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Joe Pickens
06-24-2010, 09:39 PM
Jay, I read your reply to someone asking about Gary Spaeth and you said that he was a good banker in the same league with Jason Miller and others. If I remember correctly Gary taught Jason how to bank and was always thought of as the best banker around by many players in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Maybe you hadn't seen him shoot later on after his dad passed away or it could be that I am just wrong, but I always heard that Gary was the best.

On another note, I received your book a couple days ago and it is great. After I read it I plan on starting right in and reading it again.

jay helfert
06-25-2010, 12:04 AM
Jay, I read your reply to someone asking about Gary Spaeth and you said that he was a good banker in the same league with Jason Miller and others. If I remember correctly Gary taught Jason how to bank and was always thought of as the best banker around by many players in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Maybe you hadn't seen him shoot later on after his dad passed away or it could be that I am just wrong, but I always heard that Gary was the best.

On another note, I received your book a couple days ago and it is great. After I read it I plan on starting right in and reading it again.

Gary was the best around in his day, right there with Truman and Tony Fargo. After Gary passed on, Jason Miller improved to where he was playing close to the same speed. All this is just my opinion, based on my observations. As good as Gary was, Eddie Taylor had a higher speed. Again just my observation, but I did see Taylor in his prime. I still say Taylor, Bugs and Cannonball were the best Bankers ever. I don't know enough about Vernon Elliott and Bob Bowles to put them up there with these three, but many people think they were.

I'll tell you about Eddie Taylor. If you were playing Banks with him and you rattled a long railer, you were done. He ran eight and out better than Ronnie ran out in One Pocket. And fast too! Short Rack Banks would have been a joke to Taylor. Nothing but fives all day long! If he only ran four he would have probably been disgusted.

Joe, did you know how good Joe Burns played Banks? He was the best around before Gary came up. He played Taylor getting 9-7 in Dayton in the late 60's and they battled for a couple of days. I think Eddie finally edged him out. Joe beat all the guys who used to come up from Kentucky. Even George Rood wouldn't play Banks with Joe. Ask him.

Joe Pickens
06-25-2010, 09:11 AM
Gary was the best around in his day, right there with Truman and Tony Fargo. After Gary passed on, Jason Miller improved to where he was playing close to the same speed. All this is just my opinion, based on my observations. As good as Gary was, Eddie Taylor had a higher speed. Again just my observation, but I did see Taylor in his prime. I still say Taylor, Bugs and Cannonball were the best Bankers ever. I don't know enough about Vernon Elliott and Bob Bowles to put them up there with these three, but many people think they were.

I'll tell you about Eddie Taylor. If you were playing Banks with him and you rattled a long railer, you were done. He ran eight and out better than Ronnie ran out in One Pocket. And fast too! Short Rack Banks would have been a joke to Taylor. Nothing but fives all day long! If he only ran four he would have probably been disgusted.

Joe, did you know how good Joe Burns played Banks? He was the best around before Gary came up. He played Taylor getting 9-7 in Dayton in the late 60's and they battled for a couple of days. I think Eddie finally edged him out. Joe beat all the guys who used to come up from Kentucky. Even George Rood wouldn't play Banks with Joe. Ask him.

No, I didn't know Joe Burns was a banker. I played a few times at Forest Park Billiards, but I really never knew Joe Burns until he was the owner of Golden Cue on Linden Ave. in Dayton. I don't ever remember seeing him play because he was always behind the counter when I was there. I bought a cue from him once and played there most of the time.

I will mention to George Rood about Joe Burns being a good banker and see if he has any stories to tell.

I played George Rood one time in a 9-ball tournament at Golden Cue in the early 1990's and beat him 3-0. Of course, I wouldn't have been able to come close to him in his prime.

cuesmith
06-25-2010, 09:56 AM
Jay, I read your reply to someone asking about Gary Spaeth and you said that he was a good banker in the same league with Jason Miller and others. If I remember correctly Gary taught Jason how to bank and was always thought of as the best banker around by many players in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Maybe you hadn't seen him shoot later on after his dad passed away or it could be that I am just wrong, but I always heard that Gary was the best.

On another note, I received your book a couple days ago and it is great. After I read it I plan on starting right in and reading it again.

