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04-25-2002, 07:10 PM
Pools biggest enemy is the game itself. Not a sport for TV without some ecitement. The X Games have more going for it because of the thrills and spills. Golf and even tennis have more movement and more action. Sorry, as much as I would like to see it happen it will not unless the method of presenting it on TV changes. I do not have the answer. "Searching For Bobby Fisher" had more excitement than any pool game I have seen on TV.

Cueless Joey
04-25-2002, 07:13 PM
is the MTV generation whose attention span is down to 2 seconds.

Doctor_D
04-25-2002, 07:33 PM
Good evening:

Not to mention those individuals who are incapable of managing the discipline required, as well as having an appreciation for the skill and talent required to perform well.

Dr. D.

04-26-2002, 01:50 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> Pools biggest enemy is the game itself. Not a sport for TV without some ecitement. The X Games have more going for it because of the thrills and spills. Golf and even tennis have more movement and more action. Sorry, as much as I would like to see it happen it will not unless the method of presenting it on TV changes. I do not have the answer. "Searching For Bobby Fisher" had more excitement than any pool game I have seen on TV. <hr></blockquote>

I sure don't agree that there is something wrong with the game.

The game is pure and highly skillful.Anyone with a competitive spirit will certainly enjoy it if they were able understand it better while viewing it.

I do agree that there is a problem however with its presentation on US television.Imo we don't have the proper people 'explaining the spin,angles,patterns,mental stamina,and so on' of the games as they progress on tv.As it stands now,most commentators and color people are boring and will make it seem that same way to the average viewer.

Sky Sports in the UK have did the best job so far with pool.On a scale of 10 these snooker people turned pool people are a very strong 8.ESPN is a weak 3 in comparison imo(I don't even bother to watch espn pool anymore).If we were able to get these UK productions on network tv here it wouldn't be such an uphill struggle.They do quality pool productions and I'm very confident that it would catch on very quick with the sports mentality of the average american.JMHO.BS

cuechick
04-26-2002, 08:31 AM
As someone who was introduced and drawn to the sport BECAUSE of the coverage on ESPN, I have to disagree. I remember flipping channels and being completly mezmerized as I watched Jeanette Lee play. Never having seen a woman play at that level, I just thought this chick ROCKS! I also enjoyed the game it self and found it easy to follow, even though I'd never seen 9 ball before.
I have many friends that are NOT players who tell me they enjoy watching pool on ESPN when they happen upon it. I really believe it is very viewer friendly, most people have picked up a cue at one time or another in their lives, whether in a bar or someones basement(this not true of many other sports such as tennis or golf, which are not as accessible and IMO much harder to follow for the lay-person). Billiards is the 2nd most popular sport in the WORLD, only soccer is more popular.
We in the US tend to think what is popular here sets the trend, and that is just not the case. I also think as players we are far more critical and jaded when it comes to the coverage our sport recieves. Certainly there is room for improvement, but I believe they are trying... let's cut a little slack from our "know it all" backseat /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif

04-26-2002, 09:43 AM
Maybe pool's tournaments need to be better organized. I remember watching bowling on tv about 30 years. Sometimes I wondered how it was lasting on tv. Yet every week there was at least a semi major tournament in which most of the pros participated. This kept sponsors &amp; advertisers involved. And the prize money is still growing. If billiards could organize it's tournaments so there is at least one semi major tournament, say every two weeks, with maybe half the leading pros entered, it could be broadcast live. One week it could be broadcast live &amp; the next week could be a replay. And it could build up from there.

I've been away from pool for about 20 years. I saw a tournament in which Jeanette Lee amazed me. And that rekindled my interest in pool. It seems like that was about 5 or 6 weeks ago. And each night I look at the tv guide to see if any tournaments are on. And I haven't seen any pool at all listed since then. There was some trick shot program listed once. But I think it was bumped by a dog show or something. Tricks shots don't really interest me. It seems like it's all just for show. Sort of like carnival games. I'd like to see tournaments where you know players are competing for real prize money. It seems there are minor tournaments all over the country with small prize money involved. Perhaps pool's tournament &amp; tv popularity would grow if somehow these tournaments could be beter organized or maybe combined some way so that there would be enough prize money, say every two weeks, to attract at least half of the major players. If each state held one major or semi major tournament per year, and they were spread out, that could do it. What seemed to help bowling was there was one major controlling board. I don't even know what that is. The ABC or something. It seems like billiards has too many of these controlling boards. Sort of like wrestling. Maybe if they combined to just one main organization, it would help.

04-26-2002, 09:52 AM
Here's just one more thought. Even though I enjoyed watching the 9 ball tournament over a month ago, the announcers seemed boring. Maybe billiards needs a major anouncer who would explain, teach, and keep it interesting. Look what Howard Cosell did for Monday night football. Maybe someone like this Scott Lee would be good at it. The few times I've seen a tournament on ESPN in the past few years, I was bored an unimpressed with the announcers. Hopefully it's just the way that ESPN shows the tournaments. I'm sure that can be improved. Even thoroughbreed racing has it's exciting announcer, Chris Berman or whoever it is. If i'm flipping channels, just seeing him is enough to hold my interest enough to watch the 1/2 or 1 hour thoroughbred program.

04-26-2002, 11:38 AM

Cuemage
04-26-2002, 10:49 PM
Just a thought...have you ever seen Earl at a tournament...he definitely is the "John Mcenroe" of pool.

Tha Cuemage

Cuemage
04-26-2002, 10:55 PM
Eddie, if you haven't already...check out Accu-Stats Pool Videos. They are really good. The announcers are pool-literate and help to explain pattern play, available shots, etc. Some of them are quite colorful as well (Grady Matthews, Danny D.) I've personally learned a lot from watching these as well. Sometimes, I turn down the volume &amp; try to predict pattern play, or what shot would I take. Try one out...but my advise is to get the ones that are highlighted. They are generally better matches.

Tha Cuemage

04-27-2002, 12:30 AM
Televised pool is done so poorly in the US that it's very hard to point to one thing in particular as the ultimate demon.

As has been previously mentioned, the commentary is atrocious. We have a color man who's probably never picked up a cue before. However, one thing that I specifically like about televised pool abroad is that they DON'T explain everything on every shot. It gets pretty damned annoying when four times a rack they're telling you what left english does.

Another huge problem is the lack of major sponsorship. This goes a little further, though, than just the fact that it would be nice to have Nike's millions riding on every match. The game is so poor right now that the pros are forced to take sponsorship money from companies that are actually hurting it. Elephant Beautiful Balls? HUH??? It's hard enough to have the general public understand the rules of the game, but then we go and make the balls absolutely indecipherable. Then of course there's the Sardo. In televised tournaments, the referee always racks anyway, so bad racks aren't an issue. Why do we have this thing? When viewers see the game being played with equipment they will never own, it turns them off. They'll realize that when they go to their local room, they're not playing the "pro" version (with the Sardo), and this kills interest.

We're a long way away, and I'm not even sure we're headed in the right direction...

- Steve Lipsky

MikeM
04-27-2002, 08:39 AM
I went to my first tournament ever at Valley Forge this year. I watched the women all morning then went to check out the men. On the first table as I walked in was Earl playing someone I didn't recognize. Earl broke and was playing a superb game. He got a little bit out of shape and missed a tough bank and then the show began. Cursing, waving his stick around throwing the chalk - he really lived up to his rep. I went back and enjoyed watching the women for the rest of the weekend.

MM

Wally_in_Cincy
04-27-2002, 09:02 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> Televised pool is done so poorly in the US that it's very hard to point to one thing in particular as the ultimate demon.

As has been previously mentioned, the commentary is atrocious. We have a color man who's probably never picked up a cue before. However, one thing that I specifically like about televised pool abroad is that they DON'T explain everything on every shot. It gets pretty damned annoying when four times a rack they're telling you what left english does.

Another huge problem is the lack of major sponsorship. This goes a little further, though, than just the fact that it would be nice to have Nike's millions riding on every match. The game is so poor right now that the pros are forced to take sponsorship money from companies that are actually hurting it. Elephant Beautiful Balls? HUH??? It's hard enough to have the general public understand the rules of the game, but then we go and make the balls absolutely indecipherable. Then of course there's the Sardo. In televised tournaments, the referee always racks anyway, so bad racks aren't an issue. Why do we have this thing? When viewers see the game being played with equipment they will never own, it turns them off. They'll realize that when they go to their local room, they're not playing the "pro" version (with the Sardo), and this kills interest.

We're a long way away, and I'm not even sure we're headed in the right direction...

- Steve Lipsky <hr></blockquote>

I think the key is on-air promotion. The public has to know when it's on in order to develop a habit of tuning in. The time slots for tv pool are so unpredictable even pool nuts such as us have trouble sometimes finding the match times.

