View Full Version : My pool story --extremely long

06-19-2003, 07:46 PM
WARNING - This is in some weird way a form of self-healing to write this down. This will in no way help your poolgame and will be a worthless read. Continue only if you must..........

You have been warned...

I guess it all started around 1990 or 91...I was in 8th grade and my father was desperate for an activity that we could do together. His knees wouldn't let him win at basketball, and my ego didn't help the cause. We entered that small town pool room and I was hooked. I was never a great athlete, but here was something that I could be god at, make that, here is something I WILL be good at. Within a year I was lying to my father about joining a bowling league that was located near the pool room at a bowling alley down the street. He would drop me off with 10 dolars and I would walk across town to play pool, racing back to the bowling cente to beat him there. Somedays, I would even rub my fingers along the bare concrete of the driveway, just so I could have red marks where I had been throwing the bowling ball down that stupid lane.

By 95 i was the big man in town. If someone wanted to gamble, bring it on. I was fearless and played fast, ready to step up to the plate no matter who the challenger was. I beat people and had no clue they were champions, until I met them years later in tournaments, but that will come in due time.

In the fall of 95 I arrived in a major city. Hello college, hello pool. To hell with being an economist or an accountant, this was my chance to go from being a huge fish in a little pond, to being the BIGGEST fish in a HUGE lake. I played constantly. By the end of my first semester, I had found a pool room that let you play from 11-5 for $5.75 --- who need to go to clasees when you can get a real education at the pool room. I thought I was really fortunate, looking back it was probably horendous, but all the old timers in the pool room who were there to waste away the remaining depressing part of a pathetic existence taught me one pocket and straight pool. By my second year in college I was running 7- 80 balls at least once a week, and 50 on demand. I had occasionsional forays over a hundred, and my onepocket game was getting deadly. I was backed my the owner of the room and made a lot of money. Hell, compared to my cohorts at school, I was stinking rich.

In the fall of 97 my grades weren;t great and i returned home for the winter break. I had given up going to class and studying, and I was playing 10 + hours daily,,,I was so scared to miss a day of practice that if the forecast was calling for snow, I would sleep freezing cold all night in my car in the parking lot of the nearest poolroom...this game was more than a hobby or a job, it was an addiction. While home, I realized that I hadmade more money than my father in 1997.

To hell with school....I did the unthinkable...I left a free Ivy League education to play pool....or as my soon to be done speaking to me parents would say, I played with my balls.

For the next 5 1/2 years I played. You name it, i was there. US Open...been there even cashed a few years...Derby City - Been there too, multiple times. regional tours, won them. Gamble? you bet. I bet more on a game of one pocket than I make in a month now at my crappy job. Do I ever think about it ---every time I wonder where the latest blood stain on my shirt came from as I slave away in the heat. I bet big, and I won big. It wasn't all easy, sure I took a few pretty good beatings, but I never hustled. i was honest...you cannot beat me.

It is very hard to descrie the feeling you get when you walk into a poolroom and within 15 seconds, there isn't a single person that you cannot give 10-6 to and rob them. Tournaments--I played a lot of them. i remember one year inChelmsford i had Johnny down 7-2 going racing to 9 only to lose. That might have been the beginning of the end. Or perhaps it was when I lost thousands at the Derby to Dee...either way, my world was crumbling.

From 01-02 I struggled. OK, let's be honest, I got killed. Trying to regain my form I took lessons from Jim Rempe, Scott Lee and my pal Grady to name a few. I became so disallusioned with the game that I used to drive up and down the lonely highway wondering if I could trade my cue for a pistol so that I could end the misery---but I couldn;t due that, I wouldn't want my cue to cause so much pain for someone else one day.

I became so worried about findamentals that I could not function at the table. My mind was cluttered with thoughts of a straight elbow and a great grip....gamble, sure, I am the biggest sucker inthe world right now...who wouldn;t want to play me??? All youhave to do is mention my wrist, and I'll fall apart.

At the beginning of this year, I stopped playing right after I got home from the Derby City Classic. I realized that I was functionally broke, completely alone and heading down an extremely dangerous path. I bought a decent house with a little help from my grandmother, it has a Diamond Pro in the remodeled room in the basement...too bad I don't go down there. My job sucks and I feel fat...my weight hasn;t changed, but I feel fat. Every day I go to work and yearn for the feeling pool gave me. i have never smoked, and one look at my family is enugh to make me never wnat to drink, but I imagine the feelings those activities give you are close to the feeling of running 8 and out on JR Gay or Scotty.?.

