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SecaucusFats
12-08-2004, 12:20 PM
Last night during APA league I finally blew my top about the poor service from the wait staff at the pool hall. The room is very nice, and being located in a mall it offers plenty of convenient parking..but the service absolutely SUCKS! I have been putting up with it for a long time, and I have heard many other players griping about it, but up until last night I had not complained about it.

How bad is the service? Well, let's see..wait times of 30 (or more) minutes for a beer or soda, ashtrays that do not get emptied until they are overflowing (and then they are only emptied when you point it out to the wait person. Servers who hang out together by the rail birds bs'ing and having a good old time while players that are thirsty or hungry go unattended. The staff just doesn't have a clue about how to do their jobs efficiently and in any case I really don't think they give a rat's behind.

Here is what happened last night:
I got to the hall at 7 PM (one hour before league start). I found my team's assigned table and requested that the lights be turned on, the bar person did not ask me if I would care for a drink, or something to eat (par for the course). Forty minutes later I walked up to the bar and asked if there was a wait person available and was told "Uh, yeah sure. She'll be right there". 15 minutes later a young lady shows up and says "Hi I'm so and so and I'll be your hostess, what can I get you?" I asked for an Absolut mandarin chilled no rocks and an Amstel. 30 minutes later (after league had begun) I still don't have my drinks, so I look around for the hostess and she's nowhere to be found. I spot a young male "host" and explain the situation and he says "Sorry about that, I'll get your order for you and I'll be your host". 20 minutes later he shows up with my drinks. An hour later and long after I'd finished my drinks (seeing as the host has not returned to see if I would care for anything else) I manage to get the attention of a third female hostess and ask her for another Amstel and she says "OK". Now the hostess turns around and begins talking to another player about a party she went to and how the guys were all dancing "really stupid corny" and blah, blah, blah, blah.

Now I'm starting to get really hot under the collar, but I still want to be nice so I don't say anything, and finally she goes up to the bar. 10 minutes later she returns from the service bar with one beer for a guy at a table near mine, then she goes back to the bar and laughs and giggles while flirting with some guys hanging by the rail for 10 minutes. Now she gets two drinks and brings them to another table and then goes back to BS'ing with the guys. Finally I spot the male host and I just lost it. I turned to this young man and I said "I have been a regular customer here for over two years. I drop $50 to $70 (food / beverage) bucks not including a very nice tip every league night, and I come in another 3 to 4 times a week on top of that and spend more money. There's two things I love: pool and cold beer, and I want them together. I don't like getting jerked around by a bunch of lazy ass-wipes and I want my godamned beer NOW! Do you understand?" Five minutes later the femae hostess comes with my beer, and rather than being apologetic she carries on about how busy she is and on and on. I told her that if she was so busy why was she shooting the breeze? And why could she not have brought me my beer when she brought the beer for the guy near me or for the other table? She turns around and says "Well if you don't want to you don't have to leave a tip". Since I had already played my match I said "Get my check, I'm outta here!". I grabbed my gear, paid the bill, left no tip and headed home.

The owner of the pool hall (Herbert's in Secaucus, NJ)was not there, or I would have spoken to him about this. The location is very high rent and the food and beverage sales are the key to its profitability. I figure the owner could increase his food and beverage sales 100% if he hired a manager who really knows how to run the joint and if he could get staff that would be willing to work. I will speak to the owner about this situation tonight and I will let him know that unless service improves I will not be coming back after the league session ends.

Anyway.. sorry about the rant I just wanted to vent. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

SF

SpiderMan
12-08-2004, 12:36 PM
I don't understand how the owner could not be aware of this. It's as bad a service story as I've ever heard, at least regarding a supposedly "upscale" bar. Around here, it seems club managers' compensation is at least partly based on sales. Maybe not there?

SpiderMan

crawdaddio
12-08-2004, 12:37 PM
The Jillian's here in town is the same way, I have gotten used to it, and I just go to the bar when I want something. It is infamous around here as THE worst service in town. I agree, though, it really ticks you off sometimes..............

~DC

SecaucusFats
12-08-2004, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr> I don't understand how the owner could not be aware of this. It's as bad a service story as I've ever heard, at least regarding a supposedly "upscale" bar. Around here, it seems club managers' compensation is at least partly based on sales. Maybe not there?

