View Full Version : Has pool changed your life? (way too long)

05-11-2004, 05:54 PM
Pool sure changed mine.

I played as a teenager and could already could play half-way decent when I entered college. I enrolled in a "Billiards" class they were offering. This was a new class and the instructor could not play. He saw that I could, so he asked me to teach it.

I loved doing it - mainly a lot of cute girls had signed up so it was fun. About a month passed by and one young guy, a student in the class, asks me if I would like to play his father. I said "no". He said "he plays for money, he's wealthy, and you'll beat him". The magic words. I asked him why he would want me to beat his father. He described his father as a dictatorial ego-maniac, and the kid truly despised him.

So I agreed to play. The kid says - " One thing. My dad is from England and it's his own snooker table". Now I'm wondering if I'm getting hooked, but the kid had the face of an angel and I could see he was sincere - he just wanted me to beat the crap out of his father. I certainly could not see doing that to my father - who I worshipped. But I could see where someone might resent their dad enough to want to see him lose. What the hell. I had played golf and even snooker - so I didn't care.

I showed up for the big match at this beautiul old manison in Eagle Rock, near Pasadena and Glendale. He was a gentlemanly looking man with a pipe, in his 50's with the typical British accent. He walked me up the hill in the back to a building. He had the room built around a custom snooker table. The table was beautiful, carved, and to my delight, my absolute delight, had rather large pockets and was only 9'. We started playing $10 a game full rack snooker. We went back and forth, then he jacked it up to $20.

Now, when you're in college, an opportunity like this doesn't come along too often. If nothing else, I am an opportunist. I so just cruised along and beat him slowly, that first night for about $100.

He was the President of a prominent company. Our realationship ended up spanning several years. I could count on at least $500 per month from him. He loved gambling, drinking scotch, smoking his pipe, and playing snooker and other odd games, like "English Billiards" with me. No matter what happened, I won and he lost. We actually became good friends. His life was so lonely, he needed someone like me who was unattached to it - that he could battle on the table, to fight the war he could not fight elsewhere. He brought in a player to play me once - who I beat. I got so good on that strange table I didn't know if anyone could beat me.

Eventually, our friendship turned into a job. Eventually, the job turned into my own business.

Thanks to pool.


05-11-2004, 08:02 PM
I was just getting into your bio when it ended, thinking it was going to be as you stated "way to long" so I thought "there lots more to expect." Where's the rest of it?

Very cool segment of life, you were blessed...thanks for sharing Chris...sid

Gayle in MD
05-11-2004, 08:45 PM
What a great story! Sounds like the beginning of the first chapter of a great novel to me, friend! don't stop now!!

Gayle in Md.

05-11-2004, 09:01 PM
Thanks, Gayle and Sid. I think the thing that sticks in my mind was how much this kid hated his father. The competition between them was fierce. I believe the son, his name was also Chris, took the Billiard class so he could get good enough to beat his dad.

The first time we played, the father made me promise to tell his son (who was not there) that he beat me, or I could never come back. I agreed. The son always suspected it wasn't true, but I never admitted it.


05-12-2004, 09:18 AM
Great story, wish I had one like it~~but I don't.
To answer your question though, yes pool has changed my life. I started playing pool seriously a couple of years ago. I had off and on fooled around when I was younger but never got addicted. Then I started playing APA a couple years ago, and I got hooked! Since then I have quit the league as a sl5 due to the sandbagging nature of most of the league players. I now have spent thousands of dollars on cues, cases, etc... and I play ALL types of pool and billiards daily. I just love to play (or watch) anyone, anytime. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I don't think I could EVER give it up. Thanks

05-12-2004, 09:37 AM
Like the others said, that is a great story! Almost sounds like out of a book, congrats! It is things like that which makes you happy yo be a pool player because you can meet so many interesting and sometimes helpful people along the way.

05-12-2004, 10:37 AM
Has pool changed my life? I had never really thought about it until you posed the question. Well it really has had a hugh impact on my life. I had a very destructive lifestyle a couple of years ago and because of the love for my wife and two little 3yr old girls, I made some dramatic changes. Giving up these bad habits left me with a lot of time on my hands. I had been going to bars ever since I reached drinking age(and before) and I still love going to them. It gets very boring in bars if you don't drink, so I took up pool. I have met a lot of people that I would not have met if it were not for pool. What makes me most proud is the fact that I have helped several people get their lives straightened out that were in worst shape than I. I guess God does work in strange ways. Lock /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Scott Lee
05-12-2004, 10:42 AM
Chris...What a great story! I've had a few encounters like that in the past 30+ yrs of playing this amazing game, but nothing like what you described. A relationship like that is almost once-in-a-lifetime.

Naturally pool has changed my life! From the time I first saw the game played at an expert level (Oct. 1971), I was bitten, and thoroughly in love with the sport. Having been involved at all levels of play, from learning, to teaching, to gambling, to tournament competition, I can honestly say that pool is a continuous thread that is intimately woven into my life...and will always be so. As you know, I am very fortunate to be doing something I love for a living...and to have the same passion after 30+ yrs is a blessing! You and I (like MOST of my friends here on the CCB) are dedicated "pool kooks" (an affectionate term). We LOVE the game...watching it on tv, reading about it (here and elsewhere), playing whenever and wherever possible, and even dreaming about it while sleeping! LOL It is truly a pleasure in my life to be able to share with others, ways to improve your ability to enjoy this sport we all cherish!


