Chris's Billiards Chicago

One Pocket Ghost

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Going through some of my pics over the weekend I realized that I had a couple of pics of Chris's Billiards...I know there have been guys in the past who have wondered what this old school poolroom looks like (up on the second floor, old support pillars, old pool photos and posters on the walls, worn 40 yr. old carpeting and linoleum, etc.), so I thought I'd post up the pics...and Greg, you might want to add them to your pool photo archives...these pics were taken on a quiet afternoon...

Chris's is not so good for action nowadays, but during the 80's-90's there was good and constant action...

Chris's is a huge poolroom - 45 tables - these two pics are of the main front room which has 15 tables, and a 6/12 snooker table - this room is where most of the action takes place...to the right of this room is a separate, slightly smaller room, and through the back archways is a huge room - as big as the first two rooms combined :eek:...one of the things that's always been great about Chris's Billiards is that since it's so big, there's tons of room, and comfortable arm chairs, around all of the tables.

- Ghost
 

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Cowboy Dennis

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One Pocket Ghost said:
Going through some of my pics over the weekend I realized that I had a couple of pics of Chris's Billiards...I know there have been guys in the past who have wondered what this old school poolroom looks like (up on the second floor, old support pillars, old photos and posters on the walls, worn 40 yr. old carpeting and linoleum, etc.), so I thought I'd post up the pics...and Greg, you might want to add them to your pool photo archives...these pics were taken on a quiet afternoon...

Chris's is not so good for action nowadays, but during the 80's-90's there was good and constant action...

Chris's is a huge poolroom - 45 tables - these two pics are of the main front room which has 15 tables, and a 6/12 snooker table - this room is where most of the action takes place...to the right of this room is a separate, slightly smaller room, and through the back archways is a huge room - as big as the first two rooms combined :eek:...one of the things that's always been great about Chris's Billiards is that since it's so big, there's tons of room, and comfortable arm chairs, around all of the tables.

- Ghost
Nice pics Ghosty, it kind of reminds me of the old Oak Park Cushion & Cue, now (with different owners) relegated to being a shithole.

Dennis
 

Artie Bodendorfer

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Cowboy Dennis said:
Nice pics Ghosty, it kind of reminds me of the old Oak Park Cushion & Cue, now (with different owners) relegated to being a shithole.

Dennis


That looks great did they remodle it. It looks super clean and new chaires and tasbles.

THat room looks great. Howe meny tables about 40. Back in the 1970s I told Al Fuss too buy the whole builging for 2 hungtrd thousand.

He never did. He could have sold it thier at one time for a million and a half.

Not a bad investment. And he could have had his dream a pool romm on both floors.

Pool on one and three coushion on the other. Why is the buissness so slow?

Because that room looks great. And Dock Herbert is out he by me.

I will tell him he is on the site his pool room. He will like that.

He realy loves pool. He even backet Bugs against me one time. He wanted too beat me in the worst way.

But I have always been lucky against him and he has always been unlucky.

And he has been that way his whole life I dont no why. Because he is very smart.

And a real doctor. He use too be by the pagreenie green projects.

But he is a super nice guy. And we have been friends for 40 years. And he trys too figure out howe too win by manuvering.

And he does everything with his brain. But that pool room looks great. No wonder John the Greek and Water Dog liket it.
 

NH Steve

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Thanks for posting these, Ghost. I've been there a couple of times, but not recently. Once, was long ago enough that I played a couple of games with the late Chicago Paul. I also remember seeing the list of One Pocket player's handicaps on the wall -- too bad I don't have a photographic memory :)
 

fred bentivegna

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Air brush guy.

Air brush guy.

Ghost, did you have to use the Air-Brush guy from Playboy to doctor up those photos? I dont recall that place and I hung in Chris's for 10 years.

Beard
 

Jimmy B

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It looks like a great place to me. It doesn't look like it's that slow to me, compared to many rooms. Most all of the tables in view have games going on. I just wish there was a place just like that arround here. We use to have a couple of nice locations untill the bureaucrats outlawed the poker machines and they dried up. Sometimes I truly wish every politician in the country would die and we could start over.
 

gulfportdoc

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Great looking room, Ghost. Maybe they don't even have a juke box? We can always hope... Looks like older equipment. Are most of the pockets 5", or do they have some 4-1/2" too?

