Introduction

NJshooter

Verified Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
56
Just wanted to introduce myself as I've been lurking here for several months. Was born and raised in NYC and started playing pool as a young teenager. I've been playing all my life and have lived in NJ for many years.

So now I've been playing for the better part of 50 years and have been playing one pocket for about 20 plus years. I play mostly in NJ, still get into NY often, and play at the usual spots -- Billiards Cafe in Lodi, NJ, Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, used to meander into Clifton Billiards, Breaker Billiards, Elite, etc. (the usual suspects, LOL).

Just wanted to say hello and thank everyone for their insight as I've really enjoyed lurking here at this site. All the best.
 

jtompilot

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,841
Just wanted to introduce myself as I've been lurking here for several months. Was born and raised in NYC and started playing pool as a young teenager. I've been playing all my life and have lived in NJ for many years.

So now I've been playing for the better part of 50 years and have been playing one pocket for about 20 plus years. I play mostly in NJ, still get into NY often, and play at the usual spots -- Billiards Cafe in Lodi, NJ, Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, used to meander into Clifton Billiards, Breaker Billiards, Elite, etc. (the usual suspects, LOL).

Just wanted to say hello and thank everyone for their insight as I've really enjoyed lurking here at this site. All the best.
Welcome.
Have we played?
I played Mel three times in Lodi before he passed. I've flown into Teterboro so I get around and also have played at Castle and Clifton.
 

NJshooter

Verified Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
56
Welcome.
Have we played?
I played Mel three times in Lodi before he passed. I've flown into Teterboro so I get around and also have played at Castle and Clifton.
Thank you. No, we probably haven't played. I play a lot but I don't play a lot of people, LOL. When did you play Mel? I knew Mel for more years than I'd like to admit (referring to my own age, not Mel). I liked Mel. We had a mutual respect for each other that was the basis for us being friends.

Back in the day, Mel was a top player, but that was before life takes a turn so to speak. Even after he had his own place, and life turned, Mel could still play better than anyone in Lodi with the exception of maybe one or two guys, but those two or three would never play each other for real money. By then though he was a shadow of his old self, both as a player and with his health.

He had cancer for many years before it really got bad.
 

LSJohn

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
7,633
Just wanted to introduce myself as I've been lurking here for several months. Was born and raised in NYC and started playing pool as a young teenager. I've been playing all my life and have lived in NJ for many years.

So now I've been playing for the better part of 50 years and have been playing one pocket for about 20 plus years. I play mostly in NJ, still get into NY often, and play at the usual spots -- Billiards Cafe in Lodi, NJ, Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ, used to meander into Clifton Billiards, Breaker Billiards, Elite, etc. (the usual suspects, LOL).

Just wanted to say hello and thank everyone for their insight as I've really enjoyed lurking here at this site. All the best.

Welcome aboard.

We already have several members from Jersey, so we gave up on quality a long time ago. :D

Maybe a little early for ribbing, but from NY and NJ, you can take it. :eek:

Don't hesitate to speak up. The more the merrier.
 

One pocket Smitty

Verified Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
747
Welcome to the world of One Pocket! You will fine a bunch of really good players willing to share information to help your game, and then there are guys like me that just post stuff everyone already knows. Lol --Smitty
 

lll

Verified Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
14,688
welcome aboard
i was born in newark......:eek:
dont hold that against me...:D
 

NH Steve

Administrator
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
8,590
Welcome aboard! I played 'Jersey Mel' one time -- in southern Connecticut. Maybe 10 years ago?

Living in NH playing pool through the 70's and 80's I never got exposed to One Pocket for the longest time. I heard about the game and was thinking that would be a good game for me, but it just wasn't played up here. Then about 1990 a guy from NJ was living up here and he played near my speed at 9-ball etc, or I guess I played a little better than him because one day he asked about playing One Pocket instead of whatever I seemed to have the edge on. I said okay and he proceeded to get me back over the next month -- "luckiest" son-of-a-bitch I ever saw, lol. But then I guess he moved back. I wish I knew who he was, but for the life of me I cannot remember his name. That was my introduction to One Pocket.

A year or so later I found a guy in a poolroom near the Rockingham race track in Salem NH that liked One Pocket so I traveled there once a week to play him. In fact his name was "Lucky" and I thought he said he was from NJ. The horses have been long gone from Rockingham, and that room is gone too and I do not know what happened to Lucky.

That's it for my Jersey connections, but one thing I got out of it was One Pocket must be popular down there, lol.
 

jtompilot

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
3,841
Thank you. No, we probably haven't played. I play a lot but I don't play a lot of people, LOL. When did you play Mel? I knew Mel for more years than I'd like to admit (referring to my own age, not Mel). I liked Mel. We had a mutual respect for each other that was the basis for us being friends.

Back in the day, Mel was a top player, but that was before life takes a turn so to speak. Even after he had his own place, and life turned, Mel could still play better than anyone in Lodi with the exception of maybe one or two guys, but those two or three would never play each other for real money. By then though he was a shadow of his old self, both as a player and with his health.

He had cancer for many years before it really got bad.
Mel and I had some great matches. It was past his prime but he played pretty darn good. We became pool friends and called him several times to see how things were going. I still have his number. RIP
 

petie

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2005
Messages
3,314
Welcome, NJS. I hope you will participate often and stay long. You'll find that most of the guys here are pretty good company.
 

Mkbtank

Verified Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
5,280
Introduction

Welcome to the fun house. I'm just over in Philly so drop me a line if you are ever heading this way and want to play some.
 

NJshooter

Verified Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
56
welcome aboard.
Welcome aboard.

