View Full Version : Charlie turns on Fans at his Predator Tournament
06-02-2002, 06:10 PM
Charlie Williams showed his true side (greedy) when he kept announcing during the tournament not to bother the Pros for autographs. No signing of cue cases or cue balls would be allowed. I don't mean while they are playing but when they are just hanging around between matches. CW had a box of autographed cue balls for sale at $20 each which was reasonable except that they were some awful multi colored balls (worse than elephant) and I couldn't read the signature. And for all anyone knows Charlie may have signed all the names on the balls. When I get an autograph I want to see the pro sign it. Johnny Archer sat in the seat next to me for a while and I didn't even bother to talk to him let alone to ask for his autograph. He, Mika and Strickland would be the only ones there that I would pay for their signatures anyway. There was a great cast of pros at this tournament it was just a shame that Charlie had to show his low class. If the pros wanted to be paid for their autographs then at least they should have set up a table where they would sign articles for a fee. Jake~~~found another rotten side of pool that left a bitter taste.
06-02-2002, 10:30 PM
Jake...That is just total BS! Give me a break! These guys should be HONORED to give someone an autograph. They are NOT movie stars, nor multimillionaire athletes (not that it makes any difference). Professional poolplayers should be taking EVERY opportunity they can get to put a positive face on the image of our sport. The women will gladly sign autographs for ANYBODY, anytime, as long as it's not interfering with their play. Personally, I think it's a bunch of crap for anyone to charge for an autograph. Either give them for free, or just refuse altogether! JMO
06-02-2002, 10:38 PM
Howdy Scott Lee,
JJ, if this is the case, it's very sad indeed.
A major issue here is whether the spectators had to pay to watch the event. If so, I don't see why this is any different than baseball. Ever been to a baseball game, before it starts? Most of the players are out on the sidelines, signing autographs to any fan throwing a program in their faces. If Major League Baseball doesn't mind, how the hell can the USPPA???
If the spectators aren't paying, I can understand TO A DEGREE what Charlie was asking. But even then, forcing people to buy $20 cueballs is outrageous. $3 autographs would be reasonable.
- Steve Lipsky
That is truly astonishing. It's one thing to ask people to refrain from asking for autographs because your players requested it, but this?! I really hope there's a side to this story that hasn't been heard. How sad.
06-03-2002, 12:32 AM
Everyone was astonished. But, Charlie explained to everyone that all the Pros were more than willing to sign any pictures or any kind of paper...just not equipment. He said "I've seen to many things for sale on the internet involving a Pro's autograph where the pro had no compensation or idea that the equipment would be for sale." A couple of the other attending Professionals added that they had been taken advantage of at some of the expos. A vendor had sent a dozen kids around getting all the top pro's autographs. The vendor would pay the kids a flat rate and turn around and sale the signatures at that very same expo. How's that for a different perspective?
Drake, thanks for the information. That does indeed change the situation.
I completely agree with Scott. It seems as I been reading these posts the pasts two months that many, if not most, of the problems and stuff wrong with pool seem to start with or be associated with the organizations & some tournament directors that run some of the major tournaments. This might just be the case of a few greedy or selfish individuals that seem to really be keeping pool from advancing. I'm sure most of the tour, tournament directors and hopefully pro player organizations don't fit into this category. And the couple small local pool rooms & tournaments I've been to really seem to make an effort to promote local pool stuff. And most seem completely honest and unselfish with the use of their businesses. Many even add money to the prize fund from their own money. Like $100 added for 1o or 15 or more players. $200 added for 20 or 25 or more players etc. And the places I'm talking about don't make up this money on liquor or food. Perhaps it's just a small minority of people that are really "what's wrong with pool today".
Yes the spectators did have to pay to get in. It cost $7.00 for entry. The big problem with entry fee is that you could not see anything. I was lucky to find a chair to stand on. If anyone was at the tournament, they should remember, I was the guy standing on the chair near the bathroom door.
Anyways, as for paying for the signatures, I remember Charlie telling everyone that the pros would not be signing "anything" that was not purchased from his "table". Even the pictures were being sold for $5. I did not buy anything, and I have most of the signatures anyways, so I did not worry. The only one that I wanted so bad was Mika's. This was my first time watching him play and I wanted an autographed picture of him but I was not ready to pay for that. I know sooner or later I will find one.
The only other problem I had with Charlie was continued salesman attitude for Predator. I like Predator and would like a predator shaft for my playing cue, but it got old really quick hearing about how half the pro's are breaking with Predator's BK break cue, and how that must mean something. I just got tired of hearing it over and over before and after every single set of matches, and during the raffles.
