Thursday, June 29, 2017

Don't Interfere with Pre-Tourney Routines

While I'm driving to the Omega stop on Sunday morning last week, it crosses my mind that I could call and chat to one of the players, a friend of mine, who was on his way to the pool room, also.

He had a morning match, so I knew he would be driving about the same time I was.  The doors of Clicks Billiards in Arlington, Texas opened at 10am and he gets there early every time.

I figured we could catch up and chit chat about life, work, or nothing, lol.

But then I stopped myself.

You see, he had a winner's side match this particular morning, and he needed to stay focused on his mental preparations and normal pre-tourney customs, whatever they may be.  He doesn't need me to distract him from his routine to talk about minuscule crap (or even deep, thoughtful conversations lol) - he needed to remained focused on his typical routine and not be distracted so he is fully prepared for his match.

You see, when I am driving to play in an important tournament, I turn the volume up and listen to some R and B music from my personal playlist.  I do this to relax, to get in a good mood, and to also not think about the future match ahead of me - I'm just trying to sing along to great music, which puts me in a good mood before my match.

We all play better pool in a good mood, right?

So, whatever his routine preparations are or whatever he is used to doing while driving to a tournament, doesn't normally involve me calling and chit chatting.  To me, that would have been a distraction (and I wouldn't want someone to do that to me).

So, I instead told him when I saw him at 10am, that I would blog about why I didn't call him, even though I thought about it.  LMAO.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is Honesty the Best Policy?

I wrote before how some people admit if they foul when no one is looking, and others don't/wont.

I wrote it has to do with your internal ethic meter, maybe how you were raised, sometimes it even depends on what the score is or if you are in a team event or not.

I ran across an interesting scenario last weekend during the Omega Tour tournament.  I saw this happen one other time on the the Ladies Tour I ran, and each similar situation still baffles me.

Long story short, a player called three fouls on himself.  The additional problem was, it was hill-hill.

Some people are so honest, that the concept of NOT letting their opponent know they have just committed their third foul is just unfathomable to them.

In this situation, a player called me over and gave me the scenario.  "Uh, well, I just told my opponent he's on two fouls, and he tells me, 'well, actually, that was my third foul in a row, so I just lost.' "

I stood there confused.

The player shares, almost with a sad, conflicted admission, "Melinda, it's hill-hill."

He was conflicted about the whole situation.  He was dumbfounded and didn't know what to do.  He hadn't told his opponent he was on two fouls until he thought he was on two, and now his opponent is telling him, "oh, I already was, so I lost."

I told his opponent that he isn't suppose to call fouls on himself.  He looked deflated.  You could tell he was internally upset that he did the right thing by admitting he was already on three fouls, yet I am telling him he needs to shoot again.

He tried to explain that he was on three fouls and deserved the loss.  Yet his opponent and I are trying to almost plead with him that he's not suppose to call them on himself, tho.

He finally just gave up the fight.  I was asked watch the hit (it was a really close shot), he fouled, and then it was officially three fouls in a row and he lost hill-hill.

I tried desperately to explain he shouldn't call two or three fouls on himself and so did his opponent.  He finally told me, "Melinda, I hear what you are saying, I really do, but I know I will call this on myself in the future if it comes up."

You see, some people are just that honest.  No matter how many ways I could explain to him why or show him the rule book that it's his opponents' responsibility to put him on two/three, he was not going to accept the fact because it is kind of lying or cheating in his eyes and heart.

And that's okay.

Hilary Morse - RIP

One of the coolest and funniest chicks I know passed away.

Hilary Morse.

She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer 6 months ago.  At some point during those 6 months, she was told it was terminal.

Pneumonia would be her final battle.

She said the funniest things and was always smiling.  And her Mom and her were SO VERY close.  I am at a lose of words for what her Mom must be going through.

Hilary played pool and also foosball.  The woman was a true gem and the outpouring of love on FB is deafening.

RIP Hilary Morse.  You are missed.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Diamonds are a Pool Player's Best Friend

If you don't think pool players love Diamond bar tables, then think again!

Diamond bar tables are few and far between in the Dallas Fort Worth area.  Only a few pool rooms have a couple of them.  And they are played on ALL the time.

