Who Made You?

SJDinPHX

Suspended
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
9,226
Short version...

Short version...

My early teens, circa 1948, in Durango Colo, (pop. then, about 10,000) There was only Kelly pool, and golf, and occasional 8 or 9 ball. Three bustling pool rooms in town, and old Fred Titus had the best one. He showed me a few things, and I swept up, and cleaned spitoons for free time. I was the best player in town by about 16 or so.
It was an out of the way place, so I never saw a roadman, or learned anything about matching up, (or hustling) until I started hitting the bigger neighboring cities...Denver, Alburquque, SLC...
I Learned mostly by getting my brains beat out, by guys, most of whom I could maybe outplay, but not outsmart. My best game in those days, was Golf on any size snooker table.(preferred a 6 X 12).. Thank God I was almost "trap-proof" at that game... My only salvation..;)

It was not until I moved to San Jose (1955) that I really began to learn the ropes. Cochran's was a real live "Pool College"...I Did not start to really learn one pocket, until the early 60's, and soon fell in love with the game... I learned (the hard way) from guys like Banana's, Rusty Jones, Jack Perkins, Sleepy Bob, Marvin Henderson, Ronnie, and others. It was a "take no prisoner" atmosphere and no one showed me s**t,...except maybe Frank Rodriguez (Bananas) We became good friends, and he taught me how to make better games, and dodge the double steer etc...
The double (and even triple) steer, was an art form in Cochran's, as I guess it was many other joints back then. For a while, I was a green lamb in a slaughterhouse.

It was not until I moved to Texas, (1962) that I felt all facets of my game had started to come together. I was still learning, but, looking back, those were the best 10 years of my life...Had more good times, and made tons of GOOD friends, and always considered Texas my adopted home. (also, actually began showing a profit.)

Thats the short version...The longer version I sent a rough draft to Dennis, and another good friend Charles M.,..It is an autobiography of sorts, that I am working on, more as a legacy to my kids. It would bore even the hardiest of pool degenerates, as it is mostly about "life lessons"...and why Daddy was gone so much.
If I ever finish it, I will be glad to email it to anyone who'd care to be bored with it... In it, I also wonder where I'd be today 'without' the 20 year hiatus.... How was I to know, that would be the greatest of times, to be a pretty capable roadman/hustler/gambling pool player. Awful hard to think I'd be better off. It may be the best roll I ever got...who knows.

PS..Unlike "Drinkin' with the Duck", (and "Banking with the Beard")...the huge publishing houses are not clamoring for it..:rolleyes:



.
 
Last edited:

fred bentivegna

Verified Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
6,690
Sonny White

Sonny White

vapros said:
When I began to play one-pocket, there were no good players to emulate, in Baton Rouge. But a few years later, in 1998 to be exact, big-time matches came to town and stayed for several months, as the name players assembled at Lambert's RBDs, mostly trying to match up with Flyboy in the beginning, but later it became you-name-the-game for how-much-have-you-got, night after night. Jose Parica, Shannon Daulton, Jack Cooney and Bill Incardona were among those who were in town for long periods, and many others came and went, some more than once. Amarillo Slim played a guy named Sonny White (I believe), who supposedly flew his plane down from Hot Springs for the events. Not world beaters, to be sure, but big gamblers we were told. At the height of the action, Lambert was employing as many as six armed guards in combat gear every weekend. It was great, and I spent many hours watching.

It was there that I decided that one-pocket was definitely the second-best thing one could do on a pool table. Now, a dozen years further into my old age, I have promoted it to number one. However, if I tried to credit any one player for making me the crafty champion that I see in myself, no doubt he would deny it loudly, and I wouldn't blame him a bit. That's what is so good about our game. Next time out, I'm pretty sure I will be a mean motor scooter. Last time, I couldn't get a roll if I cried my eyes out. :eek: :p

From Bill Porters collection.

