View Full Version : Didn't handle the drunk at league last night...

phil in sofla
04-05-2002, 01:27 AM
I've been a captain many seasons now, but ran across a situation that was new to me and blew it.

Started early, with an opponent woofing at us as soon as we got there. Heard from his team that he'd just been fired on his second day at work, and was already 2.999 sheets to the wind. There's often a little good natured banter with many teams that we've competed against over the years, and this was one of them.

In the spirit of that background, and giving the guy a little slack under the circumstances, my inaction let him basically shark us the whole match (and at least one of his own teammates as well). It put us 3 games short of the win at the end, and dropped us out of a tie for second place, 2 wins back of 1st with 3 matches to go for the season, a very significant loss this late in the season, although we'll still make the playoffs.

I feel the other captain should have reined the guy in, but I let my guys down by not taking the other captain aside and asking him to do so, once it became clear he wasn't going to do it on his own, and the guy wasn't letting up.

Having him off to the side of the table area out of hearing range was a no-brainer when he wasn't the one shooting, but it was a little tricky to figure out what to do when he was the one shooting the game. Theoretically, maybe, his loud and obnoxious commentary during his turns wasn't technically interferring with our guy's shooting, but it really was.

We have a match protest mechanism in league which might be applicable here, but I don't feel that would be appropriate. It wasn't close, and it wasn't like he did something absolutely flagrant in the case game, double hill, or something like that.

Upon reflection, I'll apologize to my team, talk to the other captain privately, and remember to take the appropriate action if that ever comes up again.

Extenuating circumstances or no, we all had the right to compete without that kind of distraction.

They say baseball managers don't so much win games for the team as sometimes lose them through bad decisions. I'd say I lost this match for the team, and never again will I allow something like that to go on. If you don't stand up for your rights, don't expect anyone else will do that for you.


04-05-2002, 08:34 AM
Phil, no matter what you might think and although I wasn't there I can guarantee you didn't lose that match. I think George, Billy, Paul, and yourself have been around long enough to understand shark moves. Who did we play? Just curious as to who the guy is. I would've guessed Flossie's but I know that's not right.


04-05-2002, 11:15 AM
I mean this in all sincerity, what is the attraction of playing on a league? It seems you play only a hand full of games the whole night, have to put up with often bad conditions, and obnoxious players and often goofy rules, not to mention the sandbaggers. Do most really consider this playing pool, or is just a night out? I only did it once and I hatted it and would not do it again if I were being paid to show up. Yet people seem to love the leagues. To me they are just a vague perverted form of pool. I don't see why more poolrooms don't have in house leagues similar to bowling alleys. Play real pool under real conditions. Am I being politically incorrect making such a statement? I know I am putting the knock on what is probably the largest segment of pool, and I can see it for the guy that just wants something to do one night a week. But for strong players to enjoy this, I am at a complete loss.

04-05-2002, 11:34 AM
Hi Phil,

I'm with Q-Guy on this one. You are in a bar, people drink and let off steam, get obnoxious, talk loud and in general have fun. If you like that, then play in leagues, but don't think you can change them. If you don't like it then why do you go to the bar? It's your choice. Play in tournaments instead.

I play at a bar that has two in-house tournaments a week. Most of the drunks are of the happy variety and they are getting fewer because the cops have been writing a lot of DWI's out here. I go there for the fun of it. Can play for 3 hours for $7.00 and usually end up coming in the money. The owner puts out free food for the players too. championship pool it ain't. Fun it is. Jake

04-05-2002, 11:37 AM
Q-Guy, I believe I have it on good authority that players like us and players like you aren't quite on the same level. For us it's a nice way to hang out with our buddies, wives seem to think it's ok for hubbies to play league. You are right about conditions and I'm starting to sour on it myself but really it seems to be the only way I can hang out with my married friends.


04-05-2002, 11:37 AM
I have to agree with you.. it is amazing that this is considered competitive pool.. just amazing..

04-05-2002, 11:44 AM
Quit going to play in bars many years ago.. too much of everything.. smoke, drunks, emotions and stupidity..

