SJM Sizes Up the Matchroom 2021 US Open

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Mostly sweet, Hu. For all my observations, the biggest picture is that Matchroom's commitment to continuing to improve and develop its professional pool product is on full display, and their exceptional productions continue to raise the bar for our sport.

It's no secret in these AZB parts that I'm Matchroom's biggest fan, but they have earned both my respect and my trust through their sustained excellence in delivering great events and growing the sport. I just hope fans, players and sponsors alike support them to the max as they diligently pave the way for better times in our sport.

Pool has been in need of leadership and organization for as long as I have been around it with brief exceptions. Matchroom is providing that, over fifty years too late for me! Nothing I hate worse than blind fans of anything, be it a person or organization. An intelligent and honest fan is a very good thing though!

I was very busy with the aftermath of Ida and some personal things already scheduled so I didn't see a moment of this event but I have high hopes for future events with Matchroom at the helm. We have long needed strong leadership.

Hu
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Pool has been in need of leadership and organization for as long as I have been around it with brief exceptions. Matchroom is providing that, over fifty years too late for me! Nothing I hate worse than blind fans of anything, be it a person or organization. An intelligent and honest fan is a very good thing though!

I was very busy with the aftermath of Ida and some personal things already scheduled so I didn't see a moment of this event but I have high hopes for future events with Matchroom at the helm. We have long needed strong leadership.

Hu
Hope things are stable again on the Gulf Coast. We all cringed as we watched the footage of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ida.

As you suggest, Matchroom is leading the way for pool, and they are doing so with vision, diligence and, where necessary, vigilance.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
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Silver Member
Hope things are stable again on the Gulf Coast. We all cringed as we watched the footage of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Ida.

As you suggest, Matchroom is leading the way for pool, and they are doing so with vision, diligence and, where necessary, vigilance.

A slight derailment of the thread but Ida was a mystery. Not that strong of winds even where I am at but it hit like a ton of bricks. Many in it's direct path said it hit their town harder than Katrina. People within a quarter mile of me still without power and in some pretty urban areas are still being told the end of the month or later. One thing I noticed, the wind pulsed with a steady rise and fall as steady as a clock ticking. The direction of fall indicates the first winds did the most damage, unusual. Usually the reverse winds do the most damage after wind and rain from the other direction has loosened things. Ida was a freak, known as Idahoe to me! Forcing me to move after doing over fifty thousand damage to this home, including dumping hundreds of gallons of water on my pool table! First one I have had in years. Local housing is impossible, I will probably be relocating out of this part of the country. I have worked other places but this has been my lifetime home. I'll miss it.

Hu
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
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... The overhead camera is a one dimensional look at a three dimensional game. And DAZN used it over and over again to excess. The other cameras tell the story just fine, and that flat look from overhead is not necessary or beneficial. ...
I think that DAZN only operated as a streaming service and had nothing at all to do with the production of the event.

As a spectator at the event, I think the overhead views were absolutely essential to understand the layouts. Without steep, elevated seating, you cannot see the angles and clearances well. A ball six inches from the near rail looked frozen from the low seats.

But I also like the overhead view as a stream watcher.
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
if you are going to live in a hurricane area dont live in the low spots. have a concrete home with a strom proof roof. they make them now and on higher ground. no trees to reach the house that blow down.
 

spartan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I kind of enjoy Phil's attempts at bon mots. We certainly don't need two JJ's on a match; Phil brings interesting background information, good knowledge of another cue sport, and some sort of weird accent.

Phil gets rapped a lot but folks forget that his role is that of "color commentator" like a sidekick to liven up things. He is not technical commentator like JJ, and the others. He reels off some stats/players profiles and tries in explain stuff in simple terms to the mainstream viewer and try to add some humor. Eg. when JJ mention "push", Phil would jump in to explain what is a push. Though I prefer the previous color commentator Andy Goldstein :)
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Phil gets rapped a lot but folks forget that his role is that of "color commentator" like a sidekick to liven up things. He is not technical commentator like JJ, and the others. He reels off some stats/players profiles and tries in explain stuff in simple terms to the mainstream viewer and try to add some humor. Eg. when JJ mention "push", Phil would jump in to explain what is a push. Though I prefer the previous color commentator Andy Goldstein :)
I've argued that Phil has the best voice of them all among the Matchroom commentators. When he sticks to color, he is effective, but in the past he has been known to stray, intermittently, from that role. If he managed to avoid doing so during the US Open, that's great to hear.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think that DAZN only operated as a streaming service and had nothing at all to do with the production of the event.

As a spectator at the event, I think the overhead views were absolutely essential to understand the layouts. Without steep, elevated seating, you cannot see the angles and clearances well. A ball six inches from the near rail looked frozen from the low seats.

But I also like the overhead view as a stream watcher.
My suggestion; Don't sit in the low seats! ;) I think by now we both know that sitting in a chair next to the table provides a terrible view of a match. Better to be three or four rows high.

Thanks for the correction about DAZN. So it appears they just use the feed from SkySports and stream it to the USA.