So, when a pool room (JR Pockets in Denton, TX) installed two new Diamond bar tables last week, Facebook was all lit up!

Here are a few examples:

Diamonds really are a pool player's best friend  :)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Weighing on my Mind

I'm going to talk about a subject that a lot of females obsess about, but don't really talk about.  Even to their closest friends.

I'm going to single out females and I apologize for not talking about males about this subject, but I can only speak for myself and the few female friends who confided in me over the years about this taboo subject.

Yes I'm talking about the dreaded subject of weight.

What's unfortunate about gaining weight and feeling horrible about it is, it's on our minds all the time. And so of course those self-crippling thoughts can interfere with our ability to play good pool.

I thought I'd start off with real-life situations/comments from friends.  I think some of these admissions will surprise you:
  • "Oh yes, I definitely played better the years that I was thinner.  I hated myself heavy, and just didn't play well those years."
  • "I really don't want to play on the stream table because I already look so fat. "
  • "I really didn't want my picture taken because it would be printed in magazines, even though it was the first time I placed so high." (she placed 2nd!)
  • "I really don't even want to go to this tournament, because I gained so much weight and I'm ashamed and fearful of what my friends will think."
  • "I definitely feel more comfortable and play better when I'm thinner, because I'm happier about myself."
  • "I know that I'm struggling right now with my game because I've gained so much weight and I'm embarrassed how I look."

Obviously, I'm not talking about ALL females, but a lot of women struggle with negative thoughts about their weight gain.

And let me share a little bit of inside information from my personal female body experience lol. My metabolism changed at ages 20, 30, 40, and 45.  I don't know if this is normal for most females, I just know that this is what happened to me. That means as I get older it's more difficult to keep the weight off; it's more difficult to lose weight, etc. And at each of those "milestones" I gained weight. Further, we also go through situations in our lives that may cause depression or stress which unfortunately leads to emotional eating and less exercising.

I am proud of my female friends who make exercise a priority and eat well.  But there are so many more of us who have gained weight and hate ourselves for it.

I am actually a "fluffy" girl (that's what I call it, lol) and I'm perfectly okay with not being skinny (luckily).  Acceptance is actually one of those beautiful things that if you can truly, deeply understand and feel... it will make life that much better for you.

Back to the mental instability that weight gain causes:  My friends have seriously debated going to a tournament or not because they think they are now fat (because they gained weight).  Other friends feel so upset about their weight gain, they can't possible play good b/c they are more worried about what they think they look like to friends or how horrible they look in their clothes (nothing fits good or looks good).  It's tough to play good pool while being unhappy, right?

.I'm not saying only skinny girls win tournaments.
.I'm not saying fluffy girls don't play well.
.I'm not saying all women are unhappy with weight gain.

What I am saying tho is some women let weight gain affect their happiness. Which in turn affects their mental attitude.  Which in turn can affect us during competition.

We all play better when we feel better about ourselves, right?  It's very normal and natural.  The only problem is, sometimes the impact of weight gain can paralyze happiness, which can affect playing our best pool.

I am NOT saying that I played horrible when I was unhappy with my weight.  I play pretty damn sporty because my fundamentals are solid and I have a lot of experience competing.  But I am saying that when I feel REALLY good about myself/my weight, I just play so much better overall because I am so much happier.

I'm also not saying females sit in the corner of a pool room during a tourney with their head down, crying because of their weight gain. But they sure aren't skipping happily between tables, loving life like a bird with a french fry, either.  Lol.

Ironically!  Knowing big tournaments are on the horizon is actually a great motivator for many to exercise and eat well.  I know a ton of female friends who set goals on losing a certain amount of weight before they go to State or Nationals.  That's when they run into a lot of their friends from across the state or country and they want to look good for them. In return, they end up playing pretty good pool (b/c they are happy they lost weight and feel better about themselves).

You may be thinking - "they should just work out more and eat better if they are that consumed and it's affecting their play or attendance."  Well, it's not that easy lol!  Further, many of my friends DID work on their eating habits and exercise, to no significant avail.

