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dmgwalsh
07-06-2011, 01:15 PM
From ABP General Attorney Dennis Walsh

Chicago, Illinois- It is with regret that the general professional body of the Association of Billiard Professionals will not be attending the 2011 US Open 9-Ball Championship promoted by Mr.Barry Behrman. Nor will these ABP pros attend the Masters 10-Ball or any event promoted by Mr.Behrman because of monies owed to players and lack of secure funds of prize money before each of his events.

One of the goals of the Association of Billiards Professionals is to provide a platform where touring professionals can pursue the sport they love as a full time career and achieve reasonable financial success. To that end discussions have been ongoing since last year with representatives of the US Open and representatives of the ABP.

Repeated attempts by the ABP organization to obtain guarantees that the prize money will be in place have been refused and therefore it is with regret that the Association and its members have decided to neither support nor attend the 2011 US Open 9-Ball Championship. Notwithstanding the Associationís deep respect for Barry Behrman for his contribution to pool these many years, the players simply cannot commit their time and their expenses for an uncertain payday.

"As a former US Open 9-Ball champion, it's painful to not be able to attend this year, as it is always great to play in it. However, the ABP and its goals are more important than my personal goals, and we need to start taking the necessary steps to pave the way for the future of the game and its up and coming stars."- Rodney Morris, ABP Board of Directors

"It is with sadness that I must withdraw from one of my favourite tournaments ever. In doing so, I hope the sacrifices we are making raises the standard of the elements that our beautiful sport lacks. The ABP's goals are to the benefit of the sport and to restore the confidence of cooperation between players, associations and promoters alike. I stand behind this vision fully. " - Mika Immonen, ABP Board of Directors and Two time US Open 9-Ball Champion.

"The US Open is the greatest and most prestigious event on American soil. I am truly sorry we cannot attend this event. But we have an obligation to protect all players now and in the future. I am hopeful in the future all things will be worked out so all players can participate in all great and safe tournaments." - Johnny Archer, President of the ABP.

Regardless if this is a BCA or WPA Sanctioned event, the following ABP Professional Players will not attend:


1. Johnny Archer USA
2. Mika Immonen FIN
3. Efren Reyes PHI
4. Francisco Bustamante PHI
5. Darren Appleton ENG
6. Shane Van Boening USA
7. Rodney Morris USA
8. Alex Pagulayan PHI
9. Dennis Orcullo PHI
10. Thorsten Hohmann GER
11. Lee Van Corteza PHI
12. John Schmidt USA
13. Corey Deuel USA
14. Huidji See NED
15. Mike Sigel USA
16. Nick Varner USA
17. Buddy Hall USA
18. CJ Wiley USA
19. Tony Drago MLT
20. Raj Hundal ENG
21. Karl Boyes ENG
22. Imran Majid ENG
23. Marcus Chamat SWE
24. Roberto Gomez PHI
25. Carlo Biado PHI
26. Warren Kiamco PHI
27. Antonio Lining PHI
28. Jundel Mazon PHI
29. Shawn Putnam USA
30. Mike Davis USA
31. Stevie Moore USA
32. Oscar Dominguez USA
33. Charlie Williams USA
34. Dennis Hatch USA
35. Jeremy Jones USA
36. Allen Hopkins USA
37. Scott Frost USA
38. Ernesto Dominguez MEX
39. Kim Davenport USA
40. Rob Saez USA
41. Tony Crosby ENG
42. Art Wiggins USA
43. Tommy Najar USA

This list will be updated as more pro members join and may choose to not participate.

jjinfla
07-12-2011, 01:20 PM
I don't see Earl Strickland's name on the above list. Looks like he should be the odds on favorite to win it. How many would that make? 6?

Did Barry Behrman ever not pay everyone? A few years back when the hurricane came through there were a lot of cancellations and many fans didn't show so Behrman didn't have the gate receipts and must have lost his shirt.

The funniest line I read was, "the players simply cannot commit their time and their expenses for an uncertain payday."

The only certain thing I can see in a pool tournament is that 75% of the players leave not receiving anything. Not much of a payday there. They are what I call the "almost" players. Almost good enough to finish in the money. Just not good enough.

It must be pretty hard to guarantee a certain payoff when it is based on entrees, fan attendance, advertising and sales. Especially in this terrible economy. Who can predict if fans will show up and if they do, will they spend money. If not, then Barry gets stuck with a big setup bill.

