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View Full Version : "Moral dilemma" (opinions wanted)



heater451
05-06-2002, 06:33 PM
Okay, I've been thinking about this for a little while, and I thought I'd toss it out, and see what the board has to say:

I recently started playing tournaments, in order to increase my competitive edge.

Previously, I've always played for fun, including league (I don't really consider league play as full competition). Because of this, I also always drank--I considered it a side-effect of playing in bars (over pool halls, if you can appreciate the difference).

Well, since I generally play (and drink) much less than I used to, alcohol has a more detrimental effect on my game than before. I rarely have more than three drinks--and two is the norm--but I'm thinking about dropping it all together for the weekly tourneys.

This brings me to my problem. . . .Since the tourneys are often only $10-15 to buy in and most of it is supposed to go in the pot, I feel like I'm not supporting the places I go very much, especially since I'm not a regular at any of them (not incl. the place I play on league). Should I feel guilty, about not drinking/spending? Heck, sometimes I eat at these places, more to "give something back" than because I'm hungry (and I know there's not much margin in the food).

I know that many people show up a tourneys, just to make a grab for the cash, and this is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I mean, if everyone did that, then why would any place want to host a tourney?--I can't believe that they make that much $ from hosting. And, why would regs want to play (they are usually the ones who will still drink and play), if anyone can come in, throw in a pittance, and walk out with the cash, w/o caring about the place enough to support it?

After all, I realize that these places need to make money, and I like to do my part, but I'm not sure what I can do, besides pay for drinks that I may not need/want. It's not realistic to become a regular at these places, since I have other places I could go that are closer (not to mention the table in the basement).

Am I ridiculous for even thinking this way?

I'm really interested in what any hall owners have to say on this, but wonder what the rest of you think.

stickman
05-06-2002, 06:48 PM
I personally wouldn't feel guilty at all. I used to drink fairly heavily. I never was a trouble type, just happy. Anyway, I don't drink now. Sometimes all I buy is a $.75 Sprite. There are enough others that drink like I used to, to make up for me. It took me a while to get used to playing pool without beer. Beer always helped to take the nerves away.

Nostroke
05-06-2002, 07:17 PM
Simple-Just find an excuse to buy a round of drinks for some group and u stick to Coke

jjinfla
05-06-2002, 07:26 PM
Hi Heater, I thought I was the only one feeling like that. If I win I'll buy a few drinks for some of the players and give the bar maid $5. You can always stop at the pool hall when there is no tournament and use some of your winnings to pay for table time. But if you are not in the money then you shouldn't be concerned. Spend some money on food and pop and enjoy the night out. Jake~~~can't believe people pay $3.50 for a shot of booze and $4.00 for a pack of cigs and don't understand why they are always broke.

Troy
05-06-2002, 07:32 PM
Don't worry too much about it. Buy a few sodas or bottles of water -- there's almost as much margin for the owner.

rackmup
05-06-2002, 07:50 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr> (and I know there's not much margin in the food).
<hr></blockquote>

Not true my naive friend! There is a BIG margin in food and beverage. That $3.00 Draft beer costs the establishment FAR less than that. So does the frozen fries and chicken wings.

Now, with this next statement, I speak for my area only: A part of our entry fees go back to the room as "greens fees."

Another part of it goes to the TD or the room is PAYING HIM/HER TO HOST THE WEEKLY TOURNEY!

Shed the guilt my honorable friend...buy yourself a few Cokes, grab some over-priced-under-cooked wings and play my brother, PLAY!

Regards,

Ken (hates the "Roto-Fryer" foods I am FORCED to endure here in Texas!)

Tom_In_Cincy
05-06-2002, 07:50 PM
Nothing stopping you from having a few after the tournament. Or even buying the Room owner one.

Guilty is only because you have changed a pattern. Change the pattern again and loose the guilt.

cheesemouse
05-06-2002, 08:06 PM
heater451,
jjinfla has the answer. You can take your quilt and turn it into tips for the service people and they will love you and they won't care what your drinking cause they live off their tips. Most of the time the people servicing you are not sharing in the profits of the products. If you are considerate and friendly they will welcome your coming through the doorway.

05-06-2002, 08:19 PM
Heater, I'm going to get a little gabby here. I understand your feeling - none of us wants to be regarded as a freeloader. We like to feel we are paying our own way. In this case, my understanding is that the prize money is mostly, or entirely, from entry fees. And, since you are playing in bars, you must be playing on bar tables and putting up coins to get the balls out. If so, there's no freeloading there. The proprietor is putting on this promotion for any of various reasons. Probably he wants to get more people into his joint. Simple arithmetic tells us that if you get sixty people into your place instead of fourteen, you will probably take in more money. He hopes each of them will spend $85, (but he knows most of them will not), and none of them owe it to him. He takes a calculated risk, and if he doesn't like the result he won't do it any more.

