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Is Playing Billiards an Addiction?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Is Playing Billiards an Addiction?

By Chad Sylvia

Playing Billiards Can Be As Addictive As Drugs

When you go to your local billiards parlor and shoot some pool for the evening, do you happen to see those “regulars” who just look like they spend way too much time in that place? Well, these types of pool players are the focus of this article.

While they might appear to spend too much of their lives in a pool hall, and I’m sure their selective husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend feel the same, they are quite addicted to spending the majority of their time on some cloth and slate. This is because these players are entranced with the lure of the game and they are psychologically addicted to billiards like a junkie on the corner.

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Let’s be realistic about billiards, if you’ve ever played this game at a decent level you know two things: one, you need to spend hours a day on the table to refine your fundamentals of the game; secondly, you fall into the ambient zone of playing and, what appears to be focusing on the match to you, others may see as engaging in delinquent behavior.

This stems from the gambling Aura which permeates the billiards arena, and what I like to call an inevitable undertaking to grow your horns within the ranks. Many might believe the small and/or sometimes large monetary transactions which occur during pool matches hurt the ideology of the game; personally, I think it strengthens someone’s fervor to stride to be the best. However, there’s a slippery when wet slope here to watch out for.

Billiards Play Can Totally Drive or Run Your Lifestyle

The idea of playing billiards as a hobby is a tough understatement to swallow for any top player in today’s billiards industry. These players have given their entire lives up and have willingly given them to the game. Is this a bad thing? Well, all things considered it depends heavily on how successful of a player you turn out to be.

If you fail to elevate your level of play to what is considered to be “A” player, then you’ll most likely have trouble with most other aspects of life. Not that their is a concrete correlation between the two, it just appears to be the case with most people. Think about it, how many people do you know of that are such high level or aspiring to be play at such a level that have great full time jobs?

There are the select few who’ve already secured careers which allow them the luxury of spending hours a day within the pool hall. This time or persistence to be good may be looked upon as being addicted to the game.

The Junkie Mentality Just Resonates Within Pool Halls

Growing up in a pool hall I can tell you straight here it’s not the best place you’d probably want to provide for a child rearing environment. Most inner city billiards parlors or pool halls are either one or the other when it comes to style: they are presented for the purpose of drawing out the youth for food, music, and fun; or they’re laid out to provide ample income for sustaining itself from table time with family play all while allowing for a sectioned off advanced playing environment.

At the latter, you’ll find many weekly and monthly tournaments, as well as a constant stream of “local” money players engaging in their addictive roles. I say to each their own; And I’m not downing anyone here, I’ve spent 20 years inside the walls of a billiards hall and have engaged in plenty of, for the sake of this article, what we’d refer to as addictive trait behaviors. But I’ve also seen a lot of young lives sucked into this abyss and lives ruined because they lacked the moral boundaries that comes with risk.

Prognosis: Billiards Is A Controllable Addiction

In closing, I’d like to think for the sake of the game that billiards is a controllable addiction. The addictive aspects of the game are nothing different than any other sport in our lives. To join the upper-echelon of athletes, you must dedicate your life to the game. While billiards is unique do to it’s ability because it offers anyone the potential to become elite regardless of their physical condition, it runs a unique risk as well among the player interactions and normal game practices within the billiards industry.

Is this unlike any other professional sport? No, baseball has the lure of steroids, as does football. Then there’s price fixing, and a whole basket of politics I don’t care to embark upon. My point is this. While playing billiards for more than a infrequent recreation can come with lifestyle altering risks, the game is non abrasive to human nature and should be viewed as a legitimate hobby or sport. For some it may be an addiction, for others nothing other than a good time. Crack a Nine!

I’m an avid billiard player for more than 20 years. All my writings on the topic of billiards are to help add insight to up-and-coming players. There is so much to learn in in the game of billiards, and many fail to receive the right information they need to keep them engaged. To me it’s more than a hobby, an obsession according my girl, but the game of billiards is a wonderful experience for young minds. For more information on types of billiard equipment, please check out these Pool Sticks

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