Smackin the Cue Ball

It starts when they rack the balls. They put the eight ball on the dot rather than the one ball. Sinking a ball on the break should be automatic. They do deal with scratches in bar pool more harshly than the Americans do, which I like. And there is more strategy with the 8-ball, except you don’t lose if you scratch while playing it. So it’s not all bad. But here’s the worst part: When you play pool in Europe, lucky shots count. This means that hitting the ball really hard is rewarded. Nobody plays with any touch at all. Even big slice shots they hit as hard as they can, and there’s no thought to where the cue ball might end up.

I was watching people play tonight and I put it to myself like this: in the US, you must predict the action of your shot. You can get lucky, but only if your stated goal is also met.

It’s a shame Americans think that way only while playing pool.

4 thoughts on “Smackin the Cue Ball

  1. OK, so this is what you get for having an English teacher for a sister. You said, “It’s a shame Americans only think that way while playing pool.” You probably meant “It’s a shame Americans think that way only while playing pool.”

    It’s those gosh-darned adverbs. They sneak around and slip in where they don’t belong, and they make your sentence say that Americans, when they’re playing pool, don’t think in any other way than calculating precisely. I’m sure you really intended to say that Americans don’t think precisely and strategically at any time other than when they’re playing pool.

    Once you get the grammar straight, I have to agree with you. I may disagree with you about whether sending troops into Iraq was a bad idea, but I definitely do agree that the planning and preparation fell far short of what was needed if we expected to be effective.

  2. Correction made, Thanks. That’s what happens when you do your blog episode at the bar after you’re done noveling for the day.

    The blogosphere will remain a bastion of proper speech and etiquette.

  3. Another quirk in the pool rulez over there is that you have to sink the 8-ball in the pocket opposite of the pocket in which you sank you last ball. So, at least at that point, one should do a bit of planning. The problem I have is that my pattented “Blitzkrieg D” isn’t as effective with the not loosing when you scratch on the 8-ball rule. I usually lobby for amerikan rulez when playin’ over there.

  4. I’ve been watching, and few people seem to enforce the “opposite pocket” rule, which is too bad, because it would reward planning. Generally, despite my complete lack of skill, I prefer rules that make the game more difficult.

    I did see one guy play defense the other night. In American bars it’s considered a pussy move, but I like playing with people who play the whole game.

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