You're right about Gary! I staked him for many years and he just about ruined bank pool, winning every tournament he entered in about a 10 year period. He beat all the greats except he never played Eddie Taylor even though Eddie was past him prime before Gary reached his. He played Bugs several times with Bugs breaking even in games on his best match and Gary won all the others. He got 8-7 from Bugs playing one-pocket and won at that also and frankly I don't think the ball spot came into play much. He used to spot Shannon Daulton 9-7 & breaks + Shannon's fouls didn't count against him. Gary was one of the most under-rated all around players ever. In 9-ball tournaments he beat Buddy Hall 6 out of 7 times they played while I was staking him. And you should know the Airway Billiard player field. Gary won the monday tournament there 12 times in a row and about half the times he entered. That doesn't sound like much until you understand the dynamics of that tournament. There was always at least a dozen players who were subject to run a set on you there. I know that staking Gary bought my ex wife a house.

jay helfert
06-25-2010, 10:02 AM
You're right about Gary! I staked him for many years and he just about ruined bank pool, winning every tournament he entered in about a 10 year period. He beat all the greats except he never played Eddie Taylor even though Eddie was past him prime before Gary reached his. He played Bugs several times with Bugs breaking even in games on his best match and Gary won all the others. He got 8-7 from Bugs playing one-pocket and won at that also and frankly I don't think the ball spot came into play much. He used to spot Shannon Daulton 9-7 & breaks + Shannon's fouls didn't count against him. Gary was one of the most under-rated all around players ever. In 9-ball tournaments he beat Buddy Hall 6 out of 7 times they played while I was staking him. And you should know the Airway Billiard player field. Gary won the monday tournament there 12 times in a row and about half the times he entered. That doesn't sound like much until you understand the dynamics of that tournament. There was always at least a dozen players who were subject to run a set on you there. I know that staking Gary bought my ex wife a house.

Giving that spot to Shannon is most impressive! Shannon was already a top One Pocket player by the time he was 19. By the 90's, Bug's game had slipped. His best game may have been 10-20 years earlier. Freddie would know better than me. When Bugs came to L.A. in 1993, he was hurting.

The Saw
06-25-2010, 10:03 AM
You're right about Gary! I staked him for many years and he just about ruined bank pool, winning every tournament he entered in about a 10 year period. He beat all the greats except he never played Eddie Taylor even though Eddie was past him prime before Gary reached his. He played Bugs several times with Bugs breaking even in games on his best match and Gary won all the others. He got 8-7 from Bugs playing one-pocket and won at that also and frankly I don't think the ball spot came into play much. He used to spot Shannon Daulton 9-7 & breaks + Shannon's fouls didn't count against him. Gary was one of the most under-rated all around players ever. In 9-ball tournaments he beat Buddy Hall 6 out of 7 times they played while I was staking him. And you should know the Airway Billiard player field. Gary won the monday tournament there 12 times in a row and about half the times he entered. That doesn't sound like much until you understand the dynamics of that tournament. There was always at least a dozen players who were subject to run a set on you there. I know that staking Gary bought my ex wife a house.

Yeah, all of that and was a blast to have around!!! He is missed.....

cardiac kid
06-25-2010, 10:16 AM
I still say Taylor, Bugs and Cannonball were the best Bankers ever. I don't know enough about Vernon Elliott and Bob Bowles to put them up there with these three, but many people think they were.

Jay,

Are you referring to Cannonball from Rome, NY? I know he played great 14.1. Never knew he banked!!!!

Lyn

jay helfert
06-25-2010, 10:27 AM
Jay,

Are you referring to Cannonball from Rome, NY? I know he played great 14.1. Never knew he banked!!!!

Lyn

No, not Eddie Klenowski. I knew him too and he played all games well. Gambled pretty good too. He was known as "White Cannonball".

I'm talking about John Chapman, originally from Texas. He was "Black Cannonball". He played all over the country in the 50's, 60's and 70's. Not many know his story but he played all games at a very high speed. In the 50's, he went to the National Championships in St. Louis (where they wouldn't let him play) and challenged anyone to play Straight Pool for money.

Cannonball's best game was Bank Pool and only a Taylor or the like would mess with him. I heard (he told me) he beat everyone in Chicago (late 50's - early 60's) when he came through there and did the same cruising the South. I know of no one who ever beat him at Banks. Freddie says Bugs and Taylor did and I believe him.

cuesmith
06-25-2010, 10:31 AM
Giving that spot to Shannon is most impressive! Shannon was already a top One Pocket player by the time he was 19. By the 90's, Bug's game had slipped. His best game may have been 10-20 years earlier. Freddie would know better than me. When Bugs came to L.A. in 1993, he was hurting.

