Category Archives: Pool Hustling

Pool Hustler Scams

Anthony Riniti on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 Comments Off on Pool Hustler Scams

Pool Hustler Scams

Sneeky Pete cues

Sometimes in order to get a game started you need to play off the wall.  This means grabbing a cue stick that is supplied by the establishment. These cues normally are not straight, have bad tips and generally difficult to play with. Most of the times it’s hard to get a game in a strange place if you walk in with your custom made cue.

Once the games starts and the stakes are meaningful, playing with the house cue could be a challenge.


A sneaky Pete cue stick is one that is custom made to your specifications and made to look just like and ordinary house cue but in two pieces with a joint that is invisible. Getting the stick into play without being noticed is an art. Usually your compadre brings it in and is playing somewhere near. You then switch without being noticed. Of course getting the sneaky Pete out is also a challenge. We’ve had very profitable games where leaving the cue behind was the best option to avoid any trouble.


Partner play

One of the best ways to maximize your winnings is to play partners. One of the players holds down his skill while his partner does most of the work.

Playing partners and inviting side bets is the best way to get everyone involved, including the spectators who normally will want to bet on the home team. Beating two players and getting money from everyone, doesn’t get any better than that.

When it looks like the game is done they will want to recoup their losses by trying to make a game with what they think is the lesser player in a singles match. At this point they are willing to play him and give up a handicap. Like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

Action spot

A smart player that does not go on the road and has to keep local will need numerous locations for action. It’s important not to burn these places out, meaning to just take a little at a time. Having enough of these spots will allow him to keep busy without returning to any specific location too often.

One pocket

This is the game most preferred by the hustler. In this game the best and smartest player will always win. This game will allow the better player to make the game so close that the mark always thinks that he should have won. A good hustler can hang onto to his customer for years.

Broke with just a cue stick

One of the best ways to insure of getting a game is to walk in with your cue and sit down. Eventually someone will approach you for a game. I would tell them that I’m broke and just have a cue stick. I tell them that I’m willing to sell it or play a set for it. Of course they will look at it and set a price and either buy it or will want to play for it. We always carried some cues for this hustle. This always guaranteed us a game for at lease a couple of hundred bucks. After they lost the first set they were chasing their own money.


Who wouldn’t want to play a broke loser. Many times we would win thousands with one cue before someone would beat us out of it. When they did we would just take another from the trunk of our car.


We were in an after hours place known for good action. I was at the table playing      small stakes, because most everyone there knew who I was. I was just finishing a game when Anton said come here listen to this. He was sitting next to someone that I didn’t recognize. Anton said to him, tell him who you are. He said I’m Frank the Barber. I said wow I’ve heard of you. He then told us his history, which was my story. I was flattered that someone would want to be me. I then went back to play some more. Anton then said to him “go up and play my buddy, he thinks he’s a lot better than he is and I’m tired of his bragging. Play him for $100 a game and I know he’ll fold.” I remember him coming up and playing three games and losing $300. Shortly after that we left. Anton asked aren’t you going to tell him who you are? I remember saying someone in there will tell him.

Road player

We once went to one of our stops to play one of our regulars and found him already in action. He saw us come in and put his index finger to his lips like to be quite and don’t say anything and then he winked to us. He was trying to tell us that he had a fish on the line and don’t kill the action.

I chuckled to myself because little did he know that he was playing one of the top pros in the country. He’s chances of winning were zero. Needless to say we secretly made side bets on the pro. We did pretty well that day. It’s a courtesy not to knock a traveling road players action.

Chess game

While Anton was in a pool game I was challenged to a chess game. The stakes started fairly small but after a few games the bet was $400 and after a good number of moves I was not in a good position to win that game. I took a bathroom break and Anton followed me. I told him that I was certain to lose the chess game. He then asked me to lean back slightly when he was breaking the pool balls. Sure enough on his next break I leaned and the cue ball came flying about ten feet and landed dead center on the chessboard. So much for that chess game.

The bandit

One of the funniest and scariest story is when we went into a bar looking for a game. We did find one with a seedy looking character. He was big and round with bushy hair. After a few hours of playing he said he was out of money and for us to wait a few minutes. He left and went to the bathroom and returned with a scarf over his face and with a gun. He held up everyone in the place including us. He then returned to the bathroom and a couple of minutes later he came out with a smile on his face and said ok we can play some more, I’ve got more money. No one there said a thing. It turned out he was the baddest individual in town and did what he wanted. We quickly pulled out of that game. Sometime later we heard that he was killed execution style while sitting in his car.