'Pancho'

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One Pocket Ghost said:
I know my jokes are horrible, I have no witt and to top it off i can't make a ball.
Please help me!


XXOO, Ghosty
Dennis,
I think it's time for a onepocket.org intervention for Ghosty---he needs to revisit the rubber room :eek:

I really feel sorry for the nurse though --now she's gonna be the one who has to hear him go on and on about my-jacking, his on-going chatter about his female conquests and beavers --what a crappy job that is.

XOXO
Fanny

P.S Ghosty---it's only cause I care and I hate that your so down on yourself---the rubber room will help with all that
 

lll

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Mar 19, 2007
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16,115
if ghosty goes to the rubber room and works with the nurse and stops my-jacking is that jacking-off?:eek: :eek:( i couldnt help it, sorry to offend anyone )
 

jay helfert

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Dec 6, 2006
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560
fred bentivegna said:
On AZ forums, Geo Fels rebutted my revelation that Pancho's real name was Harvey Strauss, not Harvey Weiss. He cited his sources as our own 3Cushion (Bill Smith), and the departed Jerry Orbach. Here was my rebuttal to his rebuttal.
I was with Pancho at least as much, if not more than Billy Smith. Plus Billy was famous for having an answer to any question ever asked. "What's the conversion ratio for 2 lbs of crude uranium into weapons grade U235?" He would immediately venture an answer. "I dont know," had no place in his vocabulary. I cant speak for Orbach, but I do know he was from Waukegan IL. originally. George, you can argue this one out with my source, the infamous Brooklyn Butch Fragone, who Pancho himself said could clear out whole bars if he was in the right mood. Butch claimed a very personal relationship with Panch, he was a 711 Alumnus also, plus he knew where Pancho lived, and lastly he also beat him up twice. As for me, I have no desire to contradict Butch.

the Beard
Butch carries the scars from six bullet holes from previous disagreements. Just ask Jay Helfert.
He also put a few well placed holes in certain thieves who are no longer walking around. P.S. It's FRANK FRUGONE if you want his real name. My man Butch got me out of a few bad spots. One time a guy refused to pay me the $50 I beat him out of. Butch had a short conversation with him and came back smiling with my fifty. He also got my Szamboti back from Steve The Whale, who stole it from Keith. TRUE STORY! And he did it with one long distance phone call. I put this story in my book Freddie because it's so unbelievable.
 

alstein

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Feb 26, 2011
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1
Harvey "Pancho" Strauss

Harvey "Pancho" Strauss

I came across this site by accident but was interested in reading the forums because onepocket.org had some information on an old friend of mine, Johnny Ervolino. Then I came across the thread concerning Pancho. I was taken aback with Pancho's information. I started reading and noticed someone was unsure of his last name and thought it was Weiss. Later on another member said he thought it was Strauss. Well, he was correct. Pancho was a couple of years younger than I when we both lived in Forest Hills, Queens, NY a borough of New York City. Our group of guys were good bowlers and bowled in alleys on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. The owner decided to take the last four alleys, block them off and create a pool room which we frequented and learned the game. Pancho was too young (under sixteen) to get in but we would sneak him in and he wanted to learn the game. I was a mediocre player but helped him get started showing him the basics, how to make a bridge and so on. I never expected that he would go on to become professional at the game. I lost touch with him after the sixties. In the early fifties, my girlfriend who went to Forest Hills Hight School had a friend named Georgette. Georgette's boyfriend Johnny met me in the poolroom one night and offored to split time with me which we did. I had no idea that this guy was a YMCA champion at thirteen years of age since he didn't show his true game to me. At this time he was about seventeen or eighteen. We became good friends. This friend was Johnny Ervolino who came from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the years ahead Johnny, me, and another friend of mine would pool some money and go hustling to some big poolrooms in Manhattan. Elkans on 44th Street off Broadway, McGuirs on 8th Avenue, and Mayfair Billiards also called 7-11 over the Mayfair Theater on 46th Street and Broadway. This place was by the way, was where they filmed the movie "The Hustler" with Paul Newman and a real good pool player named Jackie Gleason. I also read that both of these old friends of mine have passed on which sort of shocked me. By the way, he was called Pancho because he was short, pudgy and looked kind of like a Mexican with dark curly hair. Well I just wanted to give you guys the information about Pancho as far as his real name was concerned. I have a lot of stories of Johnny Ervolino who loved to play One Pocket. And a game I never saw anywhere else but Brooklyn called "Razzle Dazzle". This was Chicage or 61 but you could play any ball as long as the cue ball came around the table and touched the lowest ball on the table at the time. Thanks for the opportunity to post. And if anyone is interested I have a lot of stories about Johnny Ervolino.
 

