Most of us can agree that we would like more money and prestige for pool and billiards players.
Most of those can see the end goal: clean up the image of pool, bring it into the 21st century, make it more friendly for new players to join in and enjoy, and make it easier for all players to find information, instructions, products, leagues, or anything else about the sport.
This is much easier said than done, but Garret Troop has actually mapped a path to accomplish just that with the new Sneaky Pete Mafia community and magazine. Like so many players, Garret has seen the dark underbelly of the pool world—hustlers “laying a lemon” to trap him, broke and homeless, selling his cues to make it to the next payday, wondering how the skillful, rigorous, beautiful aspects of pool can emerge from the darkness and leave those shadows behind.
Although the name Sneaky Pete Mafia might seem to have some negative connotations of its own, the intent of the name is quite wholesome. Garret explained to me that his use of the word ‘mafia’ is more in line with the less-well-known dictionary definition,
“Mafia means family or group with similar interests, and that is what I hope to create: a large family, a community of people who love billiards, where everyone helps each other to learn about, enjoy, and support this sport we all love.”
He has attracted some high-level endorsements and support for the next step—-SPM magazine—where all the best topics from SPM group can be showcased.
What I heard from Garret is so exciting:
“It’s all about honest and equal representation. SPM magazine will cover all aspects of the game, not just the top names and paid advertisers. We’ll cover the room owners, cue makers large and small, known and unknown products and players, and of course instructional articles. Lots of outlets claim to do that today, but most of those sources are biased to some degree, and really cater to established or favored players and companies. With SPM, we want to make billiards an accessible and friendly sport for youth and new players, too—show them how to learn about and become involved in billiards without being hurt or scared away by all the negative things they may have heard and seen before.”
There is so much more Garret has planned for SPM, and every bit of it has me impatiently wondering when these tools and information will be available. Imagine being able to find local leagues, tournaments, and products without scouring dozens of websites.
What if someone had explained so many things about the game to me before I dove headfirst into the shark pool? Won’t it be great to be able to get some straight answers about the sport without learning the hard way? We all love this sport and want it to be respectable and sustainable, and I believe SPM can score a big win with this approach.
I hope you will join Garret and the SPM team in making this exciting vision a reality—join in the conversation, tell your friends, share information, and help make billiards the respectable sport it can and should be.
See you there!
Editor: Dana Gornall