A hero is defined by Oxford as a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Heroes exist in various forms and in different factions of life. Today we are focusing on a very unusual and interesting character. This hero goes by the title The One Armed Bandit.
Rhys here from Cue News and I decided to have a chat with this One Armed Bandit in order to figure out why he does what he does. What cause would be worth him putting himself at a disadvantage while doing something that he loves.
Ross Burckhardt is on a powerful mission and has chosen a very unique path on route to its accomplishment. His overall goal is to raise awareness for men’s mental health. His current specific target is the raising of funds for Beyond Blue in support of men’s mental health.
The topic of mental health has a certain stigma especially with males. No one wants to speak about it in fear of being labelled as weak or less of a man. Thankfully, we now know of at least one hero who thrives to bring awareness to this issue and make it more comfortable to talk about.
This is a pool website so don’t worry, we will be talking about pool. This is after all, the medium that The One Armed Bandit uses to spread his message.
The One Armed Bandit, as you may have already guessed, plays pool using one hand. This is a handicap that he intentionally bestows upon himself for a noble cause.
Ross Burckhardt is a 29-year-old security guard who lives in Hervey Bay in Queensland. He faced a myriad of hardships throughout his life, struggled with addiction and mental health issues. He has been playing pool since the age of 18 with two hands. He has however, been playing one armed pool for approximately two years now.
The One Armed Bandit will be enrolling in school to pursue a dual diploma in Mental Health and Drugs and Addiction starting January of next year. This is with the intention of becoming a mobile mental health worker. He then plans to tour across Australia offering assistance and spreading awareness about mental health. He will be targeting the pubs in order to play one armed pool and have conversations with men who may need help or may know someone who does.
Learning one armed pool takes much practice as one would expect. You are without the use of your other arm which means you will be faced with issues stabilizing and pivoting your cue stick.
The One Armed Bandit considers the cue stick to be an extension of his arm and treats it as such. He has mastered the art of one-armed pool after much practice. He is still aware of the added level of difficulty especially when floating the cue in order to play over top shots. The hardest thing for him to learn was to break with one arm. It is difficult to get that power with no additional support from your other arm.
Ross just keeps getting better at one armed pool and considers pool to be the best addiction he has ever had.
The movement is catching on and the social media following is steadily growing. There are even some supporters who have started to play pool with one hand.
Show your support to the One Armed Bandit’s Facebook page
You can even check out this video of him playing pool with one arm
Please feel free to donate to his cause by clicking the DONATE button at the bottom of the video. Help to spread a positive message and change lives for the better.
Remember to use #THEONEARMEDBANDITS on all your social media pages.
The game of pool can be used to relate to many different aspects of life. The One Armed Bandit can be quoted saying “I look at pool the same way I look at life, every game is a lesson. Every game is a chance to better yourself”. I totally agree with him and we at Cue News support his cause one hundred percent.