Another Golf and Three Cushion Story

jrhendy

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We were at the original Hard Times in Costa Mesa and Ronnie Allen talked Charlie The Ape into staking him against Mexican Barney playing golf at 4th & Main in Los Angeles. Now Ronnie was a good golf and snooker player on a tight 5 x 10. When he first came out here from Oklahoma, he hung around Hollywood Billiards and they played quite a bit of snooker there. Barney was probably the best golf player around Los Angeles on a 5 x 10 or 6 x 12. I played in some ring games with him but did not play him any heads up. He was going to spot Ronnie a hole and they would kick it off pretty high. Charlie and Barney would both bet.

We all get to the pool room and Barney is there and ready to go, but Ronnie wanted to go get a drink first. Barney was kind of a hyper guy and Ronnie was gone a while and Barney wants action now. He comes over to Keith and Charlie and tells them he will give Keith 10 billiards going to 30 for $300 a game. Keith declines, and tells Barney he does not play three cushion. I get Keith and Charlie aside and tell them Keith has way the best of it with his natural ability and stroke and offer to take a piece of it. Barney is a good billiard player, but no champion.

Before Ronnie finally gets back we have Barney stuck three games fairly fast. Keith is making those thin pool player hits that drive billiard players crazy. He actually got to 20 before Barney did one game. Now Ronnie is having a fit because there will not be a golf game now. He whines so much that Charlie gives him my part of the bet ($100) even though I talked them into playing. I took my $300 and went home.
 

mr3cushion

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We were at the original Hard Times in Costa Mesa and Ronnie Allen talked Charlie The Ape into staking him against Mexican Barney playing golf at 4th & Main in Los Angeles. Now Ronnie was a good golf and snooker player on a tight 5 x 10. When he first came out here from Oklahoma, he hung around Hollywood Billiards and they played quite a bit of snooker there. Barney was probably the best golf player around Los Angeles on a 5 x 10 or 6 x 12. I played in some ring games with him but did not play him any heads up. He was going to spot Ronnie a hole and they would kick it off pretty high. Charlie and Barney would both bet.

We all get to the pool room and Barney is there and ready to go, but Ronnie wanted to go get a drink first. Barney was kind of a hyper guy and Ronnie was gone a while and Barney wants action now. He comes over to Keith and Charlie and tells them he will give Keith 10 billiards going to 30 for $300 a game. Keith declines, and tells Barney he does not play three cushion. I get Keith and Charlie aside and tell them Keith has way the best of it with his natural ability and stroke and offer to take a piece of it. Barney is a good billiard player, but no champion.

Before Ronnie finally gets back we have Barney stuck three games fairly fast. Keith is making those thin pool player hits that drive billiard players crazy. He actually got to 20 before Barney did one game. Now Ronnie is having a fit because there will not be a golf game now. He whines so much that Charlie gives him my part of the bet ($100) even though I talked them into playing. I took my $300 and went home.
Very good story John! For me throughout my years crossing the country hustling 3C, the key sentence here is, "Keith is making those thin pool player hits that drive billiard players crazy." This is what I loved about giving big weight to pool players, it seemed to be their only arrow in their quiver. Making it very predictable what would happen when they would score that, thin ball short rail 4 cushion shot, that 3C billiard consider safe. By contacting the 2nd ball thin always, sending it to the short rail and a little further, they never had a easy 2nd shot. So, it was like literally giving up only 1 point, where a formidable 3C player is capable of scoring 2-4 if played with the proper technique. Not trying to be critical, just stating a fact from many years on the road.
 

jrhendy

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Very good story John! For me throughout my years crossing the country hustling 3C, the key sentence here is, "Keith is making those thin pool player hits that drive billiard players crazy." This is what I loved about giving big weight to pool players, it seemed to be their only arrow in their quiver. Making it very predictable what would happen when they would score that, thin ball short rail 4 cushion shot, that 3C billiard consider safe. By contacting the 2nd ball thin always, sending it to the short rail and a little further, they never had a easy 2nd shot. So, it was like literally giving up only 1 point, where a formidable 3C player is capable of scoring 2-4 if played with the proper technique. Not trying to be critical, just stating a fact from many years on the road.
The room they played at used to be named Romee’s(sp) and was well known for three cushion for years before this match and it became primarily a Mexican pool room where they still played quite a bit of billiards.

