View Full Version : PLAYING SOBER
02-17-2004, 10:53 PM
I've been playing pool clean and sober for the past 3 1/2 years, henceforth the name recovery jones.I can remember playing bar pool and drinking about 6 beers and playing pretty good winning most of the time. The beer seemed to have a settleing effect on my game until I eventually got much too loaded.
I also used to play under the delusion that pot and other drugs helped my game. There are some famous snooker stars that I know, who did coke (one was a world champ) and another great player couldn't perform without at least 6-8 beers.I've also heard of some great American players who played quite well under the influence.Please don't ask for names as out of respect to these players I'll keep their anonimity.
The best I've ever played and the most I've ever learned is the pool I play now, straight, with a clear mind. I'm only a B+ nine ball player and can get hot from time to time and run the odd rack or two.Even at 47 years old I still believe I can become an A player.I don't think I would have ever improved staying on the stuff. For ME,it was all a delusion.(No preaching intended)
Has anyone out there had simuliar experences or known of great players with addiction problems. I shot great today and am greatful that I'm clean so I just thought I'd post. Take care, RJ
02-18-2004, 07:44 AM
Did you ever read a book called "McGoorty"? McGoorty was a world-class 3C player who could have been much better if he could have stayed sober.
IIRC #### tells a story about Ralph Greenleaf running 150 balls when he was so drunk he had to hang onto the rails to avoid falling down.
Personally I play about 2 balls better when I'm not drinking and if I have a real buzz I can't run 3 friggin' balls.
02-18-2004, 09:43 AM
After buying a house closer to work and further from the pool hall I find myself staying sober for league night because of the longer drive when we're done.
Now, this can be looked at in two ways. I have a very fun team made up of my 4 closest friends. For the past 3 years without a roster change, league has become a night to just have fun. We normally get 1st in the league anyway so there's no pressure for us to do well. But since I've started staying sober I've found myself taking league night more seriously. Criticizing teammates for shots that they should've made, and being harder on myself for shots I should've made. I do find myself playing a couple balls better when I'm sober, but I think for me I should switch this new attitude over to tournament play and go back to the laid back league night and just find myself a DD.
I don't have to be drunk to lose it. It takes me 3 beers to notice a great drop off in my game. If I have 2 I'm fine, that 3rd one is a death sentence. I'm still sober according to the law and I feel sober but that's my only explaination. Apparently that's enough alcohol to ruin my game completely. I still drink 3 or 4 beers every league night over a 4 hour period.
02-18-2004, 11:24 AM
I know a great player in his 60's who is a chronic alcoholic and its sad to watch because when he is in his "window" of being drunk enough but no too drunk he cannot be beat by anyone I know of but unfortunately over the years the time of his "window" has grown shorter and shorter, he goes from hung over to stammering drunk too quickly, he could have been one of the greats but he has drank all of his talent away.
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02-18-2004, 12:25 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> I don't have to be drunk to lose it. It takes me 3 beers to notice a great drop off in my game. If I have 2 I'm fine, that 3rd one is a death sentence.
Kato <hr /></blockquote>
And No. 3 has a way of opening the door wide for No. 4, and then DOUBLE FIGURES, lol. ... I used to think I was better with 2 or 3, that it somehow settled my hands down or some such foolishness.
Just gives me an excuse for missing now. Hell, last night, I walked in from work, still wired no doubt, and thought I'd hit some 14.1 to warm up ... set up the break shot totally cold and ended up running 26 before I bricked one. Nice feeling ... so much for settling in with a brew. These days I only do Coca-Cola when I'm playing.
Normally for me I have 2 choices, quit and go home after #4 or go to #8 when I'll tell myself how stupid I am and that I have to work in the morning. Luckily as I get older I get better at stopping before going to far. Waking up for work in the morning is bad enough. It's that much worse after 4 beers, it's even worse still after 8.
02-18-2004, 12:41 PM
Kato, I beer per hour works for me on league night. Enough to relax a bit but not enough to get a DUI or not be able to make 3 friggin' balls.
