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Steve Lipsky
02-21-2003, 10:38 PM
AZ has a press release from Tony Annigoni, touting a soon-to-be released service that will accept online wagering on pool matches.

I was hoping for a little more information on how they plan to regulate this, but not much was offered. Tony or Mike Howerton, if you're reading this, I hope you can respond.

Specifically, will there be a maximum betting limit on an individual match? To be honest, I'm not even that concerned about unsuspectingly betting on a fixed match. I'm more concerned with getting ready to play a match and being pulled aside by some goon, telling me I better not get past 6 games.

Anyway, with low betting limits, I think this can be a boon for the game. And I do wish the best to Mike and Tony in the endeavor.

- Steve

L.S. Dennis
02-21-2003, 11:46 PM
Tony is currently in Alantic City playing in the ten ball tournament. This is the first I've heard of this but it does sound interesting.

AzHousePro
02-22-2003, 02:05 AM
Steve, yes there will be limits on how much can be bet on any one match by one person. I believe the matches will also be limited to ones between players in a certain pool of top players.

I expect Tony will be releasing a lot more info very soon.

Mike

NH_Steve
02-22-2003, 07:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote AZBilliards.com:</font><hr>Annigoni offered, " Having been somewhat active in the tournament scene the last year or so, I find it frustrating that an event like the World Series of Poker, albeit one pool could learn from, gets so much exposure on television while pool is relegated to made for tv events that seldom capture any of the real excitement provided by back room match play like that taking place after hours in Louisville. With the dawn of reality TV, it amazes me that the billiard industry in general doesn't wake up and smell the Money ."

Annigoni continued, " I can tell you from direct personal experience with "Playing Off the Rail" that the public in general is far more interested in viewing and paying for the image the " The Hustler" offers than what currently is being offered on television. Had David McCumber ( author of Playing Off the Rail ) showed up at Random House with a story about some girl scout who played at the YMCA and became a pool champion while attending New England Charm School, I'll let you guess how much his advance would have been in comparison to the $150,000 he received for having to put up with me on the road for six months." <hr /></blockquote> There is a lot of truth in this, that the BCA certainly both doesn't seem to get, and in fact does its best to try to make disappear. As I have said before, for the quickest proof that this is true, one needs only look at the huge surge in pool interest first following the success of 'The Hustler', then again following 'The Color of Money'. Were these movies about the "girl scout"? I don't think so! Yet they both probably pout more profit in the coffers of BCA industries than all their 'goody two shoes' efforts lumped together over the last 100 years /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif

You rarely succeed over the long haul by pretending something that's not. Success is generally found in accepting dichotomy and playing conflicting themes off of each other -- the classic bing good vs evil -- it is the dynamic that attracts audience!!!!!!!!

Steve Lipsky
02-22-2003, 10:03 AM
Thanks Mike. Looking forward to hearing more.

Good luck!

- Steve

02-22-2003, 01:25 PM
Gambling is the reason men's pro billiards is a joke. Advertisers don't line up to support a corrupt sport. They don't do business with people who throw matches, split pots and in general act like degenerate gamblers.

This idea by Tony is ridiculous. Who is going to bet money on matches where the outcome is already determined? There is not an ounce of credibility in the men's game.

Why do the women have a viable tour and sponsors? Because their image is clean.

AzHousePro
02-22-2003, 04:54 PM
I am sorry that you feel that way about the men's game.

I personally think that the idea that all the men's events are fixed is absolutely absurd. While it does happen to a degree, it also happens in the other sports.

And to put forth the idea that the women don't throw matches is also crazy. It may not happen as often as it does with the men, but it does happen.

Until the #50 player on the mens (or womens) side of things can make a living playing pool, there will be thrown matches.

Mike

Troy
02-22-2003, 05:26 PM
Another point Mike is that more and more Tournament Directors and sponsors are disqualifying any player who engages in fixes, savers, or splits. With enforcement, it shouldn't be too long before Pool can come out of the dark ages.

Golf and Bowling were once in the same situation and they made it out.

Troy...~~~ Has hope for honesty
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote AzHousePro:</font><hr> I am sorry that you feel that way about the men's game.

