Ashley & Kevin Morgan – Lake & Osceola Counties Florida
How long were you APA members before deciding to become League Operators?
Ashley: We played in the APA for 26 years between us; me for 8 and Kevin for 18. I won more Vegas trips than Kevin though, 3 trips to 1! Kevin captained multiple teams and was very familiar with League structure. I was the player who played APA for the social aspects before becoming a League Operator. I didn’t even know there were three sessions in a pool year or where my team was in the division standings most sessions.
What made you decide to look into becoming League Operators?
Kevin: Through the years we had many conversations that started with “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”. Then, in 2018, we went to lunch with our team after losing at World Qualifiers, and a friend who recently franchised an area in North Florida overheard the current League Operator talking about wanting to sell. When we heard this, we immediately packed up our food and went back to the pool hall to talk to the League Operator about buying.
The thought of running a low overhead cash business that involved pool, working from home, running fun events, and sleeping in seemed too good to be true. The sleeping in hasn’t happened yet, but someday.
Was the process of becoming League Operators difficult?
Kevin: Difficult isn’t the right word, but it was tedious and a little scary. We took over an area that needed some TLC and knew we were going to have to work hard to prove ourselves to the players. The scariest part was the financial investment. It was a big investment for us.
Ashley: I was going to have to quit my job and Kevin was going to have to dip into his retirement. We almost backed out. However, everyone at the home office gave us the confidence and tools we needed to build a good foundation for our League. And the network of League Operators is an amazing resource.
Briefly describe life as League Operators.
Ashley: As an “okay” player, I was not used to walking into a pool hall where players knew me, let alone asked for recommendations on pool equipment. As the League Operator, I was suddenly the most popular person in the room, which was fun but a little overwhelming at first.
Kevin: We work more hours now that we ever have. We get up early to process scoresheets, update social media, organize events, and respond to our players. When most are heading home from work, Ashley and I are heading out to League night to start the second half of our day. We do almost everything ourselves but have recently brought on some help.
It’s a fun job, but it’s demanding, and if you’re trying to grow your League, you’re out there every night.
What do you most enjoy about being League Operators?
Ashley: Running tournaments is great, but hearing stories of how players help each other out has to be the best part. We love hearing that someone got a job from meeting someone at League night or how a new friendship started between teammates. I can count on one hand a few stories that brought me to tears; life-saving relationships that were developed because we approached someone at a bar and asked them if they wanted to play pool.
For more information on becoming an APA League Operator, visit https://poolplayers.com/franchise/.