View Full Version : Charging a Pro Player for Practice Time?

02-21-2002, 11:08 PM
Does anyone else here think it's a little cheap for a nice poolroom to be charging a highly ranked pro tour player for their afternoon practice time - when there are plenty of empty tables in the house? This player has way too much class to ever take for granted that they should be comped or to even mention it to the management, but will simply choose not to return to this establishment in the future simply out of principle. Yes, they do know very well who this player is. It's stuff like this that really gives us room owners a bad name - that a fellow room owner would even consider doing this.

As a room owner, I always consider it an honor for any pro player to frequent our room to play or practice - and these players are always treated very special here. I can't possibly fathom why ANY room owner would be so ignorant and blind as to not see the many benefits this would have for their room and their business to have a top player in practicing occasionally or regularly - not to mention being a simple a sign of respect and appreciation.

As a room owner, I can't tell you how much this irritates me to hear of this! In fact I called the owner/manager myself (as one proprietor to another) to offer my opinion and advice as to how lucky they are that this player would think enough of their room to want to frequent it, and how they should proceed in the future if they have any semblance of sense. Any thoughts? - Chris in NC

02-22-2002, 12:39 AM
When I managed a 34 table room, I would not charge a Pro player for time during the day unless he/she was playing for money. Night or busy is another discussion.

What irritated me the most was when the Pro would arrogantly say something like "I'm Joe Bigshot and I don't pay time, right ???" without even giving the house the opportunity of comp'ing the time.


02-22-2002, 12:57 AM
I don't think they should pay practice time. There is another side to the coin though. When a pro player plays in your room, they can shut the place down. People stop to watch them play. I used to go in a room that had a lot of big action. The owner finally asked the players to restrict their play to after midnight. This was a 24 hour place. Before the rule. When two players matched up, every table would go off time to watch. This was a 21 table room. They were costing the owner thousands.

02-22-2002, 01:26 AM
the pro should pay, smile and never go back there.

dan...they loose.

Rich R.
02-22-2002, 06:19 AM
Chris, I can see the benefits of having pro players come to your room for practice. I have also personally seen a room shut down as Q-guy mentioned. The decision to comp the time has to be the decision of every individual room owner/manager. A lot would depend on the time of day and how busy the room is at that time. I don't think it is your place to tell another owner/manager how to run his/her business. There may be other factors involved that you have no knowledge of. If the pro decides not to return to a room that does not comp his practice time, that is his/her decision. A player should expect to pay until told differently. A player that walks in and says he is Joe Pro, and he doesn't pay table time, should be charged the full rate. I don't think any room needs the business of an ego like that. JMHO. Rich R.

02-22-2002, 06:33 AM
I think the extension of courtesy relies on the frequency the player plays at the pool hall (if its his home room)and up to the individual owner!If its once in a blue moon, then business is business!:)

02-22-2002, 10:00 AM
Rich, as I stated in my post it was in the afternoon when there were plenty of tables open. This player never complained to the owner/manager about the fact that they were charged - they paid without question. I happened to find out about it only because we were talking about where this person had been going to practice. Also, the player was not gambling or even playing with someone else - just practicing alone. To clarify, my phone call was not to tell the owner what to do, but simply to offer my advice (for the owner's benefit as much as for the player's benefit) on how I thought he should handle it - unless he wanted to lose the obvious benefits and prestige of this player practicing at his room at a time that would in no way affect his normal business. - Chris in NC

02-22-2002, 10:41 AM

I think it's great that you would offer your insight to another owner. I'm curious, though, how did the other owner respond? Did they appreciate the input, resent it, or just not care?

BTW - what's keeping you from registering here?


Rich R.
02-22-2002, 11:00 AM
Chris, in my response, I guess I was trying to cover more bases than were on the field. To be specific to the situation, a pro player, practicing by him/herself in the afternoon when the PH was not busy, I certainly agree that I, if in the position, would comp the time. Having a pro player become a regular in a PH, in the afternoon, could really help bring customers in during non-peak hours. I still have to stand by my opinion, that it is still the decision of the PH owner/manager. Your advise may or may not have been welcome. I have no way of knowing. With your advise, he may make a different decision the next time. But it is still his decision to make. JMHO. He may not feel as compelled to cater to pros as others. I personally have seen some pros that I would go out of my way to keep out of a pool room. I'm sure this wasn't the case in this situation. I guess I just want to say it is a matter of "different strokes for different folks." Rich R.

