View Full Version : Reasons Not To Play Pool For a Living

07-17-2002, 04:34 PM
This Post is going to a local player in my local pool hall. 16, just dropped out of school to play pool full time. He's a good player, but any top money player will spank him around. I doubt he reads this board but I thought I would post this anyway. This would also be good reading for all the people who come on and ask how they become pro pool players. Sorry for peeing on everyons dreams like this. Reasons not to play pool for a living.

1. Income. The Top 20 Male pro's last year made an average of $53,125.
Remember, these are the 20 best players in the world, if you aren't world class your going to get by on much less. The 20th ranked player only made $20,670. Tournament victories will not pay the bills, so the next option is to gamble.

2. Gambling. This is how you are going to make the majority of your money. The only problem is you can also lose. Not to mention that winning doesn't mean you'll make it out of the building with your cash. Not exactly the most stable cash flow source.

3. Friendship. You aren't going to have any real friends. That isn't to say that their aren't good people in the pool hall, but you aren't going to deal with these people. The people you will spend 90% of your time with will all be after the same thing, money. They will steer you, bet against you, and then try to borrow money from you after they lose. Life starts to suck when you are all alone.

4. Family. Unless you meet the most understanding women ever created, there won't be any family for you. Kids are another story altogether, I'm even of the belief that if you have kids you should be at home taking care of them, not out on the road.

5. Your Health. You will need to spend the majority of your time in smoke filled pool halls. Your not like a regular person, you can't pick and choose what places to frequent, you need to go where the money is. I hope you enjoy Lung Cancer.

6. Purchases. Try to buy a house without a job. Unless you have 100k in a safety deposit box your SOL. Banks don't give money to unemployed people with no credit.

7. Hospital. You better purchase, very expensive, your own benefits package or hope you never need to visit the hospital. Road Players don't have benefits last time I checked. Many self employed people just take the risk that they won't get sick, and lose everything they have when they do get sick.

8. A New Job. After 15 or 20 years, your eyes aren't what they once were, your losing more than you winning, you simply can't cut the mustard anymore. Time to get a new job you say. Problem, most employers don't hire people who haven't worked since high school. Not to mention the knee-jerk reaction the employer will have when you try to explain to him that you gambled at pool for a living for the last 20 years.

9. No Respect. And the reason that the employer will be so fearful of a person like you working for him is because pool players have the stigma of being the lowest of the low. That is how your whole life will be, you, will be looked down upon by all of society.

10. Morals and Trust. After 20 years of hustling, being hustled and watching your back, you won't have an ounce of morality or faith left. It's like being a serial killer who finds it easier to kill with each victim. Only with you it is about getting money. And good luck trying to trust anyone. When you spend your life with scum, everyone starts to look like scum.

11. Money Means Nothing, One of the keys to being a successful gambler is convincing yourself that money is not important. That is how you can live with yourself when you lose several thousand dollars. Money is just the tool used to get the action.

12. Action Junkie. After a few years of gambling high stakes, normal life will mean nothing to you. How exciting is it to stay at home and watch T.V. when just a few years ago you were betting thousands on a single roll of a ball. You are now a confirmed action junkie. You are like a Heroin Junkie chasing the dragon, nothing will ever scratch the itch like gambling did.

13. Pension. You are 50 years old, you've managed to scrape by on your minimum wage job for the last 20 years. Now all the people you went to High School with are retiring with healthy 401k. Meanwhile, you have eaten through all the money left in your Security Box and are looking forward to 20 more years of menial labor. But at least you followed your dream.

Overview. This isn't indicative of what will happen to everyone who goes this route, but we have all seen too many talented young players turn into middle age nits. Pool is a hobby and should be treated as such. Get a job, education, family, friends all that good stuff. And if you want to test the waters, there is enough gambling and tournaments on weekends to give you an idea if you are World Class and this is the life for you. Unfortunately, when you are 16 sleeping in and staying up all night seems like a good life, when you get a little older you realize it isn't all it's cracked up to be.


Cueless Joey
07-17-2002, 04:40 PM
Number one reason is I can't play a lick.
Tang Hoa's famous line: You missed one ball, you go broke.
You miss two balls, you don't eat.
Joey~ I like getting paid by the hour~

Voodoo Daddy
07-17-2002, 04:59 PM
Q]The simularities between a Large Pizza and a Pro Pool Player?

