View Full Version : to: Fran Airam re: Viking Tour

11-10-2003, 06:16 AM
Dear whoever you are.

Thank you for your participation in one of our events. I am sorry you didn't enjoy your time with us. I hope in the future you will be more open minded and see the lighter side of things. I also apologize for taking so long in responding to you.
It's difficult to please everyone and again I am sorry we didn't please you.

If you choose to participate in the future please introduce yourself to me and we can discuss any concerns you may have. If you would like to talk on the phone you may call me at 800-200-POOL. That 800# rings to my cell phone and I am almost available at anytime to assist you.

I do apologize for the loud music. I hope you understand that the facility we were in was over 20,000 square feet and the pool room portion is not isolated from the other activities taking place in the location. It was our intention to end the event by 10pm on that Saturday evening. In fact it was the agreement with the owner of the facility, Mr. Hodges. It was my call to play the extra round to try and get all the players that were returning Sunday in the money. Unfortunately we had some matches take longer than expected.

I hope you understand that there were well over 100 people in the facility. That's not including the people that were there for the tournament. Anyway, I asked Mr. Hodges if we could play a little longer and he agreed. He said he could hold off the music until 11pm. Unfortunately we had not finished by then. When 11pm approached I announced to the players that it was gonna be loud and to please bear with it until they completed there matches. It was all my fault. I was just trying to please the players by bringing only the ones back on Sunday that were guaranteed to win money in the event.

Fran, I have taken the time to read over all 7 of your posts. I can appreciate your point of view, however misguided that may be. I ask the other people that read them to please understand all points of view and stay open-minded.

Now Fran, I don't think it was fair to speak about the raffle the way you did. You stated that "the raffle ticket sales person was "begging people to buy raffle-tickets for fire-wood" . Personally, I don't think she was begging. It was more like asking. Also the fire-wood comment is a bit disturbing to me. That's not very respectful of you. And not nice at all. Shame on you! The Viking Cues we raffle off at the events are all excellent quality. In fact, if you win the raffle you get to choose from our display of cues up to the value in the raffle. At that event, if you won the raffle you got to choose from any Viking Cue in our display of over 50 cues up to the value of $700. You should be ashamed of yourself disrespecting a sponsor of our sport.

There are some issues that I won't discuss in any forum or in private, simply because it's proprietary. Those issues include expenditures and income. So please reserve your questions to me about them.

As being the seasoned player you appear to be, I hope you can understand the expenses suffered from being on the road as much as we are. Not just the monetary ones but the other important ones. Things like...Health, Family, Friends and the other mental and physical tolls we take. If you think I run the tour for the money, you need to look a little deeper to see the twinkle in my eyes and listen carefully to the excited tone in my voice when I talk about what our sport can be and how much I love it.

To clear up the issue of Viking Cue Mfg., Inc.'s involvement with the tour. They are heavily involved. In fact, they have mainly been responsible for the growth of this tour. When they became our title sponsor, the 1st question Nancy Hart asked me is "What can we (Viking Cue) do to help to get more money added to the tour?". At that time we were only getting up to $17,000 added per year. Now we are getting up to $93,000 added per year. They helped our sport. The tour is owned and operated by me, Mike Janis. I solely make all decisions about how it is operated. I have heard through the grape-vine that it's doing pretty good by the players and room owners. In fact, It's the largest tour of it's kind in the USA.

With all that said I would again like to apologize for you not so fun time at one of our events. I wish you could have been at our most recent one in Ohio, we had 111 players in it. It was a fun event. That event was $5,000 added. We event had a $2,000 added 1-Pocket event to go along with it. We had 32 players in that one.

