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View Full Version : some thoughts about promotion of "The Game"....



ceebee
06-12-2003, 11:09 AM
Most People in our communities are uninformed about the Game of Billiards, even some of the folks in the midst of “The Game” are ignorant of how great "The Game of Pocket Billiards & Billiards" really is.

I'm an American in the middle of the USA. I truly believe that television in the USA has become inept, foolish & boring. Maybe the government wants it that way.. you know.. to dumb us down..!!

There are several Football, Basketball Baseball, Soccer, Hockey or other type sports on at the same time... just short of Over Dosing. How many spectator sports can one watch at the same time? Spectator Sports are like watching a porno movie... it may be a little entertaining, but it’s a waste of time (unless you are wrapped up with your sweetie watching it too). But, it’s a FREE Country, so if that’s your bag… that’s OK, but I’m really talking to the folks that like the participating kind of sports.

How many football, baseball, nascar, basketball, soccer fan or whatever has a $1000 bat or ball or whatever & a $400+ case to carry it in??? NONE

The companies making & selling their wares to the participants of this sport are losing out on a fantastic way to increase participation & their business. By working together & getting a GREAT DEAL more Pocket Billiards & Billiards on TV, they will draw even more folks into the sport. Billiards/Pocket Billiards may someday become an Olympic Event, there are already Schools & Colleges with Billiards part of the curriculum, someday maybe even Churches will have players & leagues all over this Planet.

Pool is a slang term & I try not to use it anymore. The environment portrayed in the Hustler movie will probably never go away & I myself certainly enjoy wagering my skill against an opponent's. But, I always conduct myself as a gentleman doing it.

The maker's of the drink, snacks & food we consume, should all be pitching into a fund for televising our sport on International TV for all to see, wonder about, learn from & enjoy. It can happen through teamwork. I don't think Budweiser ever spends a dime annually for Pool Tournaments on TV, neither does Frito-Lay, nether does an IMAGINARY Pool Hall Proprietors Association, nor do the Case Companies or ALL of the Cue makers. Pocket Billiards is the only sport (except GOLF) where a fellow has a $1000 or more in cues in a $300-$500 Cue case.

The Pool Hall owners are NOT into the sport, to the extent they should be. We have 3 major UPSCALE Pool Halls within a few miles of each other & NONE of them offer lessons in how to play "The Game", they've even removed their 10-Cent Pro Shops. They play football, baseball, nascar, basketball, soccer fan or whatever on TV, instead of what they are selling & promoting... "The Game". They have 40+ Tables in each establishment & not one is earnest about teaching the customers to play Pocket Billiards for the sake of "The Game". Just about every Golf Course has an Instructor, so does the Bowling Alley & Tennis Courts, but not Pool Halls. I don't think the proprietors realize that by attempting to make all of their customers better Players, their business will grow in LEAPS & BOUNDS.

I've discussed several facets & they all are tied to money in some form. What about just being a Good Player, what does it take to make the grade as a 10 Speed. Lots of Discipline for one.. I know lots of naturals, but they are not 10 Speeds & never will be. They never study the Rail Systems, know nothing of 3-Cushion Billiards & rarely PRACTICE drills. They are consumed with finding a MARK & rarely do they ever PLAY for FUN. This sort of Player is the very root
Of why Billiards isn’t accepted by the communities.

When a “person of MAGIC & Vision” gets the vendors together as a coalition, to start putting something (money) back into the game (as in TV sponsorships) & pulls the proprietors into the Fold as well… then Billiards (in all games STRAIGHT POOL, 8 BALL, 9 BALL, One-Pocket, Snooker) will become what it should be….. A wholesome game in a clean place. It can happen through teamwork.