I personally think that the idea that all the men's events are fixed is absolutely absurd. While it does happen to a degree, it also happens in the other sports.

And to put forth the idea that the women don't throw matches is also crazy. It may not happen as often as it does with the men, but it does happen.

Until the #50 player on the mens (or womens) side of things can make a living playing pool, there will be thrown matches.

Mike <hr /></blockquote>

02-22-2003, 06:43 PM
I never said that all events were fixed. I did say that the men’s tour is corrupt and therefore keeps advertisers away. Back to the original topic........why would I place a bet on a match through this guy’s service, if the people playing are willing to throw the match at the drop of a dime. How can you possibly endorse something so obviously corrupt at its essence?

Maybe the women do gamble, but from what my sources say it is extremely limited. We all know that image is everything. The women’s game looks squeaky clean to advertisers, that is why they are on TV.

NH_Steve
02-22-2003, 08:21 PM
Might I suggest you take up gymnastics or piano figure skating or something? Oh wait -- wasn't there a recent figure skating scandal? You sound like one of those BCA cowards that like to pretend that pool is only for 'goody two shoes'. You are wrong, actually it's the small minded misplaced logic like yours that is holding the sport back /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif

I suppose you don't support higher education, since there is lots of $$$$$$$$$ bet on college sports -- and occasional points shaving scandals, too?

NH_Steve --&gt; not a big gambling supporter, but a fan of the 'color' in pool

02-22-2003, 08:42 PM
NH Steve, from your ignorant post I can only deduce that you are the typical pool room junkie who knows nothing about the business side of pool. Everyone in the business knows how gambling has ruined the sport for national exposure. Only a fool would deny this indisputable fact.

Troy
02-22-2003, 08:47 PM
"Everyone" ??? That is a huge unsubstantiated statement.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote The Master:</font><hr> NH Steve, from your ignorant post I can only deduce that you are the typical pool room junkie who knows nothing about the business side of pool. Everyone in the business knows how gambling has ruined the sport for national exposure. Only a fool would deny this indisputable fact. <hr /></blockquote>

02-22-2003, 08:57 PM
Troy, I stand by my statement. Everyone who understands the business knows that gambling is the reason that there is no national mens tour.

02-22-2003, 09:53 PM
I don't think the key here is gambling ON a sport, but gambling WITHIN the sport. Anyone who has been around pool halls knows all the good players gamble, but it's hard to blame professional players for doing so when the prize money in most tournaments is a joke. I agree the hard-core gambling in pool leads to it's bad image, but I'm not sure you'll ever be able to separate the two. I don't like the image, but I've participated in my share of money games over the years as well, and I'm not much of a gambler. I don't know what the answer is.

Jimmy Mendoza
02-22-2003, 10:23 PM
[ QUOTE ]

Gambling is the reason men's pro billiards is a joke. Advertisers don't line up to support a corrupt sport. They don't do business with people who throw matches, split pots and in general act like degenerate gamblers.
<hr /></blockquote>

Do you really believe what you're saying here, or are you just bitter that guys (girls too?) try to match up with you? Listen, there is gambling in just about EVERY major sport that I can think of. Relating back to your quote above, do you really think that Boxing has a BETTER reputation than pool as far as matches being fixed? Do you think Mike Tyson acts like a respectable citizen? I don't see too many "advertizers" jumping off his bandwagon. In fact, his fights STILL draw sponsors and make money, in spite of all the antics surrounding all of his recent fights!

If you're not quite convinced (which I assume you're not), try looking in the sports page of your local newspaper. You see that little section in there that offers lines on most of the major sporting events? I'll give you one guess what those lines are used for. Gambling isn't responsible for anything as far as the state of pool is concerned. You're not the first one to come up with this novel concept, and if it were that simple, pool would have already been up there with the other major sports.

[ QUOTE ]

This idea by Tony is ridiculous. Who is going to bet money on matches where the outcome is already determined?
<hr /></blockquote>

The outcome is NOT already determined. Do you think that there is any less chance of fixing the outcome of sporting events in other "more credible" sports?