You also may be thinking, "they should stop caring about what others think!"  Yes, lol, we know we should, but we all care what we look like to a certain degree.

The point of this post is to share that women have low self esteem enough at times.  Throw in weight gain, and it adds to it.  And we can get embarrassed and ashamed.  Who can play well under those conditions??

It's the players who accept who they are in their own bodies who can begin to overcome these crippling thoughts.

But it's so sad that many women are unhappy with themselves, which in turn affects their pool journey.  Don't get my wrong - I've been there!  I've thought the same, pathetic, sad way about myself before.  So, not judging - just sharing.  But I also know accepting who I am is a key to my happiness, which in turn helps my pool journey.  It can help you, as well, in many aspects of life.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TD Experience - Players Playing (or Not)

I mentioned on American Billiard Radio last week (we talked about the crowd), I could discuss every single week of the year a topic related to running a tournament.  Seriously,  lol.  Yes, my bucket of Tournament Director topics is definitely full.

Today I thought I'd share something that maybe others may not have thought of before. 

A couple of years after starting the Omega Billiards Tour, a player contacted me about signing up.  I had major reservations and was apprehensive to let him play.

I contacted the sponsor of the Tour to ask him, "Can I not let him play?"

You see, as a Tournament Director, we really do have the final say on who can play or not.  This is easier to enforce if you have rules and guidelines that you can point to, but if you think about it, all TDs have this final decision - whether running a Tour or a weekly tourney.  And it can make for sticky situations if you have an opinionated TD or a vengeful one.  As you can imagine, it helps both sides if there are guidelines in place that the TD or players can point to.

The Omega Tour had no such guidelines in place at the time.  Just normal 9-ball rules and suggested no sharking examples on the website.

Going back to this player - I am ashamed to say I didn't want him to play on the Tour.  I was too green to understand that his past should not affect his participation.  You see, he had been running a monthly tournament and it was found out he was STEALING from the break and run pot, and he was also not paying out what he should in the regular payout.  The players were very upset with him and when I verified the accusation with a friend of his ("Melinda, I wish it wasn't true," he lamented), I just didn't want this dishonest guy to play.

After sharing the background and my thoughts with the sponsor he tells me, "He should be able to play, Melinda.  It doesn't matter who he is away from the Tour, you can't tell him he can't play just because he has acted this way."

I have to say I have ALWAYS appreciated that I could have great discussions with sponsors.  Not only the Omega Tour, but the sponsor of the OB Cues Ladies Tour (Royce Bunnell), too.  They both have a business mentality and both been around pool their whole life.  They have great perspectives and it was comforting to be able to have a meaningful and productive discussion with them on topics that would come up.

And in this situation, Mike Hoang (owner of Omega Billiards Supply), it was no exception.

And he was spot on.  I can't just forbid a guy from playing because he was cheating others somewhere else.  I had to let him play.  Obviously, if he somehow stole from the Omega Tour, that would be different.

So, I told the player how to sign up, and here I am 4 years later writing about it.

And let me tell you that he has turned out to be one of the biggest proponents of the Tour!  He bids on people, plays good and finishes well, always promotes the Tour, the players like him etc.  While his errant ways was over 4 years ago, the players don't bring it up or even think about because he's not running the monthly tournament anymore (he was removed).  He was always a well-liked guy, just happened to get in some trouble.

I was definitely taught a lesson here.  :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Goodbye First Round Bye

When I started out playing pool, I always wanted that first round bye in tournaments.  Sometimes, back even just ten years ago, that would be my only match win in the tournament, lol!  So, I savored those byes.

And then at some point as you became a better player and competed more, you heard (and truly felt/believed) that you should actually not wish/yearn for a bye.  The thinking was you need that first match to get warmed up, to get in stroke, maybe work out some nerves.

And then, as you get even better, you realize that you do indeed want that first round bye back in your life lol.

You see, in the beginning of our pool journey, it's true - sometimes the bye may be our only win because our game is that bad.  As we play more, we realize playing in that first round really does help us - gets us comfy in the tournament, gets a win under our belt, helps us get in stroke, etc.  But as our game gets even further along, we don't need a first round match to get in stroke anymore.  We are now seasoned players, and we would like that bye because if all goes well, we will be playing all weekend and that first round bye would be a nice rest.