If some network would have live or even recently taped matches at the same time once a week or even once a month and then promote it like they do the X-Games so folks would know when it was on I think their viewership would quadruple at minimum.

04-29-2002, 01:24 PM
The stigma is it's worst enemy.

The smoky, dirty environment does not give well to image and promotion.

Lack of solid ethics and leadership at the professional level.

Lack of a solid learning system for amateur levels but this is in the works.

I said it before and I will say it again what is the worst thing pool have ever done is allow smoking and drinking as part of it's social image.

Leagues should have clear cut rules regarding conduct.
Leagues should not allow smoking and at a certain extent drinking during all leagues events. You want to smoke and drink and that is your focus then go to a bar.
Leagues are for the playing and fun of the game. If you are in the league as an excuse to smoke and drink then get out. Just be a social player.
Leagues should do free tutorials on the game.
Promote the game as being fun.

We want promoters but we don't want to take the steps needed to get them. Promoter want the greatest amount of distribution for there promotional dollars therefore if you make your venue a smoking venue you are almost guaranted that 65% of the local population will not come this includes children. They would get better to put there money is a full socially active non-profit organisation then with you.

Here is another thing they should do. Why they don't do it or do more I don't know?

Get involved with non-profits charities as much as you can.

Of course the event cannot be a smoke box if you do this. Yeah I can see, you do a event for the asthma society and not one asthmatic can go to it.

Non-profits have lots and lots of corporate backing more then you know. This I know from experience. To promote a non-profit event is the cheapest advertising one can do but it speaks volumes for the image of the business. You get involved with them and you are brought on the bag wagon regarding advertising and promotions. The bigger the better.

04-29-2002, 03:17 PM
Here are some thoughts and facts you all may find interesting. First of all, televised pool does fairly well from a ratings standpoint but not enough to encourage investment. That's why ESPN puts no money into the coverage of the WPBA tour, instead making the women foot the bill for the production and then collect their own advertising revenue. ESPN loves this arrangement because for them it's no risk and they still get to televise a popular and colorful sport. People in the know have told me that ESPN has no interest in making the television production better because they want to keep the WPBA in the proverbial cage. Believe me, it could do much better with an effective director and producer, never mind the commentators. Get rid of the overhead camera and half the problem would be beat. Discuss the action rather than try and teach people how to play, etc. etc.

But speaking of the commentary, Allen Hopkins is pretty much useless, as is his wife, Eva Laurence (and her husband), and Vicki Paski. There are tremendous pool commentators out there, Grady Mathews, Danny DiLiberto, Bill Incardona, Buddy Hall (maybe the best), Bill Staton, Ed Sheehan, Dave Maddux and most of the Accu-Stats crew are the nuts when it comes to making the game interesting, right down to the gamblers lingo, but few of them have ever been on television proper. For the record, and probably because a lot of you don't know it, Grady was blackballed by the BCA for allegedly booking the BCA straight pool tournament once. He wasn't booking the tournament in actuality, but someone saw a person pay him off for about $50 (the person owed Grady the money on an unrelated matter) and since then the BCA hasn't invited him to the tournament and he hasn't done any TV commentary.

Danny was rejected early on because, during an Accu Stats video he jokingly referred to a player shooting opposite handed as 'amphibious' and Allen Hopkins, on the MPBA board at the time, thought he was serious and concluded that Danny's vocabulary was insufficient for television, even though DiLiberto went to college, and Hopkins didn't.

As for things like smoking and drinking, tons of people who play golf drink beer during the round, or smoke a cigar, it's commonplace. Same with bowling, same with skiing, surfing, all of it.

Personalities are also not the issue. To say there are no characters like there are in other sports is simply absurd, pool's characters could spot any other sport the five and the break. To say that some of them are bad sports is true, but there's far more good sports than bad, and if you think pool has an exclusive on bad sportsmanship, watch a basketball game sometime, or a boxing match.

Corporate sponsorship is also not the problem. There are potential sponsors out there but what are they going to sponsor? There are no tournaments. And what tournaments there are mean nothing. Pool's powers that be in both the men's and women's game sold out for the buck a long time ago and it's costing them now because no one takes the game seriously. The rules are antiquated, there's no decent officiating, the televised matches are contrived affairs featuring a quick race-to-seven on unfamiliar tables designed at nothing more than getting the game in front of the camera. Even if it goes hill-hill, there is no drama in a race-to-seven or a race-to-five, no matter how much ESPN or Matt Braun want there to be. Hell, tennis players and golfers go out there and do battle for FIVE HOURS, and yet people in pool think a race to eleven is too long for the pros. What's wrong with that picture?

No, the biggest reason why televised pool is not drawing the audience the way it could is because no one has ever tried to present the game, the real game, the way it was meant to be presented. That way people could see the beauty of what we do! No professional match should be contested in anything less than a race to 13. All matches, in all pro tournaments, should have referees to call the shots and rack the balls. All matches should be played as 'all fouls' rather than 'cue ball fouls'. All matches should have designated breaks, rather than this situation were each player is allowed a five minute break. The list goes on and on. All tournaments should be winner breaks, balls racked with the one on the spot and break from anywhere.

Really, The game could sell itself, but what's currently being shown is not the game - it's not even close. The only thing that could save it at this point is to rip the whole thing apart and start over from scratch from the beginning. Until that happens, enjoy what you watch on TV, because it ain't getting any better.

04-29-2002, 03:56 PM
Dinovirus, an excellent, excellent post.

Cuemage
04-29-2002, 06:02 PM
Dinovirus,
You have a post that needs to be bottled &amp; sent to ESPN. I suggest you e-mail them at once. Thank you for having the guts to present the truth instead of trying to placate sponsors that change with the wind. IMO, you could edit some Accu-stat tapes, coach the announcers a bit &amp; you would have the ideal product. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Tha Cuemage

Alfie
04-29-2002, 06:22 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> All tournaments should be winner breaks, [...] <hr></blockquote>
As an opponent of the short race, coin flip type sets, why would you want winner breaks?

cheesemouse
04-29-2002, 06:24 PM
dinoirus,
You get a gold star and move to the head of the class. Well put...

Cuemage
04-29-2002, 06:30 PM
Not speaking for Dinovirus, but I enjoy watching better players string racks together. I think it is how pool is supposed to be played. Just hearing about Archer running 13 &amp; out on a guy in a tournament got me excited &amp; I didn't even see it. (Or the 11 racks Earl ran to win a million). I play decent pool &amp; my top run on 9-foot tables is only 4 racks. I think with longer races (11 or 13), each player will get her chance to string together some wins. Running the set is always exciting (even as the opposing player) and should be given it's moment in the highlight of quality pool.

Tha Cuemage

04-29-2002, 08:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr>

No, the biggest reason why televised pool is not drawing the audience the way it could is because no one has ever tried to present the game, the real game, the way it was meant to be presented. That way people could see the beauty of what we do!

Really, The game could sell itself, but what's currently being shown is not the game - it's not even close.

<hr></blockquote>

Great post dinovirus,enjoyed the read.

Someone has 'tried' and succeeded in my opinion of presenting live pool to the masses,just not in the US yet.

Do yourself a favor and see if you can somehow view the World Championships in Cardiff structured by Sky Sports and the Matchroom Group and see if your opinion doesn't happily change - nine hours of completely live pool daily with an array of different camera angles coordinated very professionally and with great commentary.This was the real deal.

I'm sorry to add that ESPN was offered these delayed tapings of these annual championships in Cardiff *free of charge* to be shown in the states but unfortunately they kindly refused.Tough act to follow would be my guess.Thanks again for the post.BS

cuechick
04-29-2002, 10:04 PM
Very well said, thank you. I think it should be sent to the WPBA!

04-29-2002, 10:24 PM
actually, i've been watching snooker and pool from the UK all my life. Canada also does a great job of television, but they have Jim Wych working up there, who is an experienced commentator for Sky Sports. they had him here for a couple of WPBA events but those that were happy with the status quo didn't like his work and are trying to have him fired.

BTW, I also forgot to mention Jay Helfert as a good commentator, he did an excellent job at the Mosconi Cup.

04-29-2002, 11:18 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> actually, i've been watching snooker and pool from the UK all my life. Canada also does a great job of television, but they have Jim Wych working up there, who is an experienced commentator for Sky Sports. they had him here for a couple of WPBA events but those that were happy with the status quo didn't like his work and are trying to have him fired.

BTW, I also forgot to mention Jay Helfert as a good commentator, he did an excellent job at the Mosconi Cup. <hr></blockquote>

It was actually Wyche and Sid Waddell? that did the majority of commentating in Cardiff.