beatle

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Jun 21, 2009
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you could have busted me. i thought pancho was a mexican.
7 11 stories are the best in the world. you can always tell a few. soon there wont be many of us left that have been there.
 

CaliRed

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Dec 16, 2008
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alstein said:
Thanks for the opportunity to post. And if anyone is interested I have a lot of stories about Johnny Ervolino.
Welcome to this site! We would all love to hear your stories. We're actually short one, right now, in the story telling area.:)

We also like pictures too, from back in the day.... Got any of those? We also have a member here, that if you have a bunch of physical pictures, he will scan them all in high quality and burn them to a CD for you. That way you will forever have a electronic copy preserved of them and can email them to your buddies easily or post them on forums.:)

Great first post.
 

dinoboy1

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Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
22
Ames not 7/11

Ames not 7/11

alstein said:
I came across this site by accident but was interested in reading the forums because onepocket.org had some information on an old friend of mine, Johnny Ervolino. Then I came across the thread concerning Pancho. I was taken aback with Pancho's information. I started reading and noticed someone was unsure of his last name and thought it was Weiss. Later on another member said he thought it was Strauss. Well, he was correct. Pancho was a couple of years younger than I when we both lived in Forest Hills, Queens, NY a borough of New York City. Our group of guys were good bowlers and bowled in alleys on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. The owner decided to take the last four alleys, block them off and create a pool room which we frequented and learned the game. Pancho was too young (under sixteen) to get in but we would sneak him in and he wanted to learn the game. I was a mediocre player but helped him get started showing him the basics, how to make a bridge and so on. I never expected that he would go on to become professional at the game. I lost touch with him after the sixties. In the early fifties, my girlfriend who went to Forest Hills Hight School had a friend named Georgette. Georgette's boyfriend Johnny met me in the poolroom one night and offored to split time with me which we did. I had no idea that this guy was a YMCA champion at thirteen years of age since he didn't show his true game to me. At this time he was about seventeen or eighteen. We became good friends. This friend was Johnny Ervolino who came from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the years ahead Johnny, me, and another friend of mine would pool some money and go hustling to some big poolrooms in Manhattan. Elkans on 44th Street off Broadway, McGuirs on 8th Avenue, and Mayfair Billiards also called 7-11 over the Mayfair Theater on 46th Street and Broadway. This place was by the way, was where they filmed the movie "The Hustler" with Paul Newman and a real good pool player named Jackie Gleason. I also read that both of these old friends of mine have passed on which sort of shocked me. By the way, he was called Pancho because he was short, pudgy and looked kind of like a Mexican with dark curly hair. Well I just wanted to give you guys the information about Pancho as far as his real name was concerned. I have a lot of stories of Johnny Ervolino who loved to play One Pocket. And a game I never saw anywhere else but Brooklyn called "Razzle Dazzle". This was Chicage or 61 but you could play any ball as long as the cue ball came around the table and touched the lowest ball on the table at the time. Thanks for the opportunity to post. And if anyone is interested I have a lot of stories about Johnny Ervolino.

It's good that finally somebody knew Pancho's real name. My dad knew him for 50 years and didnt know it for sure. However, you are wrong about 7/11 being the poolroom in the Hustler movie. It was really Ames on 47th St. A room my dad played in when he was stationed at Ft Monmouth, NJ. My dad, who knew Ervolino well, even asked him if he knew Pancho's last name and Johnny couldnt remember it.

