California One Pocket Story

jrhendy

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As I read & reply to some of these posts, memories pop into my head about games I either watched or was involved in. Since I killed too many brain cells as a young guy, I have to get these down before I forget about them. This is one of my favorites, and I sweated every game. In 1960 or 61 there was a bowling alley in Anaheim called the "Wonder Bowl". It was huge with a 24 hour pool room. Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman from Chicago had just busted Detroit Whitey. Whitey bit him for $10 for something to eat. Later on, Ritchie Florence was playing in an action game & Whitey was leaning against a 5 x 10 snooker table throwing the balls around & watching the game. He set up a tough shot down the long rail & started barking about betting $10 on the shot. Johnny said "I might as well bust you again" & bet him on the shot. Whitey ended up winning $50. Johnny was hot about losing the $50 chasing $10 & they played a set of one pocket for the $50. When the smoke cleared, Whitey won all his $$ back plus some. In those days the pool desk was closed after hours & you had to take the balls back & play table time at the Bowling desk. Whitey gave me $20 & said take the balls back & pay the time & keep the change. I had been in the pool room all day & night & went home to get some sleep. when I came back the next night, Whitey was still there, saw me come in & said "Hey kid, got any of that $20 left?"
 

yobagua

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Hey John great story! Got a call from Diliberto today and he told me his book with Jerry Forsyth is about finished and ready to go to publishers. I bet there will be a lot of stories about the game will be in it as he was one of the toughest road players in his day.
 

Eight & Out

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I like to read good stories like this about the game of pool.Would like to know more about Diliberto's book.Will it be on road stories only?

Pete
 

jrhendy

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Diliberto

Diliberto

yobagua said:
Hey John great story! Got a call from Diliberto today and he told me his book with Jerry Forsyth is about finished and ready to go to publishers. I bet there will be a lot of stories about the game will be in it as he was one of the toughest road players in his day.
When Danny first came to CA he didn't know much about one pocket & Ronnie Allen gave him a spot-9 to 7 I think. Ronnie's favorite quote to the straight pool players was: A y'ouse can't beat a Y'all playing one pocket. He was wrong as Danny ended up being a great one pocket player.
 

hemicudas

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Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman, Bugs and Kenny Rhomberg

Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman, Bugs and Kenny Rhomberg

jrhendy said:
As I read & reply to some of these posts, memories pop into my head about games I either watched or was involved in. Since I killed too many brain cells as a young guy, I have to get these down before I forget about them. This is one of my favorites, and I sweated every game. In 1960 or 61 there was a bowling alley in Anaheim called the "Wonder Bowl". It was huge with a 24 hour pool room. Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman from Chicago had just busted Detroit Whitey. Whitey bit him for $10 for something to eat. Later on, Ritchie Florence was playing in an action game & Whitey was leaning against a 5 x 10 snooker table throwing the balls around & watching the game. He set up a tough shot down the long rail & started barking about betting $10 on the shot. Johnny said "I might as well bust you again" & bet him on the shot. Whitey ended up winning $50. Johnny was hot about losing the $50 chasing $10 & they played a set of one pocket for the $50. When the smoke cleared, Whitey won all his $$ back plus some. In those days the pool desk was closed after hours & you had to take the balls back & play table time at the Bowling desk. Whitey gave me $20 & said take the balls back & pay the time & keep the change. I had been in the pool room all day & night & went home to get some sleep. when I came back the next night, Whitey was still there, saw me come in & said "Hey kid, got any of that $20 left?"
I loved Cannonball, John. Had a ton of heart. Have you ever noticed how many of the top black one pocket/bank players ever are LEFT handed? You think there is a reason? Ie; Left side of the brain dominate or something equally psychological, lol? There has to be a reason.
 

Troy

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Another Story

Another Story

I was TD for a 1-Pocket tournament a few years ago in NorCal.
No, I won't mention any names, but both guys are well-known in this area.