In all fairness, that spot he gave Shannon was when Shannon was about 15 or 16 but he had a lot of heart even back then. The last time Gary played Shannon was in 9-ball at the DCC 2000. The first game Gary played a lock up safety with the cue ball frozen to the end rail with a ball frozen to the cue ball and nowhere to kick. Shannon lumbered to the table and said "I can see what this day's going to be like." Gary beat him 7-2. He would have probably won the bank and the all-around that year but Efren out-moved him in their Bank-Pool match and kept him from winning those titles.

jay helfert
06-25-2010, 10:45 AM
For a brief moment this thread brought tears to my eyes. I remember Bugs, the warrior he was, limping around the tables in Los Angeles in 1993 and still playing good Banks. He never complained or offered any excuses. That's not the kind of man he was. All the years I knew him (and maybe only spoke to him once or twice), he always carried himself in a very dignified manner. No raised voices, no bragging, no nothing. He would walk in the pool room and just stand there. He was the quiet assassin, looking for his prey.

Everyone would know Bugs was in the house, and the whole mood in the room would change. He had a God-like presence in the pool world. People/players were in awe of him. Hubert Cokes was the only other person I ever saw who commanded this kind of respect. Bugs was a legendary figure, who most people wouldn't even approach. He talked very little, just observed. He made his games quietly and without fanfare, usually having someone (like Sylvester or Paul Jones) match it up for him. When he was satisfied with the game, he just went to the table and got it on. He went about his business just as quietly too. And when it was over, he disappeared into the night. Never saw another one like him!

cardiac kid
06-25-2010, 10:52 AM
Jay,

Thanks for the reply. Some of the old timers around Rochester remember Cannonball well. Surprized you knew him. He was coming around just about the time I began to play in the middle sixties. My next door neighbor used to travel around New York with him. You are the fountain of information:bow-down:.

Lyn

Ken_4fun
06-25-2010, 10:52 AM
I have been to every DCC and only got to see Gary Spaeth once. I had never heard of him, but was watching him play (not sure what year) and thinking "who in the hell is this guy?".

It didnt take but about 10-15 minutes to see this guy was something to see. Thankfully I did see him play several matches, it was quite the honor as shortly after that, I heard he had died of cancer.

I am thankful for alot of the guys I get to see for the first time at DCC. This year it was Cole Dickson. While I am sure he isnt what he was in his prime, he too, put some impressive runs together. For those folks that think they will go "next year", you really need to make the trip, its great to see so many of these guys you have never actually seen, but heard about. (Just my 2 cents)

Ken

cuesmith
06-25-2010, 11:00 AM
For a brief moment this thread brought tears to my eyes. I remember Bugs, the warrior he was, limping around the tables in Los Angeles in 1993 and still playing good Banks. He never complained or offered any excuses. That's not the kind of man he was. All the years I knew him (and maybe only spoke to him once or twice), he always carried himself in a very dignified manner. No raised voices, no bragging, no nothing. He would walk in the pool room and just stand there. He was the quiet assassin, looking for his prey.

Everyone would know Bugs was in the house, and the whole mood in the room would change. He had a God-like presence in the pool world. People were in awe of him. Hubert Cokes was the only other person I ever saw who commanded this kind of respect. Bugs was a legendary figure, who most people wouldn't even approach. He talked very little, just observed. He made his games quietly and without fanfare, usually having someone (like Sylvester or Paul Jones) match it up for him. When he was satisfied with the game, he just went to the table and got it on. He went about his business just as quietly too. And when it was over, he disappeared into the night. Never saw another one like him!

I know what you mean Jay! Bugs was certainly a man who lived up to the legend. He was the best action you could find in pool too. I don't say that because we won most of the time, I know Bugs was a bit past his prime when Gary played him. But Bugs always was alway friendly, soft spoken and you never wondered if you were going to have trouble if you won. Bugs would call fouls on himself if he goofed up and never questioned a call from his opponent. Paul Jones, you mentioned was another class act! Yes. this thread brings tears to me also, Jay. It was a different time that unfortunately the young guns will never know! Cecil Tugwell was another great black player who had to struggle through.

jay helfert
06-25-2010, 11:01 AM
Jay,

Thanks for the reply. Some of the old timers around Rochester remember Cannonball well. Surprized you knew him. He was coming around just about the time I began to play in the middle sixties. My next door neighbor used to travel around New York with him. You are the fountain of information:bow-down:.

Lyn

Lyn, I knew him from seeing him play around New York, both in Guys & Dolls and 7/11. This was in the mid 60's.