Then you've seen the pool productions of Sky Sports/Matchroom? and you didn't approve?BS

04-29-2002, 11:48 PM
Because winner breaks is the game. I mean if you're going to have a tournament (or more specifically, a championship), why not have it as the game that is actually played by the masses out there in the poolrooms, or by the pros themselves when they gamble. I watched a match once where Rempe was leading Archer 8-3 and mishit a safety which cost him six racks. I saw two missed balls cost Efren nine racks when Bustamante hung a five pack and a four pack on him back to back. I saw Buddy come up dry on the break when leading Earl 12-8 only to have Earl run out the set and win 13-12. THAT's nine ball.

Those who feel that too many matches are decided by the break shot are plain and simple those that don't have good breaks themselves. I don't feel sorry for them, and you shouldn't either, just like I don't feel sorry for Michael Moorer when he was pounding on George Foreman for eight rounds and then went to the canvas when Foreman landed one of those meathooks. That's boxing, deal with it. Let's face it, the single most important shot in nine ball or ten ball is the break, and it's not an accident that players like Archer, Bustamante and Strickland have such good breaks - they work on them. It's also not an accident that Pete Sampras has the best serve in tennis or that Tiger Woods is the best driver of the ball in golf. The only reason that pool does things like alternate breaks or a break box is because ours is a sport of whiners. You used to have weak breakers like Grady and Buddy Hall complain about the super hard breakers, took a bunch of play out of the game, now you have a player like Corey Dueul softer breaks with success and what happens, they adjust the rules in Cardiff so he can't use that weapon (bet you didn't know that!). Amazing. Did anyone complain when Stephan Edberg used a kick serve and won three Wimbledons? Who could ever take pool seriously when every couple of tournaments they change the rules?

Ask yourself when you last saw two people match up gambling and play alternate breaks. For that matter, tell me why pros will not gamble their own money in a short race (seven ahead is the standard) but then complain if a tournament features races to 13? That's why you get this constant, "anyone can beat anyone in a tournament - gambling is different..." That makes me sick. Does anyone think that there's someone out there who can play four rounds of golf even with Tiger Woods, or five sets of tennis with Andre Agassi? No, because those sports measure accomplishments by tournaments, not by gambling. Meanwhile there are scores of people who think (and rightly so) that World Champ Mika Immonen, for example, can't win gambling with the likes of Archer or Bustamante, never mind Reyes.

Like I said, tear it all apart, start over from scratch. It the only thing to do at this point.

04-30-2002, 12:06 AM
Ha ha, you've fallen for my trap. Sure the English do a good job of televising pool, because they use experienced directors and producers (and commentators, even though Sid Waddell is a darts commentator and drives me crazy) and they use a tried and true presentation format. But, and this is a big 'but', both the Mosconi cup and the Cardiff tournament drive me crazy. Barry Hearn pays the players about $8000 each and then makes potfuls of money off of both tournaments. Sure he offered the tapes to ESPN for free, because then he can say to his sponsors that they'll have tapped the American market and he can double the price for advertising. Barry will do anything to penetrate America, it's where the big bucks are. Never, never forget that although he started as a snooker man, a big chunk of Hearns promotion experience comes from boxing, and boxing promotion is the only profession that ranks below lawyers on the sleazy scale.

I just loved it this past year at Cardiff. There were complaints because the early rounds of the tournament were races to five (a round robin but still, how can you justify that at the biggest pool event of the year) and a senior Matchroom exec said that the short races were due to a shortage of tables, space and time. Well in case you didn't know it, Barry made more than $800,000 off of the Cardiff tournament both years, after expenses, and that amount of money would buy a lot of Gold Crown IV's. Right now pool players are talking about a boycott of the US Open but if they want my respect they need to boycott Cardiff too. That or bend over so Barry Hearn has a clear shot at his target.

04-30-2002, 12:17 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> they have Jim Wych working up there, who is an experienced commentator for Sky Sports. they had him here for a couple of WPBA events but those that were happy with the status quo didn't like his work and are trying to have him fired. <hr></blockquote>

i wondered what happened with him and the wpba shows.trying to get him fired? i don't know how he could break into that tight little group that runs that org. maybe he needs to offer to yodel a little on the next gospel album they put out.

dan

04-30-2002, 12:22 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> Right now pool players are talking about a boycott of the US Open <hr></blockquote>

boycot u.s. open???

first i've heard but maybe i'm not listening at the right places.

what's the story??

dan

04-30-2002, 02:16 AM
I like your style. You're obviously "in the know" in what's going on behind the scenes. I've been saying all along that Hearn is making a small fortune off his events and paying the players peanuts compared to what he's making. The players really need representation when negotiating with Hearn or they'll continue to get cheated out of their fair share. I even challenged Luke Richards to that effect in this forum last year and he backed off. I don't blame Hearn for taking what he can get. That's business. I blame the players for not doing anything about it.

I believe it's ESPN and not the WPBA who isn't happy with Jimmy Wych's commentary. I don't know the specifics but I heard something about his British accent being an issue with them. Either they don't like it, or they find him difficult to understand...something along those lines.

Fran

04-30-2002, 02:23 AM
I agree with everything you said here except about the soft breaks and Corey and Cardiff. If they're using the Sardo Rack, they're taking away the soft break because the soft break just plain looks bad. Believe me, it's no great skill learning the soft break. We all do it on the WPBA tour. I'm making 2 and 3 balls on the break with practically no effort.

Now, if you're saying that they're using regular racks at Cardiff and taking away the soft break, then I would whole-heartedly agree with you.

Fran

04-30-2002, 02:50 AM
Fran

I don't think that poster is in the know at all. If we made $800,000 clear profit each of our pool events then pigs might fly! With TV pool in the US a waste of financial time, why do people come to the conclusion that there are millions of dollars to be made in the rest of the world? Pool is very much a minority sport wherever you go in the world and TV rights very much reflect this. If there was so much money to be made in pool, why aren't more people doing it? Matchroom Sport have been investing in pool since 1993 and looking around, we are the only people who do this sport any justice at all. Your insinuation that players in our events are somehow getting 'ripped off' is a nonsense. The prize money in the World Champs is 300k this year and will be 350k in 2003. No-one else offers these kinds of purses on a regualar basis and whenever our revenues for any sport rise substantially we will always channel as much as we can into the prize funds. When it comes to Matchroom Sport's business you present yourself to the readers of this board as someone who knows the inside track but I would respectfully suggest that this is not the case. In addition the race to five format is there to accommodate 128 players in a TV arena. If you want to play these events in a pool club then you can have a race to whatever you wish but to get all these matches into four days means that each player will play seven race-to-five alternate break matches. It is true we make regular attempts to get our events on espn but the reality is that as soon as they showed one of our events it would render their events redundant which is why they refuse. We haven't given up though so watch this space.

Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport

04-30-2002, 02:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> Ha ha, you've fallen for my trap. Sure the English do a good job of televising pool, because they use experienced directors and producers (and commentators, even though Sid Waddell is a darts commentator and drives me crazy) and they use a tried and true presentation format. But, and this is a big 'but', both the Mosconi cup and the Cardiff tournament drive me crazy. Barry Hearn pays the players about $8000 each and then makes potfuls of money off of both tournaments. Sure he offered the tapes to ESPN for free, because then he can say to his sponsors that they'll have tapped the American market and he can double the price for advertising. Barry will do anything to penetrate America, it's where the big bucks are. Never, never forget that although he started as a snooker man, a big chunk of Hearns promotion experience comes from boxing, and boxing promotion is the only profession that ranks below lawyers on the sleazy scale.

I just loved it this past year at Cardiff. There were complaints because the early rounds of the tournament were races to five (a round robin but still, how can you justify that at the biggest pool event of the year) and a senior Matchroom exec said that the short races were due to a shortage of tables, space and time. Well in case you didn't know it, Barry made more than $800,000 off of the Cardiff tournament both years, after expenses, and that amount of money would buy a lot of Gold Crown IV's. Right now pool players are talking about a boycott of the US Open but if they want my respect they need to boycott Cardiff too. That or bend over so Barry Hearn has a clear shot at his target. <hr></blockquote>

If in the future Hearn managed to get the pool monies right(comparable to snooker) and he said bend over then the pool player should say 'how far?'

Somebody has to make the money,why not Hearn.He's the only one bringing it to the forefront at this particular time.He's the one that's making it happen and putting it together.In my book he should get paid.

The US Open will still get a huge crowd of players regardless if the europeans boycott.The money is in escrow this year and Barry Behrman or not,the US Open has a name that players covet.Attendance may be down this year as is the added money but it will survive imo.American players are starving.We need help and Hearn senses it.Good for him.BS

04-30-2002, 03:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Fran Crimi:</font><hr> I like your style. You're obviously "in the know" in what's going on behind the scenes. I've been saying all along that Hearn is making a small fortune off his events and paying the players peanuts compared to what he's making. The players really need representation when negotiating with Hearn or they'll continue to get cheated out of their fair share. I even challenged Luke Richards to that effect in this forum last year and he backed off. I don't blame Hearn for taking what he can get. That's business. I blame the players for not doing anything about it.

