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skin
09-09-2008, 11:12 AM
With my rejuvenated interest in the game, I have been reading and thinking a lot about it. I quit playing seriously many, many years ago when I quit gambling. I remember the owner of the pool hall (Times Square in Dallas) telling me I was making the right decision. I knew he was right, went to college, and never really looked back.

Recently I came acros this article by a guy named Fast Larry Guninger (don't really know who he is) who opens with this:

Here is the truth about gambling at pool and trying to make a living at it. It always has a very bad ending and sometimes it is tragic. You are 20 and want to know what your beautiful lady will look like at 50, go look at her mother, that is exactly what you get in 30 years. If you are now 20 and want to become a gambler, go look at and study the gamblers around you now who are 50, that are exactly what you become in 30 years. A broken down drunk bum. You will not escape this fate, nobody has yet and you will not be first.

You will simply sell your soul to the devil for a short time of fun and then the devil steals your soul and sends you to hell and gives you nothing but decades of pain and despair back. The devil buys people like you really cheap.

http://www.billiardscrossing.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=284

In my experience, truer words were never written. Because I remember watching some really great players (gamblers) and getting to know them. What they all had in common were two things: everything of significance they owned was folded in half in their pocket and they all looked years older than they actually were. Most also either drank straight from the bottle, popped pills incessantly, or both. They were wrecks in every way except for their game.

Sooner or later, just about everybody who gambles at pool learns the hard way what a bad choice it is for making a living. I'll bet most folks who post here have their stories.

The problem with giving it up, though, is that you can never find the same kind of "game" again without the action. Playing in tournaments is not really like being in a struggle for hours against another player. It ain't plucking the pigeons you miss. It's when you have to somehow find more against that one guy after playing for hours, or go else down. It's a real high when you accomplish it.

Maybe that kind of game can be had better at 14.1 than any of the others, but where can you even find a 14.1 tournament to play in these days?

Deeman3
09-09-2008, 12:19 PM
Despite my dislike of F/L he is mostly correct here. Gambling in itself is not a big deal but those who try to live by it are most often losers in the end.

I still gamble a bit but do not let it define me and I don't have to gamble to enjoy the game. If you don't get much out of it, it will probably not harm you but if it becomes an adiction, like anything else, it will end badly as most addictions do.

DeadCrab
09-09-2008, 01:00 PM
The only "successful" gamblers I have known are people who were very successful at something else first, and had a steady source of ongoing income because of it. Trying to live entirely off of gambling winnings without a safety net is a grim existence.

Deeman3
09-09-2008, 01:54 PM
Deadcrab,

You are right. Full time, have to make a nut road players are darker than most of us can imagine and you would not last long with a conscience, ethics and pride. The most successful are unaddicted, opportunists.

If you have to gamble, someone will out wait you until you give up too much and there are, of course, a very finite number of foolish gamblers out there for the taking. Some of the stories many of us know could not be told on here if we wanted to. Most who cite the dark side of pool, don't have a clue of how bad things and people have been.

skin
09-09-2008, 02:45 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Despite my dislike of F/L he is mostly correct here. Gambling in itself is not a big deal but those who try to live by it are most often losers in the end.

I still gamble a bit but do not let it define me and I don't have to gamble to enjoy the game. If you don't get much out of it, it will probably not harm you but if it becomes an adiction, like anything else, it will end badly as most addictions do. </div></div>

I have read a few things Guniniger has written and have found some good info in them. I wasn't expecting a comment from the gallery about disliking him; otherwise, I would have kept the source anonymous. Seems like something a person would want to keep to himself instead of putting it on a public board.

Deeman3
09-09-2008, 03:18 PM
My relationahip with him, as well as a few others is not a secret and if it offends your sensibility, then I'll amend what I said to say that I really don't get on well with him. If you are not Larry in one more disguise, I hope your good feelings about him pan out to your benefit. You want some history, hit the search engine.

skin
09-09-2008, 04:23 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DeadCrab</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Trying to live entirely off of gambling winnings without a safety net is a grim existence.