04-05-2002, 11:44 AM
Q-guy, I played league for three years and decided to give it up. There were some positives, but I finally decided the negatives outweighed them. I take that one night a week, go to the poolhall, and play the players I choose. My league play was poor and I played in places I would never go to otherwise and played opponents I would never choose to play, often on very poor equipment. I did make some good friends there, but they can come visit me at the poolhall. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Rich R.
04-05-2002, 12:03 PM
Q-guy, I don't think you can lump all leagues and league players into one catagory. It all depends on your situation. I agree with you concerning, what I would consider normal, bar leagues. To me, these are usually traveling leagues played in small bars on badly maintained barbox type tables. I too avoid that type of situation. But on the other hand, there are leagues played in establishments, some serving alcohol and some not, where most play is on 9' gold crowns and the entire league is in-house. Although no one from these leagues is knocking down Earl Strickland's door looking for a game, there is some good quality pool being played. I have never seen you play, but I have to believe that some league players may give you a run for your money. I also can say that in the leagues I play in, 99% of the players are very nice people and we have some very good competition at all skill levels. This may not be up to your standards, but it is a good situation for a lot of players. I am sorry that you had a bad experience with a league. Maybe you should try to find another one that comes closer to what you are looking for.
Rich R.

04-05-2002, 12:50 PM
I have to agree with you. Many of these players don't know what good pool is.

The ability to occasionally run a rack on a bar table with pockets that reach out and suck a ball in no matter how poorly hit seems to give many of them a false sense of their abilities. No concept of real ball control or strategy

Its to bad that more league players don't visit the pool halls in their area to see first hand how the game is meant to be played.

Now with that said - I'm sure there are places where the leagues have a higher caliber of player than what I've seen.
But for the most part I would say it's not for the truely serious player and more for a night out

I don't mean to insult the league player, it allows them to have some fun and a night out but for the most part there's no comparison between the typical league player and a typical pool room ( competitive ) player

04-05-2002, 01:16 PM
Maybe in your area all you have are the shitty APA traveling leagues in crappy redneck bars on shitty barboxes but where I live I play in a real pool room on real 9' Gold Crown III's with simonas against people who play not only in league but also in weekly pool room tournaments and also in regional tournaments like Planet Pool, CAT, NEWT, and Joss. The leagues are fun and give us a chance to hang out with each other in a competitive but not too serious format. Yea, we have stupid rules like scratching on the 8 in 8-ball in not a loss so long as you miss the 8... (doesn't that beat all other stupid pool rules you've ever heard?) We have a good time in the leagues but not everyone is a "player". We have our fair share of drunks and ass holes.

Just my opinion but some of you are pool snobs. Not everyone is a "player" and most people never will be. But to make such harsh judgements about leagues and the people who play in them is shitty. I am sure some folks really enjoy their league regardless of wheather it is played on 7' or 9', APA or BCA, with or without booze and I am sure their presence on CCB should be respected by all who participate here. Where are your manners?

Ralph S.
04-05-2002, 01:34 PM
All league players have been in that situation at some point in time, including myself. I personally have trained myself to shut them out even though it is difficult at times. Don't beat yourself up over it, it's not worth it. A great way to resolve that problem of the woofing player is to just simply smoke his ass the next time you play against each other.
Ralph S.

04-05-2002, 01:39 PM
Well Q-guy I read the other responses and I'm witchu!

Evidently leagues in other places are much different than they are here. I, like Q-guy, wouldn't even sub in league, not if they paid me. The two years I spent in league was an almost totally negative and ugly experience that was not fun and did not much resemble the game of pool that I love. I miss my team-mates, with whom I became friends, but not nearly enough to go through any more of the hassles of league.

I am glad, and more than a little jealous, that league is a much better experience for many of you.

I'm very grateful that Whitey Walker opened up a great new room in Burlington Ia. just an hour away. Now I have someplace to go to play pool!

04-05-2002, 01:42 PM
For the record, the gentleman who started this thread, Phil, is a player, a player who works super hard on his game and has a great deal of dedication to it.

We play out of a pool room but unfortunately our league is permiated with too many bars and not enough pool rooms. Our league is non-handicapped and most of the players would be APA 6's and 7's (at least the ones that play out of the pool rooms and most that play in the bars). There are negatives, especially the equipment, smoke filled bars, rowdy people, ect. We deal with that because we don't like the other leagues, not that ours is any picnic.

I'm interested in how Phil will respond.

Kato~~~Phil's pal and arch-nemisis.

phil in sofla
04-05-2002, 01:57 PM
Marsha's (oh, no!).

