View Full Version : Requirements for going pro?
12-10-2005, 10:50 AM
Can anyone give me a rundown on the technical requirements of going pro? Which are the main governing bodies? I'm confused by the different names. I know the Billiard Congress of America bills itself as the "governing body" of the sport, but the UPA bills itself as the "governing body of men's professional pool". Are there other organizations? Do they interact or do you need to go through the technical hoops of each one. Do you have to belong to each organization? And what are the requirements to play in the various events. Do you initially have to play (and qualify) in qualifiers and how do I find out about them? Finally, are all "opens" actually open to anyone willing to fork over the entry fee?
I realize of course that in order to be a pro I have to play like a pro. Not asking that question.
12-10-2005, 11:29 AM
If you just want to call yourself a pro (I'm not being smart here but some apparently do this) you can join an organization and pay dues, then pay and play in their events. Most events are open to anyone who can fork over the money, but if you don't have a very solid game you are probably going to be embarrassed in tournament play.
The BCA is a business group that represents it's supplier memebers, almost nothing more. They have established rules books but have very little to do with the player's side of the game any more. UPA is a group of players started by CW to serve as a players group but has had limited success as did it's many predecessors. They do have a very limited tour of sorts but most of the tournaments are outsdie their control. Like all others, they have not been able to put together a group of solid long term sponsors that would change the purses in pool.
The problem is there is no unified qualification for being a pro player that is accepted by all. My recommendation is that you enter some events that have a mix of pros and high level amateurs. This will give you a gage as to how well you stack up. If you last a few rounds or even if you are competitive against strong players, you might then look into joining a UPA type group and entering their events.
I believe all the Opens are really open to everyone as long as you get in your entry before the field is full. Again, you should have some smaller tournaments under your belt before taking on the U.S.Open. JMO...
12-10-2005, 01:31 PM
Alaskan Pool, Deeman just spelled out the current situation in pool, pretty well. To be a pro in the UPA, the only requirement is joining and paying the fee.
If you are truly in Alaska, you may have some trouble. But, if you are really in the continental U.S., there are a number of regional tours. Start playing in the one nearest to you. Most have a pro or two play in a lot of their tournaments and the non-pro competition is very fierce. If you can get to the top rankings in one of the regional tours, you will be ready to start playing pro events without worry of embarrassment.
A few of the regional tours to look for are the Joss Tour, the Tiger Planet Pool Tour and the Viking Tour. I know there are others, but I just can't recall their names right now.
IIRC, many of the regional tours have their schedules posted on AZB.
12-10-2005, 01:39 PM
A lot depends on what you mean by Pro. You can pay your membership fees to the UPA and become a Pro. There are more than one who have done that whom I would not consider to be playing at a true professional level, but they are technically pros.
If you consider a Pro as someone who makes a living playing pool, you can pack all your belongings in the back of your car and hit the road, doing nothing but gambling. You may or may not make much money, but if that's what you do to support yourself, I guess that would make you a pro.
The point is, the definition of a pro is quite vague, and means different things to different people. The WPBA has their guidelines for who is a Pro among the ladies, The UPA has theirs for the men, and now the IPT has theirs for both. Since there is no one single professional organization for pool, like there is for professional baseball, or other similar sports, there is no one way to become a pro.
Steve---thought about getting a tour card so I could say I was a pro.....thought better of it! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Alaskan_Pool:</font><hr> Can anyone give me a rundown on the technical requirements of going pro? <hr /></blockquote>
Cajones... big cajones! Seriously, it takes a lot of money to go "pro". You have to factor in travel expenses, which in this day and age can be outrageous... if you aren't getting in the big money 50% of the time, then you'll go broke in a hurry. As much as I hate to say this, if you're going to play the regional pro tours on a regular basis, then you better have some gamble, because the purses aren't going to feed you steak and wine, you'll be drinking rainwater and eating bologna, no bread...
Technically, there are no real requirments for going pro, but once you get there, you better have game, and know how to handle the pressure.
[ QUOTE ]
Which are the main governing bodies?
<hr /></blockquote>UPA, WPA and BCA are the most prevalent "governing" bodies, but the tours is what you need to know about. UPA, IPT, EBS, Viking, Fast Eddies, Fury, Joss, Midwest, Southeast, etc, etc, etc. Some of these are regional tours and they are the best and least monetarily taxing way to go at first. Check out AZBilliards main page and you can see most of the tours in existence. Great list on there... unfortunately, few visit the main page, but there is some great information there. [ QUOTE ]
I'm confused by the different names. I know the Billiard Congress of America bills itself as the "governing body" of the sport, but the UPA bills itself as the "governing body of men's professional pool". Are there other organizations? <hr /></blockquote>Yeah, and they all claim to be the king. I'm a BCA member and BCA Instructor, but I don't really consider that there is any one TRUE governing body of pool.[ QUOTE ]
Do they interact or do you need to go through the technical hoops of each one. Do you have to belong to each organization? And what are the requirements to play in the various events. Do you initially have to play (and qualify) in qualifiers and how do I find out about them?<hr /></blockquote>Some of them all you have to do is pay the dues and pay your entry fees. Some of them have qualifiers. Just depends on where you want to go and what exactly your ultimate goal might be.[ QUOTE ]
Finally, are all "opens" actually open to anyone willing to fork over the entry fee?
<hr /></blockquote>Some are, some are not. I've seen tournaments that were billed as OPEN, but in fact you either had to be a member of a particular organization or be invited to the "open". For the most part, an OPEN is a true OPEN, especially on the regional tours. Only thing, when it's a true open, like the one I play on occasion, the Midwest 9-Ball Tour, you might end up with Little Danny Harriman or Gabe Owen or James Walden or David Matlock or Buddy Hall or Li Jiu Chen or any number of top tournament or money players as your first match. Drop down to Texas and play the Fast Eddies and it can get brutal in a hurry. Sylver, Erwin, DoubleJ, Charlie Bryant, Fat Ralph, David G and the list goes on and on and on. Not really fun if you're just trying to "break in" to heavy tournament play, but lots of fun if once you've been there a few times.[ QUOTE ]
I realize of course that in order to be a pro I have to play like a pro. Not asking that question.<hr /></blockquote>Well, true and not true. Like Steve (pooltchr) said, we all know "pro's" that don't belong in the pro ranks. Sometimes they get lucky and snap off a good finish, but for the most part, there are top players and there are the ones that want to be top players, but just don't make the grade. I guess I could have worded that differently... sounds like I'm being a snob saying that they don't belong in the pro tournaments... what I should have said is they can't play competitively against the players that are on those particular tours, but the only way to learn how to dodge a speeding bullet is to stand in front of the gun. So maybe if they want to be top flight, then they DO belong there but they just haven't learned how to compete on that level consistently, yet.<hr /></blockquote>
Just my 2cents,
12-18-2005, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the info all. While I consider myself a decent player, probably a weak "A", I know my skill levels are not up to the task of a truly tough field. I was curious. I number of years ago I entered an open and saw how tough it is. I am proud to say I beat Larry Liscotti my first match. I got great rolls though. Then I got absolutely spanked by Rafael Martinez. I mean an ass whooping of monumental proportions.
[ QUOTE ]
I hate to say this, if you're going to play the regional pro tours on a regular basis, then you better have some gamble, because the purses aren't going to feed you steak and wine, you'll be drinking rainwater and eating bologna, no bread...<hr /></blockquote>
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