Score was 2 games each in a race to three. Player A owed one ball, Player B had about 2-3-4 balls. After about 15 minutes of safties, Player A ran 8 balls. Player B got up from his seat with his hand outstretched. Player A said "Thanks" and raked the balls toward the head spoy. At this point Player B yells "You still owe a ball" and proceeds to jump around, etc.

As TD, I ruled that Player B had conceeded the game and therefore conceeded the match by getting out of his seat and offering congratulations.
Unfortunately, the Room owner over-ruled my decision and told them to re-play the game.
(Yes, I was pissed...!!!)

Player A won anyway... :)

Troy
 
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jrhendy

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Left Handed Players

Left Handed Players

hemicudas said:
I loved Cannonball, John. Had a ton of heart. Have you ever noticed how many of the top black one pocket/bank players ever are LEFT handed? You think there is a reason? Ie; Left side of the brain dominate or something equally psychological, lol? There has to be a reason.
I never gave it much thought, but your right, maybe it does have something to do with the left side of the brain. Lefties are dangerous in most eye/hand coordination sports. Another thing, a very high percentage of these top players came from Chicago. I played Mexican Johnny (from Chicago) several years ago and even though he wasn't considered a top notch player, he banked so good off the end rail I couldn't beat him at one pocket. He had that erect stance & big long bridge and I swear he almost banked them in on the fly. Getting back to Cannonball, he played everything good. I was in my early 20's then & didn't fool with guys like him, but watched him play quite a few times and he didn't book many losers.
 

Troy

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Larry Evans falls into this category (Black & Left-handed), although he doesn't play much anymore.
I can (and have) watch him shoot all day and learn tons of new stuff...
Besides, he's a funny guy to listen to... :)
Many years ago, maybe '97-'98, at Campbell Billiards, Larry and "Big John" (our own JRHENDY) matched up in a small tourney. The limited audience was in stiches the entire match... :) :)

Troy
jrhendy said:
I never gave it much thought, but your right, maybe it does have something to do with the left side of the brain. Lefties are dangerous in most eye/hand coordination sports. Another thing, a very high percentage of these top players came from Chicago. I played Mexican Johnny (from Chicago) several years ago and even though he wasn't considered a top notch player, he banked so good off the end rail I couldn't beat him at one pocket. He had that erect stance & big long bridge and I swear he almost banked them in on the fly. Getting back to Cannonball, he played everything good. I was in my early 20's then & didn't fool with guys like him, but watched him play quite a few times and he didn't book many losers.
 
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jrhendy

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Troy said:
Larry Evans falls into this category (Black & Left-handed), although he doesn't play much anymore.
I can (and have) watch him shoot all day and learn tons of new stuff...
Besides, he's a funny guy to listen to... :)
Many years ago, maybe '97-'98, at Campbell Billiards, Larry and "Big John" (our own JRHENDY) matched up in a small tourney. The limited audience was in stiches the entire match... :) :)

Troy
Larry beat me up here every time I gambled with him. Years ago he hung around 6th & Western in LA & there were three black players down there I never tried to match up with & all were left handed - Larry, Cecil Tugwell (Best in LA for many years) and another guy named Roger. The room manager (Louie) used to steer me around and told me all three were on the "do not play list". I made a few scores in there. Problem was, Hawaiian Brian also hung out in there & I loved playing him. He could give me anything & beat me, but I always came back for more when I was down there. He beat me out of more $$ than anyone else I ever played. I beat him a couple of $100 sets in 9-ball when he 1st came over in the 60's & it cost me plenty of cash over the years. The only time I had him trapped was in 3 cushion billiards - I won the 1st game, I stalled & he won the 2nd game, looked at me & said "I quit, I'm supposed to be doing this to you". He was one of the best $$ players around in all games (except billiards) & he played terrific one pocket. I'm sure there are some stories about him out there.
 