I believe this thinking is a normal progression in our game as we get better and better.  And of course a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are more confident in our skills.  We are more confident in the fact that we've played a thousand tournaments.  And each game is a mental toughness struggle to stay in the match to win, so I would like that bye to give myself a little mental break.

Further, I don't even think about everyone else who is getting to "warm up" the first round - I'm not even concerned about that.  Heck, I don't even care!  lol.

I truly feel that as you get better and better, and play in more and more tournaments, you don't even think about a bye being a good or bad.  It's just what is.

I think a lot of people feel that not getting a bye is great for the tournament experience and it's great for them to be able to warm up for the rest of the matches. But I'll be honest and a tad vain - I'm already prepared before I walk in the door.  One match in the first round is not going to make or break me anymore.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Imma Bad Friend

I was recently following several friends' progress via online brackets and also from posts on Facebook while they played in National league events/tournaments in Vegas to see how they were doing.

At one point, a team I was following had lost hill-hill.  I immediately thought to myself, "Ooooh, I hope my friend was the one who lost that hill-hill match for the team!"


Damn, Melinda, you're a rude bitch!


Well, let me explain why I said that "mean" thing!

I know from my own experience that the costly, unforgettable, heartbreaking losses are the ones that propel us into the amazing player we are to become.

The heartbreaking misses prepare us to handle tough, pressure situations in the future.  It's such a natural and almost expected process to dog it (lol) and then learn from it, that I had hoped she was the one who lost for the team so she would be that much further in her game for her future competitions.

Let me tell you that as I type this I can think of the 6 most heartbreaking shots of my life.  And all those shots have helped me see my error, and helped me be the champion typing these words out for you today.

--  BCAPL Texas State tournament, 2010, missed a straight in 8-ball for my team ;(
--  Reno Championships 2012.  Missed a ball before the 10-ball because I rushed my shot (thinking ahead) and lost.  Placed 4th :(
--  OB Cues Season Finale, 2013, 2nd set of the Finals:  dogged my brains out.
--  BCAPL Texas State tournament, 2013, missed a long, straight-in shot and lost, even tho I was the favorite to win.
--  Jamaica Joe's women's event, 2014, missed the 8 ball because I didn't stay down (was distracted) and lost important match to last until Sunday.

You may be thinking, stop reminiscing about those bad shots!  Hey, I LIKE thinking about them!  I WANT to think about them!  Why?  Because I learned so much from them.  They remind me to stay down, stroke more, stay present, be confident, breathe, have fun, and stay down.  (yes, I said that twice, lol).

These are GOOD memories of bad situations that help me remember what I need to do to WIN.

Not bad memories at all, actually. :)

So see, I'm not a bad friend thinking I hoped she lost it all for the team!  lol.  I have my reasons; for her pool journey!  :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Moving Up in the World with Less Pressure

One thing I have learned from being a Tournament Director of a handicapped tour and also from my own experience moving up levels in different divisions of leagues, is pressure is relieved when we move up.

Players actually appreciate and thank me from the bottom of their hearts after I move them up.

Okay, okay, not everyone thanks me, lol.  Right?  A lot of players complain, too. 

But it's the players who were getting picked on by their friends that thanked me.  And, the ones who already knew they should have been moved up that thanked me.  Why would they thank me, though? Wouldn't we all want to play at a lower level and take advantage of the situation?

It's not just them being released from hazing anymore by their friends that makes them thankful - it's also because there is less pressure on their backs.  And what happens when we feel less pressure? Yep, we play better!

There are two particular players that were borderline between a 6 and 7 that I received a lot of complaints about the last few years.  More than most players.

And they would finish well several times in Omega Tour stops, but not capture the all-allusive first place prize.  But, a top 6 finish a few times during the year for sure.

Each time they would not place real high or win, they would of course always be upset.  Further, their friends would pick on them more:
  • "You have this stop sealed being a 6."
  • "You should win every one of them as a 6."
  • "You know you should a 7."
  • "Why aren't you capitalizing on not being a 7 yet?"

