Sometime around 2012, Tallahassee, Florida, Snookers pool hall -- I forget the details of how it all got set up, but this guy we will call "Wild Bill" and I played a race to 3 one pocket contest, his $800 vs my truck, a Ford Explorer.
So we agreed to meet in Tallahassee to play, had 30-40 rail birds, some better players than us, all watching us have a one pocket battle.
I came straight out of the gate swinging, and quickly found myself up 2-0 in the race to 3. I felt like I couldn't go wrong, the rail birds enjoying the show. Then I just had the spot shot to win it 3-0, and the $800, but choked and missed.
Then it was 2-1, then 2-2, then he won 3-2 and I had lost my truck. I felt like I had been hit in the stomach, so I said, "I'll be back tomorrow and bet cash on it." And we agreed to meet back the next day and play.
So, I go home that night, beaten, back against the wall, needing to win the next day, just chill, listen to music, then get out there the next day, win my truck back.
Then, we run out of time the second day of gambling one pocket until Snookers 2am closing -- going from playing even, to me giving him weight, back and forth like that.
So we played the next day, got up to $300 a game, then after we had gone back and forth a little, I said, "now, let's play for $100 a rack," and I was up $300, but he called me a "nit" and threw down three hundred dollar bills balled up on the ground at the head of the table.
Later that night I just went to Waffle House, ordered a steak, and was happy to have earned about $75 a day, after expenses, playing pool for three days.
Sometimes gambling can be a brutal, marathon grind to the end.
I won my truck back, but that was the end of me gambling like that -- I felt like it just wasn't worth someone taking it too personally.
Yeah, that "Wild Bill" was one tough grinder in one pocket, though perhaps not everyone would agree.