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View Full Version : Do You Get Comp'd Table Time at Your Home Room?



SpiderMan
08-07-2002, 02:39 PM
In the Dallas area, free pool seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Here's a typical example:: I play in an in-house league on Monday nights. The establishment gives all league players (and subs) free pool open-til-close (2am) every day except Friday and Saturday. I've actually played past 3am on occasion - they run everyone else out and let us keep playing on one table while they clean up and close. On Friday and Saturday, they will put us on the clock after 7 pm.

That seems to be a typical arrangement. I also play in a Wednesday-night traveling league, and my league card gets me privileges at about 4 different establishments. Ground rules vary by establishment.

The best league deal I remember was one house that gave us free pool, free soft drinks, and half-price food from the menu. Anytime.

What's it like elsewhere? Are we spoiled, deprived, or just about average?

SpiderMan

Kato
08-07-2002, 02:46 PM
I think you're pretty lucky though we are well taken care of. I get free pool on Wednesday's, free draft beer as well. Usually on Sunday's the owner will buy me a couple beers or coffee. Pool time is not always the going rate but we pay only 5 bucks on weekdays and 7 bucks on weekends after 7. Sometimes I pay 5 on weekends or nothing. Depends.

Kato~~~actually liked by most in the pool room

08-07-2002, 02:51 PM
Spiderman, are you saying that playing in one league night per week entitles you to play for free almost all the time??

Is this a poolroom or a bar? I suppose I would understand if it were a bar, but a poolroom?

- Steve

SpiderMan
08-07-2002, 03:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Steve_Lipsky:</font><hr> &lt;Spiderman, are you saying that playing in one league night per week entitles you to play for free almost all the time??&gt;

Yes, that's correct. It's been that way around here for about as long as I can remember, with varying details.

&lt;Is this a poolroom or a bar? I suppose I would understand if it were a bar, but a poolroom?&gt;

Most of the rooms around here follow the "Clicks" format, if you're familiar with them. Basically a 15- or 20-table poolroom with a bar at one end, and a limited food menu (fried foods and snacks). Usually they also have an area with dartboards. I'd say pool tables occupy 75% of the entertainment floor space, with 10% to darts and 15% to the bar and it's associated seating.

SpiderMan

- Steve <hr></blockquote>

Ken
08-07-2002, 03:58 PM
The leagues get an hour or so on their tables to get ready for the night's matches. I guess the leagues don't pay table time during the matches either. I don't play in the leagues.

I sometimes play in the weekly tournament. If we want 15 minutes to warm up before the tournament we have to go on time. We have to pay $10 time whether we go two and out or play all night. The entry is $10, add at least $10 for the calcutta and another $10 for a couple beers and a sandwich and you have blown $40. Do it every week and that's more than $2,000 a year and most of the time it's two and out so I get to go home early. The only thing worse than that is winning a few matches and staying a few hours, getting saturated with the smoke, and being sick for two weeks (it's happened).
KenCT

Barbara
08-07-2002, 05:59 PM
At Tacony in Philly? Are you kidding??!! Sometimes Kenny (the desk man) will "accidentally" calculate the "senior's rate" for me, but that's it. He's a sweetie.

And at Drexeline, I used to bring the owner a big bag of pecan goodies for him ('cause I knew he liked them) and I never got a cent knocked off my time. Not like I was looking for anything, but please, a little give-and-take at least once!

But even when I lost to Arthur (at Tacony) in a race to 7 where the bet was for table time, he'd still pay it!! I even started getting p-o'd because hey, a bet's a bet!!

Barbara~~~doesn't bet what she can't afford to lose...

Tom_In_Cincy
08-07-2002, 06:12 PM
Comp time is always appreciated, never expected.

There are practice sessions for league players, usally a half hour before the league starts, and practice tables (usally 2) during play.

That's about it... Texas seems to do things a little bigger..

Barbara
08-07-2002, 07:13 PM
That's right, it's appreciated and never expected.

One time I got a free lesson from a Top Pro WPBA player that I felt I had to at least give her half her going rate in some way. I felt I had to because that's what she does for a living.

Barbara~~~thanks Fran!!!

Karatemom
08-07-2002, 08:46 PM
Are you kidding? We need to move to Texas!!!! Once in a while, if there is someone other than the owner behind the counter, he'll give us a rate, usually because we have our son with us (he's such a ham! LOL). But most of the time, we have to pay $5 for an all day rate, (that's each!!!!!) every day of the week. Right now, he has a monopoly out here, but there will be another ph opening up in the next few days and will frequent there as well. The rate there will probably be the same if not more, but won't know anything til they open (can't wait!!).

