View Full Version : Advice on finding a game?

08-04-2004, 01:03 PM
After a disappointing night of playing last night, I had a question.

I've been playing for years now, at one point playing 4 - 5 nights a week and a tournament here or there but the kids have put a stop to that However, I've always played quarter tables and just got a game by putting my money up on the table. I like this as I get to play with all kinds of people, but it can be a pain when there's no one around to play. I play at a pool hall (8 quarter tables) fairly regularly, but it is sometimes hard to get a pick up game there as it's mainly leagues or regulars.

So, for a change, last night I visited some of my old hangouts and found 1 closed, the other has let the pool tables go to crap (holes in the cloth even) and the other was empty now.

LAst week I played at a fairly well known and well respected pool hall, but there were no quarter tables, it was play by the hour. I usually will go to play by the hour places when I want to practice and not neccessarily find a game. This place had a good crowd of good players. What's the approach to get a game in a pay/play by the hour place?

I guess what I'm also asking is, how do you make sure that when you go out to play 3 hours of pool, that most of that time is spent shooting against someone and not running drills. Last night was frustrating as 4 bars later, I spent the majority of the night running drills.

I'm not really that great of a player, but I love to play. When I was single and free-wheeling, I hit enough bars that I was guaranteed to play. Now I want to walk in somewhere and know that I will spend most of my time playing.

Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. I don't have a group or a partner that plays as much as I do. What suggestions might you all have for someone who hits the pool halls alone looking for a game?

08-04-2004, 02:42 PM
Well, you can always just ask the bar crowd if anyone in the place cares to play a little pool. Might try the old play for the house a round trick, usually gets the bartender and his customers in a good mood. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

In a regular pay for time pool hall might have to watch the players for a while until you decide which ones play at about your level, then ask for a game whenever one is not busy. It is odd, sometimes I can't get to a table with the rack of balls in my hand without having a line build up wanting to play. Other times I can knock balls around for an hour and never get a bite. Both situations happen in places I've never been in before.

08-04-2004, 02:54 PM
I would say just strike a friendly conversation with someone. I'm one of the "regulars" you talked about and I also work at that same pool hall, and we get folks in town working or first timers to our place all the time. And generally as long as we're not gambling each other at the time, if a starnger just comes and says "hi" and talks about how he's never been there before we'll invite him or her to join in a few racks. Also if you offer to help pay a few bucks on table time or buy a pitcher or whatever it never hurts. And if nothing else grab yourself a table and invite someone else to play with you. I don't know how friendly your place may be, but generally at mine as long as you're friendly you are welcome.

oh, and also I didn't realize if you were looking for a friendly game or money game. If it's a money game just ask a doorman or bartender who plays, they'll point you in the right (or possibly wrong) direction.

08-04-2004, 03:10 PM
If you can find a regular place to go then it wont take long to get a regular game. It may take a few times of just going and hanging out, striking up conversations and getting to know some of the locals. Once everyone knows you finding a game should be easy, unless you play like Earl /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Chris Cass
08-05-2004, 01:04 AM
Hi Buddy,

I would go ask the counter man if he knew of someone in the pool hall that particular night that would like to play some sets of 9 ball or 8 ball and just split the time. Tell him your interested in hittem with someone that shoots good but isn't money motivated as your just getting back into it.

You may have to settle for a good player for something cheap. Maybe, play for time or $5. sets races to 5 games and split time. Sometimes there's many people that are willing to do that but never have been approached in the mannor I mentioned.

The counter man should be able to steer you in the right direction, if he's good.


C.C.~~refreshing... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

08-05-2004, 08:20 AM
Hi Saint,

Welcome aboard !

To answer your question, here's what I do. Because of my job I get to travel quite a bit and visit many new pool hall every year.

Usually, I will walk in a poolhall early in the evening so that the games aren't going yet. I get myself a table and just run balls. I keep an eye open on how people interact with each other and gauge the players that come in while there playing.

Usually, if someone doesn't notice me and ask me for a game, I will approach someone who's on their own, introduce myself and ask them if they would like a practice partner.

I don't consider myself strong enough to play for money with strangers, to compete I have to know that I'm to a close skill level or what weight I require to be able to be competitive. Most of the time, the players I approach are willing to just play for fun. Very often, I will offer the first round, it helps break the ice.

The other day I was staying at my sister and they go to bed very early. So I decided to go to a poolhall nereby that I noticed with her earlier. It was already 10pm and I didn't have much time to gauge the players.

I walk in and notice a guy on his own shooting with his own cue. I walk to the counter and ask the barmaid if she new the guy, she said she couldn't remember his name but that he was there at least once a week. I walk up to him and offered him to play, he replied he didn't mind but wasn't gambling.

We ended up playing until 1 am and had a lot of fun.... /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

08-05-2004, 08:34 AM
Thanks for all the input guys!

Red, that's basically exactly what I do as well. Playing at quarter tables I generally don't have too much of an issue finding someone to play. I was frustrated Tuesday night becuase I could not find a game to save my life, and that was after 4 of my regular spots.

I just wasn't sure how to find a game/break the ice at an hourly hall, but I know there's often good players to be found at one. I appreciate all the input.

08-05-2004, 08:45 AM
In a word, be yourself... ok that's 2 words.

If you force yourself to go and talk to someone, that might not be the right thing to do... If you're a natural easygoing guy like I am, you shouldn't have any problems to walk up to someone and ask them to shoot some.

I do recommand to gauge people before you approach them. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where the guy your playing is an idiot, specialy if you got some money on the game.

I'm from Quebec and french canadian, the language and culture sometimes make it harder, still when I travel to the state I always manage to find a game. I visited some nice pool hall in Atlanta on my own, and played with very nice people down there. Heck ! I even found a place and made some friend at Rudy's rack in Dublin, GA. And that was a dive !

08-05-2004, 05:00 PM
Are you looking for a money game or just a friendly game? Ive had trouble finding a friendly game around here with the local hotshots. Ive been talking to them when i see them come in...some are rude...some are nice people. It seems like none of them want to play though. I just catch them in the nightly tourneys.