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View Full Version : Pool, what has it done for you?



Kato
04-16-2003, 08:32 AM
I was talking to Karatemom last night and I got to thinking. If I didn't start playing pool what would I be doing? Would I be married? Have kids? Go on normal vacations? Would I sleep normal hours like a normal person? What would I have done?

I started playing pool about 9 or 10 years ago. I had gone through a brutal breakup with a woman I was engaged to and she had shattered my entire universe. I was drinking heavily to drowned my sorrows and becoming a real live jerk. I heard an advertisement on the radio for a new pool hall opening nearby and I got hooked. In that respect I think pool saved my life. On the bad side it has helped wreck relationships that I had with women since, it helped me flunk out of college twice /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif, and it helped me meet a bookie that I lost about $5000 to in 2 football seasons. HOWEVER, it literally saved me from drowning myself in booze and saved me from alienating everyone in my family. It introduced me to a group of friends, and I fit in. Would I trade it all and start over again?

Nope, no I wouldn't.

Thanks for listening

Kato

Wally_in_Cincy
04-16-2003, 08:52 AM
I am more comfortable sitting at my computer because my wallet is thinner /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Seriously I have met at least 100 new friends and that is priceless.

And everybody needs a hobby to wash away the worries of real life.

eg8r
04-16-2003, 09:12 AM
Pool also showed you that you know nothing about football. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif You lost $5k in two seasons. Ouch. /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

For me, pool is an escape from everything else. I love my wife and my job, but it is nice to get away for a couple hours a week. While in college, I could go play pool to clear my mind. Pool has also helped me meet a lot of new people I would not have known otherwise.

I would not change anything. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

UWPoolGod
04-16-2003, 09:18 AM
Kato, I am glad that you found something that you can believe in and get a lot out of it. I had never really thought about what it has done for me. I started playing pool when I came to college, they had two tables in my dorm. Old 9 foot Brunswicks, the ones with the chrome pockets. There were a few asian players in there when I first started playing who would kill me. I am a very, very competitive guy. The place was open from 2PM-2AM, and man I was there the whole time for 6 months. Down went the GPA, up came the pool game. Pool gave me something to compete in after playing baseball (MVP)and basketball (Richie Frahm from a few years ago's Gonzaga team was on my team)in high school.

But in pool, I found a game (like golf) that only depends on how well "you" perform. So that drove me into getting better. I HAD to beat these guys. I NEEDED to beat these guys. Pretty soon they became my friends, still are my friends, will always be my friends. I learned a lot from them all at the time, but none of them had the passion for pool. Striving to become better, just as a personal need. I have spent countless hours and money on this game. There is something about it that makes me keep playing, even though I have retired from pool already twice at the age of 24. Made it a month once without playing...worst month of my life.

But now after all the trials and tribulations, all the long nights/early mornings, sleepless nights, zombie-like mornings at work after a long tourney night...pool is actually paying me back. Saving the tourney winnings has bought me a few nice toys.

It is a fun game, that everyone has played. It can get you in trouble though. Friends that know you are good when out for a night out, who have no idea about the pool world, think that all I do is hustle and want me to hustle in bars. I have never in my life, never hide my game. I want to WIN, and win EVERY game. I am a competitor. I don't care if it is 25...where's that damn cents symbol...cents. I WILL hold this table. I don't want to watch these guys banging the ball around. They will wait to play ME.

What has pool done for me? Well since I have not been married...or live with a girl yet...I don't know what will happen when I do. All of the women that I have dated as of yet like pool, want to play in leagues, but I am not sure how that will be affected once I am out at tourneys until late. Just is painful getting up at 6:00 after getting home at 1.

Wow, what a rant. Well pool has made me a lot of friends, many great people that I would not have otherwise met. I just hate being in the anti-pool area of the U.S., the northwest. I would like to be able to get to some of these Expos, pro tourneys and such...guess once I get some money saved I will take a vacation during those weeks.

