Random House Dictionary definitions:
competition - rivalry between two or more persons or groups for an object desired in common, usually resulting in a victor and a loser.
gamesmanship (aka “hustling”) - 1. the use of methods, esp. in a sports contest, that are dubious or seemingly improper but not strictly illegal. 2. the technique or practice of manipulating people or events so as to gain an advantage or outwit one's opponents or competitors.
shark - 1. (v) to obtain by trickery. 2. (n) a person regarded as ruthless. (added) 3. (n) any pool player who wins
About the Concept
The concept of friendly gamesmanship (sharking) was first documented in Stephen Potter’s book (written in 1947), The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship, or How to Win without Really Cheating. This humorous sports book identified the many common tricks used by sportsman of the day to win by helping others lose.
Nowadays, the gentle limits of sportsmanship no longer seem to apply. You, as a pool player, must educate yourself on the many sharks used in pool halls, bars, and home game rooms.
This book provides the tools and tips needed to recognize these mind games - and thereby avoid being a victim of pool sharks and hustlers. However fiercely you may cling to the high ideals of upstanding sportsmanship, the reality of the world is that hustling and sharking is everywhere.
RECOMMENDATION: The author suggests this material be used to protect yourself – with this one small exception:
IF someone attempts to use any of these sharks against you – that person has given tacit permission to use this entire library. Under that condition, have fun.