Where Have All the Pool Rooms Gone? ~ Bert Kinister

I have been doing this for 51 years I have heard all of these paradigms before.

I can tell you this. People who don’t gamble have been “cleaning up pool” since I started playing.

Since I was 14 I played pool for money. I loved pool but when I found out you could win money playing, it changed my attitude completely.

I went to the pool room to make money. I traveled America to make money. The pool subculture was a self-perpetuating economic engine that needed poolrooms to survive so it makes sense that pool rooms could not survive without them.

You would see many great playing (outsiders) men with jobs come in to test their mettle. Time and again they were sent home late, broke—only to have to get up early again and show up on time for a couple of weeks work to get their money back. Then many would try it again. There were many ways to keep them coming back (another story).

But when these men got married that was the end of them on the field of honor.

Then the rains came—I am sorry I mean the leagues. Now these fun players had a venue to show their skills, where the outcome had no consequence on their economic relationship to society. For five, 10, maybe 15 games a week they could be heroes.

They never had to go home and tell their wives to sign the title to the Jag because the player on the porch is the new owner, and if they played “really good” they could go to Vegas once or twice a year and spend, lose or donate all of the money in or to the Casinos that