Please do not get me wrong… I too like a good competitive $20 game of 9 BALL, but that game can be played in an UPSCALE Billiard Club, where men are gentlemen & not clowns or sharks. People play for lots of money on Country Club Golf Courses & it’s accepted. Ever hear someone say, “you don’t want to belong to that Country Club Crowd, they are all rich & they gamble, drink & cuss in there”. Just the opposite…. everyone wants in. When the World of Billiards gets to that place in time… all who love “The Game” will benefit…. Charley Bond

pooltchr
06-12-2003, 11:34 AM
TAP TAP TAP !!!!!!
Well said! As a BCA instructor, I couldn't agree more! The room where I have my shop does a good business, and the fact that there is professional instruction available keeps the beginners coming back. The more they learn, the more they want to play, and the more friends they bring along with them. I've also worked in a room where the owners were more interested in putting on "entertainment" programs and ended up running off the players (and the house pro as well) because they didn't care about pool.

Your post is well thought out, and drives home the point vividly! As long as everyone is fragmented, it just ain't gonna happen. When we all get on the same page, this game is going to blow people away!

arn3
06-12-2003, 03:33 PM
never happen while we're alive.
you're spittin' in the wind.

Scott Lee
06-12-2003, 07:25 PM
As all of you know, I travel all over the country teaching, and doing trickshot exhibitions. I am well known in many areas of the United States. Last week, on my way to Chicago, I stopped to do lessons in Sioux Falls, SD at the "upscale" room there. This was my 4th time visiting this room, and the lesson was with a repeat student, who is now an employee. First, let me say, that when I first come into a new poolroom, especially to teach, I make it my business to introduce myself to the owner or manager, and let them know why I am there. I NEVER expect to get free table time, although many many room owners have comped my time, during the lesson. A smart room owner knows that just having a nationally recognized instructor in their room is an enormous benefit to the customers, who frequently come up to me asking questions, and often asking for a lesson themselves. Like Steve mentioned, poolroom customers who can avail themselves of learning to play better will keep coming back to practice...making them FREQUENT paying customers.

Since my student is an employee of this room, he was not being charged for table time (my normal policy is that students pay my fee, PLUS any applicable table time). I have been charged table time in this room each time I have been there to do lessons, at the normal single player rate. I have paid these fees myself, and never complained. This time, the manager was on the phone with the owner (who happens to be a prominent pro player, and owns another room in Fargo, ND), while I was in the middle of the lesson. Shortly thereafter, the manager came up to me, and told me that the owner had decided "on the spot" that I should pay him 20% of my fee, for "table time"! This basically amounted to extortion, as it was FOUR times what they had charged me the three previous visits. I questioned the manager about this being good judgement, and she sloughed it off on the owner, telling me "she would ask him about it, and get back to me"...she knows me and has my business card, with my email and phone number!

Now, if I was a jerk, and/or a poor instructor, I might be able to understand this strange turn of events. However, I am providing a valuable service to this room owner's clientelle, at the student's request...AND bringing business into their room. To sum it up, the lesson was a three hour lesson, and then we played for about a half hour, before leaving to go have dinner together. The manager charged me $44.00 in table time, on a $150.00 lesson. That's not even the 20% that she quoted me, but just $1 shy of THIRTY PERCENT! I paid it, with no
obvious malcontent, but it REALLY rubbed me the wrong way. Needless to say, my student was completely embarrassed, and we discussed that future lessons will certainly not take place in that room. It's a shame, because this room has unquestionably the best equipment in town.

As I said, I don't mind being charged for table time (particularly because usually the student is paying for it), but arbitrarily raising the rate 400% in the middle of a lesson, is questionable at best, and criminal discrimination at worst! I certainly could have made an issue of it, and refused to pay! However, I am not that way...and did not make a scene! I am a professional, and act accordingly! You can be CERTAIN that I will never do lessons in that room again...which is their loss! My students in Sioux Falls know there are other places to play, albeit not as nice, where we will be treated fairly!
I'm sincerely interested in what other room owners have to say about this!

Scott Lee

arn3
06-12-2003, 08:28 PM
i agree that that situation was total bullsh*t,,,, however, i don't think a TRAVELING instructor brings anything to the bottom line. you might get inquiries while you're there and IF others know who you are they might wander over to ask you a few things, but you're a blip on the cash register, and when it's all over, players will play at the best room.

i do think this situation called for fairness, but it sounds like the owner is pissed at you. or at least not friendly with you.

tateuts
06-12-2003, 09:26 PM
Ceebee,

I totally agree with you. The problem is pretty simple.
Pool players don't wear tennis shoes. Not everyone plays basketball. Not everyone runs track. Not everyone plays tennis. But everyone wears tennis shoes.