02-18-2004, 01:42 PM
Hi everybody, been lurking on this forum for awhile now, but this topic has motivated me to post.
I quit drinking back in the summer of 97. I was bigtime straight whiskey drinker. In that period of time, I had one beer with alcohol(I drink NA beer now) by accident during league night and I happened to relax and run the rack that followed with an ease I couldn't remember experiencing before. This didn't prompt me to start back however, just wasn't worth it.
In the bca team tourney in Vegas this year, I started out by losing the first 7 games I played in. The first 6 weren't too bad as I felt I was shooting ok, but just not getting the wins. But on the 7th, it all crashed. I got on a straight in 8-ball and dogged it bad. I had 2 more chances at it and missed it worse each time. Our team was down something like 10-7 in a race to 13 and I knew I was done. My confidence was shot and I knew that I'd have 8-ball-idas if I didn't do something. I went up to the bar, ordered a shot of Canadian, looked at it for about 10 seconds thinking 6 years and now I'm going to take the plunge. I downed it, and returned to tables without saying a word to my distraught teammates. My 8th game of tourney comes around and while I could feel the shot in me, I still had a shaky bridgehand. Well it didn't matter, I ran the table. My 9th game came up and the score was tied 11-11 at that point so my game was crucial. Not a problem, gave the team a 12-11 lead and we went on to win the 13th game to propel to the next round. I played solid the rest of the day. I found myself shaking again the next morning and once again turned to the shot of whiskey and played great.
That was May 17th, I haven't touched, nor craved a drink since. Don't know if there's a moral to this story but it's nice to know that if my head is not in the right place in a future tournament, that instead of switching cues and everything else we tend to do in desperation, I can turn to the one drink of alcohol and at least psychologically have an instant confidence builder.
Anyway, I want to say, this is the most interesting and useful forum I've ever seen and I'm glad to have finally posted.
02-18-2004, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigshooter:</font><hr> I know a great player in his 60's who is a chronic alcoholic and its sad to watch because when he is in his "window" of being drunk enough but no too drunk he cannot be beat by anyone I know of ...<hr /></blockquote>
Playing what game?
02-18-2004, 02:50 PM
I loved your story and applaud your courage not to jump back into the sauce just to run a few balls now that you had that experience. I am in a real slump in pool, and life, for me right now and have also resisted the easier solutions. I'll just keep hitting balls and hitting at the job market until things start going better.
I have gone from running racks on real tables to struggling to hold onto an 8 in APA but while a drink might ease the nerves, I've also seen what trying to get someone chemically in the zone can do.
02-18-2004, 03:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> Waking up for work in the morning is bad enough. It's that much worse after 4 beers, it's even worse still after 8.
Kato <hr /></blockquote>
For sure, this is why I decided long ago to stay on the night shift. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif My head hurts just thinking about getting up in that condition at that spooky hour.
But now, with 2 babes at home ... it's 2 beers and off to bed for me.
02-18-2004, 07:36 PM
I find myself going back and forth with this. I play my best pool when I don't drink. I play pretty good up to about 6-7 beers then I'm done. The main reason I play is to have fun and get out of the house. I seem to enjoy myself more when I drink. I find myself now drinking most of the league nights and only obstaining in tournaments or playoffs. I've also noticed some damn good players who seem to drink twice as much as myself. Go figure!
02-18-2004, 09:11 PM
"The main reason I play is to have fun and get out of the house. I seem to enjoy myself more when I drink."
