View Full Version : Pool room ethical dilemma

02-16-2004, 10:41 PM
This ocurred earlier tonight. I'm purposely going to state the situation in the hypothetical and use objective language so you won't be able to tell who I was. I want your opinion not to be influenced by who I think was correct.

Two guys in a pool room play each other. They know each other but haven't seen each other in a long time and are no more than aquaintances. They decide they are not going to gamble and just split time. They play for a long time, nine ball then one-pocket. Let's call them players "A" and "B".

"A" beats "B" at both nine ball and one-pocket (I'm not sure this matters).

When they finish playing "A" says let's go pay the check.

"B" says I don't pay time in this room, I get everything for free, so you just pay your time.

"A" says but we're splitting time.

"B" says but it's the same thing, the time's already split, I just don't have to pay mine.

"A" says if we are splitting time, as we agreed, then you should split with me whatever the time is. Then says, okay, forget it, I'll pay, it doesn't matter, and goes to pay. (Check comes to $22)

"A" pays, then "B" says here and hands him half. "A" takes it. They both agree that they had an enjoyable session, but they depart on strained terms.

No one really cares about the money, total argument is on principal.

Who's right?

02-16-2004, 10:57 PM
I never have to pay table time anymore (except in areas new to me) but I really think splitting the tab is fine as that was the agreement.


02-16-2004, 11:03 PM
Am I missing something here?

Why would this even be discussed in the first place?

If you are charged the same with or without an opponent, what is the difference? You expected to pay a certain table rate.

Why would someone that plays for free even agree to this in the 1st place?

Please.. more details.

02-16-2004, 11:11 PM
Deeman.. where ya been bud?

02-16-2004, 11:20 PM
I'm going to detract a bit from this topic and ask, if you are shooting for money, what general level of winnings warrants the other guy suggesting that you cover the time? Many times I get presented with this so called norm of covering time, and basically whittled my winnings down marginally close to a pennance...sid

02-16-2004, 11:21 PM
Why would someone that plays for free even agree to this in the 1st place?

Please.. more details.<hr /></blockquote>

"Split time" is sometimes a shothand way of saying "we're not matching up, we're not gambling" it's not "action".

02-16-2004, 11:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> Am I missing something here?

Why would this even be discussed in the first place?

If you are charged the same with or without an opponent, what is the difference? You expected to pay a certain table rate.

Why would someone that plays for free even agree to this in the 1st place?

Please.. more details. <hr /></blockquote>

that's what i was wondering. i've got to pay to have someone else on the table?? i used to shoot free a couple of places and mostly it was free for whoever i played but when they did charge for the other players, i never paid any of that.


02-16-2004, 11:36 PM
If the guy does not pay time that is between him and the pool room, has nothing to do with the other player. He should just pay his half and mind his own business.

02-17-2004, 12:16 AM
Ok, now I understand your use of the phrase.

Did you expect him to pay half your table time? knowing that he plays free?

02-17-2004, 01:15 AM
well here where i play i get alot of comp time on the tables. if i am playing someone split time he pays for the time he was on the table. our rates are 4 an hour per player so if we played for an hour then he would have to pay 4 bucks for himself.............................mike

02-17-2004, 01:35 AM
I think what he's saying is that if Player B, who is getting the free time, and knows it, agrees to split the table time, without telling Player A that he plays for free, then Player B should split whatever time Player A has at the end of the session. In a way I agree with this...since Player A didn't know that B wasn't on time. Player B didn't tell A that he wasn't paying for himself, so in his failure to be clear about his situation, he was wrong...and if, in a friendly game, you are trying to get over on someone whom you are friendly with and have no grudges with...well...that's just shady IMMHO. Just my two cents

02-17-2004, 07:42 AM
When I golf with a friend at his course, where he has a membership, he kicks in my cart fees, so I only have to pay greens fees, hence splitting the money.

I would say in this case it could go either way. Player B should have mentioned that his time is covered and that Player A would just pay his time. Seems like it shouldnt have been an issue, if the total bill was supposed to be $44.00, and player A ended up paying $22.00. Now if the total was prorated or something using multiple players and it would have been a different figure, I could see where there might have been an issue.

So if player A expected to pay 1/2, then he did. Seems like player A shouldnt expect a discount from the house also.

02-17-2004, 08:19 AM
I believe Alex is right, the time should be split because B misrepresented himself by not saying he got free time when he agreed to split time. He obviously had a conscience and realized he was getting over on A so he paid his half, problem solved. Haden

02-17-2004, 08:39 AM
If the table time is "per person" then B shouldnt pay, A is responsible for his time that he would have had to pay no matter what. If the time is per table and Bs portion wouldnt be take off then he should pay his part.

