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Dear Jeanette
By Jeanette Lee
International billiard icon “The Black Widow” answers your questions about life, love, and everything else that happens in the poolhall.

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May: Help for Pool’s Woes?
May 2008
Q. We keep hearing how the billiard industry is in the dumps. What advice do you have for the industry? In light of how popular poker is, don’t you think we should embrace pool’s reputation as a gambling sport?
Tom Schmidt
Des Moines, IA

A. I actually do agree that we should embrace the mystique of the “hustling” side of pool. I know that our industry really has worked hard to raise our image and present our sport in the classiest way possible. I think that’s great, and I hope that people believe that I’ve added to that. But you have to keep in mind the old sayings about marketing: “Say what you want about me, just get my name right,” and “Any publicity is good publicity.” We can benefit from more than one image of pool. We can present a professional and glamorous sport, with champions, ambassadors, clinics, and state-of-the-art billiard clubs. And I also think we can have amateur tournaments, leagues, and TV reality shows that really feature everyday people, in all their crazy individual styles, from the richest to the poorest, educated to the most psychotic, playing this great game. One of the great things about this game is that anyone can play it. It’s so accessible and affordable and allows for such rich personalities. I would definitely embrace that. Let’s get everyone crazy about pool, not just the most elite.


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