The Saw
06-25-2010, 11:23 AM
I know what you mean Jay! Bugs was certainly a man who lived up to the legend. He was the best action you could find in pool too. I don't say that because we won most of the time, I know Bugs was a bit past his prime when Gary played him. But Bugs always was alway friendly, soft spoken and you never wondered if you were going to have trouble if you won. Bugs would call fouls on himself if he goofed up and never questioned a call from his opponent. Paul Jones, you mentioned was another class act! Yes. this thread brings tears to me also, Jay. It was a different time that unfortunately the young guns will never know! Cecil Tugwell was another great black player who had to struggle through.

Paul Jones moved pretty good too... Seen him two different times wearing a Dominos Pizza uniform (w/ flour on his shirt and pants) acting like he had just got paid and got a big bonus in his check.

Nothing better than Gary missing a bank during an 8ball team tourney and the whole Airway team yelling "BANK CHAMPION!!!", lol.....

BillPorter
06-25-2010, 01:34 PM
Gary, in his prime was freakish good at banks, literally unbeatable. Back about 1980 I used to play in a partners tournament at Western Bowl in Cincinnati, I think it was on Monday nights. Gary was a regular at that tournament and a few times, before the tournament started, I practiced with him. He played so far above my speed that the way we practiced was we played nine-ball and Gary had to BANK EVERY SHOT! OK, it was just practice and no money was involved, and some of you won't believe this, but he generally held his own or came out a bit ahead in a 30 minutes practice session. Maybe that says as much about how weak my nine-ball game was, but it was not unusual for Gary to run out from the 5 or 6 ball.

In 1986 Gary won the banks tournament at a Clyde Childress tournament in Lexington, KY. I shot some photos at the tournament and got a shot of Gary that was published on the cover of Billiards News. Note the misspelling of his last name. Gary was tickled to see the shot of himself and I was happy to see him get some recognition. I think he beat Wade Crane in the finals of that tourney. Parica won the 9-Ball tournament that year.

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Sports/1986-Clyde-Childress-Memorial/BN-Cover-Final-small-CC86/93616912_qDkKg-X2.jpg

doublej487
06-25-2010, 01:39 PM
my father beat gary one time at a viking tour event in sharonvillie ohio

Scott Lee
06-25-2010, 02:49 PM
Wow Bill...Between you and Mike, Diana and maybe JAM, you guys together have more pictures of more poolplayers (past and present) than anybody I can think of! You all need to get together and publish a 'coffee-table' book of poolplayer photos! It would be like the Blue Book...only just players! :thumbup: I think it would sell well!

Scott Lee
www.poolknowledge.com

Gary, in his prime was freakish good at banks, literally unbeatable. Back about 1980 I used to play in a partners tournament at Western Bowl in Cincinnati, I think it was on Monday nights. Gary was a regular at that tournament and a few times, before the tournament started, I practiced with him. He played so far above my speed that the way we practiced was we played nine-ball and Gary had to BANK EVERY SHOT! OK, it was just practice and no money was involved, and some of you won't believe this, but he generally held his own or came out a bit ahead in a 30 minutes practice session. Maybe that says as much about how weak my nine-ball game was, but it was not unusual for Gary to run out from the 5 or 6 ball.

In 1986 Gary won the banks tournament at a Clyde Childress tournament in Lexington, KY. I shot some photos at the tournament and got a shot of Gary that was published on the cover of Billiards News. Note the misspelling of his last name. Gary was tickled to see the shot of himself and I was happy to see him get some recognition. I think he beat Wade Crane in the finals of that tourney. Parica won the 9-Ball tournament that year.

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Sports/1986-Clyde-Childress-Memorial/BN-Cover-Final-small-CC86/93616912_qDkKg-X2.jpg

cuesmith
06-25-2010, 03:07 PM
my father beat gary one time at a viking tour event in sharonvillie ohio

"Who's your Daddy?" lol just curious. Gary hated Golden T in Sharonville. They had the National Shuffleboard Pool Tables with about 6" pockets and gold cloth! UGH Not to take anything away from your Dad's victory, it still took a hell of a player to get past him.

When I had Beechmont Billiards Gary was of course the "house pro". We had a race to 5 DBL Elim tourney every Saturday. Gary won most of the one he played in (when he won he had to sit out next week. He was the only one we handicapped this way). One week I drew Gary in the first round. He hadn't picked up his cue in 2 weeks (since he won the last Saturday tourney) and I got off with a bang and had him 4-0 racing to 5. I'd never beat him a race of 9-ball before and I was feeling a little cocky. I told him " Looks like I'm finally going to beat you, Spud" as he was racking for me to break. I didn't make anything on the break and didn't make another ball in the match! He "3 fouled" twice and ran the other 3 racks! When he put you in jail, you were in MAX Security prison! I guess I should have kept my big mouth shut!