Wayne

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jrhendy said:
Years ago he hung around 6th & Western in LA & there were three black players down there I never tried to match up with & all were left handed - Larry, Cecil Tugwell (Best in LA for many years) and another guy named Roger.
Technically, Cecil Tugwell was a great right handed player. It was only after his right arm was busted completely that he was forced to learn how to play left handed. He spent a couple of years learning how to play left handed. Then he became a great left handed player. As a lefty he played Efren a challenge match for a couple of thousand at Hard Times (late eighties or early nineties). I believe the game was a best out of 7 sets with a race to three to win each set. Efren won the first 2 sets and then Cecil won 4 straight sets to win the cash.

I wasn't there but JJ Jenkins taped it and I got to watch it on tape.
 

SJDinPHX

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jrhendy said:
As I read & reply to some of these posts, memories pop into my head about games I either watched or was involved in. Since I killed too many brain cells as a young guy, I have to get these down before I forget about them. This is one of my favorites, and I sweated every game. In 1960 or 61 there was a bowling alley in Anaheim called the "Wonder Bowl". It was huge with a 24 hour pool room. Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman from Chicago had just busted Detroit Whitey. Whitey bit him for $10 for something to eat. Later on, Ritchie Florence was playing in an action game & Whitey was leaning against a 5 x 10 snooker table throwing the balls around & watching the game. He set up a tough shot down the long rail & started barking about betting $10 on the shot. Johnny said "I might as well bust you again" & bet him on the shot. Whitey ended up winning $50. Johnny was hot about losing the $50 chasing $10 & they played a set of one pocket for the $50. When the smoke cleared, Whitey won all his $$ back plus some. In those days the pool desk was closed after hours & you had to take the balls back & play table time at the Bowling desk. Whitey gave me $20 & said take the balls back & pay the time & keep the change. I had been in the pool room all day & night & went home to get some sleep. when I came back the next night, Whitey was still there, saw me come in & said "Hey kid, got any of that $20 left?"
Good story John,

Being a few years your senior, my brain cells have almost disintegrated. I do have a few Detroit Whitey stories to tell, but cannot remember dates as well as you (sometimes I even mix up my decades)
On one of his trips out west,(probably late 50's) I busted him playing 9 ball in SJ. His stake horse was a local sucker, who accused us of "dumping"...We didn't even know each other then...Whitey got hot and smacked the guy, and then naturally he bit me pretty good. Steered him around a bit, to make his getaway money.

My Grandma died in 1959, and I went to her funeral in Detroit. I went into the old "Rathole" downstairs on Woodward ave...Whitey and Cornbreads home court at the time. (pre-Rack days) Whitey gives me the "office" and we meet at a bar up the street...I think his intent was to double steer me, but I told him I was on pretty short $$$ (which I was) so I guess he decided to double steer Cornbread instead. Corn gave me a few ball's playing 1 pocket, (my pre 1P days)and it wasn't enough,...I got broke. If memory serves me, Whitey had like $10, of my puny $50 worth of action.

Borrowed a $100 from my brother-in-law,(pretty strong bite in those days)...and went back downtown a few days later. Managed to get Red down in a Golf game (rare in there) and got a few $$$ back before he pulled up. He then tried to give me 9/7 (and then 8/7) at 1P on a tight 5X10 snooker table. He did not like that at all.
Whitey was absent for the entire re-match. Never saw him again till a few years later in LA, at 4th and Main...he's busted, and tries to tell me he heard I beat Red for 8 million (it was actually a few hundred) and he gets a little tushy about wanting a big jelly...Got him calmed down and he settled for a small bite, and we went bar hustling "in downtown LA" together. We made a few bucks, even though he almost got us killed in one joint, and I'm sure I took a brutal beating on the count, as I was playing, and he had the rail bets.

This is dragging out too long, but let me just say, we met several more times over the years (never played again) and almost every time would qualify as a war story. He was one of a kind wasn't he ?
Our very fragile friendship ended, when he did the most treacherous thing imaginable to Canadian Pete and I... I'll share that story some other day...I get hot just thinking about it..:mad: :mad: :mad: Pete got over it,...I never did !