Tall Tim (curly hair, little moustache) was the drunk, and probably Mark's (way less league experienced, and often explosively self-critical) possible over-reactive nature (and, he drew Tim twice) ratcheted up the tension and put us enough on edge that 3 of us pulling O-fers couldn't help George and Paul who picked up all 5 wins between them.

But trust me, Tim was way out of line, should have been sat down, and so much so that his teammates apologized after the match. Kibbitzing his teammate old Bill, who was on the 8 and had indicated his pocket already, demanding to know, 'where's it going? where's it going?,' sharked his own guy into missing his out ball, losing the game for him. (Bill later said he should have stopped his shot, stood up and re-set because of the distraction, which is true enough, but that doesn't excuse Tim's idiotic behavior in the slightest).

04-05-2002, 02:03 PM
Phil seems to care very much about his league and his responsibility as the team captain. I don't know anyone who participates on CCB so I can't make any judgements about the quality of player they may be. I was speaking generally when I said that most people who play pool never acheive the higher caliber of play that would qualify someone, in my mind, as a "player". I love pool and have a competitive nature so league play is more fun for me that knocking around balls and not keeping score. My criticism is of anyone who would bash leagues and league players just because they don't have a league in their area that they enjoy. Not all leagues are bad and even the ones that are serve a good purpose for the people who enjoy them. I am sorry if I seemed to imply anything about Phil or the league you all participate in. That was actually the opposite of what I intended to do.

phil in sofla
04-05-2002, 02:22 PM
Speaking for myself, I didn't get into pool seriously until I got into a league. That was there from the very beginning for me, so it wasn't any later choice. In the 'Gold' division I've played in, there are many A to B players, some of whom play Florida 9-ball tour events, regularly cash in local tournaments, and generally can be found at the PH looking for a game, etc. League showed me defensive strategies in action, with b-i-h as the reward for a good defensive shot, and since no handicapping was involved, no sandbagging going on. All in all, it's been very valuable for my game, knowledge and interest.

After trying mixed doubles for a season, I didn't like that, couldn't shoot well at it, and dropped that variant for myself, although I know that many find that enjoyable. Is mixed doubles, or scotch doubles, really pool? Sure, one variant, with the added sociability ingredient of the night out with the significant other. Is it for everybody? Of course not, but gustibus non disputandum (can't argue individual preferences).

Is the Mosconi Cup pool? Sure, with the added aspect of team comradarie, and across-the-pond rivalry, and (somewhat artificial) bragging rights on the line. Sort of like how the individual game of tennis is turned into a team event in the Davis Cup. Would all players find a team event like that to their liking? Probably not, and occasionally, top players may pass on an invitation to participate.

As to boisterous drunks so bad as to interfere with the games, I haven't seen that even once in 10 seasons before last Wednesday, which is why I wasn't ready with the correct response.

04-05-2002, 02:22 PM
Is that what you got out of my post? Interesting use language.

04-05-2002, 02:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>Just my opinion but some of you are pool snobs<hr></blockquote>
If you look at the ccb as kind of a watering hole out in the middle of a vast expanse of pool interest, skills, knowledge bases and ego sizes you will find a spot to drink without being run off by some of the wild dogs. It's either that or go thirsty. Stick around, your a feisty one. Your pugnaciousness is most welcome and will generate a certain response.

phil in sofla
04-05-2002, 02:27 PM

I agree with your take. The quality of play in our league is pretty good, even if the conditions and equipment varies from reasonable to marginal-- about half on 9-footers, and then 8- or 7-footers for the rest.

What I want to know is how you got some spicy language past the BBS censor software?

04-05-2002, 02:32 PM


04-05-2002, 02:39 PM
oops... I didn't know there were censors. I didn't even think about my language but I will clean it up. This is what happens when you hang out in pool halls too long ;0)

