The ATS US Pro Tour Has Been Canceled
It is with a somber tone that we report that the ATS (Associated Tournament System) will not go forward as planned. The events scheduled for 2009 in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts have all been canceled by the ATS as of October 9, 2008.
The ATS was an extremely vast concept for our sport. Its intention was to be a new system that would lay the foundation for our sport to build upon for many following generations. This system would have allowed all pool players—amateur, league, tournament, and otherwise—to advance through an exact system to achieve professional status in the ATS U.S. Pro Tour. The complete system involved participation by many regional tours, leagues, independent tournament events, billiard room owners, pro shop owners, and the billiard industry. This system would have had hundreds of events in the following years with millions of pool players being reached through the advertising structure, all of which would have benefited the growth of the billiard industry in a whole.
The partners involved in the ATS who put up the $760,000 in guaranteed added prize monies have all been reimbursed by the ATS coordinator, Mike Janis. The players who won paid entries into the ATS will also be reimbursed via paid entries into any event(s) of their choice equal to the entry fee amount won in the qualifier events. In addition, the $5 per player ATS fee will be added to the very next event from each tour the monies were collected from.
Mr. Janis stated, “I have been deeply touched by the support we have received from all that have heard about the ATS, and I assure everyone that I am very sad to have to make this decision. I want everyone to know that this decision rests solely upon my shoulders, and I feel it is in the best interests to not go forward with the new tour.” Mr. Janis additionally added that he will remain focused on the Viking Tours and concentrate his efforts solely in the direction of maintaining the Viking Tours as the number-one tour in the country for the sponsors, players, and room owners alike.