We already have several members from Jersey, so we gave up on quality a long time ago. :D

Maybe a little early for ribbing, but from NY and NJ, you can take it. :eek:

Don't hesitate to speak up. The more the merrier.
Welcome to the world of One Pocket! You will fine a bunch of really good players willing to share information to help your game, and then there are guys like me that just post stuff everyone already knows. Lol --Smitty
welcome aboard
i was born in newark......:eek:
dont hold that against me...:D
Welcome to the fun house. I'm just over in Philly so drop me a line if you are ever heading this way and want to play some.

Thank you very much, all of you. Glad to be hear. Thanks again for the welcome.
 

NJshooter

Verified Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
56
Welcome aboard! I played 'Jersey Mel' one time -- in southern Connecticut. Maybe 10 years ago?

Living in NH playing pool through the 70's and 80's I never got exposed to One Pocket for the longest time. I heard about the game and was thinking that would be a good game for me, but it just wasn't played up here. Then about 1990 a guy from NJ was living up here and he played near my speed at 9-ball etc, or I guess I played a little better than him because one day he asked about playing One Pocket instead of whatever I seemed to have the edge on. I said okay and he proceeded to get me back over the next month -- "luckiest" son-of-a-bitch I ever saw, lol. But then I guess he moved back. I wish I knew who he was, but for the life of me I cannot remember his name. That was my introduction to One Pocket.

A year or so later I found a guy in a poolroom near the Rockingham race track in Salem NH that liked One Pocket so I traveled there once a week to play him. In fact his name was "Lucky" and I thought he said he was from NJ. The horses have been long gone from Rockingham, and that room is gone too and I do not know what happened to Lucky.

That's it for my Jersey connections, but one thing I got out of it was One Pocket must be popular down there, lol.
One pocket does seem to be very popular in NJ, at a certain level of course. I am not sure if it's more popular here than other places. In most of the higher-end places (where better players play) it seems like one pocket is the game of choice and pretty popular.

Mel used to venture to CT quite a bit, when he was playing seriously. When he was in his prime, he was a pleasure to watch. Back then, I remember Mel going to a one pocket tournament in CT -- for the life of me I don't remember where it was. I found out at the last minute. Mel didn't tell anyone he was entering/going. I found out at the last minute from another excellent player named Bill (H.) for those of you who might know him. So, I jump in the car with a friend and we catch the last action of the tournament. Mel won and beat two champion level players -- Jimmy Fusco, and for the life of me I just can't remember who the other one was. When we got there Hopkins was there but had gotten eliminated. I don't remember if Mel beat him or not, but a few weeks later Hopkins and Mel hooked up and went at it a bit.

Was the Lucky guy you knew named Jimmy? There was a guy back in the 80's and 90's named Jimmy who used to hang around Lodi. People called him Lucky although if you ever saw him at the track he was the unluckiest guy you'd ever see, LOL. Don't mean to laugh at the guy. Nice guy, just a real compulsive gambler. He loved the track. I thought he moved up to New England somewhere, and Rockingham or Suffolk Downs would make sense, LOL.
 

NJshooter

Verified Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
56
Mel and I had some great matches. It was past his prime but he played pretty darn good. We became pool friends and called him several times to see how things were going. I still have his number. RIP
So when did you play him? I played him once in a blue moon, well after his prime. Both before the cancer and after he got it. We would play as friends, if anything for time only. We played even. It was for fun. In his prime, well before the cancer, and before his life took a turn (which was before the cancer), when he was playing, seriously, in stroke -- he was very tough to beat. By anyone. Just my humble opinion. I've seen some of the bigger names tangle with him and he more than held his own against all of them. Back then, he couldn't get a game from any of the regular crowd in Lodi or Northern NJ.

That was part of his problem. He was running a business, had a family, and really didn't want to travel day to day or whatever. So he couldn't get any real games locally and it was hard for him to really stay in stroke, at his peak. Not everyone liked him, but again, he and I had a mutual respect. I counted him as a friend. It was sad for me to watch when his life took a turn. One time he was really out of it (I am trying to speak kindly of my friend), and I physically had to grab him up and take him home from Lodi. He would have been robbed that night. Sad, very sad.

He did play a few really competitive games with another Lodi guy named Spanky. Not sure if any of you know him.

You are right -- and I agree -- rest in peace my friend.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,134
Welcome
It'll be nice to have a newcomer on the short bus. :)
 

LSJohn

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
7,633
Was the Lucky guy you knew named Jimmy? There was a guy back in the 80's and 90's named Jimmy who used to hang around Lodi. People called him Lucky although if you ever saw him at the track he was the unluckiest guy you'd ever see, LOL. Don't mean to laugh at the guy. Nice guy, just a real compulsive gambler. He loved the track. I thought he moved up to New England somewhere, and Rockingham or Suffolk Downs would make sense, LOL.

Your track reference reminds me of an acquaintance of mine in the 70s. He made good money on his job as a Yellow Cab dispatcher, and besides that got a lot of kickbacks from drivers he had deals with, but he was always broke. He was addicted to the ponies.

Once he and I and a friend were going to Omaha from Kansas City and we stopped at a restaurant somehwere in southern Nebraska. When we were checking out, Ralph noticed a sign by the register that said: $5 Charge For Returned Checks.

Ralphs asked the cashier, "You mean if I give you a check you charge me five bucks if it comes back?"

"Yep," said the unsuspecting cashier.

Ralph says "Damn. You can't beat a deal like that. Give me fifty," and pulled out his checkbook.
 
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