04-05-2002, 02:51 PM
Those that are fortunate enough to have your league matches played in well managed facilities, with good equipment should feel priviledged. Our league matches were played at the poolhall when I first started. A disagreement between the LO and the poolhall owner changed that. We became a traveling league. Some of the locations to put it kindly, were less than desirable. One in particular comes to mind. There were fights there almost everytime we played there. The place is a popular hangout for drunks and drug addicts. More than once, I've gotten up and moved to avoid getting into a fight. One night during a match a very loud obnoxious drunk continually argued with a woman. Eventually, he got up and slapped her. Of course, a scuffle broke out. Several guys tried to restain him, and he was asked to leave. After a considerable amount of argueing, cursing, shoving, and pushing he was escorted out the door. Within minutes he was back in. I'm not sure how many times this occured, but at one point, one of my teammates who was shooting at the time, helped get him out again. The next time he reentered, he was looking for my teammate. He came over to the table, and smashed a beerbottle in the middle of the pool table, while cursing and swearing at my teammate. The police were called and the fellow left. A short while after the police left, he was back. Eventually the police caught him, but this episode lasted approx. 3 hrs. during our match. I have nothing against league or league players, but this is not my idea of fun!

Not a snob, just trying to stay healthy. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

04-05-2002, 03:35 PM
Vicki,,, you are indeed making a good case for the reason bar pool leagues are not very well respected.. In all my years I have never heard any woman pool player use that kind of language, even in a bar.

As far as the snob label.. compared to your language.. we are all snobs.

04-05-2002, 04:25 PM
These sadly are the reasons why I'm giving up my Tuesday night team after only one season. Bad equipment and lighting, nasty bars I'd never frequent and not enough quality table time. I will not subject myself to that after my commitment is done. My Wednesday buddies, I won't ever quit, they're too important and our history is too great.

Kato~~~thanks for listening, for the record, Phil, you're the best captain I've ever had.

Chris Cass
04-05-2002, 04:28 PM
Hi Vicki,
I think you may have read too much into Q-Guys post. I've been reading posts from him, here along time and he's sincere in his questioning. I'm not sticking up for him though. Only cause he doesn't answer my email.LOL

I started playing at 15. My father got me a false birth certificate when I was 16 saying I was 2 yrs older to get me a drivers liciense, mainly because I was busted 4 times for taking his car, when he was sleeping.

I started going to this lo class bar in Chicago. I got action in their for $2. to $5. a game. Used to line up the bar with cokes, when they'd just play for drinks. Made some friends and used to smoke weed in the womans bathroom. The owners sold the powder, so it was no biggy.

They had a pool league and I was asked to play on a league for them. It was good money at the end of the yr for teams that ranked high. We also had the Wisconsin tourney, with $5. action all night. Remember getting into a $20. 5 and 9 ring game with Willie Munson. Didn't get a shot for 6 racks in this 6 man ring game. Finally, ran 2 racks and quit a winner.LOL It was the MPBA League.

Don't get me wrong, I love the 9 ft's. I understand what these other players are saying. It's your long game and the 7 is your short game. The problem with the general game of pool is that the bar boxes draw more money. That's where all the action is, as far as low entry big pay off tourneys go. IMO

I don't care too much for the league thing but I do like competeing as a team. It's fun, for 5 guys that don't miss. I won't get on a team unless they're in the doe on a regular basis, myself. I do however think it brings good things to our sport though. Teamwork and it promotes pool. There's more money on the amateur level than pro.

Not putting down the pro events and wish I could compete in their arena too. It's just any real player doesn't want to turn pro, if they like money more than recognition. So, what this boils down to is. Leagues is the where the beginners get a taste of what pool is about. IMO I myself love a good game of 1 hole, straight pool and banks too. Well, matter of fact I just love pool, period.LOLLOL


04-05-2002, 04:31 PM
Where are OUR manners?


04-05-2002, 04:44 PM
Where are our Manners?

Apparently someone left them in a Bar..

04-05-2002, 05:25 PM
I agree with you! Before I started playing pool I was on a bowling team. The reason was to have some fun and meet people. This is why I play in a pool league now. At home we play on 9' tables with 4" pockets. This is always a real challange. There is ego in every sport but pool seems to have the most vocal bunch. I am always put off by people that dislike something and need to berate others for their choices. I tell them "Get a life, do it or just go away.

As far as all those bad people playing pool in bad bars, just think of the ones that don't go there to play pool at all, they must be bad, bad people.

Good post,

Best, Ron.

04-05-2002, 07:39 PM
Quote,I feel the other captain should have reined the guy in, but I let my guys down by not taking the other captain aside and asking him to do so, once it became clear he wasn't going to do it on his own, and the guy wasn't letting up."