PS..John, Its amazing our paths never crossed in those days. I used to go down to LA and San Diego, at least 3-4 times a year. Popcorn used to steer me around. Played Fat Bill at Hollywood and Western a few times, and Harry the Horse, and others, at the Wonder Bowl...Those were Pre-Tropicana days, Richie was around, (looked all of 12 yrs. old) but RA had yet to arrive.(I'm quite sure)
Although, thinking back, I almost always worked at something in SJ, and rarely stayed more than a long week-end. But we had to have been in the same joint more than once. We have too many mutual aquaintences, not to have been.
Also thinking back, I guess I spent more time in San Diego, than LA... Good action (for me) at the old Tower Bowl on Market St. (long gone)...I Had a wealthy regular in there, who would not go off to anybody but me...pissed off the local scuffs....Played Harry there a few times too.
 
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beatle

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okay here is one of mine

okay here is one of mine

in the early 1970,s i used to go to the billiard den on santa monica blvd in west hollywood. that was a great action spot but the players were smart. well i lemoned for a long time and would beat the worst players in the joint for short sets of six ball for good money and usually miss a cut shot on the game set ball and try to leave him tough. remember i only played cripples there. i had so many old timers backing them and going off they went crazy. quite a few times i had some tough characters put girls into me or try to get me robbed, but i was street smart.
but there was this big arab looking guy who had all these 500 and 1000 dollar bills and always wanted to bet them. no one would play him as he never had smaller change and they all thought he was having bad money and just wanted to change it up for good. so one day i decided just to win them and i did. so i played him with only a small spot and he never ever made a ball. i had to drag it out over days as i was being watched all the time. by then i was suspected of being better than i put on and was in danger of losing all my action. but anyway this stooge lost a bunch to me and of course all the bills were good. then i dont think he ever came back with any. maybe i got them all. i still have one, i dont know why.
 

gulfportdoc

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SJDinPHX said:
Played Fat Bill at Hollywood and Western a few times, and Harry the Horse, and others, at the Wonder Bowl...
Dick, was that Harry the Horse, or Harry the Hook? I think Harry the Hook was Harry Cohen-- a complete reprobate who played a good game of 3C and also one pocket. He hung around the L.A. pool scene for many years. Beard knows him, and doesn't think much of him.;)

Doc
 

SJDinPHX

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gulfportdoc said:
Dick, was that Harry the Horse, or Harry the Hook? I think Harry the Hook was Harry Cohen-- a complete reprobate who played a good game of 3C and also one pocket. He hung around the L.A. pool scene for many years. Beard knows him, and doesn't think much of him.;)

Doc
Doc,

John H. will know the Harry I'm referring too, I believe his last name was Mc Connell, or O'Connell (not sure) He was a well known scuff around SoCal at that time. I remember him as pretty savvy.... Needed weight from some of the better player's, but he would bet it up pretty good in the right spot.
...Everybody knew him as "Harry the Horse" (did not know Harry the Hook)....John ???
 
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mr3cushion

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gulfportdoc said:
Dick, was that Harry the Horse, or Harry the Hook? I think Harry the Hook was Harry Cohen-- a complete reprobate who played a good game of 3C and also one pocket. He hung around the L.A. pool scene for many years. Beard knows him, and doesn't think much of him.;)

Doc
Doc; the Harry Cohen AKA "Harry the Horse" I think you're referring to was originally from NY, pretty fair all around player in his day. He was long in the tooth when I first met him at the Congress Bowl in Miami in the late 60's early 70's. He hung out there every winter with Gene Skinner, Marcel Camp, and Fatty when he came into town, if I remember correctly he didn't play as good as the above mentioned, always looking for a little the best of it, but, aren't we all.