Bob, you might know. Do they use an overhead camera when televising snooker? I don't think I've ever seen it used on one of their shows.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... Bob, you might know. Do they use an overhead camera when televising snooker? ...
I think I've seen that before, but is it rare. The standard shot is from the black end at an angle that compresses the table to fit on the TV screen.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Although I agree the event would have been better served on ESPN, that would only be true if we got a similar broadcast to what we received. That is, daily full live sessions.
I don’t think pool is well served by the heavily edited 40 minute filler programming that we had previously been accustomed to. Although I think the game has suffered by the absence of those edited broadcasts, I don’t think it does much to grow the game either.
Hey Cameron and Co. So if I’m reading you right, you’re not a fan of the edited highlights? I have to admit that I don’t subscribe to the zone, so the only way I was able to follow the tourney was through the highlights.

What I look for is the highlights of each rack help create a narrative of the match as a whole. For the most part I thought the pivotal moments were covered nicely. I would have liked to have seen each layout after the break, even if it was only a glimpse of what the shooter faced. I also would have liked to see the shot that opened up the table for the runout of each rack.

I thought Matchroom did a good job of highlighting the safety battles, but wish they would have allowed for a little deeper dive into how clusters in the rack were solved. It was a little disconcerting to see a player make a ball and line up on the next shot only for it to cut away to the next rack; I think some of this was done to allow for the commentators to finish their thoughts regarding the previous shot.

Hey, I was watching free highlights and shouldn't complain, guess I should get out some of that moldy money and buy a subscription to something worth watching.
 

Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
Hey Cameron and Co. So if I’m reading you right, you’re not a fan of the edited highlights? I have to admit that I don’t subscribe to the zone, so the only way I was able to follow the tourney was through the highlights.

What I look for is the highlights of each rack help create a narrative of the match as a whole. For the most part I thought the pivotal moments were covered nicely. I would have liked to have seen each layout after the break, even if it was only a glimpse of what the shooter faced. I also would have liked to see the shot that opened up the table for the runout of each rack.

I thought Matchroom did a good job of highlighting the safety battles, but wish they would have allowed for a little deeper dive into how clusters in the rack were solved. It was a little disconcerting to see a player make a ball and line up on the next shot only for it to cut away to the next rack; I think some of this was done to allow for the commentators to finish their thoughts regarding the previous shot.

Hey, I was watching free highlights and shouldn't complain, guess I should get out some of that moldy money and buy a subscription to something worth watching.
No. I mean these 45 minute edited for tv broadcasts on ESPN that would be aired at 2pm on a Wednesday and often out of order and many months after the event finished.


The DAZN highlights are great for anyone who doesn’t have time to watch the full sessions.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
No. I mean these 45 minute edited for tv broadcasts on ESPN that would be aired at 2pm on a Wednesday and often out of order and many months after the event finished.


The DAZN highlights are great for anyone who doesn’t have time to watch the full sessions.
Well, alrighty then! Let me dislodge my foot from my mouth. No frame of reference there, as it was before my time. I can see how that would be jacked up though. Rock on.
 
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sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
It seems there was an announcement that I missed during the US Open. Matchroom announced that it will produce a new event called the UK Open in 2022 and that's wonderful news.

Over the past three years, they have grown our sport over at Matchroom, as follows: 1) They have increased the prize money for both teams at the Mosconi Cup, 2) they took over and improved the World Pool Championship and increased the added money, 3) they took over and improved the US Open Championship and increased the added money, 4) they produced a completely new event in 2021 in the Predator Championship Pool League, and 5) they have conceived and will produce a new event in 2022 in the UK Open.

These are exciting times for pool and Matchroom continues to lead the way. Matchroom is making pool a more attractive career for the top pool professionals, both current and on the horizon. Let the good times roll and let all of us commit ourselves to supporting Matchroom in their efforts, whether we are fans, players, or sponsors, for they continue to prove themselves worthy of that support.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
It seems there was an announcement that I missed during the US Open. Matchroom announced that it will produce a new event called the UK Open in 2022 and that's wonderful news.

Over the past three years, they have grown our sport over at Matchroom, as follows: 1) They have increased the prize money for both teams at the Mosconi Cup, 2) they took over and improved the World Pool Championship and increased the added money, 3) they took over and improved the US Open Championship and increased the added money, 4) they produced a completely new event in 2021 in the Predator Championship Pool League, and 5) they have conceived and will produce a new event in 2022 in the UK Open.

These are exciting times for pool and Matchroom continues to lead the way. Matchroom is making pool a more attractive career for the top pool professionals, both current and on the horizon. Let the good times roll and let all of us commit ourselves to supporting Matchroom in their efforts, whether we are fans, players, or sponsors, for they continue to prove themselves worthy of that support.
I agree Stu and have often said that what we see now is Matchroom and Predator both stepping up to create a more attractive environment for pool players to actually make a living playing the game. The influx of more high dollar events is certain to bring new players into the game and increase interest and credibility in our sport. That said, I will at the same time exercise my right to be critical in reviewing how they go about achieving their desired results. I'm a proponent of fair play for all parties concerned, and when I see overbearing, unfair or misguided policies taking place I will continue to speak to that. I'd prefer to call it constructive criticism.