Are the players in the Union being reasonable? Beats me, but I don't think a boycot will solve anything. It sure won't endear the fans to the players. If the players sit out they sure will not make any money. That's a damn guarantee.

I wonder what the wifes and girlfriends think about them sitting out? They might miss that extra money. How about their kids? A boycot sure will not put food on the table. That's a guarantee.

Yep, pool players are fools. They all want guarantees but give nothing. How many players will guarantee that they will sell 20 tickets to the event? Ha Ha. Don't hold your breath. Hell, how many of them could sell 20 tickets?

Is this the way players reward their sponsors? By boycotting the most prestigious game in the country. It just might cause sponsors to think twice about sponsoring someone.

Rich R.
07-13-2011, 04:20 AM
This whole situation smacks of Charlie Williams and the UPA from a few years back. He used the same threats the ABP is using now. The only thing that was accomplished was that they convinced a number of promoters to get out of the pool business.

In a perfect world, there would be a ton of money sitting around and a promoter could put the necessary money in escrow prior to the tournaments. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the world of pool.

The bottom line is that there is not a lot of money in pool. The promoters, Barry included, need the gate money as part of the prize fund. They do not have the money sitting around to put into an escrow account.

In addition to the money issue, the ABP wants their players seeded into tournaments, giving them an advantage over non-members.

Players should be working with promoters, not threatening them. As far as the U.S. Open goes, Barry has always paid the players. Maybe payments were delayed, at times, but he has always paid. Earlier this year, Barry held a Master's tournament and, from what I heard, he didn't get the attendance he expected and payments have been delayed. However, he is working on it and I expect everyone will be paid as in the past.

If the players think it is so easy to raise money for pool tournaments, why don't they use their organization to form a tour. They could put all of the money in escrow and determine what players should be seeded.
Yeah, like that is going to happen. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif

jjinfla
07-13-2011, 07:12 AM
Ha Ha.

When I first started reading it I thought I was experiencing deja vous and had to go see who was writing it. I have been away for 3 years so you know what I was thinking - CW still at it.

Barry should turn the tables on the players. Have a sliding sign up fee. $250 if they sign up in July; $300 if they sign up in August; $350 if they sign up in September; $500 if they sign up after September.

Then watch and see what the players will do. You and I both know that they are not going to sit out on the US Open. That would just be plain stupid.

If they boycott the US Open then the fans, all 13 of us, should boycott the sponsors of the players. And let the sponsors know.

Fran Crimi
07-13-2011, 09:10 AM
Both sides have their faults -- no question about it.

I see that the ABP is working with an attorney, which is a good thing. That will bring some professionalism to the group.

Barry should do the same thing. He gets too emotional, which doesn't help his case. When Barry doesn't like the way a phone conversation is going, he will just hang up on you. Many will tell you that they experienced the infamous 'Barry hangups' over the years, including me. It leaves you feeling that whatever you're trying to work out with him is a lost cause.

I think that both can come to an agreement that would work, but not as long as Barry insists on negotiating on his own behalf. He needs to hire someone willing to sit at a table with the other side and hammer out the issues. Barry is not the man for that job.

Soflasnapper
07-13-2011, 12:17 PM
Jose Parica's name is also not listed. I'd make him a co-favorite with anyone left, and maybe this would be the breakthrough from bridesmaid and top 5 finishes.

If this holds up, which I hope it doesn't, this year's title will be a little tainted, but people won't remember the shortened field after a time. Just as when there were strike-shortened seasons in various team sports in the past, the winner is considered the winner anyway.

07-13-2011, 02:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I see that the ABP is working with an attorney, which is a good thing. That will bring some professionalism to the group.

</div></div>

I believe the attorney for the ABP is the original poster. Perhaps Dennis can clarify?


Eric

jjinfla
07-13-2011, 02:42 PM
Me thinks esquire Dennis Walsh may be working pro bono for the love of the game?

07-13-2011, 04:45 PM
Me thinks, you think right.

Either way, since Dennis decided to post here, why not ask for his feedback?


Eric

Fran Crimi
07-13-2011, 09:31 PM
Well, now I'm discouraged. I don't know why an attorney would make that post.

Rich R.
07-14-2011, 06:53 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, now I'm discouraged. I don't know why an attorney would make that post. </div></div>

I didn't know dmgwalsh was an attorney and I certainly didn't know he was working for the ABP.