Dinoboy1
 

onepocketchump

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Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
255
alstein said:
I came across this site by accident but was interested in reading the forums because onepocket.org had some information on an old friend of mine, Johnny Ervolino. Then I came across the thread concerning Pancho. I was taken aback with Pancho's information. I started reading and noticed someone was unsure of his last name and thought it was Weiss. Later on another member said he thought it was Strauss. Well, he was correct. Pancho was a couple of years younger than I when we both lived in Forest Hills, Queens, NY a borough of New York City. Our group of guys were good bowlers and bowled in alleys on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. The owner decided to take the last four alleys, block them off and create a pool room which we frequented and learned the game. Pancho was too young (under sixteen) to get in but we would sneak him in and he wanted to learn the game. I was a mediocre player but helped him get started showing him the basics, how to make a bridge and so on. I never expected that he would go on to become professional at the game. I lost touch with him after the sixties. In the early fifties, my girlfriend who went to Forest Hills Hight School had a friend named Georgette. Georgette's boyfriend Johnny met me in the poolroom one night and offored to split time with me which we did. I had no idea that this guy was a YMCA champion at thirteen years of age since he didn't show his true game to me. At this time he was about seventeen or eighteen. We became good friends. This friend was Johnny Ervolino who came from Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In the years ahead Johnny, me, and another friend of mine would pool some money and go hustling to some big poolrooms in Manhattan. Elkans on 44th Street off Broadway, McGuirs on 8th Avenue, and Mayfair Billiards also called 7-11 over the Mayfair Theater on 46th Street and Broadway. This place was by the way, was where they filmed the movie "The Hustler" with Paul Newman and a real good pool player named Jackie Gleason. I also read that both of these old friends of mine have passed on which sort of shocked me. By the way, he was called Pancho because he was short, pudgy and looked kind of like a Mexican with dark curly hair. Well I just wanted to give you guys the information about Pancho as far as his real name was concerned. I have a lot of stories of Johnny Ervolino who loved to play One Pocket. And a game I never saw anywhere else but Brooklyn called "Razzle Dazzle". This was Chicage or 61 but you could play any ball as long as the cue ball came around the table and touched the lowest ball on the table at the time. Thanks for the opportunity to post. And if anyone is interested I have a lot of stories about Johnny Ervolino.
Count me in as interested in Johnny Ervolino stories. I met him once at a pool room in Florida and we played a couple games of one pocket for $20. When it was over I handed him my $20 and he hands it back and makes me sign it. He did this as a joke to tease me because this pool room owner had been running around the state collecting autographs and when she saw me beat Larry Knox in a McDermott Tour event she asked me to sign a business card. I did and when her room opened up there was my name framed alongside Buddy Hall, Tommy Kennedy, Mizerak, etc.... Good thing I signed it with "instroke cases" under it as I didn't want anyone to think I had any other claim to fame in the pool world.

Johnny was very classy that day and I wish I had had more time to hang around there and absorb his stories and knowledge.
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
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10,293
alstein said:
... In the years ahead Johnny, me, and another friend of mine would pool some money and go hustling to some big poolrooms in Manhattan. Elkans on 44th Street off Broadway, McGuirs on 8th Avenue, and Mayfair Billiards also called 7-11 over the Mayfair Theater on 46th Street and Broadway...
Welcome to the site, Al. Good to have you. Yes, most of us love old stories, especially about such a character as Johnny Ervolino.

I used to go to a room in 1967 that was on Broadway and, I thought, around 46th. I don't recall that it was over a theatre, but it was upstairs, and had several bowling lanes near the front door. Then you walked around the wall to the head of the lanes where the poolroom was, which had 6-8 tables. One was isolated in the back. Do you remember the name of that place?