A]Neither can feed a family of four!!!

Voodoo....working now so I dont have to later

07-17-2002, 05:41 PM
you can't save any money you make gambling because that means you havr to declare it. and what player is going to declare cash. therefore you have to spend it. and you end up living out of your pocket for the rest of your career.

but look at the bright side.

your time is your own.

you get to wake up at 3pm, or you get to stay up till 3pm.

you can stay at OTB all day.

you learn the finer points of "reading people". this will come in handy when you hustle them.

you'll become such a fixture at your local poolroom that you'll get comped a coffee or two almost every day.

07-17-2002, 10:09 PM
Well said Krusty! The last 16 yr old HS dropout I knew of who became world class was Kid Delicious, Danny Basavich. Anyone seen Danny since last year?

07-17-2002, 10:37 PM
I saw Danny in April when he came to a tournament we had. He placed 2nd and was a real nice guy throughout the whole tournament.

07-17-2002, 10:47 PM
I've known Danny since he was fourteen. He's an impressive young player with a fine mind. Nicest kid too, though from what I hear he used to be a little cocky. He fixed that by the time I met him. There's a special place in my heart for Danny. He's always been very generous with his time to me, and I've never seen him nasty, not once.

07-18-2002, 07:06 AM
krusty right on but they are sure interesting to listen to..of course the telling is always a little better..

07-18-2002, 08:23 AM
The problem is, pool is a catch 22. You must either be born rich or a bum to be a pro player. The demands of the game to be a truly super player are such, that there is no room for anything else. I don't know any really top players, there may be some though, that took up the game at the age of 20, or became a super player playing part time. Much of what the player is to become, is formed at a very early age. Pool can be very addicting and some that choose to try to play full time may find a hard life ahead. But they can be very interesting people, and all of us that love the game, would be at a loss without them.

07-18-2002, 03:08 PM
Of course, you might just love the game like you just can't stop. And you might just get to be the best.

And if you're smart _and_ one of the best (which is a big if), you know that the prize money is just icing on the cake and your real income comes from sponshorship and exhibitions. If you can promote yourself well, you don't need to rely on gambling.

Not all players are lonely, homeless, paranoid, myopic middle age nits surrounded by sharks and leeches. Some are, of course. Others are really good people who have met a whole bunch of other really good people all around the world, and they've got thick skin that's immune to the

Nit-ness is in the blood. If you're gonna be a nit, you're gonna be a nit. There are pool nits, hockey nits, educated nits, 9 to 5 nits, happy nits, sad nits, red nits, white nits (too much Dr.Seuss). Hey, kid, don't be a nit !!

The post identified a whole load of bad things. All of which are risks, but if you're free of nit DNA, and got some magic in your arm, then by all means give it a shot. Just remember that you don't have to drop out to prove you're the best. And you don't have to give up the dream if you don't drop out. In fact, if you learn how to promote and sell yourself and how to manage your business, then you're much more likely to survive if you do have that rare gift. You're sure to be able to find some good competition to stretch your game locally or in the state. And when the locals and yokels are in your dust and you _know_ you can make it, then maybe it's time to take a chance.

Who's gonna be the next Earl Strickland (OK, bad example) or Efren Reyes (better) if nobody's got the cohones to take a chance ?

07-18-2002, 03:27 PM

This is an excellent post but I doubt that it will deter any youngster from dropping out of school. Some teens feel they are invincible. They really don't comprehend the consequences of their actions until they have to take on real life responsibilities and realize how much they have to do to support themselves, let alone a spouse or a family.

When I used to see Corey Deuel at Drexeline when he was 14 or so, I was impressed, but also sad for him at the same time. Here's a kid that dropped out of school and will probably become a road player after his tournament wins start to elude him. But that's what he chose to do. It's his life, and it's none of my business.


