clash royale hack gunpixel.com mobilelegendstool.us robloxtool.com clashroyaletool.info mrcoinsfifa.com besthomescapes.com
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.


Archives
• January 2021
• November 2020
• October 2020
• September 2020
• August 2020
• July 2020
• June 2020
• May 2020
• April 2020
• March 2020
• February 2020
• January 2020
• December 2019
• November 2019
• October 2019
• September 2019
• August 2019
• July 2019
• June 2019
• May 2019
• April 2019
• March 2019
• February 2019
• January 2019
• December 2018
• November 2018
• October 2018
• September 2018
• August 2018
• July 2018
• June 2018
• May 2018
• 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
 
December: Donít Show Me That Smile
December 2020

Boy, it was nice to see players competing head-to-head again.

But, boy, did watching streams and looking at photos give me a queasy feeling.

More than a hundred players and an equal number of fans and employees crammed into Skinny Bobís Billiards in Round Rock, Texas, for the Texas Open 9-Ball and One-Pocket Championships. Some of the best players in the world ó Shane Van Boening, Skyler Woodward, Dennis Orcollo, Mika Immonen, Alex Pagulayan and more ó were on hand to finally once again feel the pressure and adrenaline of tournament play. The matches were spirited and the level of play was back to peak level in no time.

Photos and selfies of maskless players and maskless fans, however, gave me pause as to the risk/reward of staging the event without lockdown policies in place. It was, of course, nice to see everyone laughing and smiling. Itís been a while since Iíve seen peopleís teeth!

Listen, I get it. I, as much as anyone, long to be in the same room with the players, fans and industry friends that I havenít seen in nine months. And I understand the excitement players and fans in Texas felt when they could elbow bump, fist bump or even flat out hug each other once again after months of no contact beyond social media.

And I get it that players, pent up for more than a year, were itching to get back to the table. For players, pool is less-than-steady employment as it is. Nine months without an opportunity to make money is tough to take.

But is it worth the risk of illness from a disease that we still know so little about? We still know little about the long-term effects of Covid-19. Even those that have had it and recovered will have to wait and see what kind of damage it does to your system over the long haul.

And letís dispense with conspiracy theories and exaggerations. This is not a political argument. Itís not even a scientific argument. Itís a common sense, compassion and respect argument.

To be fair, most of the players competing in Texas were wearing masks. But some were not. And the reluctance by people to adhere to rules and guidelines 100 percent of the time made that event just dangerous enough to warrant discussion.

Why? Because players, fans and employees left that tournament infected by the virus. Numerous players fell ill and tested positive in the days following the tournament. An employee at the poolroom tested positive and the poolroom was closed down for a period of time.

One of the players that tested positive was young Chris Robinson of California. Robinson went to Texas to compete and meet with his Team USA Mosconi Cup teammates. It is Robinsonís first opportunity to play in the Mosconi Cup, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Yet, he was perilously close to having to miss the Mosconi Cup because of contracting the virus. Luckily, after suffering through symptoms for a week, Robinson recovered and produced several negative tests ahead of the teamís departure to London just before Thanksgiving. But the lesson was not lost on the youngster.

ďIt was fun to see everyone again,Ē he said. ďBut going to that tournament almost cost my slot in the Mosconi.Ē

Billiard Congress of America Hall of Famer Mika Immonen also found himself suffering from symptoms in the aftermath of the Texas tournament.

ďThey had safety protocols in place,Ē he said, trying in vain to rationalize his participation. ďThere was encouragement and rules, but I feel like a lot of people werenít respecting them. In hindsight, it wasnít worth it. Luckily, I didnít have crazy symptoms and I recovered quickly. Iím just happy I didnít cause any other infections.Ē

In an industry that has taken longer than most to get clearance to resume activities, why do we want to shoot ourselves in the foot?

I want tournaments as much as anyone. And I want poolrooms to be able to be open. And I want players to make money.

But, at least for the time being, having that happen has to come with rules. And those rules need to be strict and followed. If a tournament promoter demands that every player, fan and employee wear a facemask 100 percent of the time that they are in the building, donít react as though he/she is part of a Deep State conspiracy to strip you of your liberties. They are simply trying to keep people safe and, in the process, keep their doors open and allow you opportunity to play the game you love. Respect that.

I donít enjoy wearing a facemask. I canít wait for an effective vaccine to be distributed so that I can feel comfortable attending an event and having in-person conversations with people in this business that I desperately miss in which I can actually see their lips move.

But until then, I will do what I think is socially responsible. Why? Because I fear for the safety of my friends and their families.

I hope the whole billiard industry will do the same.

MORE VIDEO...