USTA (tennis org) Lifts Ban on Russians and Belarusians. WPA (pool org) should also!

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
In an interview with the Associated Press, the USTA (United States Tennis Association) said the decision had been made because to let Russians and Belarusians compete in the upcoming U.S. Open for tennis because of "concern about holding the individual athletes accountable for the actions and decisions of their governments."

Professional pool is such a fractured industry. Tennis pros have the capability of earning six and seven figures at their events. Pool pros are playing world-beaters to compete for $30,000 and a tin cup at most pro events today.

Some pool pros on Facebook recently shared their disappointment of flying from their home countries to England, only to be knocked out of the first round of the event in a race-to-7, incurring a lot of expenses to attend, and having to return home.

WPA should lift the ban hammer and let our brethren of pool pros from Russia and Belarus compete in the upcoming pro pool events that they sanction. Personally, I think their sanctioning doesn't do much for pool as a whole, but that's my opinion. Pool purists continue to praise and like the WPA and what it's doing for pool.

Read more here: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/15/tennis/us-open-russia-belarus-spt-intl/index.html

Russian Daniil Medvedev -- the reigning US Open men's champion -- will be able to defend his title.

220615043836-02-us-open-russia-belarus-spt-exlarge-169.jpg


Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka is currently the women's world No. 5.

210830205821-aryna-sabalenka-exlarge-169.jpg
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
Agreed that the ban should be lifted. I believe it is the WCBS (World Confederation of Billiard Sports), which presides over pool, snooker and carom, that has to lift the ban, not WPA, which will be bound by any decision WCBS makes. WCBS is the cue sports arm of the International Olympic Committee.

I suspect that the IOC-sanctioned World Games, in which cue sports will compete from 7/13-17, gives WCBS a disincentive to make this move quite yet, as it could possibly endanger the participation of cue sports, but let's hope this move is coming very soon. Tennis, as a sport already in the Olympics, didn't have this issue to wrestle with.

Lifting the ban is appropriate, not because of the income level of pool players (which is greater than it has been in years), but because it's the right thing to do.
 

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
Agreed that the ban should be lifted. I believe it is the WCBS (World Confederation of Billiard Sports), which presides over pool, snooker and carom, that has to lift the ban, not WPA, which will be bound by any decision WCBS makes. WCBS is the cue sports arm of the International Olympic Committee.

I suspect that the IOC-sanctioned World Games, in which cue sports will compete from 7/13-17, gives WCBS a disincentive to make this move quite yet, as it could possibly endanger the participation of cue sports, but let's hope this move is coming very soon. Tennis, as a sport already in the Olympics, didn't have this issue to wrestle with.

Lifting the ban is appropriate, not because of the income level of pool players (which is greater than it has been in years), but because it's the right thing to do.

While I agree with some of your words of wisdom, I think it must be said that though income-level potential might be greater than it has been in years, so too are the expenses flying around the world, lodging, food, et cetera.

As is customary with pool and that has not changed since the 1980s, one must come in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, to break even on expenses, and even when you do win in competition with world beaters from around the world, you're still stuck on expenses from previous tournaments.

Pool is a rich man's high for rich people to enjoy. For the struggling pool pro who is not sponsored and has no ability to pay for the expenses to compete, it's a a pipe dream. And as we all know, the United States of America doesn't have a functioning governing body of professional pool to help professional pool players or professional tour to attract new blood.

The ban is stupid in a "sport" where one can earn $100,000 a year if they shoot like God and pay $50,000 in expenses to achieve it. All others are scrambling for crumbs, depending on enablers—parents, wives, families, friends, pool fans—to survive.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
In an interview with the Associated Press, the USTA (United States Tennis Association) said the decision had been made because to let Russians and Belarusians compete in the upcoming U.S. Open for tennis because of "concern about holding the individual athletes accountable for the actions and decisions of their governments."

Professional pool is such a fractured industry. Tennis pros have the capability of earning six and seven figures at their events. Pool pros are playing world-beaters to compete for $30,000 and a tin cup at most pro events today.

Some pool pros on Facebook recently shared their disappointment of flying from their home countries to England, only to be knocked out of the first round of the event in a race-to-7, incurring a lot of expenses to attend, and having to return home.

