Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why the UPA is Stupid

This is a post I made on AZ Billiards Forums. It goes with my previous post so I copied it here.

I am a little pissed right now so let me preface this by saying this post is strictly my opinion and has nothing to do with TAR. That said, check this crap out.

I am all pumped up to go to the UPA event here in Vegas to hang out and watch some of my friends play, take photos and I was planning on texting some match updates. I get to the "arena" and ask the lady at the door how much. It is $10 for the 10am-4pm session $15 for the late session. $25 a day seems a little high but oh well. I ask how much for the whole event. She says $60, so I say "Ok, I will do that." Then she asks if I am an ACS member to which I reply honestly "No." She then informs me it will be $75 for the whole thing.

I'm sorry but $75 to watch a 31 man field with only 1 or 2 of the top ten players is just nuts. So I calm my inner nit and just pay $10 for the morning session figuring I will shoot some pics and see how the event goes.

I get into the "arena" and I am carrying my camera gear in a backpack. I set the back pack on a chair out of the way and start to put my kit together. A lady in a referee shirt comes up and says "Are you involved with this event?". I was a little weirded out by the question and wanted to respond "Not if you paid me." But I just asked her what she meant. She replies "Are you a player in the event?" I say "No." She then proceeds to tell me that you have to pay to be able to watch this tournament at which time I raise my right arm and put the little paper wristband right at her eye level.

She says she is sorry she didn't see the wristband and that not only is she the only referee for this professional event this session she has to watch the door too in order to make sure no one gets in without paying. I tell her "No worries." and go about my business.

I get my stuff put together and go sit down in the stands away from everyone else and take some photos of Josh Ulrich and John Morra playing their matches. John finishes his and comes over, sits down and we talk about the event. As we are doing this I am shooting pictures.

Frank Alverez enters the "Arena" and makes a bee line straight toward me. At this point I say to myself "Self, this is gonna get weird." I was right.

Frank: "I am Frank Alverez President of the UPA. Who are you shooting pictures for?"

Me: "Just for myself really."

Frank: "Who are you with? What media?"

Me: "The Action Report"

Frank: "The Action Report? Whats that?"

Me: "You have never heard of The Action Report? Really?"

Frank: "Well yes but I don't know who you are affiliated with"

Me: "Uhhhhh....what do you mean?"

Frank: At this point he mumbled something about BCA or...I am not sure probably because I was a little freaked out at this point with the interrogation.

Me: "There are people who want to know about this event and I was going to tell them about it. That's all."

Frank: "Well you can shoot pictures if you give us copies of them."

Me: "I am not going to do that."

Frank: "Why not?"

Me: "Because I do not do that. If you want me to stop shooting pictures of your event so I can tell people about it at no cost to you then that is just fine with me."

At this point I think it set in on him how terrible he was coming across because he mumbled some more and said "Well....let me get you a media pass...and...."

By this time I had time to think about totally absurd and stupid this whole thing was and I was pissed so I just broke my stuff down, set it beside me and said "Don't worry about it." Then he just walked away.

Keep in mind, we are at an event with 31 players and five of them are players anyone has heard of. I swear I was the only paying spectator because the only people were there with players. I am shooting pictures with a $4000 camera rig minding my own business and I get the third degree from the owner and president and basically shaken down for the ability to take photos.

I always try and see the other guys point of view but in this case I keep coming back to the same thing. If a promoter is this bloody stupid and short sited then screw him. Here we are at a so called professional event with a referee/bouncer and the biggest concern of the president is that god forbid someone may actually give a sh!t about his event. The same guy who sanctioned a tournament that aired the top finishers and then all he could do was shrug his shoulders. It pisses me off.

Never mind that the company I work for has put more money in players pockets over the last few years than his whole pseudo organization. I am probably still a little pissed so I may be being too hard on the guy but no matter which way you cut it is just dumb.


  1. LOL - Sometimes you gotta wonder about the people in charge.

    what kind of crowd did the ACS get? I always thought it was pretty light.

  2. Pretty lame I must say. Im surprised he didnt make you pay to get a press pass even though you'd only be helping this organization. Sometimes the politics are just way too retarded for our industry...

  3. Way to pump up some interest in our sport, Mr. Alvarez. Overcharge the spectators and berate would be promotors. Nice...

    No wonder the world of pool is still the red-headed stepchild of sports, with so-called leaders at the helm such as this.

  4. That price was way too high, maybe she charged you for a press pass!!! There are a lot of things wrong with the professional game at the moment, 31 players for what used to be a great tournament is just appalling, who is doing their marketing?