Well poop...enough of that, I could go on and on about my philosophy and thinking about the game...down the road.

Todd

ceebee
04-16-2003, 09:45 AM
I didn't think Seattle was the great HATE of Pool.... there are dozens of places to play... maybe things have changed in 5 years. I never had a problem finding someone to "post some dough".

Seattle is a distressed area now, as far as employment is concerned...., but that situation has always been good for "matchin' up". Can't tell you why an economic downturn has always brought the wannabees out of the closet, to bet $5 on a game of 9 ball, but it does.

As far as what did Pool do for me.... The game has been a passion... I just love the heat of a match... the "juice" as some folks say. I don't get as much a kick out of the dough, as I do the VICTORY over an another opponent.

Now that I have come upon an idea for the players to better their game with... I'm meeting hundreds of players everywhere... some have even become friends. Attending the Tournaments is a real kick... seeing the Pros & the new Cues... watching the side actions games... Yabba Dabba Doo

Watching FootBall, Baseball or Basketball on TV, while sitting in a leather recliner, has never been fun for me. I like the "up close & personal" drama, humor & "do or die" side of the game.... Thanks Billy.... cb

9 Ball Girl
04-16-2003, 09:53 AM
Hmmm. Interesting thread.

Well, pool was introduced to me when I was about 7 years old. Then again at 17 for about 5 years, and then again at 27 and I'm in for life now. I cannot imagine what would've been had I not had pool in my life. I mean, it's been there practically all of my life. Without pool:

1. I would not have all of you guys as my friends. For that I am forever grateful.
2. I would not have my bestest friend in the world, Mario.
3. Why else would I go to VA, VF, etc. if not for pool?
4. And of course, my main squeeze... /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

If I had not been playing pool, I probably would've been in a relationship that was not making me happy, although I would've been flying around all over the country, big deal when it's with someone who's dragging you down. I would probably be a better friend to my nonpoolplaying freinds, that's for sure. And like you Kato, would I trade it to do it again. Nope.

Wendy~~I may not be much of a phone person or chatter, but you guys are always on my mind. Even the ones I don't speak to. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Rich R.
04-16-2003, 09:54 AM
Although frustrating at times, pool has given me a lot of pleasure. I've also met some of the nicest people in the world through pool.

BTW Kato, if you ever get the urge again, just send me the $5k. I will, at least, smile and say "thank you". /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Sid_Vicious
04-16-2003, 10:11 AM
I'm going to hold off until later with my personal reflections, and now I'd like to segregate this question to those here who are truly in their autumn years.

To those people I'd like to ask, "What has pool possibly lost you that you'll never recover, besides money?"

The original question has many avenues of meaning to younger folks, because they still have oats to sew and new mountains to climb. It might sound negative but those cruising into late middle age and into senior years will reflect back and wonder different things, like "Is this where I wanted to end up?"

Pool could have very well been an anchor, either for making a life or holding back the growth of life. This question of what pool has given you is a double edged sword type. I personally don't know where life would find itself if I all of a sudden couldn't play anymore. THAT Folks, is maybe all some players have left to look forward,,,,this thing called pool...sid~~~looks at the old 1-pocket players at times and thinks, "Will I be like them in time?"

Kato
04-16-2003, 10:21 AM
I hate to say it Sid and talking to Heide last night I realize that I've had my fun. I'm done. I'll never marry, have kids and a family, I'll never have a "normal" life. That's really where I was going with it. Upon thinking about it I'm ok with it. I'd still like to settle down and do the family thing I just don't think it can happen. I think that part of my life I missed out on. Sometimes it makes me sad. "Blah, blah, blah, you're only 32". I know, but I'm done. I may have had the things I want if I didn't play pool but without pool I probably would have ruined myself and been in a hole somewhere. I'm just not sure.