WPA should lift the ban hammer and let our brethren of pool pros from Russia and Belarus compete in the upcoming pro pool events that they sanction. Personally, I think their sanctioning doesn't do much for pool as a whole, but that's my opinion. Pool purists continue to praise and like the WPA and what it's doing for pool.

Read more here: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/15/tennis/us-open-russia-belarus-spt-intl/index.html

Russian Daniil Medvedev -- the reigning US Open men's champion -- will be able to defend his title.

View attachment 646628

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka is currently the women's world No. 5.

View attachment 646629

Enforcing the ban in the US in a pro tournament violates our civil rights act, so this isn't a surprise. I wrote an article in last month Billiards Buzz on the details if anyone is bored. No professional sports (other than pool) has applied the ban in the US for this reason.

 
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kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Agreed that the ban should be lifted. I believe it is the WCBS (World Confederation of Billiard Sports), which presides over pool, snooker and carom, that has to lift the ban, not WPA, which will be bound by any decision WCBS makes. WCBS is the cue sports arm of the International Olympic Committee.

I suspect that the IOC-sanctioned World Games, in which cue sports will compete from 7/13-17, gives WCBS a disincentive to make this move quite yet, as it could possibly endanger the participation of cue sports, but let's hope this move is coming very soon. Tennis, as a sport already in the Olympics, didn't have this issue to wrestle with.

Lifting the ban is appropriate, not because of the income level of pool players (which is greater than it has been in years), but because it's the right thing to do.

A WPA rep did a good interview on the cue it up podcast on this topic. The WPA was against it but had no choice as it was a WCBS decision. It sounds like the WCBS might reconsider it at their July meeting. And it sounds like the WCBS panicked and made a bad call without talking with anyone in the pool world. The WPA rep said the other billiard sports (carom, artistic, etc) don't have significant Russian players and so they didn't care about the ban.

Here is a link to that interview:

 
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sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
A WPA rep did a good interview on the cue it up podcast on this topic. The WPA was against it but had no choice as it was a WCBS decision. It sounds like the WCBS might reconsider it at their July meeting. And it sounds like the WCBS panicked and made a bad call without talking with anyone in the pool world. The WPA rep said the other billiard sports (carom, artistic, etc) don't have significant Russian players and so they didn't care about the ban.
Yes, I know this, but as noted, WPA lacks the authority (barring the extreme and highly inadvisable act of withdrawal from WCBS) to lift the ban. The timing of the WCBS meeting, which I didn't know, is a source of encouragement as it suggests that the change might well be coming once the World Games are in the rearview mirror.
 

Vahmurka

...and I get all da rolls
Silver Member
It's not about the WPA really. The whole sporting world is confused, and the majority of federations here and there just followed the IOC recommendations. "Recommendations" is the key word here, they did not even demand that every federation imply the ban. But the majority decided to follow the suit.
The IOC provided their reasoning, but actually there is no legal basis under such a deision, therefore in luge the sportsmen were able to win the CASA appeal. Frankly, I'm astonished that tennis bosses were able to decide on their own. Well, maybe the IOC does not have enough influence on the organizers of tennis events. Which in this case turned out for the good of the sport, in my very humble opinion.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Yes, I know this, but as noted, WPA lacks the authority (barring the extreme and highly inadvisable act of withdrawal from WCBS) to lift the ban. The timing of the WCBS meeting, which I didn't know, is a source of encouragement as it suggests that the change might well be coming once the World Games are in the rearview mirror.

Yes, that's my hope as well!
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
It's not about the WPA really. The whole sporting world is confused, and the majority of federations here and there just followed the IOC recommendations. "Recommendations" is the key word here, they did not even demand that every federation imply the ban. But the majority decided to follow the suit.
The IOC provided their reasoning, but actually there is no legal basis under such a deision, therefore in luge the sportsmen were able to win the CASA appeal. Frankly, I'm astonished that tennis bosses were able to decide on their own. Well, maybe the IOC does not have enough influence on the organizers of tennis events. Which in this case turned out for the good of the sport, in my very humble opinion.

Most sporting organizations applied the IOC recommendation to only Olympic events and not to routine professional tournaments. In the US, no professional events other than pool have been subject to the ban. That includes other World Games sports like bowling that are also hoping to make the Olympics.
 

Dan_B

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
yeah,
it's a good look now and for the future to have pillaging, mass murder and human extortion (foods and materials) be the represented entity atop of the leader board competing on the communist made stage of products for civilization to know what's best for them.

