(H&S) Hustles & Sharks – Smoking

(About the Author)

Learn how to Beat the Sharks

There are still a few jurisdictions and countries where smoking in a public place (pool halls, bars with pool tables, etc.) is not strictly prohibited (or totally ignored). These lonely locations are usually in areas where tobacco has not been super-regulated. If you play in pool halls where smoking is still allowed, watch out for this shark attempt. This requires a relatively limited air space with limited air flow. A small bar with a beat-up pool table would be an excellent venue for this effort. It does not work in outdoor situations.

The pool hustler doesn’t necessary need to have a tobacco habit, but does need a relatively high tolerance for tobacco smoke. This is effective when you don’t smoke. It is also effective if you do smoke but have a lower tolerance level.

When the competition begins, the pool hustler engages his tobacco weapon. Usually, it is a cigar or even a pipe. Either one does not require inhaling the smoke.

The odor has to be offensive and even more so when concentrated in a small area. For ease of building volume and density, the pipe is more favored. The cigar has to be cheap (and smell it). No need to waste a good cigar on a sharking effort. There are several awful smelling pipe tobaccos out there.

The density of the smoke is an important aspect. It should be thick enough so that players need to peer through the smoke. Anything less does not achieve the maximum distraction. The density is maintained by the continued presence of smoldering cigars (oftentimes, several are used) in various ash trays. And of course, a few quick puffs a couple minutes apart are also effective.

During this “tobacco smoke” attack, care is taken to ensure that smoke clouds are maintained over your chosen chair. Every time he walks around the table, he stops to consider the table, casually issuing multiple puffs in your direction to add or renew the density. Anytime he is absent from your area, the clouds start dissipating, requiring his continuous walks around the table.

An experienced hustler takes care not to asphyxiate himself. During his shots, he sits in his chair for a few minutes to allow air currents to clear the air a bit. You won’t see him puffing and huffing when it is his turn.

Parts of his calculations include reducing the oxygen flow to your brain. If he can do that, he cripples some of your ability to develop clever shooting solutions. His trick is additionally effective when you are bothered by the tobacco odors. For some people, sensitive to tobacco smoke, these clouds also generate a sore throat and tearing eyes.


If you are unable to stand presence of tobacco smoke in your atmosphere, you should find another playing location with a more intolerant view of smoking. At least, find a place with much larger square footage to spread the smoke out.

If caught up in this enclosed tight space, the first thing to do is go around and put out every smoldering tobacco product out. For cigarettes and cigars, dropping them into a glass of liquid (water or beer) takes them out of commission and destroys their reusability. Explain this off as a reaction to a near-death experience suffered years ago. (The excuse doesn’t have to be true, just reasonable.)

If you know the pool room is smoke-filled, bring in one of those cheap Oriental folding paper fans. One of those little battery-powered air movers also works. When it’s your turn, make a production out of fanning away the air above and around the table. Intentionally direct the air flow towards your opponent. Only then start your inning at the table.

Another option is the “fresh air break”. Take one everyone h shoots and then stay out for at least a couple minutes. You can For every inning, take a break. Then, take another break after you make two or three balls and while it is still your turn. As a last resort, pull the nuclear option – refuse to play as long as any lit tobacco product is within 20 feet of the table.


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