Tom In Cincy
06-25-2010, 03:35 PM
I use to give Gary a ride to Airways in Dayton on Monday nights. That was a tough group of players; Jason Miller was just a young teenager and whooping up on a lot of the locals.

Some of the regular players I remember;
'Out of Town' Joe Brown, Steve 'Cookie Monster' Cook, Bucky Bell, the Carelli brothers, Grant Hamilton, Rick Garrison, Whitey and his son Tommy Stephenson and of course Gary.

Tough tournament format.. race to 4 on the winners side/ race to 2 on the one loss side. All kinds of different tables were used. Mostly 8 and 9 foot tables in different conditions of disrepair. Only a few were in 'Good Condition' Later when they moved the room location to just off the interstate, they got some Diamond tables and the rest of the tables started to play much better.

$5 entry fee... made it popular for a lot of players to show up and it wasn't unusual to have 50+ players. Very few arguments.. just quick play and it was usually over by 1am.

Hardly anyone expected to win in this tournament.. except those players I mentioned.

freddy the beard
06-26-2010, 04:57 AM
You're right about Gary! I staked him for many years and he just about ruined bank pool, winning every tournament he entered in about a 10 year period. He beat all the greats except he never played Eddie Taylor even though Eddie was past him prime before Gary reached his. He played Bugs several times with Bugs breaking even in games on his best match and Gary won all the others. He got 8-7 from Bugs playing one-pocket and won at that also and frankly I don't think the ball spot came into play much. He used to spot Shannon Daulton 9-7 & breaks + Shannon's fouls didn't count against him. Gary was one of the most under-rated all around players ever. In 9-ball tournaments he beat Buddy Hall 6 out of 7 times they played while I was staking him. And you should know the Airway Billiard player field. Gary won the monday tournament there 12 times in a row and about half the times he entered. That doesn't sound like much until you understand the dynamics of that tournament. There was always at least a dozen players who were subject to run a set on you there. I know that staking Gary bought my ex wife a house.

Sherm, that was clever how you phrased that, "breaking even in games on his best match," re Bugs. I was present at that "best match" of course, that was at the tournament where Gary beat me in the 2 hole, 23 to 21 for the championship. That was probably the toughest 32 player bank field ever assembled, except for Bugs who was in jail at the time. Bugs got out of jail the morning of the finals. Gary could have won the Cubs Baseball franchise if he could have beaten Bugs that night.

I must defend my home boy, Bugs. Gary was a great player, and I really liked the kid, but I believe Bugs was a better banker, especially for giant money. Just like I believe that Eddie Taylor was a better banker than Bugs, Cannonball, and Youngblood Washington. In his prime Taylor spotted them all 9 to 8 or 8 to 7. However, with Eddie Taylor on the way out due to cataracts, from about 1968 until 1990 no human had a prayer playing Bugs bank pool.
Another tidbit, aside from when Bugs went to Calif. in the late 60s and beat Marvin Henderson and Cannonball Lefty Chapman, he didnt get to play anybody even again for that 20+ year stretch. (Incardona played him even in Pittsburg but didnt know who he was) Closest to that was when after Donnie Anderson won a big bank tourn in Ohio, Bugs gave him 9 to 8 and spanked him after the finals.

I'll concede the rest of the field to Gary. As I said, I really liked the kid. I knew him from when he was little, and he was always respectful to me, and considerate enough to not embarass me by asking me to play.

Beard

Dead Crab
06-26-2010, 06:17 AM
For those unaware, here is a link to video of a 1992 matchup between Spaeth and Rucker:

http://www.tubebilliards.com/bank-pool-challenge-match-gary-spaeth-vs-bugs-rucker/

jay helfert
06-26-2010, 07:48 AM
Sherm, that was clever how you phrased that, "breaking even in games on his best match," re Bugs. I was present at that "best match" of course, that was at the tournament where Gary beat me in the 2 hole, 23 to 21 for the championship. That was probably the toughest 32 player bank field ever assembled, except for Bugs who was in jail at the time. Bugs got out of jail the morning of the finals. Gary could have won the Cubs Baseball franchise if he could have beaten Bugs that night.

