Pool Hall Survival

Written by David Sapolis

Page 1 of 3:  1 ·  2 ·  3 ·  Next ·  Last

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

The following is an excerpt from my book, Building the Perfect Game. This selection is taken from Chapter Two, entitled Positive Strokes. It has been modified into article form.

Analyzing My Relationships

The structure of your game is merely the shell that contains the skills and abilities, knowledge, and traits necessary to play the game of pool. When we buy a house or rent an apartment, it is always wise to check out the neighborhood. While researching the material for this book I spoke to hundreds of pool players and found that many of them had built their existing structures in bad neighborhoods. By this, I mean that they had surrounded themselves with the wrong people.

Complacent people usually seek out complacent people as friends. I have seen many a good player hit a dead end by surrounding themselves with a bunch of pool room idiots that have nothing to offer. One of the best things I did as a player was to separate myself from what I call The Pool Hall Hierarchy. If I am going to surround myself with anyone in the pool hall, I ask myself 3 simple questions:

  1. How can this relationship help me as a player?
  2. How can this relationship hurt me as a player?
  3. What are this person’s motives?

You would be surprised at how many times I have disassociated myself with many local players because their motives were less than admirable. As a room owner, believe me, you are associated with and grouped with the company that you keep. I know more people by who they hang around with, not by their name. If you are stuck in a bad neighborhood, what do you do?

Start asking yourself the above 3 questions with every person that you come in contact with at the pool hall. If you are like most I have worked with, you will be surprised at how many worthless relationships you have. I know that sounds harsh, but I take this game seriously. I am a professional player. When I practice, it is because I am preparing myself for competition.

Many players in my area know that I am preparing for competition, yet they still will interrupt my practice sessions to discuss pointless issues, or to gossip about this pro or that pro. Nothing personal, but I don’t have time for that. I am a busy man. Playing pool is not my only career. I politely answer and go back to shooting pool, hoping that whoever it is will catch on. If they don’t catch on, I will say something a bit more direct, but I remain polite. I am businesslike in my approach at all times.

I want you to be the same way. Just because I taught you those 3 questions does not mean I am trying to turn you into the pool hall asshole. I don’t want you to isolate yourself from everybody either. What I am recommending is that you take inventory in some of your relationships to see what you are getting out of them, and what they are getting out of you. Your game will jump two levels just by completing this one task.

Your neighborhood has to meet your needs. I’m not saying change pool halls, but if you believe that is necessary at first, feel free to change your environment for a little while. Nothing is permanent. Our environment is very important.

Pages 1 of 3:  1 ·  2 ·  3 ·  Next ·  Last

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

Related Articles

Author Info - David Sapolis