clash royale hack
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
From the Publisher
By Mike Panozzo
Mike became editor of Billiards Digest in 1980 and liked it so much that he bought the company. He has served on the Billiard Congress of America board of directors and as president of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America.

• April 2018
• March 2018
• February 2018
• January 2018
• November 2017
• October 2017
• 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
• Dec 2015
• Nov 2015
• Oct 2015
• Sept 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
• October 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
May: What’s the ROI?
May 2018

I try to not question pool players’ decisions on when and where to play, or why. Given the current status of professional pool (particularly in the United States), I understand that players have to make decisions that are as fiscally sound as possible. Because so many players have to (or opt to) stake themselves in events, thus being able to keep whatever payout they earn, they need to carefully weigh the cost of travel, entry and daily expenses against the field and payout. Some events, regardless of status or “ranking points,” just don’t make financial sense when the player can go to a smaller, regional event where their odds of coming out ahead are greatly increased. Pool is a living for many of these players, and, more than ever, they are focusing on ROI (Return On Investment).

I get that.

Still, it was painful to watch entries of American players dwindle with each of the four World Pool Series events promoted and produced in 2017 by pro Darren Appleton. And it was even more painful to see the first WPS event of 2018 top out at a measly 32 players — almost entirely foreign players.

Full disclosure: Darren Appleton writes a monthly column for BD. But this really is not about Darren, although it is, at least in part, about a top professional player attempting to create opportunities for fellow players.

My take on the World Pool Series was that it was a carefully thought out string of tournaments that was put together by a player and was done so with input from other players. The conditions were challenging, the format and rules were intended to eliminate as much luck as possible from the equation, and the payouts were good. There was even an inexpensive, decent-payout second chance event for those who were eliminated from the main event early. And it isn’t a one-off event. It is a series of four tournaments. It is something to build on.

On the face of it, the WPS appears to be a players’ series.

Is it perfect? Of course not. For starters, it has, to date, been staged in New York City. The costs are higher than most pro events. Hotel prices are higher. Players aren’t going to be driving around town. (The cost of parking alone will break most budgets.) Tournaments like the WPS, staged in bigger cities, present challenges. Again, I get it.

But the lack of support for the WPS from American players has been a real head-scratcher. The inaugural 2018 event drew exactly one American player from west of Philadelphia, young Chris Robinson from California.

The rest of this country’s top players — Shane Van Boening, Sky Woodward, Billy Thorpe, Corey Deuel, Justin Bergman, Oscar Dominguez, etc.? Nowhere to be seen. Woodward won one of the events in 2017, and Thorpe earned national attention with his performance at the first WPS event last year.

The primary reason seems to be the cost of playing in New York City versus the payout. Rationalization for being absent also included format and equipment.

And the field of 32 that did show up in New York? A who’s who of top talent from Europe — Klenti Kaci, Ralf Souquet, Joshua Filler, Fedor Gorst, Ruslan Chinahov and more. Transplanted Europeans Thorsten Hohmann, Jayson Shaw and Mika Immonen were there. Filipinos Lee Vann Corteza and Dennis Orcollo were there. Canadians John Morra, Alex Pagulayan and Jason Klatt were there.

Team USA? Mostly at a bar table tournament in North Dakota.

Again — and I can’t stress this enough — players make their own decisions based on a lot of factors. I don’t begrudge any of them that right. But if this is what “professional” pool in America has become, then I really don’t want to hear any more complaining about the lack of decent tournaments. When promoters try to create events that treat the game like a professional sport and get no support in return, I guess we just have to shrug our collective shoulders and concede.

I guess I can’t blame the Americans. It truly is tough to justify the expense of a tournament against all those foreign aces in New York when you are likely playing for fifth place.

And I can’t help but wonder why American players and fans don’t understand why Team USA is getting manhandled every year in international competition and in the Mosconi Cup. International players don’t shy away from tough events because of expense. They want to play against the best in challenging tournaments.

I guess the international players are just foolish.

It will be interesting to see what American players’ take will be on the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship. Promoter Matchroom Multi Sport recently announced that the 43rd edition of America’s biggest tournament will be staged at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in April 2018. (See “Wing Shots,” pg. 12.) On this one, I will side with the players.

Personally, I think Barry Hearn made a mistake in choosing Mandalay Bay. With a $1,000 entry fee and close to $200 a night lodging, players will be footing a hefty bill. And staying off site will be a logistical nightmare.

Still, with a guaranteed $300,000 prize fund it will likely draw the toughest international field ever assembled.

I sure hope all that bar table training comes in handy.