What is a Sneaky Pete Cue

What is a sneaky Pete cue ? I am sure you are a newbie like I was in the old days and this question is lurking around in your mind because you heard it a lot in the club.

When I was new to the pool I would get in the club and look for someone as noob as me to play with. I followed the advice of my pal who took me to the pool first time and said look for someone your own level to play with. Do not start a game who looks like a hustler or get deceived by a Sneaky Pete and his Sneaky Pete cue.

He told me a rule of all the clubs that if you lose a game you have to pay for it. If you win your opponent must pay for the game. That sounds fair but he said not for the newbies because a lot of noobs get duped by the Sneaky Petes. I kept hearing this term and frankly I was reluctant to ask directly what in the world is this Sneaky Pete and his cue.

He kept repeating and it sounded like a demon and raised my curiosity to ask him what do you mean by a Sneaky Pete and his cue, what is this funky term? He finally answered, there are players around in this club who don’t want to pay a penny and want to practice, improve their game and make some living. So they look for people who are just starting out on the game and approach them to play by acting as if they are as new to the game as you are.

So at the end of the day, they spend a minimum but end up playing quite a lot of games with newbies. These people are the tricky ones and are usually referred to as the Sneaky Petes from the historical point of view but what makes them more Sneaky is their Cue. Yes, the stick in their hands. It looks just like an ordinary cheap stick the club owner has placed on the rack. But in reality, it’s a custom stick these sneaky guys have got specially made to show other players as if they just picked that up from the club rack. Below is a typical Sneaky Pete Cue design:

what is a sneaky pete cue

Some sneaky Petes take their tricks up to the next level. They would play best of 3 games and would place quite a reasonable bet on the game. They would trick you into playing with you by their low quality looking cue and their less confident body language.

They would intentionally lose the first game out of those three for the sake of fun and then show the true class in the last two games. Now all of a sudden not only their body language gets confident but their cue which seemed to be just a bamboo stick starts acting like the Lucasi custom stick I reviewed in another post.

To surprise you, from where it began it has a quite funny legend associated with it. Some guy named Peter Anthony Crisafi was quite an awesome player of billiards. He wanted to take billiards as a means of living for himself. He didn’t have a job so he devised a strategy. He stole the best cue in the club he played the most. Altered the cue by breaking it into two and converting it into a two piece cue. So he customized a low quality looking house cue as his playing stick.

Now he would travel around the country into different clubs, act like a noob and then coax others to get into a bet and then he would smash them in the game. He ended up making a livelihood from this strategy.


So to conclude, someone who is keeping a low profile of a noob in the club but has a super but ordinary looking stick is a Sneaky Pete and his cue is a Sneaky Pete’s Cue.

If you are just starting out look for someone who is at your own level. There are a lot of sneaky players out their with the gear of just a starter and trick you into a bet you would end up losing badly. As a starter, I suggest investing in a good cue that would dramatically improve your game. To help you out, I have reviewed the best cues for this year in another post I have linked above. You might want to check that out as they can improve your game by some folds.

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