(H&S) Hustles & Sharks – Excessive Celebration

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Some pool players seem to have never learned that celebratory behavior around a pool table should be understated or otherwise subdued. These individuals demonstrate excessive enthusiastic happiness for any success – minor or major. For those individuals, this can be their natural enthusiasm and reaction to success – maybe because of a lack of happy events away from the table. In all pool halls, there always seems to be one or two groups of players who get loud and noisy at various times.

For most players, the idea of “dancing in the end-zone” jubilations over a good play or win is worthy of being ostracized. Even the occasional loud and rousing cheer pushes the edges of tolerance for most shooters and even railbirds. A joyous up-thrust of the arm or a self-contained “whoop, whoop” is normally considered barely acceptable in the social norms around pool tables.

The more boisterous expressions of happiness and joy are often seen as unsportsmanlike behavior. After all, social standards need to be maintained, regardless of any internal joyful justification that is experienced. For the sake of good sportsmanship, the public face of most players is subdued and controlled.

There are times when you face a pool hustler who uses this inconsideration of social conventions as a tool of distraction. Such a person intentionally stretches the boundaries of tolerance. He doesn’t have to be constantly celebratory. He only needs to perform his joyful exuberance enough to be unpredictable.

His occasions of expressed happiness are sudden and loud – enough to be startling to nearby individuals. He needs you to waste some of your game focus on watching him so as to not be shocked by an explosive joyful demonstration. The net result is that his very presence distracts your abilities to concentrate on game analysis and shooting processes.

Some of his tactical activities include:

  • Dancing and spinning in place.
  • Jumping up and down.
  • Rapidly walking around the table getting high fives from anyone in his way.
  • Loudly shouting “Whoo, whoo, whoo” while doing any of the above.
  • Adding in the over-enthusiastic “Yippee” and “Yahoo” while doing a two-step jig.

The more exuberant he can be, the more it irritates you. To all observers, he cannot be publicly shamed in any way that could bring his actions under self-control. The pool hustler, of course, knows such actions and activities are out of place. That is his intention.


You could try tripping him as he prances by, but that is really not recommended, since injury (possibly yours) could result. However, you can suddenly get in his way – the earlier in the dance the better. (If successful, you might even get a cheer from spectators.)

Don’t use the same tactics as revenge. Any such behavior requires extensive practice and repetition. Another caution against duplicating his behavior is that so many people have cell phones to record any action considered interesting. You don’t want to wake up the next day to discover you are the latest sensation on the social networks.

Instead, be stoic and calm. At opportunity, denigrate his childish behavior. If you can pull off a good sneer, throw that at him. Solicit negative commentary from railbirds. Publicly (in a loud voice) ask his friends how long has their buddy been this stupid or insane (extra points for getting a laugh from the railbirds).

Sometimes public ridicule can force an individual to dampen down behavior. If this is a league match, check with the team captains and see if they can somehow remonstrate with the guy. In a tournament, ask the TD (tournament director) to kick this guy out. If playing a pick-up game – simply case your stick and leave. Decent players should ostracize individuals with this type of playing personality.


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