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Pool Shark - Billiard Term Definition

Welcome to the billiard, pool, and snooker glossary of terms. This is the definition of Pool Shark as it relates to cue sports. You can also view the entire billiard dictionary

Definition of Pool Shark

Pool Shark is a billiards slang term that is a part of Skill Level Terminology.

The term pool shark has a few meanings as related to cue sports.

  1. A pool shark is someone who engages in [sharking](/billiard-terms-definition/sharking "Sharking in billiards), that is, a player who distracts an opponent by means of vocalizing (talking crap) or even jingling keys during the opponents turn. According to "Play Your Best Pool" a book by Phil Capelle, the definition of "Shark" is as follows:

    A tactic that's designed to distract or throw your opponent off his game.

    Also, from the well researched movie "Pool Hall Junkies" Rick Schroeder's character says (after his opponent talks major crap)

    I'm not falling for any of your East Coast Sharking crap

  2. In general, a pool shark refers to a very good pool player. the term pool shark may be used to refer to a player who is extremely skilled, and rarely, if ever, loses. In terms of the billiard skill level food chain, a shark is at the very top.

  3. Most casual or non-pool players (incorrectly) misinterpret the meaning or "pool shark" use it in the sense that that refers to a hustler.

See: shark, sharp, hustle, fish for more on the meaning of "Pool Shark".

Pool Shark - Usage

  1. Joe couldn't focus on his game at all. Jim was sharking him the whole time.
  2. Watch out for a dude named Rick. He is killer at that hall in Pittsburgh, and he's beat everyone who has played him for money.
  3. Stay away from her. She is a pool shark and she's been known to hustle folks.

Billiards - Pool Shark

  • Title: Pool Shark
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 1/13/2008 10:43:54 AM
  • Last Updated: 10/25/2016 10:32:19 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Pool Shark Comments

  1. RockOfAgesRockOfAges from Irvine, CA on 3/14/2010 4:44:31 PM

    I am not a pro by any means, but I do have some understanding of the term "sharking" as it relates to pool players.

    It's true meaning, historically and traditionally, refers to someone who distracts an opponent by means of talking crap or even jingling spare change during an opponents turn. You can corroborate this if you reference the well researched billiard movie "Pool Hall Junkies". Rick Schroeder's character says (after his opponent talks major crap) "I'm not falling for any of your East Coast Sharking crap", or words to that effect.

    These days, so many people have misinterpreted the meaning that a pool shark has come to be known as a hustler.

    And lastly, I would say, the term means someone who is really good at the pool table!

  2. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 10/25/2016 10:38:46 PM

    Good call, you are correct. I have updated the definition with your input. Thanks!

  3. Jason DalsingJason Dalsing from Springfield, OR on 2/12/2018 8:44:44 PM

    The sharking isn't illegal. I don't jingle keys or talk shit I'm very quiet at the table. The one thing I do have, is a lack of discipline. So here is what I do:

    • If the guy runs out while I'm in trouble but more times than not I'll get a shot or two because the way I like to play is "hide the ball". I like ball in hand.
    • When I miss my shots I know pretty much where my cue ball is going no matter how hard I hit it and no matter how many times that runs around the table. It's going to land in about an 18 inch radius of where I want it.

    And instantly, he's playing my game, he is distracted. And when it comes time that there are three balls left on the table, I run out. And am able to beat better pool players than myself using this strategy.

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