I've also played at Ames and McGirr's. I sure miss those old downtown poolrooms. Many rooms today are simply rock n roll joints with pool tables.:rolleyes:

Art "Doc" Tripp
 

Artie Bodendorfer

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Nov 18, 2005
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gulfportdoc said:
Welcome to the site, Al. Good to have you. Yes, most of us love old stories, especially about such a character as Johnny Ervolino.

I used to go to a room in 1967 that was on Broadway and, I thought, around 46th. I don't recall that it was over a theatre, but it was upstairs, and had several bowling lanes near the front door. Then you walked around the wall to the head of the lanes where the poolroom was, which had 6-8 tables. One was isolated in the back. Do you remember the name of that place?

I've also played at Ames and McGirr's. I sure miss those old downtown poolrooms. Many rooms today are simply rock n roll joints with pool tables.:rolleyes:

Art "Doc" Tripp

THats exacly what I said the use too have pool rooms. NOw they have billiard parlors.
 

Mary

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Aug 30, 2015
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Pancho

Pancho

I googled Harvey Strauss Pancho and came across this forum. I knew Pancho when we were both the same ages about 18. I knew him because he was a friend of my brother's Everett Sanderson known in the pool halls as Angelo. I met a lot of the guys in the pool halls in those days who hung at Ames, 711, McGirrs. I used to go to them to watch my brother play. Some others I met were Jersey Red, Tommy the Hat, Skinny
Eddie (he actually worked at Ames and was there when The Hustler was filmed there.) Mitch and the last name Cohen but I don't remember his first name. Guys & Dolls poolroom opened on 51 st street in the early 60s. Later in late 80's Mammoth opened on 8th Ave. and later Magic Cue on 9th ave.The Hustler was also filmed across the street from where I live which was at the time the greyhound bus terminal. Getting back to Pancho. He was half Jewish and half Mexican. He was from Forest Hills, Queens. His father was a milliner and made women's hats in the garment district. I went to his dad's shop a couple of times with Pancho and he gave me hats. Just wonder if anyone knows these names or places. I had always wondered what happened to Pancho and was sad to hear he died.
 

LSJohn

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My favorite Artie quote

My favorite Artie quote

This has nothing to do with Pancho, but I found the quote on this thread and couldn't resist:

"You can kill 50 people and if you belive in Jesus Christ you will go to heaven."

A lot of old scufflers will be glad to hear this.

Me, I'm still plannin' my first one, but I can't get past How-do-I-get-away-with-it? I'd kinda hate to make a pit stop on death row on my way to my reward.

By the way Mary, welcome aboard and come around often. You have an obvious interest in the game and a lot of the old-timers have great stories you'll enjoy.

To settle the argument, do you know for sure that Pancho's family name was Strauss?
 

gulfportdoc

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Jun 25, 2004
Messages
10,293
I googled Harvey Strauss Pancho and came across this forum. I knew Pancho when we were both the same ages about 18. I knew him because he was a friend of my brother's Everett Sanderson known in the pool halls as Angelo. I met a lot of the guys in the pool halls in those days who hung at Ames, 711, McGirrs. I used to go to them to watch my brother play. Some others I met were Jersey Red, Tommy the Hat, Skinny
Eddie (he actually worked at Ames and was there when The Hustler was filmed there.) Mitch and the last name Cohen but I don't remember his first name. Guys & Dolls poolroom opened on 51 st street in the early 60s. Later in late 80's Mammoth opened on 8th Ave. and later Magic Cue on 9th ave.The Hustler was also filmed across the street from where I live which was at the time the greyhound bus terminal. Getting back to Pancho. He was half Jewish and half Mexican. He was from Forest Hills, Queens. His father was a milliner and made women's hats in the garment district. I went to his dad's shop a couple of times with Pancho and he gave me hats. Just wonder if anyone knows these names or places. I had always wondered what happened to Pancho and was sad to hear he died.

Mary, it's a delight to have you posting on the site! You were present during a great era of pool in NYC. I'm wondering if the "Cohen" you referred to was Harry Cohen, or Harry the hook? I believe that Harry would winter in Miami, then he eventually moved out to L.A., where I met him. He was average to short in height, bow-legged, wore glasses, tended to stammer a little, and blink a lot. He was good at all games, but was a real shyster.