</div></div>

That's all that I have ever seen, at least. It's a dead end no matter how good you are. It's too bad pool does not pay as well as the glamour sports like tennis and golf so guys could both make a living and raise their game to its highest level at the same time. Just think about the talent that has been lost because that opportunity hasn't been there.

Maybe things are changing a bit. I hope so for the sake of the kids coming up who want to play.

wolfdancer
09-09-2008, 05:20 PM
Larry enjoys the notoriety, even courts it... imo.
You either like the guy, or you can't stand him (I's say hate, but we don't know if he is a republican, or not).
I like him, although I have to cringe a little at some of what he writes. Even got a great pool tip from reading him
Anyway,The trick to gambling at pool is not to really gamble...find someone who thinks they are at least twice as good as they play, and likes to gamble...
I'm saving up my SS checks for an upcoming trip to Ala, where I hear there's an easy mark down there...I'm hoping to double my $$, and leave before the Klan knows I was there.
From my time spent in pool rooms, I've run across several players that spent their productive years surviving by gambling at pool. Now they are late 50's, early 60's, and still scraping along, with the big pots all but gone...and now hustling the casual players at $1, or $2 a game.

skin
09-09-2008, 05:35 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My relationahip with him, as well as a few others is not a secret and if it offends your sensibility, then I'll amend what I said to say that I really don't get on well with him. If you are not Larry in one more disguise, I hope your good feelings about him pan out to your benefit. You want some history, hit the search engine. </div></div>

I don't have any connection to him other than I have read a few things he's written. Not interested in anything beyond that, either. What possible relevance could it have?

I posted his thoughts because they were germane to something I was thinking about when I started the thread - how the gambling side of pool ruins players over time and robs the game of a lot of talent. Guniniger tells a few raw stories about it at the link. Pool will never get its just due as a game of skill and thought as long as that dark side remains.

Can you imagine what kind of tennis players there would be, for example, if they had to learn the game mostly in pool halls gambling?

I love the game. That's the only reason I gambled at it. I didn't care about the money really (I had lots of better ways to make more); I wanted play it hard and competitively. The only way back then was to bet. The ony reason I am coming back to play again (without the gambling) is because I love the game and I can get into a couple of weekly tournaments. I'd like to see a healthier way open up where folks could learn and grow without all the life rot that comes with being in pool halls all the time.

Sometimes youngsters come on here or lurk who need to hear where gambling at the game for a living ends. It would have been instructive for them if you had shared one of your stories.

Rich R.
09-09-2008, 09:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't have any connection to him other than I have read a few things he's written. Not interested in anything beyond that, either. What possible relevance could it have?
</div></div>
It seems you are not too experienced with the pool forums and you are in the dark on this issue. Let me try to give a quick explanation.

Guniniger has terrorized all of the major pool forums, under an unknown number of different screen names and identities. At best, he had a little good information. At worst, he was egotistical and extremely abusive to other forum member. Hence, he has been banned by all of the major pool forums. After being banned, he has tried to return, numerous times, using different screen names. We never know when or where he will show up next, but he is never welcome.

Hope this helps you understand the situation.

skin
09-09-2008, 09:26 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't have any connection to him other than I have read a few things he's written. Not interested in anything beyond that, either. What possible relevance could it have?
</div></div>
It seems you are not too experienced with the pool forums and you are in the dark on this issue. Let me try to give a quick explanation.

Guniniger has terrorized all of the major pool forums, under an unknown number of different screen names and identities. At best, he had a little good information. At worst, he was egotistical and extremely abusive to other forum member. Hence, he has been banned by all of the major pool forums. After being banned, he has tried to return, numerous times, using different screen names. We never know when or where he will show up next, but he is never welcome.

Hope this helps you understand the situation.
</div></div>

Got it. I spent years on poliitcal boards and know the type you are describing very well. I finally got sick of them and quit going to those places.

This is the only pool board I post on, I was glad to find it because I like the subject and the people are civil to one another here.

Thanks or the info. Didn't realize there were so many raw felings about the guy here. Guess I'll quote Tommy Kennedy next time if I quote anybody again. :o)

-skin

Bambu
09-09-2008, 10:52 PM
The only people who actually like Larry, are the people who havent felt the displeasure of his presence.