I believe it's ESPN and not the WPBA who isn't happy with Jimmy Wych's commentary. I don't know the specifics but I heard something about his British accent being an issue with them. Either they don't like it, or they find him difficult to understand...something along those lines.

Fran

<hr></blockquote>

Wyche is Canadian and has no english accent??I thought he was an american in fact.Maybe I have my names screwed up but I don't think so.BS

04-30-2002, 03:10 AM
Dinovirus

Do some research before you make incorrect statements. The title sponsor of the 2001 World Pool Championship was Admiral Insurance, a Cardiff-based motor insurance company who are strictly a UK operation and would gain no benefit through TV exposure in the US. Likewise the Daily Star, title sponsors of the Mosconi Cup, are a UK daily newspaper. Also, which senior Matchroom exec told you your quoted reaseons for the race to five. In fact we don't have any senior execs here, only workers! Why are you urging players to boycott the World Championship, er... because it plays the biggest prize-fund in pool? Beacuse there are no entry fees? Because it is the best run tournament in the world? Sorry mate, but you haven't got a clue.

Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport

Alfie
04-30-2002, 06:03 AM
Both short races and winner breaks decreases the effectiveness of the contest to determine the better player. To be against one and for the other is contradictory.

The match length should be sufficiently long not only in games played but also in the number of times control of the table is forfeited. The smaller this number, the the less accurate the contest outcome. I don't have a specific number or formula to put on that (and I don't know how to figure it out either)/ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif but I know that you can't compare two players if one of them sat in his chair the whole match. Alternating breaks gives both players at least a minimum number of opportunities to screw up.

Quote dinovirus: "Because winner breaks is the game. [...] THAT's nine ball."

Response- It would be good to change this part of the status quo, IMO. (using your own logic against you)/ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Quote dinovirus: "Those who feel that too many matches are decided by the break shot are plain and simple those that don't have good breaks themselves. I don't feel sorry for them, and you shouldn't either, [...]"

Response- All else being equal, the strong breakers would still be more successful.

This is not an argument to give weaker players a break (no pun intended), it's a way to get a more accurate outcome for contests.

Quote dinovirus: "Ask yourself when you last saw two people match up gambling and play alternate breaks."

Response- People unthinkingly play winner breaks mostly out of habit and convention. And it's easier to keep track of who is supposed to break. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Quote dinovirus: "For that matter, tell me why pros will not gamble their own money in a short race (seven ahead is the standard) but then complain if a tournament features races to 13?"

Response- I didn't know they complain about races to 13? How come?

Quote dinovirus: "That's why you get this constant, "anyone can beat anyone in a tournament - gambling is different..." That makes me sick. Does anyone think that there's someone out there who can play four rounds of golf even with Tiger Woods, or five sets of tennis with Andre Agassi? No, because those sports measure accomplishments by tournaments, not by gambling. Meanwhile there are scores of people who think (and rightly so) that World Champ Mika Immonen, for example, can't win gambling with the likes of Archer or Bustamante, never mind Reyes."

Response- This last paragraph is not clear to me at all. What are you saying? What does all this have to do with winner breaks, again? Please, lay it out for me. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

/ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif How do y'all like all the training wheels? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

MikeM
04-30-2002, 06:49 AM
Alternate breaks are the way to go. If you want to promote players and increase exposure, then one of them sitting on his hands for an hour is not the way to do it. Alternate breaks allow both players to compete evenly and let their talent determine the outcome. Tennis and golf are bad examples to use when arguing against alternate breaks. Golf allows each player to exhibit his shotmaking skills on each hole and tennis had alternating serves last time I checked.

I agree that tournaments should be how the best player is determined, but that will never happen as long as they're making more money gambling than playing in tourneys. There are lots of great poolplayers out there that I'll never see because of this.

Dino, you make a lot of good points, but your only solution is to "rip it up and start over". Where do we start?

MM

04-30-2002, 11:05 AM
With all due respect Luke, I'm not about to get into it again with you, but I will say that there are holes in your argument. First, you're not filming 128 players. You can have the initial rounds in another venue and play the TV rounds to your television venue. It's that simple. We've done it and it works fine.

We all know the reasons why you televise short races. It costs more to film longer races. Period. We have the same problem with the WPBA. But in our case, we really haven't got the money or we would make the races longer.

I believe we are coming from different places when we discuss percentages of profits going to the players. The WPBA keeps no more than 20% and pays the players at least 80% of all money taken in for an event. Show me where you do that, Luke. In fact, show me where you split the profits 50-50 with the players. Not a chance. In fact, if you take away their entry fees, you're not adding all that much compared to the sponsorship dollars you're taking in. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the numbers.

As for the reasons why ESPN won't take on your shows, I imagine it's a matter of money. Money talks and you're not showing them the money or they'd jump all over your offer. When it comes to the bottom line of profits, you'd be surprised how much cooperation you can get from them.

After having said all that, you really have no reason to defend yourself. Your job is to get as much as you can. It's the players' job to get proper representation.

Fran

04-30-2002, 11:22 AM
It's possible he's Canadian. My girlfriend is Canadian and I always tease her about her "British" accent. She's originally from England but she claims her accent has been "Canadianized." She says when she travels to England, she's recognized immediately as Canadian. I don't know enough to tell the difference.

Fran

04-30-2002, 02:56 PM
Firstly it was you I was semi-quoting and I confess I don't know your title. But race to five is just absurd for a World Championships and the 'best run event in the world'. How is it that events like Wimbledon manage to process so many players through their five set matches. My guess is that they care enough about their tournament to create a venue that will accomodate them. Maybe you should make the tournament last longer than four days (call me crazy). Maybe you should play the preliminary rounds at a pool club or outside venue without television coverage. There's a lot you could do, if you try. Those short races do nothing for your credibility in my books.

Besides, it's my contention that pool should have no World Championships. There's no such thing in golf or tennis (or if there are they don't mean much). If you really were as smart as you claim you'd call the tournament the 'British Open' - that would make some sense.

Also, since I have your attention, why oh why oh why are you using the Sardo Rack at your tournament. Anyone with a brain knows that it's one of the worst things to happen to pool since Don Mackey.

preacherman
04-30-2002, 08:10 PM
Besides what has already been said, POOL should have ALL major semi-finals, and finals (if not even more) on TV.

I think two things are needed:

1. LIVE matches on TV, what other sport do you watch 2-3 months AFTER it has happened.

2. Also show more matches leading up to final matches.
Most of last year it was the same few players in the finals.
I would like to see some of the other players too
(who are great players but did NOT make it to Semi-finals or Finals).

Jim

05-01-2002, 02:10 AM
Fran

Again, I would respectfully suggest that your knowledge of these matters is limited as well as misinformed. I'll answer your post point by point:

The reason we run race to five alternate break is to accommodate 448 matches in four days. We have an huge arena with a main TV table and seven other tables within the set. It has nothing to do with the 'cost of filming' whatever that means as not all matches are on TV. We would never contemplate anything so naff as playing rounds of the World Championship in a pool club. The WPBA I presume, is a non-profit organisation or charity and is, at heart, a player's organisation. Matchroom Sport is first and foremost a business with lots of overheads and a reputation for taking risks on new sports (ie pool ). You mention about entry fees. Well, there are no entry fees for the World Championship. The $300,000 prize fund is entirely added by us. The event involves a lot of people working for a long time and I guess we're not prepared to do that for nothing. What sponsorship dollars are we taking in? As I mentioned in another posting on this subject, because of its minority status, the major players in sports sponsorship are not too fussed about pool.Of course we have sponsors but in the grand scheme of things their contribution is not make-or-break.

You talk about us not showing ESPN money. Unfortunately, that is not how business works. Once you pay them, as the WPBA do, they will treat your sport with no respect whatsoever. We have a rule that if a television station wants to show our product, then they have to pay for it. Unusual in your world I know, but that's business. I know how the deal works between ESPN and the WPBA and believe me, no business could operate like that.

Sorry to go on but you post so knowingly about our business without having any real knowledge of it or how the sports TV business works.

Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport

05-01-2002, 03:22 AM
WHOA BOY!!! You are way out of line here..... First of all you should be on both knees kissing Barry hearn's feet for sponsoring the World Pool Championships. If not for him there would be no tournament. Secondly the Sardo brothers are the best thing "money added wise" to ever happen to the sport. They happily add their money with no questions asked. Would you like to see their money dissappear? I didn't think so. Just sit and think what these two sponsors alone are trying to do to help the sport instead of tearing them apart for doing so.