If you don't want to buy any drinks, then don't. If you can arrange to buy some food that you really want, that's fine. Don't worry about his markup - that's his business.

Be a cheerful customer and be a tipper. That's nearly always a good idea. It doesn't take a lot, but cultivate the good will of the help, and they will always be glad to see you, and perhaps will put in a good word for you if it's needed. Don't be apologetic about this matter, and don't lose any sleep over it. I doubt that anything will ever be said about your spending habits, but if it is, then cross this joint off your schedule. If the guy doesn't want you in his place, you don't want to be there anyway.

Sid_Vicious
05-06-2002, 08:31 PM
Here's what I'd do, buy cokes or water and tip. Our place makes good profit off of the beverages no matter the alcohol content, and the waitresses need to be fed. I'd have no problem not consuming except for the fact that I like it too much...sid

JimS
05-06-2002, 09:38 PM
I don't drink and have felt the same way while in league or in tournaments so I always spend money on something, Pepsi, food, water, coffee...never take a free refill of coffee. A couple of times they didn't have Pepsi so I took my own in and forced the bartender to take $5 because what I was doing just wasn't right.

WaltVA
05-06-2002, 09:45 PM
About the time I quit drinking I acquired a heavy-duty coffee habit. An owner told me his profit margin on coffee and sodas was higher than on alcohol, so at 10-15 cups a session plus tips, I quit feeling guilty and started enjoying the improvement in my game. With generous tipping, the wait staff will always be glad to see you, no matter what you drink. Skip the guilt and enjoy!

Walt in VA

Troy
05-06-2002, 09:50 PM
OK Ken, you say the TD gets "part of it" and I appreciate that. In your opinion, what does the TD get for a weekly $15.00 entry fee 9-Ball handicap tourney, single elim, race to 5 ??? Hint == House gets $1.00 per player.

Troy

PS... That beer (Bud, MGD) costs about 45-50 cents, 16 oz draft or 12 oz bottle.
That 16 oz soda from a fountain (Coke, Pepsi) costs about 10-15 cents.
I can't make good guesstimates on the food, not my area.

&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class=&amp;quot;small&amp;quot;&gt;Quote: rackmup:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; (and I know there's not much margin in the food).
&lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Not true my naive friend! There is a BIG margin in food and beverage. That $3.00 Draft beer costs the establishment FAR less than that. So does the frozen fries and chicken wings.

Now, with this next statement, I speak for my area only: A part of our entry fees go back to the room as "greens fees."

Another part of it goes to the TD or the room is PAYING HIM/HER TO HOST THE WEEKLY TOURNEY!

Shed the guilt my honorable friend...buy yourself a few Cokes, grab some over-priced-under-cooked wings and play my brother, PLAY!

Regards,

Ken (hates the "Roto-Fryer" foods I am FORCED to endure here in Texas!) &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

Rod
05-06-2002, 10:23 PM
Heater, as a former room owner I expected and got some people that spent very little. It never bothered me, usually those people brought in others that did. It all balances out in the end.

05-06-2002, 11:16 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: rackmup:</font><hr>Regards,Ken (hates the "Roto-Fryer" foods I am FORCED to endure here in Texas!)<hr></blockquote>

forced???

you really don't seem to be bonding with the great state.

dan

CarolNYC
05-07-2002, 02:35 AM
Hi there,
I assume your tournaments are for money and the entry fees are only 10-15$-personally, drinking does not give a clear mind,although I have seen some peole drink and play very well-your pool owner should not be upset-buying water bottles or food should cover costs of any drinks and if they do have a problem with you NOT buying drinks, they shouldnt run tournaments! Just my opinion!
Good luck!
Carol

TomBrooklyn
05-07-2002, 08:06 AM
By entering the tournement you increase the pot which makes the tournement that much more attractive to all the other players. Some of them will inevitably buy a little more or play a little more there because of that. That is a contribution by itself.

05-07-2002, 09:14 AM
You sound like a nice person to think that way. If you're alive and breathing and in the room, you're a potential income-bringer, even though you may not personally be shelling out money. For example, you could be a messinger. You tell others about the tournament, they come and spend money on food and drink. Getting the word out about a place is just as valuable to a room owner as you spending money there yourself.

Fran

05-07-2002, 09:44 AM
Heater, the fact that you even consider the room owner and have the conscience to post this on the board exhibits alot of class on your part. As the owner of a non-alcoholic room here, we have a number of players that participate regularly in our weekly $10 tourney that rarely purchase more than a soda and rarely ever show up to practice by themselves or to bring in other customers between the weekly tourneys.