Sorry for the long post,
06-03-2002, 06:01 AM
Eg8R, You probably had a better view than I did. I bought the so called VIP seat for 15 bucks and was in the 2nd row and had to look between the two people in the 1st row to see the table. At least you had a good view of table 4 where Mika beat Broumpton. But I did get to see Mika play Scotty because I was behind table 1. Were you that big guy that was having trouble getting down from the chair? LOL. And what was all that shouting about behind table 4? Jake
06-03-2002, 06:34 AM
06-03-2002, 06:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Drake:</font><hr> Everyone was astonished. But, Charlie explained to everyone that all the Pros were more than willing to sign any pictures or any kind of paper...just not equipment. He said "I've seen to many things for sale on the internet involving a Pro's autograph where the pro had no compensation or idea that the equipment would be for sale." A couple of the other attending Professionals added that they had been taken advantage of at some of the expos. A vendor had sent a dozen kids around getting all the top pro's autographs. The vendor would pay the kids a flat rate and turn around and sale the signatures at that very same expo. How's that for a different perspective? <hr></blockquote>
Hey Drake, of course that happens. But think about it. The kid gets something signed and then sells it to some guy who in turn sells it to someone else. That is our capitalistic system. Now if the pro keeps signing something for the same kid over and over then he is not thinking. But it is the same thing Charlie is doing, isn't it? He asks the pros to sign stuff for him and then he tries to sell it for the big bucks. I wonder if he paid the pros for their signature? And did he give back the items to the pros that he didn't sell? I never buy pre-signed articles, especially photos because you can run off thousands of copies. If the pros want to be paid for their autographs then have them set up a table where they can sign articles and get paid a fee. I now have 13 signed cue balls and the only real value they have, is to me, in that they remind me of being there when they were signed. When I die my wife will probably dump them in the garbage, they mean nothing to her. And when did Charlie explain that the pros would sign anything? All I heard him say is that they will NOT be signing anything, and if you want something he had some pre-signed stuff for sale. Jake~~~came with a pocket full of money to pay for signed cueballs but didn't even bother. Would have payed Archer or Strickland $25 and maybe even $30 (that's what Sigel gets) to sign my cue ball.
06-03-2002, 07:56 AM
The pros DID get paid for their signatures on the items. They received a royalty for everything that they signed that was sold. The items that weren't sold are being kept until the next tournament (supposedly in VA in a mall, but there may be one in between). There were some people that felt the same way you do and the way it was handled was that they paid Charlie and then he got one of his staff to go get all the autographs. If the person wanted to come along, they were welcome to. I can personally verify that the pros actually signed everything that was sold, I was there when they did it. BTW, Mika and I were joking about Earls signature on a 9 ball. He has perfect penmanship on a ball, leading us to speculate about how he splits his practice time between signing balls and shooting them...
Ha ha, yup one of the two big guys on the chairs, however not a problem trying to get down. I think those seats were the best because they were free. The shouting came from the big guy that was wearing a striped shirt and he was "trying" to start an argument with the guy that was playing Jeannie on table 8, table just behind 4. From what I understand, the two of them have some bad history, but Charlie dealt with it quite quickly.
06-03-2002, 08:43 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>The only other problem I had with Charlie was continued salesman attitude for Predator. I like Predator and would like a predator shaft for my playing cue, but it got old really quick hearing about how half the pro's are breaking with Predator's BK break cue, and how that must mean something. I just got tired of hearing it over and over before and after every single set of matches, and during the raffles.
Predator was the title sponsor of the tournament. Let me ask you a question. If you had a business and invested some money in advertising through an event sponsorship, wouldn't you be upset if your name WASN'T mentioned at every opportunity? I would be. BTW, watch any sporting event and you will see the sponsors names announced all over the place and slipped into conversations and play-by-play all the time. It was more obvious at this event because Charlie isn't (by his own admission) an announcer. I think it was done well, all things considered and I think it's exactly what is needed in the tournaments to draw more sponsorship. Darn near everyone that talked to me heard about at least one of my sponsors at some point in the conversation, even the other pros. That's why I have as many as I do.
Jay, the endorsements were over exaggerated. Yes I do think that if I paid money then I would want the name to be said, however, how often did you hear about the other companies like tip pik or even century 21. He only, absolutely ONLY said their name before the set of matches. However, every single time it got quiet he would talk about how he uses predator and that makes it the best in the world. He was not like this last year at the Predator tourney. If you are going to talk about a sponser then talk about all of them and get it over with.