05-01-2002, 03:41 AM
Fran. You are a dissappointment. You claim to know Jim Wych and then you make a comment about an accent that he doesn't have. As you say to others...Do your homework!! He is from Ontario and has no accent. They don't like Jim because he is not American and he has more pool knowledge than the rest of the commentators put together.

05-01-2002, 07:43 AM
Besides what has already been said, POOL should have ALL major semi-finals, and finals (if not even more) on TV.

I think two things are needed:

1. LIVE matches on TV, what other sport do you watch 2-3 months AFTER it has happened.

2. Also show more matches leading up to final matches.
Most of last year it was the same few players in the finals.

I would like to see some of the other players too
(who are great players but did NOT make it to Semi-finals or Finals).

Jim (Preacherman)

05-01-2002, 09:27 AM
I beg your pardon? LOL! ESPN doesn't want Jim Wych because he knows a lot about pool? Yes I am repeating what I heard regarding his accent. I never personally heard him speak. My sources are good ones. Sorry you don't like it.

Fran

05-01-2002, 09:55 AM
I stand corrected with the entry fees. I realized that after I posted it.

As for showing ESPN the money, what you're arguing is not what I'm referring to. ESPN will pay you if you have earned the right to be paid. I know all too well how that works. When I was WPBA President we put on a pool production with Big Fights. I'm sure you've heard of them. We were paid for that production because Big Fights had been continually bringing in money for ESPN with their fight productions.

You, on the other hand, are a new kid on the block in the States without a track record with ESPN. The numbers aren't big here in the States for pool and you need to bring something else to them that earns them ratings and money before you can expect to be paid for a pool production, or even free for that matter. That's what I mean by showing them the money.

Being non-profit doesn't mean we aren't allowed to earn money for the organization. It's our choice to give the money back to the players. We can cut the players any percentage we want. There's no law that says we can't. There are many huge non-profit organizations in this country where the chief officers are earning hundreds of thousands in salaries. We don't do that to our players.

Please don't accuse me of not having experience in this field without knowing my history or background.

Fran

05-01-2002, 10:36 AM
There's one other thing I want to mention, Luke. I've seen where you guys laugh at us and call us fools for paying for pool productions...when the truth of the matter is that it works very much the same way in your own country. Barry Hearn was able to put on pool productions initially due to his clout with the networks because of other sports productions. You even stated that yourself. You continue to preach that pool can't stand alone.

No network is in business to lose money. However, they would be more willing to take a risk if there is a relationship established where profits have been earned. You all have been able to capitalize on that to the point where pool on TV is becoming more and more popular and can almost stand on it's own at this point.

Although others disagree with me, I feel that had we stayed with Big Fights (and endured the trials and tribulations of dealing with Bill Cayton) we could have earned enough money to put on class productions and catapult pool into the mainstream of television viewers. The down-side is that we may never have been able to get out of the clutches of Cayton, just as I predict that pool in your country will always be connected with Barry Hearn.

Fran

05-01-2002, 11:41 AM
I would rather see the money disappear then see things done wrong. The Sardo Rack DOESN'T WORK! I'm surprised they aren't using elephant balls in Cardiff; they'll pay their money too.

05-01-2002, 11:54 AM
Fran, you are wrong about Big Fights, believe me. You guys would be no better off with them than without them. You're also wrong about having to pay to get a sport on the air. If a sport is popular, it never needs to pay any money to be broadcast.

As for Luke, I don't know what 'naff' means, but whoever came up with the notion that 7 tables was enough to host the biggest pool tournament in the world and hold it over only four days qualifies as a naff in my book (your decision I'm guessing). You say you didn't make 800K at the tournament, how much did you make? I'll bet you a shiny new dime that you'll never make that little tidbit public.

05-01-2002, 12:06 PM
The main issue I have with the Sardo is the financials.

From what I've heard, the Sardo brothers are independently wealthy. They wanted to somehow be connected with the game, so they invented a device that sounded good in theory but in practice turned out to be a total disaster.

Here's my issue: there is no way that sales of the Sardo have recouped anywhere near their sponsorship fees. Aren't they adding around $10,000 per tournament they sponsor? If so, they'll need to sell somewhere on the order of 50 Sardos to break even per tournament. I play in a fairly prominent part of the country for pool, and I have NEVER seen one used in a poolroom.

At some point, sales must justify advertising. Can you imagine Nike spending $10 million, year after year, on a product that has annual sales of $50,000? You can't imagine it because it would never happen.

So my problem, then, is that the Sardo brothers seem to be destroying the game just to be a part of it. And the fact that they're losing all this money is of no consequence to them, because they apparently don't need it.

If my information about their financial situation is wrong, I apologize. But if this is the case, their business practices are quite suspect.

- Steve

bigalerickson
05-01-2002, 01:52 PM
While winner breaks may be the traditional way it is played, I don't think watching a set of nothing but a long strung together racks by one player is really that exciting.

It would be the equivalent of every winner serves in tennis. It doesn't really give teh opponent a totally fair shake to get back on top of their game. Or, another example would winner receives in american football. If you're playing the Rams you may never get the ball. And then you're defense is expected to win the game. That is the exact same as winner breaks in pro 9 ball.

Allow for alternating breaks, and in my opinion a race to seven becomes very interesting.

JMHO.

bigalerickson-one more day of finals.

05-01-2002, 01:52 PM
You folks are all missing the real deal here.

The REAL enemy of pool is US, THE PLAYERS!

Before any of you start pissing and moaning, let me explain. I have seen pool compared to golf many times on this message board as it relates to television coverage. So let's go with that comparison.

First of all we need to establish a string of accepted facts:

1) Money drives everything.
2) Money in television is generated by advertising.
3) Advertising is designed to generate sales.

With this in mind lets look at golf. What do golf advertisers know about golf viewers? Well, first of all they know that overwhelmingly golf viewers are golf PLAYERS. Agreed? And what do the advertisers know about golf PLAYERS? They know that golf players are statistically vastly more affluent than a cross section of society. They know that they drive BMW's and Lexuses and Mercedes and Cadillacs and SUV's and that they buy new ones every 2-3 years. They know that they will spend an average of 700-800 bucks every couple of years on clubs, shoes, grips, bags and balls. They know they have Palm Pilots and that they fly regularly.

These facts make advertisers jump all over themselves trying to be first in line to buy commercial time.

OK, what do advertisers know about POOL PLAYERS? Well, we are no more likely to drive a Cadillac than a Kia Spectra. Our demographics are vague. We are men and women. We are young and old. We are poor and affluent. Some of us drink, some do not. They know that 95% of us will never own our own table, and for those of us who will, it will most likely be a one time only purchase. We buy cues, but even then, probably only one every three to five years, and we will only spend an average of 250 dollars.

Our problem lies in our diversity. And for that reason I don't ever see it changing.

Doctor_D
05-01-2002, 02:29 PM
Good afternoon:

As I have said before, here and with the WPBA, sponsors are NO different then investors who are seeking a return on their investment / sponsorship. Additionally, not to minimize the value of a return on their investment, sponsors want to know that their money is being managed and utilized properly. Poor financial management and/or the lack of adequate financial controls, will keep all the real money at bay.

Dr. D.

05-01-2002, 03:28 PM
There you go saying it again. Do your homework before posting. Jim has no accent of any kind. Americans dont like "foreigners" coming in and showing them up. Thats why Jim is not liked by ESPN. Sorry if the truth hurts.

05-01-2002, 03:29 PM
Yep, I hear ya about Big Fights. It may have been the right decision at the time, but we're all the more poorer for it. I doubt we'll ever see the likes of famous announcers again, like Howard Cosel calling pool matches. Oh well.

As for the popularity thing, I think you're exactly right. That's precisely what I mean. Pool just isn't as popular with the television viewers in this country as other sports. That's why ESPN isn't paying . If we connected with a big sports promoter (like Hearn is in his country) we'd have more leverage to negotiate a better deal.

ESPN and other networks in this country have been consistent with this policy of favors and one hand washing the other, throughout the years.

We didn't get on Wide World of Sports back in the 60's and 70's because pool was popular. We got there because the CEO was a pool buff and pulled a lot of strings to air the shows. I used to have extensive conversations with Cisero Murphy who was a powerful source of information about what was going on during that time. Into the 70's I even saw some of it myself.

Fran

05-01-2002, 03:31 PM
You would rather see the money disappear? WHAT!?!? I know one thing....with the number of greedy pool players out there, you are in the minority with that ridiculous comment. WOW. UNBELIVEABLE

Tom_In_Cincy
05-01-2002, 03:43 PM
I would rather be at the event and watch it live and up close than on the Current TV B.S.

The best way to promote this game is to make sure all the current tour stops and major events are well attended...
Support the committed sponsers and take friends.

05-01-2002, 03:43 PM
OK. You're right. I'm wrong. ESPN hates foreigners. LOL Think about how ridiculous that sounds.

