Shoot Pool, not people
Great write up as usual Stu! I love that you take the time to let us know how it really was being there.
Since when did you become a "gambler?" That is news to me. Are you a card counter at Blackjack or just another Pit degenerate? I want to hear about your wild and crazy side!
Sounds like $200 for six days of great pool is a bargain, but I'd like to know how much it really cost you to see this event. Travel cost, lodging, food prices and restaurant choices at Harrahs, etc.
I have to agree with Jam that being maskless in that environment would be a big turnoff for me unless I knew everyone there was vaccinated. And I'm very surprised that you especially were not being more careful. Masks were mandatory at the recent World Ten Ball at the Rio in Vegas and hotel security was strict about enforcing it. That was a good thing imo. I am going next month to the World Series of Poker at the Rio and ALL players must be vaccinated to play, and show proof of vaccination before being allowed to register. Otherwise I wouldn't be going. Spectators must all be masked and will be kept some distance from the players.
I agree with you that Matchroom is up to good things as far as Pro Pool is concerned, although I still don't get why an event that is played in the United States is not being shown on one of the myriad cable sports networks that are based here, and is being shown on free TV all over Europe and Asia. I see this as a slight against American fans, or an attempt to ensure they will get a live gate since local pool fans can't watch it on TV. You say you want to build pro pool in America, then put it on TV here! Let's put it in front of the masses of sports fans and see if they prefer pool to cornhole! Pool won't grow here until more people (then those who buy it on DAZN) are able to see these great players in action.
Pool needs viewing by large television audiences to ever grow as a professional sport in America! Otherwise no one knows it's even happening here, other than a few thousand hardcore fans like you Stu! It makes one think that Matchroom is growing pool as a sport for European and Asian markets and only using the USA as a base to do that. How many young American kids are going to take up pool as opposed to other sports if they are unaware there are professional tournaments they can play in, that aren't being shown on TV here? One might think that this is a strategy and not an accident. More and more all the top players are coming from foreign shores where they are watching these tournaments unfold in real time. Not so here, where sports minded kids have no idea there is even a pro pool event going on. And people on here question why we have no new young American players coming up in our sport. How about if a million kids here took up the game seriously instead of a few hundred!
Okay, I'm done with my rant. Carry on with all the fun and games.
I realize that I was very critical in my post above, but if there was only a way for the kids in America to see the same coverage that SkySports provided on a daily basis to the kids in Europe and Asia that would be wonderful imo. I think it would give a boost to seeing more poolrooms open here and get more young people playing this great game. When they see that there is money to be won (not golf money, but money nonetheless), that will only give them added incentive to pursue the game, along with their receiving parental consent and encouragement.
I have seen all my life that kids love to play pool, but with no reward being offered and a questionable reputation affixed to it, pool is not the choice of sports that many parents will encourage. Given a chance to see tournaments like this one on TV and watch the players who excel at the game might change that dynamic, and cause more young people to pick up a cue and hit the tables. JMHO as always.