Crap like that.

At the end of these two particular years of these borderline players, I moved them up to a 7.  And afterwards, I heard SUCH sincere thanks from them!  They said they aren't picked on anymore lol but what they noticed MORE was they had less pressure on them (i.e, felt less pressure).  While hesitant at first how they would do now that they were moved up, they both noticed (and shared with me) that they felt so much less pressure that they happily discovered they still played well and finished well!

Being moved up is a mental status psychology thing we put ourselves through.  Friends (and enemies) really actually haze us for being where we are in the pecking order if they strongly feel it's incorrect, and when we get moved up, tho, we at first freak out a bit, but then see it's exactly where we belong; just as everyone said and just as we secretly thought.

It lifts the pressure and we play well.  And, we still finish well.

Even after the Omega Tour implemented using the Fargo Ratings to handicap players (in Jan of this year), several borderline players were moved up and several confided they felt like there was less pressure on them now.

Pretty wild, huh?

But let's face it - the mentally tough players feel less pressure.  The players who are strong and confident in their game still play with passion and gusto (eventually) after being moved up.  The scared and timid players falter.  Who do you want to be like?


Saturday, June 10, 2017

$1,000 Sets in Dallas/Fort Worth

I mentioned back in April that there is a player in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex who has played numerous $1,000 sets the last few months.

Well, I sat down with him to talk about this "situation" lol.  Before I share his responses, let's give some background and also why I'm bringing this up again:

As I said in April:
You might think this is no big deal - people gamble all the time, right?  Well, this is a cool/different thing because the matches are advertised ahead of time on Facebook.  So, we know "when, where, and with who" several weeks in advance.  And people can side bet and/or plan to come out to watch. And usually more than one set is played. 

Further, because players are already there sweating the action, of course it's natural for other players to match up too, so I've heard several matches end up being played those afternoons/evenings.
However, these $1,000 matches are being planned MUCH more often that I or others ever imagined or expected!  Here are some dates I am aware of that shows the true gravity of how often these $1,000 matches are being planned:

May 28th
May 29th
June 4th
June 5th
June 7th
June 9th
June 10th
July 8th
July 9th
July 15th 

Every one of these matches has a common theme: Alberto Nieto is one of the players in each set. Each match is a race to 18, 9-ball, for $1,000.  (well, one match is 8-ball and race to 13, but yes, still for $1,000.)

Alberto has won about 80% of all the $1,000 matches he's played this year so far.

So, let's find out more about how this got started and if it's helped him in any way with his pool game.

Alberto does not put up the $1,000 by himself.  There are about 4-5 guys who put up the money.  And it's normally the same guys every time.

How did this get started? Well, Alberto used to gamble with an owner at a certain pool room.  It was the same situation:  several guys put their money together for the set.  However, after the owner beat Alberto several times, for some reason the owner didn't want to play him anymore (didn't even give him a chance to win his money back).  So, Alberto had an idea to offer Omega Tour players of his same speed (the Tour is a handicapped Tour) to play a set for $1,000, and to have a mutual friend (Jay, nicknamed, "The Promoter") to announce the matches and offers on Facebook.

I also asked him why $1,000, why at only certain pool rooms, and why races to 18?

He said that he lives and works in a certain area and so he plays at pool rooms easiest to get to after work and still close to home.  (DFW is a large area.  Driving an hour to play a long set and then having to go to work early the next morning, Alberto figured if he offered the game and location, he would see if players would be interested.)

He didn't want the race too low for $1,000, so he set it at 18 games.  That has turned out to be a good race for $1,000 and also for focus.  I must add that there are a ton of side betting going on.  Just last weekend the rumor was about $5,000 was on the line between betters for that particular match up. Further, usually it's not just that one set played.... sometimes two to three sets are played in succession between the two players.

His (of course, as we all would expect) concentration and focus has improved these last few months. He also shared these matches have helped his nerves.  He was already a good player, but he is now more consistent on the Tour, in his matches, and also in weekly tournaments.

He said he used to gamble all the time 5-6 years ago, and wanted to start it back up.  He tried with that owner, and has now moved on and opened up the "action door" (so to speak) to almost any player in the DFW-area that is his speed.  There are a few matches where he gets the 8-ball, but normally he plays players his speed.

