race matches, and you'll find people complaining about the format and not wanting to watch.

Think about that.

People that are fans of pool, posting on a forum dedicated to pool, saying they aren't interested in watching people play pool.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Amen to that. Let's preface this post by saying that it pertains to American pool only.

At least in America, it would be very hard to argue that the amateur league systems are the breeding ground for pro players in the first place.

If a national league organization in America opts to invest in pro pool, fine, but why would they? The pros add virtually nothing to enhance the world of American amateur pool, and this was true even when there were major pro tours in the United States. I'm not convinced that the complete disappearance of pro pool would affect the world of American amateur pool at all.
Fair point. Let's assume the APA were involved with pro pool, ponied up money added secured corporate sponsorship and got it to a point where players were making seven figure annual incomes. The APA could market themselves as the beginning of the journey to become a pro, much like junior tennis. There could be an advantage in generating more interest from parents and juniors to get involved with the sport which in the long run will generate more amateur players because it is likely less than 1% of the players will actually be able to make the jump to pro speed. The other 99% began playing while they were young and they would likely continue playing into adulthood due to interest in the game. If the APA could get parents/juniors involved in pool they could easily double their participation in leagues. Easily.

Pool players are, far too often, negative role models. In the other "individual" sports, like bowling, golf and tennis, things are different. In those other sports, you don't get things like Jeremy Jones challenging Earl Strickland to a fight during a Bonus Ball event, or Billy Thorpe drowning us in profanities while threatening Robb Saez in a streamed match. You don't get things like Dennis Hatch refusing to shake Josh Filler's hand after a Mosconi match in 2017 despite Johan Ruijsink practically begging him to do so. You don't get Jimmy Mataya showing up rip roaring drunk to a match at the ?2006? WPA World 14.1 Championships. You don't get Earl Strickland going after Hunter Lombardo at the American 14.1 Championships, earning an ejection from the event. Pool players are not role models for the amateurs, nor do they do anything that tends to add any value for the amateurs.
Again, fair point but we have to ask ourselves why. IMO it is attributed to the demographic pool currently attracts and has attracted in the past. It is not atttracting the same socioeconomic demographic as golf or tennis. In general, the individuals drawn to pool tend to be less educated and come from a more challenging background/upbringing. GENERALLY. There aren't many pool rooms in upper middle class neighborhoods. It is what it is. Most are not taught etiquette or sportsmanship. That being said, there are most certainly numerous exceptions. For every Earl there is a Shane, for every Billy, there is a John Morra, etc., etc. If pool were a legitimate, lucrative professional sport with a clear developmental path from junior to professional, marketable players would be plentiful as the game would draw a more diverse group of people than it currently does. I also think if there were a definitive organization for pro pool that held players accountable via fines, suspensions, etc. it could curtail the offensive behavior but there would have to be threat of significant monetary consequences (not being able to play in high purse events) to have an impact on the behavior.

Matchroom and a few others are taking their best shot at monetizing pool and they are making some progress, but in the long run, only a good product can be sold, and pro pool players have, far too often, devalued the pro pool product through deviant behavior and a genral failure to support the efforts of those production companies that invest in their sport.
IMO, what has to change is the engagement of junior players. Right now there is very little support for junior players. My nephew (12 years old) has shown some interest in the game. I reached out to the local APA LO in his area, inquiring about a junior's division. I didn't even get a call back. I'm having a hard time finding a junior pool organization in Greater Los Angeles, one of the largest metropolitan areas on the planet. Sad, really.

In Marketing 101, one learns that good product development is usually a prerequisite to selling something effectively. In pro pool, the players often forget that they have a large part to play in the development of that product, but in so forgetting, they have done a lot of damage to the public image of those that play pool for a living.

The delusional in our sport believe that pro pool is a high quality and highly marketable product that pool event producers and promoters have, inexplicably, been unable to sell. The sad truth, however, is that the product itself needs improvement, and while some event producers and promoters understand this, until the players join them in their attempt to grow the pro pool product, there is a limit to how far pro pool can go as a sport.
Agreed. Someone would have to take a risk (long term investment) and wait several years before they start seeing a significant return. I think it is doable for an organization like the APA to have success but it would take a long time and a lot of work for it to pan out for all involved.
 

Taxi

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's a bit ironic that the most American of sports, NFL football, has both revenue sharing and a draft that favors teams that perform poorly. The organization realized that if some form of regulation was in place, the overall competition of the league would be maintained at a high level and the viewers would show up. Otherwise, a few teams would become dominant, making more money, hiring all the top talent, and after a few good years for those several teams the viewership would decline.

