Marvin Henderson

Cal

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any good stories about Marvin Henderson ? Who in my opinion and many others was one of the best onepocket players in his day. He played all games , Banks, 9-ball, Billiards & straight pool
 

BackPocket9Ball

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There's a story in "Winning One Pocket" about him breaking down Strawberry Brooks in Washington, DC.
 

Tom

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Marvin Henderson Stories

Marvin Henderson Stories

See Legends of the Road #23 - Marvin Henderson, Pool & Billiard Magazine, November, 1998.

Tom
toot-toot (own horn)
 

fred bentivegna

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He was an all-time great

He was an all-time great

Tom said:
See Legends of the Road #23 - Marvin Henderson, Pool & Billiard Magazine, November, 1998.

Tom
toot-toot (own horn)
There is no way I can improve on Tom Shaw's Legends story, but I do want to give Marvin his due, personally. Marvin Henderson played all games great, including a nice game of 3 cushion. He was a gunfighter of the first order and a class guy to boot. He was one of the big guns at the high-rolling Capital Billiards (The Rack) in Detroit's Oak Park, where 10k a game was not an unusual bet. He even did a tour at Bensingers in Chicago where Artie and I played him often. How good did he play? Johnny Chapman (Cannonball Lefty) and him was a close match playing Onepocket.
The Beard
 

OldHasBeen

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Marvin could & did get the CA$H!

Marvin could & did get the CA$H!

After spending about 3 winters in Detroit, I got to know Marvin pretty well. He was well known in the east but not known at all in the mid-west.
He was pretty short on cash at this time and I wanted to bring him to St. Louis and the surrounding areas to play One Pocket.
I flew him in and got him some great action. He made some pretty good Ca$h for himself & me but to be honest - I had my hands full keeping a "balance of booze".
None was no good - but - too much was worse.
When he was right - he was almost impossible to beat.
Some of the games I got him into - was very boring for him although he was playing for $100 to $200 per game.
I guess after being in Detroit for so long - we all got a little spoiled.

TY & GL
 

Artie Bodendorfer

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Cal said:
any good stories about Marvin Henderson ? Who in my opinion and many others was one of the best onepocket players in his day. He played all games , Banks, 9-ball, Billiards & straight pool
Marvin and cannon ball were they two best all around black players in life including 3 cushion billiards. And Bugs was they best black bank pool and one pocket player in life.And Cliff Jointer is they best all around black player today he is number one. And Cliff Scott frost and Efrin are they best 3 one pocket players today. And Scott Frost will take over the number one spot. Unless a young chalanger learns how to play as good as scott frost. They 4 best players at getting backers in life are Ronnie Bugs Cliff and Efrin they are they four best players at getting backers. And they first 3 are pretty goog at bitting. The are 3 of the top ten one pocket players in life. And three of they greatest caracters in life. And Efrin today is they best all around player in the world. But he is not they caracter that Ronnie Bugs And Cliff are.These three are very colorfull caracters. Like Minasota fats Corn bread red Jersy Red and Detroit Whity.And HArold worst was they greatest all around player in life and he didnt have longevity either. He was a champion in Three Cushion Pool And Snooker. And bet his own money.
 

jay helfert

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One Pocket Art said:
Marvin and cannon ball were they two best all around black players in life including 3 cushion billiards. And Bugs was they best black bank pool and one pocket player in life.And Cliff Jointer is they best all around black player today he is number one. And Cliff Scott frost and Efrin are they best 3 one pocket players today. And Scott Frost will take over the number one spot. Unless a young chalanger learns how to play as good as scott frost. They 4 best players at getting backers in life are Ronnie Bugs Cliff and Efrin they are they four best players at getting backers. And they first 3 are pretty goog at bitting. The are 3 of the top ten one pocket players in life. And three of they greatest caracters in life. And Efrin today is they best all around player in the world. But he is not they caracter that Ronnie Bugs And Cliff are.These three are very colorfull caracters. Like Minasota fats Corn bread red Jersy Red and Detroit Whity.And HArold worst was they greatest all around player in life and he didnt have longevity either. He was a champion in Three Cushion Pool And Snooker. And bet his own money.
I'm glad you give credit to Harold Worst. I was very impressed with him every time I saw him. He was a man's man. He wasn't a loud mouth or a braggart, but he wouldn't back down from anyone at any game. He is the one guy who, if he had lived, might have eventually been able to beat Ronnie at One Pocket. He liked a challenge.

I was there when he beat Cornbread in the finals of the Snooker championship at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 1963. I was just a kid but I'll never forget how good those guys played on that 10' table. Red won the One Pocket Division and Worst won the 9-Ball too. I think Babyface (Alton Whitlaw) won the Straight Pool.