So, the intent of acceptance is: putin -'Peter the Great' and Xi immortalized statues adoring the guidance of the weed-whacking WPA?

Saudi Arabia should be banned for influencing favorites though sports. Conquest is a much more accepted profitable new blood of power.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
As is customary with pool and that has not changed since the 1980s, one must come in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, to break even on expenses, and even when you do win in competition with world beaters from around the world, you're still stuck on expenses from previous tournaments.
This isn't true, although it once was. To say nothing has changed since the 1980s is uninformed. A lot has changed since 2021 with the announcement of the new Matchroom Pool series and the substantial increase in the prize funds of the Predator 10-ball series.

In fact, in the World Cup of Pool, the race to seven format that you've cited, even first round losers get about $2,000 each in an event having no entry fee. The Predator 10-ball series offers lots of prize money and the World 10-ball prize fund has greatly increased. In America alone, that means six new events having a total payout of about $700,000. Predator also runs similar events in Europe (such as the in-progress Predator Germany Open). Matchroom is paying out about $500,000 combined in the new UK Open and European Open and the US Open prize fund has risen significantly. Where your statement is undeniably true is for most regional tournaments and non-Matchroom events in Europe, and it would be nice to see the prize funds grow in those events, in which, as you rightly point out, not many show a profit after entry fees and expenses.

Inclusive of sponsorships, I'd guess that close to 50 players will earn $100,000 this year. Through May, to be in the Top 10 on the AZB Money list (which includes most but not all events) your prize money won has to be over $50,000+ year to date.

Yes, with just a few exceptions, pool isn't paying the bills for anyone not counted in the world's top 100 (Fargo 763+). That said, each and every player that shows up to any pool event knows the entry fee, expenses and prize money added in advance, so entry into an event is an investment. Those that choose to participate despite poor prospects are what I'm inclined to call hobbyists. Some of them are pretty good players, but not good enough to do any damage at a high level of play. As in the financial markets, those making what they know to be poor investments must be prepared to face the consequences.

Anyway, I'm sticking to my statement that the ban should be lifted because it's the right thing to do, and not because those affected don't earn as much as they might, for that's an entirely different matter.
 

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
This isn't true, although it once was. To say nothing has changed since the 1980s is uninformed. A lot has changed since 2021 with the announcement of the new Matchroom Pool series and the substantial increase in the prize funds of the Predator 10-ball series.

In fact, in the World Cup of Pool, the race to seven format that you've cited, even first round losers get about $2,000 each in an event having no entry fee. The Predator 10-ball series offers lots of prize money and the World 10-ball prize fund has greatly increased. In America alone, that means six new events having a total payout of about $700,000. Predator also runs similar events in Europe (such as the in-progress Predator Germany Open). Matchroom is paying out about $500,000 combined in the new UK Open and European Open and the US Open prize fund has risen significantly. Where your statement is undeniably true is for most regional tournaments and non-Matchroom events in Europe, and it would be nice to see the prize funds grow in those events, in which, as you rightly point out, not many show a profit after entry fees and expenses.

Inclusive of sponsorships, I'd guess that close to 50 players will earn $100,000 this year. Through May, to be in the Top 10 on the AZB Money list (which includes most but not all events) your prize money won has to be over $50,000+ year to date.

Yes, with just a few exceptions, pool isn't paying the bills for anyone not counted in the world's top 100 (Fargo 763+). That said, each and every player that shows up to any pool event knows the entry fee, expenses and prize money added in advance, so entry into an event is an investment. Those that choose to participate despite poor prospects are what I'm inclined to call hobbyists. Some of them are pretty good players, but not good enough to do any damage at a high level of play. As in the financial markets, those making what they know to be poor investments must be prepared to face the consequences.

Anyway, I'm sticking to my statement that the ban should be lifted because it's the right thing to do, and not because those affected don't earn as much as they might, for that's an entirely different matter.
We will just have to agree to disagree. I am sure you are aware that the cost of living has probably quadrupled since the 1980s. $2,000 doesn't cover a lot when you're traveling from one country to another. It is also important to remember that not every player can cash in the money.

