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1st time I met Billy Incardona and some road stories - 11-15-2010, 10:19 PM

I just told a story about the first "Rack-Em-Up Classic" tournament in the thread about "Where are they now" and it brought back several memories from that tournament. One of them was when I met Billy Incardona for the first time. Billy if you read this I hope you'll comment about if you even remember this little story.

Gary Spaeth and I got to Columbia a day early to try to scare up a little action. Kim Davenport was there and didn't know Gary well or really have any idea how he played 9-ball. I think he thought Gary was just a bank pool players

and offered him the 8 playing $500 sets of 9-ball. Kim had been drinking a bit also and really wasn't playing at top speed and Gary beat him a couple of sets Thursday night and he came back for a rematch Friday night. These were

late night match-ups, after all the tournaments action was over. Billy I came in and was sitting at the tournament directors table sort of "holding court". It was about 3:00AM and there were no restaurants still open in the hotel,

so Bob Opsahl sent his teenage son over to the Waffle House to get some coffee for the players still around. He came back with a beer case flat with about 20 cups of coffee on it. A few minutes later a good friend of Gary and I,

Vic, from Cincinnati, who owned a couple of bars there, had flown in to watch the rest of the tournament. He saw the flat with all the coffee on the tournament directors table and helped himself to one. Bob's son was sitting

there and was young and kind of square, stood up and said "That coffee isn't free, it's for the players". Well Vic was never what you could call a freeloader reached into his pocket and threw a $50 bill down and said I'll buy. With

perfect timing, Billy Incardona said to Vic, "Sir, I think you have another cup coming!" Everyone in earshot about busted a gut laughing at Billy's comment and I knew then that when Billy had something to say, I wanted to listen.


Man what a tournament! I have several fond memories from that one.


just more hot air!

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11-15-2010, 10:22 PM

This was from the same tournament so I thought I'd move it over here.

I've got a Eugene Browning story.

About 1987 or 88 when Grady moved to Columbia to run Bob Opsahl's new pool room, Bob sponsored the First "Rack-Em-Up Classic" pool tournament. It was at the brand new Sheraton Hotel, which Bob Opsahl on his day job as

an architect had designed the Hotel. It was a beautiful place! The tournament was in a ballroom/convention center in the hotel. The hotel had a _small_ game room for it's guests with some video games (which were very popular

at the time) and one coin-op pool table. Gary Spaeth, my road partner and I were checking out the facilities and came on the game room just about the time that some action broke out. Dick Lane (a collegiate pool champ and

owner of the chain of pool rooms known as "Clicks Billiards") was matching up with a fellow I didn't recognize at first. Gary pulled me aside and told me "that's Gene the machine Browning, one of the best bar table players on the

planet. If you can get a bet down on him, bet all you can! Well, Dick Lane's brother was kind of pushing Dick into playing this "unknown player"! He had obviously been celebrating a bit too much and had a wad of "C-Notes" that

would choke a horse asking if anyone wanted to bet on the side. I got down with Dick's brother betting $100 a game on Gene. Gene won the first few games and about that time a buddy of mine from Cincinnati came up. I touted

him on the action and he asked me if he could have half of my action. I reluctantly let him in so we were actually betting $50 apiece with Dick's brother. I think we won the first game after I took in the partner and Dick Lane got

a gear and won about 9 straight games! My buddy got pissed at me and told me he was off the bet, so I continued betting the $100 alone. Just about this time Gene the machine got a gear himself and won about 12 straight,

lost one and won about another 10 games before Dick lane pulled up and said he didn't want to play any more on the barbox. By this time my buddy who had watched the whole thing unfold was furious. He accused me of setting

him up, like I had some kind of control over the outcome! lol Then after he'd ranted and raved at me asked me to reimburse his losses. LOL I ended up close to $2K winners and he's lost $400 and the whole thing took about 2

hours. The funny thing is that I was kind of pumped ( Gary had taken off a couple of scores already also) and if my ex-buddy hadn't made such an ass out of himself, I'd have probably given him his $400 he lost, but after the

way he acted I told him to pound salt!


just more hot air!

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11-15-2010, 11:07 PM

That Rack-Em-Up Classic" tournament brought back a slew of memories for me.

When Gary and I first arrived at the Sheraton Hotel, we were really impressed. I'd asked on the phone, when I made reservations, if they had any special tournament rates on "Suites" instead of just the regular rooms that they

had the special rates on. I was told on the phone that they didn't know and to ask when we checked in. Well we drove all night, with a couple of pit stops to make some "bacon & egg money" at pool rooms on the way. We got

to the Sheraton about 6:00AM and went to the desk to check in. We were greeted by the new staff at the brand new luxury hotel who were very apologetic. It seemed that their computers were down and they had no idea

which rooms had people sleeping in them and which rooms were available. They asked us to be patient while they got their IT guys in to fix the computers. We were beat, I'd worked 12 hours, moved a pool table the morning we

left and them drove from Cincinnati to Columbia and Gary was just as tired. We laid down on the couches in the lobby and slept there until the desk clerk woke us about 9:30 with the news that their computers were up finally. I

asked them then if we could "upgrade" to a suite with a tournament rate and they didn't know what to do at that point. They suggested that we take a regular room for the time being and they would check with the management

and see what they could do for us the next day. They comped the regular room for us the first day since we had to wait 3 1/2 hours to check in, which was very nice of them.



