Billiard With a Professional
Have you ever played a billiard game with a professional player? I have, and I will remember it forever. We were staying at the Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur, where the Smoke House bar was more interesting than TV. The centerpiece in this bar is a nice vintage pool table that can’t be ignored. Am I a good billiard or snooker player? Let’s say I have some experience from my bar-hopping days, and I can play it decently.
However, there was a guy who was clearing balls from the surface of that pool table the same way a competitor clears his plate at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Observing his solo game was outstanding and tempting. I offered him a match, but I had no idea how we could make it fair because he could probably finish the whole table in one round. So, he proposed playing with one hand.
Is Handicap Enough?
I thought this was perfect because how could he beat me with one hand? How can you even play with one hand, honestly? It is incredibly challenging and I was happy with the advantage. At first, the game went better than expected. I had only two or three balls left when he cleared his black 8. Of course, I was pleased with myself even though he had been playing with such a disadvantage. But he was amazing, and that handicap didn’t look like a problem for him. Balls were cleared with ease and mistakes were rare. But that was only the first game.
In the next game, I did some “tricky” shoots and somehow managed to come out victorious. The situation on the table was tense and the game was interesting for all bar patrons. Vivi was my cheerleader with her fancy cocktail in her hands. Maybe cheerleading helped or some buzz, or it was plain luck, I don’t know. But I won the second match and s*** just got real. We played again to break the tie.
I must admit I was somehow proud and for a second even forgot my counterpart was playing only with one hand. Maybe I should keep that detail for myself? Anyway, everyone had fun watching our game and it was a nice show when he started clearing balls one after another. That was basically our last match. He started the last round and cleared almost all his balls. I could have easily just sat there and watched. “Can I bring you a drink?” was all I could add in the end. His clearing the table so quickly got into my head, and my turn didn’t go well at all.
A few strikes later he managed to clear that as well and this was an official score – 2:1. We shook our hands and I got a match I will never forget. Professionals are always in a totally different league no matter the handicap. Aha, I forgot one small detail. This billiard star was a little bit tipsy as well 🙂