Heide ~ has a reason to pack up the son and hubby and leave the Midwest now

08-07-2002, 10:00 PM
I don't get comp'd, but I am one of a handful of regulars who get a very attractive A-list rate. In my case, it's not only because I'm a regular, but because I've been very good to the room in my column over the years. GF

Rich R.
08-08-2002, 04:29 AM
Consider yourself extremely lucky, SpiderMan.
One place I play has half price during the day, until 7:00.
Another place, just for the summer months, has had free pool for league members on Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Other than that, it is all full rate. I have never received free pool time.
My wife even makes me pay table time at home. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif
Rich R.~~~may have to retire in Dallas.

rackmup
08-08-2002, 07:49 AM
CLICK'S in Arlington, TX. affords the In-House league players free time on the 8' tables anytime. The 9' Gold Crowns are another story. No free pool there (unless it is in a moment of rare grace on behalf of the manager or someone that "likes" you.)

Another room (will remain nameless) in Dallas has NEVER charged me for table time. NEVER!

My real "home room" in Tempe, AZ. comps me time about 50% of the time and only asks for a decent "tip" in the tip jug the rest of the time. It also has the best tables I have ever played on, the best food and great looking...ummm...female patrons and players.

Regards,

Ken (a Kolby's advocate from the day they opened the doors)

bluewolf
08-08-2002, 07:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: rackmup:</font><hr> CLICK'S in Arlington, TX. affords the In-House league players free time on the 8' tables anytime. The 9' Gold Crowns are another story. No free pool there (unless it is in a moment of rare grace on behalf of the manager or someone that "likes" you.)

Another room (will remain nameless) in Dallas has NEVER charged me for table time. NEVER!

My real "home room" in Tempe, AZ. comps me time about 50% of the time and only asks for a decent "tip" in the tip jug the rest of the time. It also has the best tables I have ever played on, the best food and great looking...ummm...female patrons and players.

Regards,

Ken (a Kolby's advocate from the day they opened the doors) <hr></blockquote>

as far as i can tell few breaks in dc area. pay 7$ a night when you play in a league. you are lucky to get in a few balls before and/or after the match.

used to get half price at some places for apa and i used to play during the day for 4$ three years ago. as far as I can tell, those days are over.

bluewolf

Chris Cass
08-08-2002, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Karatemom:</font><hr> Heide ~ has a reason to pack up the son and hubby and leave the Midwest now <hr></blockquote>

WHAT? And leave all this corn.

Chris

Chris Cass
08-08-2002, 11:14 AM
Hi Spiderman,

I wish you didn't mention free time. It only makes me feel sick. Well, actually we pay the $5.00 all day rate and that's a deal. I know however 7 to 8 players who arn't regulars and pay nothing at all.

They think nothing of charging me and give slight breaks maybe if I don't play very long they'll say $2.00. Rarely they don't charge me anything. I'll bring Heide and lil Christ and they'll charge the $15.00 for the day if it's only been 2 hrs. I don't expect a discount but this favoritism over a regular is BS.

There's guys that don't pay that are regs too. They just tab it. They never pay the tab of course and if the owner needs something done. Well, they'll get it for free. I can't wait to move. As far as time goes now. I don't care about the deal. Tell me what I owe and don't even give me any $hit.

Regards,

C.C.~~cornfield USA

Karatemom
08-08-2002, 12:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Chris Cass:</font><hr> &lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote: Karatemom:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr&gt; Heide ~ has a reason to pack up the son and hubby and leave the Midwest now &lt;hr&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;

WHAT? And leave all this corn.

Chris <hr></blockquote>

A person can only eat so much corn before they have to say enough already!!!!!!

Heide ~ sick of corn

08-08-2002, 02:21 PM
It's nice from your perspective (as a player) to get complimentary pool at your home room. I hope that you really appreciate it, thank your proprietor or manager often and never take it for granted. Poolrooms that bring in a large part of their revenue from bar/alcohol sales, league play and food sales may have the luxury to regularly comp the pool to certain customers and league members.

From the perspective of an owner/manager (which I am), I would only hope that the managers/employees who do this have the approval and authority from the owner to do so. If they don't have that approval it is essentially the same as stealing from the owner - no different than an employee sneaking free drinks and food to their buddies, or myself as an owner cheating an employee out of their hourly wages or tips.