I taught a class and said the top 10% would get As and the rest would fail. Some worked really hard and got the A. Some worked just as hard and failed. Most of the class decided not to try. (that was another parable)
I had a calculus class in college where I had a 98 average, but the class was graded on a curve and I got a B. It was like a time I put a 7 pack on some guy at Julian's in New York, the best string of racks I've ever put together, only to lose the match and later find out that the guy was the New York state champion. The moral is that there's always someone better.
 

tomatoshooter

Well-known member
98 average, but the class was graded on a curve and I got a B.
Were there that many people that scored 99s and 100s? I don't think I've taken a class where they curved the grades but I've always understood it as top grade is an A, and other grades are compared to that grade and ranked accordingly; or maybe 20% should get an A, 30% get a B, etc. Using it to reduce grades is wrong but if it is used to increase grades it means that the class can be more challenging. If I'm teaching calculus and 90% of the class is getting an A then I'm probably not challenging them enough and they are capable of learning more. So next semester instead of teaching the first third of the book, we make it through the first half. Now nobody in my class got an A. The students learned more than the ones last semester. If I curve the grades, I can have the grades accurately reflect student achievement and also challenge them more. This will give me a little bit of flexibility in my lesson plan as I won't fail kids who have learned enough to pass first semester calculus and students who move faster can benefit from more material being covered.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
Oh, so I guess society has convinced people that they should watch cornhole.

Look at the threads for any of the long race matches, and you'll find people complaining about the format and not wanting to watch.

Think about that.

People that are fans of pool, posting on a forum dedicated to pool, saying they aren't interested in watching people play pool.
All that means is that promoters have found a format that even hardcore fans don’t want to watch. Super long races are a niche within an already niche game. It’s just about finding the right way to present the game.

Cornhole will not be on tv within the next decade IMO. It’s just too 1 dimensional to continually generate big interest.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Oh, so I guess society has convinced people that they should watch cornhole.
They have. It's a socially acceptable game that also supports social drinking. Budweiser would be idiots not to sponsor everything to do with cornhole. It's got just enough of a "bad boy edge" to appeal to both suburbanites and lower income rural folks, but not scary enough you would be afraid if your pastor seen you playing. Anyone who grew up playing tee ball can handle the intricacies of cornhole, so it's got mass appeal. The goal to be good enough to be on the pro tour seems way more realistic than doing it in pool. What's not to like?
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Someone would have to take a risk (long term investment) and wait several years before they start seeing a significant return. I think it is doable for an organization like the APA to have success but it would take a long time and a lot of work for it to pan out for all involved.
Absolutely true, but they rake in the dough without having to go through all that. It would take a good risk assessment team to deduce if they extra profit from the "beginner to pro" angle would be worth the investment. I'd say it's shaky enough ground for a corporation to bail on the idea before it even started.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Again, fair point but we have to ask ourselves why. IMO it is attributed to the demographic pool currently attracts and has attracted in the past. It is not attracting the same socioeconomic demographic as golf or tennis. In general, the individuals drawn to pool tend to be less educated and come from a more challenging background/upbringing.
I think you've got the cause and effect muddled here.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn attracted the same demographic as pool, and Barry Hearn showed the pro snooker players how to present themselves in a way that would capture a much wider audience. The players bought in and, by presenting themselves properly and tastefully, people of every demographic gradually got interested and snooker players started to make the kind of money that pool players only wish they could make. The top snooker players became very marketable.

Yes, pool is victimized by the fact that it presently attracts the wrong demographics, but the way the stars of pool tend to conduct and present themselves is a major impediment to the marketing of pro pool to more important, demographic groups.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think you've got the cause and effect muddled here.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn attracted the same demographic as pool, and Barry Hearn showed the pro snooker players how to present themselves in a way that would capture a much wider audience. The players bought in and, by presenting themselves properly and tastefully, people of every demographic gradually got interested and snooker players started to make the kind of money that pool players only wish they could make. The top snooker players became very marketable.

Yes, pool is victimized by the fact that it presently attracts the wrong demographics, but the way the stars of pool tend to conduct and present themselves is a major impediment to the marketing of pro pool to more important, demographic groups.
Agreed. It's a daunting task. Hopefully Barry saved the formula and he can work his magic here.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
I don’t think half of you got JC’s point at all. I think I did. He wasn’t asking for socialism. He just stated a point that professional pool players aren’t paid like other professional athletes. Well aren’t being paid at the same tier as other professionals. The other professionals get paid win or lose also. Why are people paying $100 for a jersey that cost $1 to make. That could almost be considered theft. How about all the pizza places follow suit and start charging $200 a pizza? I think what he also meant by his comment is pool doesn’t bring in a lot of revenue, but even so it’s still a professional sport in America. Why isn’t it being televised?