SpiderMan <hr /></blockquote>

A big part of the problem is that the owner (Mel), or his wife (Meredith) are never there at night. I don't know if the manager's compensation is linked to the sales, but I will suggest it to the owner tonight.

The real shame is that I know of at least two dozen individuals who have taken their business elsewhere because of the poor service. It's crazy. People want to spend money but no one seems to want it!

Thanks for the input, Spider.

SF

Jude_Rosenstock
12-08-2004, 01:01 PM
Frankly, I can only vaguely see how this relates to pool. This is something that could have happened in any bar or restaurant in the Metropolitan area. In a forum that's dedicated to the "how would you play this" sort of discussion, this appears to be more of an attempt to embarrass a poolroom than it is to improve the game of pool or one's pool game.

I've been to Herbert's once for a tournament and can say only positive things about the staff, food &amp; establishment. I thought it was a pleasant environment with solid equipment, an incredible amount of space around each table and an exciting set-up for any level pool event. It was also evident by the artwork around the bar that the owner is very much an enthusiast about the game.

I also spent two years managing a poolroom and can say that attending to the needs of your regulars is often times a difficult task. You walk a rather fine line between being available and sharking your customers. Also, business can be rather unpredictable in this day and age and poolhalls are not always busy on any given night so keeping a minimal staff might be in the best interest of the room. Not to defend this waitress. She might very well be horrible, I don't know but I wouldn't necessarily write a scathing post about a poolroom on Billiards Digest simply because some 20-year-old kid didn't fetch you your beer in under five minutes.

I have to say, I liked Herberts. Living in the New York City, I liked the fact that I could take a bus to that mall, walk 100 yards and be playing pool. I love the fact that the mall has a movie theatre, restaurants and other things to do making it a rather pleasant alternative night out. I liked it so much, I plan to go back.

I don't know if you know this but in the past five years in Manhattan alone, Amsterdam Billiards (east), Mammouth Billiards, Midtown Billiards, Westside Billiards, City Hall Billiards, Chelsea Billiards, Le Cue Billiards, Shark Billiards, Julian's Billiards, Murray Billiards, Tribeca Billiards and Avenue B Billiards HAVE ALL CLOSED DOWN so perhaps if you love the game so much, you might want to be a little more constructive, a little more forgiving and a little more private.


Jude M. Rosenstock

Barbara
12-08-2004, 01:33 PM
SF,

I knew you were talking about Herbert's!

You should really tell Meredith and Mel about it. The leagues are their bread and butter with the amount of food and beverage sales they bring in. I bet if they heard that the leagues weren't too happy with their waitstaff and were looking for another room, they might be pressed to hire a more professional staff.

Barbara

Jimmy B
12-08-2004, 02:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> I turned to this young man and I said "I have been a regular customer here for over two years. I drop $50 to $70 (food / beverage) bucks not including a very nice tip every league night, <hr /></blockquote>

I think I just found your problem out, why the hell have you been leaving a "very nice tip" every night when the service has sucked? The key is to find the one girl who is good tip her once real good and say listen the rest of the girls suck, I like you and want you to be my waitress because you are so quick. Once she sees the tip and understands it's because she was "quick" (even if she wasn't that quick)she'll understand why she got the good tip and then she'll make sure to get to you quicker. Or go straight to the bar, bartenders normally notice a good tipper faster then waitresses (let's face it they're smarter. I always find that snide comments don't help the service but they do make you feel better at the end of the night. I run a bar and can tell you it's very hard to find GOOD help.

JB

SecaucusFats
12-08-2004, 02:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jude_Rosenstock:</font><hr> Frankly, I can only vaguely see how this relates to pool. This is something that could have happened in any bar or restaurant in the Metropolitan area. In a forum that's dedicated to the "how would you play this" sort of discussion, this appears to be more of an attempt to embarrass a poolroom than it is to improve the game of pool or one's pool game.

<font color="blue">Well sorry Jude, but I disagree with you. This IS related to pool. And more to the point, it is specifically about how to run a pool room so that you can maximize profits while keeping you customers happy. Am I trying to embarrass the management?--You betcha I am! Maybe that is the only thing that get them to see what needs to be changed, BEFORE they lose so much business that they have to fold. If that's a bad thing then I'm guilty as charged. </font color>

I've been to Herbert's once for a tournament and can say only positive things about the staff, food &amp; establishment. I thought it was a pleasant environment with solid equipment, an incredible amount of space around each table and an exciting set-up for any level pool event. It was also evident by the artwork around the bar that the owner is very much an enthusiast about the game.