Kato

9 Ball Girl
04-16-2003, 10:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> I'll never have a "normal" life. <hr /></blockquote>Sounds like we're in the same boat. Wanna grab an oar? LOL

But, exactly what is considered a "normal" life for a poolplayer? Honestly. We're like Vampires. We sleep during the day (except for those that have to drag themselves out of bed to go to work in the morn'), and play during the dark hours. You should see me here at work sometimes. I'm like a freaking Zombie! Makes me wonder how I got promoted. Oh yeah, I just got promoted today! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

WesK
04-16-2003, 10:39 AM
Yeah!

UWPoolGod
04-16-2003, 10:46 AM
I didn't think Seattle was the great HATE of Pool.... there are dozens of places to play... maybe things have changed in 5 years. I never had a problem finding someone to "post some dough".&lt;--ceebee

I did not mean that Seattle does not have many places to play. It does, also one of the best rooms I have saw so far. What I meant was the lack of high scale pro tourneys/expos/cons? And you are right about plenty of action if one desires it. Hell the other day I was watching a $20/$40 3-ball game.

I very much love all of the memorabilia. That is why I posted that thread about CCB cues. I always love to see what people shoot with, and most of the time can tell what it is by looking at it. The other day I saw a kid playing with a $2500 Runde. He wasn't very good, got it from his father because he quit playing.

I just wish that any event would be coordinated in the northwest that would attract the men or women's tour. And a reason for all of the cuemakers to fly out here to display their cues, not just VF.

Todd

Karatemom
04-16-2003, 11:05 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Kato:</font><hr> I hate to say it Sid and talking to Heide last night I realize that I've had my fun. I'm done. I'll never marry, have kids and a family, I'll never have a "normal" life. That's really where I was going with it. Upon thinking about it I'm ok with it. I'd still like to settle down and do the family thing I just don't think it can happen. I think that part of my life I missed out on. Sometimes it makes me sad. "Blah, blah, blah, you're only 32". I know, but I'm done. I may have had the things I want if I didn't play pool but without pool I probably would have ruined myself and been in a hole somewhere. I'm just not sure.

Kato <hr /></blockquote>Geez, I made you think that hard about your life, huh? Don't think that just because pool has made you miss out on possible relationships, that you're "done". Chris was 38 when I met him, and who's to say that the same thing won't happen to you. Does it really matter when it happens? I hate to see you give up on something that could still most likely happen.

Another thing, there is no such thing as a "normal" life. Your life might be normal for you as our life is normal for us. Who's to say your life is or isn't normal but you? You can't compare it to anyone else's life because there is no comparison.

Pool is what brought you out of that black hole. Now that you're out, you have plenty of time to settle down, marry, have kids, and the whole works. Just don't shut that door because one day there will be a woman peeking through the keyhole wanting to come in. What's done is done, nothing you can do about the past but deal with it. Don't think for one minute that because you've had failed relationships in the past, and made mistakes, like the rest of us, that you're done with it all. It's pointless to think what would have been. You concentrate on the what is or what will instead.

Pool is what got you through the bad times, but who's to say there aren't good times to come with pool still in your life? Stop thinking about it and don't wait for it to happen, you're giving me a headache, LOL.

Heide

Kato
04-16-2003, 11:12 AM
Golly Heide, I'm just thinking out loud............in writing /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Kato

Sid_Vicious
04-16-2003, 11:20 AM
If 32 is not a typo, then you have a lot of chances Friend. I'm cresting the half century and pretty set in my ways so I'd probably expect chances are very slim that a "new horizon" will arise. Many of the prospects I encounter are less than positive about a pool player, which doesn't add to my chances either. Bottom line is that there is an imaginary line in "the sand of life" which becomes drawn and pool then is adopted to replace the future. I'm not saying it couldn't change, even for me. Yet if you consider that I spend almost all of my recreational time getting to, being in and driving away from pool halls,,,she better show up and find me. Being that this hasn't happened in all of the years of late tells me that it's best to just accept it, improve my pool game and enjoy what I have with what pool has provided,,,many many friends....sid~~~still watches the door for Ms Right, but is it likely, NO!

