this is the eighth volume of poolSynergy. welcome back, and thanks for reading this post.
the topic for volume VIII is “how to fix pool”.
for the main page of volume VIII, visit the link below. it contains a list of all the posts on this month’s topic.
also, visit the link below for a complete list of poolSynergy’s monthly topics.
below is my post for this month. enjoy.
i never title my poolSynergy posts, since the volume numbers do it for me. but i shall call this one “texas two step”, in honor of my fellow contributor trigger. 😉
well, this month’s topic is an interesting one. but personally, i’m not sure if i get the premise behind “how to fix pool”. this topic forces me to make many assumptions about what that means. as usual, i will first try to define a premise, then talk about the topic within that premise.
i guess the first question to ask is, does pool need fixing? why does it need fixing? what are the conditions that will lead someone to think that pool needs a fixin’? what are the criteria that defines, if you will, a passing or failing grade, where a failing grade means that a fixin’ is a-comin’? are we talking about players, sponsors, companies, media, the state of pool, or some other unseen element, that require this fixin’?
so you see, this is not such an easy question. and i wonder if the present state of pool isn’t just the sum of consequences from actions taken in the past, by companies and players alike. if so, such state is merely the natural result of previous events. like any other event in our lives, some thrive in this state, and others struggle. we also get the typical complaining from participants of this game, for whatever reason. those that thrive probably don’t complain as much. those that struggle will probably complain more often.
in order to meaningfully answer this broad question of “how to fix pool”, i shall then attempt to pinpoint certain areas that may benefit from improvements. i will concentrate on two areas: money and media coverage.
i’ve talked about the issue of money in my past ramblings; semi-frequent readers would have read it back in september of ’09. if not, peruse at your leisure. (it’s the post titled vapor.) if financial success is what we are after, i personally think the solution is basic: run pool just like a for-profit business. i mean, if we want money, then we have to run pool like it’s going to make money. this means that those who run tournaments will have to disregard most objections and create plans that will guarantee the tournament to have the biggest chance to make money. and players should be realistic about pool. if you’re a middling pro, you should not expect to support yourself by playing pool alone. yes, we can all sit here and demand that tournaments pay out to more spots, but what good will that do? so i get $200 for placing 64th. i’m sure that’s enough to keep my landlord happy. as good as ms. rousey plays, even she has to keep a day job. unless you’re a top-five pro, just know that there simply isn’t enough cash in pool to go around at this point. as far as the men’s tour, just remember that we blew through a windfall once. (think r. j. reynolds tobacco.) now we have to earn a profit ourselves. yep, this is a call to capitalism. go business!
as far as media coverage is concerned, i’m not really sure if such coverage is really conducive to profit-making. seeing pool on espn is nice, don’t get me wrong; i’m just not entirely convinced that more tv coverage will guarantee more money. if our focus is on media coverage, however, i think a big crowd will definitely help. i’m proposing, perhaps, to have a tournament with free admission. yes, that means there won’t be ticket sales. however, if this gets a crowd and attracts tv coverage, the advertising effect may be worth it. also, i’m thinking the focus may need to be on local tv stations, instead of national outfits like the espn. if we can get the local KABC or the like to cover the event, for example, it would still help promote a tournament and pool. even a 30-second spot in the evening news will be nice. starting small may be the way to go; national syndication is nice, but i hardly think that’s the end-all cure-all. if free admission is not feasible, have free live streaming. or record matches and put it on youtube, and see if we can have those videos featured on youtube’s front page. since internet is so commonplace now, we might as well take advantage of the technology.
i suspect that my fellow contributors will talk about the cancerous effects of hustlers, and the relationship between gambling and pool, topics i’m been hammering away at for a while now. i won’t bore you with it, so i’ll just provide you with some more links to read, if you’re interested. again, my semi-frequent readers have probably seen them already. (my posts higher standard and cleanse the pores, plus my friend’s analysis on the morality of gambling.)
that’s it. now back to practice. 8)