Beard
 

Attachments

Cowboy Dennis

Suspended
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
11,123
SJDinPHX said:
My early teens, circa 1948, in Durango Colo, (pop. then, about 10,000) There was only Kelly pool, and golf, and occasional 8 or 9 ball. Three bustling pool rooms in town, and old Fred Titus had the best one. He showed me a few things, and I swept up, and cleaned spitoons for free time. I was the best player in town by about 16 or so.
It was an out of the way place, so I never saw a roadman, or learned anything about matching up, (or hustling) until I started hitting the bigger neighboring cities...Denver, Alburquque, SLC...
I Learned mostly by getting my brains beat out, by guys, most of whom I could maybe outplay, but not outsmart. My best game in those days, was Golf on any size snooker table.(preferred a 6 X 12).. Thank God I was almost "trap-proof" at that game... My only salvation..;)

It was not until I moved to San Jose (1955) that I really began to learn the ropes. Cochran's was a real live "Pool College"...I Did not start to really learn one pocket, until the early 60's, and soon fell in love with the game... I learned (the hard way) from guys like Banana's, Rusty Jones, Jack Perkins, Sleepy Bob, Marvin Henderson, Ronnie, and others. It was a "take no prisoner" atmosphere and no one showed me s**t,...except maybe Frank Rodriguez (Bananas) We became good friends, and he taught me how to make better games, and dodge the double steer etc...
The double (and even triple) steer, was an art form in Cochran's, as I guess it was many other joints back then. For a while, I was a green lamb in a slaughterhouse.

It was not until I moved to Texas, (1962) that I felt all facets of my game had started to come together. I was still learning, but, looking back, those were the best 10 years of my life...Had more good times, and made tons of GOOD friends, and always considered Texas my adopted home. (also, actually began showing a profit.)

Thats the short version...The longer version I sent a rough draft to Dennis, and another good friend Charles M.,..It is an autobiography of sorts, that I am working on, more as a legacy to my kids. It would bore even the hardiest of pool degenerates, as it is mostly about "life lessons"...and why Daddy was gone so much.
If I ever finish it, I will be glad to email it to anyone who'd care to be bored with it... In it, I also wonder where I'd be today 'without' the 20 year hiatus.... How was I to know, that would be the greatest of times, to be a pretty capable roadman/hustler/gambling pool player. Awful hard to think I'd be better off. It may be the best roll I ever got...who knows.

PS..Unlike "Drinkin' with the Duck", (and "Banking with the Beard")...the huge publishing houses are not clamoring for it..:rolleyes:



.
So then Ducky, would you say that there is a learning process and no matter how much talent a person has or lacks, it always helps to learn more? I guess we all agree for a change:) .

RBL
 

Fast Lenny

Verified Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
2,216
SJDinPHX said:
My early teens, circa 1948, in Durango Colo, (pop. then, about 10,000) There was only Kelly pool, and golf, and occasional 8 or 9 ball. Three bustling pool rooms in town, and old Fred Titus had the best one. He showed me a few things, and I swept up, and cleaned spitoons for free time. I was the best player in town by about 16 or so.
It was an out of the way place, so I never saw a roadman, or learned anything about matching up, (or hustling) until I started hitting the bigger neighboring cities...Denver, Alburquque, SLC...
I Learned mostly by getting my brains beat out, by guys, most of whom I could maybe outplay, but not outsmart. My best game in those days, was Golf on any size snooker table.(preferred a 6 X 12).. Thank God I was almost "trap-proof" at that game... My only salvation..;)

It was not until I moved to San Jose (1955) that I really began to learn the ropes. Cochran's was a real live "Pool College"...I Did not start to really learn one pocket, until the early 60's, and soon fell in love with the game... I learned (the hard way) from guys like Banana's, Rusty Jones, Jack Perkins, Sleepy Bob, Marvin Henderson, Ronnie, and others. It was a "take no prisoner" atmosphere and no one showed me s**t,...except maybe Frank Rodriguez (Bananas) We became good friends, and he taught me how to make better games, and dodge the double steer etc...
The double (and even triple) steer, was an art form in Cochran's, as I guess it was many other joints back then. For a while, I was a green lamb in a slaughterhouse.