Yes, it would be nice if they at least occasionally came in between tourneys, spent more money in here and/or brought in new customers or tourney players once in a while - however the fact that they show up regularly and support our weekly tourney is in itself very important and appreciated by us room owners.

I wouldn't feel bad about not buying alcoholic beverages and/or food - particularly if you don't drink. It would however bother me if we served alcohol and the tourney players (or anyone else for that matter) made frequent trips to their vehicles in the parking lot to drink their own - rather than purchasing the drinks in the bar. - Chris in NC

05-07-2002, 10:09 AM
To add to my post (after reading all the other responses), I can't stress enough the importance of generously taking care of / tipping the wait staff - even if you're just getting sodas or a complimentary cup of water. Believe me the wait staff knows who does and who doesn't - and it's surely appreciated. As the owner who is always here as well, I notice and greatly appreciate those that support our wait staff - to help make up for those that don't. - Chris in NC

Barbara
05-07-2002, 10:21 AM
You stated the same reasons why my local PH stopped hosting weekly tournies.

Guys would come from all around, wait until the free practice time to hit a few, pay up, play, win their monies, and then split without spending any real cash in the room.

Barbara

05-07-2002, 10:21 AM
We have to support the local bars in order to have a place to play tournaments. This can be done in many ways without induldging in the 90 proof "aiming fluid". Tip within reason for your water or pop, put a few dollars into the jukebox or like i always do, send some of the "nector of the gods" over to the strongest competition.
Remember, bar owners must show a profit. I would prefer to show support in some way than have them hold a precentage of the entry fee or tack on outrageous green fees.

05-07-2002, 10:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Anonymous:</font><hr> To add to my post (after reading all the other responses), I can't stress enough the importance of generously taking care of / tipping the wait staff - even if you're just getting sodas or a complimentary cup of water. <hr></blockquote>

Actually, I think you should tip *more generously* if you are just drinking coke or free water. When I am playing seriously, I will usually just drink iced tea or water. Giving 15 percent on a $5.00 tab is being cheap (whereas 15 percent on $30.00 is not). After all, it is no less work for the waitress to bring you water than to bring you beer.

Regards,

Gideon

05-07-2002, 12:23 PM

Barbara
05-07-2002, 01:44 PM
The tournaments were single elim, race to 5 or 7, depending on the field size, and no handicaps.

Lots of serious hitters in the room and from the area.

Barbara

Cuemage
05-07-2002, 05:32 PM
I used to own a bar &amp; grill with pool tables, so I have seen both sides of the coin.
As a player, here are some of the ways I support poolhalls I frequent.
- I try to make as many tournaments as possible (I also quit league play)
- I try to plan on having my meal at the poolhall if they serve food
- I do not mix alcohol &amp; serious pool...but when I get knocked out, or if I'm done for the day, I will drink alcohol
- I bring my wife to dinner occassionally, even though she is not of the pool world
- I give $2 to the waitress that served me a $1 beverage
- I add my pool time to my drink/meal tab &amp; tip from that total
- I tip the people running the counter
- I buys accessories (even cues) from the room owner even though I could get it cheaper from Mueller Sporting Goods
- I buy shirts from the room owner
- I try to bring another person to each tournament I play in
- when I'm practicing, I buy a round for my league buddies

Well, that's all I can think of for now...I went through that same dilema when I got serious about my game. I don't think you can shoot your best game with alcohol in your sytem.
I end on a quote from Eva Laurance...she was being interviewed by David Letterman (I think)when he casually asked for a round of beer for the two of them to make it seem like home (a poolhall). She answered him: "I don't drink David...I'm an athelete..."
If your serious about getting better, don't mix the two. Save alcohol for the social times.

Tha Cuemage

Cuemage
05-07-2002, 05:45 PM
I once won a lil tourney near here where I trounced everybody...I prob shouldn't have played in it, but I had been invited by a regular. The regulars started to get mad b/c I was running out on them without giving them a chance to win. I felt so bad, I gave a third of the winnings back to the owner.

Tha Cuemage

Chris Cass
05-08-2002, 06:28 AM
Hi Heater,

I wouldn't feel obligated to spend money unless you feel your a lump. I would just by a coke and take care of the bartender.

At the ph there's people that come in and don't spend dime one. They'll sit there and watch us play all day and comment on every shot. Hit balls and not get on the clock while others are playing 9ball. They come over and take the 6balls left and bang them around on another table.

Then, they'll ask for ice water from the lady at the kitchen and go in the bar for free popcorn. Then, these railbirds will ask you about tourney's coming up and would never even think about entering the event. Bum a smoke burp, pass gas and tell others what they think of your game. That's what I call a lump. Now, what was the question again?

Regards,

C.C.