Table billiards, invented in the 15th century, has evolved into many different types of cue sports, enjoyed by millions the world over. Whether it be carom billiards, pool, or snooker, any form of these popular games involve skill and strategy. Table sizes, with or without pockets, and ball quantities may differ from game to game, but all involve striking a ball on a table with a stick.
Pool Sharp, Anyone?
Did you know that many historical figures and world leaders have been billiards enthusiasts? Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and Louis XIV all enjoyed their billiards tables. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt are some of the most notable American Presidents who greatly enjoyed the game. Mozart may be the most famous musician to play, and authors the likes of Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, and W.C. Fields all looked forward to their game of billiards. Don’t forget about Bob Hope, Babe Ruth, and Jackie Gleason, they loved to play, too. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have been devastated when conspirators took her billiards table away, and oddly enough these men are said to have wrapped her body in its cover after her execution.
Sharp vs Shark
The term “Pool Sharp” is said to be British in origin, meaning some one is very skilled at pool, or billiards. This term is no longer used, and the term “Pool Shark” is commonly used, although with more devious connotations. Generally, a pool shark is someone who “hustles” a game of pool. They may pretend to be worse than they are to fool a less skillful opponent into thinking they can win the game and the money that accompanies it. “Sharking” can also include upsetting, distracting, or intimidating opponents into missing shots or performing poorly. Although it is not allowed in competitions, leagues, and tournaments, it happens quite frequently and is commonly expected in bars and pubs.
Some Fun and Interesting Billiards Facts That A Pool Sharp Would Know
- Billiards evolved, or was invented after the fashion of the lawn game croquet. That is probably why the predominant color for tables is green.
- The choice fabric for the table hasn’t changed since the 1500’s. Wool is still the standard of the day.
- In 1873, a world championship for billiards was born. It is the first sport to have one.
- Throughout history, news about billiard championships and tournament results were in-demand, and were often more covered than war news. There were even cigarette cards showcasing popular players.
- Pool is considered to be one of the safest sports the world over.
- Pool consists of 15 balls, 1 black eight ball, 7 solids, and 7 stripes.
- Billiard champions are some of the oldest, as far as sports go. Their average age is 35, the highest in the sports world.
Some Words of Pool Wisdom
- If you look around and can’t find out who is being hustled, it is probably you.
- The easiest way to win is not to give your opponent the opportunity to shoot.
- Percentages matter not if you make the shot successfully.
- It never pays to gamble with a man named after a place. (New Jersey, Tex, Hollywood)
Donations and Pool Sharps Area Below
Kevin V. “AKA Sharp Shooter” Owner of Massilion Pool Hall
Mike O. owner of local DC pool hall and “Plumber In DC” company
Bill R. as Bill Owner of Shooters Garage
Bernie Milton owner of Chicago Sticks and Snacks
Jena S. Owner of Billards Supplies and Tables in Toronto