It was not until I moved to Texas, (1962) that I felt all facets of my game had started to come together. I was still learning, but, looking back, those were the best 10 years of my life...Had more good times, and made tons of GOOD friends, and always considered Texas my adopted home. (also, actually began showing a profit.)

Thats the short version...The longer version I sent a rough draft to Dennis, and another good friend Charles M.,..It is an autobiography of sorts, that I am working on, more as a legacy to my kids. It would bore even the hardiest of pool degenerates, as it is mostly about "life lessons"...and why Daddy was gone so much.
If I ever finish it, I will be glad to email it to anyone who'd care to be bored with it... In it, I also wonder where I'd be today 'without' the 20 year hiatus.... How was I to know, that would be the greatest of times, to be a pretty capable roadman/hustler/gambling pool player. Awful hard to think I'd be better off. It may be the best roll I ever got...who knows.

PS..Unlike "Drinkin' with the Duck", (and "Banking with the Beard")...the huge publishing houses are not clamoring for it..:rolleyes:



.
Send it my way Dick, ontherail@live.com , I would like a good read. :)
 

Deeman

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
1,333
Taught, by gambling, by Cripple Jack Hunter in Memphis from about 1965 until I could play with the locals! Jack was a gruff, Chicago guy who had moved to Memphis in about 1962 and wasba retired tire salesman as he claimed. had a wooden leg, played well but known as a locksmith....

Played everyone there until I left area for college in 1970 but Jack got me going! Been stuck mostly ever since! :)

DeeMan
 

Cowboy Dennis

Suspended
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
11,123
CaliRed said:
I remember asking for this several times, but I never got a copy:(
Greg,

If you remember, the reason you didn't get a copy of the "long" version is because the computer that it was on is now in hell:eek: . I think it was on my first computer, I fried it doing a home electrical project because I had never had it plugged into a surge-protected outlet:( . If it was on my second computer, it's still in hell. People asked for the long version from me after it was too late.

Dennis
 

wincardona

Verified Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
7,555
self taught

self taught

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pa. and we didn't have a Cochrans, or Bensingers pool room where all kinds of hustlers gathered. I was a young kid who was interested in gambling of all kinds.

I left home when I was 17 years old and traveled to Miami where I hustled pool and gambled against players like Marcel Camp, Harry Cohen, Johnny Vevus, Cuban Joe, and other great hustlers. I was able to hold my own because I was a gifted player that was more careful than cocky. I got double steered but shot my way out of it, than I was used as a young take off man...if you know what I mean...Miami was a great learning experience for me at age 17 and I took that with me to other parts of the country like Atlantic City where I played Joe Veasie, and a Puerto Rican player by the name of Puerto Rican Louie 9 ball. Louie shot just as good left handed as he did right handed, which cost me considerable money to find out. I played Cicero Murphy when I was 18 years old, Country had brought him to Pittsburgh to hustle and I played him 9 ball. We played about three or four hours and he quit ,we were even and he said nice playin you and he and Country left and didn't return. I played Bugs when I was around 19 years old bank pool in Pittsburgh. We played on a table that banked funny and after about three hours of playing him for $20 a game we were even. He quit and asked me to play one pocket, I didn't know how to play one pocket so he explained what a simple game it was and persuaded me to play. I played three games of it and lost every game and quit. Paul Jones was with him, and they both left laughing. To this day I don't know what they were laughing about, maybe because I was a sucker, or maybe because I was a good bank pool player, I don't know. By the time I was 20 years old I had traveled to every city in the east that there was gambling. Cities like NY where I played Puerto Rican Louie again and saw Country there. The room was 7-11 Country tried to bet on me and queered the game, Louie only played about an hour and quit. I played in Baltimore where I played Larry Serpian a top local player. I was steered to this guys home to play Larry, we played several hours and I won about $2500. I went to Det and played Joe Tatro and robbed him and he steered me to play Corn Bread. We started to play 9 ball and I beat him playing 9 ball and ended up playing one pocket where he got even. That was an incredible experience. After that Red and I became good friends that lasted forever. I played in Chicago where I played players like Mexican Johnny, and Artie Bodendorfer, I also played The Beard bank pool many times. I hustled bar pool in Chicago and Det where I won good money.