Karatemom
04-16-2003, 11:25 AM
What has this game done for me? It's the reason I'm married today and it got me through two of the hardest times in my life.

I met my hubby in a ph/bowling alley in 1990. Had it not been for him, I never would have shot "seriously". And had it not been for the ph/bowling alley, I never would have met the love of my life.

I started shooting for the 2nd time in May 2002 after meeting the CCB'ers in Vegas. My mother had just passed that March and I was still in the process of sorting through all the papers and documents and whatnot. My mother and I were closer than most friends are. I took care of her for 18 months before she passed, and after, I was lost. I didn't want to go to the places we used to go to. I didn't want to do the things we used to do together: crafts, needlepoint, yard sales. Then we went to Vegas, and everything changed. I found an outlet for all of the unspent energy to go. Had it not been for the women there in Vegas, I'm not sure I would have picked up another cue again.

Then, had I not gone to Vegas and met everyone and then started posting on this board and getting to know everyone, I never would have been able to deal with Chris' current situation.

I don't know how my life would have turned out without this game, but I can say that between my mom and Chris, I could have easily ended up in a rubber room. Pool and the people got me through it all.

Besides the CCB, I have also met a lot of people that I normally would never have even said "hi" to. Chris knows them all, but now I can call them my friends as well.

So in a nutshell, pool has given me a wonderful marriage, an escape, and brought me many new friends that I cherish. Would I change anything? I wouldn't change the pool factor, but I might change 2/3 circumstances.

Heide ~ spilling her guts today

Tom_In_Cincy
04-16-2003, 11:39 AM
kato,

I didn't get married until I was 31.. so don't think 32 is too old.. besides.. being married is not for eveyone. Being an uncle or brother, son or cousin is all part of a family.

Your time will come.. just don't dwell on it. I had all but given up on the dating thing when my sister introduced me to her friend.. my future wife. Who da thunk...?

I haven't talked to my sister in 20 years.. LOL

Kato
04-16-2003, 11:48 AM
No, no, no. Don't get me wrong. I'm just thinking out loud weighing pros and cons and wanting to read the stories of others. I knew Heide's story, I know Voodoo's story. I know there are some great guys and gals out there who have great relationships as well. I'm not thinking of that and I'm certainly not thinking of marriages and kids and stuff because there are plenty of pros and cons to go with that.

Really what I wanted to convey is that I'm pretty sure that pool saved me from myself. That is good stuff and relationships gained or lost due to this are going to happen but I can't worry about it. When I look back on my life 9 years ago or so pool was a constructive way for me to save my own life. That's the point I'm trying to make.

Kato

Tom_In_Cincy
04-16-2003, 12:17 PM
I understand RJ, and I know what you mean about pool too..

Same thing could have happened if you played competitive amature Golf, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Bowling or joined an Elks club type of function.

It just so happens you joined POOL.. all of the above would have meant you would have made a commitment to the function, just like you did for pool..

Pool is not the only thing I have, but its the best I have outside of family and work.

MikeM
04-16-2003, 12:21 PM
Pool has given me a competitive outlet now that I no longer play "real" sports like softball, soccer and rugby. Pool challenges me to keep improving and gives me the (almost) unattainable goal to shoot for in becoming the best at something at that I can become.

It has also given me many, many good friends. Many of whom I've never met in person!

MM

Eric.
04-16-2003, 12:28 PM
Pool? Ahh, it gives me something to do. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Eric