This is probably where a well organized governing body for our sport needs to created. What I see now is fragmented groups who are for the most part governing bodies in name only and with no teeth to implement a standard set of rules and regulations. That needs to change. The model is in place with both golf and tennis, and pool needs to follow their example. I'd like to see Matchroom and Predator (and others) address that situation and either rebuild or replace what we have now with a real governing body. That would give even more credibility to our sport.

Maybe that is asking for too much, but Matchroom has already achieved that with Snooker and that sports governing body. Let them take the lead here too, and build a consensus on how a true professional pool tour should be administered.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Maybe that is asking for too much, but Matchroom has already achieved that with Snooker and that sports governing body. Let them take the lead here too, and build a consensus on how a true professional pool tour should be administered.
I think we're moving in that direction, Jay, but the path is a long and strenuous one. Matchroom is building what many of us would refer to as a pro tour. For example, Matchroom has developed its own rankings but they have been very candid about the fact that it will take a couple of years before those rankings will be truly meaningful. Seeding, consequently, will have some short-term inequities as we move in that direction. That said, however, Matchroom must start somewhere and I think the steps they are taking show both vision and creativity. I think we all need to be patient here.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Hey Cameron and Co. So if I’m reading you right, you’re not a fan of the edited highlights? I have to admit that I don’t subscribe to the zone, so the only way I was able to follow the tourney was through the highlights.

What I look for is the highlights of each rack help create a narrative of the match as a whole. For the most part I thought the pivotal moments were covered nicely. I would have liked to have seen each layout after the break, even if it was only a glimpse of what the shooter faced. I also would have liked to see the shot that opened up the table for the runout of each rack.

I thought Matchroom did a good job of highlighting the safety battles, but wish they would have allowed for a little deeper dive into how clusters in the rack were solved. It was a little disconcerting to see a player make a ball and line up on the next shot only for it to cut away to the next rack; I think some of this was done to allow for the commentators to finish their thoughts regarding the previous shot.

Hey, I was watching free highlights and shouldn't complain, guess I should get out some of that moldy money and buy a subscription to something worth watching.
I've heard many praise the highlight film that was provided,
 

Vahmurka

...and I get all da rolls
Silver Member
Over the past three years, they have grown our sport over at Matchroom: 1) They have increased [...] 2) they took over and improved [...] 3) they took over and improved [...] 4) they produced [...] 5) they [...].

These are exciting times for pool and Matchroom continues to lead the way. Matchroom is making pool a more attractive career for the top pool professionals
Not intending to spoil the party, but as it stands now, the price to be paid is pool being draught to the game of 9-ball. Are you ready to pay this price? Are we ready that the names of the greatest world champions who performed at real pool, like De Oro, Taberski, Greenleaf, Caras and Crane, will be forgotten by new generations of players? Who will not be aware that pool is much more than 9-ball?
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Not intending to spoil the party, but as it stands now, the price to be paid is pool being draught to the game of 9-ball. Are you ready to pay this price? Are we ready that the names of the greatest world champions who performed at real pool, like De Oro, Taberski, Greenleaf, Caras and Crane, will be forgotten by new generations of players? Who will not be aware that pool is much more than 9-ball?
A reasonable point, but the nine ball era is about forty years old now. No doubt, the stars of the straight pool era that you've listed will be forgotten by many, but that's why we've got the BCA Hall of Fame, which ensures that the legends who paved the way for the stars of today are honored in perpetuity.

... that's why I'm looking forward so much to attending the BCA Hall of Fame dinner, which is just five weeks away, in which we'll welcome Thorsten Hohmann and Kelly Fisher to the ranks of pool's immortals while also reflecting on the achievements of all who have excelled over the years in our sport.

I'll also add that this year, an exceptional biography of Ralph Greenleaf, written by Sam Korte, was published that paid fitting tribute to that legendary player. The past in our sport is, no doubt, becoming more distant and more obscure, but it is not forgotten.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Carlo Biado has been all over the news in the Philippines for the last few days. Front page news in all the papers, featured on the major TV networks, and is being acclaimed as a national hero for winning the U.S. Open Pool Championship. He will be receiving a healthy bonus (I would guess a minimum of 1,000,000P - $20,000) from the government and he may be brought to meet the President for his personal congratulations. Of course they make a big deal out of his winning nearly 2,500,000P ($50,000), which is serious money over there. And people wonder why there is a constant flow of talent coming from the Philippines.

Seeing such a reception and the money that goes with it, is highly motivational for young kids over there to take up the game. In a country rife with poverty, where most kids have little chance to have a decent future, they see pool as an avenue to a better life. The fact that a handful of them have already done well playing pool only furthers their interest in the game. Players like Efren, Francisco and Orcollo are true sports celebrities over there.

I'd like to see a player like Shane get the same level of recognition here. He deserves it, that's for sure!
 
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