By the time I was 21 years old I had become a top player playing 9 ball and a top player playing two and four handed pinochle. There was a card room in Pittsburgh where Jews and mob guys hung out playing gin rummy and pinochle. I learned the game of pinochle up there and had a natural gift playing the game. I played so good that the mob backed me in big money games playing four handed, where it was common to win $5,000 or more in a sitting. Back then that was good money. I lived with this clothes booster and I was always sharply dressed. Italian nit sweaters $50 Alligator shoes $50 Mohair slacks $50. I must of had 15 Italian nit sweaters and several suits. The mob liked me because I was Italian and played top pool and pinochle, and dressed good. I have many stories about me and the mob that I don't care to share.

Any Ways I guess you can say that I taught myself how to hustle, and play, I took the stairs to the top and it was a long and interesting walk.


Billy I.
 

androd

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
7,338
Deeman said:
Taught, by gambling, by Cripple Jack Hunter in Memphis from about 1965 until I could play with the locals! Jack was a gruff, Chicago guy who had moved to Memphis in about 1962 and wasba retired tire salesman as he claimed. had a wooden leg, played well but known as a locksmith....

Played everyone there until I left area for college in 1970 but Jack got me going! Been stuck mostly ever since! :)

DeeMan
Dee, I played Jack Hunter in the room on Park Ave. I forget the owners name, (A.J. ?) he later bought Peoples pool room downtown, form Raby. I was lucky enough to beat Jack, it was raining and he went outside twice and got money out of his trunk (older Cadillac I think) The guys said he had a safe in the car, but I don't know.:D That was the only time he wanted to play.
Rod.
 
Last edited:

bstroud

Verified Member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
1,426
I started playing on a little wooden carom board at age 4. When I was 8 my uncle mentioned at Sunday dinner that he had a pool table stored in the attic. I pestered my parents until we went and got it. It was a 3 1/2 by 7 table with fold up wire legs and a Masonite bed.

We were a poor farming family and I had no money for felt so my mother said some green corduroy would work. I saved 17 dollars from my chores to buy a set of balls. The corduroy had lines in it but I learned to play pretty well on that table.

On Saturdays we would go to town and I would go to the bowling alley where they had pool tables. The manager wouldn't let me play because of my age but when he wasn't watching I would sneak a few shots.

There were two pretty good players there. A horse trainer that looked a a lot like Tony Curtis and another guy in bib overalls. They gambled on a 5 by 10 snooker table playing one pocket. Go figure. I never forgot watching them play. I loved the game from then on.

At 14 I left the farm and moved to Dallas to live with my sister. She went to SMU and worked as a Lawyers' assistant. She got me into the student center at SMU.

In the summer I would play pool from 11:00am to 12 midnight. Never stopped to eat. Lost 75 lbs. I had a couple of guys show me a few thing but I was soon a better player than they were. I would play the students like Don Meredith for small change so I could pay for all my practice.

One day a guy came in and asked me to go to another pool room in Dallas over by Fair Park. We went in together to play Charlie Clark some 9 ball for 10 dollars a game. Conditions were terrible. No air conditioning and the table was a real trap. If you just brushed a rail the ball would hang.

I had never played for more than a dollar a game but it didn't seem to make any difference. After I switched to center ball I beat Charlie out of 330.00.

That was my first real win. Later I beat Charlie out of my first 500.00 bill and later still my first 1000.00 bill.

The next summer I started to hang out at the Haskell pool room. Nine ball was 15 cent a rack but they let me practice for free. Vernon Litton and a few other players also hung out there. I was the best player by then.

Downtown Dallas had an upstairs pool room called the Palace. I would take the bus down there sometime to play Slim Burrel. He was probably the best player in Dallas at the time. It was a tough game for me. He just seemed to have the edge.

