Pool Hall Survival

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
Pool Hall Survival (page 1)
Negativity, Leeches (page 2)
Creeps (page 3)

Negativity

Negative people are like a disease in pool halls. I remember a guy back in my home room in New Jersey that would always say things that were aimed to discourage me. “You can’t run that rack. You’re not there yet.”

Sure enough, I’d get to the six-ball and leave myself something I couldn’t make, to which he’d add, “See, I told you that you wouldn’t get out.”

That was Rick. There was word that rhymed with “Rick” that I used to call him, but that’s another story. This guy really infuriated me. Whenever I played straight pool, he’d watch for a while. After I had run 20-30 balls, he’d come over and start making his comments. This went on for years, and I allowed him do this even after I had won a Junior National Championship. This guy knew exactly what to say and when to say it. I hated him for this, and I eventually stopped frequenting that pool hall for the simple reason that I hated Rick’s guts. Rick would always say that I would never be anything more than a good “A” player, and added “that’s a stretch.” Trouble was that when I was around him and his attitude, everything Rick said was true. I played bad, and not anywhere near my potential.

Years later, I learned the hard truth that nobody can make you feel “average” without your permission. If you have a “Rick” eating your lunch at the pool hall every day, my advice is to turn down the volume. Years later I had the satisfaction of going back to that pool hall and running 7 racks of 9 ball in succession on my good ol’ pal, Rick. Not only did that shut him up, but it proved that everything he ever said about me and my game was BS.

Most guys that are like “Rick” need to keep others down in order for them to feel good. Like Fast Eddie said to Bert, “You can’t live unless you make everything else dead around you!” Bert treated Eddie like a loser, and he made Eddie feel like a loser. After a while, Eddie started to act like one. It wasn’t until Eddie broke away from Bert’s spell that he figured out that he was a winner all along. Eddie just didn’t know it.

Leeches

Pool halls are filled with these guys. There a different kinds of leeches, but I’ll primarily look at the guy that is friend just because he knows he can win money from you every so often. My advice to you is that for the next 6 months, stop playing for money. See how many of these “friends” either disappear or start talking about you behind your back. Above all other relationships I will cover, this is the most useless and the most destructive. I could go on forever describing the different methods they use, and what they do, but quite simply do as instructed, watch what happens, and I’ll let you decide.

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About The Author: Blackjack David Sapolis played professional pool for 20 years in The United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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