05-12-2004, 12:40 PM
Great story, thanks

05-12-2004, 01:36 PM
which school did u go to?

05-12-2004, 02:10 PM
This was at Valley College in the San Fernando Valley 1971 -1973.


Keith Talent
05-12-2004, 03:04 PM
Great story, Chris. So, you had to say, for the entire time you were playing this guy, that he was winning? Or was this just at first? Guess the cash made it easier, but that must have been frustrating. If the guy was that big a phony, I can see why his son couldn't stand him. Man, you've got some serious patience ... sounds like a helluva life lesson.

05-12-2004, 03:55 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Keith Talent:</font><hr> Great story, Chris. So, you had to say, for the entire time you were playing this guy, that he was winning? Or was this just at first? Guess the cash made it easier, but that must have been frustrating. If the guy was that big a phony, I can see why his son couldn't stand him. Man, you've got some serious patience ... sounds like a helluva life lesson.

<hr /></blockquote>


I could tell the father was really hurt that his son had brought me there to humiliate him.

The kid knew I won, but I always said I lost if he asked. I guess they both got what they wanted in a way. The father knew he was outmatched but enjoyed playing anyway as long as he wasn't humiliated. He could pretend he won to his son. The son knew his father had lost, but when the reality set in, he took no real pleasure in it.

As far as I was concerned, his father had just outsmarted him once again. My role was a no brainer. If I would have humiliated the man, realistically we all would have lost. That's not "me" anyway.

What you had here was a sad relationship. The father was a decent man who meant well. Instead of just accepting his son for who he was, a great cop or fireman or paramedic - the things the son wanted to be and could be, the father expected him to be an Oxford scholar followed by law school (like his favored older brother). He rode his son mercilessly and this caused the hatred.

I don't know the outcome of their realationship. The father was ousted as the President of the company 5 years after he hired me, and I eventually lost touch with him because of his bitterness about it.


Keith Talent
05-12-2004, 04:28 PM
Jeez, what a sad tale. So, considering that the old man was riding his son, trying to make a better man out him or some such crap, I'm wondering whether the dad ever improved his pool game while dropping all that dough to you? Or maybe mellow toward his son?

05-12-2004, 05:48 PM
Fortunately and Un Fortunately, Pool is all i know.

Anyone have a gun..lol


05-12-2004, 05:59 PM
Pool took me 13 years ago when I "got discovered" in a neighborhood bar by a gal who is now one of my best friends on a bar league team that has been the league champs for 5 years in a row now. It sure took me on a ride. Still does!!! I can't say it was tangent from my life, because I don't know what I would have been doing if not caught by the pool bug.

But I do know this, I have been priviledged to have met some of the greatest players and pool-related people and coaches and cuemakers there are out there (and you all know who you are, even those not with us anymore), than if I had stayed just shooting in a bar every Friday night or so.


Harold Acosta
05-12-2004, 07:04 PM
Pool changed my life in 1996 when the Pros visited Puerto Rico for the 1996 Camel Grand Prix of Puerto Rico. There I met for the first time some of the greatest pool players on Earth. Efren Reyes, Bustamante, Leonardo Andam, Rodney Morris, Jim Rempe, Buddy Hall, Nick Varner, Tony Ellin, Jose Garcia, Tony Robles, Frankie Hernandez, David Howard, Howard Vickery, Steve Mizerak, Ernesto Dominguez, Morro Paez, and a number of other international players.

This tournament prompted the idea of creating a Puerto Rican Billiard Federation. From then on, I subscribed to several billiard magazines and started following tournaments, and players stats via the Internet. It also prompted me to learn about all the billiard products available, etc. We also started to gather information about the different leagues, tours, etc., by-laws, etc.

It took several attempts to get a recognized Billiard Federation in Puerto Rico but at last we got one and now we are on the right path.

I have redirected all my activities around billiards in Puerto Rico, and now some of the Puerto Rican players are testing themselves among the best in the World.

The inclusion of Tony Robles as representative of Puerto Rico for the 2002 World Pool Championships, which was prompted by postings at this board, was one of the first steps taken to have Matchroom Sports and the World Pool-Billiard Association consider Puerto Rico for inclusion as a member-country of the WPA.

<font color="blue">Billiards: A passionate sport for the mind and soul!</font color>

05-12-2004, 11:00 PM
That's a pretty cool story. I can see where you're coming from too. I always love to find people like that, who just love to play the game. I met a hustler once in Denver, and we just played all night long talking about pool. Seeing as how I'm only 16 we didnt play for money, hehe. But nevertheless it was a blast. She told me all about how she used to hustle and stuff. She said she didnt do it for long but she made about $6,300 for the short time that she did do it. She was pretty darn good, but I still managed to beat her 2 outta 4 games. I think she might have been just going easy on me, but I could be wrong. Anyway cool story.
Jk /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

05-13-2004, 10:49 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote monkeydude20:</font><hr> ...and we just played all night long talking about pool.

I still managed to beat her 2 outta 4 games. <hr /></blockquote>

Damn, you must play slower than Archer.

Just kidding with ya. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif