thanks for sharing and votingI saw Johnny Irish in 1962 (or 1963?) sleeping on a bench in McGirrs, which was downstairs on 8th Avenue and 45th Street.
He was in a deep snooze and looked rumpled and worn out.
I didn't know who he was, at the time.
It was around noon and the tables were jammed with businessmen on their lunch hour break.
Almost everyone was dressed in a suit and tie.
A sharp looking guy in his mid-40's walked in and asked Cigar John, the houseman, "if there is anybody here who wants to play some $10 one-pocket".
He got on a table, practicing one hole by himself, and banked in everything he shot. Beautiful smooth stroke.
Cigar John motioned to somebody "to go over and wake up Irish."
Out of a deep sleep, with no warming up, Irish demolished the stranger in three straight games.
I can't remember the scores, but I doubt the stranger made more than one or two balls per game.
The stranger paid Irish and left. I don't know who he was, but I never saw him again.
Irish went back to his bench and fell asleep very quickly.
A couple of weeks later, I saw Irish dozing in Paddy's 7-11 wearing the same rumpled suit.
But I never saw him play again.
It surprises me that Johnny Ervolino is not already in the One Pocket Hall of Fame. He was one of the top guns in NYC during the '60's. As has been mentioned before, his best game was 14.1, but his 1-Pocket knowledge was extensive.
Also, let's not overlook his "action activities." There are some who accused him of "doing business" sometimes, and that may have hurt his reputation. Johnny "went away" for several years.
When he returned to society he was never the same player, although I did see him in the late 1980's run about 200 at the Golden-Q in Queens, playing Bob The Artist.
Ervolino was also a great commentator for 14.1 and 1-Pocket.
Nobody can ever forget his NYC accent and his raspy voice.
It was like rubbing two pieces of sandpaper together.
I'm also casting my vote for Marcel Camp, although I never saw him play. That may seem unreasonable to some of you, but I've heard enough about Camp from those whom I trust and respect to justify my vote.