In pool halls across the planet, most (about 60-65%) of the players are of the male gender. There is always the normal competitive spirit that occurs between two opponents. When the dynamics of opposite sexed players are added, it becomes much easier to be a railbird rather than be deeply mired in the close competitive environment of the pool table. Continue reading
A shocker shark is any activity designed to destroy your game focus and make it difficult to recover any ability to play effectively. It does this with an action that is a complete surprise. It can be a shock to your sensibilities or to your nervous system. It can even go so far as to be a dangerous threat to life and limb. At its more intense levels, this is a gross violation of the spirit and idea of sports. The lesser shockers often fall within the spectrum of juvenile horseplay. Continue reading
English is side spin that the cue tip applies to the cue ball on contact. It can occur only if you hit the cue ball on the left or right side of the vertical center line. FYI, contacting the cue ball on the center vertical line is NOT English. And another FYI, English (British) players call this “side”. My preference is to call it “side spin”. The term is more accurate. If you are talking with any player influenced by the former British Empire (England, Canada, Ireland, India, Australia etc.) the use of “side spin” won’t cause confusion. (It also makes sense to any player anywhere on the planet.) Continue reading
This is another delaying shark that is often observed in pool. To implement this effort, the hustler simply slows down his basic shooting routine. Used by a master gamesman, it becomes less a game of pool and more of a game of Patience. This tactic stretches out the amount of time that he is in control of the table – which extends the time you spend sitting down. Continue reading
Random House Dictionary definitions:
gamesmanship - 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.
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It is surprising, but the vast majority of pool players have never taken any kind of lesson from a qualified pool instructor – not even a basic check on their fundamentals. They will spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on a cool cue stick. They aren’t willing to spend $20, $50, or $100 for lessons that will improve their game for the rest of their lives. They are perfectly happy to go on for years and years (and years) believing they are just too intelligent to need an instructor. Continue reading
If you watch players compete, there is one habit that the winners consistently have in common. Those are the shooters who always stop after a shot and appear to be momentarily frozen in time. What they are really doing is going over their shot, comparing the new table layout with what they were attempting to achieve. These are the players that learn from their mistakes. Continue reading
This is a distraction effort that extends the concept of horse whispering, dog whispering, and pizza whispering, and the always popular money whispering. A “ring whisperer” version of this can be observed as a major character trait of Golum, the character in the Hobbit. This can be used continuously through the match or applied only during tense and difficult playing situations. Continue reading