How does Red Shoes compare to Chris's? Isn't that where everyone plays now?

Doc
 

KindlyOleUncleDave

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gulfportdoc said:
Great looking room, Ghost. Maybe they don't even have a juke box? We can always hope... Looks like older equipment. Are most of the pockets 5", or do they have some 4-1/2" too?

How does Red Shoes compare to Chris's? Isn't that where everyone plays now?

Doc


2nd pic .... left middle ground ........ is that a Ferrari?
 

One Pocket Ghost

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NH Steve said:
Thanks for posting these, Ghost. I've been there a couple of times, but not recently. Once, was long ago enough that I played a couple of games with the late Chicago Paul. I also remember seeing the list of One Pocket player's handicaps on the wall -- too bad I don't have a photographic memory :)


Steve.....Those were all handicaps that I configured - because I initiated and ran some handicapped One Pocket tournaments at Chris's back then - the guys with the highest handicaps on my list (each having the same number) were our own doctor Billy, Marco Marquez, and Jeff Carter.


KindlyOleUncleDave said:
2nd pic .... left middle ground ........ is that a Ferrari?

Dave....that's the ice cream cooler...:)


gulfportdoc said:
Great looking room, Ghost. Maybe they don't even have a juke box? We can always hope... Looks like older equipment. Are most of the pockets 5", or do they have some 4-1/2" too?

How does Red Shoes compare to Chris's? Isn't that where everyone plays now?

Doc


Doc....that's another thing that was always great about Chris's - juke box is in the back room where the serious players don't hear it in the front room...

They're mostly Gold Crowns - there are about 8 tables with 4-1/2" pockets or maybe a slight-tad smaller, the rest of the tables have bigger pockets...

Red Shoes is a good looking, well set up smallish room with, old friends-player/gambler owners, decent action, old school sweaters, good food, excellent equipment, and a lot of One Pocket being played - it's 25 miles across and out of the city from Chris's.........some of Chicago's good players hang at Red Shoes now, some go back and forth to Red Shoes and Chris's, and some still primarily hang at Chris's.

lll said:
nice pics ghost
havent seen a room that big in a long while

And like I said, the pics you're seeing are only of one of the three rooms that comprise Chris's billiards - the back room is twice as big as the room in the pics...:eek:


- Ghost
 
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fred bentivegna

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Bizarro world

Bizarro world

That bright, clean, Chris's Billiards must be the Chris's in Superman's Bizarro World. The Chris's I hung out in was dark, dank, dirty, and snarky. When Charlie Green died that brought the amount of gamblers in there all the way up to zero.

The best part of the joint is the billiard chairs that are very conducive to sleeping. I broke my own record at one tourn in there when I slept in the chair straight thru 8 and 1/2 hours. I woke up 3 in the morn and the tourn had just ended. I had gotten knocked out in round 1.

The chairs are so comfortable that there are players in the poolroom that can sit in those chairs and not sleep, but instead not play. They can sit and never play for months at a time. Waiting patiently, hoping for someone to keel over in front of them so they can ruffle thru his pockets.

Beard
 

One Pocket Ghost

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Chris's Billiard's sidenote story...

Chris's Billiard's sidenote story...

Back about 15-20 years ago when there was good action at Chris's, if nothing else developed, a lot of nights we played partners One Pocket...well, the great majority of the time, if Freddy and I were both in the room on a given night and a partners game started up - Freddy and I would always be partners - reason being...while Freddy and I wouldn't always totally agree on shot choices, we mostly did, and when we didn't, at least we knew the other guy wouldn't do anything stupid...whereas, neither one of us could abide playing with other possible partners, knowing the torture lying ahead, knowing the horrifying, teeth-gritting, non-strategic, bad-percentage, non-playing the score, or maniacal-gofer shot choices that they would torture us with..:eek:...:D...:cool:

- Ghost
 

Artie Bodendorfer

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One Pocket Ghost said:
Back about 15-20 years ago when there was good action at Chris's, if nothing else developed, a lot of nights we played partners One Pocket...well, the great majority of the time, if Freddy and I were both in the room on a given night and a partners game started up - Freddy and I would always be partners - reason being...while Freddy and I wouldn't always totally agree on shot choices, we mostly did, and when we didn't, at least we knew the other guy wouldn't do anything stupid...whereas, neither one of us could abide playing with other possible partners, knowing the torture lying ahead, knowing the horrifying, teeth-gritting, non-strategic, bad-percentage, non-playing the score, or maniacal-gofer shot choices that they would torture us with..:eek:...:D...:cool:

- Ghost


Thier are 48 tables 7 three coushion tables.And the rest pool and I dont no howe many snooker tables.

But one off the owners. Dock is a very creative man. And he is also very clever at gambling.

And prop position bets. And he use too play pool in his younger days. And Reno was his man.

And Dock new all the player back then. And One off the nicest guys you could meet.

He is very intelagent and a great nagotiator. Everybody liket him.

And he had a clinic in one off the toughest places in Chicago. Pagreenie Greens.

And he loved pool action. And he is also a great inventor.

And the country needs more people like Dock. He gets around good and he stays active.

He reminds me off Albert Einstein. And he is allways thinking and figureing out things.

But he owned like 3 pool rooms at one time in Chicago Maybe the Gost knowes howe meny he still ownes.

And thats were Chriss Gentiel learned to play. Whats better then having a pool room named after you.

You can see Chriss at Chrisses in Chicago. The triple C. But Chrisses is the best pool room in Chicago today.

And Buissness has fallen off a little but If I was in Chicago
 

fred bentivegna

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Yeah, there was...

Yeah, there was...

One Pocket Ghost said:
Back about 15-20 years ago when there was good action at Chris's, if nothing else developed, a lot of nights we played partners One Pocket...well, the great majority of the time, if Freddy and I were both in the room on a given night and a partners game started up - Freddy and I would always be partners - reason being...while Freddy and I wouldn't always totally agree on shot choices, we mostly did, and when we didn't, at least we knew the other guy wouldn't do anything stupid...whereas, neither one of us could abide playing with other possible partners, knowing the torture lying ahead, knowing the horrifying, teeth-gritting, non-strategic, bad-percentage, non-playing the score, or maniacal-gofer shot choices that they would torture us with..:eek:...:D...:cool:

- Ghost

...good action at Chris's back then. Little Alex came thru there when he was about 16. But then top level knocking set in, everybody began protecting everybody else and action drizzled to a stop. The advent of the cell phone elevated knocking to an art form. You didnt have to leave your seat to put the hammer down on a game.

Ghost was being very generous when he said we seldom argued about shot choices. Is there anybody out there who really believes that?

Beard
Artie is talking about Chris's owner, Richie "Doc" Herbert, who is a real MD. Artie, Doc, and I, go all the way back to when Doc was in Med school and we all hung out at Bensingers. He is a good guy and loyal to all his old pals. But he has more larceny than I do, and as much as Artie, maybe more.

This is one of the few stories I can tell about the Doc. This is out of the interview I did with Steve Booth:

FB: Remind me to give you the story of when I was a kid and I was with my first wife, we weren't married then. I had been with some other girl who had given me a hickey on my neck. What do you do in that spot? How do you beat that situation? Keep in mind this is a girl who used to be very suspicious and inspect my clothes. So I come with a move only a pool hustler could invent to beat the rap.

Steve: I want to hear it.

FB: You know Doc Richie Herbert?

Steve: The guy that owns Chris's now?

FB: Yeah, a while back Doc reminded me of that story because he was a big part of it. It's a good story and shows you only a pool hustler could weasel his way out of the trap. Now, how do you get out of that bad spot? She's on the way to meet me in the next ten minutes and I have a hickey the size of an apple on my neck.

