Sportsman John


Verified Member
May 24, 2004
Placerville, CA
Back in the 70's there was a bar is Pasadena, CA called The Sportsman Club and owned and ran by a guy a guy named John and his wife. So of course we called him Sportsman John. John could play a bit but was a little bit of a go off and a regular stop when you were in the area.

One of the last times I was there, as soon as I walked in the door, his wife said get out of here, we are out of money. John told her that was no way to treat a customer since I had ordered a beer, and soon we were playing $3/5 nine ball. Well, they really were out of money when I left.

Shortly after that I heard two working guys had opened a new small pool room in El Monte, not far from Five Point Lanes, one of the big action spots at that time. I find out at the lanes where the new place is and take a short trip down there. When I get there I only see two people in the place, a guy behind the counter and Larry B, a pool, horse and card scuff who I had known a long time who had gotten a college scholarship to play basketball, but could not stay away from the gambling games and dropped out.

I could see them talking to each other when I walked in the door and found out later when Don the owner asked who I was, Larry, who was a quick thinker, told him I was Sportsman John when he realized Don did not know me. Don had heard about Sportsman John and what a go off he was and we ended up playing some $10 nine ball. Larry of course would be in for a little jelly no matter who won.

Turns out Don could play and I got stuck a bit at first and had to open up some to get a bit ahead. After I go from stuck a few games to a few games winner, Don pulls up, turns to Larry and says 'This ain't Sportsman John'. Don was pretty sharp and also knew how treacherous Larry was. We all laughed and after that Don and I became good friends.