I must defend my home boy, Bugs. Gary was a great player, and I really liked the kid, but I believe Bugs was a better banker, especially for giant money. Just like I believe that Eddie Taylor was a better banker than Bugs, Cannonball, and Youngblood Washington. In his prime Taylor spotted them all 9 to 8 or 8 to 7. However, with Eddie Taylor on the way out due to cataracts, from about 1968 until 1990 no human had a prayer playing Bugs bank pool.
Another tidbit, aside from when Bugs went to Calif. in the late 60s and beat Marvin Henderson and Cannonball Lefty Chapman, he didnt get to play anybody even again for that 20+ year stretch. (Incardona played him even in Pittsburg but didnt know who he was) Closest to that was when after Donnie Anderson won a big bank tourn in Ohio, Bugs gave him 9 to 8 and spanked him after the finals.

I'll concede the rest of the field to Gary. As I said, I really liked the kid. I knew him from when he was little, and he was always respectful to me, and considerate enough to not embarass me by asking me to play.

Beard

Thanks for chiming in Freddie. These young(er) guys never saw Taylor or Bugs in their prime, so they don't know what they missed. I watched Eddie play several times and it was other worldly to me at the time how he could just make bank after bank like they were hangers. Short rail, long rail, it made no difference. They split the wicket! And both he and Bugs whacked them in at warp speed!

Maybe one of the biggest differences I see today is that even the best bankers have their weak moments where they miss a few. That was not the case with Taylor and Bugs. They were always "on" and never had weak moments. A weak moment for them was to miss one ball. Every turn at the table was liable to be the last of the game. They kept the pressure on from start to finish. If you had a weak moment, you were toast!

I never saw Youngblood Washington play but I heard a lot about him. He must have been one great pool player. Cannonball banked just like Taylor and Bugs, but I don't think he could hold up quite as good for the cash. He was an amazing practice player, banking eights, nines and tens like it was nothing. I did play the other Youngblood, James Brown, who was one of the best in his day. He could play right there with Fargo and Truman, but I make him a slight dog. At 8-7 Youngblood would have the best of it though. Blood gave me 5-4 in L.A. at the Den and we played all day. Probably the best I ever played and I still lost, maybe four games at twenty a game.

I was proud of myself in losing that day. I held my own against one of the top Bankers in the country. That's when I knew I could really play this game. I had learned well from Joe Burns and Lou Todoroff, and watching Eddie Taylor. I was ready for anyone, and beat some pretty good players over the years. Thanks again. You showed me that you could be a strong Bank Pool player, even if you weren't a top player at other games.

brandoncook26
06-26-2010, 08:07 AM
How would the best of today compare with Bugs, Spaeth, and Taylor? I am thinking of probably Brian Gregg, Brumback and Daulton. I know Brian was mentored by Bugs.

Would they need a ball or more from the greats? Just trying to get a feeling of how much higher the speed of these three were comparing it to people I have seen.

DawgAndy
06-26-2010, 08:23 AM
I have to think Brumbeck had played Gary a lot, i might be wrong though. I remember Gary sleeping in the chairs at Starchers with his case on his lap waitng to play or action whichever. I really liked him, nice guy

cuesmith
06-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Sherm, that was clever how you phrased that, "breaking even in games on his best match," re Bugs. I was present at that "best match" of course, that was at the tournament where Gary beat me in the 2 hole, 23 to 21 for the championship. That was probably the toughest 32 player bank field ever assembled, except for Bugs who was in jail at the time. Bugs got out of jail the morning of the finals. Gary could have won the Cubs Baseball franchise if he could have beaten Bugs that night.

I must defend my home boy, Bugs. Gary was a great player, and I really liked the kid, but I believe Bugs was a better banker, especially for giant money. Just like I believe that Eddie Taylor was a better banker than Bugs, Cannonball, and Youngblood Washington. In his prime Taylor spotted them all 9 to 8 or 8 to 7. However, with Eddie Taylor on the way out due to cataracts, from about 1968 until 1990 no human had a prayer playing Bugs bank pool.
Another tidbit, aside from when Bugs went to Calif. in the late 60s and beat Marvin Henderson and Cannonball Lefty Chapman, he didnt get to play anybody even again for that 20+ year stretch. (Incardona played him even in Pittsburg but didnt know who he was) Closest to that was when after Donnie Anderson won a big bank tourn in Ohio, Bugs gave him 9 to 8 and spanked him after the finals.

I'll concede the rest of the field to Gary. As I said, I really liked the kid. I knew him from when he was little, and he was always respectful to me, and considerate enough to not embarass me by asking me to play.

