Biggest gambler in pool dies at 94.

Island Drive

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In the early 90's I was considering going there, and I also, heard Grady was there then.
But being from a sporting background, and not a BIG Gambler so tah speak I never went there.
IMOM....I didn't feel safe, going to a place like this to ''hang out'' and work a score.
Why.....?
Coming from an Olympic speed skating background, groomed by my father (Chicago Black Hawks) my mindset did not feel comfortable in this demographic.

Here's a pic of Otto Graham after he rushed, with my dad to become a frat member at Northwestern.
They both had to dress in Daipers after they got paddled in the ass. Then were dropped off 2 miles from campus and Had to get back w/o getting caught. Initiation.....19 yrs old, maybe 18.
 

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mr3cushion

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Paul walked through the door at the Rack like he was stepping off a yacht. In winter he would wear a full length white mink coat, and he was big enough to fill the doorway. He wore perfectly tailored expensive suits, he looked like he stepped out of a fashion magazine. He was a handsome man with white hair. When he came in, the place started buzzing with excitement, everyone wanting to get in on the action. He matched up well and often won ( a barrel or two), but when he lost, he lost for 24 or 48 hours and everyone who bet against him got rich. We all pooled our money to have enough of a side bet for him to accept. And he loved to bet the rail. At the end of a long session, his jacket would be on the floor, his shirt tails out, his fancy shoes discarded for sneakers. He was beautiful.
Extremely Accurate Carla! Thanks for your input.
 

Jimmy B

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Were any of you guys around when the 'Pittsburgh John Stepoli' score, compliments of Jew Paul, went down? That was a pretty good one...
 

12squared

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Were any of you guys around when the 'Pittsburgh John Stepoli' score, compliments of Jew Paul, went down? That was a pretty good one...
I didn't witness it but heard plenty about. I was still living there. His take was $200k+ and he was broke and a year later.. it was all funny money to those guys...easy come, easy go
 

mr3cushion

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Were any of you guys around when the 'Pittsburgh John Stepoli' score, compliments of Jew Paul, went down? That was a pretty good one...
Pitts John was a real hardcore character! I believe of, Armenian decent.

Back in those days, Many pool players were, 'Chemical' players. John was the poster boy for that group.
He would load up on, 'Black Beauties' just to practice for 4-5 days straight. and then play a money session for a week amped up!

He almost had as deep a voice as Johnny Ervolino.
 

gulfportdoc

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Were any of you guys around when the 'Pittsburgh John Stepoli' score, compliments of Jew Paul, went down? That was a pretty good one...
I knew a Pittsburgh Jack who was a road player when I was still in Pittsburgh. But I hadn't seen him since 1962, so not sure if it's the same guy. Probably not. Cardone would know, but he hasn't been around here in awhile.
 
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J.R.

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Bummer to hear that! I actually did get a short interview with him over the phone in the hopes that we could convince him to accept our "Lifetime Pool in Action" award, but he wanted nothing to do with the spotlight. He certainly would have deserved the honor however!
As onepcocket.org member "Keith E." suggested, "Can it be done posthumously without causing issues/concerns with his family?" I believe any of the big, big money players of our time who played champions and shortstops alike should be acknowledged with the "Lifetime in Pool Award."
 
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12squared

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As onepcocket.org member "Keith E." suggested, "Can it be done posthumously without causing issues/concerns with his family?" I believe any of the big, big money players of our time who played champions and shortstops alike should be acknowledged with the "Lifetime in Pool Award."
If we insist on pursuing Paul's induction, I can run it by his son Brian to get his thoughts.
 

mr3cushion

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IMO, Being as Paul was, 'Bigger than Life' personally and defiantly in the, Gambling pool world, Offering this award posthumously, would lose some luster without His presence!
 

Jimmy B

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I knew a Pittsburgh Jack who was a road player when I was still in Pittsburgh. But I hadn't seen him since 1962, so not sure if it's the same guy. Probably not. Cardone would know, but he hasn't been around here in awhile.

I was confident Bill Smith would know him, even though I butchered his name. I wrote it before I even looked in Beards Encyclopedia. I think it's Pittsburgh John Stapolis. The point was that the guy was sitting around broke and snapped Paul for a hundo to get a room meal, but he kept sitting there and then told Paul that he would rather be broke than leave with that, so let's play, and so they start playing each other from there, and the rest is bizarre RackLore....
 

mr3cushion

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Jimmy summed up pretty well one of Pitt John's stories. I don't remember all the details, but, there some amusing tales of him experimenting with different, 'Chemicals.'
 

jay helfert

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Jew Paul was the man behind the ovenware business that had dozens of pool players selling them all over the country, me included. I was part of Danny D's team working California and I was making 200 a day in the 70's, all cash. Very good money back then. Danny and I sold a full boxcar of ovenware ourselves. Took us about two plus months to move a couple of thousand sets at 20 a pop. I retired after that with 15K in the bank. Used that money to buy my first pool hall in Bakersfield in 1972.

Jew Paul made millions off the ovenware biz, and that's what staked him to play pool. He had a piece of everyone's action who was selling it, and they were moving thousands of sets a day for several years! He showed up at DCC about 10-12 years ago and got into action with Harry Platis. They were betting it up pretty good, four figures per game!

My first time at the Rack, I wanted to bet 100 a game on the side. Al Sherman told me the minimum bet was 500 a game. :rolleyes:
I did make a small score taking a piece of Jimmy Reid's action. He was playing Races to Eleven for 10K. I made two thou and was happy to get out ahead. Once again 2K was big money in the 70's. At least for me it was.