It is a risky business from a management standpoint when you start giving away free food/drinks/services to too many. The biggest potential problem is in the consistency it is done and to whom - being fair at all times to all your customers and keeping them all happy. If some of your loyal and regular paying customers find out that others get free pool for reasons they may not understand or don't agree with, it can be a far bigger problem than you may realize in terms of losing customers and a business's reputation. Also, unless the business is really thriving it is just not good business to give away too much - as that means it's not worth much. Most poolrooms are operating on the fringes in terms of profit and cannot to afford to do this regularly and stay in business - certainly not ours as we don't have alcohol sales to make up for it. Now if one runs up a consistently substantial bar tab while playing pool, then that's a totally different situation in which I can certainly see why you might get your pool comped frequently considering the circumstances.

There are many frequent, loyal customers here that I occasionally give free pool and/or food &amp; drinks (non-alcoholic) from time to time. I do so very confidentially when no one else is around, and they never know when it's going to happen until they come to settle up before leaving. Yes, they greatly appreciate it and I'm sure it builds customer loyalty, but they certainly don't ever get to where they expect it.

Of course there is an unwritten list of people that get free pool here and food/drink discounts including employees, pro players, family members of employees, vendors, etc., etc. However, most never abuse this privilege or never expect it, and I as the owner/manager am the only person that has the discression to give anyone (other than current employees when they are not working) free pool time. Just offering another perspective from a business owners standpoint. - Chris in NC

08-08-2002, 02:57 PM
George, I forgot to mention that of course not just pro players but anyone associated with the billiard industry would get complimentary pool time here - the only possible exception would be if there was a waiting list for tables and if that person or persons were tying up a table by themselves. Now if this person was a regular frequent customer, I would have to charge them something but it wouldn't be much. Also any regular frequent customers receive an automatic 25% discount on pool at all times except when there is a waiting list.

As far as players who are given complimentary time being encouraged to feed the tip jar, I can see potential for corruption there. In that situation an employee is going to be financially compensated and rewarded for comping a player - at the expense of the owner.

This reminds me of an incident that happened in here a month or so ago in our grill operation. A group had to wait a very long time for their food order to come out - due to the cook having a bad day. To compound the problem the waitress had made a mistake in the order, so when the order finally came out it had to be thrown out and another order made in it's place. The waitress approached me and asked me if we could comp them their meals considering the circumstances of their long wait, and I agreed to. Having given them their complimentary meal, the customers then left a very generous tip - which the waitress and cook split. Now how do you think I felt about this? I had lost considerably in food costs on this group by having to throw away the first order they placed (due to the waitress mistake), comped the second order (due to the long wait from our cook having a bad day), and then had to witness them both being rewarded by getting a generous tip even though they were at fault and that I was taking a loss as the owner. It just didn't sit right with me, but I strongly feel that the tip jar is off-limits to me to tamper with as an owner/manager. Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it! - Chris in NC

SpiderMan
08-08-2002, 05:26 PM
Hi Chris,

I'm sure that all the establishments here also have similar "unwritten lists" and other discretionary practices for regulars and buddies. But in the case of league players, it's a little more formalized. My Wednesday-night traveling-league operator has a contract with each establishment. At the beginning of each season, we get an ID card and a sheet of paper listing the negotiated perks and rules for the various establishments. That way, we don't go in wondering what we are going to get, we show our ID when we pick up the balls.

In the in-house league (Monday nights at a different poolroom), the manager has a list furnished by the LO. If you're not on the list, you go on the clock.

I'm sure that, as generous as all this may seem by national standards, they would not continue to do it year after year unless they felt it provided a net gain to them. For the most part, I seldom see all tables full when I am practicing, so it's not like the revenue stream is being reduced by keeping someone off the tables. Maybe the benefits of the concessions I buy, the friends I bring there instead of going elsewhere, and the intangible image benefit of making the place seem a little more popular to a casual observer dropping in to see if it's worth staying, must outweigh whatever wear and tear I put on the equipment.

SpiderMan

SpiderMan
08-08-2002, 05:30 PM
Chris,

That's a very good point, and probably not something a customer actually thinks about. But you were right to just let it slide. After all, maybe the tip would have been even bigger if they hadn't had to wait! Some people just tip big, regardless of item cost.

SpiderMan

PQQLK9
08-08-2002, 07:44 PM
At "Breaktime Billiards" in Front Royal,VA all league members get discouts plus table time is free if you play the owner (Dave)...one of the best rooms I ever have played in.

08-12-2002, 11:30 PM
Chris, I should have clarified that my A-list rate is only available when no one is waiting for tables. In the latter situation, I'm offered the option of yielding the table or paying regular rates for my practice.

As for that dining fiasco, I agree that it's part of the cost of doing business. Your customers left happy (even if you weren't), and as a result will probably continue to patronize your place and replace that income many times over. What reasonable retail businessperson wouldn't make that his/her first objective? GF