Was 711 a room upstairs, I think on Broadway in the 40's? The room I'm thinking of had 5-6 bowling lanes in it. When you walked in the door there was a wall which protected the left side of the bowling lanes. Then the pool room and bar were in the back, behind the bowlers. There were also a few tables around the other side of the lanes, in separate areas. An earlier poster said that this room was probably called Mayfair Billiards, which was 711.

Hope you'll share some stories with us.

Welcome~
Doc
 

panchos daughter

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Sep 1, 2015
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pancho

pancho

My name is nikki and I'm panchos middle daughter.He used to take me to all the pool halls and even got me into playing pool when I was little girl.I grew up with the name corelli and it wasn't until I got older that my mom told me that my father changed his name before us girls were born and yes it is Harvey Strauss my father was a mystery and a character.he was a greAt pool,billiards,and one pocket player and I remember some great times at the pool halls with him in Chicago,New York,even in L.A. he took me everywhere with him and I had I blast I remember being in a pool hall and making too much noise and Nick varner yelling telling my dad to keep me quiet.I also remember going to a championship game the year Jeanette Lee aka the black widow won and I fell asleep in the rafters.Everyone was looking for me and couldn't find me but that was my life and after my father had triple bypass surgery and then lost his leg he wasn't the same.He could have been the biggest asshole at time but he was a great father and always new how to make you laugh...So in regards to the last name yes Strauss and Mary if you could contact me I'd like to find put some stuff maybe you know about from when he was young please and thank you.
 

beatle

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hey doc,

you remember julians with the bowling alleys below down by union square around 14th street someplace.
7 11 was upstairs over an old theatre.
 

gulfportdoc

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hey doc,

you remember julians with the bowling alleys below down by union square around 14th street someplace.
7 11 was upstairs over an old theatre.
Yes, I did hear about Julians, but I never got down there. The only rooms I played in NYC were Ames, McGirr's, 711 (Mayfair?), and uptown at the original Amsterdam Billiards.

I don't know how a room owner could fade the rents in NYC these days. They must be brutal. Still, they'd have a potential 8 million customers...:)

~Doc
 

wincardona

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Aug 7, 2007
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Pancho was one of the true characters of our time, and a great hustler. On the pool and billiard tables his best game was three cushion billiards, he played one handed billiards as good as it could be played. He had one of the strongest strokes of any player and his one handed stroke on the billiard table was nothing short of amazing.:heh He had the "gift of gab" and could talk just about any one into any thing, he was actually scary even if you knew him well, that's how strong he was. His strongest hustle was when he set up a boiler room and canvassed the Chicago and Miami areas on the phones marketing the "Support your local firefighters" by selling advertising. He would basically hire street people and use them to make the calls, Freddie The Beard was a junior partner with Pancho in Chicago, I believe it was in the 80's. Unfortunately he didn't earn much income, really don't know what happened, there were mixed stories of flimflamming and such. Any ways Pancho made millions with the scam, I believe he may have been the first to do it, I could be wrong. Any time my phone rings and a voice says that they would like me to support the fire fighters I usually cut them short then hang up.:heh:sorry.

Billy Smith should have many Pancho stories, Pancho was a "work of art"

Dr. Bill
 

stedyfred

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I remember Mary Kenniston coming in the Boulevard in Phila. dressed in a black cape and mask calling herself The Masked Marvel (never laughed so hard in my life). Also The Magic Cue was at 43rd and Broadway up a few flights of stairs with Nathan's hot dogs on the corner and theatre next door in late 70's, early 80's.
 

wincardona

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Messages
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Mary, it's a delight to have you posting on the site! You were present during a great era of pool in NYC. I'm wondering if the "Cohen" you referred to was Harry Cohen, or Harry the hook? I believe that Harry would winter in Miami, then he eventually moved out to L.A., where I met him. He was average to short in height, bow-legged, wore glasses, tended to stammer a little, and blink a lot. He was good at all games, but was a real shyster.