When the movie the Hustler came out I went downtown Dallas to see it. I went by the pool room first and Slim asked me to play some 9 ball. I said I was going to the 11.00am movie and would come back and play him afterward. I went to the movie. When I came back we started playing and I beat him really bad. He never won again.

The next summer I started hanging out at that Cotton Bowling Palace. I learned to bet thousands of my own money. One day I had 12 thousand dollar bills in my pocket. I had a new Corvette and a new Jag XKE. All from playing pool. My sister still thought I should get a job.

The Cotton Place was a real education. Every good player came there.
I learned something from each of them. It was where I really learned to gamble and play under pressure. The tables were very close together. I was playing Bobby Chapman 9 ball for 5500.00 a game giving him the 5 and the break and on every shot I had to ask a sweater to move so I could shoot.
That's real pressure. You could buy a new Corvette for 4000.00 then.

After that summer I was invited by Eddy Taylor to go on a road trip which I did. He taught me a lot about banks and one pocket. In 8 months he never gambled once. I did all the playing. Later I took a trip with Pucket for about 9 months. He taught me to hustle and how to break better at 9 ball.

After a few more years on the road by myself I quit playing pool to make pool cues. I never played for almost 25 years. Yesterday my new Diamond Pro came. I am back to practicing long hours and learning new things just like I did when I was 4 years old.

Bill Stroud
 

NH Steve

Administrator
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
9,277
I just want to say that these are tremendous to read. Thank you very much!
 

BackPocket9Ball

Verified Member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
233
wincardona said:
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh Pa. and we didn't have a Cochrans, or Bensingers pool room where all kinds of hustlers gathered. I was a young kid who was interested in gambling of all kinds.

I left home when I was 17 years old and traveled to Miami where I hustled pool and gambled against players like Marcel Camp, Harry Cohen, Johnny Vevus, Cuban Joe, and other great hustlers. I was able to hold my own because I was a gifted player that was more careful than cocky. I got double steered but shot my way out of it, than I was used as a young take off man...if you know what I mean...Miami was a great learning experience for me at age 17 and I took that with me to other parts of the country like Atlantic City where I played Joe Veasie, and a Puerto Rican player by the name of Puerto Rican Louie 9 ball. Louie shot just as good left handed as he did right handed, which cost me considerable money to find out. I played Cicero Murphy when I was 18 years old, Country had brought him to Pittsburgh to hustle and I played him 9 ball. We played about three or four hours and he quit ,we were even and he said nice playin you and he and Country left and didn't return. I played Bugs when I was around 19 years old bank pool in Pittsburgh. We played on a table that banked funny and after about three hours of playing him for $20 a game we were even. He quit and asked me to play one pocket, I didn't know how to play one pocket so he explained what a simple game it was and persuaded me to play. I played three games of it and lost every game and quit. Paul Jones was with him, and they both left laughing. To this day I don't know what they were laughing about, maybe because I was a sucker, or maybe because I was a good bank pool player, I don't know. By the time I was 20 years old I had traveled to every city in the east that there was gambling. Cities like NY where I played Puerto Rican Louie again and saw Country there. The room was 7-11 Country tried to bet on me and queered the game, Louie only played about an hour and quit. I played in Baltimore where I played Larry Serpian a top local player. I was steered to this guys home to play Larry, we played several hours and I won about $2500. I went to Det and played Joe Tatro and robbed him and he steered me to play Corn Bread. We started to play 9 ball and I beat him playing 9 ball and ended up playing one pocket where he got even. That was an incredible experience. After that Red and I became good friends that lasted forever. I played in Chicago where I played players like Mexican Johnny, and Artie Bodendorfer, I also played The Beard bank pool many times. I hustled bar pool in Chicago and Det where I won good money.

