Neighborhood bar pool is a cagey animal, and if you rattle those pen’s bars you’re gonna get bit bad. ESPECIALLY if you’re not a regular at this or that pool hall that you find yourself stumbling around. If you are stumbling around this or that pool hall, this particular blog is not for you. We’re here to commiserate with the regulars at that local dive where a random damn wedding after-party drops in and ruins the smooth vibe we’ve had all Saturday night.
Neighborhood bar pool is a cagey animal, because every neighborhood pool bar abides by uniquely different and specific bar pool rules. In broad strokes these rules all run in the same confluence — call your shot, don’t move the cue ball off from the rail — but there are quirks here and there about rails-after-strike and so forth. We’re not here to legislate. We’re here to ridicule, condemn, and warn against.
The Drunk College Bro
Drunk College Bro is already far, far out of his depth. Drunk College Bro has imbibed enough confidence to hit on your significant other, whom you’re clearly already talking to in intimate terms, but Drunk College Bro has no social awareness at this point in his night, because after two frat parties and a shitty club down there on the strip, he’s starved for any sort of attention. Drunk College Bro is dangerous, and not for the hip reasons he considers himself to be so.
Drunk College Bro severely overestimates his bar pool abilities, and for that reason, he’s a perfect mark, common neighborhood bar goer. Drunk College Bro is liberal with his spending of money — if not in other spheres of his human sociopolitical experience — and so Drunk College Bro will probably pay down the single dollar per pool game you’d otherwise spend your well earned tips on. You’re gonna play against your friends later, anyway, but why not let this idiot in a necktie handle the expenses while he loses hilariously?
You will destroy Drunk College Bro by no less than four balls, and he’ll skulk off with no real sense of what happened, and you’ll order another beer and move on with your night. Hopefully he gets arrest for drunk and disorderly later.
The Out-of-Town Bro
The Out-of-Town Bro has no idea what’s happening here. He asked for what this bar has on tap, but this bar has no taps whatsoever. Out-of-Town Bro then compensates by politely asking you, regular at this stupid dive that you are, if you’d like a game of pool. Well, of course you’d like a game. You play pool here seven days a week, to the point that this here pool table is more or less your home field.
The Out-of-Town Bro is difficult to gauge, though. The Out-of-Town Bro may hold some real pool skills, and if he does, one necessarily must act polite as possible, even though one lost with five solids still sitting on the table. The Out-of-Town Bro is here, then immediately not, a fleeting mirage that either fails miserably or triumphs spectacularly. The lesson here: if you lose to Out-of-Town Bro, DO NOT challenge him to a rematch. Collect yourself, talk to your friends, and drink Friday night into a bottomless well.
Lesson: Out-of-Town Bro is a total wild card, and whether he’s an asshole or a genuinely nice human, only play him once. WALK AWAY.
The Bachelor Party Bro
Avoid this man at all costs and in any capacity if you can, but IF you must play pool against Bachelor Party Bro, steel yourself against loud cussing, proffered shots that you’ll have to turn down, and petty rules disputes. Bachelor Party Bro is the worst bar bro you’ll ever encounter in any situation, and bar pool only brings out the worst of that worst.
Now: if forced to play bar pool against Bachelor Party Bro, keep your mouth shut. NEVER speak to your opponent, because silence enrages him. It’s always a him, by the way. Silence drives him so insane that he can’t make pool shots that he’d otherwise miss anyway, because he sucks at this game in the first place.
Like Drunk College Bro, Bachelor Party Bro wears a false coat of confidence in all corners of human activity. Bachelor Party Bro knows not his limitations, and for that reason, he’s an easy make for neighborhood bar pool. Let him challenge the room, let him lose miserably, and let him get kicked out of the establishment for screaming about how your barkeep should keep serving Bud Lite, which this bar doesn’t even carry.
The All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro
CAVEAT EMPTOR. All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro has played pool against the worst of them, but she also grew up in a household in Greenville that had a pool table in the finished basement. All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro doesn’t even want to play with or against her all guy friends. All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro wants to play, and she wants to fuck you up. You already know that All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro will eat you alive because All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro slams quarters on the table without the novice courtesy of asking “who’s next?” She knows who’s next, and it’s All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro, who will promptly beat the shit out of you, and now the table belongs to her and all of her loser-ass guy friends.
LESSON: All-Guy-Friends-Woman Bro will own the table for about an hour, and then she’ll leave, and say nothing in her wake.
The Overconfident-I-Still-Grew-Up-With-A-Pool-Table Bro
Let this bro die a quick death. This bro will fold easy after a bad beat, which you’ve already issued him. His dad’s pool table is cool and all, but saddled with 10 Budweisers, Chad ain’t shooting his best. He’ll still challenge the room, and anyone in attendance should take him up on it, because anyone in attendance will humiliate him.
LESSON: fuck this kid, and let him melt under a lava flow of billiards annihilation.
The Shit-Faced-What’s-Wrong-With-This-Cue bro
BLAME THE STICK. Here we meet with the most difficult of neighborhood bar pool bros, the one who condemns the tools. Here we also meet with often enough the drunk college bro, the out of town bro, and the bachelor party bro. If one meets with a bro on all three slides at once, kneecap that ass and move away immediately.
Neighborhood bar pool tables have perhaps two to three workable cues, and your drunk ass opponent constantly complaining about the quality of his stick thinly masks over his rancid pool skills. He sucks, and he needs to complain about something other than himself. Let him rant, make your shots, and satisfy yourself by winning.
These then are your standard archetypes for bar pool at your local dive. Defeat them all at your will.