I know he is a member of several forums and he is very active on AZ. Maybe he is trying to settle this matter on the forums instead of at the bargaining table, sort of the way some lawyers try cases in the press instead of the courtroom. I don't think this is a good way to start off a negotiation.

Hopefully, cool heads can get together and come to a good compromise.

bradb
07-14-2011, 11:00 AM
After reading all the posts here and making a judgement call based on the information provided, I can only come to the conclusion that this cannot be good for pool.

I'm only a pool fan but my background is in marketing and therefore I ask what do the pros think they can accomplish by holding out and possibly sinking pool even lower in attendance? Pool as a sport is fragile with a tiny budget and it may not survive any drastic measures.

If players really are still waiting to be paid thats unfortunate, no other sport would tolerate that, but this action is not the answer.

-Brad

Soflasnapper
07-14-2011, 11:50 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, now I'm discouraged. I don't know why an attorney would make that post. </div></div>

Part of negotiation is posturing at the beginning, so...

Here's hoping cooler heads prevail. Always a good thing.

Scott Lee
07-14-2011, 01:03 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jjinfla</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Did Barry Behrman ever not pay everyone? A few years back when the hurricane came through there were a lot of cancellations and many fans didn't show so Behrman didn't have the gate receipts and must have lost his shirt. </div></div>

Jake...According to Barry, he has paid ALL players from previous US Open tournaments. There is a rumor that Mika is owed the 10K for winning the Masters in March. The ABP has to date refused to identify anyone in their organization who they allege has not been paid.

Scott Lee

Scott Lee
07-14-2011, 01:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran Crimi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, now I'm discouraged. I don't know why an attorney would make that post. </div></div>

I didn't know dmgwalsh was an attorney and I certainly didn't know he was working for the ABP.

I know he is a member of several forums and he is very active on AZ. Maybe he is trying to settle this matter on the forums instead of at the bargaining table, sort of the way some lawyers try cases in the press instead of the courtroom. I don't think this is a good way to start off a negotiation.

Hopefully, cool heads can get together and come to a good compromise. </div></div>

Rich...Dennis is an attorney in Chicago. I agree with Jake that he is likely doing this pro bono, at least initially. The ABP has had the benefit of good professional business advice already, and basically ignored it. I believe you will see many of the names on that list playing in this year's US Open.

Scott Lee

jjinfla
07-14-2011, 05:07 PM
Whatever happened to Danny Harriman? Didn't he have a problem collecting a check a few years back? But I can't remember who the promoter was. I think it upset him a lot and he stopped playing, and then tried playing again but was not the same.

I really can't blame the ABP for wanting Barry to post the money ahead of time. Unfortunately, I don't think the money is there until the seats are sold and entry fees are paid. And before Barry can put up money for the players I am sure all of his creditors want cash in hand before they give him anything. I wonder how much it costs him just for security. I'm sure the days of giving a couple of off duty cops 40 bucks are long gone.

How many years has Barry been running the US Open? Quite a few. So he must be doing something right. He is one of the few promoters who actually make a profit on a tourament. At least I hope so. Maybe Barry should explain to the players all the expenses involved in running a tournament. But it most likely would be a waste of time - they wouldn't listen.

Over the years I have found that players do not realize that a tournament director does not make any money from the entry fee. All of that is returned to the players. The players look at all the money he takes in and they just don't realize that all he does is hold it and give back to other players. Yes, they are that dumb. Sad to say.

Maybe Barry will come on and post his side of the never ending story. He did a few years ago. Maybe he will do it again.

The funny part of this saga is that the leaders of the APB know exactly what problems any TD/promoter has yet they still come out with their ultimatum that they will not play in the Open, or the masters, or any tournament held by Barry. Doesn't sound like there is any room for negotiations in the statement. I didn't see the words "may not play" rather they said "will not play". Pretty final to me.

jjinfla
07-14-2011, 07:07 PM
I just saw that Barry Behrman did respond to the APB announcement. His letter is on AZB homepage. A must read for everyone. He writes well.

This will be the 36th US Open.

He mentions that some APB players called/wrote to him stating that they did not know that their name would be on the list of boycotting the Open.