By the time I was 21 years old I had become a top player playing 9 ball and a top player playing two and four handed pinochle. There was a card room in Pittsburgh where Jews and mob guys hung out playing gin rummy and pinochle. I learned the game of pinochle up there and had a natural gift playing the game. I played so good that the mob backed me in big money games playing four handed, where it was common to win $5,000 or more in a sitting. Back then that was good money. I lived with this clothes booster and I was always sharply dressed. Italian nit sweaters $50 Alligator shoes $50 Mohair slacks $50. I must of had 15 Italian nit sweaters and several suits. The mob liked me because I was Italian and played top pool and pinochle, and dressed good. I have many stories about me and the mob that I don't care to share.

Any Ways I guess you can say that I taught myself how to hustle, and play, I took the stairs to the top and it was a long and interesting walk.


Billy I.
Billy, did you match up at all against some of the other well-known Pgh players like Marino, Marvin Henderson, etc. Also, did you ever play Gary Nolan (bushwacker)?
 

Banks

Verified Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
386
Have been learning in a bar for the past 6 years with nobody of note to teach me. Mostly just plunking quarters in the table and seeing what I can do. Creative enough to give some good players a game, but shooting can be spotty at times. Rarely play on big tables, so I mostly stick to 8b since it is a more difficult game on a barbox and a larger range of scenarios come about. I can play well enough at times to get some respect from the better players, but inconsistent enough for them to like it. I had an opportunity to play a good 1p player that handed me my arse between shots and strategy about 3 years ago. After that, I knew I had to get into the game.. only problem is, I don't like to drive if I don't have to after work, nor do I have much money to be spending on table time much less gambling and table time. I'm a fairly good learner, so I just try to pay attention to everybody.. just because somebody didn't mean to do something, doesn't mean there isn't something to learn from it. I enjoy being a barbox player and a bit of a 'sleeper' for people that stumble in thinking they're gonna score an easy few bucks in the bar. Decent enough to be complimented on my potential from a gent that's played a few of you old timers back in the day. I like the 1p strategy, since it is much more creative in most cases.
 

SJDinPHX

Suspended
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
9,226
Cowboy Dennis said:
Greg,

If you remember, the reason you didn't get a copy of the "long" version is because the computer that it was on is now in hell:eek: . I think it was on my first computer, I fried it doing a home electrical project because I had never had it plugged into a surge-protected outlet:( . If it was on my second computer, it's still in hell. People asked for the long version from me after it was too late.

Dennis
Dear Nostalgia Breath,

Add'l copies can be sent to you, at the same price you paid for the first one...(3 easy payments of $49.95)

All other forum members (except one) can get it free when its finished...:p ;) :cool:
 

Deeman

Verified Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
1,333
androd said:
Dee, I played Jack Hunter in the room on Park Ave. I forget the owners name, (A.J. ?) he later bought Peoples pool room downtown, form Raby. I was lucky enough to beat Jack, it was raining and he went outside twice and got money out of his trunk (older Cadillac I think) The guys said he had a safe in the car, but I don't know.:D That was the only time he wanted to play.
Rod.

Rod,

That was Jack! I always got on well with him but he got a reputation in his older years of robbing kids at pool and they say no one was at his funeral, no one!

DeeMan
 

NH Steve

Administrator
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
9,277
BackPocket9Ball said:
Billy, did you match up at all against some of the other well-known Pgh players like Marino, Marvin Henderson, etc. Also, did you ever play Gary Nolan (bushwacker)?
Bump for Billy -- and always good to see you posting, BackPocket.
 

Betdapot

Verified Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
29
I have lived in Ohio, Georgia, Maine, and Las Vegas and I actually owe my onepocket, and bank games to someone with some Chicago ties (I Like those windy city guys, but my opinon differs on quite a few things considering pool in Chi-Town) and the guy who actually taught me the most was Glen Knowles he may not have been a world beater but his knowledge on the two games was solid and he got great mileage from it for that vertical stance he used to use. RIP Glen
 

bstroud

Verified Member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
1,426
I remember playing Glenn downstairs in his pool room in Youngstown, OH.

Good player and hard to beat.

Bill S.
 
Top