Tom_In_Cincy
02-22-2003, 11:17 PM
The only reason Advertisers don't pick up on pool, is that, all their money is already spent on the other sports. NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Tennis, Golf and all the College televised sports. Pool can never compete against those GIANTS, there isn't enough money to go around.

Gambling isn't the reason, all the above sports have more gambling done in one week, than Pool does in years.

The Stigma of the 'hustler' and 'shark' belongs to POOL, no other sport or game. But, this is one of the allures of the game too. Have you ever been to the Derby City Classic? 10 Days of lights out gambling, and growing every year. I wonder why? Gambling is one of the biggest attractions to pool. Do you watch two local players play for fun, or do you watch two local players that have big $$$ on the game?
Which would you think TV would be more interested in?

TV is only interested in making money, Advertisers are only interested in making money, Pool Room owners are only interested in making money, (do you see a pattern here) and pool players are only interested in making money.

Who in the pool community isn't interested in making money?..

I guess its The Master

AzHousePro
02-23-2003, 03:49 AM
For someone who claims to know pool from the business side, I am surprised that you would make a statement that women's pool is on tv because it looks good to advertisers.

Women's pool is on tv because the WPBA pays ESPN to show the matches. The reason the "men's tour" is not on tv is that there is no "men's tour". Even when there was, there were problems with a tobacco company and television.

The men in pool are not willing to throw a match on the drop of a dime. You tell me what someone would have to offer Earl Strickland to throw a match against Efren or Francisco? A dime? A buck? A thousand bucks. I suspect Earl would laugh in your face if you offered him $10,000 to throw a match against either of these players.

Mike

AzHousePro
02-23-2003, 03:52 AM
There is no national men's tour because the people who had the chance to make one happen were not willing to control a portion of something that could have been very big. Instead, they wanted to completely control something that has always been and remains very small.

The two men's tours that were competing with each other did not shut down because of gambling. Camel did not pull the plug on the Camel tour because of gambling.

Mike

bluewolf
02-23-2003, 07:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote The Master:</font><hr> I never said that all events were fixed. I did say that the men’s tour is corrupt and therefore keeps advertisers away. Back to the original topic........why would I place a bet on a match through this guy’s service, if the people playing are willing to throw the match at the drop of a dime. How can you possibly endorse something so obviously corrupt at its essence?

Maybe the women do gamble, but from what my sources say it is extremely limited. We all know that image is everything. The women’s game looks squeaky clean to advertisers, that is why they are on TV.
<hr /></blockquote>

The women are on TV instead of the men because they are better looking and the men like looking at them. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Laura

02-23-2003, 08:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bluewolf:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote The Master:</font><hr> I never said that all events were fixed. I did say that the men&amp;#8217;s tour is corrupt and therefore keeps advertisers away. Back to the original topic........why would I place a bet on a match through this guy&amp;#8217;s service, if the people playing are willing to throw the match at the drop of a dime. How can you possibly endorse something so obviously corrupt at its essence?

Maybe the women do gamble, but from what my sources say it is extremely limited. We all know that image is everything. The women&amp;#8217;s game looks squeaky clean to advertisers, that is why they are on TV.
<hr /></blockquote>

The women are on TV instead of the men because they are better looking and the men like looking at them. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Laura <hr /></blockquote>

02-23-2003, 01:21 PM
Great post. I totally agree. The men had an opportunity to put a nice organized tour together, but failed to do so because they didn't unify the effort. A bad combination of greed and stupidity.

NH_Steve
02-23-2003, 10:18 PM
Yes, unfortunately the BCA holds back on the kind of real financial support of a pro billiards tour, presumably because they don't think the players are quite squeeky clean enough. But the TRUTH is, they are only shooting themselves in the foot by doing so -- and I stand by that as Fact.

Oh wise Master, how do you explain that the two BIG surges in pool popularity over the last 40 years came following 'The Hustler' and the 'Color of Money' -- both of which featured gambling and in fact worse chicanery???

Gambling/wagering has been a big part of pool for hundreds of years, and no amount of parochialism on the part of the billiard industry bigwigs is going to change that. Just ask Brunswick, they've been trying to pretend there shouldn't be wagering for about a hundred years.

I await your insight.