Beard

Freddy, Freddy... Were really not too far apart. We both loved and respected both players. I wasn't trying to be "clever" , just telling the facts as I remember them. The match where they came up even on games, Bugs did win $1000. I took Gary to Chicago on short money, feeling we could make a score there. The night we arrived, the night before the tourney where you were in the finals with Gary, we went to the Chicago Billiards Cafe looking for action. Piggy Banks came up and asked Gary to play asking for 8-7. Gary gave him the spot and proceded to win 9 in a row for $100, when Piggy's stakehorse pulled up. Piggy pleaded with his stakehorse to keep him in the box. He said Gary was "spell banking", a term Gary and I laughed about often over the years. Piggys Stakehorse said "I believe you're right, but we just don't know how long this spell is going to last!" We felt pretty good, we'd just tripled our bankroll. The next day the bank tournament started and there was no time for action. As you know Gary went through the field of that tournament with hardly anyone getting close. You did best against him in the finals but I think your "gamesmanship" had him a little flustered. I wanted to choke you at the time but learned to appreciate your style and character and in time got to really like you. Just as the finals were over Bugs walked into the room. As Jay mentioned earlier, when Bugs came into the room there was a kind of hush came over the place. It was apparent that Bugs came to play Gary and we wouldn't have had it any other way. There was electricity in the air! Greg Sullivan, much before the Diamond days, came up to Gary and I and asked if he could have part of the action. I was at first sort of against it but Gary had been friends with Greg for a while so we let him in. At this point I had just about $1500 after giving Gary his share to "lock up". He had rent & bills overdue at home and could not afford to lose what he'd won. Greg put up $1000. Gary and Bugs started playing a race to 4 for $1000. Gary won the first set easily 4-1. Bug's camp immediately started yelling to jack the bet. They wanted to play another for $2000. Bug's stakehorse opened what looked like an old doctors bag full of money but I don't think he was from Wrigley Field. Greg wanted to jack it also. I held out and insisted they play another for $1000. It was a matter of "money management" I knew if we played for $2000 and lost the first set, we were done! We wouldn't have another $2000 in reserve to continue playing. But Greg and the crowd talked me into "going for it". Greg said we can turn "tooth picks into a forrest"! Needless to say the set came down to hill, hill and the last ball on the table. Gary and Bugs volleyed safeties back and forth with unbelievable precision until Gary left Bugs endrail to endrail both balls frozen and Bugs made the most amazing straight back, for the cash I've ever seen. He played it strictly offensively and had he missed, he's have probably sold out an easy bank to Gary, but he drilled it! And we were done. Actually I mis-stated the part about them coming up even in games, Gary actually won more games in the 2 sets, but Bugs took down the cash and we couldn't ask them to drop back down to $1000 a set. That just wasn't done! They played 3 more times over the years. Once was one-pocket with Bugs spotting Gary 8-7 in my poolroom in Cincinnati. Gary really unloaded on him there in front of his home crowd and I don't think the spot really came into play. They played banks twice more. Gary won one game the first time but Bug's diabetes was acting up and he had to quit. We didn't want to take advantage of his health problem anyway and it was obvious that he wasn't right that day. He came back to Cincinnati and played Gary some $400 a game full rack banks again at Beechmont where Gary was again the winner. I will acknowledge that Bugs was about 15 years older than Gary and was past his prime by this time. But Gary hadn't really hit his prime until shortly before his death. He was playing the best pool of his life the last year of his life, which I'd like to think was partly because of my influence. I'd taught Gary to be more patient and he also cleaned up his lifestyle quite a bit because he knew I wouldn't tolerate a lot of the habits he had as a youth. There is no doubt in my mind that had he lived, he'd by now have been a multiple winner of the "master of the table" award at the DCC. I don't think there is anyone but Efren (and maybe Shannon) who had his ability to play all 3 of the main games at the Derby! It's a good thing he didn't have to play 14.1 though, that was Gary's weakest game! He just never like it.

cuesmith
06-26-2010, 10:44 AM
Sherm, that was clever how you phrased that, "breaking even in games on his best match," re Bugs. I was present at that "best match" of course, that was at the tournament where Gary beat me in the 2 hole, 23 to 21 for the championship. That was probably the toughest 32 player bank field ever assembled, except for Bugs who was in jail at the time. Bugs got out of jail the morning of the finals. Gary could have won the Cubs Baseball franchise if he could have beaten Bugs that night.

