poolSynergy, volume venti

this is volume twenty of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume 20 is “what makes for a great tournament”.

for the main page of volume 20, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume 20

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.

http://www.poolstudent.com/poolsynergy_schedule/

below is my post for this month.  enjoy.


this month our host mike fieldhammer has decided on the topic of what makes for a great tournament.  i’m not much of a tournament person, but i have played them in the past, and i always love watching one, so i’ll donate my couple of cents for what they’re worth.  because it’ll be almost impossible to write about all types of tournaments, i’ll concentrate on larger events here.

being in socal, i’ve always remembered the l.a. open and the bicycle club tournaments with fondness, so some of my requirements will come from those tournaments.  i think tournaments should have very friendly staff, especially at the gate.  i mean, if the gate person looks dour or mad, it’ll begin a spectator’s day badly and most likely drive that person away.  bye-bye ticket sales!  a smart event coordinator will put his/her friendliest employee at the gate so people will want to come back.  also, large, clear signs of how much the tickets cost are also helpful.  and it may be smart to set up for credit card payments, since credit/atm cards are such a huge part of everyday life now.  just saying.  if not, directions to the nearest atms can be handy.

the tournament area should be spacious with plenty of seating for spectators.  if i were the event organizer, i’d put soft paddings or cushions on the bleacher seats.  have you tried to watch a match for two hours while sitting on those hard aluminum bleachers?  get some cushions so the spectators won’t have chapped cheeks.

food and beverage, of course, are a must.  it’s a boon if the organizer can find a decent caterer so spectators can buy yummy food without leaving the venue.  i think that’s a win-win: the tournament makes money, and spectators as well as players won’t have to go elsewhere just to eat.  however, the food area should be far away enough from the playing area so the match won’t be disturbed.  if tables and chairs can be set up near the food area that’s even better.  (that’s not always possible depending on the tournament location.  of course, if the tournament is in a casino or a large hotel with a restaurant, then food won’t be a problem.)  same thing with vendors’ booths area: ideally, it will have a lot of room and far away enough from the playing area, so people can browse and chat with sellers without bothering the players.

one idea i’d love to see at tournaments is an etiquettes poster at the entrance to the playing area.  the poster would list how spectators should behave once inside the playing area.  this way, there is no confusion on how people should act.  if possible, bouncers or security will throw out unruly spectators so they won’t disrupt the matches.  as for players, i think players’ meeting should be canceled.  in its place, tournament rules will be printed out and posted online so players can read it themselves.  the referees monitoring the matches should be trained by the tournament director, so calls will be more or less consistent.

this is a selfish idea, but i’d love to see the sportsmanship rule enforced more thoroughly.  tournament director should not be afraid to throw out unruly or unscrupulous players; these people are bad for the tournament and bad for the game.  pool doesn’t need idiots to thrive.

lastly, the tournament should have decent media presence.  at the very least, there should be a constantly updated tournament brackets online, so fans can keep up with the progress.  live streaming is always a good addition, if the cost is reasonable.  of course, pre-tournament promotion is a must; at the very least, the tournament promoter should contact some pool forums and popular blogs to promote the event.  if feasible, promoters should consider some press passes to the major pool magazines, as well as to the local tv and newspaper reporters.  if your local abc puts your tournament on its website, it’ll bring that much more exposure to the event.  i think we need every bit of exposure as we can get.

that’s all i got.  you guys can read the other posts for different takes on the topic.


poolSynergy, volume diciannove

this is volume 19 of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume XIX is “pool mecca”.

for the main page of volume XIX, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume XIX

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.

http://www.poolstudent.com/poolsynergy_schedule/

below is my post for this month.  enjoy.


for the month of may, our host john barton (of instroke and jb cases fame) has decided that “pool mecca” should be the theme.  unfortunately i’ve not been to a place i’d consider my personal mecca, so i’ll write about an imaginary one.  (no, my imaginary friend didn’t write this for me.)