There's a lack of mass market appeal to attract advertsing money outside of the industry, and I think you're correct, a certain degree of apathy and lack of professional talent in the industry. Everyone is so busy competing for a little piece of a little pie, they have no interest in growing the game.


Chris

arn3
06-12-2003, 09:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> .... Everyone is so busy competing for a little piece of a little pie, they have no interest in growing the game.
Chris <hr /></blockquote>

that's as concise a statement of the state of pool as i have ever read!!!!!!!!

tateuts
06-12-2003, 11:22 PM
<hr /></blockquote>

that's as concise a statement of the state of pool as i have ever read!!!!!!!! <hr /></blockquote>

Thanks, arn3. I figured if I said enough stuff someone would agree with me sooner or later.

Personally, I think that pool is a high-class game. Proof of that is to go to Hearst Castle near San Simeon California, on the central coast by San Luis Obispo. It's one of California's premier tourist attractions and now run by the State Park Service. Randolph Hearst copied the great architecture of the world, from statues of Canova to the Doge's Palace of Venice. Here was a man who could buy anything in the world for his castle. And you walk into one of his warmest rooms, and there they are, a couple of Brunswick Tables (Monarchs, I think) and a bunch of old cues, on a beautiful marble floor, on Persian carpets, next to a magnificent fireplace. I could almost smell the cigar smoke in the air!

I sure would have liked to get in a money game with him, unless that's how he got all his money!

Chris

Chris Cass
06-12-2003, 11:23 PM
That is total BS. I'd like to give this pro a peice of my mind. I'll say one thing on this subject. It's the room owners that have blindfolds on and should learn to have vision beyond the price of a hr's worth of pool.

Charlie brought up some great points in his post. In defense of some I know of 2 people. One in Greg from Diamond Tables. They are constantly trying to improve the sport with what they can do. Another being my friend Jimmy Wetch. Jimmy is an owner and gives free lessons to his patrons. I think there should be a house pro provided for every pool room. Regardless if they charge money. It's instruction and should be made available. If the room is fortunate to have Scott come in they should feel honored and try to get repeat business for him and not charge a dime or atleast a small fee.

I know of two that I go to. One has my buddy Jonny Kucharo. After he did something the manager instantly made a call to the local news paper. Anouncing Jon's great improvement into the pro events and immediately made him the house pro. Then told Jon. Lessons? He's never there and when he is it's not to help anyone. Don't read me wrong, Jon's my friend but this manager deserves to eat that article.

Regards,

C.C.

06-12-2003, 11:31 PM
Scott,

Guess you're used to be treated more reasonably elsewhere. Any experience in New York, the money-grubbing capital of the world, and the home of several first-rate poolrooms with their own good instructors? Perhaps you could be seen as a threat to somebody's turf in such a place?

arn3
06-13-2003, 02:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote afternooncaddy:</font><hr> Scott,
,,,,and the home of several first-rate poolrooms with their own good instructors? Perhaps you could be seen as a threat to somebody's turf in such a place? <hr /></blockquote>

i don't think so. what happened to scott is isolated, i think.

arn3
06-13-2003, 02:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> <hr /></blockquote>

that's as concise a statement of the state of pool as i have ever read!!!!!!!! <hr /></blockquote>

Personally, I think that pool is a high-class game.

<hr /></blockquote>

the game itself is great. that's not where the problem lies.

Qtec
06-13-2003, 06:16 AM
Scott, I,ve got to hand it to you , how you can keep calm in such a situation amazes me . If it was me ,you would have seen steam coming out my ears . Not in a million years would i have paid it.

Three reasons why snooker took off in Britain.
1. TV coverage.
2. Good sponsership .
3. Change of image. Snooker was thrown open to kids. If you are not allowed into a club until you are 18 or 21 , chances are when you reach these ages you will already be playing other sports. If you want to promote pool you have to reach the kids. They are your future clients.

