Sharing The Light – Question 2 September 2021 Part Two

This week we continue with our question and answer(s) program. This is part two of their replies for September. Check last week’s post for answers from Steve Lillis and Tom Rossman.

Question #2, September 2021:

What is the difference (from a moralistic standpoint) between matching up and playing tournaments?

Tommy Kennedy

Tommy Kennedy:

Hello Christian Pool Players and pool fans all across AZ Billiards.  I will answer this as best I can.

This is what I see as the difference. From a moral viewpoint, playing tournaments is honorable, and matching up isn’t. When the common person looks at matching up (gambling), they see it as gambling like most players did years ago. But when they see a tournament being played, they see it as a more legitimate way to present the game, and in a better light. Anyone who is honest with themselves can make the distinction.

There is definitely a difference in matching up one-on-one, and playing a tournament. The bible says, “Avoid all appearance of evil.” And again, the question always comes up, “Well in a tournament you are putting money up to play just like you would in a gambling/matching up match.” Well, I feel the issue isn’t about putting money up; it’s about perspective. Most times, if there are two people matching up, and I see that, it brings to my mind the days of my gambling activity and all the evil that went along with it.

But when I see a tournament being played, it doesn’t have that evil connotation to it. There is no deceit and sleight of hand, so to speak, in a tournament. People know upfront what they are getting into when they play a tournament. BUT, in a gambling/matching up setting, you have all kinds of evil and lustful heart attitudes and deception involved. Not to mention the sex and drug activity that goes on behind the scenes.

Also, everybody wants to hit that big score so they can live a life of no work and laziness. That’s how I was. Let’s be honest here. If you are going to gamble with someone, you will do everything you can to win, and it might just mean you will have to lie and cheat to accomplish your goal. Believe me if you’re honest with this issue like I said earlier, you will admit that there is a difference in the two situations. And honestly, The Lord Jesus Christ knows the difference.

So, you are not fooling anyone when you justify gambling/matching up. You can say all you want, but it will never change gambling/matching up into an honest, wholesome way to play. I know because I have been there, done that. And I am at peace with tournaments, but not with matching up. The Bible says, “Let him who stole, steal no more.”  That is one of my favorite verses, because it promotes a work ethic, not a lazy play pool and gamble lifestyle. God will honor hard work and honesty, but He will not honor gambling matches, and He will punish those who gamble in some way or another sooner or later. So that’s my short answer to a long question. Lol  Love you all in Christ Jesus My Lord!!!

Robin Dodson

Robin Dodson:

Back before there were tournaments, everyone gambled. And everyone seemed to love the “action.” I was young. I mostly watched. But I did get in on the action when I could.

What I remember most was the devastating affects gambling had on my friends. What at first started out to be excitement and fun soon became a full-blown addiction. Their lives were torn apart by one more bet –– the one that emptied their pockets and found them sleeping in their cars.

Then tournaments came along and some said they were bad for pool (meaning they were bad for gambling, actually). But I noticed something very different happening. Players started finding ways other than gambling to support themselves. The trap of thinking that “big score” is coming, subsided.

Not everyone survived the gambling addiction, but those who did thrived.

Pool is in our lives forever, so I say keep it fun. Practice and enjoy the love of the game. Then hit the local hot spots and compete in the tournaments. If you’re married and have a family, they will love you for it, and will even enjoy you playing.

So, whether it’s gambling or tournaments, I’ve been around both in excess and extremes.
Gambling destroyed many lives (of those I loved). Tournaments kept the game exciting and gave everyone perspective on life outside the poolroom.

I understand gambling is fun, but just be careful. And be thoughtful of the person you’re gambling with. They might be one of those players like I remember: one who’s betting all they have in their pocket, and to their name.

Romans 14:1-23 ESV
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind