let me just say that i’m not an expert on apa at all. not even close. below are just my opinions; take it or leave it.
over time we’ve all read about some of the shenanigans that occur in the american poolplayers association, or apa for short. there are, for example, intricate plots of sandbagging. and depending on who you play, the myriad ways of sharking, either overtly or covertly. some implied physical violence, and with it, probably, actual fistfights (those are far & few in between, i’m sure). what i fail to hear, however, are actions taken against the perpetrators. i often wonder why that is. could it be that there is no established system of trained referees? lack of disciplinary actions by the tournament directors or league operators? maybe no one cares, because that means “i get to sandbag and shark too”?
i have a hypothesis, although i can’t vouch for its validity or accuracy. as i understand it, apa leagues are basically franchises, much like your local mcdonalds or subways. in short, an apa league operates under the for-profit model, meaning the league operator makes money off of the league, which is a business a la taco smell. as such, each league member is also a customer. and in a for-profit business, the customer is always right. now let’s assume (yeah i know) the franchised league is the league operator’s only source of income. if he/she decides on a disciplinary action against a league member, it’s possible that the member will get pissed off, withdraws from the league, and goes on to baselessly badmouth the league & the operator to other potential members and drive away business. that isn’t a big deal if the league is already established and has a lot of members already; this probably means the league operator has established a good reputation and can withstand minor assaults on his/her integrity and good name. however, if the league is still new or is trying to get established, this kind of attack can be detrimental to future business. in the latter case, each punishment doled out by the league operator becomes a potential land mine. will the offender take it in stride? will the offender repent? or will that person get pissed off and verbally trash everything the league operator worked so hard for? so instead of looking at things from the ethical perspective, the league operator may end up looking at things through the business perspective–or to put it bluntly, through the fear perspective. through the fear of losing business, the prism of right and wrong gets swept under the rug.
i’m not saying which approach is right or wrong. it is a really difficult position to be in for the league operator though. unfortunately, i don’t really have a solution other than to have a national board (with regional representatives) to levy out punishments so the league operators won’t be in the line of fire. but i don’t think that’s a good solution at all.
and for something completely unrelated, here’s a quick product review.
because i’m a total slut whore for nifty tools & gadgets, after i read omg’s review on the kamui gator grip i decided to give it a go. (i’m also in the market for a utility belt that will hold all my cue/tip tools i need–such as a giant bastard file, 50 grades of sandpaper, leather buffing piece, cordless drill, hammers, throwing stars, poisoned darts–that has a giant metal batman belt buckle. in black. if you know a shop lemme know.) some people say that i’m a tool. your opinion may differ. below are some pics of the gator grip; click on them for larger versions. btw, if a kamui rep is reading this, consider paying omg a commission. she got you my $30. 😛
after i opened the gator grip, i examined the inside. (i shall now refer to the kamui gator grip as kgg.) the first thing i noticed was how flimsy the metal abrasive pad looked; it was basically a very thin piece of metal with patterned abrasive teeth affixed to the wood base. i did think the magnetic closure was very nifty though. but enough with looks; the proof is in the performance. (does that even make sense?)
before i used the kgg, i watched kamui’s instructional video on youtube. then very cautiously, i roughed up the tip surface with the kgg by mimicking the video. my tip surface went from flat to fluffy pretty quickly. i only applied very light force; had i went at it more aggressively, i would’ve roughed up the tip quite a bit. in short, the kgg worked as advertised. i actually wish the abrasive surface is finer, so first time users won’t accidentally shave off more than they intend. one small gripe i have is that with the kgg, my tip doesn’t have that nice sharp edge along the circumference of the tip. when i shape my tip with a fine diamond file, i can get that nice clean edge easily. the trade-off though is that with the diamond file, you’d remove quite a lot of tip. but for taking out mushrooms, you have to use a file; the kgg simply isn’t designed to remove mushrooms. you’ll probably destroy the kgg’s abrasive surface if you do.
is there an alternative for the kgg? my guess is that as long as you apply very light pressure, you can achieve the same result by using a very fine emery board or maybe a baby’s emery board. for my pool brethren, ask a girl what that is unless you’re metro. (fortunately i have very cool female friends who are willing to edumacate my ignoramus a~*, so i can pretend to know what i’m talking about. :P) on the other hand, my pool sistren should have no questions whatsoever.
dollar vs. value? hard to say. you pay that $30 for the kgg for its unique packaging, genuine wood body (boxwood or ebony), and the wow factor, plus it does work, so you’re not paying for a piece of junk that’ll sit in your garage or inside your messy drawer. on a budget? you can get very creative and find many different alternatives, just not in places you may think. (i’d try hardware stores or beauty supply shops. target and walmart will probably carry emery boards; guys should probably grab the wife or girlfriend for camuflaje.) i like mine, so i’d say get it if you got $30. no cash? i’ve been there. hey, poverty is the necessity for creativity, and creativity is the necessity for invention. 😀 do what suits your budget.