“American Road Player” Effort Begins Today

As the crowd-funding campaign for American Road Player begins this week we at AZB thought you might like some more details on the show and how it came about so we called up Executive Producer Peyton Thomas as well as the lead of the show, Scooter Goodman, and asked them a few questions for you. We began with Scooter:


AZB: How does a family man make the decision to be a pool hustler?


Scooter:  It’s just what I have done since I was young. I do other things, little odd jobs when things got tough playing pool but I always find my way back to playing pool.


AZB: When did you first realize that you could make a living playing pool?


Scooter: When I was making more money than my parents when I was 15 years old.


AZB: There was enough money in Huntington, West Virginia to do that?


Scooter: There is money all around there. There is a town called Portsmouth, Ohio. There was a guy there named Roger Castle and he owned some car lots in town and he loves to gamble with me and we would play once or twice a week and I would beat him out of more money each week than my Dad made working.  It was a steady paycheck for years. We became real good friends and I even worked for him on his car lots some. He didn’t mind me beating him out of the money. I felt somewhat guilty out of it but then realized he really didn’t care.


AZB: How much time do you have to spend away from home and family?


Scooter: Not as much as you might think.  I am home most of the time. Like, at the Derby each year for the last five years I have brought home enough money to pay our rent ahead for the whole year.  Anything above that is just pure profit. There are certain tournaments where I do pretty well every year. I do well at the SBE each year and there is a tournament in Mobile where I do real well. With just those three tournaments I can pay all my bills and not have to hustle anywhere else. 


AZB: But if you are always successful at these events don’t people wise up and don’t the games get tougher every year?


Scooter: No, not really. That’s what people think, but it is about knowing people. It is not about your own game.  For me it’s about knowing who can beat who, who has been playing a lot and who hasn’t, and who has come into a lot of money lately. I know if someone has a new bankroll and they are not used to playing for as much as they are now willing to play for then they are in unfamiliar territory and I have the advantage. I use human nature. 


AZB: You go to these tournaments to gamble. Do you ever play in the tourneys themselves? 


Scooter: No, not much. Like I have free entries to the events at Derby but I have only played in one Bank Pool event. I am there for the back room, not the main room. 


AZB: What’s your favorite game?


Scooter: Nine Ball. But I am starting to like One Pocket a lot. I always bet on it but just recently started playing in it.


AZB: Peyton, how did you meet up with Scooter?


Peyton Thomas: I was playing in the Artistic World Championships at Valley Forge three years ago and I was up late one night with my friend Jason Kane.  We went down into the pit area and there was this huge crowd, so we went over there and we saw these two guys jumping around and making a lot of noise at one another. My friend says to me that is Scooter and Spanky. Spanky was literally barking like a dog at Scooter. The fans were eating it up. They were all standing around cheering for these guys. The atmosphere was really exciting! And that is really where it all started. I took some video that night and took it back and showed it to my partner in New York and then we started the search to try and find Scooter. We called pool rooms all over the area we knew he hung in and finally one of them knew Scooter and had him call me.  We’ve been working together on this ever since.


AZB: When did you begin working on the plans for the show?


Peyton Thomas: Since day one. We had some ideas originally that were changed because we knew we needed personalities for whatever we did. Scooter and his crew have the personalities to drive this, but it needs to fit their situation and we knew then that it would be the personalities as much as the competition that fires the show. This is a unique lifestyle and Scooter is one of the best at what he does. The ideas for following him around for three weeks as he prepares for and travels to the Derby evolved over the past three years of filming him and getting the real story to show itself to us. We cannot predict how this will turn out. We will follow him on the road as he goes from city to city doing what he and his crew do, then for the entire time at Derby and we will just see what happens. True reality about a rare and distinctly American lifestyle.


AZB: Will you let folks know where Scooter will be going so they can come out and see it for themselves and watch the filming?


Peyton Thomas: Oh yeah! That is one of the reasons we are doing the crowd-funding campaign, in order to be able to publicize the trips and start involving our audience in the entire process. We know that the folks who participate in the crowd-funding will want to participate because they are already invested in it and we encourage that participation. Come on out and watch what happens! The Indiegogo crowdfunding does more than just produce funds for production and such, it also creates an immediate vested audience. It is very beneficial and a great new way that folks can participate in business which they wish to support within their own areas of interest. This also lends itself to our idea of doing the web series first in order to build demand for the break into mainstream television. We know the story is strong enough to build a vast audience.


AZB: So what will people Google for to find the series?


Peyton Thomas: “American Road Player”. For now they will find our crowd-funding site and our Facebook page where they can find a lot more detail on the project. The series will go live sometime in April 2015. We are really optimistic that folks will join the crowd-funding and join the project, especially the first three or four days of the campaign (Begins Monday December 1) as that will help us build momentum and assure success. As with all crowd-funding, our participants will get various prizes for various levels of support. We will let them follow us along the trail as we travel to Derby. They can come out in person or we are also setting up a private video link where our funders can watch the raw footage before it is edited into shows. They really get to be a part of the whole project. It is very inclusive. The rewards for donors to the campaign also include great deals on products from our Sponsors, Diamond Billiards, Derby City Classic, Pool Dawg and Hustlin USA.


No one can know at this point how well Scooter and his crew will do on the road. But you can follow them along and find out! Anyone interested in being part of this effort to bring the back rooms to life may visit the Indiegogo.com page, search for American Road Player, and get all the details they need.