To all PH owners , Every guy who takes a lesson WILL practise .Practise means table time , table time means money. Unless people are waiting for a table, it doesnt cost anything , not to charge for the table !


Qtec

Ralph S.
06-13-2003, 06:54 AM
TAP TAP TAP!! Excellent post Ceebee. Arguably the best post I have read in here in quite some time. As for the situation Scott encountered, I wouldve been really pissed. Just a good credit to Scott's very professional approach.

Fred Agnir
06-13-2003, 06:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote tateuts:</font><hr> Everyone is so busy competing for a little piece of a little pie, they have no interest in growing the game.<hr /></blockquote> To further this thought, when a group does what they can to further the game, pool players don't show full support. Players (including right here in the good ol' CCBOARD) talk about supporting the entire game, but when something comes up, you hear a lot of complaints right from the get go putting a negative spin on what might be something that helps overall.

I asked a few weeks ago if a Billiard Channel, a real billiard channel run by people who know about the game, have a pulse on what players like, and have resources to give the audience a good package, and who want nothing more than to get pool to the masses and put pool on the front page of the local newspaper, would you pool players support it? Would you sign up? That was the question a few weeks ago.

Well, here it is. The channel starts next month. Backed by names like Diamond and Accu-stats, 78 weeks of pool on TV. For those of you who can, who's getting it? Who'll watch it? Anyone make a move? Anyone buy those little steal-a-vision gizmos? (Watching it by stealing is better than not watching it all, I say.)

Fred &lt;~~~ wants to further this sport

Wally_in_Cincy
06-13-2003, 07:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr> ....Players (including right here in the good ol' CCBOARD) talk about supporting the entire game, but when something comes up, you hear a lot of complaints right from the get go putting a negative spin on what might be something that helps overall.

I asked a few weeks ago if a Billiard Channel, a real billiard channel run by people who know about the game, have a pulse on what players like, and have resources to give the audience a good package, and who want nothing more than to get pool to the masses and put pool on the front page of the local newspaper, would you pool players support it? Would you sign up? That was the question a few weeks ago.

Well, here it is. The channel starts next month. Backed by names like Diamond and Accu-stats, 78 weeks of pool on TV. For those of you who can, who's getting it? Who'll watch it? Anyone make a move? Anyone buy those little steal-a-vision gizmos? (Watching it by stealing is better than not watching it all, I say.)

Fred &lt;~~~ wants to further this sport <hr /></blockquote>

Sorry. I watch very little TV. I can't see signing up with a satellite service for an hour of pool a week. If it was offered on cable for less than $10/month I'd probably do it.

Wally~~has a budget unfortunately /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
06-13-2003, 07:29 AM
You came here for feedback. What did folks say?

1 or 2 said "Sure I'll sign up"

About 20 said satellite was not practical for them. Did anybody listen to the feedback?

Fred, being an engineer you obviously can afford several $1000 cues and $500 cases despite raising a family, but some of us are not in that situation. I have to think about every $20 bill that comes out of my wallet. So, sorry, no Dish for me.

Fred Agnir
06-13-2003, 07:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> About 20 said satellite was not practical for them. Did anybody listen to the feedback?<hr /></blockquote>Looks like they did.

[ QUOTE ]
Fred, being an engineer you obviously can afford several $1000 cues and $500 <hr /></blockquote>I can't afford it either. I have one custom cue that's over $1000, and I won it in an internet raffle. As of today, I've never ordered and received a custom cue that cost anywhere near $1000.

Fred &lt;~~~ should have been in sales

Kato
06-13-2003, 09:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fred Agnir:</font><hr>
I asked a few weeks ago if a Billiard Channel, a real billiard channel run by people who know about the game, have a pulse on what players like, and have resources to give the audience a good package, and who want nothing more than to get pool to the masses and put pool on the front page of the local newspaper, would you pool players support it? Would you sign up? That was the question a few weeks ago.

Well, here it is. The channel starts next month. Backed by names like Diamond and Accu-stats, 78 weeks of pool on TV. For those of you who can, who's getting it? Who'll watch it? Anyone make a move? Anyone buy those little steal-a-vision gizmos? (Watching it by stealing is better than not watching it all, I say.)