<font color="blue">The location, equiment, decor, ambiance, and menu are all perfectly fine, but that doen't make up for lousy service. You base your opinion on one experience, I base mine on 2 1/2 years of coming in 4 or 5 times a week at all different times.
</font color>

I also spent two years managing a poolroom and can say that attending to the needs of your regulars is often times a difficult task. You walk a rather fine line between being available and sharking your customers. Also, business can be rather unpredictable in this day and age and poolhalls are not always busy on any given night so keeping a minimal staff might be in the best interest of the room.

<font color="blue">There was plenty of staff on hand. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are all league nights, so it comes as no surprise to anyone that they will have X amount of customers on those nights. </font color>

Not to defend this waitress. She might very well be horrible, I don't know but I wouldn't necessarily write a scathing post about a poolroom on Billiards Digest simply because some 20-year-old kid didn't fetch you your beer in under five minutes.

<font color="blue">You did notice the wait times I wrote about right? I would be OK with 5, 10, or 15 minutes, but anything over that is ridiculous. Why should I have to ask three different people for something and still not get it until I go bonkers? And what's wrong with teaching the staff to use drink trays so that the servers can bring more than one or two drinks at a time? </font color>

I have to say, I liked Herberts. Living in the New York City, I liked the fact that I could take a bus to that mall, walk 100 yards and be playing pool. I love the fact that the mall has a movie theatre, restaurants and other things to do making it a rather pleasant alternative night out. I liked it so much, I plan to go back.

<font color="blue">I like it too and for pretty much the same reasons as you. The owner is always trying to get more new business because he has a big nut to cover. Leaving all kinds of money on the table due to piss poor service is a cardinal sin in any business. It's bad for the business, bad for the customers, and just plain inexcusable,IMO. </font color>

I don't know if you know this but in the past five years in Manhattan alone, Amsterdam Billiards (east), Mammouth Billiards, Midtown Billiards, Westside Billiards, City Hall Billiards, Chelsea Billiards, Le Cue Billiards, Shark Billiards, Julian's Billiards, Murray Billiards, Tribeca Billiards and Avenue B Billiards HAVE ALL CLOSED DOWN so perhaps if you love the game so much, you might want to be a little more constructive, a little more forgiving and a little more private.

<font color="blue">Chelsea is now Slate. The owner (Telly Hatzigeourgiou) spent big bucks to make the place into an absolutely beautiful posh upscale room with service to match. And guess what? He did so well that he bought the Golden Q in Queens (which had seen better days) and transformed it into a beautiful, and busy location. Times have changed and businesses have to change along with them. Those businesses that can adapt and can keep their customers happy will survive, those that can't will go the way of the dinosaurs. </font color>


Jude M. Rosenstock <hr /></blockquote>

Popcorn
12-08-2004, 02:39 PM
Why don't you just talk to the owner?

Jude_Rosenstock
12-08-2004, 02:45 PM
You're absolutely right. Chelsea is now Slate and I can assure you that on almost every night of the week, you won't find a single player that can run 1 ball in a row. It's not a poolroom anymore and to group it into that category would be insulting to the poolroom owners that have donated THOUSANDS to competitive pool.

You're right. I've only been there once but from that single experience, I saw a business that was owned by someone devoted to the game. You think he has room for improvement? That's fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but there's a productive way of going about it. The forum you're looking for isn't online and posting your gripe is only going to exacerbate your situation.

As I stated earlier, catering to poolroom regulars can oftentimes be hit or miss. There are those that wish to not be bothered. Plenty of us have been playing pool prior to upscalehood and hate it when a waitress approaches us while preparing for a critical shot. Many others cannot understand why the waitress isn't at our beckon call. Trust me, you'll hear screams from both camps and I heard it constantly.

