: Liz Ford
Fumble! - Pool Slip-Ups That Happen To Us All
We'd all like to look like Tom Cruise or Paul Newman when we're playing pool, but sadly sometimes we end up looking like Mr. Bean. Anyone who's played the game for more than a couple of days has had one, if not most, of the following embarrassing experiences. Embrace and laugh at your blunders – they're your membership card in our crazy little pool community.
1. Very Special Delivery
Sending the cue-ball off the table on the break or a jump shot is an unfortunate part of life and not something to be embarrassed about. Something that IS embarrassing? Launching the cue-ball while miscuing on a draw shot. It's loud. Everybody turns to look. Extra embarrassment points if you can land the cue-ball on the next table while others are playing a game.
This one's not very funny. Think unstoppable force, immovable object. Your hand, the table. Painful during a regular shot – very, very unfortunate on the break. Ouchie!
3. The Teeter-Totter
Ok, this one IS funny. You lay on the table stretched out to take a long-reach shot and your feet slip out from under you, causing you to rock back and forth semi-helpelessly until you can regain your footing. Though this happens to everyone, it's a special danger to profoundly pregnant pool-players.
I'm a stickler for placing the chalk business-side-up. Place it upside-down and chalk gets all over the rails, your hands and your clothes. Woe is the person who places the chalk sideways – it's a messy and unsettling experience to inadvertently stick you finger in it.
5. Follow the Leader
Your shot is almost straight-in and you need to use force-follow to get back down the table. You put an amazing, super-sweet, powerful stroke on the cue-ball only to watch it follow the object ball into the pocket – at about three-million miles an hour.
6. Rack Madness
There are all sorts of racking mishaps that can occur. A few of my favorites? Searching desperately for the last ball missing from the rack, only to discover that all the balls are in the rack. Sort of the pool equivalent to searching for you glasses and finding them on top of your head. Trying for minutes to get the perfect rack only to drop said rack on the balls while trying to remove it. Best ever? Watching someone try, again and again, to rack the cue-ball in with a rack of 8-Ball and be flummoxed as to why the balls don't all fit.
7.The Ball That Didn't Go
You hit your last shot perfectly. You're about to take aim at your next one when your opponent stops you. Turns out your brain played a trick on you and the last ball is still hanging in the jaws of the pocket.
8. The Ball That Did
Your opponent breaks and returns to his chair. You race to the table excited, ready to start shooting. Your opponent again stops you and points out that he made a ball and was just going to swap his break cue for his playing cue.
9. The False Start
This one's not only embarrassing, but pricey during a game. You have a wide open shot at the table. You make a plan. You're ready to go. Somewhere during your excitement, the tip of your cue nudges the cue-ball prematurely and your opportunity dribbles forward a few inches before your opponent takes ball in hand. Beware of this happening after getting a new cue-tip. Those extra couple of millimeters are all it takes to turn you from a hero to a zero.
Also known as the air-ball or the whiff, it's pretty funny when you miss the entire cue-ball. It can happen anytime you're trying to hit the cue-ball hard, but nothing beats watching someone wind-up their whole body to break very hard, only to eat air. Beware of anyone who can keep a straight face after watching or doing this – they lack the sense of humor required to be in a poolroom.