When I first read the topic my immediate reaction was, “pool is broken?”
I can be an annoyingly optimistic person at times, though, and I completely admit that, so maybe that is why I have this attitude, what is there to fix? My friends tell me I am too optimistic: I assume when I hear something bad that there is another side to the story, and I genuinely think people are good (so they say I never recognize to look for “motives” for behavior.) Guess what? I like this about me, though!
Anyway, I don’t think anything is wrong with pool. It is my passion (I live and breathe it daily), and yet I still think it’s okay and doing okay.
Now, do I wish pool was on tv more? Yes. Do I wish we were paid like golfers and tennis players? Of course. Do I wish there were more tournaments and better payouts and more organization for the pros? Sure. Do I wish pool results were posted in newspapers and in mainstream print magazines? Yes. Do I wish that ESPN would carry highlights from pool tournaments? You betcha! That’d be SO awesome!
People have asked in me passing for the last 20 years if I was going to quit my job to play pool full time. I was like, “Uh, No! I have a job that is a career that I went to college for that pays me decent money and that I happen to love. So, no, I won’t quit my job. But if pool paid like golf I sure would! In a heartbeat!”
But, I still don’t think pool is broken. It is what it is. If someone or some business comes along and brings pool to the forefront, I will not complain and will welcome it with open arms, of course. But what is there to fix, really? Yes, we could use a well-run pro tour for the men and women, yes we would all enjoy bigger events, and would welcome higher prize money, but who is going to do that and how? I think the regional tours and some medium-sized events are doing quite well, actually. Yes pool rooms could use more business, but the entire U.S. economy is bad, not just in the billiard industry.
Jake Dyer also asks “so what to do about it?” My suggestion for the mainstream article was to seek out the league players and start there. My suggestion for this article is to see why pool is so popular and “isn’t broken” in Asia and Europe. In Asia I hear billiards as big as basketball over there! What is Asia doing that makes pool so popular? Why is it so popular over there? That would be my suggestion --> to look into why is it “working” over there?