PS It reads to me like YOU are in the minority here /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

NH_Steve
02-23-2003, 10:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> The only reason Advertisers don't pick up on pool, is that, all their money is already spent on the other sports. NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Tennis, Golf and all the College televised sports. Pool can never compete against those GIANTS, there isn't enough money to go around.
<hr /></blockquote>
I actually think that the billiard industry treating its own sport like a pariah keeps industries outside of billiards from juming in, too. You have to believe in yourself before you can convince others to believe in you, and unfortunately the billiard industry acts embarassed about their own game -- and that is truly sad /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Yet they were sure happy to capitalize on all the BUSINE$$ 'The Hustler' and 'The Color of Money' helped bring their way.

Hopster
02-23-2003, 11:00 PM
If this comes thru i think betting on pool be like betting on jai alai. The scams would be going on left and right.
Who would want to bet on that ?

Eric.
02-24-2003, 08:48 AM
Steve,

I hate to be the wet blanket here, but one question comes to mind. How will Tony manage to do this without the Lawman coming down on him for promoting gambling "illegally". Will this be limited to a few states?

Eric

Troy
02-24-2003, 09:21 AM
I think you need to read the Press Release I pointed to in my original post under a different title. The info is on AZBilliards.

Troy
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Eric.:</font><hr> Steve,

I hate to be the wet blanket here, but one question comes to mind. How will Tony manage to do this without the Lawman coming down on him for promoting gambling "illegally". Will this be limited to a few states?

Eric <hr /></blockquote>

Jimmy Mendoza
02-24-2003, 11:14 AM
[ QUOTE ]

Everyone in the business knows how gambling has ruined the sport for national exposure. Only a fool would deny this indisputable fact.
<hr /></blockquote>

Aight, you sucked me in one last time. This isn't an indisputable fact - it is a disputable opinion. Also, not "everyone in the business" shares this opinion.

Steve Lipsky
02-24-2003, 11:35 AM
Master, if you ask corporate leaders about their impressions of men's vs. women's pool, you're likely to get the same answer from most of them: "Huh?"

They simply don't care. As far as demographics go, ours must be among the worst. And really, that's all that counts to the industry giants. If you think they care about what they are endorsing, I have the trump card for you: What about so-called "respectable" music labels that market hardcore rap? Some of these lyrics connote images quite a bit worse than a large bet placed on pocket billiards. But these corporate honchos seem to have no problem leaving their conscience at the door when it leads to millions in sales (read: bonuses).

And Mike at AZ brought up another great point: the only reason the women are on TV is because they pay to be.

- Steve

Eric.
02-24-2003, 12:01 PM
Hi Troy,

I understand skirting U.S. laws by going to Costa Rica, and even though I'm no Lawyer (or Indian Chief for that matter /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ), I'm just wondering if Big Brother may decide to give everyone a hard time (ala Johnson City). Maybe they'll try to get everyone, players included, on RICO?

Eric

bigbro6060
02-24-2003, 12:41 PM
the big differences between Pool and other big sports with this gambling thing is that the prize money and wages of the top players isn't that flash.

If the first prize of a tournament is 20 grand and a player in the semi finals is offered a share of a 40 grand bet to dump then chances are he might

in the NBA, the lakers aren't gonna dump for 40 grand when they all make more than that per minute!

Plus let's face it, there aren't really that many if any truly prestigious tournament titles in the men's pro game. It's not like there's a Superbowl or a Wimbledon

Male pool players play tournaments to make a living, aside from maybe the World champs in cardiff and maybe the US open, there isn't much prestige in winning other titles

L.S. Dennis
02-24-2003, 12:55 PM
The one thing the public finds fascinating is the underbelly of pool. Not the sqeeky clean image that the women portray on ESPN. I applaud the women players for what they accomplished don't get me wrong, but what made the movies 'The Hustler' and The Color of Money so sucessful is they offered the average John Q a safe opportunity to get a glimps of what actually goes on (or may go on) in the forbidden side and folk lore laidened part of the sport.

I say give Tony a chance, certainly nothing else has seemed to work, let's show the people what they really want to see!