I used to go in there in the late 50’s early 60’s, and that was where Gus Copolous ‘The Greek‘ played. He shared the world tournament record of 17 with Tiff Denton at one time. I played Don Willis nine ball there in 1965, but that’s another story.

Pool players that play three cushion, like me, can only make billiards when we get shots, which we do when we play other pool players. I have tried playing top players like you a few times over the years, and they end up making you helpless with the safety play, and you go for a skyrocket and leave them an easy shot they can play position on and you have no chance. I have lost getting 15 to 25 from a player I know does not play as well as you do. I watched you play at the Nationals when they held them at California Billiards back in the 80’s.

In the mid 90’s they opened up Edgie’s Billiards in Milpitas in the Bay Area. They had (And still do) six Chevillotte billiard tables and they had tournaments that drew players from all over the world. Dave Gross lived there then and I believe he played in some of them.

We have two Gabriels at Hard Times in Sacramento, and if/when they get open again, I will get to play some.
 

mr3cushion

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John, are you talking about 4th & Main, downtown LA. Played there in the early 70's and did a music video with the, 'Pointer Sisters' the song, "You turned me out" in the late 80's for the movie, 'Action Jackson,' I was technical advisor and executed most of the shots in it. Carl Weathers was a Great guy along with, Vanity, was let's just say interesting and provocative.


All a player needs to learn about playing safe in 3C, can be taught in 30 minutes! As far as pool players making shots they get, it's true. But, they play the shot with the incorrect, speed, stroke, amount of ball/what ball and technique, which keeps them from making simple runs.

California Billiards was the Best venue for spectators for 3C in USA, it's just the tables didn't play that well. Ed Krieger was good friend of mine, we played golf when I can to the Bay area. Another Great player I became good friends with was, Jay Bozeman. Jay and his lovely wife were originally from Chicago, and were best of friends with my mentor, Ernie Presto. Unfortunately throughout Jay's Professional career, he was always the, 'brides maid' never winning a World Championship, Even so, he came in 2nd and 3rd more time than any 3C player in the Golden era of 3C. When we first met at a Nationals, which he attended several times, he paid me IMO, one the highest compliments, he told me, "You're the only player here that knows where the balls are going and how to get them there, jus shorten your bridge a little!" I've kept that comment close to me coming from him.
 

gulfportdoc

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I was at Romey's (4th & Main) only once in the late '60s. I went there looking to see what kind of billiard equipment and players that they had. I recall thinking that the room didn't have the same feel as a typical downtown room in a large city. That part of town wasn't very congested or built upwards at that time.

Seems to me that they had 4 or 5 billiard tables with pretty worn cloth. I'd been used to Tiff's, so the tables looked kind of shabby. I sat around and b.s.'d awhile, but I got to feeling like I was fresh hamburger on sale, so I left. My turf was The Valley, and didn't get downtown often, although I'd spent a coupla years at Mr. Pockets on 6th St.-- where Jerry M. was scoring pretty well...:cool:
 

jrhendy

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That was the place Bill. I started going down there once and a while when I was still in high school in the 50’s. You could park and walk to three pool rooms. Romey‘s and one at 5th and Spring and another on Alvarado. There were plenty of old hustlers ready to beat a young snooker player for $2/3 a game. I did not have a clue about playing safe, and shot straighter than Tom Mix, but they would break me down with safeties and I would go home broke.

In the sixties my trips downtown were to Hollywood Billiards at Hollywood & Western. Lots of great players in and out of there, but also a few I could beat playing snooker. I would win a little $ and then go in with one of my hero’s and get dumped. Quite a bit of my pool room education came at Hollywood Billiards, and this was before it had some well known three cushion players hanging there. My primary room was at San Gabriel lanes where they played three cushion and golf. I got to play partners three cushion with Charlie ‘Tennessee‘ Milliken, who was the best player there at that time. Allen Gilbert (Lefty Gold then) would come around once and a while, but could not beat Charlie yet. They were happy to see a good young pool player take an interest in billiards and tried to teach me systems, but I was too stubborn and was more interested in stroke shots Charlie would show me. There was also too much golf action going on and the only guys who would bet anything at three cushion would rob me.
 
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