This shark is very popular among amateur golfers. It has migrated into the pool room because it has been so effective in making shooters less able to concentrate on winning.
It begins during the introductions at the beginning of a competition. The hustler informs you that he is going to shark you during the match. This actually is very effective if you’ve had a couple of beers when your thinking isn’t too sharp.
He will, in an apologetic tone, inform you that he is occasionally accidently or absent-mindedly discourteous – and by the way would you please forgive him in advance. Here are several requests that he could be asking for your advanced forgiveness:
- “Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the game that I forget myself. I might absentmindedly walk in front of you while you are shooting.”
- “Sometimes I forget whose turn it is. Let me know when I do that and I will back off.”
- “I have a cough tonight. I will do my best to suppress it and not interrupt your game.”
- “I am expecting an important phone call. I hope that it doesn’t distract you.”
As a result, you enter the competition knowing that you are going to be sharked. This creates the expectation that it happens, plus you are wondering when it will be repeated. He doesn’t even have to do any of these. With the anticipation alone he has thrown you off your game.
You have to realize immediately that this is a trick. To handle it, first thank him for the pre-notification. You can respond in two ways: Say that you too have this problem and often come to stand close to the table, directly in front of him during his turn. Use a bright smile. The second possible response is: “Sorry about that. I too have a problem. A couple months ago, I lost your temper and physically injured someone who intentionally sharked me. I hope you don’t mind.”