Fran

Tom_In_Cincy
05-01-2002, 03:49 PM
Winner Breaks is not only Traditional.. its a reward.

8 ball and 9 ball are relatively new compared to 14.1... where the only time you Break is in the beginning of the match and its considered a disadvantage by some players.

If 14.1 was the game to determine World Champions, like it was until the mid 60s, Breaking would not even be a discussion thread here.

Watching a Pro player break and run multiple racks is THE most exciting aspect of tournament play.. and some think that its boring?

Alfie
05-01-2002, 06:12 PM
Tom- "If 14.1 was the game to determine World Champions, like it was until the mid 60s, Breaking would not even be a discussion thread here."

Alf- I think it would be. After a few 150 and out title games, it definitely would be.

Tom_In_Cincy
05-01-2002, 06:18 PM
Few? 150 and out is very rare indeed, and in 14.1 it is recent compared to the original format.. it use to be a race to 1500.. over weeks of competition..

The Opening break is what I was referring to.. and its still considered a disadvantage. Unless this is what you might be referring to..

Tom_In_Cincy
05-01-2002, 06:21 PM
Very good point.. advertisers must have a target audience.. we (pool players) are not your average TV viewing public. I like to think of Pool Players as being difficult to categorize.. by the advertizing industry.. difficult to figure out... dark.. and complex..

shojingod
05-01-2002, 07:39 PM
Well there is one thing that everybody likes. SEX.

Why you think they use it so much in advertising.
Why do you think the commercial venues concentrate more on sex appeal then anything.

The fact is we need Jeanette Lee's and more of them. We also need the male equivalent as well.

We need young virile players that look good, that put a clean healthy image to the game.

Ditch the smoking, the drinking, the unhealthy lifestyles.

Get
1. FIT players. physically fit players(some are most are not)
2. Not to be shallow but looks count. They count in the job market and they count in the public eye.

We need to appeal to the young between the age of 19 to 40. Why you may ask? They spend to most. We want more sponsorship that's the group we got to target.

I said it before and I will say it again. FOR GOD SAKE GET RID OF THE CIGARETTE SMOKE. In 2002 people are very carefull about there health. They do not frequent smoking allowed areas no more, they avoid it like the plague. I don't have a single doubt that is the MAJOR problem regarding pool sponsorship.

Not to insult smoking players but you can take any government statistics and do a comparison by percentage between the smoking and the non-smoking population and you will notice that by percentage the smoking population is poorer and less educated then the non-smoking. By percentage

I did a demographic study on this a while back ago.
If my studies are the same as other studies which data companies do and they got the same results the companies that buy this data to determine marketing target stategies will always ignore us.

This is how they view things. P.S. This does not mean I agree with them 100%.

1. Pool = smoking, gambling, obesity, unhealthy = no luck jack
2. Pool = poor demographics, lower class
3. Pool = no youth appeal at all. The young do not put money into it.

We can forget about getting companies like ford, gm, microsoft, etc. No chance in hell.

This message is hard to swallow but we must do it if we want to help this sport anything else we are wasting our time.

bigalerickson
05-01-2002, 08:20 PM
While there may be an entertainment value for those few of us who really appreciate stringing racks and then even sets together. The truth is people want to see action, and competition. The alternating break allows for this.

I watched Jeanette Lee runn seven together at a tournament in New MExico on ESPN, with Allison only getting to the table once or twice. I was eccstatic to be able to see such an exhibition of skill. While my best friend, who plays casually wanted to Allison have a realistic shot at getting back into the game.

Would it not be an exciting event to see two players like Allison and Jeanette trading off racks with their breaks! That would make for great competition, and allow for people to see more of each player.

bigalerickson - 18 more hours until finals are over!!

preacherman
05-01-2002, 09:47 PM
Obviously, best to be in person, but that is far from possible in most cases (due to finances, time, etc.)

Do you not agree, that this is one of the few sports you DON'T see live on TV. Imagine most sports being delayed for months and they too would have a small audience.

Plus imagine most sports only showing the final games, we sure wouldn't like that!

Just wish some how Pool could be on TV in a more normal way - Live and often (more matches leading up to semi-finals and finals).

Jim :-)

05-01-2002, 11:25 PM
Have to come to Fran's defense here. Wych definately does have an accent, as all you folks from southeastern Ontario do. I can say that because I'm Canadian and I know I have an accent, just as do Americans from every single state (and they're all different!).

But in truth, it's not Wych's accent that bothers the higher-ups, its his use of Canadian and British terminology, A and B side instead of winners' and losers', screw instead of draw, 'in off' instead of 'scratch', and so forth. Wych is a friend of mine but don't think for a minute that he has more pool knowledge than say, Allen Hopkins, he doesn't, but he is far and away a better commentator.

05-01-2002, 11:29 PM
Yeah, when the pros played with the cheerleaders on ESPN it probably paid well too, but I'd rather have events like that gone forever then have the money. Pro pool players sell out for events like that and then they're surprised when the game gets no respect.

If you're going to do something, do it right, OR DON'T DO IT.

05-01-2002, 11:39 PM
Actually, what you need to do is get out there in the pool rooms and the CCB message boards and ask the fans of the game what they want to see at tournaments, and what they would pay to see. Too many people worry about what the NON-fan of pool will think when they watch - who cares? They're not watching anyways. Give the fans what they want and they'll come to the tournaments and tune in to the televised matches. There's probably tens of thousands out there who would rather buy an Accu-Stats tape then watch an ESPN telecast because Accu-Stats has what they want to see (and hear) and ESPN doesn't. Simple. You think golf ever cared about the casual viewer? The Golf Channel is built for golf fans. So is the Masters, the US Open etc. etc. As a result, golf fans watch the fricken things.

I mean, take a look at your Sunday matches. You charge people $20 or $50 for the day and for that they get to watch three races to seven? Everything takes hours to get going and when it does it's over before it starts. I don't know if attendance is dwindling for the Sunday matches but if it is it's because your not giving people value for their money. I've been to several women's events and I never go in for the Sunday matches. I bet I'm not alone either.

05-02-2002, 12:10 AM
Strange though that advertisers jump all over things like the WWF and the Jerry Springer show. Not exactly the entertainment of the affulent. Perhaps if we stuck to our roots instead of trying to be something we're not we might have more luck.

Also, women's tennis sells, and there's only one Anna Kournikova (Anna if you're out there, I'm yours), but the rest of the tour aren't exactly models. Same with golf. John Daly is one of the most popular golfers on the tour but he's not exactly built like a Greek God (more like a god damn Greek!).

The long and the short of it, there's no one-trick answer. Start presenting the game as it's really played and make at least the fans who appreciate that happy. If the game really has a future the rest of the fans will come.

05-02-2002, 12:39 AM
Yes, I agree that they should be polling everyone who plays or watches pool. It'll definitely give them a sampling of what people want. But they're still going to need to attract another couple of million viewers to ever expect to get paid for pool productions if they're going to try to make it without the help of the right contacts and connections.

Fran

05-02-2002, 12:45 AM
I agree bigalerickson. Alternate breaks are the way to make it fairer and more exciting. The only way to make the game 100% fair to both competitors is to do what the tennis players do and make it a race that must be won with an advantage of 2 games.

This has the added benefit of allowing fairer shorter games aswell which is good for TV.

I would never participate in a major tourney that is a race to 5 with winner breaks, cause I got a 50% chance of sitting on my ass the whole time and not get a shot. Now change it to a race to 5 that has to be won by 2 games with alternate breaking and I will be in cause its based on my skill and performance. NO ONE CAN WIN SUCH A FORMAT WITHOUT THE OTHER PERSON STUFFING A SHOT FIRST WHICH MAKES IT THE ONLY FAIR OPTION IN A GAME OF PERFECTION. As long as I shoot 100% of my shots the other person can not walk away victor, nor can I walk away victor until my opponent has stuffed up. Think about how exciting those games of tennis are when the last game in the set (the one played without a tie-breaker) goes on forever into the 20's. Assuming both players are shooting perfectly you could have a final being decided in the 40th game. The format forces one of the players to make a mistake before it can be decided.

Sorry to go ranting about this, but it is the only solution I can see to make games fair and exciting.

05-02-2002, 12:51 AM
Naff means something similar to tacky. The event is not over four days, it's over nine; the round robin section where 128 players are reduced to 64 is played over four days. Each player plays seven race to five alternate breaks and the top four in each group of eight progress to the next round.Why don't you save up and come to Cardiff this summer ( 13 -21 July )? A good time is guaranteed.. oh, and tickets are free.


Luke Riches
Matchroom Sport

bigalerickson
05-02-2002, 01:46 AM
At least there is one guy with me!!

