Pool is no longer behind the Otto ball, with a professional streak underway in Melbourne.
Professional pool was launched in Australia, with a sports cue company hoping to establish a darts-style competition by organizing an elite-level series near Melbourne Airport.
The series runs every weekend for a six-week period, with matches taking place every Saturday and Sunday at Tullamarine’s Pockets.
Currently nearing its fourth weekend, the series is contested by the top eight ranked pool players in the country.
“This is Australia’s first professional-grade pool series. It has never been done before, ”explained Pockets Sports Director Arthur Titus.
“The darts are really big, it’s crazy. What they did, we are trying to do.
“It’s not footy, it’s not football and it’s not rugby, but it’s big within the pool community.”
Pockets has already attracted a dart-like vibe on the weekends when the series is on, Titus said, with the best pool players in the country playing their horns in front of dancers and vocal fans.
“It actually goes crazy. It’s like a smaller version of the darts, ”explained Titus.
“These eight players, six of whom were part of the Australian team that won the world championship in 2016.
“You’re trying to bring it to the fore. That’s what I’m trying to do.
“I want to give people the opportunity to make a living while doing it.”
Pool first caught the attention of the businessman when he took over Pockets a few years ago.
Plans to transform the venue into a nightclub were quickly replaced by a professional swimming pool project.
“We had to get rid of all the tables and turn into a nightclub. I was intrigued by the pool, so I kept the pool tables there, “said Titus.
“I started asking pool players who regularly received a lot of questions. They were doing all these little compositions with friends.
“It looked competitive; I had no idea it was a competitive sport.
“Since then, it has stayed in my mind: is this something I could really invest in and make it professional?
“It can give a lot of opportunities to a lot of people, so that’s how it all started.”
Mr. Titus said an Ashes-like UK tour and a trans-Tasman cup are other projects currently under discussion.