The Salotto (meaning Parlor in Italian) app is the brainchild of two pool players from central Wyoming, Reed Merschat and Colby Frontiero. They lived close to each other and would play pool after league until 1 or 2 am in Reed’s basement. They saw that people needed a new way to find opponents and meet new players of any level. After a year, they entered a local startup challenge, called the Wyoming Business Council Kickstart Grant. Vying along with 22 other businesses, they won. They then raised other funds for their software development. They wanted to address gaps in play, in either tournaments or leagues, where people could challenge each other, 1 on 1, shooting 8, 9 or 10 ball, on 7’, 8’ or 9’ tables.
Reed attributes his success to an understanding wife of 8 years; she’s, his rock. She is also a business owner. They have 2 rescue cats, Citrus and Wooley. Reed’s favorite game is 8 ball, because it’s like a chess match, then 9 ball.
Colby has been married for 14 years and has 2 children. Hazel is 5 and Alden is 8. Ralphie is their Stafford Pitbull mix. Colby’s favorite game is 10 ball, followed by 8 ball.
As partners and co-founders, Reed and Colby’s biggest achievement playing pool so far is a team event last year where they placed 2nd, all the way from the B side! They met 27 years ago when both were competing at mountain bike trials. They also did rock climbing together and have even moved close to each other. Both are highly gifted athletes and competitive pool players.
With the motto, ‘You name the race, the face, and the place’, that describes Salotto to a T. Basically, you invite an opponent to match up with you. You both use the app on your phones. Designate whether you want to submit the results to Fargorate (for a small fee), what you want to race to, where you want to play, even on your table at home or business. Salotto will record and keep stats and allows you to win prizes and compete against anyone in person.
Traveling in a different town? Use the app to search for someone to compete with. You can either host the match or join a game. Salotto provides a way to earn money and the chance to win prizes, get a ranking and even get qualified to play in tournaments. Players who are not hosting can join and play for free. There is a Pro version for $4.99/month (or $49.99/year) which allows you to host games and charge for them, whether you play in them or not. The newest addition to the app includes a built-in handicap calculator. Over 12,000 Salotto matches have been played. Points are acquired and the top 3 on a rolling leaderboard are recognized. There is also an all-time leaderboard. Top points leaders with a Pro membership will be invited to a M.O.B. Hit List tournament held in Las Vegas at Griff’s Bar and Billiards. By signing up through the M.O.B. link on the app, you get a large discount on the Pro membership.
I gave the Salotto app a whirl and it was so easy to schedule and set up a match with another player. My opponent and I are both listed on the scoreboard. They achieved the rank of 342, while I am #300, as the winner. I did not realize at the time that there is a setting on the app that allows you to submit your results to Fargorate, so make sure you do that at the time, as you can’t do it retroactively. If you match up by Fargo, it allows you to give weight. There is also a review system of your opponent based on sportsmanship. You can choose to skip that.
A visit to their store on their website, Salotto.app, will show you some great billiard swag, featuring Dynaspheres pool ball sets, their own logoed table spots, Tees, and towels. Additionally, you can sign up for alerts and news about the Salotto world.
Looking into the future, they can see adding on other modalities, like 1 pocket, banks, snooker, straight pool, and even Scotch Troubles, based on demand. They are seeing an aggressive growth curve in less than a year, where people can play competitive pool anywhere, they go. The app also allows players to grow in skill level. Their dream is to take Salotto to be on a main stage. Right now, they have some sponsored players, including Karl Boyes, as well as some regional reps.
They really want to see the industry grow and would like to thank all those helping Salotto along the way for their contributions to the sport: Fargorate, CSI, BCA, USPL, Manufacture a Spot, Karl Boyes, Chris Reinhold, Molina Mike with Window’s Open, Joey Ryan of Pool Player Podcast, and of course, their families.