Steve: Where we left off, your girlfriend is on the way and you've got a hickey the size of an apple…

FB: Right, and she was very suspicious; she used to inspect my body and my clothes – not very trusting. So Doc and I are in front of Bensinger's poolroom, where I'm supposed to meet her. Doc cames up with a scheme to brings his car over to the front of the poolroom, and then he lifts the hood. Then Doc starts the motor and says, 'Get underneath the car like you're fixing it. When we spot her coming, I'll give you a kick when she's right there.' So as soon as she's in range, he nudged me underneath the car and I let out a scream, and I come out cursing covered with grease and yell at Doc, 'You dumb son-of-a-bitch, you leaked the goddamn hot oil all over me!' And of course my neck is all red. She looked at it, all sympathetic, 'Honey, we better get you home right now and I'll put some salve on that for you.'
 
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wincardona

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fred bentivegna said:


...good action at Chris's back then. Little Alex came thru there when he was about 16. But then top level knocking set in, everybody began protecting everybody else and action drizzled to a stop. The advent of the cell phone elevated knocking to an art form. You didnt have to leave your seat to put the hammer down on a game.

Ghost was being very generous when he said we seldom argued about shot choices. Is there anybody out there who really believes that?

Beard
Artie is talking about Chris's owner, Richie "Doc" Herbert, who is a real MD. Artie, Doc, and I, go all the way back to when Doc was in Med school and we all hung out at Bensingers. He is a good guy and loyal to all his old pals. But he has more larceny than I do, and as much as Artie, maybe more.

This is one of the few stories I can tell about the Doc. This is out of the interview I did with Steve Booth:

FB: Remind me to give you the story of when I was a kid and I was with my first wife, we weren't married then. I had been with some other girl who had given me a hickey on my neck. What do you do in that spot? How do you beat that situation? Keep in mind this is a girl who used to be very suspicious and inspect my clothes. So I come with a move only a pool hustler could invent to beat the rap.

Steve: I want to hear it.

FB: You know Doc Richie Herbert?

Steve: The guy that owns Chris's now?

FB: Yeah, a while back Doc reminded me of that story because he was a big part of it. It's a good story and shows you only a pool hustler could weasel his way out of the trap. Now, how do you get out of that bad spot? She's on the way to meet me in the next ten minutes and I have a hickey the size of an apple on my neck.

Steve: Where we left off, your girlfriend is on the way and you've got a hickey the size of an apple…

FB: Right, and she was very suspicious; she used to inspect my body and my clothes – not very trusting. So Doc and I are in front of Bensinger's poolroom, where I'm supposed to meet her. Doc cames up with a scheme to brings his car over to the front of the poolroom, and then he lifts the hood. Then Doc starts the motor and says, 'Get underneath the car like you're fixing it. When we spot her coming, I'll give you a kick when she's right there.' So as soon as she's in range, he nudged me underneath the car and I let out a scream, and I come out cursing covered with grease and yell at Doc, 'You dumb son-of-a-bitch, you leaked the goddamn hot oil all over me!' And of course my neck is all red. She looked at it, all sympathetic, 'Honey, we better get you home right now and I'll put some salve on that for you.'

I've often wondered what happened to your face but I was embarrased to ask you, now I know. I'm sorry, have you ever looked into plastic surgery? Think about it, another advantage of changing the way you look is that you'll be able to rehash your beat list.:cool:

Your pal,
Billy I.
 

fred bentivegna

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Keep talkin'

Keep talkin'

wincardona said:
I've often wondered what happened to your face but I was embarrased to ask you, now I know. I'm sorry, have you ever looked into plastic surgery? Think about it, another advantage of changing the way you look is that you'll be able to rehash your beat list.:cool:

Your pal,
Billy I.

...and I will put a footnote next to your place on the list for when you made me give you 9 to 8 1pt at North Shore Billiards in order for you to play on the 5 x 10 they had there. You went for 2 or 3 games, seen I was in dead stroke, quit, and figured you would just wait for another day for when I returned to normalcy. You and Artie were very much alike in that regard. Those few times I did win, you both would leave me alone as if I had a contagious disease, for at least a week or two. You both knew those hot spurts didnt have a long life expectancy.

Beard

Be sure and get a bowl of Oxtail soup while you are in Germany. Ochenschwansuppe. Viener Snitzel and home fries (Rostekartolfen.)
Get it once you will get it every day.
 
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