And I saw Harold win the Stardust Tourney the year before he died. I remember noticing how much weight he had lost and wondering what was wrong with him. He was dying but still won that tournament. I think he was gone six or seven months later.

One guy I also wonder about who I never saw play was Youngblood Washington. I heard he was just as good as Bugs and Cannonball. But I don't know. When I was a kid, I heard stories from the old timers about Cannonball going to the big Straight Pool tournaments where he wasn't allowed to play. Then he challenged all the champions to play any game, including Straight Pool. And he got no takers. Puckett told me this about JC.
 
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Artie Bodendorfer

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Cal said:
any good stories about Marvin Henderson ? Who in my opinion and many others was one of the best onepocket players in his day. He played all games , Banks, 9-ball, Billiards & straight pool
You are a 100% correct Marvan was great and should he in the hall of fame. And Marven played great for the money. And he had a very freindly personality. He is a champion in my book all around. And if any one would have played Marven all around in one pocket straight pool nine ball and banks I would have bet on marvan. The only exception would have been Eddie taylor and cannon ball. I would have passed. Ie all three would have played a round robin.I would have bet on a tie and play off thats how good and close the match would have been.Marven desirves to be in the hall of FAME. For his greatness as a pool player a 100% class.
 

Artie Bodendorfer

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Cal said:
any good stories about Marvin Henderson ? Who in my opinion and many others was one of the best onepocket players in his day. He played all games , Banks, 9-ball, Billiards & straight pool
Put Marven in the hall of fame for banks and one pocket because he deserves it. And Clem should be in the one pocket also. Dont pass them by.
 

Cal

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Marvin Henderson

Thanks fellows for setting the record straight on a great player, I had the honor and pleasure of knowing ,playing with and learning from this man. I am looking forward to his induction into the 1p HOF,which in MHO he earned and DESERVES. Just a quick story about Marvin, Marvin playing a gentleman $200 banks at Breakers in Pittsburgh and is ahead 8 games when he had a straight back for the cash,instead he banked the ball 4 rails dead center of the called pocket. The guy said if you hadn't made that ball 4 rails you could have won another G,Marvin looked at him with a smile and said I was tired of playing any way . The place went nuts. Marvin was cold blooded for the cash ICE COLD . May he rest in peace
 

quball1

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Marin Henderson

Marin Henderson

Marvin was a class act I didn't meet him till late like early 90ties. One time we were in down town D.C. he is knocking balls around a young guy asked him if he wanted to play. They played about three games the guy lost paid Marvin and told him it was a pleasure to play you Mr. Henderson both he and I wondered how he knew he was. I ran a pool league and I was trying to get some info on Marvin from the BCA when I spoke to Tom Shaw he got in touch with Marvin and done the story on him. Marvin was class.
 

baby huey

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I was a youngster in the Hollywood area in the late 60's and Marvin and Kelly were two of my favorite players. Class acts both of them. Dressed to the 9's every day regardless of their bankroll and both loved the sauce.....a bit too much I might add. Marvin befriended me some around an all night room called Tournament Billiards in Culver City. One night Phil Specter the record producer came in with two body guards and Allen Gilbert the 3C player. Allen and Marvin matched up in a game of 3C for $500 25 to 20. It took all of us to pony up and post the cash needed to play the game. Marvin won in the one hole 25/24 and Phil went nuts. He went out to his car and brought in a briefcase full of Ben Franklins and wanted to bet $10K. Of course we couldn't get that bet covered and the match was over. The three best all around players I ever saw during those years were: Marvin, Kelly and Boston Shorty. I think I'd give the edge to Shorty because he played 3C and snooker so well that the other two had no chance to beat him in those games and his pool games were very close to Kelly and Marvin. Marvin was a mans man.
 

gulfportdoc

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I was a youngster in the Hollywood area in the late 60's and Marvin and Kelly were two of my favorite players. Class acts both of them. Dressed to the 9's every day regardless of their bankroll and both loved the sauce.....a bit too much I might add. Marvin befriended me some around an all night room called Tournament Billiards in Culver City. One night Phil Specter the record producer came in with two body guards and Allen Gilbert the 3C player. Allen and Marvin matched up in a game of 3C for $500 25 to 20. It took all of us to pony up and post the cash needed to play the game. Marvin won in the one hole 25/24 and Phil went nuts. He went out to his car and brought in a briefcase full of Ben Franklins and wanted to bet $10K. Of course we couldn't get that bet covered and the match was over. The three best all around players I ever saw during those years were: Marvin, Kelly and Boston Shorty. I think I'd give the edge to Shorty because he played 3C and snooker so well that the other two had no chance to beat him in those games and his pool games were very close to Kelly and Marvin. Marvin was a mans man.
Was one of the bodyguards named George? He was a good player himself, and as I recall, used a 36 ounce cue!! You must have seen him at Mr. Pockets, where he'd play once in awhile.