The Rack was like a speakeasy back then. They would open a peephole to see who you were before letting you in. The guy asked me who I was and I told him. He yelled my name inside and lucky for me Cornbread was there. He yelled back, "Let him in!" and the door to the biggest pool palace of all time magically opened for me. Red liked me because I wrote a story about him for the Billiard News. I loved the Redbird. He was the greatest cat that ever picked up a cue. He had it all - Talent, Charisma, rugged looks and was absolutely fearless in all situations. His one liners could be funny or they could be chilling. I noticed that scar down the side of his face the first time I ever saw him and never wanted to ask him how he got it or what happened to the other guy.

And Pittsburgh John was one of the most successful pool gamblers of that era. He was always betting high and making scores. I noticed things like that. John was a good player, but not the best. He just matched up good and played good behind it. Wonder what happened to him. He would be in his 80s now if he is still alive.
 
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Kybanks

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Jew Paul was the man behind the ovenware business that had dozens of pool players selling them all over the country, me included. I was part of Danny D's team working California and I was making 200 a day in the 70's, all cash. Very good money back then. Danny and I sold a full boxcar of ovenware ourselves. Took us about two plus months to move a couple of thousand sets at 20 a pop. I retired after that with 15K in the bank. Used that money to buy my first pool hall in Bakersfield in 1972.

Jew Paul made millions off the ovenware biz, and that's what staked him to play pool. He had a piece of everyone's action who was selling it, and they were moving thousands of sets a day for several years! He showed up at DCC about 10-12 years ago and got into action with Harry Platis. They were betting it up pretty good, four figures per game!

My first time at the Rack, I wanted to bet 100 a game on the side. Al Sherman told me the minimum bet was 500 a game. :rolleyes:
I did make a small score taking a piece of Jimmy Reid's action. He was playing Races to Eleven for 10K. I made two thou and was happy to get out ahead. Once again 2K was big money in the 70's. At least for me it was.

The Rack was like a speakeasy back then. They would open a peephole to see who you were before letting you in. The guy asked me who I was and I told him. He yelled my name inside and lucky for me Cornbread was there. He yelled back, "Let him in!" and the door to the biggest pool palace of all time magically opened for me. Red liked me because I wrote a story about him for the Billiard News. I loved the Redbird. He was the greatest cat that ever picked up a cue. He had it all - Talent, Charisma, rugged looks and was absolutely fearless in all situations. His one liners could be funny or they could be chilling. I noticed that scar down the side of his face the first time I ever saw him and never wanted to ask him how he got it or what happened to the other guy.

And Pittsburgh John was one of the most successful pool gamblers of that era. He was always betting high and making scores. I noticed things like that. John was a good player, but not the best. He just matched up good and played good behind it. Wonder what happened to him. He would be in his 80s now if he is still alive.

Nick V told me a story about Cornbread at the Rack. He said Cornbread walked up to this real burly guy and asked him, "I'm looking to play you some, what's your best game?". The burly guys response was a right hook to the jaw. It knocked Cornbread out cold. Nick said a few hours went by and Cornbread had regained his senses, he walked up to the same burly guy again and said, "alright, what's your next best game?" Cornbread seemed like a real witty guy.
 

mr3cushion

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Cocoa Beach, FL
Jew Paul was the man behind the ovenware business that had dozens of pool players selling them all over the country, me included. I was part of Danny D's team working California and I was making 200 a day in the 70's, all cash. Very good money back then. Danny and I sold a full boxcar of ovenware ourselves. Took us about two plus months to move a couple of thousand sets at 20 a pop. I retired after that with 15K in the bank. Used that money to buy my first pool hall in Bakersfield in 1972.

Jew Paul made millions off the ovenware biz, and that's what staked him to play pool. He had a piece of everyone's action who was selling it, and they were moving thousands of sets a day for several years! He showed up at DCC about 10-12 years ago and got into action with Harry Platis. They were betting it up pretty good, four figures per game!

My first time at the Rack, I wanted to bet 100 a game on the side. Al Sherman told me the minimum bet was 500 a game. :rolleyes:
I did make a small score taking a piece of Jimmy Reid's action. He was playing Races to Eleven for 10K. I made two thou and was happy to get out ahead. Once again 2K was big money in the 70's. At least for me it was.

The Rack was like a speakeasy back then. They would open a peephole to see who you were before letting you in. The guy asked me who I was and I told him. He yelled my name inside and lucky for me Cornbread was there. He yelled back, "Let him in!" and the door to the biggest pool palace of all time magically opened for me. Red liked me because I wrote a story about him for the Billiard News. I loved the Redbird. He was the greatest cat that ever picked up a cue. He had it all - Talent, Charisma, rugged looks and was absolutely fearless in all situations. His one liners could be funny or they could be chilling. I noticed that scar down the side of his face the first time I ever saw him and never wanted to ask him how he got it or what happened to the other guy.

And Pittsburgh John was one of the most successful pool gamblers of that era. He was always betting high and making scores. I noticed things like that. John was a good player, but not the best. He just matched up good and played good behind it. Wonder what happened to him. He would be in his 80s now if he is still alive.
The 'Regs' at the Rack knew how to keep the, 'One barrel' shot from the rail birds.

Like I've mentioned before,. 'Trimming the rail first' was a common act there. Don't get me wrong, the, 'Middle' players were trying to win, they just knew, WHEN to take it off!
 
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