Rich R.
09-10-2008, 06:44 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Got it. I spent years on poliitcal boards and know the type you are describing very well. I finally got sick of them and quit going to those places.</div></div>

On this note, if you are sick of political bickering, stay away from the non-pool side of this forum, or enter at your own risk.

I haven't looked at the non-pool forum in months. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

SpiderMan
09-10-2008, 07:08 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Got it. I spent years on poliitcal boards and know the type you are describing very well. I finally got sick of them and quit going to those places.</div></div>

On this note, if you are sick of political bickering, stay away from the non-pool side of this forum, or enter at your own risk.

I haven't looked at the non-pool forum in months. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif </div></div>

Yesterday I posted a YouTube video of some of my old Memphis cronies on NPR, and I noticed that the BS level hadn't changed. Same folks, same old refrains.

SpiderMan

skin
09-10-2008, 08:28 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Rich R.</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Got it. I spent years on poliitcal boards and know the type you are describing very well. I finally got sick of them and quit going to those places.</div></div>

On this note, if you are sick of political bickering, stay away from the non-pool side of this forum, or enter at your own risk.

I haven't looked at the non-pool forum in months. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif </div></div>

I have checked it out before. It looks pretty tame compared to what I am used to. Still, I don't have the stomach for mindless partisanism. It's a waste of time. Nobody ever gets converted to the other guy's point of view, just madder.

Deeman3
09-10-2008, 09:29 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skin</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My relationahip with him, as well as a few others is not a secret and if it offends your sensibility, then I'll amend what I said to say that I really don't get on well with him. If you are not Larry in one more disguise, I hope your good feelings about him pan out to your benefit. You want some history, hit the search engine. </div></div>

I don't have any connection to him other than I have read a few things he's written. Not interested in anything beyond that, either. What possible relevance could it have? <span style="color: #FF0000"> None</span>

I posted his thoughts because they were germane to something I was thinking about when I started the thread - how the gambling side of pool ruins players over time and robs the game of a lot of talent. Guniniger tells a few raw stories about it at the link. Pool will never get its just due as a game of skill and thought as long as that dark side remains. <span style="color: #FF0000">

I don't think the dark side of pool may ever vanish. Pool may never get its due more probably because it is a very poor spectator sport. IMO.</span>

Can you imagine what kind of tennis players there would be, for example, if they had to learn the game mostly in pool halls gambling?

<span style="color: #FF0000"> I would think he would be fairly limited in that his serve might bounce off the tables and the low ceiling might hinder the development of his lob. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif</span>

I love the game. <span style="color: #FF0000"> Most of us do.</span> That's the only reason I gambled at it. <span style="color: #FF0000">I don't see that connection in light of your other statements about the darker side. </span> I didn't care about the money really (I had lots of better ways to make more); I wanted play it hard and competitively. The only way back then was to bet. The ony reason I am coming back to play again (without the gambling) is because I love the game and I can get into a couple of weekly tournaments. <span style="color: #FF0000">Good for you. I wish you luck. </span> I'd like to see a healthier way open up where folks could learn and grow without all the life rot that comes with being in pool halls all the time. <span style="color: #FF0000">

I don't tnink there must be "life rot" in pool, even in pool halls or even gambling. It is the out of control gambling, the baiting, the cheating, the implied and real violence that harmed pool.</span>

Sometimes youngsters come on here or lurk who need to hear where gambling at the game for a living ends. It would have been instructive for them if you had shared one of your stories.

<span style="color: #FF0000"> I, like many on here, have many stories. I can't, for the life of me, make one that will teach a youngster how gambling WILL ruin a life. I can tell you where codene relieved one man's severe suffering but caused another to spend his life as an addict. Pool and gambling is what it is. Both can be fun and even positive and both can break your heart. Weak people don't need to gamble and they probably should stay away from narcodics as well.

I appoligise for possibly implying that your are F/L. You are much too well spoken for that to be true.

