View Full Version : Pool stereotypes smashed, amazement, localquestion

04-21-2002, 09:32 PM
just worked on my info page..Hello board. ok, where to start? here at stereotypes.
i maintained in my mind, a rough pool hall stereotype for much of my life... i'm a social worker and for a try at helping the people i work with, i started bringing certain better functioning clients out into society. first to softball(awful, some onlookers literally laughing and pointing), then bowling(pretty serious harassment problems and at times what appeared to be hate), then eventually out to local poolrooms and tournaments. i had anticipated a terrible reaction and was prepared for it. ok, to be dead honest, i was conciously expecting screaming, angry, jumping, rednecks itching to fight so much that it burns them inside and distractions like pool are needed as salve. i'm not naive, i've been tipsy in bars i had no business in but managed a good time with or without physical "outside" confrontations. there's my pool stereo-type on a platter. in my experience poolhall players are vastly differant than those that play in these more "physically challenging" areas. back to the first point.
i brought a mild MR dual diagnosis gentleman first. everyone was very kind, he played and lost but the truly kind interaction was better than any other positive reinforcement plans i had worked on or dreamt up... most importantly, this was genuine kindness, not pitying. no-one spoke like one does to a two year old. my entire notion of pool shark hustlers, and violent close mindedness was burst...these were kind people from all walks of life, no applicable stereotype applied, except everyone had a nickname...usually based on employment mostly or physical uniqueness. everyone encountered was a slice of life in a sense...representative of all aspects..all diffences. i eventually started bringing the more "at risk" people, all fine to regulations if under my "normalization plans". all, literally all, 100%, had very positive experiences and genuine improvement in public violent and/or anti-social behavior...it was fun for me too. eventually we started going to tournaments several times weekly. all great experiences. of course as the circle grew, there were a few jerks, but far less than the normal life to jerk ratio. in time we all had our own nicknames.
i was at a time a collegiate team chess player(1850+rating) and played bar room pool successfully for free beer(no parental support mind you. i had none. a scholarship and a series of challenging, sometime truly awful jobs got me through). when i finally got to witnmess tournament level pool, it offered me strategy along with technical precision. ball in hand! this alone eliminated cheating and offered chess-like "thinking ahead several moves". i grew to have respect for the game and awe for the kind nature of the players. the challenged folks i work with received tremendous benefits. socialization the easy way is through the billiards community. i owe my interest in billiards to this socialization plan attempt. eventually DHH balked at what i did and stopped it, even though several were able to track the startling improvement in those i worked with.. billiards worked where other pastimes didn't, i feel to this day not because of the sport but because of the remarkably open-minded people. whenever i could, i still would bring the people that missed participating in the tournaments to the pool halls, even without DHH approval. this time as a friend and not a paid support. DHH regulations are impotent if a friend wants to lend some time. there's a useful loophole in everything isn't there? i became so personally interested that i was able to place a consistent third. third to me was respectable against a level of play i had never seen in my bar room days. please note: the folks i brought never did once, never a time, never did distract from the tournament in play, or behave in a way that was unacceptable. i cannot of course generalize outside of the New Orleans area, but i strongly suspect that many pool halls around the world are similar.
now to the local question: i have gotten lost in work for the past few years and ran into medical issues. now my billiards interest has recently been fully rekindled. i've been buying shafts on Ebay. i happen to really like the predator and especially, (i'm in the minority apparently), the new red dot shafts. so much has changed in just a few years...35 dollar cue tips! much more frequent ESPN coverage. far more cue makers and to me, insane prices (even during our recession?). i tend to be a tweaker and love to adapt the high-tech gizmos from my other interests. now i have an intimidating array of cue tweaking options. enough to slow me down in thought?..yep..but it's still fun.
this one post covers many issues recently brought up on this board. :-) ok, after all that, now to my question. could someone please catch me up on nice billiard spots in the New Orleans area? particularly the Northshore. all of my favorite spots but one are now gone. thanks for the previous replies and help in catching me up...
sincere best regards,