~Doc
 

mr3cushion

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I was a youngster in the Hollywood area in the late 60's and Marvin and Kelly were two of my favorite players. Class acts both of them. Dressed to the 9's every day regardless of their bankroll and both loved the sauce.....a bit too much I might add. Marvin befriended me some around an all night room called Tournament Billiards in Culver City. One night Phil Specter the record producer came in with two body guards and Allen Gilbert the 3C player. Allen and Marvin matched up in a game of 3C for $500 25 to 20. It took all of us to pony up and post the cash needed to play the game. Marvin won in the one hole 25/24 and Phil went nuts. He went out to his car and brought in a briefcase full of Ben Franklins and wanted to bet $10K. Of course we couldn't get that bet covered and the match was over. The three best all around players I ever saw during those years were: Marvin, Kelly and Boston Shorty. I think I'd give the edge to Shorty because he played 3C and snooker so well that the other two had no chance to beat him in those games and his pool games were very close to Kelly and Marvin. Marvin was a mans man.
Al and I were best of friends/rivals, His money play was as formidable as tournaments! He was solid and stoic at the table, acknowledged tough shots by his opponents and rarely played to the crowd, one of things in our games we had in common. Marvin, if he was straight and right, tough to beat! That smooth as silk stroke, seldom failed him! haven't heard about the, Al/Marvin match in many years. The game on paper, Al had the best of it, but s**t happens! Marvin was definitely a main attraction at the Rack, his backers Jones & Red Fox, were the black bankroll there! Marvin and I played there singles and doubles, I used to give him 6 or 7 & break on 35, for BIG $. Even though he lost, I admired his, never give up mentally!
 

baby huey

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Gulfport Doc: George was Phil Spectors bodyguard for probably two decades or more. If George were alive, Phil would have never shot that girl some years later and gotten a life sentence. George played 14.1 with us at Mr. Pockets for usually $30/game. Nice guy but don't mess with him as he was very dangerous and this was why Phil had him in his employ all those years. He died of cancer about 25 years ago.
 

baby huey

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Mr. 3C: Marvin played Allen on a very slow billiard table with directional cloth (standard at that time) as you know and both players had trouble getting five rails and this hurt Al's game quite a bit during the match. As you also know Marvin was fearless and Allen was not much of a bettor especially with that 20% handicap, Allen had all he could handle.

One time Boston Shorty came to 4th and main and played Allen for $500 even up 3C. Now everyone thinks Allen had way the best of it but to this day I'm not so sure. The match came down to a 46/46 tie going to 50 points and Shorty shot a tikki which Allen called a no second rail on Shorty. Most experienced 3C players know when tikki's get that second rail by the sound not the visual appearance of the shot. Most everyone there thought Shorty got all three rails but eventually Shorty gave in and lost the game 50/48. IMO Allen was the better player but Shorty had more heart from his life on the road and playing tough action. I believe Shorty would have won his share had they kept playing especially if he could get on the table........ Rommie would had a heart attack if he saw that happen. lol
 

beatle

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shorty had plenty of heart and played all the games well. but as he aged his game went down fast.
i would think gold would generally beat him on most tables even the slow ones. bill smith obviously knew gold as well as anyone and his word on that would be GOLD.
 

gulfportdoc

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Gulfport Doc: George was Phil Spectors bodyguard for probably two decades or more. If George were alive, Phil would have never shot that girl some years later and gotten a life sentence. George played 14.1 with us at Mr. Pockets for usually $30/game. Nice guy but don't mess with him as he was very dangerous and this was why Phil had him in his employ all those years. He died of cancer about 25 years ago.
Yeah, George was an intimidating looking guy. Not likely many ever messed with him. I didn't realize he'd been gone that long. You may be right about George's presence keeping Spector from killing that girl. But he was so wasted on drugs that he was completely out of reality. I don't guess he'll ever get out of prison. I occasionally wonder how he's doing in there.

Do you remember that heavy pole George used?

~Doc
 

chief

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shorty had plenty of heart and played all the games well. but as he aged his game went down fast.
i would think gold would generally beat him on most tables even the slow ones. bill smith obviously knew gold as well as anyone and his word on that would be GOLD.
I think Shorty was quite a bit older than Gilbert, although his game did slow down when he got into his sixties. Hard life playing pool for a living
 

mr3cushion

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I think Shorty was quite a bit older than Gilbert, although his game did slow down when he got into his sixties. Hard life playing pool for a living
If Al were still alive, I believe he'd be around 87, 88 years old. His boy hood friend, George Aronek is that age 89.
 
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