many years ago someone posed this question to me. “you put up money for both tournaments and gambling matches. so what’s the difference? in essence, you’re playing for money anyway.” because i don’t gamble, the question was designed to hopefully defeat the logic behind my no-gambling stance. mind you, i’m not opposed to gambling; i just don’t feel like i need to gamble in pool. (yeah, you know this is coming, don’t you? read here, here, and here.) but hearing that question, i knew it didn’t make sense; i just didn’t know why. now i think i’ve figured it out. i have an answer to that question.
the answer is pretty simple. by definition, you don’t need money to have a tournament. but you need, by definition, money to have a gambling match.
in other words, tournaments (by definition) exists independent of money. the biggest example i can think of is that one you see every four years: the olympics. as far as i know, the only thing you can win in olympics is a medal; you don’t get a bag of money after winning first place. in a gambling match, by definition, you have to bet money to get a game going. if you just play, it’s then called playing for fun or practice.
i’m still not opposed to gambling, but in pool, gambling seems to bring out the worse in people. i’ve seen players turn into complete a~*s for a $10 set. the b~*ing, the whining . . . it’s incredible the amount of effort people put into a $10 set. granted, that’s not always the case, but i see the scheming and juggling often enough to know that i want no part of it. (snarky wrote an interesting piece on gambling and hustling. read it if you haven’t already.)
tournament it is.