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Updated on October 7, 2012

During my college years, I worked as a pool hall attendant. The job allowed me to complete my school work while getting paid, but it also offered a glimpse into an elusive lifestyle. I learned a lot about the gambling scene working in that environment, and I even become a pretty decent shooter myself. For over three years, I was a college student by day, and a pool hall girl at night. I met my fair share of pool sharks and hustlers- all of whom were generous, respectful, and well-educated people. Yet, there was one particular player who was neither of these things. Unfortunately, he was also one of the best 9-ball shooters I have ever met. What he lacked in modesty, couth, and courtesy, he made up for with talent. One day, as I sat and watched him run table after table (and bragging about how his game was unmatched), I began to write...



He’s a true player, doesn’t care to lose

that’s part of the game.

No amount of money can shatter his pocket.

But he’d still take your last dollar,

“Mercy is for the weak”

He’s the best in the room,

accurate-eyed wise mouth.

Self-flattery spews forth as consideration remains


upon a single cue.

He’s half-badger, half-shark,

the king of persuasion.

Makes a living off of other people’s failures,

fishes who take the bait.

Always willing to brag,

never can agree.

Last to compliment,

first to criticize.

He aims to please


But you can invest in his banks,

they usually pay out…

unless there’s something wrong with the table

or the chalk

or the spot

or the air-conditioning

or the hottie with the short skirt and lacy black panties.

He stinks of non-menthol cigarettes,

cheap coffee and expensive cologne.

Potent combination.

His voice booms for attention,

kicks things to get noticed.

But how could you miss the attitude?

Don’t say it again...


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    • TattooKitty profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for your kind words, Tom! You're right about the psychological strategies sharks use to improve their odds. The best distractions were food...the delicious scent of chili-cheese fries is enough to throw off anyone's game!!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      I've noticed some use their talk as part of their psychological game. If it works, it breaks the opponent's concentration. But if it doesn't work the braggart looks soooooo stupid.

      There is keen observation in your poetry, dancing so eloquently around, without obviously stepping on, the braggart's feet of clay.

    • Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image


      7 years ago from The Outskirts

      i may not play the game, but i mos def run my mouth

    • TattooKitty profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      So you've got the stroke, eh? It's hard NOT to look suave when running the table...definitely a mesmerizing talent!!

    • Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image


      7 years ago from The Outskirts

      ps... i think du called me 'cabron' spanish for smart ass sense of machismo... said something to his puerto rican friends... "... ... sabe .... .... .... que sa ... cabron" right after

    • Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image


      7 years ago from The Outskirts

      came up with the term to say when someone asks if they can put their back side on the table for a difficult shot.... "uh oh,..." i said, "du's taking a sexy shot" ... ... ... next time i'm at the bar and i see it, i'm a call a new rule... you can't sit on the table unless you convince a female to say, "that's hot"

    • TattooKitty profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      This sharky would find ANY excuse for a missed shot, lol! Funny how pool halls always have groupies...there were lots of scavenging stilettos out there trying to get a bill or two!

    • Shaisty-Chase-Tea profile image


      7 years ago from The Outskirts

      LOL, yeah, i'd agree with where hes coming from... there is definitely something wrong with the hottie with the short skirt and the lacy lingerie ... especially when i got a bill on the table... what color is the skirt and what's the rest of the outfit... because there is definitely something wrong and i GOT to ask


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