Money in the events, in your post dated 11/06/03 you asked about the entry fees -vs- the payback. You mentioned the money taken in was 8,025 and the payback was 7200. I don't have the exact figures in front of me but that's not entirely correct. I believe the entry fee take in was about 2,890 and a portion of the entry fee included table time/registration fee as stated on our flyers. There were also some ladies that played in that event and there fee was lower than the men's. When you subtract the lower entry fees and the table time/ reg fee it came out to $2,200. Then we added the $5,00 from the host location to those fees and there you have it. The payback was a total of $7,200. I am sorry if you are against paying table time or other fees but that's how businesses stay in business. Nobody works for free. If you know someone that will, please give them my phone #. I would live to hire them.

Earnings misrepresented, Hmmm, I kinda see you point. However it has always been our policy to report total monies earned in our event. We don't always know who get's what portion but we always try to list the total monies earned.

Your comments about bidding in auctions is completely ridiculous. I don't think I could possibly respond too your BS statements. All I can say is you seem very bitter and misinformed. Please don't ever slander anyone like that ever. It's not nice. If I do ever bid on a player and I am the auctioneer I always state that I'm on the bid so everyone knows. Sometimes I do it just to let everyone else in the crowd know that they should be bidding on that player because he or she isn't being bid high enough. And I always end any bidding platform with... Going once, Going twice, last call and sold.

Regarding the National Championship. If you played in any of our events during the 03 season you are eligible to compete for the $30 registration fee. And no matter how many player participate, the tournament prize fund is guaranteed to be $25,000. The 1st place payday will be $5,000. I hope you can make it to the event. Don't forget to introduce yourself.

If you would like to discuss this any further,
please call me at your convenience.


Mike Janis
Owner / Founder / Director / Book Keeper / Flyer Maker / Postage Stamp licker and Label putter-onner / Driver / Advertising Agent / Secretary / Data Entry Clerk / Shipping & Receiving Clerk / getting the event done guy for
The Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour
800-200-POOL (7665)

11-10-2003, 07:11 AM
I can only speak for the Viking events that I have played in but I have no complaints. The comments that “Fran” made have never been a problem or apparent to me or anyone that I know that plays in the Viking events.

Mike, I feel that you handled her angry comments quite professionally. You have always been most fair in the auctions and as you mentioned, I cannot ever remember you not giving a “going once, twice etc…..” before closing the bid.

As far as raffle tickets go, never a problem there either, I have been approached once or twice during an entire event, but never more than that…

I cannot speak for the tournament that had the blaring music because I did not attend that one but from my experience, the events are a blast and are very well run.. The Ohio championships at Cornfed’s this past weekend was awesome.. I played my last match at 3am Sunday morning but that is the way it goes when you have 100+ players. Great competition and great fun.

Mike, most of the players really appreciate the fact that you put so much effort and time into the tour. Your tournaments are fair, well run and I love the great competition. It is too bad that these issues by “Fran” were not handled over a personal email to you or a phone call. I have had no problems reaching you via email and have always had a one day response at the latest. Please keep up the good work and thank you for your time and efforts.. Most of us know that you could not possibly do it for the money..LOL Just for the love of the game.

See you the next time my wife lets me get out and play in another event. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Joe Koontz

11-10-2003, 07:38 AM
Mike Janis,

Seems like everyone thinks you are getting rich from running your tournaments. Well, I for one, would actually wish that was true, but I really doubt it.

People seem to get "gross" and "net" confused. they see all the money you collect and think you keep it all.

I am amazed that you (and other TD's) can find volunteers to help you run the tournaments. You and them probably put in 14 hour days during the tournament for no pay, or very little. Then there is all the time and running around setting up a tournament, making up flyers and getting them distributed.

Players should just look at what their entry fee is and what the payout is and be happy with that. If they like it, then play, if not then don't. But they shouldn't be concerned with how much money the house or you may or may not make.

There are three pool halls here and one of them has never had a major pool tournament and the weekly tournaments have dried up there and the owner is phasing pool out and going more for dance night. Why? There is more money there with less operating costs. Another hall has daily tournaments plus Amateurs twice a year but he too is leaning toward dance night for the kids. He makes more money in one night with the kids then he does all week from pool rental. And when he runs a major tournament he is lucky to break even.
That sure is not a good formula for a successful business.