Fred &lt;~~~ wants to further this sport <hr /></blockquote>

I will be signing up. $11 a month for me on DirecTV which I can't afford but will.

Kato~~~has just lost one night of pool per month to support pool on T.V.

06-13-2003, 10:20 AM
Fred, I had an idea the BCn thing had something to do with your survery, due to the timing.

However, I interpreted your survey to be asking about interest in a new Billiard Channel, and even now you still refer to it as a "Billiard Channel." What BCn is starting next month is not a new channel, it's simply showing ONE HOUR PER WEEK (minus repeats) of pool on two existing cable sports channels. Now, don't get me wrong, I'll be watching it -- I'll appreciate any televised pool I can get -- but that's far from a "billiards channel." If there was a Billiards Channel like there is a Golf Channel, then you bet I'd pony up $5 or $10 per month for it. As it is I will have to pay $12/month to add the Sports Pack to my DirecTV so that I can watch one hour per week. Oh well, at least it's a start...

NBC-BOB
06-13-2003, 11:41 AM
Well it's to bad that you weren't treated better.In the very least the owner could have given you and your student a reduced rate.I've seen a number of rooms in the NY-NJ area that, really don't care about the game of pool! Only making money.But I think that the room owners with this attitude are the one's that,wind up going out of business.
I guess it all boils down to the way society is today and how disrespectful some people are to other's.But fortunately there are still a lot of good people out there and some really nice rooms to play in, so before we stop frequenting a room we should, tell the owner why and give them something else to think about and why, when there cash register is not filling up.

SpiderMan
06-13-2003, 12:17 PM
Scott,

Next time you're through, meet all your students (including that employee) at a competitor's room.

SpiderMan

TomBrooklyn
06-14-2003, 05:57 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr>I stopped to do lessons in Sioux Falls, SD at the upscale room there. This was my 4th time visiting this room, and the lesson was with a repeat student, who is now an employee.

Since my student is an employee of this room, he was not being charged for table time (my normal policy is that students pay my fee, PLUS any applicable table time). I have been charged table time in this room each time I have been there to do lessons, at the normal single player rate. I have paid these fees myself. This time, the owner, who happens to be a prominent pro player, and owns another room in Fargo, ND, while I was in the middle of the lesson... decided "on the spot" that I should pay him 20% of my fee for "table time"! <hr /></blockquote>Hi Scott,

I told this story to a friend of mine, and he was wondering why the table was charged at the one player rate in previous lessons if the student was an employee only at the time of the last lesson, and why were you not following your usual policy of having the student pay for table time for these four lessons?

He also asked who the owner is and what is the name of the room?

Tom

Scott Lee
06-15-2003, 02:39 AM
Tom...The name of the room is Breaktime Billiards. There is only ONE "upscale" room in Sioux Falls, SD...and I hesitate to call it 'upscale'...it's just nicer than the other three places to play! LOL The room owner is Marc Oelschlager (sp?), who lives in Fargo, ND, and owns another room there. The other lessons were not charged for just one player, but charged at a two-player rate (which is just twice the single player rate...very reasonable, actually).
The prior three lessons were all with different individuals, and I had just not made a issue of who paid table time, at that time...we just split it. It was under $15 total, each of the prior lessons. On occasion, I have split time, and even picked up the table time tab myself... as I did in this described instance. As for returning to his room in Sioux Falls...I won't hesitate to go back there, but it will be with the understanding that the student WILL be responsible for all of the time, as well!
If they choose to meet me somewhere else, I have no problem with that either.

Scott

bluewolf
06-15-2003, 06:36 AM
I never really gave this much thought, Scott. Your fees are so reasonable, I just assumed that I would be paying the table time, because I feel your coming to give me a lesson is a service.

Also, if an instructor charges a certain rate, I expect for that person to get that rate, even if I have to rent to table.

Laura

EZMark
06-15-2003, 09:51 PM
Hi Scott you never have to pay time at Sharkys but you have been avoiding me. EZMark