As with any tournament, issues can arise.
And when these issues occur when I'm running a tourney, the issues become a tad personal....
Last weekend we hosted our second Omega Billiards Tour stop. This was the second event of the year, and the last of the year. Next year starts a whole new season, our first "season" ever. We will have 6 stops and a season finale. It's all so very exciting!
At these tournaments, we have a calcutta. Most people who play pool will know what a calcutta is so I wont go into detail, just to say that other people can bid on players. So, there's money on the line and basically people are betting that their player will place high, and then they get a percentage of the calcutta payouts. It's a gamble for sure, but one that can bring you some money if the bet is right and your player does well.
So, imagine my surprise when one of the players at our event lost his first match and then WALKED out! Someone overheard him say, "I can't win this tourney now," as he walked out the door.
So, to say I was upset was an understatement. The guy was bought for $200 in the calcutta! AND, someone even put him in the tourney! He has no money invested in the tourney at all, and two others did, and yet he walks out because he lost his first match!
Since he went for $200, yes that means he's a good player. To say he's not welcome again is a given. It was rude, inconsiderate, and uncalled for.
Then something else happened the next day.
Right before the finals, the two opponents start discussing something. I figure out what it is, because so many people are involved in the discussion. They are talking about splitting/chopping the first and second place monies, and NOT PLAYING THE FINALS OUT.
So, this means I have no score, and no winner for the websites, media articles, write ups, nothing. Further, all the people who stayed all day to watch, would not get a chance to see a Pro and a top player battle it out in the finals.
I told the players I was not happy. I told them I wanted them to play. For the fans and for the tour. Not to mention the people who bought them in the calcutta!! First place in the calcutta was about $1500 and second was about $950.
Granted, the players were trying to work out a deal with the two guys who bought them in the calcutta, but that in itself is disrespectful to ask that they do that (imo).
This isn't a tournament. This is a tour.
I walked up to them and expressed that this was a new tour and I did not want that to happen.
They understood, and so they agreed to play.
I was upset because I don't like to show when I'm upset, but I had to stand up for the tour, the fans, the sponsors, the pool room who counted on more business, etc. One of the players instigated the chop and the other just went along. But, I was not happy.
Everyone told me I did the right thing, but I still didn't like the way it all went down. While it wasn't an argument per say, it was still uncomfortable and I felt it was a little selfish for them to even consider it.
But, I suppose I'm being biased.
While those reading this may think splitting is not a big deal, but because it's a new tour trying to get its feet on the ground and be reputable, I think it is a big issue. Maybe the sponsors didn't care (maybe they do?), but *I* cared for the fans watching, for the pool room making money, and for the calcutta buyers.
Everything is a learning experience, and this weekend had a few for us.
Overall, it was a another great event with over $6,500 paid out and a 64-full bracket of great players, tho! I can't wait for the new season next year!