Much thanks and props!!!

bigalerickson - 14 hours left of finals

05-02-2002, 08:36 AM
I take exception to your statement that Pool should have no World Championships. It is a global sport, and has much more right to be showcased by global representation than say....oh i don't know.....Your World Series of Baseball. Know THAT'S a joke. I can't tell you what an insult to any normal persons intelligence that misinformation means. St ~~lives in that grey area on your map north of the 49th parrallel~~

cheesemouse
05-02-2002, 08:53 AM
dinovirus,
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Perhaps if we stuck to our roots instead of trying to be something we're not we might have more luck.<hr></blockquote>
I kind of agree here with 'dino' in that pool has tried to take the big step into Network TV and it wasn't ready for the the big tent.
I think the powers that be in pool should stop whoring out to the likes and tastes of the ESPN crowd and let the game stand on it's own, let the characters show and their storys be told; let the truth be known about how tough it is to a pool champion. Lower the sights on TV presentation to cable and let the truely addicted seek out that coverage however they can. Tell ESPN to kiss off till they start ESPN VI:" THE POOL CHANNEL"
I know this is not a popular view with the pool purists but dino's correct in this respect, trying explain John Daley popularity where he has done everything wrong according to the kiss asses but the people love to see him in the hunt warts and all. In other words let Earl be the [censored] that he truely is.....if you always tell the truth you never have to appologize or remember what you said.

~~~back to my hole~~~ /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

05-02-2002, 09:51 AM
Oh please. You wouldn't enter a tournament that was R25 winner breaks because you might have to sit out the whole match?? I on the other hand would because I could make someone sit out the whole match.

How is alternate breaking fair? I'm playing a guy, he misses the seven. I long bank it, bring the cue ball around three rails, make a nut cutter on the eight ball then slice in the nine. My reward? I get to rack and watch my opponent make the nine on the break. When you play nine ball and you make a bad shot, you should have to sit out for as many racks as your opponent can hang on you. THAT'S THE GAME. That's what 14.1 players have to fade and that's what true pool players prefer. The only ones who want alternate breaks are the ones who can't hack the winner break format.

And, truth be told, the break isn't that much of an advantage playing nine ball. You know how many times I've heard of someone running out a decent length set? Twice. Earl did it for the million (11 racks) and Johnny did it gambling (13 racks). The break is a much bigger advantage in one pocket than it is in nine ball, and that's why they alternate in one pocket. Pat Fleming once tracked the breaking stats on the pro tour for an entire year and discovered that, except for the best breakers in the world (Archer, Strickland and Bustamante), the NON-Breaker actually won more games than the breaker. That's nowhere close to the advantage the server has in tennis. Hell Pete Sampras has gone through tournaments without losing a game on his serve.

What's truly amazing here though is that pool has been played in tournaments for some 50 years and we're still here arguing about what the rules should be. What's wrong with that picture?

Alfie
05-02-2002, 09:51 AM
Quote dinovirus: "As for Luke, I don't know what 'naff' means, but ..."

http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=naff

Quote dinovirus: "You say you didn't make 800K at the tournament, how much did you make? I'll bet you a shiny new dime that you'll never make that little tidbit public."

Well, of course not. No matter what figure is given, they will look to many as being either dupes or greedy. It's a no win situation.

BTW, where did YOU get that figure?

As far as this particular matter goes (800K), it's only reasonable to put no stock in what either of you have to say. What difference does it make anyway?

IMO

Alfie
05-02-2002, 11:00 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr> [concerning winner breaks]
That's what 14.1 players have to fade and that's what true pool players prefer.

The only ones who want alternate breaks are the ones who can't hack the winner break format. <hr></blockquote>
Two Ad Hominem zingers? Taking the emotional path does not help your case.

shojingod
05-02-2002, 11:01 AM
WWF is a fighting opera and women tennis does have sex appeal.

Pool as it stands is not in a good position.

Doctor_D
05-02-2002, 11:03 AM
Good afternoon:

The W.W.F, from my biased opinion, is pure entertainment for those who dig the "sport" of entertainment wrestling. Incredible how, with a little imagination and a great deal of determination, something so fabricated can become such a phenomenal success !!!

Dr. D.

05-02-2002, 11:50 AM
Well well. Dino, I think you got what you bargained for here. Very impressive. I don't think I have much to add to the last four pages, except to say that, while Wych ( Wytch?) may be phenomonally popular in his home country (where ever THAT may be) the fact is that after enduring one match with his commentary, I ran to the computer and fired off a letter to ESPN BEGGING them not to inflict him upon the WPBA again. Sorry, but he makes all the rest look bearable.
One more thought..... we all seem to know what's wrong with pool, but whom do you propose can make it right? And how? My opinion, for what it's worth is that we can have these discussions ad- nauseum, but it's kind of like the two party political system. Change is ALWAYS effected by a small grassroots effort that makes sense, appeals to a majority, and works. Of course, that effort, once grown and powerful, becomes subverted by the greedy and power hungry, thus necessitating a whole new cycle, but what the hell.......

05-02-2002, 03:29 PM
You hit the nail on the head when it comes to the Sardo brothers. Don't get me wrong, they're all nice guys and I like them, but their invention is doing horrible things to the game.

As for the detractors of my thoughts. I'll put it simply, I feel the way I do because I am a player who plays in the tournaments, and as such, I would rather things weren't done than done poorly. I felt the same way about the MPBA and the same way about the Camel Tour. Those that have the "it's better to be doing something bad than nothing" attitude are selling out for the short term gain, in my opinion. Take the Japan tournament, for example - they put up a million bucks for a tournament and then paid no attention to how it was organized, set up or run. They could have put 500K into the tournament and then spent another 500K on everything else and been three times as successful, and had three times a more positive impact in the game.

The ONLY tournament that I've been to that is what it tries to be and qualifies as a success in my opinion is the Derby City Classic. If only there were more around like that.

05-02-2002, 03:50 PM
You hit the nail on the head Alfie. Fran Crimi used to be quite credible in my mind but after her comments lately I'm not so sure. Dinovirus is just shooting airbarrels and hoping for a response. He is in the minority on his opinions and he doesn't it.

Tom_In_Cincy
05-02-2002, 04:22 PM
Pool has always been regarded as a game that the only time you stop shoting, is when you miss.

Is this a difficult thing to understand.
THE ONLY TIME YOU LOOSE YOUR TURN AT THE TABLE IS WHEN YOU MISS.

Its always been this way.. The only time you give up the table is when you miss...

Winner Breaks is nothing more than a continuous turn at the table, because you have not missed.

Why is this so difficult to understand?

Does anyone think that you should give up the table because you DIDN'T MISS?

Tom_In_Cincy
05-02-2002, 04:27 PM
Mike,
Alternate Breaks are not the way to go.
When you miss, that's when you give up the table.

Your turn at the table lasts as long as you can continue making balls.

You don't change the rules because you want more TV coverage.. That's a sellout.. and cheapens everything about pool..

Tom_In_Cincy
05-02-2002, 04:46 PM
Sad, but True..

Billiards in the USA is never going to be able to compete with the NBA, MLB, NFL or the NHL.. too much exposure.. nothing has a chance to squeeze into those TV times.

Did you know that the only two days of the year that there are absolutely NO MAJOR League sports events are the day before and the day after the Baseball All-Star game..

Tom_In_Cincy
05-02-2002, 04:52 PM
There is a plan in the works to have a Derby City Classic type event here in Cincinnati.. Maybe the Quenn City Rumble.. 8, 9, Banks, one pocket and 14.1 all round tournament..

preacherman
05-02-2002, 06:28 PM
Other sports other than NBA, MLB, NFL or the NHL have made their way into TV with a lot more coverage than Pool. I still think there must be a way for pool to get more coverage. I mean look at some other sports you see regularly on TV other than Basketball, Baseball, Football and Hockey. If they could make it with good coverage why not POOL!?

05-02-2002, 07:29 PM
Hey DinoVirus,

You don't seem to understand my point on the advantage of 2 in a race to 5. Lets go over the two different rule sets in a hypothetical situation so you can understand. Just say you have two players A &amp; B. A is an absolute god of the game (think Earl) and B is a good pro but nothing special. Both are well and truly capable of running out 5 games.

Now with winner breaks: A &amp; B lag - both up near the cushion but B is the winner by 3mm. B goes onto run 5 racks and wins because the better player didn't get a shot. Did this game need to be played?? I don't think so, the players should have elected just to lag to see who goes onto the next round and forget about the game.