When we woke up that afternoon, I called down to the desk to inquire about the upgrade. They told us that they had gotten approval from the management to let us have a suite for $99 a night instead of the $69 special on the

regular room. I asked them if we could see the room before we made up our mind, which they were happy to do. They brought us to the nicest Hotel Room I personally have ever seen. It had 3 rooms and 2 bathrooms, one with a

big Jacuzzi with stereo speakers around the tub, 3 TV's, a nice dining room area with big refrigerator, microwave and about every amenity you could think of! I said, "we can have this room for $99 a night?" They said yes and we

moved right in! I felt like staying permanently! I paid them for the entire tournament stay in cash. We had party's and invited all sorts of players up to the room throughout our stay. On the morning of the 3rd day we got a call

from the desk asking me to come down and talk to the manager. She told me that she was sorry, but they had made a mistake. The $99 rate was for a "Mini Suite" and they had inadvertently moved us into the "Executive Suite"

which was a $400 a night room. She said they could help us move our stuff from the "Executive Suite" to a "Mini Suite" to save us some trouble. I said "HOLD ON! I DON'T KNOW A MINI SUITE FROM A MAXI PAD, BUT I DO KNOW I

WAS STANDING IN THAT SUITE AND WAS TOLD I COULD HAVE IT FOR $99 A NIGHT. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED WE HAD A MEETING OF THE MINDS AND A VERBAL CONTRACT AND I WASN'T GOING ANYWHERE UNTIL THE

TOURNAMENT WAS OVER!" The manager laughed and repeated "You don't know a "Mini Suite" from a "Maxi Pad" ! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! Ok sir, it was our mistake, enjoy your stay! They did get a little revenge

though, which was my own fault. I sent some laundry down, in the laundry bag they provided in the suite. Just some underwear, socks and essentials which cost me $80 to have washed when I could have went out and bought

all new for less than half of that, but that's OK! It was a hell of a trip!


just more hot air!

Sherm

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11-15-2010, 11:50 PM

Thanks for the stories.Rep to you sir.
  
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11-16-2010, 12:22 AM

Sherm's always got the BEST stories. "don't know a mini suite from a maxi pad" classic!!
  
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11-16-2010, 03:12 PM

Bump it up, hoping Billy see's the thread and responds.


just more hot air!

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11-16-2010, 05:08 PM

Billy will see it, I spoke to him yesterday, he is doing great. I cant say enough good things about Billy or imagine what pool would be with him, his contributions over the years in many forms has been awesome and we all owe him a thanks.


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im getting old and sloppy....
  
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11-16-2010, 06:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatboy View Post
Billy will see it, I spoke to him yesterday, he is doing great. I cant say enough good things about Billy or imagine what pool would be with him, his contributions over the years in many forms has been awesome and we all owe him a thanks.
I agree. He's been a very good friend to one of my best friends, Danny DiLiberto for many many years. Danny thinks the world of him and even if I weren't aware of all of his accomplishments, that would make him someone I have deep respect for.

Oh and Eric, don't pay any attention to the Mlalum goof who gave you some shit in that other thread. I have him on ignore because he never has anything worthwhile to contribute and just instigates BS. I wish there was a way to "ignore" his quoted statements. Those are all I see of him anymore.


just more hot air!

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11-16-2010, 06:28 PM

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I agree. He's been a very good friend to one of my best friends, Danny DiLiberto for many many years. Danny thinks the world of him and even if I weren't aware of all of his accomplishments, that would make him someone I have deep respect for.

Oh and Eric, don't pay any attention to the Mlalum goof who gave you some shit in that other thread. I have him on ignore because he never has anything worthwhile to contribute and just instigates BS. I wish there was a way to "ignore" his quoted statements. Those are all I see of him anymore.
thank you for those great stories!i hope u can tell more.
  
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yep - 11-16-2010, 06:29 PM

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thank you for those great stories!i hope u can tell more.
.......what he said
  
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11-16-2010, 06:42 PM

not only do you have good stories but you are a good story teller, keep them coming....
  
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Thanks - 11-16-2010, 07:09 PM

Great stories! I loved those tournaments!
I was a huge fan of Mike Sigels, and I was eating in the hotel cafe. It was crowded, and I had a table to myself. Mike is trying to find someplace to sit, and asks if he can sit down with me! I said sure! I came hoping only to see him play in person. Now he's having lunch with me! It was the first big tourney I'd been to. I couldn't believe the level of play. Great memories!
  
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11-17-2010, 06:43 AM

Yeah Billy should write a book, he has some great stories to tell and a great sense of humor in laying them down.
  
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Great Story!!!
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Great Story!!! - 11-17-2010, 07:08 AM

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11-17-2010, 09:35 AM

I met Billy in Pittsburgh when we were twenty( We are same age). He was the best around even then. At the time everybody referred to him as 'Bubbles' Cardone, probably because of his personality and the big
smile he always carried. How come the nick name never stuck?


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