SJM Sizes Up the World Pool Championship

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Ya, agreed... But pool, and more specifically pattern play is unique. Whipping cameras around within the <30sec pauses between shots (at best) is a tall order. Not to mention those pesky players getting in the way of the angle required...lol

We do have the tech to do what you suggest without a doubt. The NFL 'Skycam' comes to mind. Some one just needs to whisper in the right person's ear at Matchroom.
I guarantee it can be done with the right people on the controls. Certainly on most difficult shots and layouts there is enough time to show exactly the dilemna the player is facing. If I can see it sitting in the stands it can damn sure be shown on camera. Sorry to say that the crews they have working most major pool events today don't understand the game well enough to use the right cameras at the right time.

I know this is harsh criticism but I refuse to bite my tongue if I can see a better way to do something. In the small amount of time I've spent in the production trucks sitting next to the producer and the director I've seen shot afte shot either overlooked or shown incorrectly from a bad angle. And that's the name of that tune.

I plan to go on YouTube and watch some of these WPC matches and see if there has been any improvements made in this area.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I agree that you need a good director.

One of my pet peeves is those events that fail to color match the cameras. They switch to a different camera and suddenly the 3, 4, and 5 all look the same, the 1 and the 9 look the same, and the 2, 4, 6, and 8 are also hard to tell apart. It's funny to hear the commentators asking is that the 4 or the 5?

And the distance, together with a low resolution camera, means you often can't tell if a ball is a solid or stripe.

There are a slew of events on Youtube where the volume is significantly different between the two commentators.

These professionally managed events like Matchroom go a long way to dealing with those problems.
The color of the balls is another issue. The original ball color for pool balls remains the best possible colors for televised events. If you study the history of the game, there was a lot of thought that went into choosing these exact colors. It was not just some random thing.
 
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rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not a fan of switching racks during the event. I'm okay with either the template or the triangle but err on the side of the template for the sake of consistency. It is more difficult to give consistent racks with the triangle vs. the template. Either way, they should choose one and stick with it for the duration.
 

JAM

Professional Railbird
Silver Member
The color of the balls is another issue. The original ball color for pool balls remains the best possible colors for televised events. If you study the history of the game, there was a lot of thought that went into choosing these exact colors. It, was not just some random thing.
I agree with this. A brown 7-ball? Are you kidding me? And then the pink and purple balls. I still can't remember what number they are. Purple belongs to the 4-ball. If they are going to do this, changing colors of balls, they should just get rid of all the numbers on the balls, like they do in snooker. Problem solved! No more numbers. Just pink ball, purple ball, red ball, yellow ball, blue ball, brown ball, green ball, black ball, and money ball. Who needs numbers if they're going to call them by their colors? :p
Odd Color Pool Balls.png
 

Mich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
They may have been the same tables, but the equipment at the Mosconi played much tougher than this. Anyone watching would have been shocked by how many poorly struck balls went in. Remember, how the pocket shelves are set matters here and they weren't deep, which contributed to the ridiculous playing conditions.

The strangest thing here is that Matchroom hit the equipment lottery at the World Pool Masters and adandoned a success that gave them a final four that had an average Fargo of 818. The WPC had a final four with an average Fargo of 788, a precipitous, but not unexpected, drop given the way this equipment randomized the reuslts.

To Matchroom's credit, the commentators were open about the very loose equipment, and I admired them for that.
Totally agree Stu. The tables at World Pool Masters, specifically the pockets, were great. Im hoping they will use those tables/pocket dimensions at the US Open in September.
 

Mich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i will beg to differ somewhat please dont shoot me.

in all championship things the equipment and or the playing conditions vary ,and many times greatly.
if its set up so only the very top make it to the end then only the top need be invited.

if the pockets are very tight then it excludes those that played top notch in all part of the game but may be a little weaker in ball pocketing. but the tight pockets favor those that excel in ball pocketing but may be weaker in position or planning of the layouts.

each tournament should have different conditions so different players win. that's my point.


look at golf. each course is entirely different. and the skills are different to win. baseball and football are played on very different venues to give two examples that are not true analogies.
I would say the tight pockets put a premium on position play and not necessarily ball pocketing. With tight pockets if you play sloppy or bad position, it's harder to shoot your way out of trouble or get back in line. But I agree, like Golf, you could mandate tight pockets only at the Majors and bigger pockets for local or regional events.
 