And the juke box is music to the owner's ears because the kids feed it and they want it loud.

Maybe tournaments should start at 9:00am and go to 6:00pm. At least that way they would not be tying up the tables during prime time. Or is that too early for pool players to get their butts out of bed?


11-10-2003, 09:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote MikeJanis:</font><hr>I do apologize for the loud music. I hope you understand that the facility we were in was over 20,000 square feet and the pool room portion is not isolated from the other activities taking place in the location.

Mike Janis
The Viking Cue 9-Ball Tour
800-200-POOL (7665)

<hr /></blockquote>

Unfortunately, Mike, I have yet to attend one of your tours. So I do not know what the entry fee (woops now I see the $30,gosh how inexpensive!) and how much money from your tour was made for the establishment.

I recently attended the Falcon tour in Rockville and the entry fee was pretty reasonable. They were raffling off a cue, which was sitting at the admissions desk. Noone was pressuring anyone to buy the raffle tickets. I was just told about it while I was looking at the cues.

Some participants at this event were complaining about the loud music too. There were patrons sitting at the bar watching football and yelling when their team did something good and they were buying food and alcohol. When asked about that, the manager explained that these patrons were making much more money for the establishment than was the tour and its participants.

It just so happens that after playing APA, loud music, people moving about etc. is something I am used to.

I have to wonder if finding very quiet pool halls to hold these kind of events is difficult. A pool hall also has to have business, and since a tour is only at the same place once or twice a month (my guess), I wonder if there is an economics issue for that pool hall.

Even at the professional level, the players have to function with crowds rooting. I just think that a quiet atmosphere may be unrealistic in most situations.

IMO, being able to block out noise is part of being able to concentrate as a player.

Like I said, experience only in that tour, our handicapped tourny here (where there is plenty of noise) and our APA league play where there is a lot of noise. For me, it is part of the overall environment and a totally quiet atmosphere would be more odd to me.


11-10-2003, 12:09 PM
hello Mike: Well here we go the one bad apple in the barrell !!! let him or her try to run tournments , I myself along with fountin inn red ran tournys in this area for years, it is a lot of hard work. and jim hodges has always tryed to give his none pool playing coustomers a chance to enjoy their evening, no falt to td. you cant blame him eather he has a bussines to run . but this fran in charge see the results,ha ha you and your staff do a good job and i have saw a lot of pool . Mike 1 fran 0 thats my vote STICK

11-10-2003, 05:08 PM

You do a great service and a tremendous job. Nice answer....randyg

11-11-2003, 08:56 AM
Laura, Maybe you didn't notice but Mike has posted: "Amateur Women qualify for the free entry fee in the $1,000 and $2,000 added events". I know you are playing pretty close to the pro level now but since you are probably unknown to Mike I think you could get in for free at least once.

11-11-2003, 09:00 AM
I watched Nesli O'Hare play at the Viking stop in Cincy. I think bluewolf could take her down.

Cornfed Red
11-12-2003, 11:17 PM
Fran?, the lovers and haters of The Viking Tour,

I was just lurking this forum looking for feedback on our recent Viking Tour tournaments and came across Mr. or Mrs.? Airam's posts'. Having been on all sides of the Viking Tour fence, it's time for my 2 cents.