I used to work one night a week for a few hours at a local room and for my payment I got free pool. If I had to pay table time then I would have been working for free, so obviously I dont think B should have paid. On the other hand, when I played in our snooker game with 5 or 6 players I did kick in time because my portion wasnt as easily seperated and if I didnt pay then they would have actually paid for my time on the table.

02-17-2004, 09:03 AM
I'm with Tom. If you aren't going to gamble, there is no need to have an agreement about paying for table time. It is only logical that you cover your own tab when it is over.

If a player has some agreement with the house which gives him free table time, he should rightly assume he will not have to pay for it, and there would be no assumption that he will help someone with his expenses.

The agreement that was made was poorly worded, and the free player should have stipulated that 'we'll pay our own expenses' if he had to comment on it at all. Awkward spot that developed needlessly.

02-17-2004, 09:50 AM
"A" pays his time -- with cash.
"B" pays his time -- however he worked out free time is his business.

I get free time at one room. When I play a guy for "split time", he pays his HALF of the total cost. My half of the total cost is basically "prepaid".


02-17-2004, 09:56 AM

"B misrepresented himself by not saying he got free time when he agreed to split time."

I am curious, what exactly was player B's gain by this elaborate deceit about splitting the time? Is he getting a kickback from the other players table time?

"He obviously had a conscience and realized he was getting over on A so he paid his half, problem solved."

No he realized the guy was being a jerk, and it was not worth arguing about it

Splitting time just means, you pay your half and I will pay my half, we are not gambling for the time. The player that had to pay, was only asked to pay their half. The player that did not pay ( for what ever reason, maybe they did some work for the owner and free pool was part of their payment, so they are indirectly paying, paid his half in some other way that is no business of the player that paid cash. Why in the world would the guy that does not owe anything, and he may actually be paying in another way, you don't know that, want to pay half your time so you can play at a discount? The non cash player would in fact be paying 3/4 for the table time now, while the cash paying player is now paying only 1/4 of the time.

Steve - Detroit
02-17-2004, 10:29 AM
If the $22 already reflected a credit for Bs time, then the whole amount is As responsibility.

If the $22 did not already show the credit then A should have paid $11 and Bs $11 gets waived by the house per whatever agreement they have with B.

In neither case should B have any out of pocket expense for the time. JMO

02-17-2004, 10:36 AM
I had near the same thing happen to me about a year ago. Another player asked me to play. It's been to long now so I really can't remember the details. I do remember at the end the other player said he didn't pay any time. Ok, fine but it seemed to me my half was out of line. That didn't settle right with me because of the money I owed.

Here is the deal, this player likes to play with me because he always gets a free lesson or at least a few tips that help his game. His play is slow and it gets a little frustrating at times but of course I knew that before playing. If I indeed paid just half then it would have been ok but I don't think that happened.

The next few times I was there he asked me to play. I said no I'll just practice, which I normally do anyway. I don't want to pay half of his slow play time and watch him go through all of his little moves setting up to a shot. Then much more than normal pre-strokes before pulling a tight trigger. I'll just spend my time doing what I need more of anyway, practice.

Here just about two months ago we did play again. This time he split my time which made it very reasonable. I guess he decided it was worth more to pay something and get a few good tips than not be able to play me at all. I'm glad he recognizes a good thing when it happens and of course I appreciate not paying as much.

This doesn't answer your question but sometimes there is more involved than just splitting time. I do think however someone could be more up front and say they don't pay time at a room.


02-17-2004, 10:57 AM
It sounds to me like player A was trying to pull something over on player B. Player B is already at the room playing for free, Player A comes in to play Player B but wants him to pay half his time? If I were Player B I would've declined the game and just kept playing by myself for free if it was going to cost me money to play Player A. Maybe I'm not getting something right.

Steve Lipsky
02-17-2004, 11:55 AM
Dave, I agree completely. I think Player A is out of line.

However, there's always something awkward about the room charging one player and not another. It's like, "Your money's good here, but not his."

The only time I've seen games justifiably declined for this reason is when there's a small wager on the line. The comped player won't agree to either winner pays time or (certainly) loser pays time. And the paying player won't agree to splitting time, because that is really a losing scenario for him. Again, this is only with small wagers. Once the bet gets high, neither player should have a problem with the winner paying the check.

- Steve