Phil, this is where the problem lies. The other captain should have done something. Who knows maybe he lets this go on playing other teams. Maybe he didn't really know how or want to face the problem. I don't know, but if you had pulled him aside, and explained, then the captain and members of the other team could have helped. I also have to think, being a former room owner, that if asked or not the owner or manager would step in and tell the guy to control himself or he has to leave. This will get the other teams attention. Obviously he was drunk and over served, and should have been cut off. Bar tenders and owners can face a stiff fine if this guy should hurt anyone at the bar, or worse yet driving home.

Boy that league stuff can be pure torture. I use to tell the LO to be more selective when they get teams. It helped a little, but in the end their after the money. Their not doing themselves any favors, sooner or later there going to lose good teams, because of the rif raf. We started our own in house league, and everyone had fun. I can only remember of one arguement.

04-05-2002, 08:03 PM
I think it's honorable that you care enough about your team to shoulder the blame. But just b/c ur tha captain doesn't mean ur teammates couldn't also become involved. If, AS A TEAM, you approached the guy or their captain, then ur situation woulda prob come out all right...but they say hindsight is 20/20.

Leagues quit becoming fun for me when opposing teams would match me up with their worst player b/c they knew I would prob win anyway.

IMO ur on tha right track...

The Cuemage

04-08-2002, 06:30 PM
Q-Guy, leagues are probably good for beginners and recreational players. I've only played in one league. It was 25 years ago and the amount of sandbagging was unbelieveable. I played one season. I perfer one-on-one till somebody quits. If I lose, it's because I got beat, not because my team didn't make enough points. For that same reason I also don't like to play partners. Jim R.

04-08-2002, 08:37 PM
wow,couldn't be alot of thought put into that one.Used to b4 league interest came along,I played same few guys that would play me,now,tournament entry is up,scotch dbles,partners 1 hole etc.people want to learn from you,thus have to play around the players....revenue up ca$e clo$ed!

04-08-2002, 09:03 PM
I think leagues are a great thing. I really do. There's nothing like teammates rallying around cheering for each other. You're like a family and you're all in it together. Unfortunately, for there to be leagues there have to be venues and the venues aren't all that great overall. Many proprietors don't care about the condition of their equipment, and so if the players want a league they have no choice but to accept less than favorable conditions. I find that part rather sickening, but I can't see how they can do anything about that.

Sandbaggers and drunks aside, I think it can be a really fun thing and the best teams do wind up winning at the end of the season. It's not like it's a crap shoot with no skill involved. It may not be the kind of pool some players are used to but it's still pool.


04-08-2002, 10:18 PM
A lot of people responded to what I said. I have nothing against leagues it is just like you said, it is where you are forced to play. I also don't care for waiting all night to play maybe three games. That was the gist of my question "Is this really pool?" I am all for in house leagues, not driving all over town to play. The one league I played on had about a 20 mile radius. Way to far to be driving. From some of what I hear, people must be desperate to play to put up with some of this. I fully agree with you, it can and should be fun. There is nothing better then being around friends who share a common interest. It transcends all lines. Color, gender, age, economic differences. I sometimes would close the poolroom and we would all end up at the all night diner. You would look around the table and there is a 15 year old pool nut sitting next to the billionaire owner of King World Productions (Wheel of Fortune, and the Oprah show). The local fire chief, and a guy who lives in his truck behind the poolroom and a few more who's paths would never cross out in the real world. Yet within our subculture we are all friends and equals. I always found this interesting. It is what draws people here.

Rich R.
04-09-2002, 06:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Q-guy:</font><hr> There is nothing better then being around friends who share a common interest. It transcends all lines. Color, gender, age, economic differences. I sometimes would close the poolroom and we would all end up at the all night diner. You would look around the table and there is a 15 year old pool nut sitting next to the billionaire owner of King World Productions (Wheel of Fortune, and the Oprah show). The local fire chief, and a guy who lives in his truck behind the poolroom and a few more who's paths would never cross out in the real world. Yet within our subculture we are all friends and equals. I always found this interesting. It is what draws people here. <hr></blockquote>

Q-guy, I am happy that you also recognize the best aspects of a league. That is what draws a lot of us to league play. The trick is to find a good, non-traveling, in house league. Most importantly, it must have a majority of people that you want to associate with.
Rich R.