As for the "dinosaur" poolrooms, some of the rooms I mentioned were by no means low-scale. Amsterdam Billiards East was regarded as one of the best rooms in the country. Besides, you cannot ignore the fact that pool has taken a turn for the worse in recent years. Rooms have been closing down, leagues have seen a drop in business and tournaments really aren't what they used to be. I simply say that you should respect this person who has invested a lot of money and time in something that you love, I would direct my issues with their business directly. We're not talking about the Gap or TGIFridays. This is your local room that's owned by a guy who is really trying to make it work. I'm certain he likes money so if you think he can be making more, talk to him.


Jude M. Rosenstock

SecaucusFats
12-08-2004, 02:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Jimmy B:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr> I turned to this young man and I said "I have been a regular customer here for over two years. I drop $50 to $70 (food / beverage) bucks not including a very nice tip every league night, <hr /></blockquote>

I think I just found your problem out, why the hell have you been leaving a "very nice tip" every night when the service has sucked?

<font color="blue">LOL, maybe I'm a schmuck. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif </font color>

The key is to find the one girl who is good tip her once real good and say listen the rest of the girls suck, I like you and want you to be my waitress because you are so quick. Once she sees the tip and understands it's because she was "quick" (even if she wasn't that quick)she'll understand why she got the good tip and then she'll make sure to get to you quicker. Or go straight to the bar, bartenders normally notice a good tipper faster then waitresses (let's face it they're smarter).

<font color="blue">That's darn good advice Jim. Why didn't I think of that? Thanks. </font color>

I always find that snide comments don't help the service but they do make you feel better at the end of the night.

<font color="blue"> I agree with you. My outburst was more out of frustration than anything else and so out of character for me. I'm a happy go lucky, go with the flow kinda guy. But this once, it sure felt good to pitch a bitch! </font color>

I run a bar and can tell you it's very hard to find GOOD help.

JB <hr /></blockquote>

SF

SecaucusFats
12-08-2004, 03:09 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> SF,

I knew you were talking about Herbert's!

You should really tell Meredith and Mel about it. The leagues are their bread and butter with the amount of food and beverage sales they bring in. I bet if they heard that the leagues weren't too happy with their waitstaff and were looking for another room, they might be pressed to hire a more professional staff.

Barbara <hr /></blockquote>

I plan on speaking to them early this evening before they head home. They're good folks and I'm sure they'll hear me out. Maybe (as Jude suggested) I should have waited and spoken to them first before I posted about it but I am still peeved about the whole deal.

BTW, when are you coming back up this way? Sorry I missed ya last time. I would be honored to make your acquaintance. I don't know if I'd play you for any jelly beans though, seeing as how you're one one of the top 10 on the NEWT. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

SF

Barbara
12-08-2004, 04:22 PM
SF,

I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but in 2005, my State Championship theme is, "Show me the money!!".

Sorry you missed the whooping Karen Corr put on Val Finnie, it was very classic Corr! Positively riveting!!

Barbara~~~needs the 5 on out and the smashies...

Barbara
12-08-2004, 05:11 PM
Jude,

Before the CAT tour existed, NEWT used to have a couple events at the Champions Billiards Sports Cafe chain. Honestly, it was not a pool hall per se, but more of a sports bar, but their equipment was kept up very well.

Because they set up their tables haphazardly with no clear routes throughout the place, they had a system for bar/food service. There was a red light bulb on the ceiling over each table and when you turned that light on, your area waitstaff would know they were being called and the waitstaff had to turn off the switch when you were served. Add to this that the owners were very particular that their waitstaff know pool etiquette. That is, they were trained to not just walk through with their trays and they had to pay attention that they were not crossing some player's line of vision. I once played a match at the table just outside of the kitchen's exit/entrance. There was always a traffic logjam of waitstaff!! We quickly took that table out of play for the tournament, but the waitstaff was considerate to our match.

So what I'm saying is that staff can be trained for the environment. However, the owners of Herbert's are not pool players and basically don't have a clue as to how to hire and train such a staff.

JPNEWT had two very pleasant tournaments there last summer, but service was slow when the owners weren't there and I can see SF's point.

Barbara

Chris Cass
12-08-2004, 06:56 PM
Hi SF,

I agree with JimmyB on this one and this is PR also, you can vent brother. You knew the right thing to do anyway but had to get it out first.

C.C.

