I was pretty shocked last year when a pro player was in the area for a funeral. No...I wasn't shocked he was in town for the funeral, but I was shocked what I heard him say about a potential tournament he could play in.
He was asking about tournaments in Texas that we're coming up for the weekend and I found one flyer on my phone and showed it to him. It happened to be a really big tournament, which is right down his alley because he is a top Pro.
He looked at the flyer and immediately said, "They're not really adding a lot of money - the flyer implies that, but the added money is just coming out of the large green fees. It's not worth it for me to go."
So, I tried to find another tournament for him. I did find another flyer and he looked at it and he exclaimed, "Hey, no large green fees and true added money- I'll go to that one."
I have two thoughts about this.
What I think is pretty sad is the state of pool. It's so bad Pros have to decide if they can attend a tournament or not based on how large the green fees are compared to the added money. Golf and Tennis players don't have to even worry about stuff like that - but pool Pros do because there's just simply not enough money in our sport for them.
The other thought I have is about us amateurs.
Amateurs don't think of things like this. Most of the amateurs I know just want to experience lots of different tournaments, experience new places to play, experience competing against people that maybe we wouldn't normally get to play, etc. When we look at a flyer of a pool tournament we are interested in, the last thing on our mind is, "What is the green fee and are they adding good money?" We just want to play pool! We just want to compete! So, us amateurs are actually pretty lucky we don't worry about such things. Why? Because we aren't hitting the pavement trying to make a living at playing pool like the pros, so we can just go and enjoy playing in any tournament we wish to play in (well, if we can afford the expenses, of course).
In all my years of playing pool, I hadn't heard a player state it wasn't worth it for them to play in a certain tournament because of the reasons this guy said. It really took me aback. But, I suppose it does make sense. As long as they have options of different events, the pros almost need to choose the ones that have better added money and less green fees.