If you are a younger player, this is a trick that an old pool hustler pulls on you. Probably around 60 years of age, he demonstrates the effects of a hard life – or at least a reflection of his ill-spent youth. He has decades of experience. He doesn’t really need to hustle anyone, but just does it to maintain his skills in managing minds. If you’re in the teens and twenties, he does this just for the fun of it.
As a life-long player, he has been around a long time, seen many things, and learned more than a few lessons about life, especially how it relates to pool. That history includes being on the receiving and giving end of dozens of sharks and hustles of all types and intensities – hundreds of times. There won’t be too much that he hasn’t already seen and figured out how to use to his advantage. Consider him to be a master gamesman who knows all the tricks, traps, and sharks in this book and several dozens more.
As a long time player and (usually) part-time hustler, he has a handful of hustles and sharks ready for use as the situation may need. With thousands of repetitions he can swoop and swerve along a dozen responses to anything you do.
One of the standard Old Geezer hustle venues is to determine your level of “innocence”. He needs to quickly gauge your past experiences and reactions to obvious and subtle sharks.
The first approach is to use his age. He’s looking for the “Really?” response. For example, he says something like, “I have a problem with xxxx <some health problem>.” He’ll closely monitor your response to this piece of information.
If you say something like, “Really?” or you offer your sympathies – he’s got you. If that doesn’t’ get an adequate reaction from you, he’ll fish around until he finds one that you provide the proper reaction.
Once he’s got your sympathy, he’ll ask that you cut him a little slack. If you reacted to the health ploy, he limps or hobbles or winces when he gets up to shoot. All of these are simply to continue that sympathetic emotional reaction.
Along with these seeming lifestyle restrictions, he’ll cheerfully put on a brave front, conversing with a positive attitude. He continues to suppress your competitive mind set. The perfect situation is if he can get you to consider him as an eccentric but nice old uncle. Nobody is dangerous or threatening in any way – until you have to pay up.
His random series of conversational topics softens your game attitude – pushing to make you comfortable and relaxed. All of this is his effort to blunt your game edge. This is all a pleasant game to him – keeping your attention away from the competitive nature of the game.
Ignore it all and concentrate on winning the games. Your public face can give him all the necessary courtesies and respect to be given an aged person. But in your heart and your competitive efforts, treat him as a dangerous opponent. Agree with all that he says. If you can keep him rambling, this keeps him busy while you figure out ways to win the game.
On advantage of playing an Old Geezer is that he uses one or more of the sharks from those long ago times of yester-year. When you know that he is hustling you, you can actually pick up some of those classics and add them to your personal collection.
One response you can use that eventually irritates him (and throw his game off), is the “helpful” ploy. Be overly courteous and condescending. Offer your assistance at every opportunity. Such phrases include, “Need a hand? Let me come over and help.” and others can take his attention away from hustling you to defending his own game focus.
Another trick is to stay a little close to him. If he asks why, say, “In case you have trouble getting around; I’m ready to give you a hand.” When you can get him to glare at you, you are proactive in affecting his game, instead of being reactive to his efforts.