Jude_Rosenstock
12-09-2004, 07:58 AM
Hi Barbara,

I hear what you're saying and understand completely. I was a poolplayer far longer than a manager and can harp on similar experiences with poor wait staffs. Either they've been over-anxious and annoying or completely out-of-site. Personally, I've simply learned to let the waitress know I'd rather not be bothered and if I need anything, I'll go to the bar. As a player, my expectations are low and for the most part, I help myself.

On the otherhand, I can understand completely how this person feels. I'm very well aware of the atmosphere of the APA and know that going to the bar to fetch drinks is often times impossible. Team-Captains, score-keeprs, coaches &amp; supportive teammates feel obligated to stay near the table at all times. They don't want to miss anything which is why the wait staff's role becomes critical. Without a decent staff, their night is less pleasant. We housed a half-dozen APA teams in the room I managed and I made it a point to make sure the staff catered to their needs, even going so far as to keep a full staff present until the APA teams were done.

However, this is a sensitive issue that needs to be addressed directly. I can tell you that many poolroom-owners and vendors frequent this site and review our posts. Not to mention the plethora of players who view our posts and make decisions based on our opinions. There is no need to openly vent about a room's waitstaff in a public forum. If the room owner doesn't get immediate wind of this, it will do nothing to correct the situation and it will definately NOT help business. At this point, I have to ask how this helps? Poolroom Owners are the backbone of our community. The success of their business is essential to our very existence. That isn't to say that we should accept subpar environments but rather direct our concerns to those that will make an immediate difference.

The relationship that one develops with a poolroom's staff can be critical to EVERYONE's happiness. As it was stated earlier, tipping appropriately can make a huge difference but what's really the best approach is developing that relationship you have in the first place. Learn the waitress' name, make sure there is a "team tip" at the end, keep her posted on how the team is doing (wins and losses). This approach does a number of things. Firstly, it makes her aware of what is going on and teaches her to pay attention to the individuals AND the team. Not only that, by knowing her name, it forces her to learn your names. From here on, you're no longer a customer or "Mr. Bud Light" you're Joe Smith, her friend. I find this approach works not only in the small poolrooms outside the city but also in the big 50 table rooms downtown.

Perhaps in my initial post I came off as a little harsh. I have to admit, hearing customers vent in a public forum hits a soft-spot with me. In the end, I'd simply like to say that there are a lot of things involved here and poolroom owners shouldn't be viewed as corporations that can be beaten up without any serious ramifications. There are other steps that can be taken to rectify the situation. You may need to be a little creative sometimes but can learn how to sort of make the environment that works for you.

Deeman2
12-09-2004, 08:08 AM
Admittedly, I have been complaining (to myself) of exactly the opposite in my shooting APA and BCA in Alabama and Texas! We have waitresses on top of us all night asking us if we were o.k. or do we need a drink? I'll never complain about that again after hearing the stuff above.

Our venues are probably much smaller and easier to manage but I'll be aware now that I could have it much worse. Thanks for reminding me why I left Detroit.

Deeman

Nostroke
12-09-2004, 09:06 AM
At a NY Pool room a waitress APPROACHED ME and asked if i wanted a drink. I ordered a water. To make a long story short, I played a full race to 7 and then a few more games before i got the water with no comment. When i asked her what had happened, she told me she was busy and if i didnt like the service i should go up to the bar myself.

I tip a dollar everytime i get a water and all i want is half-assed service. If she had told me she forgot, I would have understood, but noooooooooooooo...

petel
12-09-2004, 05:29 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Nostroke:</font><hr> ooooooooo <hr /></blockquote>

Service in general really sucks and especially pool halls. Some of the older guys in the pool hall tell me tales of the past when you would walk into a pool hall and someone racks the balls for you. Imagine that, the next time a service person asks you what you'ld like, just say "Rack the balls, thanks".

Rod
12-09-2004, 06:02 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Some of the older guys in the pool hall tell me tales of the past when you would walk into a pool hall and someone racks the balls for you. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes but, at that time it cost you 10 cents per rack for 9 ball, 15 cents for 8 ball and a quarter for snooker! It was still real cheap compared to todays prices.

Troy
12-09-2004, 07:29 PM
Yup... Done that. 10 per rack. T'was a long while ago... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote petel:</font><hr>Service in general really sucks and especially pool halls. Some of the older guys in the pool hall tell me tales of the past when you would walk into a pool hall and someone racks the balls for you. Imagine that, the next time a service person asks you what you'ld like, just say "Rack the balls, thanks". <hr /></blockquote>

landshark77
12-09-2004, 09:15 PM
Kim? (she is my suck a$$ beer tender where I shoot) Are you moonlighting?

PQQLK9
12-10-2004, 08:55 PM
Did you know that TIP is an acronym for "To Insure Promptness" /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

JimS
12-11-2004, 07:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Troy:</font><hr> Yup... Done that. 10 per rack. T'was a long while ago... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote petel:</font><hr>Service in general really sucks and especially pool halls. Some of the older guys in the pool hall tell me tales of the past when you would walk into a pool hall and someone racks the balls for you. Imagine that, the next time a service person asks you what you'ld like, just say "Rack the balls, thanks". <hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote>

The ph that I grew up in charged a dime a game. You yelled "RACK" and the owner came by &amp; racked the table. It was not a good idea to yell "RACK" more than once and if you had to do it twice you'd better not have any impatience tone to your voice!

Cali
12-13-2004, 03:18 AM
Move your pool team or talk to the owner. Quit drinking and you'll be a a happier person, your game will become your addiction and you won't be pissed off all the time. All that running around will mentally drain you. Focus on what you are really there for, kickin but in league. 7 in APA, 95 in BCA. Sobriety works!

landshark77
12-13-2004, 09:06 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cali:</font><hr> Move your pool team or talk to the owner. Quit drinking and you'll be a a happier person, your game will become your addiction and you won't be pissed off all the time. All that running around will mentally drain you. Focus on what you are really there for, kickin but in league. 7 in APA, 95 in BCA. Sobriety works! <hr /></blockquote>

I don't drink that often, and especially on leauge night, but at most places it is the beer tender who also tends the tea and soda...so unless you drink nothing you still have to deal with them.

Rich R.
12-13-2004, 09:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> I don't drink that often, and especially on leauge night, but at most places it is the beer tender who also tends the tea and soda...so unless you drink nothing you still have to deal with them. <hr /></blockquote>
Landshark, you are so right.
The wait staff is the wait staff. It doesn't matter what they are delivering to you. Others may be waiting a long time for their beer, but my soft drink is on the same tray.
Poor service for one, is usually poor service for everyone.

Steve Lipsky
12-13-2004, 11:12 AM
OMG, that is too funny. I read your post thinking, "Wow, this place sounds pretty bad!" Then at the end, when you mention which place it was.... LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

I refuse to walk into that joint. If it's still owned by the same guy who had it in 1996, it's no surprise. He kicked me out of a tournament there when everyone left played about my speed (although in truth, we were all too good for the tourney). I made the mistake of beating the hometown favorite, who at the time was at least as good a player as I was.

Anyway, when told I was being kicked out, I was actually very calm. The tournament manager even thanked me for being so nice about everything (said it would've been easier to throw me out if I started ranting and raving). But the owner was flipping out though... cursing at me in a loud voice in front of the whole room. People were laughing at this guy. Here was a 50 year old man acting less mature than the 23 year old kid he was ejecting.

The owner did reinstate the hometown player into the winner's bracket (this was late in the tourney), and he ended up winning over $5,000 in prize money when he won the tournament. So everything worked out for Herberts, I guess.

- Steve

Barbara
12-13-2004, 11:21 AM
Hey Steve!!

I remember that incident! You wrote a letter to "All About Pool" about it. I still have all my copies and dredged that issue up to photostat your letter to send you a copy.

Geez, reinstating a player into an event? That's so wrong!

Barbara

Rich R.
12-13-2004, 11:46 AM
Steve, I hate to speculate, but it sounds like the owner may have had a vested interest in the hometown favorite winning. /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

SPetty
12-13-2004, 12:03 PM
Say what?

A bunch of folks are playing in a tourney. You play well and win, so they kick you out of the tournament before it's over? Then they put the home town favorite that you beat back in the tournament after kicking you out? They just happened to have an open spot vacated by you?

What on earth did you do to cause that man to flip out an curse at you and kick you out of his tournament?

I'm so confused... Isn't one of the main goals of playing in a tournament to play well and win?

buddha162
12-13-2004, 12:46 PM
Here's my Herberts story.