07-18-2002, 04:27 PM

What's your problem, let me guess. Some 16 year old kid has more talent in his pinkie finger than you have ever had in your whole body, so you have to make a list up of reasons why you never chose to pursue a pool playing career. Just because your life has not worked out like you wanted it to doesnt mean you should rain on the parade of everyone else who has a chance to live out YOUR DREAM. What happened, you couldnt cut the mustard on the table so you went crying of to the army. It' s a good thing that Efren Reyes didnt have someone like you telling him pool would be a worthless life, or the world would be without an alltime great.

How close am I?

What a loser.


07-18-2002, 04:53 PM
>What's your problem, let me guess. Some 16 year old kid has more talent in his pinkie finger than you have >ever had in your whole body, so you have to make a list up of reasons why you never chose to pursue a >pool playing career.

Yes. A 16 year old kid has more talent than me at putting balls in pockets, I've never claimed to be a great player, and I never will. The reason I never pursued a pool career was simple, I can't get out. But, I spend every spare moment of my life in pool halls, and I've seen this same situation play itself out too many times. The 16 year old who looks like gold ends up being a 35 year old who looks like #$@*.

>Just because your life has not worked out like you wanted it to doesnt mean you should rain on the >parade of everyone else who has a chance to live out YOUR DREAM.

Actually my life has worked out very much like I wanted it to. And it was never my dream to play pool for a living.

>What happened, you couldnt cut the mustard on the table so you went crying of to the army.

Incorrect, I never tried to play pool for a living, and it's the Marines A$$hole. And I didn't runaway there, to be honest; I graduated High School, got drunk for 6 days strait and then enlisted in the Corps like everyone else in my family.

>It' s a good thing that Efren Reyes didnt have someone like you telling him pool would be a worthless life, >or the world would be without an alltime great.

And for every Reyes or Duell, there are a hundred wasted lives of people most have never even heard about.

>How close am I?

Not Very

>What a loser.

A loser with a pension, education, friends. The best type of loser.


07-18-2002, 06:41 PM
BS. I bet if you could make a half way decent living playing pool, you would jump all over it. I know I would.

07-18-2002, 08:34 PM
Yes, well, there are also priests who would jump all over....never mind. Try looking at reality. If someone wants to give pool a shot, great. But the reality is, most will never make it, just like all the ghetto kids who think they can be 'like Mike'. There's nothing wrong with pursuing a dream, but what Krusty was trying to point out was, get an education first. Get some perspective. Look at the cold, hard reality of what you're trying to do, and most importantly, have a contingency plan! I don't see any reason for anyone to jump all over Krusty for stating the truth. Guess it's true what they say about it hurting, huh?

07-21-2002, 03:56 PM
I ran across Danny at a $2,000 added nine-ball tournament at CJ Wiley's in Dallas around the first week of May. Seemed like a nice kid, friendly and a sense of humor. I don't think he placed near the top in this tourney.

07-22-2002, 08:43 PM
From what I hear, he's been a little "off" since last year at Cardiff. Guess it really does happen to the best of us, huh?

07-22-2002, 10:41 PM
My sister, was the number one hunter jumper equestrian rider in the state of California, in her age group, when she was 16. When she was 21, she temporarily dropped out of school, to pursue her dream of riding and training horses as a profession. She is now 26, a college graduate, and running her own barn. She is also, now considering leaving her dream, for something that might conform better to her lifestyle ideals (she works 70 hours a week, and has taken one week off in three years). She is also having to examine the long term profitability of doing what she loves.

She, as well as as this boy, should at some level be commended. As so few, so very few people actually chase after a dream they have. I see so many people today that have dreams, and merely watch them fade away as "life" takes over. The key to my sister however, was she did not lose focus on the rest of her life.

Life, is a whole experience, made up of different aspects. There is school, jobs, relationships, hobbies, sports, etc. It takes more than just one of these to make a whole person. Ultimately, none of us are actually complete without God in our lives (ok, thats another conversation completely). However, without a balanced life, everything eventually collapses. So, maybe for this kid, dropping out was the best option, if he is keeping doors open, and still sees a life outside of shooting pool. Maybe, Krusty, if you're still reading this, you should try and encourage him to continue taking a course or two at a junior college, or trade school.

Well, those are my thoughts, incomplete as they probably are. Bottomline, don't chase, sprint after your dreams, but never lose your peripheral vision on the flowers, called life.