I remember hearing Charlie joke about you having more sponsors than his whole organization. It seemed like there were a couple computer companies and a lawyer sponsoring you. It was decent size list, but I was wondering if when you were talking to earl you were telling him about the best lawyer you ever dealt with (your sponsor) and did you continue this same process with everyone that came up to you to talk? It became cumbersome to listen to Charlie everytime he got on the mike because we had to hear some "cute" little way for him to plug Predator.
06-03-2002, 09:24 AM
It may have been a bit over exaggerated, but bear in mind that not only was predator the title sponsor, but they were the only sponsor that had representatives there ALL the time. That may have had an influencing effect on Charlie.
And as to my personal sponsors, my primary sponsor for the event was www.goldanddiamond.com (http://www.goldanddiamond.com) and YES, every single person that I talked to heard about them at some point or other. I plugged them unmercifully into every conversation. I got their products into the hands of more than half of the people I talked to (the chains, watch, rings and bracelets that I wore during the tournament were all their handiwork) If you had seen me on Thursday night, Friday during the day or Sunday, you would have seen me pitching my sponsors hard. BTW, I worked the Gold and Diamond Source into my conversation with Earl and Mike (Sigel) as well. My secondary sponsor was Active Security and I got them into about 1/2 of the conversations. I passed out every business card I had. I had a couple of the pros ask me for my number so that we could talk about various things and I wrote all those numbers on the back of business cards... every time they want to call me, they'll be looking at one of my sponsors. lol, I appreciate the heck out of them and you can BET I try to take care of the people that feed my passion.
(btw, I just plugged em again /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif )
06-03-2002, 09:30 AM
Charlie will definitely hawk products/services way past the point of insincerity. Wish he would calm down with that. It's alwys overkill. When you hear it over and over, you just feel its a commercial.
But all and all, he is still working hard for the game (and himself) and there are not too many others doing that right now.
06-03-2002, 09:57 AM
I e-mail'd a couple of people directly but wanted to offer to anyone who was unable to get Mika's autograph by walking up to him and asking...
I am with Capone Custom Cues, Mika's sponsor. If you would like, I will ask Mika to send you a personalized autographed photo when he returns from a tournament in the Philippines later this month. Please e-mail your name and address to me at email@example.com. Hopefully anyone who missed out on being able to meet and talk to their favoirte pro will have another chance to meet them again soon.
By the way, there is no fee for this and absolutely no royalty will be paid to anyone... lol.
on behalf of Mika, Mike Capone, and Capone Custom Cues
the korean dragonfly showed his true colors over the weekend, kept annoucing to the audience for no one to steal anything off his table. maybe he's bobby williams illegitamate kid.
06-03-2002, 11:06 AM
Can you hook me up? Say hi to Sunny for Kathy, myself, Bugaloo, Boomer, Sweet pea, Big guy, Piggy, and Princess! We miss you!
06-03-2002, 11:10 AM
Jay, most of us weren't there - how about giving us a rundown on your matches?
06-03-2002, 11:24 AM
How much money can there be in the Pool Player autograph business? And is it enough to start alienating pool fans over? My guess is no, but I may be wrong. IMO pool players should be doing whatever it takes to promote the game and the image of the players. If this cost them a few bucks in autograph fees so be it. I have no problem with them setting up a table and charging to sign balls, cues or whatever, but they should never refuse to sign anything at a tournament with paying fans. Again, JMO.
MM...wondering how much Patrick's autograph's are selling for.
06-03-2002, 11:24 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: ted harris:</font><hr> Can you hook me up? Say hi to Sunny for Kathy, myself, Bugaloo, Boomer, Sweet pea, Big guy, Piggy, and Princess! We miss you! <hr></blockquote>
You all need to come up with more normal names for your zoo!!! lol
Can you believe that people weren't able (or at least, didn't feel comfortable) asking for autographs from the players at this event!!! I can't imagine going to any pro event - any sport - and being told that I couldn't get my program signed by my favorite pro. Barry Behrman doesn't tell me that I can't get autographs at the US Open! (Hi Brady).
Get to work, TED!!! lol
Say hello to Kathy... we'll see you soon!
