Pool Playing….

My month off has now come to an end.   Phew.  Glad to get back to work.  It’s been a somewhat busy month.     Now,  I know this will come as a shock to many people – but I have a few things I am not best pleased about with my time in Thailand.  Instead of one long whinge where I tell how various people need punching in the face – I’ll break it all down into smaller little tales.

Starting off with Pool players….

First of all – if you’re a pool player who thinks they are good.  Let me tell you this now.  You’re not.  You maybe against your pal – but against a seasoned bar-girl.  You can’t play for shit.

For those of you that have been in or visiting Thailand before girls were glued to their phones, the place to be was Gullivers on Soi 5.  With the pool tables at the back occupied by freelancers.  Put your name on the board and the winner stays on.  It was VERY rare to see a Farrang to beat a girl.

More often than not, the girls looked pretty hot in their tight jeans, bending over the tables.   This was their business.  Putting themselves on display.  Some girls use the pole.  These girls used a cue.

Now here is the thing, many afternoons I’d hang out there for a drink and watch guys challenge for a game of pool.  These guys would never talk to the girl.  Never smile.  Never joke.  Certainly not buy the girl a drink.   No.  They would treat each game like it was the most important game in the world.  These guys actually thought they could impress a girl with their pool skills!!.  DICKS.

The pool table is a great tool in which to meet a girl, strike up a conversation and have a laugh with someone you’ve never met before.  Why these people didn’t see that is beyond me?

This is all over Thailand.  For some reason – when a guy is on a pool table, he thinks he is the best in the world and people are impressed.  They’re not.     How many of us have witnessed a guy playing pool – who will suddenly start swinging the pool cue around thinking he is some kind of ninja?   Again, is this something that is supposed to be impressive?   I have no time for these idiots.

To me.. Pool is a GAME.  That is why you PLAY it.   It’s supposed to be fun.

So imagine my need to punch people in the face when I visited a friend of a friends little bar in soi 94 in Hua Hin.  It’s a small shop front bar with a pool table.     As I sat there with Miss Tim and a few pals having a drink, various people arrived – carrying their own Pool Cues.     Why?     Why actually go to the effort of buying a cue and carrying it to a bar to play on an average table with average pool balls?

I dismissed this – as they were all of the more ‘mature’ kind of gentlemen.   After an hour of many of them playing pool with each other, it was apparent that 1) no one spoke with each other and 2) they can’t really play very well at all!.   So what’s the point?   Where is the fun?

But why should I get angry about this?  Well,  aside from the miserable basts playing crap pool with their own cues – they all wear one of those little gloves.  The ones with a few fingers missing.   At first I thought the guys were ex -Jakuza, but it turns out they all think they are professional pool players.

Surely – if you and your opponent are both wearing these soppy little gloves then you both are equal as if you were both not wearing the gloves.  Take them off!   At least you wont look so fucking stupid.

This is like going for a bike ride – but wearing a full Tour de France outfit.   Or going ice skating with your pals and wearing the full spandex suite with helmet and goggles.

But maybe I am alone on this.   Maybe it’s just me that gets frustrated – seeing people who think they’re some kind of professional pool player.   Someone who thinks (when playing the bar girls) the girls are impressed?  But mainly, I get annoyed because the bars have pool tables to generate a good atmosphere and a good time.  To create enjoyment for the customers.   Not to have people fed up and angry because they missed a shot or lost a game.

I tell all my newbie friends when they come here  ‘don’t play pool with the girl unless you are o.k with losing’.   These girls play pool EVERYDAY.  While you are at home – with the wife and kids.  When you’re at work or sleeping – they’re probably playing pool.

Use the pool table as a social tool.   A tool which you can use to talk to a girl.  Have a laugh even?

When thinking about it – a girl on a pool table is probably the longest I’ve ever seen one not use their phone.

10 thoughts on “Pool Playing….

  1. I like pool but I hate playing with people who are too serious about it, whether they are good or bad. When I mean serious I mean the ones who stalk off if they get beat not the ones who take getting beat with a manly shake of the hand. I hate it even more in Thailand where pool tables are 10 a penny and if not free then very cheap.
    Off track slightly I remember playing Tai in the Big Mango Bar. I told her I would buy her a drink if she beat me (I was buying her drinks anyway). After I had beaten her twice she suggested that it would be better I buy her a drink if I win. I said, “but how do I know that you would just let me win all the time ?” She replied, “I never do that as that is cheating”.

  2. I’ve seen girls play one handed while holding their phone with the other hand. Probably saying something like “No I not bar teerak – at friend house”

  3. Graham – your post was spot on. I always wonder about those guys with the gloves. Nothing funnier than seeing one of those guys come in, put their glove on, take their cue out of its case, and proceed to get their ass whupped by a girl playing with a warped cue stick who is probably 2 times over the legal limit in alcohol.

    Though not quite on the same level, there are those guys (probably the same ones) who show up in a bowling alley with the most outrageous hand, wrist, arm supports imaginable. From what they are wearing during bowling, you would think that they are a cripple and deserve pity, not laughter.

    • I am going to get an old glove and cut some fingers off. Making sure it looks like I cut them off using a Meth-heads teeth.

      Wonder if anyone will notice when I start playing pool while wearing it?

  4. Graham, I normally just read posts like this that I disagree with and chuckle to myself then go about my day. But I’ve got to tell you, you might be the tool in this situation.