Mich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I also loved the player interviews both before, after and during matches. It was great to see the real personalities. Please continue this!
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I'm not a fan of switching racks during the event. I'm okay with either the template or the triangle but err on the side of the template for the sake of consistency. It is more difficult to give consistent racks with the triangle vs. the template. Either way, they should choose one and stick with it for the duration.
Really need to pick your poison though... Templates throughout and loose tables make for a high percentage of large packages, and that's boring. Templates and tough equipment, sure.... The human element in the single elimination racking made for an always loaming unknown. Even Karl stirred the drama pot a little when he commented on the 9 ball leaking toward the corner during the final.

All one has to do is consider the first Stage a separate qualifer, and we get past the notion that the tournament was altered when the bracket of 64 began.
 

The_JV

'AZB_Combat Certified'
I agree with this. A brown 7-ball? Are you kidding me? And then the pink and purple balls. I still can't remember what number they are.
The dumbest thing I've ever seen done imo... I rather play with garbage then inappropriately coloured balls.
 
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BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
They should do the pre-match interviews like wrestling. Just imagine, Shane right before he's about to play Kazakis.

"Listen here, BROTHER! You might have beat me in our last match in the finals at the World Pool Masters, but today is gonna be a different story. I traded in my fishing rods for a Cuetec and have been hittin' the tables 24/7. When you step into that arena, Shane-A-Mania is gonna RUN...ALL...OVER...YOUUUUUUUU!!
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
They should do the pre-match interviews like wrestling. Just imagine, Shane right before he's about to play Kazakis.

"Listen here, BROTHER! You might have beat me in our last match in the finals at the World Pool Masters, but today is gonna be a different story. I traded in my fishing rods for a Cuetec and have been hittin' the tables 24/7. When you step into that arena, Shane-A-Mania is gonna RUN...ALL...OVER...YOUUUUUUUU!!
Great stuff. We might well be heading in that direction, but the course needs to be steered carefully,

For example, the intentionally contentious press conference, with all ten Mosconi contestants prior to the 2020 event, in which Matchroom tried to stir the pot was absolutely terrible. Matchroom tried to apply their boxing formula to pool, and it came out ridiculous. That said, if they develop the player rivalries and market them, such a course will be perfectly reasonable and very entertaining.

As I noted in my Negative #2, however, nobody involved with the productions seems to know the case history between most of these players and if they do, they are doing nothing to dwell on traditional and emerging rivalries in pool. They'll need to start singing a new tune if they plan to move in the direction of adding the kind of drama we find in wrestling and boxing, and perhaps they can.
 

BeiberLvr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great stuff. We might well be heading in that direction, but the course needs to be steered carefully,

For example, the intentionally contentious press conference, with all ten Mosconi contestants prior to the 2020 event, in which Matchroom tried to stir the pot was absolutely terrible. Matchroom tried to apply their boxing formula to pool, and it came out ridiculous. That said, if they develop the player rivalries and market them, such a course will be perfectly reasonable and very entertaining.

As I noted in my Negative #2, however, nobody involved with the productions seems to know the case history between most of these players and if they do, they are doing nothing to dwell on traditional and emerging rivalries in pool. They'll need to start singing a new tune if they plan to move in the direction of adding the kind of drama we find in wrestling and boxing, and perhaps they can.

Obviously I'm kidding when I say it should be like professional wrestling. However, I agree that rivalries can be great if done correctly, and they can avoid crossing the line into cringe.
 

Brain71

Railbird
Gold Member
Silver Member
I enjoyed it as well. I agree on all points but 1. The field was definitely weak. No Alex, no Klenti, none of the Asians. But definitely not matchrooms fault. Only thing I didn't like was the women being able to play. Nothing against them at all. I just don't believe they belong in the event. Are the men invited to any of their events (when there are some)? I know this argument has been presented before and I'm not coming across as derogatory or mean. It was a great time to watch and can't wait till the Open.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I enjoyed it as well. I agree on all points but 1. The field was definitely weak. No Alex, no Klenti, none of the Asians. But definitely not matchrooms fault. Only thing I didn't like was the women being able to play. Nothing against them at all. I just don't believe they belong in the event. Are the men invited to any of their events (when there are some)? I know this argument has been presented before and I'm not coming across as derogatory or mean. It was a great time to watch and can't wait till the Open.
Some other sports see this similarly. Golf, as chauvinist a sport as one can find almost anywhere, allowed both Anika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie to play in a men's PGA event, knowing that fans would enjoy it. Horse racing was once the sole domain of the male jockey, as anyone who has seen the film "National Velvet" well knows, but along came Julie Krone, who was the winning jockey at the 2000 Belmont Stakes, one of America's three most prestigious horse races. In pool, Jean Balukas often competed against the men in men's events and had some high finishes. More recently, Karen Corr won some Joss Tour events, including one in which she beat Earl Strickland, She also beat Ko Pin Yi at the US Open 9-ball when he was the reigning World 9-ball champion. Was she unworthy of participating?

