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View Full Version : Big "O" and Happy's Poolroom (Funny Tale)


crawfish
06-23-2009, 07:32 AM
I was just fu@#ing off at work, and thought you guys would enjoy one of Ottis Moore's Road Stories.

Mid eighties. Greenville, NC. Campus of East Carolina University (My alma mater). Happy's is a pool hall in the truest of halls. It's a long hall with the D players at the back and the better players progressing all of the way to the front table. There was a wall that separated the front table with the jukebox, pinball machines, poker machines, and bar. Chubby is the barkeep with the half stogie. By the way, when this happened, I was playing near the back (the "c" player section).

Normal Saturday with all of the usual suspects present. Steve Wadkowski, Lenny Crandall, Pokey, Al Gurganis, and Jeff (the owner) were all barking as normal Saturday's go. I'm in the back playing Wheelchair Ritchie. Phone rings. Chubby said that some guy called and within one hour, he'd be here to bust the whole house. He didn't give a name. Well, a short, stocky guy walks in and plays the pinball machine. Guess it wasn't him. Another guy walks in and asks directions. Maybe? No, he left. Well, at the two hour mark, you can imagine the loud talk.

"Liar. I'd bust his a$$ if he did come."
"Get in line. I'd play his tough a$$ some first."
"Probably broke or drunk to make that phone call."
"I'd play him some $100 dollar nineball if he shows."

It's easy to be brave when you think it's a no show.

"I'd play him some for $200 a game if he shows." Laughs Jeff.

Out of the blue, the pinballer turns around and says, "Get the balls. $200 is the bet. And you can get in line like you said."

It was Ottis Moore from Asheville. I watched for about five hours, and he DID bust the poolroom. This was the most I'd ever seen gambled at this time in my pool career. I'd guess $3000 won. Shitload for mid-eighties. I ran into Ottis that summer at home on break. He just laughed when I mentioned I was there. "They trapped themselves. The old 'phonecall, pinball' always works. They have to drink and get just enough riled up."

Johnnyt
06-23-2009, 07:54 AM
I was just fu@#ing off at work, and thought you guys would enjoy one of Ottis Moore's Road Stories.

Mid eighties. Greenville, NC. Campus of East Carolina University (My alma mater). Happy's is a pool hall in the truest of halls. It's a long hall with the D players at the back and the better players progressing all of the way to the front table. There was a wall that separated the front table with the jukebox, pinball machines, poker machines, and bar. Chubby is the barkeep with the half stogie. By the way, when this happened, I was playing near the back (the "c" player section).

Normal Saturday with all of the usual suspects present. Steve Wadkowski, Lenny Crandall, Pokey, Al Gurganis, and Jeff (the owner) were all barking as normal Saturday's go. I'm in the back playing Wheelchair Ritchie. Phone rings. Chubby said that some guy called and within one hour, he'd be here to bust the whole house. He didn't give a name. Well, a short, stocky guy walks in and plays the pinball machine. Guess it wasn't him. Another guy walks in and asks directions. Maybe? No, he left. Well, at the two hour mark, you can imagine the loud talk.

"Liar. I'd bust his a$$ if he did come."
"Get in line. I'd play his tough a$$ some first."
"Probably broke or drunk to make that phone call."
"I'd play him some $100 dollar nineball if he shows."

It's easy to be brave when you think it's a no show.

"I'd play him some for $200 a game if he shows." Laughs Jeff.

Out of the blue, the pinballer turns around and says, "Get the balls. $200 is the bet. And you can get in line like you said."

It was Ottis Moore from Asheville. I watched for about five hours, and he DID bust the poolroom. This was the most I'd ever seen gambled at this time in my pool career. I'd guess $3000 won. Shitload for mid-eighties. I ran into Ottis that summer at home on break. He just laughed when I mentioned I was there. "They trapped themselves. The old 'phonecall, pinball' always works. They have to drink and get just enough riled up."

Cool story. Johnnyt

crawfish
06-23-2009, 09:38 AM
Cool story. Johnnyt

Why thank you. Ottis was one cool character. He knew how to make a buck, and knew more dives than even me. I once showed up at this Chinese restaurant and he was in the back playing for ten a game.

CreeDo
06-23-2009, 11:11 AM
The old "phonecall, pinball" cracks me up. The guys gamble at pinball at one of the poolhalls here and it'd be a pretty smooth hustle for him to lose a couple of cheap games of pinball and then go on to offer to play pool, like ... 'well it's not my best game, I prefer pinball, but I guess you can talk me into a little 9 ball or something'

crawfish
06-23-2009, 11:29 AM
The old "phonecall, pinball" cracks me up. The guys gamble at pinball at one of the poolhalls here and it'd be a pretty smooth hustle for him to lose a couple of cheap games of pinball and then go on to offer to play pool, like ... 'well it's not my best game, I prefer pinball, but I guess you can talk me into a little 9 ball or something'

Glad you enjoyed it. Ottis was a champion softball player, bowler, card mechanic, and played Cliff with the eight. Let's just say, he could hang.

jjollie
06-23-2009, 07:38 PM
Hey Keith,

Now you are talking about my homeroom class!!! But, it's changed so much since you moved away. Wheelchair Richie has passed away. He died in prison, busted for selling coke. Big Steve I heard has the bad 4 letter disease, Welsey is still Wesley, plays like GOD for $2, like shit for $5 and Pokey has not changed a bit...trying to rob everbody. I remember after you moved to Raleigh, you became quite the set-up artist! I remember you brought many players to match up...Greg Brooks, Jimmy Faircloth and Roger. I can't remember Roger's last name, but he beat Wesley like a drum. And I'll never forget when you walkz in the door with Faircloth (in his tie) and seeking him on Eddie McGowan. CLASSIC !!!

The worst part is that it is no longer called Happys, but MACs Billiards. Jeff had to change the name because he got caught so many times selling beer to underage students, he could not get any more liciense issued under Happys Poolroom.

Catching you up Buddy...Greenville is not like it was in the 80's anymore. Pool is completely DEAD in Greenville.

jjollie

jjollie
06-23-2009, 07:49 PM
Keith, What ever happen to Pete Horn?