Amanda
04-16-2003, 12:59 PM
I got into playing pool kind of by accident. I'm always a pretty social person, not one to hang out at home. Anyhow, I moved to Maryland October of 2000, after the the unpacking was over and the chaos of the holidays settled down i was bored and needed to get out. So my bf and I went out to a pool hall. We had gone a couple of times back in PA as just something to do. Anyhow, I saw signs for a local tournament which was handicapped. It sounded like fun so I showed up that following Sunday.
Its been down hill ever since, I started playing leagues, both APA and BCA. Took a whole 13 months to make sl7 in the APA, people said I was crazy to want to be a 7.
Now I'm playing in a couple of regional tours, a couple of local tournaments weekly, went to Dallas and spent some time working with Randy G (Thanks Randy!)and also met Jerry Powers of Jericho Cues who sponsors me now (Thanks Jerry!). Giving lessons, oh yeah, and I still have this annoying day job I come to, but I guess we can't have everything!
Anyhow, what has it given me? Well I've made alot of great friends, am never at a loss for something to do or a place to go. I enjoy the competition and pushing to better my game. I have goals, some I've met, some in progress. Since I'm getting to be over the hill, the active sports like softball and volleyball (which I love!) are ones my body just won't let me accel at like I used to. Pool isn't overly physical although I will say I smoke too much when I am playing!
All in all I'm glad I got involved with the sport, such a wide variety of people to meet and new friends to make.
Ok having said that, who's turn is it to break? I'm on the hill! /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Amanda

TomBrooklyn
04-16-2003, 03:32 PM
I don't think of it in terms of what pool has done for me; but as what I have done for myself with pool.

Does pool dictate to you what to do, or do you consciously decide how to spend your time vis-a-vis pool? Are the things that happen as a result caused by pool or caused as a result of the decisions and actions you've taken?

dg-in-centralpa
04-16-2003, 04:57 PM
Good question- pool for me is two nights out of the house, because of leagues. But more importantly, it's a stress reliever of a sorts although I can think of more fun ways to relieve stress. My daytime job is very stressful. I am in real estate and some days I can't please buyers or sellers, no matter how hard I try. This is where pool comes in. On league nights, I don't schedule any appointments because pool comes first. Only a few close clients know I play pool and they know not to bother me in any way shape or form. To other people, I have a weekly appointment scheduled. I enjoy the competition of leagues, and I've made many friends and earned the respect of many of the players as well. If I didn't have pool, I would go crazy.

Barbara
04-16-2003, 05:37 PM
What has pool done for me??

When Pete and I finished the kitchen back in '91 (total redo, top to bottom)and lost all the weight we gained from ordering out over the past year and a half (did I mention we did this all by ourselves?), we frequented a town bar that had a pool table. Hadn't played since college, and then not seriously at all, but loved the game.

This one guy saw me shooting and mentioned me to his wife who was running a team in a local league. The next week we happen in I meet the wife and we're talking and I find out about *leagues*! WooHoo!! Man!! I get to play once a week and now I have to practice and get a cue and I can't find enough new stuff to get!!

So a couple years later, I'm running the league as president. Now while playing in this league I hook up with a girl that was playing in a Semi-Pro tour and introduces me to the NY State Championship as my first event. Only she didn't tell me it was the NY SC until we got there. I am in love with the Semi-Pro tour, I get to meet the WPBA Pros as well as play against them!!

After a couple years I get my Semi-Pro card! And while Candi Rego is running the tour, her computer takes a crap on her and could I help her take over the tour points program for her?

And after a couple more years can Micaela and I take over the Tour from her?

So in less than a decade I went from being a local league player to league Prez to Semi-Pro player to Regional Tour Coordinator.

So what have I learned from pool? When I didn't have a table, playing hooky from work and going to the pool hall was more exciting that my Saturday play dates. I got to meet and take lessons from some of the best players in the Northeast - Joe Tucker being one. I had the pleasure of knowing Jimmy Caras and still practice most of the shots he taught me. And I get to be really, really nervous about once a month - public speaking in a player's meeting. And through meeting a WPBA Pro - Dawn Hopkins - I have the priviledge to help run one of the largest amateur events at the biggest public Expo event held each year.

And all the pool-playing friends that I have met and still hang out with outweigh the non-poolplaying friends I know. I wouldn't have it any other way. We're all connected in a special way.

If it weren't for pool, I guess Pete and I would have had a couple of future first-round draft picks. But maybe not, we're still kids ourselves, and playing hooky from work is still fun. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif!