02-22-2002, 03:40 PM
Chris I totally agree especially if they are not working on their break shot or bleeding my customers of their 20 dollars each day. Having been in this situation many times I find there will always be someone that wants to hit em around with you, learn and maybe pay table time when they might not of played in the first place because no one was there. BF

02-22-2002, 04:57 PM
Chris, I completely agree. To charge a top player time is inexplicable. What will the room make by charging the pro for his two or three hours? $20? If at the end of the week the room owner even notices this difference in his paycheck, he's got more problems than he knows.

As to when to charge a pro or not, I don't feel there is ever a time. Obviously when the place is empty it goes without saying that the time should be comped. But the times that the owner REALLY needs the pro to play is when the place is jammed. At Amsterdam, when there is a waiting list, it is a huge benefit to them to have Mika or Ginky playing on the front table. The players waiting for a table have something to watch while they're waiting. They'll order some drinks, and get treated to a show. These people will stay and wait the 20 or 30 minutes for their table, rather than just leave and go elsewhere when they find out there's a waiting list.

Interestingly, the above scenario takes place equally with "players" and the "date" crowd. Players are more than happy to watch the pro and try to learn, and the date crowd has simply never seen anything like it. When they see a guy running racks, they are enthralled. Maybe they will begin to take the game seriously, maybe not. But whatever the case, they will stay and wait for their table.

- Steve Lipsky

02-22-2002, 05:21 PM
We charge the players to play in our room Q-Masters when the are practicing for the U.S.Open. The only Free Practice tables are in the cnference cener.

hope ths helps a little bit TOM

02-22-2002, 05:35 PM
SPetty, I don't really understand how to go about registering, as I thought I initially did. I was wondering why I have to keep entering my username when posting. Any help in this regard - particularly if it is of benefit to me would be greatly appreciated.

As to your questions, I could tell the owner/manager does not come from the same perspective that I do - in terms of my feelings of respect toward the pro players and this one particular player in specific. Even though he may have been a little put off by my forwardness in stating how I think he should choose to handle this in his place of business, I believe I made my point. He seemed to appreciate it and perhaps I made him consider the positives of having this player in their facility - which apparently he hadn"t previously given thought to.

I certainly hope that if presented another opportunity they will choose to handle it differently. If not, I'm the one that's gonna look like a fool if this player goes back and is charged again (LOL).

I can tell you that any room owner or customer would/should be thrilled to have this person in their room practicing - and customers of that or any room (whether players or not) would certainly take notice, stay longer and be more likely to come back in hopes of the possibility of seeing this person in there again - just as they do here.

02-22-2002, 05:38 PM
Hi Chris,
All you have to so is Go to "Login" Up in the line of options where My home" "who's online" etc are located. Type in your user name and your password and your all set. Hope this helps.
BTW, i am going to check my math 1+1=2..... World renowned player.....+ Lives in NC..... = Earl S?

02-22-2002, 09:30 PM
That'd do it, time charged after that cocky attitude! Otherwise I'd NEVER charge for a player of notoriety in a PH I was running. Just makes sense. But give "the attitude" line like you mentioned and see how far down on the totem pole you end up on..sid

02-22-2002, 10:45 PM
a long time ago in the place i play here in albany.. in walks Mike Segal and Larry Hubbard... they practice for about 3 hours,,during the day.. the owner charged them for the time... it was really embarrasing for the regulars that were in there......mike

02-23-2002, 12:25 AM
FYI Rich, A very well known Pro come in my room and
he paid practice time and of course any time gambling.
He come back several times to play. At one time no one
on the planet had to like matching up with him.
But this falls into the categorie of, it was ok for him
to be there, but no free rides.

I would comp table time to any Pro I have respect for
but that was my decision and I think its an individual
one at that.

Paul Newman, come in and played, although not a pool Pro
I did comp his time, but he paid for the beer!
That guy is 77 now, how time flies.

I wonder what happens in NYC and other large cities, do
the Pros always get a comp? Do the famous or actors pay?
I remember when I played real good and didn't have to pay
at some places. But even if I had been a touring Pro I
would not have expected a free ride. Some peoples egos are
really inflated.
Anyway Chris, if you read this I would in most cases comp
time, because it is good for the game and your business.