View Full Version : Is pool addictive?

02-21-2002, 10:17 AM
My wife and I were at the pool room last night to pick up some work. On the way home we got to talking about some of the guys that hang there. I wonder how much the addictive nature of pool effects some of these guys lives. One is a cop that has a wife and a new baby. I know he works a lot of hours, but it seems he is never home. From the years of owning and running pool rooms, (more then half my life). I can tell you he is not unique. One place I owned was a 24 hour place with quite a bit of action. I think that place ruined plenty of lives. They would not go home. One I know of for sure lost his business due to be addicted to hanging out at the poolroom. I don't know how many marriages may have been affected. The point I think I am getting at is, pool is fun to play and very interesting but is there a point that someone has to back off a bit because of it's addictive, time consuming nature. I don't mean quit all together, just get things in a proper perspective. We were still talking about it this morning. You feel sometimes like you want to go to some of those guy and shake some sense into them. I can't think of too many other casual activities, such as fishing or playing golf, that can actually destroy someone's life as being addicted to pool can. You read it here between the lines in some of the posts, how obsessed some seem to be by the game. My wife and I just found it interesting. I don't know if it is good or bad, everyone need something they enjoy doing just for the sake of doing it. I just wonder if in the case of pool, people have to watch that it doesn't take over their life. I guess an argument could be made that anything can be bad if taken to an extreme. Somewhere out there, there may be an obsessed bird watcher, but that doesn't make it OK. I just think someone's marriage and family is far more important then hanging out playing pool. A good reality check may be in order, if anything I have written sounds familiar. Please don't get me wrong, this is not preaching, just honest observations.

02-21-2002, 10:34 AM
Depending on the competetive drive or the determination of a mans goal to be the best at whatever Hobby or past time is the factor.
Believe it or not Fishing does fall into that category. Ask the wife of any tournament fisherman. Racing, Golf.
Regardless if any problems arise it is the mans fault for not making it absolutely positively clear that his hobbies are part of the package of his life before marriage (am I brain washed).
The comment that absolutely kills me is "your not the same person I married" I am like, No $hit 80% of the things I did are no more. due to "compromise". Men can't win, period. Sacrificed to make your spouse happy then your miserable and then they want to know why. Continue to do what makes you happy and your an unloving husband/father, because you don't spend enough time with the family.
Ken are you reading this? pay attn make sure it is perfectly clear.

02-21-2002, 11:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

I can't think of too many other casual activities, such as fishing or playing golf, that can actually destroy someone's life as being addicted to pool can.


You're probably right, but I have on more than one occasion seen a fisherman dressed in his good business work clothes standing by the bank of a small pond with his car nearby with the trunk open, holding a fishing rod with a line in the water. What's up with that? Looks addictive to me, although probably not life destroying...

02-21-2002, 11:39 AM
I think a big part of any addiction is the betting aspect. Some people seem to get addicted to gambling especially in the casinos where it is available 24/7. Pool is one of the few betting acivities that involve skills and also is available all the time. People can lose all their money at the dog and horse tracks but there is plenty of time in between racing for them to go out and find more money. I've been told that there are people with sufficient mental skills to make a living at the tracks. Some play and bet on golf, tennis and other activities but there is generally a limit to how long and when you can participate in those activities. Golf is usually restricted to the daylight hours and you can get pretty tired playing tennis.

On the other hand, pool is available all the time and the level of effort is such that it can be played for long periods.

02-21-2002, 11:46 AM
Robert Byrne joked in Byrne's New Standard Book of Pool and Billiards that "readers really serious about mastering the game should drop out of school, quit their jobs, and get a divorce" (104). Of course many people have reached a high level of proficiency while maintaining happy and healthy families.

We've had threads about the harsh reality that pool attracts more than its fair share of low-lifes (I'm not saying that there aren't wonderful people playing the game, but we've all seen the other end of the gamut). If you offered some of these people a million US dollars a year to tend a lemon-aid stand, they'd find a way to screw it up and get themselves fired. While there are those who have become obsessed with the game for the game's sake, I think most of the people who screw up their lives because of pool would've found another way to do it had pool not come into their lives.


02-21-2002, 12:56 PM
Do you suppose the smart pool addicts realize their junkie situation and make the wise decision to get into the pool business so they can stay close to the source of their dependence plus provide for the family?? I'm not being a smarta** just wondering.