Matchroom is putting a lot of money into pool, but the players themselves are not pocketing big bucks, any more so than an American event before Matchroom came to the fore. The Matchroom venues are beautiful, and the staff is first rate, no question about that. I enjoy watching them very much, even though their segregated broadcasting options are, in my opinion, ridiculous and not a positive way to help pool flourish on a global scale. People are getting frustrated with DAZN in USA in case you haven't read about it ad nauseum.

I do not agree with your opinion that close to 50 players will earn $100,000 this year, inclusive of sponsorships.

And you can call me "uninformed," and I could suggest you have a slant toward European favoritism. And that's okay. I know you have a strong passion for pool, as do I.

So I am sticking with my statement that the ban should be lifted because not only will it help Russians and Belarusians continue to progress in their professional pool-playing career, but that it will be nice to see them treated like the professionals that they are by the pool world and not because of their ethnicity or heritage.

It's nice to sit on the mountain and look down at others and express the world according to the view from the mountaintop, but those of us not sitting on top of the mountain just might have a different view, one that is more down to earth and realistic, in my opinion.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
yeah,
it's a good look now and for the future to have pillaging, mass murder and human extortion (foods and materials) be the represented entity atop of the leader board competing on the communist made stage of products for civilization to know what's best for them.

So, the intent of acceptance is: putin -'Peter the Great' and Xi immortalized statues adoring the guidance of the weed-whacking WPA?

Saudi Arabia should be banned for influencing favorites though sports. Conquest is a much more accepted profitable new blood of power.

where does fedor gorst and margarita fefilova fit into this tirade? of what are they accused?
 

NathanDetroit

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think we are all pretty much agreed that players should not be made to suffer for what their governments have done.

OTOH, the Russian government is an aggressor using an old Nazi excuse, and sanctions must be upheld.

If Fedor agrees to not wear both the Russian emblem and the Gazprom patch, then let him play.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I think we are all pretty much agreed that players should not be made to suffer for what their governments have done.

OTOH, the Russian government is an aggressor using an old Nazi excuse, and sanctions must be upheld.

If Fedor agrees to not wear both the Russian emblem and the Gazprom patch, then let him play.

I think Fedor has offered exactly that (to play under a neutral flag) which seems like a good solution for everyone.
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
We will just have to agree to disagree. I am sure you are aware that the cost of living has probably quadrupled since the 1980s. $2,000 doesn't cover a lot when you're traveling from one country to another. It is also important to remember that not every player can cash in the money.
Yes, in this event, every player will cash.
I do not agree with your opinion that close to 50 players will earn $100,000 this year, inclusive of sponsorships.
At current pace, about 20 of them will earn over $90,000 without sponsorship money. Another fifteen are safe bets to win $75,000 or more in prize money, and every single one of them has sponsorship. Then, there are others with major sponsorship that will have off years, or who will be unable to participate much in the major pool scene but will still make $100,000. Yes, 50 was too high. I'm going with 40.

And you can call me "uninformed," and I could suggest you have a slant toward European favoritism. And that's okay. I know you have a strong passion for pool, as do I.
Actually, I don't have many favorites period. In most matches I watch, I don't root for either player. It's only when a friend is playing that I root at all. I just want to see good pool, no matter who is playing it. I surely have more friends among the American players than the Europeans. If you mean that I rate the European contingent above the American contingent, you've got me on that one.

It's nice to sit on the mountain and look down at others and express the world according to the view from the mountaintop, but those of us not sitting on top of the mountain just might have a different view, one that is more down to earth and realistic, in my opinion.
Honestly, I have no idea what this even means. I have sponsored players, co-sponsored events, and had administrative roles in our sport in the past. I'm sure I know as least as much as you do about the economics of participation in the sport on all levels and, in all probability, much more. What mountain top? I am a fan first, but I'm also somebody who has contributed and continue to contribute both my time and money to the general betterment of the sport and to some players that are, in my view, deserving.
 

JAM

Pool and Snooker Railbird
Silver Member
Yes, in this event, every player will cash.

At current pace, about 20 of them will earn over $90,000 without sponsorship money. Another fifteen are safe bets to win $75,000 or more in prize money, and every single one of them has sponsorship. Then, there are others with major sponsorship that will have off years, or who will be unable to participate much in the major pool scene but will still make $100,000. Yes, 50 was too high. I'm going with 40.


