The Lag


Verified Member
Jun 2, 2015
Ocean Springs, MS
The Lag #20
April 25, 2019

The Red Coats Are Coming!

What is going on, here? American pool has been struggling for, well, always! Occasionally someone will come along with a great idea that will turn the game around and give “pro” players the income they deserve for their lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. Yet, somehow, it never works out. There is always someone within the organization who is overcome by greed and, in the end, causes the whole process to fail setting pool back even farther. Or, maybe it’s the players who don’t trust these organizations so they come up with their own ways to beat the system, trying to make sure they have themselves covered when the inevitable end comes. Whatever the case may be, as a whole players, fans, promoters, all want the same thing. That is, for pool to be successful in the United States of America.

So along comes Match Room Sport. They started in the 80s promoting Snooker and grew from there. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold. When word started to spread that Matchroom was taking over the US Open 9-ball hopes were high in America that this just might be the jolt, the shot in the arm American pool needs to get back into the limelight. Some big numbers were being thrown around. Participation for the Open skyrocketed! The amount of allowed entrants was doubled by Matchroom bringing in even more money. Anticipation among American pool fans ran extremely high, higher than it has been in many years! Everyone was on the edge of their seats to see what kind of miracle Matchroom Sport was going to pull off.

Then it happened. Rumors started to surface about the added money and how, even with double the original players, the added money was going to remain the same. The Americans were, once again, seemingly sabotaging this new US Open 9-ball tournament before it even started. They weren’t satisfied. American keyboard warriors went on the offensive attacking Matchroom as if this was all just some sort of master plan to rip off pool players and the American public.
As the tournament progressed, things died down somewhat as all eyes were glued to the free stream. Then, when the tournament was down to the final 16 players, the stream was no longer free. Talk about an uproar! It had been free all week, why now, when the action was getting so hot, so tense, so thrilling, were they going to charge for the stream? I guess no one has heard of “supply and demand…” Facebook was flooded with posts of crying and whining about the stream from the same folks who cry about the lack of money in pool. That was all that was needed to thrust the keyboard whiners back into action. They surely weren’t going to pay to watch the stream so they might as well get back to moaning about pool. After all, if Matchroom Sport was going to come along and steal all the glory for which these small time streamers and promoters sought for themselves, they were going to do their very best to achieve fame for being the one who brings them down!

Look, I am no one. I have no clout. I have no say in anything. What I do have is an opinion as a small time player, very small time promoter, and a big time fan. I have done my part in my small corner of the universe, to try and make pool great again. I run weekly tournaments with no handicaps, I promote them on social media, and I write reports on every, single one of them after they happen. I also write this blog as a way to share my thoughts and feelings for this game I love. I don’t have a gazillion dollars to throw into the pool world and fix everything. So I do the little things I can do with the means I have. The way I see it, Rome was not built in a day. Matchroom Sport has come along to pick up the pieces left by those who have exploited the game for the last 40 years or so. Matchroom Sport is a business with its own interests in mind. That being said, I believe those who run Matchroom are smart enough to realize that what is best for the players and fans is what is best for them as well. Let’s face it. Any event with 256 players is just huge! It takes an army of personnel to run such an event. The only way an event of this size can be successful is to attract fans, vendors, and of course, the players. Fans, vendors, and players are the three key components to getting started. A structure cannot be built with two pieces, but three will complete it. Once it is built, then the fourth component can be brought in, sponsors. Not many sponsors are going to be willing to take on a project from the ground up, but present them with something that has already been built and has room to grow, and their interests will most certainly be piqued!
This is Matchroom’s first US Open 9-ball. They took something which was completely wrecked and started over. They paid out what they said they would, and as far as I know, the players will be paid in a timely manner unlike in years past when a player may not have received his winnings for several months or a year. We have all been involved in conversations over the years discussing what it would take to turn pool around and I think everyone has agreed that it will take something big. Well, Matchroom Sport is pretty big. They have the means to do it and do it right. That’s not to say that no mistakes will be made along the way. Those in charge are human, after all. But judging by their reputation, I think Matchroom is a good fit for this and over some time will take American pool to the next level! What we as American fans need to do is support them. If there is something with which we or the players don’t agree, we can let them know and still be supportive. There is no need to fish for reasons to boycott them already, geez! Instead of being jealous because you weren’t the one to pick up American pool and turn it around, be happy that someone and something with the power and means to do it is doing it! This could very well be the beginning of what we have all been wishing would happen! Let’s give them a chance!
For the naysayers and jealous ones calling for players and fans to turn their backs on Matchroom, how about we just turn our backs on you! You look for ways to ridicule every idea but your own and claim yours is the only true answer. You claim to have the best interests of the players in mind but yet no one else, in your opinion, can do anything right. You’re not willing to work with anyone else all because you want the credit, you want the glory, and you want your name in lights as the savior of American pool. Well guess what, someone can do it better than you! Now is your chance to show the rest of us who are tired of hearing and reading you complain about everything and what everyone else is doing, that you really and truly want the best for American pool and its players. Show some support for what is happening and most of all show some respect for a company that is willing to do what Matchroom Sport is doing!

I have no stake in this only my passion for pool. I don’t claim to know everything about what is going on and I certainly don’t think I can pull this shipwreck back up. I have nothing to lose here nor am I looking for anything to gain. I only hope that Matchroom Sport can put American pool back in the headlines and turn it into something big again during my lifetime. I hope I get to see that happen whether or not I have anything to do with it, but I am without a doubt, ready and willing to help in any way I possibly can! I hope all of you are as well!

Hit ‘em good, my friends! This is The Lag…