higher standard

i think that in pool, a higher standard of conduct is needed.  before you think i’m pontificating, i need to say that i’m not trying to lecture from the bully pulpit, browbeating the little folks below, spittle flying.  i’m simply stating a point of view.

too many times i walk in to a PH and see a hustler (or a group) conspire against a weaker player.  dog eat dog world, right?  i’m gonna get mine & i hope you get yours?  the strongest survives?

i’m sorry, but i’m absolutely sick of watching this crap.  the hustler isn’t the real problem.  the bigger problem is the attitude the hustler brings to a place.  by accepting hustlers, we are also accepting the ideas behind hustling: that praying upon the weaker person is okay, that taking advantage of others is okay.  dishonesty and deception should be accepted as part of everyday pool experience.

i think not.

how many times have i heard people b~*ing about a lack of money in pool, how there are no sponsors for the game?  well, next time you see a hustler and the shadiness he/she brings, you’re looking at the answer to your question.  sure, one hustler is small potatoes, but the dishonest attitude is contagious.  you can always argue that hustling is a reality in pool, and no one will dispute you.  but remember what goes around comes around.  pretty soon, there is no trust.  i believe this is why the men can’t get a successful tour going; players are afraid to get screwed over.

for the record, although it’s a reality that there are hustlers everywhere, i am very much against hustling in pool.  gambling, sure.  but not hustling.  when we bring deception and dishonesty to pool or life, only bad things can happen.  (my previous post discussed underhandedness and the image of pool; read it here.)  this road goes both ways; don’t take advantage of another player if he/she is weaker than you.

when a weaker player asks me to practice, i generally won’t say no.  (i only say no if the person has an attitude problem.)  after all, that’s how i learned pool: my good friend, who was a much stronger player than i, didn’t hesitate to practice with me when i asked.  he didn’t think that since he played much better that he would only play me for money.  he didn’t think that he was too good to practice with me.  he simply played, and played hard.  if i had questions he was quick with answers.  if i needed to see a shot he would be the first to demonstrate it.  if i didn’t understand positioning, he would patiently explain the logic behind a particular setup, or why a player would choose one route but not the other.  i not only gained a mentor in pool, i also gained a friend.  sadly i don’t see this much in PHs.

dishonesty and deception in pool need to be stopped.  how many more IPT debacles must we suffer?  i lost count of how many folks tried to raise money ($2000 a pop!) to play the IPT’s qualifiers on the promise that players are guaranteed money once they get into the main event.  how much cash did people waste to chase this mirage?  the sad part is that it takes a legion of honest folks to build a tour, but only one dishonest person to do terrible damage.  trust is a fragile thing too easily wrecked: trust among players, and trust of sponsors.

the likelihood that people will actually listen?  too small to count.  i think that by nature, people are selfish, and the current cultural trend seems to promote the satisfaction of self.  most times people like to get, but not to give.  will things improve?  keeping my fingers crossed, again, although i’m not holding my breath.

on a lighter note:

if you can get the FLN channel, watch Three Sheets.  or watch it on hulu.  i fall down & laugh uncontrollably every time i watch this program.  and i think it’s the biggest racket on earth: the host of the show basically gets paid to travel around the world, in order to find great bars to, well, drink.  how he managed this shenanigan is completely beyond me.  free cocaine for the execs may be involved.

in the St. Martin episode, the show featured The Dinghy Dock Bar, where during happy hour, the bartender gives you the bottle to let you make the drink as strong as you want.  you can fill up an entire glass with the liquor of your choice, if you like.  and the bar is located on the water.  lets see . . . a bar full of drunk people and water all around with no barriers . . . i dunno.  there should be at least a safety net or something.  anyway, have a good laugh with it.  the show’s totally f~* up.

3 comments on “higher standard

  1. gambling, sure. but not hustling

    I would disagree with you there. Gamblers who hustle are bad news, too. I’ll relate a story I read in one of Doyle Brunson’s books. When he was young there was this older kid who made him a bet. He bet that Doyle could shuffle a fair deck of cards, and he could call out the color of the cards, red or black, and get at least 26 right. Brunson, not having thought the “bet” through, accepted the bet.

    So Brunson turns over the first card. “Red,” the older kid says. Nope the card was black, and so it was that the first few were black. The older kid kept at it: “red, red, red…” But then the reds started to come up. But pretty soon, Brunson realized he’d been had. Of course he’d get 26 rights, because there are 26 cards in the deck.

    I think there’s a difference between say, a game of poker where everyone knows that the other guy might just be deceiving and Brunson’s situation where what the kid is doing is tantamount to cheating. I agree any amount of deception craftiness is allowed in poker, but what the kid did to Brunson many years ago is “hustling,” and that has no place in gambling, either.

  2. Of course he’d get 26 rights, because there are 26 cards in the deck.

    I meant 26 red cards of course. 🙂

    • Gamblers who hustle are bad news, too.

      when a gambler hustles, he/she is no longer a gambler, but a hustler. when you hustle, it doesn’t matter what you do, since the gambling becomes a mere vehicle to cheat you out of money. a card player who cheats is no longer a card player, he/she is a cheater. in a roundabout way, you’re saying what i’ve discussed in my post.

      in that sense, a part-time hustler is the same as a full-time hustler, kinda like a recreational drug user is a drug user regardless of the euphemism.

      i like your brunson example, btw. and the older kid was cheating, since he didn’t try do a straight-up bet, but instead used deception to win the money. when you try to deceive someone in a bet, you’re no longer gambling, you’re hustling, since you’re artificially manipulating the odds to your favor. there are scores of similar moves in pool, and all those moves are hustling moves.

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