Cornfed Red's has been host to well over $75,000 added VT tournaments. In my tenure here, I've been party to nearly half of those tournaments, and have had to deal with Mike from the planning stages to post-tournament settlement. In the planning of our recent $2,000 and $5,000 added events (Nov. 6-9, 2003) Mike has spent approximately 2 hours/week for the past 5-6 weeks coordinating things with me to make the events a success for the VT and myself (Cornfeds), not to mention the hours he spends on the phone with other venues, sponsors, players, etc... BTW, notice the 800 in his phone #, that means he's eating the long distance charges, probably makes for an expensive phone bill that Mike and the tour has to pay. Notice the truck Mike has to have to transport product and equipment to events. Who has to pay for the monthly payment, insurance, fuel, wear and tear for this vehicle, Mike and the tour. Advertising, Mike has probably the largest mailing list of anyone associated with pocket billiards. Ever sweat the cost of having postcards and flyers printed?!?! Have you checked the rates at your local post office lately? Start multiplying, pretty freaking taxing, huh! Who foots the bill for that, Mike and the tour. I'm sure that I have left out other costs' Mike endures to operate the tour but have covered the biggies. Now sit down and really calculate the hours Mike spends per week to plan, drive to tournaments, go to trade shows, and operate the tour. Got that figure yet? Now add 20-30%, because I know your low-balling it. Let's say Mike works 46-48 weeks per year promoting and operating the tour (which he does). What $ amount is that job worth? Guarantee you Mike doesn't profit near that amount operating the tour as it stands now. Granted, I am friends with Mike and have done alot of business with him but here is the simple truth. Mike Janis is not in the game for the money, he's here to promote the game and try to make a decent living doing it. Mike is the only promoter I have ever dealt with in this business that has ALWAYS came thru with what was promised to me. But you'll probably tell me that the one promoter in particular who still owes me nearly $3,000 worth of product from 5 years ago is a stand up guy.

As for player auctions, I've never seen anything shady about how Mike has conducted an auction. Matter of fact at our tournament he bought one of the top finishers who is not well-known in this area fairly cheap. When he was conducting the auction he clearly stated to the bidders exactly who the player was, what speed he plays, and that he is perfectly capable of winning the tournament. Hardly a soul bid on him, even though Mike was bidding on the player himself. Every time I've seen Mike bidding on a player for himself he has always made it very clear he is doing so and makes it very clear when he is going to close the bid.

Loud music played by the room owner for his regular crowd? Good for him, it may not have played well to your tastes but put yourself in his shoes for a minute. He has a field of 55 players for a tournament crowd that is there for one weekend, he also has his regular crowd that is there every weekend the rest of the year. Yes, he committed himself to please the tournament crowd by scheduling the event but he can't ignore his regular business that pays his bills. Here at Cornfed's we're fortunate that our nightclub/bar area are seperated from the poolroom area and can control the dance music from interfering with the tournament. You think the poolrooms are making a fortune off holding tournaments, think again. We had 111 players for the 9-ball this past weekend, Yes the place was packed most of the day and night, the kitchen and day shift did much higher numbers than usaul but we didn't hardly make a dime in pool time because most of our tables were in tournament action. The night shift at the bar did much worse than usual because the parking lot was full and our regulars had no where to park. When it's all said and done (after added $ and extra staffing) we lose money for sure. We have never come out on the plus side holding a big tournament. Why do it then? To give back to and promote the game, that simple.

If you and others would like to see tournaments pay more to the players I suggest you start e-mailing and snail-mailing every pool industry vendor you can think of and gripe to them about not giving/paying the tournaments and players enough money. It might be a better route than attacking those of us who are trying to do something for the sport.


Ralph S.
11-12-2003, 11:54 PM

11-13-2003, 01:40 AM
Kirk...Thank you for helping to run a great tournament last weekend. I really enjoyed myself. Everyone worked very hard to make everyone feel welcome.

As for people who don't think Mike Janis works hard, you are wrong. I don't think he gets to sit down once during the tournament. Between taking phone calls, announcing matches, plugging the sponsors and answering players questions...he doesn't have time to rip anyone off. He bids in the auctions but it is never secret. When he bids it is only to bring more money to the auction and increase participation. Every tournament, viking or not, does not pay back 100%. Money goes to the room owners for greens fees and a precentage may go to the TD...I'm not sure but in my opinion they should earn something for all the hard work and putting up with us pool players.

I will continue to support the Viking Tour and I hope more people will join me and not listen to the complaints and craziness of one person.

Keep up the good work Mike.

Sarah Rousey