Now with alternate breaks with an advantage of two - B still wins the lag. B breaks and runs, b1-0. A breaks and runs, 1-1. B runs, 2-1. A runs, 2-2. Both keep running till 4-4 (would be hill-hill but its not cause they need an adv of two). B runs 5-4, A runs 5-5. THE MATCH KEEPS GOING AS LONG AS BOTH PLAYERS KEEP RUNNING UNTIL THERE IS A BREAK IN PERFECTION. B&amp;A both run their breaks 6-6. B breaks and nocks in up to the 7 and hooks himself, fouling, this point being the break in perfection. Score now A7-B6 with A breaking to give himself a two point lead. A runs and wins 8-6.

In hind sight we can now see that A was capable of running 8 racks (maybe more) and B was only capable of running 6 racks which is where we saw him faulter. Thus the truely better player has been declared winner - AND YOU SAY THAT THIS FORMAT ISN'T FAIR???

NOT ONLY THAT BUT WE SEE MORE RACKS STRUNG TOGETHER (granted they have a game break in between but who cares) THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IN A RACE TO 5, IE ALTERNATIVE BREAKING WITH A 2 GAME AD MAKING IT MORE EXCITING AND MORE NAIL BITING WHICH HAS TO BE GOOD FOR THE GAME!!!! &lt;please excuse my caps use but I get very exciting when talking about pools optimal tourney format&gt;.

Please no more "its been done this way for 50 years" junk - its just not an argument. We are talking about improving the game here and winner breaks is an obvious current down fall for all the above reasons.

To quote you:

"The only ones who want alternate breaks are the ones who can't hack the winner break format"

From my above example you can see that alternative breaks with an adv of 2 is an even tougher format than winner breaks so I could say the exact same back to you. In fact while I'm ranting I will:

THE ONLY ONES WHO WANT WINNER BREAKS ARE THE ONES WHO CAN'T HACK THE ALTERNATE BREAKS WITH AN ADVANTAGE OF TWO.

Also Dinovirus, how can someone who attacks the sardo rack go on and say that "the break isn't that much of an advantage playing nine ball".

Please forgive my attacking nature in this post, its nothing personal, I love pool and every thing I say is in the interests of improving the game and its image.

05-02-2002, 08:49 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: dinovirus:</font><hr>

And, truth be told, the break isn't that much of an advantage playing nine ball. <hr></blockquote>


Well you managed to put your foot in your mouth with this statement.

The break is THE most important shot in 9-ball especially when playing after hours pool imo.

Why?

Because it's the first shot and who in their right mind doesn't want the first shot?

A fool and a loser that's who,regardless of Pat Fleming's stats.

There are other reasons unbeknownst to the regular Joe that professional rackers/breakers can work a 9-ball rack to or against their advantage whenever they want(the majority of the time).The unknowing are dearly at their mercy dinovirus.FACT.BS

05-02-2002, 11:50 PM
I don't know... with the current rules of 9-ball, IMO it doesn't really matter if it's winner breaks or not. The game is inherently flawed because of the luck factor on the break (that is, making a ball).

True skill will only be determined at 9-ball if they switch to a format of break, and regardless if a ball is made or not, the breaker shoots again. With this format, alternating the break might make more sense.

Of course, since there's no chance of this format ever catching on, we might as well stick with the status quo.

- Steve Lipsky

05-03-2002, 02:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> The game is inherently flawed because of the luck factor on the break (that is, making a ball)

<hr></blockquote>

Well sort of but since Sardo arrived more people are waking up to *playing* a ball on the break than ever before.Most everyone now knows with the Sardo how easy it is to pocket the wing ball with the one on the spot.

Without Sardo though,your winning percentages greatly increase if you know how to properly rack for yourself and/or know how to read your opponents rack(if he insists to rack your balls).Knowing your best chance of pocketing the wing ball(or the one in the side) and continuing is a huge advantage.If you're able to spot consistency in making the wing ball you can even start playing position now.There is nothing hanky panky or immoral about having this knowledge over your opponents unawareness(the player who hits 'em and hopes).Frozen and not frozen balls are readable in a 9-ball rack.I just figure that I've did a better job with my homework.

You want the first shot ... or at least I do.BS

CarolNYC
05-03-2002, 03:03 AM
Hi there,
I hate to say it, but I think pool is your own biggest enemy:)
Carol

MikeM
05-03-2002, 06:34 AM
Yes it is very boring if I want to see the player who is sitting get to shoot. If I am watching a "competition" I want to see both competitors compete. It's more of an exhibition if there is only one player playing.

MM

MikeM
05-03-2002, 06:47 AM
Every sport that's worth a damn changes it's rules as necessary. The NFL has a rules committee that makes changes almost every year. Games evolve over time. Technology changes, the participants change and TV changes everything. Just because something has always been a certain way doesn't mean it's the right way.

In your scenario, your reward is that you win the game. Apparently you missed in that rack, so your penalty wasn't all that severe either.

I don't even play competetive nine ball, so I'm not for alternate breaks "because I can't hack" winner breaks (I can't hack playing good players, but that's beside the point). I am commenting as a spectator. I want to see both players shoot. Imagine how boring a Sampras match would be if he never had to give up his serve.

MM

MikeM
05-03-2002, 07:12 AM
Dino,

You are way off here. Golf goes hard after they non-golfing TV viewer. Have you noticed a particular player named Woods and the marketing around him? Not his ad contracts, but the network promos. The Golf Channel is indeed targeted at the golfer but, do you think it gets anywhere near the ratings of The Masters? I don't golf but I watch golf to see how Tiger will play, to see if Mickelson will choke, to see if Garcia will reach his full potential. All because i know these guys from the amount of exposure and marketing they get. If the general public knew how much fun it is to watch a Vivian Villareal/Jeannette Lee match or how much of a maestro Efren Reyes is you would get a lot of casual fans tuning in.

What is the number one TV sport in America? How many people play tackle football in this country? Hockey does pretty well on TV too. Not too many hockey players here in the states.

Pool needs to reach the casual fans to get to the big money. Once they get that then tournament pool will improve.

And judging by the Sunday final at Valley Forge, there's no problem filling the seats. The place was packed to see three matches. Only one of them was really competetive but it was worth the money IMO.

BTW, why don't you register Dinovirus. Your posts are very well written and get lots of response. You're a valubale asset. I hope you stick around.

MM

MikeM
05-03-2002, 07:56 AM
I agree. I've said in earlier posts re: Sardo etc. that you shouldn't make changes just for more money.

But, I think alternating breaks is the better format. Not because I want more TV coverage, but when I am watching a race to seven on TV I'd like to see both players shoot. The finals in Valley Forge are a priime example of why I don't like winner breaks. Allison was awesome and Karen only got a few shots at the table and really only one makeable one. It was over at 7-1 and alternating breaks would have assured us of a few more games. I still think Allison would have won, she was so sharp that week. I jsut want to see more pool. JMO, I don't expect to change any one's mind.

MM

05-03-2002, 10:14 AM
I knew I shouldn't have gotten involved with this board.

Anyways, I tend to agree with the earlier post where someone said that you don't have to give up the table until you miss. I don't know where you come up with the notion that if someone wins the lag and puts out a five pack to win the match that the match wasn't worth playing. I'll bet that if such a thing happened in your local poolroom the rail would love it.

However, regardless of whether you play winner or alternating win by 2, a race to five is just too short for any championship competition. Let's look at your scenario in a R-13, where P1 opened with a six pack, only to have P2 return with an eight pack. I saw a match like that at the Sands, and the audience went nuts. I've never seen the audience go nuts at an alternate break tournament.

Furthermore, I never said that the break wasn't an advantage - Pat Fleming did, and I repeated it. Regardless, I don't see the correlation between that point and my hatred of the Sardo Rack. At the BCA tournament next week they'll be using the SR and playing alternate breaks, with the one ball racked on the spot (as a sidenote, whoever came up with the idea that the nine should be on the spot should be drawn and quartered) because they want to fade the complaints like they had at the US Open, but they don't want to pass up on the Sardo money.

Futhermore, I presented the idea of a tennis style match to this board about three years ago and got hacked to pieces. Not long after we went to Florida and played in a tournament with just that format and everyone in the event hated it - especially the audience.

The best solution to the breaking/racking dilemma is to simply throw that shiny blue ten ball out there, but no one seems to want to do that. I can't say why though.

05-03-2002, 10:24 AM
Sure those sports go after the casual viewers, but they don't do it at the expense of their existing ones. Believe me, I know hundreds of people who are diehard fans of the game and won't watch a televised pool match. Meanwhile they all have hundreds of Accu-stats tapes. I don't know too many football fans who won't watch it on television, in fact I don't know any. Same with golf, tennis, volleyball and lawn bowling. Pool is unique in that respect, IMHO.

Tom_In_Cincy
05-03-2002, 03:57 PM
Yes Mike.. its an exhibition of excellence.. you don't get to see very often.. YOU SHOOT TILL YOU MISS... this is pool

MikeM
05-03-2002, 10:31 PM
So are you saying you should shoot 'til you miss???


:&gt;)

MM