Today i was mowing the grass and walked into the basement covered in grass and sweating profusely. I went into the house, grabbed a cue (I have over 3 dozen, mostly freebies...anyone want a nice custom cue..never been used? lol )and proceeded into the pool room. It was magical...did I make tons of shots...nope, but I was in love. No thoughts of mechanics, just pool. In eastern thought, they teach you to learn in your practice, but when the time comes to execute, forget and let nature happen.....where the hell was that when I needed it?

What is next...who knows? But I have pool back.............

Sorry for the crappy post, I just felt like I needed to get this off my chest to move on in life....SORRY!!!

06-19-2003, 08:03 PM
I'm guessing that you have been a lurker, or are a regular with a new identity.

Whatever the case, welcome to the board (this being your first post with the nickname), and with regards to playing--welcome back. . . .


06-19-2003, 08:20 PM
There are a lot of stories out there like yours. The pool hall is a world in itself. Most of these stories don't have pretty endings. There are some players who are already playing at this level at age 16 or 18. They're rocking at 21 and drug addicts or alcoholics at 25, basket cases at 30, and homeless at 50.

Don't be one of them.

30 years ago Ronnie Allen handed me $200 I won and said "go ahead and take it, kid. I hope you use it to buy some books so you don't end up like me."

I'll never forget that.


06-19-2003, 08:32 PM
Some life you have there, anyway welcome to the board hope you enjoy your stay here, I know I am ^__^

Deniel ~ could use some nice never been used custom cue ^__^

06-20-2003, 11:45 AM
Its great that your starting to get your game back and welcome to the Board.I know you dont like your job much but i think you should keep that job or find a job that makes you happier.That way if you start not playing yourself agian,you are still making an income.

06-20-2003, 12:48 PM
Good for you that you got your act together. You say you got a crappy job ? Its better than no job at all and youre still young enough to go back to school if you want to.
Consider yourself fortunate, some people never wake up.
Good luck to you brother.

06-20-2003, 12:49 PM
Damm Tateuts, i thought you were a young guy, lol. You got to be around my age a or a little older. 43.
I see Ronnie Allen around the cue club here now and again. Seems like a nice guy the one or two times ive spoken to him.

06-20-2003, 01:27 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Hopster:</font><hr> I see Ronnie Allen around the cue club here now and again. Seems like a nice guy the one or two times ive spoken to him. <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, I'm 49, father of two great daughters with a great wife who's letting me play pool - it's a lot of fun now. I had a 20 year layoff from the game while we raised the family.

Ronnie Allen - I hope he is a nice guy now. He used to be a real prick! Especially if you gambled with him and won. Watch out, baby!!!

Great one pocket player, straight pool, bank pool player - not quite as great, but still damn good, at nine-ball.

Honestly, I hope he's OK - he's gotta be 70 by now. I will never forget that moment.


06-20-2003, 01:39 PM

Good story. Best of luck to you. This game has never been fair to most of us but I enjoy everything it has given me. Hang in there. There may be no reward for a great game like yours, but you'll always have it to be proud of.


06-20-2003, 02:22 PM
Hey, look at it another way ... you're one lucky guy. I didn't even start learning to play until I was about your age. You have 11 years' experience and what sounds like a bit of talent as well.


06-20-2003, 02:31 PM
I've heard this story before, with lots of different endings. I consider you lucky to have a house, job and a pool table to enjoy.

There are way too many people that cannot say the same about their situation.

Beware of the 'single focus' in life, no job is worth a failure at home or to yourself.

06-20-2003, 05:29 PM

From what I hear, Ronnie is old, sick and broke. I think he is mid-sixties now. Was still trying to survive as a road player at 60! I don't know him personally, so my info may not be accurate. I just know there haven't be a handful of people who could beat him at one-hole when he was in his prime.

06-20-2003, 09:15 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BillPorter:</font><hr> tateuts,

From what I hear, Ronnie is old, sick and broke. I think he is mid-sixties now. Was still trying to survive as a road player at 60! I don't know him personally, so my info may not be accurate. I just know there haven't be a handful of people who could beat him at one-hole when he was in his prime. <hr /></blockquote>

Hey Bill,

That's really bad news. Ronnie was the greatest hustler of them all. What a shame.

All that chatter and sharking I hear these guys do, Bucktooth, whoever, Ronnie was doing that 20 years before them.


06-22-2003, 05:37 PM
hey, why don't you just email me a list of those custom cues and some prices... lol, i'm low on money now, but just wait.... lol jon_nwpa@yahoo.com