Review of

I never really heard of online pool for money until a few weeks ago, when I did a Google search for nineball and several online pool rooms came up.  I had played a little bit online before… mostly on Yahoo games.  But I’ve always thought of pool as a physical game.  It just didn’t seem like a game that could really be enjoyed the same way playing online.  But I figured I’d give it a try and the first online pool site that I visited was

The first thing that attracted me about PoolSharks was the name.  I play pool mainly in Las Vegas and my favorite club is called “Sharks” down on Decatur and Spring Mountain.  So right away made me think about my favorite haunt.  The site looked kind of cool.. there was a video of the software that kind of made it feel like the final table of a tournament.  They also advertised a deposit bonus, which I was pretty familiar with from my online poker and casino sites.  Like most of those types of offers, I discovered that the Poolsharks deposit bonus also had wagering requirements before they’d release the money.  But more on that later… I decided to get started.

Step 1 – Download and install the software

The download was quick.  The installation, likewise, was very quick.  I’ll admit, though, that I would really have preferred it if the site didn’t require a download and install.  I’m always a little paranoid that my computer is going to catch a virus every time I download a piece of software.  The online pool software looked legitimate enough, and since it’s a money site I feel a little safer with this than some random freeware download… but still.  Another annoying thing happened after downloading and installing and that is when I ran the PoolSharks software for the first time it had a bunch of updates that it needed to download.  Why?!?  I just downloaded and installed it… why wouldn’t they just make sure that the version you download from the website is up to date?  On to the next step.

Step 2 – Creating an Account

I decided to go with “Dutch” as my PoolSharks username.  It asked for an option sign-up coupon and after doing a Google search I didn’t find anything so I just left that blank.  I’ll see if I can get some sort of sign-up coupon for all of my readers.  Clicked submit and DOH!  The username wasn’t valid.  Went with “DutchBoyd” and that was available.

Step 3 – Choosing to play for points or money

The first decision screen after signing up and logging in were two split boxes… one said “play for points” with an abacus and one said “play for money”.  Obviously, I didn’t want to just jump right in and start playing pool online for money without getting a feel for the software, so I clicked on the play pool for points option.  A tutorial popped up explaining the game mechanics… the break seems to work a little like Golden Tee.  A game lobby also popped up, which felt a lot like a lot of online poker sites I’ve played on.

Step 4 – My first play match

My first match was against a guy that called himself “dallasfats”.  The actual gameplay wasn’t all that easy.  We both took about three shots each on the nineball when it finally got to that point.  It felt like we were both sending a lot of balls for rides.  Actually getting the balls to do what I wanted them to do wasn’t very easy.  I guess it’s not that easy in real life either.  At the very end, my third shot on the nine seemed to be a pretty easy straight in shot.  Just like a real life hustler, my opponent typed in “gg” for good game right before I shot.  Such an angle!  I was very upset when I fouled up the shot.  Down 30 points!

My second match was against a guy that called himself “PS1015786”.  He scratched on the break, I got the first two balls in, and then he sunk the nine in a combo shot.  Down 20 points!  My online pool career isn’t starting too well.

My third match was against a guy called “CuckMySock”.  I started to get the hang of it.  I noticed that each of us had a 15 second timer for each shot and a two minute time bank.  Kind of like a chess clock.  But just when I felt like I was starting to get a knack for it, my opponent went on a three ball run and sunk the nine on a combo.

One last match before I decided to call it quits.  This time it was again “CuckMySock” playing for 30 points.  This last game was more like a chess match than any of the previous three.  I attempted to foul him out with a few safeties, but no luck.  Then I missed a few really easy shots just because I wasn’t really sure where the cue ball was going to go.  His shots always seemed to be right on.  He ended the game with a 5-shot runout.

I couldn’t call it quits being down four games to nothing… so I decided to play once more.  This time it was against a guy named “leon0471” from Venezuela.  And he was horrible.  But I was almost as bad… I even hit the seven ball once when my object ball was the six.  How do I screw that up?!?  It got down to the seven and nine ball.  I had an easy cut on the seven but botched it.  Starting to realize that the cue definitely doesn’t cut like I think it will.  He messed up on the seven ball, though, and didn’t leave himself shape on the nine.  I sunk it!  My first win!  GRACIAS!  He challenged me to another match for 50 and I decided I could take him.  Which I did.  Easily.

I gotta say… just playing for points, this site really isn’t too bad.  It does feel like you are really playing pool.  The physics seems right.  It’s hard, just like it should be.  It really feels like I’m there shooting at a table.  I haven’t tried for money, but I probably will since it seems like you can deposit with Paypal and I have a little in my account.  I’ll write another write-up when I get the balls to deposit.

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