1.5 years ago I was scouting the local pool halls for a suitable home room, and I walked into Herberts at around 4:00 in the afternoon. The left side of the room had all GCIII's, but the cloth were in a range of shape. The first 6 tables had what seemed like 2-3 month old simonis, and the rest were threadbare and had been on at least 1 year past it's life.

So, I ask the manager/bartender if I can have one of the GC's with newer cloth, and he said that those tables were reserved. I looked around the room, and there was NO ONE else there besides me and him. I asked him what the reservations were for, and when will those players come, and he replied "it's for the league, and they show up at 7:30." I looked at my watch, which said 4:10 pm, looked back at him, and just left.

He was also on a personal phone call and made me wait 5 minutes before tending to me. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, and I thought about bringing it up with the owners but since found a perfect place to shoot that's closer to me. Reading Steve Lipsky's story, I doubt the owner would've done much to address my concern.

-Roger (one reason why I hate the league to this day)

Steve Lipsky
12-13-2004, 12:47 PM
Well, it's a bit more complicated than that Susan /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif. This was a "C" tournament. Now, you really have to hear me out on this one, lol.

In 1996 I was a good player, but totally uneducated. I could pocket balls well and play solid position, but I had no 9-ball patterns, no safety knowledge, and absolutely no kicking knowledge. I was fairly new to 9-ball; I had always been exclusively a straight pool player.

I had also never played in an organized tournament like that before. So in truth I never really knew what handicap I should be. I was pretty sure that I was not a C, lol, but I definitely would not have considered myself an A. I thought solid B 9-ball player. (Note: in 1996, the classes were less diluted than they are now. I would say that a good B player then was equivalent to a low to middle A player now.)

I wasn't even going to play the tournament, until some friends from the poolroom told me it would be crazy to skip it. A LOT of money on the line. I knew I wasn't a C, but I found out who was going to be at this tournament, and it was absolutely crazy. Joey K, with whom I've always played even, was in. Other local Long Island players, who many of you wouldn't know (but were strong B players), were in as well. The prevailing opinion of the tourney seemed to be, as long as you weren't an A, you could play.

The tourney took place over 2 days. When I came in the morning of the next day, with probably 8 players left in the winner's side (this was a 120 player tournament), the TD came over to me and pulled me aside. I knew I was in trouble immediately, lol. The night before, in my last match, I had played HF ("hometown fave"). The rail was alive, as they say. Everyone was watching this match. These were races to 7. The match seesawed until the score was 2-2. HF then ran 3+ racks to make it 6-2 him. He broke the next rack, made a few balls and missed, and I then ran out on him. 4+ racks. Some C tournament, lol. The whole thing had become pretty much a mockery. Guys were playing perfect sets all over the place.

Anyway, the next day, when the TD pulled me aside, I knew I was done. He asked me what my high run in straight pool was. I answered honestly that it was 120, but that it was my high run by far (next best at that time was probably somewhere in the 70s), and that I never play 9-ball. All of which was true. During this "chat", at no point did I misrepresent my accomplishments.

My only argument - and I did it in a very calm way - was that if they were throwing me out, they should do the same to the remaining 24 players in the tournament. None of whom was a C, or close.

Because of the extinuating circumstances, I felt I deserved at least my money back. Especially since I had to drive both ways to New Jersey that morning (gas and tolls), when they easily could have told me the night before not to come back. The TD agreed that I should get reimbursed, but the owner went ballistic. He refused to give me the entry fee back, and he refused to give my calcutta money back. He said I was a "ringer" and that everyone knew it. My response was that the HF, who went for the most money in the tournament, went for twice what I did. And I'm the ringer?

Anyway, I was going to write a letter to Coors, because they were sponsoring the tournament. But since this was the first tourney they were sponsoring, I didn't want to immediately scare them off with something like this. I took one for the team, for the good of the game /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif. So I never wrote the letter. Probably should have, as Coors never really sponsored anything else anyway.

Anyway, that's my Herbert's story lol /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

- Steve

SpiderMan
12-14-2004, 11:26 AM
Steve,

That really takes the cake for unfair and biased treatment. Sounds like the owner was rigging this tournament for his favorite boy to steal the sponsor's money. Anyone who hears these stories should spread the word, don't go there, ever. He doesn't deserve to be in the business.

SpiderMan