*deleted*(political)👍
He said players are being paid exactly what they are "worth" for the market they are in. This is actually true. A professional pool player is in a profession that is disorganized and which is not popular as a spectator sport. Go into any pool room where a football game is on and ask for the tv to be changed to a live broadcast of the world pool championships. the majority of the time the players in the room will NOT want the channel changed.

I experienced this twice, once in Charlotte and once in China.

Simply put, most people playing pool do not care one bit about the professional class of pool players.
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think you've got the cause and effect muddled here.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn attracted the same demographic as pool, and Barry Hearn showed the pro snooker players how to present themselves in a way that would capture a much wider audience. The players bought in and, by presenting themselves properly and tastefully, people of every demographic gradually got interested and snooker players started to make the kind of money that pool players only wish they could make. The top snooker players became very marketable.

Yes, pool is victimized by the fact that it presently attracts the wrong demographics, but the way the stars of pool tend to conduct and present themselves is a major impediment to the marketing of pro pool to more important, demographic groups.
I think Matchroom has already started to institute restrictions on players eligible to compete in their events. They have given random drug testing to a few, kind of like a lottery-type selection process, and there's a few other things going on. I think pro players, as in snooker, want to compete in Matchroom events.

My fear, if I can call it that, is that due to the existing lot of American professional pool players, it may not be economically feasible for Matchroom to continue its presence in USA. They have already stated more events will be coming forth, such as the UK Championship. Like snooker, if Matchroom limits the viewing audience to Eurosport and BBC and have limited availability to Americans, it will put the nail in the coffin for American professional pool. Right now, they're in the driver's seat, and we're coming along for the ride.
 

JB Cases

www.jbcases.com
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think you've got the cause and effect muddled here.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn attracted the same demographic as pool, and Barry Hearn showed the pro snooker players how to present themselves in a way that would capture a much wider audience. The players bought in and, by presenting themselves properly and tastefully, people of every demographic gradually got interested and snooker players started to make the kind of money that pool players only wish they could make. The top snooker players became very marketable.

Yes, pool is victimized by the fact that it presently attracts the wrong demographics, but the way the stars of pool tend to conduct and present themselves is a major impediment to the marketing of pro pool to more important, demographic groups.
I don't know what is meant by "wrong demographics". My customers come from all demographics and the people I know in the pool room run the entire spectrum from janitors to CEOs.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn was already popular BECAUSE the national broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation chose to support snooker as a means to improve their ability to broadcast in color. By virtue of snooker being broadcast weekly the best players gained fame as the papers and talk shows interviewed them. Barry Hearn didn't create well-dressed snooker players, the BBC and British decorum did that.

If ESPN or ABC etc...would have put pool on American screens in the same way that the BBC did for snooker then in fact pool would be bigger than it is. In fact when pool was on those channels somewhat regularly pool was indeed benefiting from a more visible profile among non-players.
 

JC

Coos Cues
Gold Member
I don't know what is meant by "wrong demographics". My customers come from all demographics and the people I know in the pool room run the entire spectrum from janitors to CEOs.

Snooker pre-Barry Hearn was already popular BECAUSE the national broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation chose to support snooker as a means to improve their ability to broadcast in color. By virtue of snooker being broadcast weekly the best players gained fame as the papers and talk shows interviewed them. Barry Hearn didn't create well-dressed snooker players, the BBC and British decorum did that.

If ESPN or ABC etc...would have put pool on American screens in the same way that the BBC did for snooker then in fact pool would be bigger than it is. In fact when pool was on those channels somewhat regularly pool was indeed benefiting from a more visible profile among non-players.
He meant scroungy low life bums. People you don't leave your stuff lying there while you go to the rest room. They owe you money. They owe a lot of people money. But they can still afford to smoke. They live by having checks sent in for fake disabilities from shortened work or military careers. We call them the 700 club as that's their average monthly checks.

You may not be aware of this but these people are not buying your cases.
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If ESPN or ABC etc...would have put pool on American screens in the same way that the BBC did for snooker then in fact pool would be bigger than it is. In fact when pool was on those channels somewhat regularly pool was indeed benefiting from a more visible profile among non-players.
Especially when American pool had players with personality like Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats. Their feud made for good TV viewing for mainstream Americans. Steve Mitzerak and his Miller Lite commercials also contributed to the popularity of pool. You don't see one of our American pool players on TV commercials today, with the exception of Steve Markle. I wonder how much he got paid for this. :giggle:

Check him out: Professional trick shot artist Steve Markle Lincoln Car Commercial
 
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