Good Luck.</span> </div></div>

Deeman3
09-10-2008, 09:32 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm saving up my SS checks for an upcoming trip to Ala, where I hear there's an easy mark down there...I'm hoping to double my $$, and leave before the Klan knows I was there.
</div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">Your victim is lying in wait. I have my tush hog, Chopstick on stand-by at the Orlando airport and we will keep the Klan at bay while you terrorise the South. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

By the way, you have to bring your own overalls. </span>

Deeman3
09-10-2008, 03:11 PM
For anyone you who are serious about the topic of gambling, there is a thread on onepocket.org about the subject by some of the all time great gamblers such as Grady Mathews, Artie B., Jay Helfert, Billy Incardona and others. If not a member, I would not suggest jumping into the discussion just to give your opinion but if you want to read some insight by the real deal guys, it is there.

The thread is "More Chicago stuff..."

To my knowledge, this is the first time Artie has opened up on the subjects. This is a man who has won millions and lost hundreds. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif He was so tough in Chicago, many great players dodged him or had to have a spot to win in one pocket. Even as an old man, he frightens many of us.

wolfdancer
09-10-2008, 05:32 PM
Dee, thanks for the link...I joined there some time ago, but haven't checked it out for awhile. Haven't played one game of one pocket since I moved here...and that was my game of choice in the pool hall.

skin
09-10-2008, 08:11 PM
I appoligise for possibly implying that your are F/L. You are much too well spoken for that to be true.-Deeman


Fair enough. I don't go on boards pretending to be somebody I am not. But, at the same time I do not give out personal info on the net.

I quit gambling to go to college and wound up at the other end with a PhD in microbiology. Maybe that is responsible for the well written word and the dog on the 10 twice! after the break and run in the 10 ball tournament last night. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

-skin

Deeman3
09-11-2008, 07:59 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wolfdancer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dee, thanks for the link...I joined there some time ago, but haven't checked it out for awhile. Haven't played one game of one pocket since I moved here...and that was my game of choice in the pool hall. </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000">It does hit some dry spells for activity but in the rare occasion when some of the old timers "duke it out" if is very good.

You know I love the game of one pocket. It sometimes just doesn't love me back. If lucky, I get to play it once every six months and, of course, at Derby City. It is a hard game to play every six months and stay shorp at. It really takes me about five games each time just to remember it's my favorite game. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </span>

Chopstick
09-11-2008, 09:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For anyone you who are serious about the topic of gambling, there is a thread on onepocket.org about the subject by some of the all time great gamblers such as Grady Mathews, Artie B., Jay Helfert, Billy Incardona and others. If not a member, I would not suggest jumping into the discussion just to give your opinion but if you want to read some insight by the real deal guys, it is there.

The thread is "More Chicago stuff..."

To my knowledge, this is the first time Artie has opened up on the subjects. This is a man who has won millions and lost hundreds. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif He was so tough in Chicago, many great players dodged him or had to have a spot to win in one pocket. Even as an old man, he frightens many of us. </div></div>

Arite B. is posting over there. I'll check it out. I never saw him play but I read about him in Freddy's book.

I tried traveling around gambling years ago. I wasn't any good at it. I wasn't ruthless enough. When a guy is going off for the rent money and his wife is there baby in arms crying begging him to come home, well I just ain't cut out for it. Many times I just gave them the money back and told them to go home. Then I'd see them the next day losing it to someone else. I just didn't want to be a part of that scene anymore.

Deeman3
09-11-2008, 10:09 AM
[quote=ChopstickI wasn't ruthless enough. When a guy is going off for the rent money and his wife is there baby in arms crying begging him to come home, well I just ain't cut out for it. Many times I just gave them the money back and told them to go home. Then I'd see them the next day losing it to someone else. I just didn't want to be a part of that scene anymore. [/quote]

<span style="color: #FF0000">In our hometown, Memphis, a guy from Oxford, MS. used to come in and, if he lost, his wife would drag in a dirty baby and we all felt is was maybe staged but what are you gonna do? Like you, I was just not cold blooded enough. That was at Funland, of course.

After a couple of times, no one would play him, except, of course Jack! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </span>