Was 711 a room upstairs, I think on Broadway in the 40's? The room I'm thinking of had 5-6 bowling lanes in it. When you walked in the door there was a wall which protected the left side of the bowling lanes. Then the pool room and bar were in the back, behind the bowlers. There were also a few tables around the other side of the lanes, in separate areas. An earlier poster said that this room was probably called Mayfair Billiards, which was 711.

Hope you'll share some stories with us.

Welcome~
Doc
You nailed it with Harry Cohen Doc. When I was just 18 years old I boarded a bus to Miami Fl. to visit a friend that was going to Miami University and hustle a little pool, it was a great trip and learning experience. I stayed in a hotel across the street from Dinty Morre's pool hall on Flagler street called the Tamiami Hotel. The Tamiami was a large hotel across the street from the pool hall, I believe it had around seven floors of rooms with at least fifty rooms on each floor.The rooms didn't have a bathroom, but there was a bathroom on every floor.:D (A truly seedy hotel) Rooms were $5 a night..payed in advance.:heh That's where I first met Harry Cohen..Dinty Moore's 1962.

Harry was exactly as you described, short 5'6" glasses, and played every game good but not great. He was a "scavenger" he patiently waited for some one that was "ripe" for the pickings and then he made his move. I was young and stupid, and perfect for him to hustle, however, I played very good, much better than any 18 year old player was supposed to play, fortunately.:D It didn't save me but it certainly helped me cut my losses. I played Harry 9ball and he quickly persuaded me to play him some "one pocket" and he clearly out classed me to the point of actually stalling with me, which I picked up on and quit. After he beat me for a few dollars ($5 a game) he sat back down in his chair and took out the "racing form" and just sat there reading it and drinking coffee. He had more patience then any one I have ever met, that's where and when I developed the understanding on the value of patience..he was despicable. (much like the Hacker)

There were other great characters that played in Dinty Moore's daily, here are a few. Mike Belle, a North Carolina 9ball player that played excellent, Mike was very a quiet guy who didn't say much but played great. His partner was a young man called "Canadian Pete" Pete played very good on the 6x12 "snooker table" in Dinti Moore's..toughest table I ever saw. Other players that played on the 6x12 were Marcel Camp.. Ray Saint Laurent..Johnny Vevus, though Vevus was a much better one pocket player he played snooker too, as a past time. Harry would occasionally get in the game but not often. There was a very strong unknown player that was referred to as 'the window washer" who shot as straight as any human. Cuban Joe also was one of the players that played there, I played and beat him playing 9ball. Joe was a jeweler from Cuba, and he lost a fortune in Dinti Moore's being hustled by all the hustlers that were there during that time. Joe became very irritated and resented losing to all the American players, and it was at that time that Joe promised himself that he would never let another American beat him playing pool for money. (that's what he told me later in life) He then went on to be one of the most successful road hustlers of all time playing pool.

Johnny Irish owned an "open air pool hall" down by the beach near the "dog track"where he played and beat any one that wanted to play. Not too many players went there to try him on the wet tables, truth known they wouldn't of beaten him on "dry equipment" either.;) I never played Irish and never seen him play, he didn't frequent Dinti Moore's so I never got a chance to watch him play but word had it that he was the greatest. By the way, Vevus put me on Cuban Joe, I played Joe for $20 a game and won a little over $100 before Joe became 'irate" Like I mentioned earlier, Joe was a very angry irritated man, with a lot of pride and resented that every one was aiming at him and beating him, me included.:sorry Joe. Joe and I became very good friends later in life, and made decent money betting on one another. Joe was one of the hardest workers I have ever known which is one of the main reasons he became one of the best hustlers of our generation.

Yes I learned a lot from my experiences in Fl, lessons that I never forgot which actually aided me in structuring my understanding and ability to navigate through life's "choppy waters" And i'm still learning.:heh:D

Dr. Bill
 
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