    As a guy that has played competitive billiards in many countries- I’m sure I would be one of the guys to somehow offend you with my personal cue and chalk, and although I’ve never worn the glove- I certainly understand it in Thailand.

    Let’s start with the glove- I don’t know where you play- Germany, the States, Canada…. whatever- it doesn’t matter. A typical white guy is going to be sweating his junk off in the heat and humidity on your average day in Pattaya. The glove is worn to reduce friction between the fingers and the stick (especially using a closed bridge). If you are all sweaty, it would be akin to having sex in the shower- it just doesn’t slide right. Not an issue for girls working in the bar, they don’t sweat like we do.

    Second- why are you intimidated by competitiveness? A lot of guys take pride in there hobbies even if they aren’t great at them. The guy who goes to the gym might take his lifting seriously even if he’s not the biggest dude in there. A golfer might care about how many strokes it takes for 18. A bowler might want to bowl the best game he can to one up his buddies. What the hell do you care? Just because you don’t take that particular game seriously, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t.

    Feel free to troll away. But you won’t be able to convince me that you’re not the tool here. It’s funny how other people minding their business doing their thing offends you. How bout you just do you and let them do them?

    • TC – first of all – thank-you for the feedback. I welcome debate. Please note that my views are completely just my own opinion of a grumpy old bastard who is growing old and moaning about anything and everything. I don’t aim to offend anyone, but just vent a few frustrations and to give people a chuckle or two. I am not into being a Troll… even if I am as tall as one.

      Now lets get to your name calling shall we… ‘Tool’? Is that an offensive word or a compliment? I am not sure.

      I think you may well have missed the point of my post. I was writing about all the guys that are playing ‘competitive’ pool – in a HOOKER BAR. Think about that for a minute. If you were a professional cyclist, would go out for a leisurely cycle in the park with your family in full spandex? Do you see American Football players hanging out with their mates wearing the full outfits? No.. you don’t. So why is it these guys who are in a bar… PLAYING pool with a bunch of hookers are taking it so seriously? At the end of the day, these girls are there to ply their trade – not play pool.

      You may well be an experienced billiards player – and in that environment I would not challenge your option on how to behave. But, in Thailand, where I think I have been in and around the bar scene for a while, I think I have a very good understanding of what is the ‘done thing’.

      The Glove – thanks for informing me its to reduce friction. And there was me thinking it was to stop them biting their nails.. I don’t see the bar girls using them – and they still win!
      What I am saying is – the guys that turn up in a bar full of hookers, with his own cue, glove, towel and chalk – and takes the game seriously, gets upset when they lose and doesn’t talk with anyone – is in my opinion a complete dick!

      The bar is a place to have fun. FUN. Pool in a bar is supposed to be FUN. That’s why they say ‘do you want to PLAY’.

      The place for competitive pool/billiards is not in some back street bar where the bar makes money from customers having fun, drinking with girls.

      Just like if you were in a Billiards Hall – what would your view be if a group of hookers walked in, calling everyone Teerak and asking for Lady Drinks? Do you see what I am talking about now?

      And before you (or anyone) chime in saying the bars like the Pool players… trust me, they don’t. I have lost count the amount of times the Mango/Duke pubs hosted and attended ‘competitive’ pool matches. Home and away – each week. All these ‘competitive’ players… no one drinking, no one having a laugh and creating a fun atmosphere. And then they all want feeding for free!
      So if you’re a professional/competitive pool player, my advice would be to leave all that shit at home when you are visiting the Thai bars – looking to have fun. Trust me, with your guard down, a relaxed environment – you are more approachable.

      But as I said, I am just a grumpy old fool. My views are based on nothing more than 10+ years of bar ownership.

      And now, if we look at the word ‘tool’. For me, a tool is something I would use to get a job done. A job I would not be able to do without a tool.

      So in this instance – I’ll take you ‘tool’ comment as a compliment. – you’re welcome!

  5. Graham, loved the reply man. And I spent over an hour reading your posts last night. Although we disagree on this issue- I know i would enjoy drinking a beer with you.

    I live in the Philippines and visited Pattaya for the first time last year so I’ll concede the experience part- you know that scene far better than me. I guess my point was- it’s ok to take pool seriously. A game to you, is a more serious endevour to some. You might be right about the venue.

    Take care man- I’ll certainly keep reading. And next trip to BKK or Pattaya maybe I’ll track you down and buy you that beer (or from the sounds of it, grey goose).

    TC

    • TC.. glad to have not made another enemy on this planet!

      Some of the Rats are attempting a bar crawl along soi 6 in Pattaya in Feb. Should be a good one. Keep an eye out for it – as it may give you an idea of where to go.. or avoid.

      I’ll keep my eye out for the pool players too.. and let you know if there are any pool factions lurking around!

      Stay cool.

  6. I’m still surprised @GM can beat me ‘playing’ pool – but I can beat his girl. Go figure.
    I’m sure she’s good at other things, but pool ain’t one of them. hmmm

    I did play in one of those leagues in Hua Hin. Would come across a miserable bunch of guys every week. At least we had two girls on our team who kept it fun but we ended up at the bottom of the league table. Guess we should have taken it more seriously. Ha!

    • GM let’s his girl win at pool. In return, she pretends to be his girl.

      If your pool team can’t win the league – then next best place to finish is last.

      After all, what at the 2 most talked about positions on a league table!

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