06-03-2002, 11:29 AM
First match was Thursday night against a guy named Carl that won a qualifying match locally. We had been hitting balls the whole afternoon with him soundly beating me (I don't play defense when I warm up, but shoot at everything, even the 4 and 5 rail banks/kicks). I won the lag, broke and didn't make anything. He ran a few and dropped a safety back on me. I made the hit, but sold out the rack. he got up on me 6 to 2 with my two coming from a 1-9 combination and a 3 foul. I stopped worrying about things and started getting a bit of a feel for the table and put together a 5 rack string on him before I was forced to play safe. He missed the hit and I ran that one to get on the hill. I broke and made a ball, didn't have a good shot so I ducked, he made the hit and left me the ball but no way to get a leave on the next ball without fighting through traffic so I played him to leave the 1 in the center of the end rail and the cue on the other end rail, he shot at it, hit another ball and left me a table length shot on the one to carom at the 9 which I made to win the match.
The second match was Strickland which I pretty much detailed in the other thread. He won it 9-4 (incorrectly reported as 9-3 through my error).
My last match was UGLY. Neither of us was a good cold shooter and there were a lot of missed balls, hung 9 balls and just plain "lucky" scratches. He got up on me 8-1, I started a comeback. at 8-6 when I was preparing to break, he said he thought the score was 8-7 and that I hadn't marked it. It was quite possible he was right, I was just ready to end the match as I was feeling horrible. We talked about it after the match and he said he was sure enough about it that he would have accepted it without question if I had taken the game. Anyhow, I broke, didn't make anything, but had run the 9 into a corner. He ran to the 3-9 combo and won the match. Both of us were laughing after the match because it had to look like two people who couldn't shoot just banging balls around. In the next to last rack, the one I didn't mark, we both missed three straight in 9 balls before I made it on my 4th attempt (on a bank of all things...) Definitely another one of those matches I don't ever want to think about again.
06-03-2002, 11:34 AM
I think my Orlando friend "Chopstick", the guy I was visiting last year when you and I had a few
conversations, was in the audience. Unfortunately I didn't know he was going to be there so I
didn't know to ask him to look for your matches.
06-03-2002, 11:46 AM
Real good point.
After reading these posts, I went to eBay to see what was there, and all I could find was one Mosconi autograph...
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: MikeM:</font><hr> How much money can there be in the Pool Player autograph business? And is it enough to start alienating pool fans over? My guess is no, but I may be wrong. IMO pool players should be doing whatever it takes to promote the game and the image of the players. If this cost them a few bucks in autograph fees so be it. I have no problem with them setting up a table and charging to sign balls, cues or whatever, but they should never refuse to sign anything at a tournament with paying fans. Again, JMO.
MM...wondering how much Patrick's autograph's are selling for. <hr></blockquote>
I'm not a defender of crude greed (is there any other kind?) and self-promoting fools but I wonder how Charlie Williams and his organization could build a financially viable pro tour without sponsors and the money they provide? Without money, his organization is worth less than the paper on which the organizational documents are printed.
Lets face it, pro pool needs someone like Charlie Williams. He seems willing to take care of his sponsors, not rip them off. He seems to see that his greatest asset is the UPA member-players. It is from their name, reputation and play that he will build his organization and tour -- if they happen to survive. Careful and consistent promotion of his sponsors interests and his organization's interests -- this is what is needed. What is not needed is a 'spectator friendly' but appalling mess of an organization. Of course, the spectators do foot some of the bill. He should make sure they have good seats, and access to food, drink tee shirts, autographed this and that, equipment, etc.
If he manages to please his players, sponsors and fans, perhaps we might be spared another 'When will ESPN show more of men's pool?' threads.
More pro pool on TV -- now that seems very spectator friendly to me!
I never attended a major tournament. I don't have anything signed by anyone in any sports or anything else. But if I did have something signed, the biggest joy of it would be the memory of actually meeting the person signing it, and maybe just getting to say a few words to that person and shake their hand. That would mean as much to me, and maybe more, then the signed item.
06-03-2002, 01:21 PM
Vicki, Mika is a class act and an asset to the sport and Capone Custom Cues. Always friendly and eager to answer any questions. He signed a cue ball for me when he was in Tampa for the Patriot cup, as did the rest of his team. I am not an autograph collector as such but I was at Capone's and they were selling cue balls for $8 and the ladies were signing them. So I got one signed by Ewa, Vivian, Belinda, Jennifer and another ball signed by all of them plus some more and Charlie Williams. And those five balls started my collection. I put them on my shelf and they remind me of meeting the players and bring back pleasant memories of the occasion. For Pros to flat out refuse to sign articles is just plain dumb, a horrible PR stunt. They should decide what would be an appropriate fee and set up a signing table. Some Pros might find that they can't get anyone to buy a Cue Ball for $5 while others, like Mika, Strickland, Archer, Sigel can easily get $30 per signature. Jake
Pro pool's organizations should be doing things like this if they are really interested in doing things that are pool's best interest.
