(H&S) Hustles & Sharks – Detailing Shots

(About the Author)

Learn how to Beat the Sharks

This shark is designed to slowly develop a strong sense of irritation and frustration. The pool hustler calls out every single ball action about every single shot – in excruciating detail.

This is not the regular information normally required in a call shot game. This is a full-blown and thoroughly complete description of the paths for every ball that he believes are to be moved by his shot. If that wasn’t enough, he can make it worse. In the midst of this declaration of intent, he hesitates, re-thinks, and then explains redirections of one or more balls.

Everything is described from the initial cue tip/ball contact (speed/spin) until the table becomes a fresh still life. This can be presented as someone who wants to consider everything. It can also be explained in the tone of a professional lecture being given to total idiots (you).

Besides covering every possible table change, it also burns up large amounts of seconds. The considerable utterances of words keep you glued to your chair, while leaving him full freedom of movement around the table.

The process works something like this. First, he wanders around the table during his layout analysis, silently taking his time as he considers what he intends to do. Once he makes a decision, he begins self-explaining the patterns he has envisioned. Sometimes, about halfway through, an ad hoc ad-lib addition is included. The cue stick becomes a pointer to indicate expected results. He does this just loud enough for you to hear, but directed at himself as a verbal confirmation.

When he finally does get down to actually shoot, you are praying that he doesn’t decide to rethink anything. It might help to send a prayer to the billiard gods. As you hold onto this fervent optimism, also add your sincere hope that he misses. If the object ball goes in, you are going to experience another episode of fantastical expectations.

Here is an example: “I’m going to shoot the 5 ball and make it hug the rail to the corner pocket (tracing the path with his stick). Since I want the cue ball to go over there (again using his stick), I’m going to hit the cue ball with 6:30 to come off the long rail in this direction, and then drift it over here (again tracing the path). I hope to miss these two balls (again pointing), and try to end up right there (putting the cue tip on the table to mark the spot).”

Be aware that there are a few individuals who do this unconsciously. That is simply their style of playing pool. If things didn’t go as planned, he can be glib with the excuses. If you are an impatient individual, you can easily lose more games than you should.


In the beginning of the competition, this shark won’t be too distracting. As the match continues, it becomes more and more irritating. Fortunately, there are options.

One choice is to immediately start contributing to his statements. For example, as he describes the cue ball control and speed, chip in with, “Have you considered using a little left side spin draw instead? That helps you get here <point with your stick>. Plus, you can get better action off the rail.”

Be sincere with your suggestions and recommendations. You can even come to the table and demonstrate your ideas on what goes where and how. When you proactively overlay his fantasies with your ideas, he becomes the reluctant recipient. If you can get him into an argument on who has the better plan – more power to you.

Another option is to stay in your chair. Become the doubter of his shooting decisions. For example, when he predicts a shot, call out, “I don’t think it goes that way. I think that it goes to the head rail. You really want to reconsider your plan. It won’t work.”

If this is an intentional shark, these counter-sharks soon demonstrate that his trick is not working. The hustler abandons this effort and switch over to another. How smoothly he does this is dependent on his skill as a gamesman. If he’s an amateur, it effectively shuts him up for the duration of the match.


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