That's my take entirely. Actually there are two ends of the spectrum(argueably) with how I play...3 to 8 cold ones I'm good, then there is a flat to ugly zone until about my second day with "the hair of the dog", then I feel I'm doin' great. All in all, if I'm not drinking, I'm not happy and not having fun. Would I play best if I sobered up entirely and shook the monkey completely? I dunno, and I really don't care to find out. I like the whole atmosphere of the PH with people and my consuming while playing pool. Winning is good, but not my whole focus...sid
02-18-2004, 10:08 PM
I no doubt fall into this category. Those of you who have known me a little while on here know some of the huge mistakes I've made. overall I've done well on drinking, I wish I could say I quit completely... but I'm still a far cry from even just a few weeks ago. But anyway, I too feel I play... maybe not better, but way more consistant when 100% sober. I know what I can and can't do on a given night. When I get a little buzz going I pull off some awesome shooting, and can make the cue ball do things I have never done sober, and actually try to do them. but I also feel like superman at the table and go for shots I shouldn't (which is why i say more consistant sober). Then of course I go past what i call "my point of drunken clairvoyance" and fall into just plain drunk and I suck. So far being sober I am winning most of the time and shooting a little better I think, but from time to time when I am off and get frustrated I find myself at the bar downing a shot or two of jager. My mind clears and I shoot good again and feel great until it's all over and I have to look at myself and wonder if it was really worth it.
02-18-2004, 10:14 PM
I have fun either way. However, if the game goes serious the drinks get set down and I won't touch them for awhile. You just really have to learn your limitations and stay out of games that matter when you've had one too many. I've seen the good and the bad come from drinking and playing. Pool by nature is a leisure sport and should be played with a bunch of friends drunk every once in awhile, but make no mistake about it, your best games come while sober. Pool/Billiards is hand-eye coordination and muscle memory, neither of which peak or even heighten with the introduction of alcohol.
02-18-2004, 10:56 PM
this place is turning into a damn aa meeting.
ok, i've been watching everybody else get nakid so i guess it's time for me too.
not very long ago i'd order a bucket (6 here) soon as i got to the room and then do serious, possibly fatal, damage to another one before weaving home, pregnant with dwi.
had a ball & did it for years. little health situation gave me the excuse to quit completely one day and i haven't looked back. been an extremely productive time overall in a number of areas of my life since then. gettin more stuff accomplished generally. my league average has gone up to the highest it's ever been, by a good margin.
not sellin any steps and i think age has something to do with it. a lot of guys i know gave it a good run when they were young but just couldn't keep it up (so to speak) as they got older.
not givin advice, just testimony.
02-19-2004, 01:38 AM
I'm sorry Jim S. is missing this so far - he would be all over this thread.
02-19-2004, 03:01 AM
I play good with three or four beers. The trouble is, I never want to stop with 3 or 4. Other than playing pool, I seldom ever drink. I have irritable bowel syndrome and become very sick when I become nervous. When I become sick, I just have to forfeit my match, because I get too sick to play. I play tournaments weekly, (two or three times weekly), so with my familiarity I should be to able to play without being nervous. I know that I would at least spend less money, if I don't drink. It is in the late games that that we falter. We will give it a try and see how we do. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-19-2004, 03:33 AM
I too have had my battles with the bottle. Right now, I'm trying to ratchet down a bit. On league nights, I don't drink usually. Sometimes I'll get one or maybe two beers at the end of the night that won't affect my play much. Playing sober is playing better generally.
A few times my buddies have come over and we've drank beer and shot pool all night long. I still want to win, but the focus is a little different. Sometimes, when we go out and hit some bars, eventually we look for one with a pool table. A different brand of pool is played on those nights, sometimes good, sometimes not.
02-19-2004, 04:41 AM
[ QUOTE ]
clean and sober for the past 3 1/2 years,
02-19-2004, 08:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote recoveryjones:</font><hr> I've been playing pool clean and sober for the past 3 1/2 years, henceforth the name recovery jones.I can remember playing bar pool and drinking about 6 beers and playing pretty good winning most of the time. The beer seemed to have a settleing effect on my game until I eventually got much too loaded.
I also used to play under the delusion that pot and other drugs helped my game. Take care, RJ <hr /></blockquote>
When i started playing pool 2 years ago, I was already sober 11 years so I also congratulate you on your sobriety.