02-21-2002, 03:38 PM
You could be right. I would expect the owner of a tackle shop to fish and the guy in the golf shop to play.
The people I was referring to are not what I would really call players. They just get caught up in the subculture of the pool world to their own detriment.

02-21-2002, 04:13 PM
OK, I know where your coming from now. Like has been said they would provide for their addiction somewhere, somehow and blow the lemon stand job out of the water and it wouldn't be their fault.

02-21-2002, 04:20 PM
Hey cue guy if your talking about the "railbird" types and not true, dedicated players, than yea I would have to agree they have a problem. I still feel however, if it's someone who has the drive to excell in pool than it's not fair for their spouse to condemn them.

02-21-2002, 04:53 PM
I think anything that you truly enjoy doing is addictive to some degree. I use to fish alot and was one of those guys on the side of the road. Couldn't pass up a good looking pond.
Three years ago I started playing pool after being away for 25+ years. If I don't play 5-6 nights a week, I feel like I'm missing out on something. I don't stay late. 3-4 hours is OK as long as I can be back the next night. My wife doesn't understand. She should. When we met I was playing pool in 1964. She should have seen it coming.

02-21-2002, 05:29 PM
I'm not addicted (I hope!), I think pool can be addictive for some players as well as railbirds. I haven't played in about a month (and at that time I was on fire!) I'm going to a tournament tonight and I just can't wait it's seems like I've been away for many months. I even wanted to play last Thursday night on Valentine's Day. My husband and I met a couple of our friends for dinner on Valentine's day and afterward they went to the tournament, I wanted to go soooooooooo bad but my husband doesn't play. There's no way he would have went so I kinda acted like I didn't want to go. I've been playing pool for about seven years competitively, I've been married for one year and don't play nearly as much as I used to when I was single. I'd play sometimes until midnight, not a care in the world. If I wasn't playing I'd watch, I really like watching people play for money especially. However, I wouldn't (unless it was a $5 ring game and that was seldom). My husband says he doesn't mind if I want to go out and play but I think sometimes he really does (because he misses me /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif. I've made it a goal to at least go every Thursday night to this tourney just to stay "in the game". I'm looking forward to buying getting a table soon so I can play more.

02-21-2002, 07:58 PM
You're talking about bar flies as well as railbirds, nothing new to that atmosphere at all(IMO.) We have bar flies playing loud music and holding down the same chairs, they hover around players at times, drink mostly. Still I don't really see addiction around pool as much as I see men without much of another place to socialize. What they say in the PH is listened to...that's enough to keep them coming back for.

Now I spend way too many good weather days inside the PH when I could be on the lake, on the motorcycle or working in the yard, and yes that is addictive. I don't care, I like the people I hang out with there. "Just a thang." sid

Scott Lee
02-21-2002, 09:23 PM
Q-Guy...Obssessive behavior is destructive no matter what the activity may be...even fishing or golf. If you do it to excess, and it affects your life negatively in other areas, it is destructive behavior. Since ALL people are either OCD (Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder) or not...the ones that are, will be more likely to be attracted to addictive behavior, which can manifest itself in many destructive ways. Hanging out in the poolroom too much is just ONE of many associated destructive behaviors, like alcoholism, drug addiction, smoking, or gambling...or many others. Frequently these "addicts" in the poolroom are possessed of several, if not all, of these other qualities. It is perhaps the combination of the group, rather than the specifics of too much time in the poolroom, that contribute to the eventual self-destruction of the "addictive" person. If an individual has control in their life, and doesn't take everything to excess, they can play pool as much as they want, and there will be no ill effect in other areas of their lives. JMO, of course!

Scott Lee

02-21-2002, 09:55 PM
Q, you make a very good point. Some people are not able to find a balance in their lives--Mr. Covey would cringe at that thought. I've competed in professional bowling events from coast to coast and engaged in more "action" than I care to remember. I've competed in professional bass fishing tournaments...not much "side action" involved but I tried to create some whenever possible, LOL. Trust me...there are many degenerate and addictive personalities involved in bowling and fishing. I can't believe the number of guys that literally lost it all, families, businesses, money, self esteem and their lives, due to their obsessions with those "hobbies". Golf certainly has it's horror stories as well, though I have no first hand experience because I'm a horrible golfer--thank goodness! I know a guy that collected hub caps and eventually flipped out and went broke buying every hub cap imaginable! Fanatical or addictive behavior is a scarey thing. At least that's what my wife said when I told her we were replacing the 1 year old 7ft Olhausen with a 9ft GC4. She also mumbles something about it whenever she sees another cue on the wall. What exactly is she talking about? Maybe I'll ask her what she means---as soon as the new table is installed. Regards, Rip~~~thankful for 22 years with someone willing to put up with me!