my pool mecca will be a highly customized pool hall.  personally, i think a pool mecca should be impressive in size.  i mean, a place measuring 500 square feet will hardly inspire awe in any pool player.  i’d want my pool mecca to have at least 40 tables, and at least one table per type of pool/billiard game (e.g., pool, billiards, snooker, russian billiard, so on).  there will be at least of 10 feet of space (in any direction) between tables so players won’t bump butt cheeks, plus tables and comfy chairs for the players to sit.  the pool mecca will have spectators’ areas along the walls on the second level, so people can watch the matches from above without disturbing the players.  the entire place will have wifi available so customers can stay connected.  the counter will have several ball cleaning machines to keep the balls spotless.  tables will be brushed after every use, and re-clothed regularly.  a great sound system will pump out good tunes, and a killer a/c system will keep everyone comfortable.

a pool mecca should also have a nice shop in case us players want to get some equipments.  the usual compliments should suffice: a decent range of cues, various accessories, a lathe, and a technician/cue maker on-site to service/repair cues.  the shop should also be able to sell/service various types of tables, should the customer want a game room at home.

one of my biggest gripes about pool rooms is the food; good food and pool seem like antonyms.  so for my pool mecca, decent food is a must.  (nothing fancy, just good solid fares that can beat the hunger.)  the menu will include various types of food, from frialated goodies and burgers, to good deli sandwiches, soups, and some basic asian cuisine (e.g., thai fried rice, udon).  a full bar with big screen tvs will entertain the guests of course, with one tv dedicated to pool matches (the mecca will have a library of match dvds or on a hard-drive system).  the food/bar area will be soundproofed and kept away from the playing area so diners won’t bother the players.  (people tend to get loud when good food & drinks are present.)

the pool mecca will have a separate spectator’s arena for tournaments and challenge matches; this space will be detached from the actual pool room and has space to seat 1000 people with stadium seating, as well as space for multiple cameras and a soundproofed commentator’s booth.  big screen tvs set up like the jumbotron at basketball arenas will be hung from the center to showcase feature matches and replays.  dedicated internet connection will be set up in the tournament arena to make sure live streaming won’t be interrupted.  borrowing the idea from various conventions, there will be a media room for bloggers and media reps to work on live stories and posts; tvs inside the media room will keep the media folks up-to-date on the actions in the tournament arena.

outside the pool mecca, there will be security and ample parking.  the parking lot will be periodically maintained, and the parking spaces will be large enough to accommodate large vans and suvs.  (i hate to squeeze between biga~* cars when i park.)  and yes, the security team will issue parking tickets to crappy parkers.  :D

i was going to add sharks with frigging laser beams, but the pool mecca probably doesn’t need them.  :P

poolSynergy, volume diciotto

this is volume eighteen of poolSynergy.  welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.

the topic for volume XVIII is “your favorite game”.

for the main page of volume XVIII, visit the link below.  it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.

main page for poolSynergy volume XVIII

also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.

http://www.poolstudent.com/poolsynergy_schedule/

below is my post for this month.  enjoy.


this month, johnny 101 wants us contributors to talk about our favorite game in pool.  i’ll list a few here, since it’s really hard for me to choose ONE game as my fave.  yes, i like ice cream AND cake.

my favorite games i play often are 8-ball and 9-ball.  8-ball has always been a quasi free-form puzzle to me.  once you nominate stripe or solid, you can shoot any ball within your color group.  as the shooter, you have to construct a pattern out of randomly scattered objects, run them, then somehow get to the eight ball afterward.  if you like to use your creativity and imagination, 8-ball puts them to work abundantly.  with 9-ball, your stroke and shot-making abilities are tested.  although the shot sequence is predetermined, it is up to you to come up with the routes that will let you run out a rack.  in 9-ball, you’ll need plenty of power and finesse to play well.

now, fantasy football/basketball are a favorite pastime for millions of fans, so i’ll present you with a semi-fantasy game of mine that i’d love to try one of these days: russian billiards, or russian pyramid.  if you ever have any complaint about pockets being too tight on a pool table, i believe a game of russian billiards will instantly cure you of all present and future b~*ing.  did i mention you’ll need a humongous f~*ing amount of stroke?  don’t believe me, watch stalev.

once you become good at russian billiards, this is what will (probably) happen on a pool table.

have fun.  :)