Actually, I don't have many favorites period. In most matches I watch, I don't root for either player. It's only when a friend is playing that I root at all. I just want to see good pool, no matter who is playing it. I surely have more friends among the American players than the Europeans. If you mean that I rate the European contingent above the American contingent, you've got me on that one.


Honestly, I have no idea what this even means. I have sponsored players, co-sponsored events, and had administrative roles in our sport in the past. I'm sure I know as least as much as you do about the economics of participation in the sport on all levels and, in all probability, much more. What mountain top? I am a fan first, but I'm also somebody who has contributed and continue to contribute both my time and money to the general betterment of the sport and to some players that are, in my view, deserving.

To reiterate, you used the word "uninformed." There are others who have invested time, passion, money, and their life into pool. We each have our own likes and dislikes when it comes to players, and there is no caste system when it comes to pool fans, no matter how deep their pockets may be. Wealth does not make one opinion stronger than the other or one's passion stronger than the other either.

I do disagree with the mathematical estimates you have shared as your opinion on how much pro players may earn this year. Everyone is, of course, entitled to believe what they think is statistically significant based on facts, obtainable facts, which in pool is a big unknown. AzBilliards and other pool-related websites do their best to document earnings, but it's not 100 percent accurate, and for sure, the expenses a pro player incurs will differ from player to player. Some don't mind sleeping in their cars or on the floor in a shared hotel room or eating at McDonald's on a regular basis.

Having been out there on the tournament trail and seen firsthand what it costs a pool player to compete on a regular basis, I am cognizant of the fact that there are, indeed, many expenses that are quite different than expenses a railbird has sitting in the stands. Time invested in practice is a type of expense, I guess, kind of like going to work to develop one's skill set.

But I don't want to engage in a back-and-forth on whose opinion is more accurate than another. They are opinions, and you are certainly entitled to yours, as am I.

JAM <-- VERY INFORMED
 

Vahmurka

...and I get all da rolls
Silver Member
Most sporting organizations applied the IOC recommendation to only Olympic events and not to routine professional tournaments. In the US, no professional events other than pool have been subject to the ban. That includes other World Games sports like bowling that are also hoping to make the Olympics.
The picture is different at the other side of the pond. Soccer club teams and national squad were excluded, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, track and field, skiing, etc. etc. Actually if you take any sport you know, it's only tennis and some other very few sports (gymnastics, judo?) that did not follow the IOC recommendation.
And for Matchroom events there is another aspect. They are British. The UK don't want to let the Russians in, so even in darts they raised the ban (pro darts in the UK = Matchroom in the form of PDC). World Cup of Darts is about to start, and you won't see Russia there either, unlike recent years. Darts pros were kicked out of other major events this year. And darts is not even an Olympic sport (unlike pool, it is not present at the World Games).
 
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Vahmurka

...and I get all da rolls
Silver Member
AzBilliards and other pool-related websites do their best to document earnings, but it's not 100 percent accurate, and for sure, the expenses a pro player incurs will differ from player to player. Some don't mind sleeping in their cars or on the floor in a shared hotel room or eating at McDonald's on a regular basis.
That's a good point to add to your friendly rant :) The expenses. AZB's financial ranking collects winnings throughout the year, so it is easy to be misled by the numbers if one is not critical enough. If we take pro tennis, ATP and WTA yearly bulletins have winnings listed for every player on tour. Money earned. Millions for the career! But what is unseen behind these numbers is a player has to spend large amounts: air tickets, coaches, fitness coaches, massageurs, sometimes equipment and even paying for the court time (not everyone is top 20 material). So for the major part of that bulletin, expenditures are close to half of earnings, and at times even more.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
The picture is different at the other side of the pond. Soccer club teams and national squad were excluded, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, track and field, skiing, etc. etc. Actually if you take any sport you know, it's only tennis and some other very few sports (gymnastics, judo?) that did not follow the IOC recommendation.
And for Matchroom events there is another aspect. They are British. The UK don't want to let the Russians in, so even in darts they raised the ban (pro darts in the UK = Matchroom in the form of PDC). World Cup of Darts is about to start, and you won't see Russia there either, unlike recent years. Darts pros were kicked out of other major events this year. And darts is not even an Olympic sport (unlike pool, it is not present at the World Games).

Good point on the differences around in the world. It's a strange anomaly that our rights are stronger on this issue in the States. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was in part drafted to address the discrimination that Japanese and Germans suffered during WW2.
 
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