Bill Smith "Mr3Cushion"
 

lll

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beatle said:
in the early 1970,s i used to go to the billiard den on santa monica blvd in west hollywood. that was a great action spot but the players were smart. well i lemoned for a long time and would beat the worst players in the joint for short sets of six ball for good money and usually miss a cut shot on the game set ball and try to leave him tough. remember i only played cripples there. i had so many old timers backing them and going off they went crazy. quite a few times i had some tough characters put girls into me or try to get me robbed, but i was street smart.
but there was this big arab looking guy who had all these 500 and 1000 dollar bills and always wanted to bet them. no one would play him as he never had smaller change and they all thought he was having bad money and just wanted to change it up for good. so one day i decided just to win them and i did. so i played him with only a small spot and he never ever made a ball. i had to drag it out over days as i was being watched all the time. by then i was suspected of being better than i put on and was in danger of losing all my action. but anyway this stooge lost a bunch to me and of course all the bills were good. then i dont think he ever came back with any. maybe i got them all. i still have one, i dont know why.
you may have kept one as a prize scalp so to speak.
beatle you have kept close to the vest in this forum,although your comments show you are seasoned and an upper level cognescenti of one pocket.
thanks for opening up some. i (we ) do like to vicariously live by all of you members that share your stories.. adventures.:)
 

jrhendy

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SJDinPHX said:
Doc,

John H. will know the Harry I'm referring too, I believe his last name was Mc Connell, or O'Connell (not sure) He was a well known scuff around SoCal at that time. I remember him as pretty savvy.... Needed weight from some of the better player's, but he would bet it up pretty good in the right spot.
...Everybody knew him as "Harry the Horse" (did not know Harry the Hook)....John ???
It was "Harry The Horse" Mc Connell. He beat me playing golf in El Monte sometime in the 60's. You were liable to run into him anywhere and he played all games just a tick below the very good ones.

I have just returned from a vacation in my motorhome to the Mendocino Coast. Had to leave my motorhome in Gualala and have to head back tomorrow with the garage guys van to pick up the motorhome. I will be looking to play when I get back. Heading to Phoenix on the 21st and will stop by Los Angeles on the way back.

Bringing lots of $$ so boys get ready! Heard someone in Santa Monica wants to give me 9/7 so I'm bringing extra barrels in case I go off too much in Arizona.
 

wincardona

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jrhendy said:
It was "Harry The Horse" Mc Connell. He beat me playing golf in El Monte sometime in the 60's. You were liable to run into him anywhere and he played all games just a tick below the very good ones.

I have just returned from a vacation in my motorhome to the Mendocino Coast. Had to leave my motorhome in Gualala and have to head back tomorrow with the garage guys van to pick up the motorhome. I will be looking to play when I get back. Heading to Phoenix on the 21st and will stop by Los Angeles on the way back.

Bringing lots of $$ so boys get ready! Heard someone in Santa Monica wants to give me 9/7 so I'm bringing extra barrels in case I go off too much in Arizona.
Your right John, his speed was a few ticks below (playing 9 ball)the good players. He stood about 5'5" and weighed about 200 pds, stocky build. Beside 9 ball his best game was drinking (sad to say)I think he adventually died due to a drinking related problem. And yes he would bet it up and stand up well for the money. I played Harry several times giving him the 8 ball and won, but it was difficult.
 

SJDinPHX

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wincardona said:
Your right John, his speed was a few ticks below (playing 9 ball)the good players. He stood about 5'5" and weighed about 200 pds, stocky build. Beside 9 ball his best game was drinking (sad to say)I think he adventually died due to a drinking related problem. And yes he would bet it up and stand up well for the money. I played Harry several times giving him the 8 ball and won, but it was difficult.
You remember him well Bill. I played Harry many times, and he was always tough to match up with. I got him pretty good one time, playing golf and then the 8 safe, or the last two in 9 ball...Don't think I could have won giving up the 8.
Whoever won would funish several (dozen) cocktails for the loser...He did like to drink, so he was OK in my book..;)

You must have visited California after I moved to Texas, huh ? Did you get up around the bay area much ? Several good high $$$ player's in Cochran's in those days...Rusty Jones, Jack Perkin's, Bucktooth, and a few others. A ton of medium $$$ action too...Good times..:)
 
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