Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Pool Talk

About a year ago, the pub pool team, the Temple Bar Hashtags (see blogs passim for the tale of the time they rescued me from a bottle-wielding maniac) grew large enough to spawn a 'B' team. In a process similar to binary fission in bacteria, one team became two. The Temple Bar Falcons was born. (My suggestion that the new team should be called the Temple Bar Stools was sensibly ignored).

The best name for a pub pool team I've ever come across is the Sinhalers - imaginary internet points for anybody who can tell me the name of the pub they played for...

I have an over-inflated sense of my own ability at the game, probably because I usually play after a shift, when everyone else has had a gallon and I am on my first pint. Bartenders who work pool nights are usually signed up for a team so that they can step in if the team are short-handed during a home match. On such evenings, I am essentially being paid to play pool. 

Over the course of the summer, I stood in for two games when the Falcons were short a player. Coincidentally, both of these were in the Nine-ball cup knockout competition and this qualified me to play in the Final at Rileys sports bar on Magdalene Street.

Falcon "the Dazman" eyes up a key shot. 

The best thing about Rileys sports bar on Magdalene Street is its proximity to the King's Head - one of the best pubs in the city. The perfect place for a chap to drink a refreshing pint or three of real ale and have a warm up game of barbilliards before heading over to the noisy badly lit giant-screened assault on the senses that is Rileys sports bar.

Whenever I am in a bar full of pool and snooker tables, I can never get the Johnny Cash song The Baron out of my head. I think this must have put me off my game. Or maybe it was the fact that I'd had about six pints (probably shouldn't have gone to the King's Head first) by the time my turn to play came round.

Every bartender dreads 'pool talk'. This is when a player shares his analysis of the game with you. Pool does not lend itself to audio description, but this won't stop the enthusiastic player attempting to tell the captive bartender all the ball layouts, shot angles, missed opportunities and counter-factual accounts of what would have happened with a bit more screw. With that in mind I will only say this: the other guy broke off, I missed the ball I was aiming for completely, potted the cue ball and the other guy potted the Nine on the next shot to win the game. 

The Falcons went on to win the tournament. I have a shiny trophy to show for my contribution.

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