06-03-2002, 05:07 PM
I like your response. I personally don't see the mystique of an autograph. It's someone's signature and not much more. Now give me a pic with a PRO, a few pointers, or even a brief conversation...and that I'll remember forever.
06-04-2002, 08:53 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: jjinfla:</font><hr> Vicki, Mika is a class act and an asset to the sport and Capone Custom Cues. Always friendly and eager to answer any questions. Jake <hr></blockquote>
I agree with you completely. Capone Custom Cues could not be happier or more proud to have Mika play with and endorse our cues. He is one of billiards' greatest assets!
Thanks also to everyone else who has sent e-mail to me requesting photos and commenting on their experiences meeting Mika. He will really enjoy reading all the e-mail's when he gets back to the states!
Vicki, on behalf of Mika, Mike Capone, and Capone Custom Cues - firstname.lastname@example.org
06-04-2002, 10:32 AM
Without having been there, and assuming what you say is accurate, It really shows how short sighted they are and their desperate need or desire to try to make money. If you start a business, and that is what it is, trying to screw your customers from the beginning, you are doomed. Their whole project seems to be self serving, never a good reason to start a business. Someone better wake them up to the fact that there is no real need for what they do. They should appreciate the fact that anyone is willing to pay to watch them perform. They may also be surprised at how loyal and generous fans can be if treated right. IMHO.
Holy jumping cue! You're back...I HOPE! Welcome!! You were missed!!
06-04-2002, 08:14 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: jjinfla:</font><hr> Charlie Williams showed his true side (greedy) when he kept announcing during the tournament not to bother the Pros for autographs. (snippity snip <hr></blockquote>
Charlie addressed this over at AZBilliards' board.
Yeah, a real hotbed of activity. He should get his message out to everyone there!
06-05-2002, 04:51 PM
I'm not sure how to take that comment. How was it meant?
06-05-2002, 05:47 PM
I could see Charlie jumping quikly to the mic..Better Slow it Down! I am pretty sure charlie frequents here...I am sure that he would want to clear his name...Whats the REAL DEAL?
06-05-2002, 06:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Lorri:</font><hr> Yeah, a real hotbed of activity. He should get his message out to everyone there! <hr></blockquote>
You mean everyone doesn't read every pool board? :-)
Looks like Charlie has made AZBilliards his home discussion board. He is probably familiar with Mike H. from AZB's tournament coverage and their 'meet the pros' slash 'player finder'.
Anyway, you know where to go to get it from the horses mouth. It's only a couple of clicks away; it's not like you have to leave your house and drive over there. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Good point. I only went for the Predator tournament results, since BD didn't have the info. Every time I log onto that board, it's the same threads. Seems like something new only gets posted over there when Karen or Allison does something wonderful and Gremlin wants to share. Not a personal attack, Housepro, I just didn't see much in the way of new info or conversation. Am I missing the good parts? If so, I would appreciate you directing me to them, it is nice to know what everyone is thinking in the billiard community, and much as we have a bit of a superiority complex here, not everyone posts at this board! /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif
Well that was a PREDATOR sponsored tourament.Let them know how you feel they pour there money in it and may not want to if the fan or consumer feels like that about some stuff........who knows some sponsors support a union some don't but almost all want the comsumer to be happy with the stuff they put there support in.
06-05-2002, 08:40 PM
Quote Lorri-- "Every time I log onto that board, it's the same threads. Seems like something new only gets posted over there when Karen or Allison does something wonderful and Gremlin wants to share."
Alf- Well then, it will be a quick read. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Quote Lorri-- "(...) and much as we have a bit of a superiority complex here, (...)"
Alf- Oh no! More CCB elitistspeak!! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
06-07-2002, 01:42 PM
Lorri, no the traffic on the forums is pretty slow over there. We have a pretty regular group of posters and quite a few lurkers from what the logs tell me. I have never pretended to aspire to CCB numbers on my forums. I have my hands more than full with maintaining the site itself.
And since that site is so much more involved than the message board here, I can see how you would!! Actually, I started browsing the site the other day (I didn't even know there was more!) and I was very impressed. I think you're doing a great job, and I'll be a more frequent visitor now, but I think I'll stick to the chat here /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Thanks, HousePro, like I said, I meant no disrespect /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif Keep loving Pool!
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