So here’s something that I’ll never understand. Every year there are celebrity billiards events and these events never get covered by the billiards industry. Last week, NY Giants defensive end Justin Tuck once again held his annual celebrity billiards event and while it did make it on to a number of mainstream entertainment news sites, I haven’t seen mention of this on any of the pool media sites. Check out this highlight reel and count the ballers that showed up to this thing. Mark Sanchez, Bernard Hopkins, Ryan Grant, Ray Rice, Hakeem Nicks and of course Jeanette doing her thing. Seriously, how often are you going to find pictures of celebs and A-listers playing pool on Getty Images? How often are you going to see b-rolls of people playing pool on Access Hollywood and other entertainment news shows?
In the past, PoolDawg has participated in these events, sending reps to Tuck’s event and Dwight Freeney’s event as well as doing the swag bag thing for Shaun Livingston’s event. The value for PoolDawg was getting pics of Frank with celebs (which both Sarah Rousey and Debbie Schjodt kicked ass at), but there’s much more value for these events for the industry. In order for pool to reach the tipping point here in the states it has to be viewed as, for lack of a better term, “in”. The pubs should be all over these events, writing articles, posting pics, using b-roll footage, but they never seem to. How is this not newsworthy? Is it because it isn’t “real pool”? Someone please explain this to me, because I just don’t get it.
Oh, and if you think I’m going to stop saying what I think just because someone outed my anonymous (and no longer existent) blog, you are mistaken.
Before we left Miami, we grabbed some food at a place near the port called Shucker’s Bar & Grill. The grub was decent (had some oysters from the raw bar, a burger and a few too many Stellas), but of course the first thing I noticed when I walked through the doors were the pool tables. Since I work in the biz, I always check out the gear when I see a public table. Needless to say, it was not pretty.
The tables were in pretty bad shape. Dead rails, seriously worn cloth and craptacular pool balls. As for the house cues, yipes. Shitty ramin wood cues with slip on tips.
Despite the fact it was a Saturday night, there was no one on the pool tables for the entire time we were there (about 2.5 hours or so) and to be honest I’m not at all surprised. From the looks of the room, at one point the tables were probably a bit of a draw. Nice big room, ample space between the tables, lots of room to sit, flatscreens showing the ball game. Now though, its just dead space.
If anyone did decide to play on those tables, they’d likely throw in the towel after one rack. Playing pool is hard enough, but when you give your guests crappy gear to play with, there’s just no point. Its sad, really. This place was packed between people getting ready to go cruising and regulars pulling up on their boats (they have a freaking dock right there on Biscayne Bay!), but no one was gonna waste even a few measly quarters playing on those tables with those pool cues.
I hate to say it, but if you’re not going to upkeep your tables, why bother keeping them. Why not just gut the room, put in a second bar with more seating and call it a day? If you’re gonna use that much space for pool tables, you may as well spend the extra couple hundred bucks per year that it takes to keep them in decent condition. Seriously, even if you’re paying retail, you’re looking at about 200 bucks for some Mali cloth and new cushions with another hundo for some decent one piece cues.