clash royale hack pixel gun 3d hack mobile legends
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
Tips & shafts
By George Fels
Consulting Editor George Fels has been writing for Billiards Digest since 1980, and his "Tips & Shafts" column is usually our readers' first stop when they crack open the magazine. For better or worse, pool has been his only mistress for 40-plus years.

• September 2017
• August 2017
• July 2017
• June 2017
• May 2017
• April 2017
• March 2017
• February 2017
• January 2017
• December 2016
• November 2016
• October 2016
• September 2016
• August 2016
• July 2016
• June 2016
• May 2016
• Apr 2016
• Mar 2016
• Feb 2016
• Jan 2016
• December 2015
• November 2015
• October 2015
• September 2015
• August 2015
• July 2015
• June 2015
• May 2015
• April 2015
• March 2015
• February 2015
• January 2015
• October 2014
• August 2014
• May 2014
• March 2014
• February 2014
• September 2013
• June 2013
• May 2013
• April 2013
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• November 2012
• October 2012
• September 2012
• August 2012
• July 2012
• June 2012
• May 2012
• April 2012
• March 2012
• February 2012
• January 2012
• December 2011
• November 2011
• September 2011
• August 2011
• July 2011
• June 2011
• May 2011
• April 2011
• March 2011
• February 2011
• January 2011
• December 2010
• November 2010
• October 2010
• September 2010
• August 2010
• July 2010
• June 2010
• May 2010
• April 2010
• March 2010
• February 2010
• January 2010
• December 2009
• November 2009
• October 2009
• September 2009
• August 2009
• July 2009
• June 2009
• May 2009
• April 2009
• March 2009
• February 2009
• January 2009
• October 2008
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008

Best of Fels
October: I Donít Know
October 2011
I'D TELL you if I did, and it's probably not the most authoritative way possible to begin a column. But what follows are questions to which I simply do not have answers. Yet.

The source around which all this ignorance of mine swirls is Dragon Promotions' recently completed 14.1 tournament in New Jersey (I hesitate to name it here, fearing my column may not be sanctioned either). The meet gathered almost as much attention for what happened the day before as for what happened at its conclusion: the World Pool-Billiard Association announced a last-minute withholding of sanction for the event, meaning neither its winner nor any individual records would ever be officially recognized.

The Association obviously does not believe that the tournament deserved bona fide world-class status; even I know that much. So let's lob a few semi-soft questions their way:

Why not this year? You sanctioned the same tournament the last five.

Was it because the prize fund was sub-standard (or sub-your standards)? The promoters raised the highest amount ($70,000+) for which straight pool has ever been competed, with eight fully credible sponsors spearheaded by the indescribable generosity of New York's Dr. Michael Fedak. I believe I read online that you require nearly three times that much before a competition is considered world-class in your eyes. For this pool game? On this continent? On this planet?

Was it the playing field that didn't measure up? Thorsten Hohmann and Oliver Ortmann have already both won versions of this tourney that you did sanction, so let's not waste time denying that they're world-class. After that, about 99.44% of the cue-games universe would agree that at the very least, Mika Immonen, Jose Parica and our own Mike Sigel and Allen Hopkins rate that designation too; all were there. Yes, Ralf Soquet, Thomas Engert, Jasmin Ouschan, the top British players, and just about all the Asian stars were missing; I imagine most of them were gearing up for the Manila meet you did bless.

Does it bother you that inclusion in the playing field was granted to a few sponsors, as partial repayment for their own largesse, and another few recreational players who might be at the sub-regional level? So what? I'm not sure why that should concern you in the first place. Ever heard of Morris "Snookers" Pearlstein? I didn't think so, but he once met the late, great Irving Crane in tournament play. Un-credentialed players have been part of the field in the lion's share of every pool tournament ever held. It fills out the field, adds to the prize fund, and bothers no one.

Were you offended because Dragon Promotions had the temerity to use the word "World" in its title? I'll grant you that they showed considerable chutzpah in implying that they had something or other to do with all the previous 70 incarnations of world-class play, but that's nothing more than an overhyped ad claim. After that, they're using that terrifying term in part because this particular meet is far and away the best in the world right now. That, and the fact that their prize-fund size was unprecedented for 14.1, ought to count for something. And who is it that's going to stage a straight-pool tournament that meets your standards where theirs does not? Are you? I doubt it; if you were, you would have already. And in the nations where your association and its meets do flourish, straight pool is barely played at all.

No doubt there are followers of the New Jersey event, and maybe even readers of this column, who would add to my list of questions, "Who the hell do you think you are to begin with?" But that's not my stance. I think you're right to point out that we've already seen an era in which any mischievous room owner who could put together a 16-man rapid-fire tournament had a perfect right to label his meet "The World Doofus Invitational," or anything else he saw fit. But that era was nearly 30 years ago. The standards you claim to be guarding so vigilantly simply have ceased to exist. And nobody has even come close to what Charlie Williams, his staff and his company have done for this game, certainly not in the time their event has been staged.

All credit to your association for the growing size and success of the Asian tournaments; further, I'm aware almost all of you are unpaid volunteers. And I'll admit I know none of you personally right now. I do know Jerry Forsyth by reputation, he's 100% honorable and credible to me, and I seriously doubt he reached the non-sanctioning decision on his own anyhow. But the one person I do know who was part of you has quit; she didn't think you were doing enough for the game in general, and we are absolutely not going to make this discussion about her. Which begs the last question: Exactly what have you done for pool, especially in America?

The only stipulation to be made here is that my not knowing the answers to these questions does not diminish nor demean those answers in the slightest way; I simply don't know. So I invite the WPA to fill me, and our readers, in. After all, it is we who are due these answers. The sporting world in general will scarcely notice the record book that, years from now, will merely report that no 14.1 champion was determined for 2011. It'll be a curiosity and disappointment to people who hack away at the game, independently or in leagues, once or twice a week, and pay to get into tournaments and hold their breath as an object ball approaches a pocket jaw and read publications such as this. You've denied recognition to the world's finest contemporary 14.1 competition, and a player whose individual performance is unparalleled in almost exactly 70 years. The game's only real audience would like to know why.

Your response is respectfully invited.