In the end, one must recognize that the most prestigious pool events are not "men's championships" but instead "open championships" and that means everybody is eligible. Anything called a "men's championship" would be for men only, and anything called a "woman's championship" would be for women only. Whether it should be this way can be debated, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I like it this way. Imagine a world in which the best pool player is female. Would you deny her a chance to compete for the world championship just because she's a woman? To me, that doesn't make sense, Siming Chen is, probably, a better pool player than World Pool Championship semifinalist Oliver Szolnoki. Is she unworthy of participation?

Matchroom recognizes that most fans are intrigued and entertained by the presence of the elite women at pool's premier events, They are just giving the fans something that they want.
 
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Cameron Smith

is kind of hungry...
Silver Member
Some other sports see this similarly. Golf, as chauvinist a sport as one can find almost anywhere, allowed both Anika Sorenstam and Michelle Wie to play in a men's PGA event, knowing that fans would enjoy it. Horse racing was once the sole domain of the male jockey, as anyone who has seen the film "National Velvet" well knows, but along came Julie Krone, who was the winning jockey at the 2000 Belmont Stakes, one of America's three most prestigious horse races. In pool, Jean Balukas often competed against the men in men's events and had some high finishes. More recently, Karen Corr won some Joss Tour events, including one in which she beat Earl Strickland, She also beat Ko Pin Yi at the US Open 9-ball when he was the reigning World 9-ball champion. Was she unworthy of participating?

In the end, one must recognize that the most prestigious pool events are not "men's championships" but instead "open championships" and that means everybody is eligible. Anything called a "men's championship" would be for men only, and anything called a "woman's championship" would be for women only. Whether it should be this way can be debated, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I like it this way. Imagine a world in which the best pool player is female. Would you deny her a chance to compete for the world championship just because she's a woman? To me, that doesn't make sense, Siming Chen is, probably, a better pool player than World Pool Championship semifinalist Oliver Szolnoki. Is she unworthy of participation?

Matchroom recognizes that most fans are intrigued and entertained by the presence of the elite women at pool's premier events, They are just giving the fans something that they want.
It ended up being the right decision too. Jasmine Ouschan and Veronica Ivanovskaia’s qualification into the last 64 were great stories and certainly added to the events excitement. It’s hard to say their inclusion wasn’t merited when so many others failed to reach that same position.
 

spartan

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Couple of positives
-Player guest commentators
It is clear most of them should stick to playing. But it is refreshing to hear their view and stories
-TV production quality
Still the best in the pool universe. The gap between Matchroom and other promoters is huge. The player interviews where they ask players some standard questions were produced effortlessly and quickly. I remember some years ago a promoter (with same name as an old now defunct ratings topping crime procedural show) struggled many weeks after the event just to put out player interviews done at the event cos they had editing issues, no time and stuff like that. :LOL:
 

PoolPlayer4

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I agree with this. A brown 7-ball? Are you kidding me? And then the pink and purple balls. I still can't remember what number they are. Purple belongs to the 4-ball. If they are going to do this, changing colors of balls, they should just get rid of all the numbers on the balls, like they do in snooker. Problem solved! No more numbers. Just pink ball, purple ball, red ball, yellow ball, blue ball, brown ball, green ball, black ball, and money ball. Who needs numbers if they're going to call them by their colors? :pView attachment 598386
People who are color blind.

Which I've heard different statistics on, but I understand is somewhere around 10% of the population. Each of the changes in the color schemes poses a different set of problems for me. One of the worst is the set that removes one of the numbers off the ball to be replaced with their emblem. This removes half of the visual cues I have to follow the game. The other really bad one is where they use black rather than white for the stripe offset color. This causes several of the dark colored balls to be hard to distinguish.

I'm surprised this is never discussed in conjunction with the colors since this is something that afflicts a large number of players and viewers.
 

gregnice37

Bar Banger, Cue Collector
Silver Member
Stu, you say the tables played easy. Instead of referring to it as equipment, don’t you just mean the mouth size of the pockets? Weren’t they Rasson tables with the same pocket specs they use at the Mosconi Cup? Surely they weren’t any bigger than 4-1/2” corners? For world class professionals, 4-1/2” corners is too generous when combined with newly installed cloth. 4-1/4” would be more appropriate, in my opinion.
Thought they used the new Predator tables for this event? Maybe I'm wrong but don't think so
 
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