Monday, June 30, 2008

Does Office Pool pull away the Fun?

Today, the day after Euro 2008 final match, is pay day in may offices in Europe. This festive occasion made me think about the ritual called the office pool.

A recent study, taken by Professor Stephen Nowlis and Associate Professor Naomi Mandel of Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business, shows that even those who grabbed all the other employees dough underwent feelings of discomfort, emotional uncertainty and inability to enjoy the event. And if we are talking about a long event, such as the 16-weeks season of Survivor, we are talking about a never-ending misery…

In other words, the feeling of "anticipated regret" is a much more aching experience than simply not giving the correct prediction and loosing the pool. The research arrives to the conclusion that the only way to enjoy watching a reality show or a major sports event is by sinking into the succession of images on the TV screen, without trying to predict the winner.

What office pool has got to do with pool, as in pool game, you are probably wondering now. Well, pool game is a sports event you can wager on (and lose all the fun), isn't it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pool and Gambling from the Duchess Eyes

Pool and gambling always have been associated with one another. Obviously, not everyone is happy with it; pool associations prefer the term billiard and pool players insist on being referred to as sportspeople. For women pool players the battle is double: they do not only have to prove that pool players are as hard workers as any other athletes, they also do it in a masculine, often hostile, environment.

Take Allison Fisher for example. The leading 9-ball pool player talked with R.A. Dyer, the righteously appraised billiards writer, about maintaining the classy image of pool in the action packed and testosterone filled air of pool tournaments such as the Derby City Classic.

The gambling association of pool especially harms the sports when major sponsorships are called for, says the Duchess of Doom in the interview, and notes that almost every pool movie ever produced was dealing with pool hustling in fishy pool halls instead of playing respectable tournaments. Pool tournaments, she adds, is a much safer place for a girl who wants to improve her pool skills, than a pool room full of sharks where once you win you've got to have a body guard watching your back on your way home.

Allison Fisher "The Duchess of Doom" at the 2007 US Open final