&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; QGUY wrote "I can't think of too many other casual activities, such as fishing or playing golf, that can actually destroy someone's life as being addicted to pool can"&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;

02-21-2002, 09:56 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

Ken are you reading this? pay attn make sure it is perfectly clear.


I've read a few replies here, referencing "fisherman and ponds by the side of the road."

It seems entirely unfair that as a pool player, I cannot find a Gold Crown at roadside rest areas.

No...I'm not addicted...I'm HOPELESSLY addicted!

(She says she "understands". We're getting married March 17th and yes, I will have a four-leaf clover in my pocket and the cues in the car!)

02-21-2002, 11:25 PM
I have no wife, I have no girlfriend, I have had on occassion but eventually the inevitable comes up.
They say,"You play too much __________".
The blank is pool in the winter and golf in the summer.
I tell them all before anything starts what I like to do. Some try to take up the sport, some try to watch the sport, some don't bother, but eventually they try to get me to quit.

I never have, and probably never will.
Not married, not committed, but I am one thing.
Smiling everyday I get up.

P.s. I do have other things I do, go to university for English, and work 3 days a week.
If one of the girls asked me to quit English would it be any different that her asking me to quit playing pool.

02-22-2002, 12:27 AM
One of the things I always noticed in the poolrooms was the seemingly universal attitude toward women. I even saw it with the way my wife was treated. I know they are not gay, but they really seem to prefer the company of other men. They go to the track, play pool, go bar hopping, even to the movies. Some of them I bet have not been on a date with a woman in years. For the most part I sort of feel sorry for them. A lot of male pool players defiantly have relationship problems with women. I think they escape their problem by hiding in the pool room with other men. This is getting a little to deep.

02-23-2002, 05:44 AM
Hi,I'm Tommy. "Hi,Tommy." I'm here today because I'm addicted,to pool. LOL,Tommy D.

02-23-2002, 03:34 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> (Pool playing men) go to the track, play pool, go bar hopping, even to the movies. Some of them I bet have not been on a date with a woman in years. For the most part I sort of feel sorry for them...<hr></blockquote>

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02-23-2002, 04:06 PM
As a lover of the game both me as well as my wife have probably spent enough money on "going out" to play then you could ever belive. We are both addicted to the game to a degree, but we both found out that since we bought a pool table we seem to spend more time at home and enjoy our family time a little better. I belive that anyone that is really hot into pool should buy their own table as it makes it a little easier to devote the time needed on other things in life. And saves a little money in the long run.

02-23-2002, 05:25 PM
Q-Guy, I think you are confusing addiction with dedication. And the pure love of the game. Jake

02-23-2002, 05:45 PM
Q-Guy...you know it takes that defective gene to play pool. I too have spent over half my life around the game. If I had the chance to do it again or take a different road...well lets just say college looks good to me now.

Voodoo...suffers from his dip in the gene pool

02-23-2002, 07:40 PM
Voodoo, is that you? I think this is your first post here. There's a lot of new people here who may not know you, so let me introduce you.

Voodoo is from Miami. He has three fingers on one of his hands because the others were bitten off by an alligator that he caught barehanded because he was hungry and he don't like to wait much. He ate the alligator, and then went to the hospital, but they couldn't find his fingers. He might have eaten them too, but most people think they fell into the swamp. His real name is Steve, but he goes by Hippy, Steve, Miami, 3 Finger, Voodoo, One Pocket, and some other stuff, usually all at the same time. He changes it a lot in an apparent attempt to keep a low profile. He runs a One Pocket tournement tour in Florida and some other operations that.... ah well...never mind that. He is a little bigger than a small house, but he is a hippy and very peaceful most of the time. He is reputed to practice voodoo, but no one who has seen his temple will discuss it.