It sure would be a shame if the APB posted that list of names without their consent.

jjinfla
07-14-2011, 07:52 PM
The plot thickens. Barry has stated that from now on he will no longer give a free ride to previous US Open winners. They will pay an entry fee just like everyone else.

I feel sorry for Tommy Kennedy. His name is not on the list.

I'll bet that Johnny's phone is ringing off the line. I wonder what other line of work he could get into because he sure is not going to be popular in pool anymore.

Rich R.
07-15-2011, 04:55 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jjinfla</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Whatever happened to Danny Harriman? Didn't he have a problem collecting a check a few years back? But I can't remember who the promoter was. I think it upset him a lot and he stopped playing, and then tried playing again but was not the same.
</div></div>
Danny is owed money from a tournament run by Barry's son, Brady. For some reason, Danny thought that Barry should cover his son's debts and pay him, but Barry made it clear that he had nothing to do with that tournament and he wasn't going to pay Danny. I guess Danny got pissed at both Barry and Brady.
To the best of my knowledge, this situation has never been settled and there is a lot of bad blood between Danny and Brady.

Concerning playing, Danny played in and won the Md. State 14-1 Championship last year. He was contacted within the past few days concerning a return to this tournament but he said he hasn't been playing. Table time in his area is high priced and he said he just hasn't been playing and won't come to the tournament unless he is prepared.

Rich R.
07-15-2011, 06:05 AM
There is a new press release on AZ and it appears that Barry and the ABP are at an impasse.

If the points listed in the press release are true, I think Barry made a more than fair offer to settle the situation. Obviously, the ABP didn't think so but the press release doesn't say what the sticking point was.

I'm sure one sticking point is that the full prize fund can not be placed in escrow and Barry explains why that can't be done.

There must be another issue and I suspect it may be the issue of seeding. To the best of my knowledge, the Open is a WPA sanctioned event. At least it was in the past. If the ABP thinks that they should get seeding, without regard for WPA points and seeding, they are pushing a little too hard.

It looks like the Open will go on with only a handful of players boycotting. It's sad that it has to be this way and I hope the players come to their senses. Again, if the items in the press release are true, I think Barry has made an effort to compromise. Now the ball is in the ABP court.

jjinfla
07-15-2011, 10:28 AM
They are beating a dead horse. Just rehashing what CW started 3-4 years ago. Maybe longer. Remember when Earl was a member and one day in Orlando he pulled off his patch and threw it on the floor on his way out. Look at all the money he has saved in dues.

I didn't see the ABP players protesting last weekend at the Seminole tour. No seeding there. ABP players just quietly came and played the way they were told to play. I guess they didn't want to take a chance on Chief Osceola planting a hatchet in their head and telling them to shut up. Besides, $25,000 added is a good incentive to forget the rules you want other promoters to abide by.

I imagine it won't be too long before the players upset the Seminole Tribe and lose that sugar daddy. Pool players seem to have a way to screw up anything they get involved in.

I always hear pool players compare pool to golf. So tell me, are golfers paid immediately after they finish their match? Are they paid in cash or check? Now that I think about it what professional player is paid immediately after playing and paid in cash? They want to be called "professional" then they should be paid the way all professionals are paid.

Pool players are spoiled. As soon as they are eliminated they want to be paid and be paid in cash right now.

In these times, with so many people out of work, it is downright dangerous for a TD to have that much cash sitting on a table. People have been killed for a lot less.

bradb
07-15-2011, 12:22 PM
I have a pro player friend who had managed to get in the earnings bracket a few times, but has dropped out of pro pool because he still hasn't been paid for pro tournaments he played in over a year back.

His gripe was the big name players got their money and they did'nt usually have to pay up front fees as he did. So playing pro pool for him was a losing proposition even when he did make the win bracket. He, like other lower ranked pros, was really playing more as a hobby.

True the big name players are the gate draw but the game can't be whittled down to just the top 30 or 40 world class players.

Its too bad that pool does'nt seem to know how to market itself other than to focus on some local promoter making his cut. The sport has serious problems and I sympathize with all the players but the top players need to know this isn't golf with its massive support and big bucks.

-Brad

jjinfla
07-19-2011, 06:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Eric</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Me thinks, you think right.

Either way, since Dennis decided to post here, why not ask for his feedback?
Eric</div></div>

I see that Dennis did not take your bait. He is a bit smarter than the last attorney the group had a few years ago.

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07-21-2011, 02:53 AM
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