I have a memory to share. I used to go to Chincoteage, the peninsula 60 miles north of VA beach, on the other side of the Chesapeak Bay bridge Tunnel to visit a friend and we drank and thought we were having great fun. Then I stopped and went back. It was like my senses woke up and I saw all of the flowers, the many types of sea birds they had in all of their glory.
So in playing pool sober, while waiting for my turn to play,I see all that is going on around me and can appreciate so much more, the sights, the smells, all of it.
I know that some say the alcohol relaxes them and that is their choice. Each person has to decide if they are an alcohoic or not. I made my decision because I could not control it, while some others can drink in moderation, not being alkies but just enjoying a beer or two, whether at the poolhall, watching a football game or coming in from mowing the lawn on a hot and steamy day.
In playing sober, at first when I started, I was a nervous wreck and was worried so much of what others would think of my beginner's weak game. I learned to have fun, to laugh and to not take it so seriously on the occasions that I did not win. I went back to some of my previous meditative practices from years ago before the alcohol got really out of control and invented new ways too of being relaxed and having concentration in a match.
I am still sober today and I play for fun, good competition and in a relaxed frame of mind, with no worries about my game. As long as I am improving and enjoying the game, that is good enough for me.
02-19-2004, 05:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote cycopath:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote bigshooter:</font><hr> I know a great player in his 60's who is a chronic alcoholic and its sad to watch because when he is in his "window" of being drunk enough but no too drunk he cannot be beat by anyone I know of ...<hr /></blockquote>
Playing what game? <hr /></blockquote>
He used to be a big one pocket and straight pool player but he can play anything.
The guy lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere now off of his military pension and last I knew vodka and water was his breakfast of choice.
I tried to take him with me a few times to find some action years ago but by the time we got to a pool room (over 3 hours away at that time) he would be sloshed anyway so I gave up.
I'm here Chris! Listening. Clean & sober for 22 years plus and still like it! /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
02-21-2004, 06:32 PM
I played a round robin Fri. night and didn't have anything to drink. I was in a five way tie for 1st place. I left because I thought was out. No big deal, because it didn't amount to much anyway. I played in a nineball tournament this Sat. and again didn't drink. I didn't have to get through the late rounds. I went two and out. It was the earliest I was out in a long time. The main thing was I didn't get sick from the nerves. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-21-2004, 08:04 PM
My rule of thumb used to be after 4 beers no more gambling. Now down to two beers.
State Police here have gone nuts. Mostly rookies who think their job is to write as many tickets as possible. Lately they've had one trooper watching people leaving the bar and radioing another up the road who will find some excuse to stop you. Legal limit is .08 % blood alcohol and a mouth wash will read higher than that on the breathalizer. I know one guy charged with DUI that had 2 beers over 3 hours, he blew .09%, results are not in for the blood test you can insist on. First conviction is 90 day driving suspension.
Beginning to put a damper on the bar tournaments. But I feel much safer knowing everybody has license plate lights, ect. /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif
Blood tests will often read higher than the breathalizer tests. Hospital blood tests come back significantly higher than the state lab tests. I've seen, for instance, a hospital blood test come back with a bac of .20% and the crime lab test on the same blood have a bac of .15%. That's huge when it comes time for your evaluation, DUI classes and sentencing. It's all about the different kind of blood tests they run. The state lab test is probably the most accurate...in my experience...which is 22 years as a counselor/evaluator/DUI class instructor.
Whatever test is used it doesn't take much to get a DUI. In Illinois they can even charge you with DUI with a BAC of .05% if they can prove you were impaired to drive at that BAC. DUI is an expensive, time consuming huge hassle and if you have one you are almost a lock to get stopped for another one.
If it causes problems then it's a problem. If it causes lots of problems then it's a BIG problem. If it causes a lot of problems and you keep doing it why would you do that....nobody wants lots of problems so why would you keep doing something that causes a lot of problems in your life? I can only think of three reasons why somebody would keep doing something that causes them a lot of problems...either they are really stupid, or maybe crazy, or they are addicted.
My job is to eliminate the need for my job...I don't think I'll get the job done anytime soon /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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