Jimmy Mendoza
02-24-2003, 01:06 PM
I really think all these goofy opinions come from people who got woofed at one too many times, and now are bitter. The guy is obviously talking about something that he is less than informed about. Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how betonpool.com does. I might have to place a couple sweat bets myself. It'll be like having Billy Incardona on your PC (crap, I hope that doesn't mean you have to give up 6/5)! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

AndyG
02-24-2003, 01:44 PM
Over the years there have been scores of dicsussions, arguments, and flame wars over the gambling/non-gambling aspects of pool, and how it relates to sponsorship. I've listened (read) them here and on every other pool themed board. I think the point missed most often is the distinction between gamblING and gamblERS. Society DOES NOT frown on gambling itself. Look at the proliferation of casinos, horse tracks, dog tracks, lottos, jai-alai, and other gambling venues. The number of casino locations has literally exploded in the last 10 years. More Americans are gambling than at any time in history. Something deep in the American psyche has always admired the free-wheeling gambler, even scam artists. Some of the most popular movies ever made have glorified the gambling and grifters way of life. (The Sting, Maverick TV series, etc.)

My point here is that a gambler can be a con artist, grifter, scam runner, etc, and still be loved , even romanticized, by the American people, if he/she does it with CLASS. This distinction is what makes the difference in whether gambling is acceptable or not.

Yes, Master, I'm, 'in the business'. I've owned a pool room for 20 years, done road work, been around pool playing gamblers for 35 years, and generally 'seen the elephant'. An opinion fron one who's 'in the business', is that if pool playing gamblers will show a little CLASS, the gambling will be the least of their worries.

When players call each other M----F----, all the way across the room, and every other word is an obscenity, or threaten physical violence, is when the public tags a label on us. When the players show up drunk, looking like refugees from skid row, is when the public tags a label on us. When players skip out on tabs, hotel bills and restaurant charges, is when the public tags a label on us.

In the 20 years of running my room, I've always 'strongly encouraged' my players to show restraint and class when matching up, but I've never discouraged gambling.

I know it's been a long rant, but I believe that gambling is taking a bad rap here, when it's the conduct of some no-class people who should be blamed.

AndyG

#### leonard
02-25-2003, 07:52 AM
The New York Times stopped covering pool tournaments when the reporter learned that the players weren't on the up and up in their matches. I am not totally aware of the true story but I did read that the Times had stopped covering pool.####

Deeman
02-25-2003, 01:57 PM
You know, it's a shame everyone does not love pool to the extent that most of us do, it's also a shame that, in comparison to most other sports, ours is not spectator friendly (ever try to tell which ball is which on TV?), it is a shame that the men can't even be adult enough to form and hold together a professional association. All this is a shame and much more critical to failure of pool as a spectator sport than a little gambling has/would cause. Snooker exists entirely in UK becuase of the "book" that is done on the matches. Old ladies have become fans of Steve Davis, et al, not because they, at first, enjoyed the matches but it was a wager based audience that developed from that. On some days, you can watch a snooker match all day and all night on SKY Sports!

I will not live to see pool as a popular TV sport. I hope some of you do.

Dee

Rod
02-25-2003, 02:43 PM
I won't live that long either, now that's a shame! lol Many years ago at my first pro event I noticed what limited seating. You can't really see well there either just like TV when your to far away. Like you say it is not spectator friendly.

Rod

Popcorn
02-25-2003, 03:08 PM
I don't really care one way or another whether people gamble or don't. The truth is, the only interest the general public has in pool, is the gunfighter, gambler mystic. That is a fact. Take that away and pool would not even appear on the radar screen. I don't think I have ever seen pool depicted in movies or TV that did not surround that mystic. It is because, that is what the public wants. The public does not care about pool any more then they care about archery or go cart racing. Pool is a small subculture of players and fans, nothing more, nothing less. It is not a fad and is not going to disappear, it just is what it is. Do you honestly think that sponsors are not interested in pool because of it's image? They are not interested because there is no money in it. They are not stupid, and don't make the mistake of thinking they have morals or ethics. If there was money in it, you could not chase them away. I have put on enough tournaments to know, you can't get any non-poolplaying spectators, and I have tried. You mention national exposure, to who? The public in general does not care the least bit about pool.