Gone Fishin'

Written by David Sapolis

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Article Index
Gone Fishin' (page 1)
The Gambler (page 2)
The Road Player (page 3)
The Reel (page 4)
Making it Work for You (page 5)
Proper Etiquette &
      Casting out the Line
(page 6)
Casting out the Line -
(page 7)
Stiffs (page 8)
Sharks, & Crybabies (page 9)
Who I should stay away from? (page 10)


This is the guy who will say anything and everything to distract you from what you are doing. They talk while you're shooting. They crunch ice while you are shooting. They take convenient trips to the bathroom while you are in the middle of a run. They wait for you to get into your stance and then say, "Take your last shot" or something stupid that pisses you off. If you do this, I strongly suggest that you stop. It might be an accepted practice among friends, but if you do this on the road it can jeopardize your safety. One of my road partners was murdered in a pool hall parking lot for blowing his nose while someone else was shooting. He had a reputation for doing things like that and that time it cost him his life. Sometimes this game "ain't no game". The days of fighting out in the parking lot are over. If you piss someone off today they're likely to shoot you. Besides, I always thought people that did that were idiots. I'm probably right.


NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR HOW YOU LOST YOUR MONEY. Furthermore, nobody wants to hear your rampage after you parted with your money. I don't care how you got screwed, pay the man and shut up. If you have a problem with that, don't bet. It's pool. It's not for sissies, and pool is no place for that weak little sister crap either. You either have the stomach for it, or you don't. If you cannot handle the pressure, become a railbird. A quiet railbird is the best kind of railbird. Nobody likes a crybaby.

Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

Earlier I said that the Pond Scum will attempt to bail the sucker out of the hole. I also said that we didn't mind because we want this to happen. It is not because we want all of the Pond Scum's money. What they're doing is keeping an eye on you until the big fish shows up. They want to keep you where you're at, and they want to make it worth your while. In other words, they believe that you are a fish on their hook and that they are reeling you in. Don't take offense to this. This is what's going to get the Big Fish to your table. In actuality, the Pond Scum has now become your bait. Remember our definition of bait? Bait is anything that will attract someone to play you. Right now, it's the Pond Scum and the money they're throwing at you while your playing this bum. By the time the Big Fish gets to your table, they've got too much invested in you. They're hoping for your demise, but don't let your lack of popularity throw you off track. I don't care if they're chanting his name, you get out there and win at all costs.

So when do we call it quits? Do we wait for them to call off, or do we end it? In twenty-five years, I have never let up on anybody. I follow the Fast Eddie Felson rule here, "it's over when Minnesota Fats says its over". I want him to lose money, but I also want him to experience the feeling of knowing that he can't beat me. I want the railbirds to know it, too. Now, arrogance isn't called for here. We're just the quiet guy in the corner, remember? Ask Jimmy Mataya, nobody respects asshole, no matter how good you shoot. Many of the best players I've ever seen were usually the ones who kept their mouth shut and shot pool. Politely take your money and go about your business.

Now lets turn things around. Perhaps things are not going your way. When do you call off? Call of before the amount of money you are losing is significant. It could be twenty bucks or it could be two hundred bucks. The amount that makes YOU uncomfortable. There's no shame in calling off, just reassess and re-evaluate and try again some other day. In fishing terms, you fell out of the boat. You're in the water with the fish. Get back in the boat and go home. The fish aren't going anywhere. Eventually the old fish die and new ones sprout up all over the place. It happens every day. DO NOT keep playing, hoping that you will magically start playing better once you've lost a lot of money. DO NOT use the fear of losing as a motivational tool. We've gone over that. It doesn't work. It wasn't your day. Accept it.

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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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