Just recently he announced he is looking to play $100-$200 sets, race to 9 / 11 during the week.  He wants to gamble more, but knows not everyone has $1,000 nor has time to race to 18 during the week on work days.

I personally think it's a great thing going on!  It supports pool rooms, gets players competing more, talking more crap (lol), helps their game, etc.  Many people are venturing out to watch the matches, too, which is cool (one day I'll go sweat a match - maybe the 8ball one!).  I think this is good for pool all around.  Drumming up new and exciting business is a good thing in the pool industry.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Known Cheaters

I read with fascination this article about a known cheater among the golf pros.  It was an interesting article about how most of the players are very aware about a certain golfer who cheats all the time.

The anonymous author even added:
"This dude knows he's a cheater, and he knows that everyone knows he's a cheater," the author wrote.
It got me wondering about our own sport.  And unfortunately, I think it's a case for pool as well.

We all know the players who have a certain unethical part to their game.  Many of these players either don't get much gambling action and/or are put "on notice" by players or Tournament Directors.

As a Tournament Director, I am told A LOT of things about players in regards to "cheating."  It's something that I need to be aware of so I can watch closely for their opponents.

But if you reflect right now, you can picture players who cheat, right?  Maybe you are first thinking about some really big accusation/argument (which is usually a miscommunication or knowledge of the rules), but you can picture a player who, yep, has been accused of cheating a lot and many of the players talk about them and the knowledge of their antics.

What I think is sad is when players think we don't know they are cheating.  Really?  Smdh.

While doing background for this post, I looked up other articles about cheating in sports and was quite surprised!  Check out all these lists, wow!

  • Top 10 greatest sports cheaters of all time
  • Top 10 worst cheaters
  • Biggest cheaters
  • 40 worst cheaters
  • Biggest cheaters in sports
Pretty sad there is a lot of material, huh?  lol

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Learn From Bad Golf Shots

I have seen sometimes (and have experienced this myself in important matches), that when we shoot a really bad shot, it's sometimes tough to recover.

Let's put this in perspective.  If I'm practicing, I don't even reflect on the bad shot/miss and I move on happily hitting more balls.  However, what if you miss a ball so badly and you are on the stream table and also in front of a large crowd and also in the top 4 of a big tournament??

The difference is light years.

But it's how you react and recover that makes you a star and proves you are a seasoned player.

One of the players on the Omega Tour was playing for 4th place I believe and he missed a shot so badly, I turned to a mutual friend and said, "damn, I hope he doesn't get embarrassed over that and recovers quickly.  Or else there could be a domino effect of repercussions if he thinks about that bad miss.  Sometimes it's tough to recover from it."

Our friend had a great opinion/response about it, and I wanted to share what he said.

He replied, "Well, he plays golf.  And he knows that sometimes a wild shot can happen.  He knows it's part of the game and he wont let that one really bad miss get to him."

It was a FANTASTIC point and comparison!

Sure, we can envision golfers throwing their clubs across the green in anger (lol), but we can also envision all those players who shot a golf ball into the crowd or on the cart path who didn't let it deter them and they won the big tournament!

The point is, if you start to feel embarrassed after a really bad shot, recover from it quickly.  Don't let it affect your play from that point on.  We have seen players turn to mush, make further mistakes, your arms feel wobbly from embarrassment, lose confidence, etc.

Instead, remember those crazy golf shots, and all the recoveries the pro's made after their bad shots. It's just part of the game.  :)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pool Rooms Are Businesses

One thing that disappoints me, is when players talk badly about pool rooms.  This especially tugs at my soul as a Tournament Director.

I'm going to be very honest and confide that most of the pool rooms in Texas are not large, extravagant, amazing pool rooms.  But us Texans love that we have many pool rooms to choose from and we love them.

I think a lot of out of state players quite honestly are disappointed when they go to the pool rooms in Texas and see they all don't have a lot of space or a ton of great tables or high ceilings or non smoking, etc etc.   There are a few, yes, but not most in Texas.