Barbara~~~that's it, in a nutshell... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

snipershot
04-16-2003, 06:25 PM
This would be an excellent question to ask all the top players, one thing they would tell you is that it's taken them around the world and back, that's something not many people can lay claim to.

For me: It started as a casual interest for about oh 2 weeks, as my interest grew and I became seriously addicted it has almost became a way of life, the game has provided me with many new friends. More importantly it provides me with an escape from reality, when I'm playing there is nothing on my mind except the game at hand, time stands still. As I become engaged in competitive wars on the table I experience emotions of oh so sweet victory to crippling defeats that other sports haven't provided for me.

Unlike other sports this one takes hold and you soon become seriously addicted to the point where there is no turning back, I have only been playing for three years and I can seriously from the bottom of my heart say I'm in this for the long run. Nothing can or will happen that will drive me away, I simply wouldn't let it. Ever jump up and down after making a nice shot on the eight ball in a hill-hill match against your biggest rival? That is the kind of excitement this game can provide for me that other's can't. I guess the supreme feeling of victory is what keeps me hooked, there is no greater feeling in the world than that of winning.

Snipershot

04-16-2003, 06:53 PM
Gives me a place to spend a sunny spring afternoon like today. Suppose it was the kind of day you should rollerblade around Central Park, but I had a new shaft to break in and, in between errands, dropped in at 2 pool rooms, one of which is in a basement. Tried hard to feel guilty ... but there was one perfect three-rail position on a crowded table and another power draw that were as satisfying as any warm April breeze. Is this why the game has an image problem?

cheesemouse
04-16-2003, 08:50 PM
At the wet behind the ears age of 14 and a half I sneeked into the local poolhall. After one year playing on the back kid tables I jumped into the two front big boy tables where the games where pee pool, ring 9-ball and golf on the snooker table. The first thing that I learn from pool is that adults weren't that bad. They didn't treat me like a kid when I collect the money. It was my introduction into the adult world and how to conduct myself in that world; when I join the 'players club' it gave me a jump start on all my peers. The second thing I learned from pool was the love for the beauty of the game. The third thing was the knowledge that one gets out what one puts in, waxing philosphically, and that this simple fact applies to nearly everything. The fourth thing was that pool can take over your life......LOL....I'm still working on that one.....LMAO......

Ward
04-17-2003, 06:28 AM
As someone famous said " It has been my only mistress for 30 years"

Later

Ralph S.
04-17-2003, 08:22 AM
This is what pool has done for me, in no particular order:

1&gt;cost me a helluva lotta money
2&gt;made me some money
3&gt;cost me many nights good sleep
4&gt;made me quite a few cool friends
5&gt;cost me one of those friends {his bad not mine}
6&gt;kept me from finding a longterm girlfriend /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif
7&gt;has saved me even lots more money due to no
girlfriend /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
8&gt;and missing the occasional nights work so I can play

Aboo
04-17-2003, 11:52 AM
Pool, for me, started as an escape. From work, from family, from everything. I had a friend and we played together for a few months. I am very competitive, almost to a fault (getting better, but still bad). Got to where my friend couldn't beat me anymore, so he quit playing me. Well, I kept playing off and on till a guy I met at the local hall asked me if I wanted to join his APA team. That was about 4-5 years ago I think. I had to quit for a while, but I'm coming back now.
Like so many others have said, it's the one place that I can get that feeling. The shivers, the goose-bumbs right before a big match. I LOVE the competitive feeling. I LOVE tournaments, I LOVE money games, I LOVE having something riding on the game, even if it's just pride. Hell, sometimes ESPECIALLY if it's just pride, those are almost always the most memorable matches.

I just love to play. My wife doesn't understand. My son does, but he's only 5 (although he can beat his mom, which isn't saying a whole lot lol)

Tonights my league night and there's a tourny this weekend I'm trying to scrape up the money for. It's 1pm here and I'm at work, just finished my lunch. I'm already starting to get the shivers... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif