|To the Players, Sponsors, Room Owners & Spectators
|Never in our wildest dreams did we see 2020 ending up the way it has. January and February tournament turnouts brought big numbers and we had high hopes for the 2020 season being the best season yet. The economy was booming and tours, leagues & lessons were in high demand. Then March hit and like everyone else, the rug was pulled out from under us.
First and foremost, we truly hope you and your loved ones have weathered these difficult times as best as possible. Like so many, we have lost players, teammates, captains, mentors, friends, and even family. It’s been a devastating turn of events.
With our health in tack, we count ourselves blessed despite the trying business times.
The pandemic has affected all of us in a variety of ways, and the Predator Pro/Am Tour is no exception. Now six months without a tournament and no real end in sight, Gail and I have asked ourselves some tough questions.
Will the tour come back this year at all? Will players feel safe playing in large participation events any time soon? Will ‘WE’ feel safe hosting large, indoor events? When will NYC even open pool rooms again, let alone to full capacity?
Will we ever be the way we were before?
After speaking with several local room owners and industry leaders, we feel the timeline for being “back to normal” is years long and filled with uncertainty.
And so, it is with a very heavy heart that Gail & I have decided to no longer run the Predator Pro/Am Tour. This was an incredibly hard decision for us to make. We love our tour. We love the players, the room owners and sponsors, the atmosphere and the joy we felt seeing our contribution to the pool world. We mourn the loss every day.
Many tears and hard conversations led to this decision and we know it won’t be easy for some to accept, but ethically, we don’t feel comfortable hosting the large events we’re known to run given the health risks. Economically, pool rooms cannot afford to host our events in lieu of recovering their own financial losses. Financially, we cannot afford to wait for New York to recover. We have begun the process of selling our home and will be moving out of state by year’s end.
We have a lot of people to thank for the 12+ years we had the tour so bear with us.
Predator Cues. Thank you for trusting us since day one. Representing your brand helped propel our tour to one of the best in the country. Players from all over the world came to play in our events because you believed in us and they believed in you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being the backbone of all we do on the tour.
Ozone Billiards, Blatt Billiards, The Devito Team, Pool on the Net, Billiard Press, & Delta-13. Thank you for helping us grow and for supporting the tour all these years. You have been an integral part in the success of our events.
Our room owners. Amsterdam Billiards, Cue Bar, Gotham City Billiards, Raxx Pool Room, The Spot, Steinway Billiards. And past rooms: Boardwalk Billiards, BQE, Castle, Carom Café, Comet, Corner Pocket Café, Cue Nine, Eastside Billiards, Master Billiards, Mr. Cue, Park Slope, Rack n Roll, Sandcastle, Snookers, and Spin City.
Thank you for hosting us and the players and helping grow the sport in our area. Thank you for sacrificing tables so players could compete comfortably. Thank you for offering table time so players could practice before matches. Thank you for funding these tournaments. Thank you to your staff for taking such good care of us and the players during long tournament days. Thank you for caring. Amsterdam Billiards, Cue Bar, Steinway Billiards & Raxx Pool Room; thank you for being with us from the beginning and hosting over half of all the events in the tour’s history. We are eternally grateful for your belief in us and your generosity over the years.
To those that helped behind the scenes. William Finnegan, who started the tour with us back in 2008. You are, and always will be, an icon in the history of NYC pool tournaments. Irene Kim, who always kept us in line and organized from the day she came on board. Julie Ha, Tommy Schreiber, Marisol Palacios, Ambi Estevez, Henry Chan, Mandy Wu, and Dan Faraguna; thank you for all your help running the charts and assisting wherever you could to make the tour such a great success. Rob Omen, thank you for maintaining and revamping our website and charts over the years. Erwin Dionisio, who elevated the social reach of the tour by leaps and bounds with his beautiful photography work. Thank you. Billiards Digest, AZ Billiards and all the media outlets; thank you for advertising and reporting on all our events. Skip Maloney, you’re one of a kind. And thank you to Upstate Al, Joey & Chris Leon for the countless hours of live-streaming and advertising you’ve done over the years. You truly are a blessing for the pool community.
To our fellow tours. The Tri-State Tour, Mezz Tour, Ride the 9 & New England 9-ball Series. We wish you all the best and hope you continue promoting and supporting the sport in this area. Your work and dedication will always be revered by us. John Leyman, collaborating with you on so many different events was a true pleasure. Thank you.
Last, and perhaps the most important, THE PLAYERS! Your commitment to excel in the sport, your determination to achieve goals like winning a tour stop, winning Player of the Year, and for some, just having the guts to step up and play the strong players on the tour are qualities we have treasured witnessing. We cannot tell you the number of times we have looked over a packed room at one of our events and marveled at you. The friends, great conversations, life lessons, and learning to love each of you has brought us so much happiness. It is overwhelming and adds to the sadness of this decision. We will miss seeing you so often and hope to see you at other competitions along the way.
Also, we recognize that most players paid a $40 annual membership expecting a full 2020 season. While no one could have predicted the events that unfolded, we still wanted to offer a partial refund of these fees. Any player that paid the $40 registration, we are offering a $20 refund of dues. Please email [email protected] with your name and address and we will mail you a refund check.
We sincerely thank everyone for the many memories we have had with our Predator Pro/Am Tour family. We will miss you all very much and wish nothing but the best for yourselves, your families and your future pool goals.
With love and gratitude,
Tony & Gail Robles
Predator Pro Am Tour Comes to an END!