However, no matter if our pool rooms are small and not pristine,  many other cities' pool rooms are closing down. In the Dallas Fort Worth area I haven't seen a pool room closed down in years. But I hear other cities pool rooms are not making enough business to stay open. So while the pool rooms may not be Design Pool Rooms Of The Year, at least they are creating business and places to play and staying open.
But when players bad mouth a pool room, I take it personal.  We are lucky to have many choices.  We are lucky to have many places to play the game we love.

On the Omega Tour,  we have a stop every single month in a different pool room across the Dallas Fort Worth area.  Pretty cool, huh?

But sometimes players will broadcast on Facebook-world that they think some pool rooms are dumps... while hosting an Omega Tour stop there that weekend.  Sure, people have their own opinion, but I personally think it's uncalled for.

You see, this "dump" is adding a lot money to the tournament, they are paying extra people to work shifts, and there are up-front costs to ensure the tables are level and sometimes they pay to refelt all the tables before the tourney.

Sure, you may not like the tables, you might not like the location, but they are still a company doing the best they can to stay in business!  And.... they are a sponsor, too. I think it's unfortunate and down right rude when someone bad mouths a pool room when they put in a lot of time and money for the players to have a great atmosphere and experience to compete.

Getting bad service and complaining about that is one thing.  But bad mouthing businesses because you don't like the place, I don't take well lol.

I fully admit this is my personal philosophy in life:  cherish more, complain less.  But, I'm also prolly tainted because I'm a Tournament Director, too.  :)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

TD and the Calcutta

One aspect of being a Tournament Director is players and buyers come to the Tournament Director sometimes seeking advice or help to resolve issues that may have come up.

The thing is, the Calcutta part of a tournament is not really related to the tournament itself.  It's really an extra part of the tournament;  it's a bet, gambling.  And if you want to buy half yourself or if you want to ask a player if they want to buy half themselves, you to need to have a clear discussion between you two.

Any miscommunication that may occur, the Tournament Director cannot be involved.

I have talked to the sponsor of the Omega Tour several times about Calcutta issues and he reminded me that the Calcutta is gambling. And the players or buyers or fans who are buying players, they're gambling with each person that they buy.  And as with most bets in the world, the communication is always between the buyer and what you're betting on (in this case the player).  And clear, concise communication is key.

Think about this comparison:  if you make a bet with a bookie or you make a bet with a casino or even a friendly bet with a friend, if there is an issue after the fact or with the bet or the agreement,  it's always resolved between the two entities.

Also, I am extremely strict and only give the caclutta winnings to the person I wrote down as the buyer.  I am so strict about this that even friends I've known for 15 to 20 years, they know I have to have verbal confirmation if they want me to hand the envelope to someone else. For example, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area it can take you 2 hours to go across the Metroplex, so sometimes a buyer will have a friend pick up the money so that they don't have to drive all the way down to the tournament. It'll save them a long drive.  However if I don't talk to that buyer on the phone, I will not give their friend the envelope. This is a very strong rule that I follow.

I also learned from a crappy situation at another tournament. Long story short, a player who got second place told the Tournament Director that they bought half themselves.  The TD gave the player their half, they then bolted, and then it turns out he was lying and he did not buy his half at all.

So I have learned from this unfortunate experience of a fellow Tournament Director and I never give anyone their half.

I feel bad when players approach me late on Sunday about issues that have come up between the buyer and player.  I express empathy, of course, but that's about all I can do.

Bottom line is, all communication between the buyer and player is between themselves. So, please make sure it's clear!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Pool Tables in Casino

I've written before how there are now pool tables sometimes in casinos.  When I wrote about this before it was only from secondhand information lol.

Well, I'm happy to report I saw this for myself on Tuesday!   While I was walking through the MGM Grand during my week vacation here in Vegas, I grabbed my camera quickly to take some pics for you.

What I like best about this adult playground (literally) is this was in 18-and-up area only, which hopefully means that these fine-looking pool tables will stay fine-looking and in good shape.

Here's two views of the valley tables.

You can see there's not just pool tables here, but also foosball and shuffleboard, Etc.

Pretty cool little spot in the MGM Casino, huh?