I must defend my home boy, Bugs. Gary was a great player, and I really liked the kid, but I believe Bugs was a better banker, especially for giant money. Just like I believe that Eddie Taylor was a better banker than Bugs, Cannonball, and Youngblood Washington. In his prime Taylor spotted them all 9 to 8 or 8 to 7. However, with Eddie Taylor on the way out due to cataracts, from about 1968 until 1990 no human had a prayer playing Bugs bank pool.
Another tidbit, aside from when Bugs went to Calif. in the late 60s and beat Marvin Henderson and Cannonball Lefty Chapman, he didnt get to play anybody even again for that 20+ year stretch. (Incardona played him even in Pittsburg but didnt know who he was) Closest to that was when after Donnie Anderson won a big bank tourn in Ohio, Bugs gave him 9 to 8 and spanked him after the finals.

I'll concede the rest of the field to Gary. As I said, I really liked the kid. I knew him from when he was little, and he was always respectful to me, and considerate enough to not embarass me by asking me to play.

Beard

How would the best of today compare with Bugs, Spaeth, and Taylor? I am thinking of probably Brian Gregg, Brumback and Daulton. I know Brian was mentored by Bugs.

Would they need a ball or more from the greats? Just trying to get a feeling of how much higher the speed of these three were comparing it to people I have seen.

That's a "slippery slope" trying to compare players from different times. Like the old "Muhammed Ali vs Joe Louis" debate. I know that Gary had a reverence towards both Eddie Taylor and Bugs who he felt were the best bankers of all time. He was in awe of both of them when they were in their prime. I'm afraid I wasn't around the inside of the pool world then. I didn't really get involved in the until about '82 when Gary got home from his "time out" and we met. Of the bankers today, I'd put Brumbach & Miller about even depending on who's been playing and Shannon about a half a ball under them. Brian Gregg is something different. I don't think he's a quite as good of a "bank pool player" but he plays the ring game format very well where momentum is such a factor and safety play is out the window. Mark Jarvis used to be a force to be reconned with, but well, I won't go there. Danny Harriman plays the game well and could probably be a top banker if he put his mind to it. Mark Tadd was at one time in the stratisphere but I haven't seen him play in years. Glen "Piggy Banks" Rogers is among the best even though he actually works for a living, which is extremely rare for any top pool player. There used to be a black player from Chicago "Howard the coward" (I think I have that right) who had spells of banking pretty sporty, but I heard he's gone now. Maybe Freddy can elaborate. Well I'm done rambling for now, someone elses turn!

vagabond
06-26-2010, 11:14 AM
You're right about Gary! I staked him for many Gary was one of the most under-rated all around players ever. In 9-ball tournaments he beat Buddy Hall ..... I know that staking Gary bought my ex wife a house.


Not me.Besides banks and one pocket I thought he was an excellant 9 ball player.

By the way, who was the steak horse for Gary when he went on road to Germany and few European contries in 1990? I don`t think that many on this board know about Gary`s road trip to Europe.:cool:

01rkclassic
06-26-2010, 11:52 AM
Not me.Besides banks and one pocket I thought he was an excellant 9 ball player.

By the way, who was the steak horse for Gary when he went on road to Germany and few European contries in 1990? I don`t think that many on this board know about Gary`s road trip to Europe.:cool:

Yes that was a trip,he always wore his shirt's untucked and when his shirt touched a ball they called a foul,pissed Gary off so much he stripped to the waist and beat them into submission!

Thanks Jay,Sherm and Freddy for the memories of Gary,he was a fun loving guy that played top speed pool that was taken to early,he is greatly missed by many.

Tom In Cincy
06-26-2010, 12:12 PM
Gary's stake horse on the Germany/Europe trip was Dave Meyerson. Dave and I played a lot in the Cincinnati area. I haven't spoke to Dave since the late 90s. Dave, as well as Gary, was mentioned in Tony Annigoni's Road trip book 'Playing off the Rail' by Dave McCumber.



By the way, who was the steak horse for Gary when he went on road to Germany and few European contries in 1990? I don`t think that many on this board know about Gary`s road trip to Europe.:cool:

Tom In Cincy
06-26-2010, 12:16 PM
That was the old Monday night 9 ball tournament.. run by local pool player con-artist.. trunk full of hot merchandise... Vince Balcamino.

Gary, in his prime was freakish good at banks, literally unbeatable. Back about 1980 I used to play in a partners tournament at Western Bowl in Cincinnati, I think it was on Monday nights. Gary was a regular at that tournament and a few times, before the tournament started, I practiced with him. He played so far above my speed that the way we practiced was we played nine-ball and Gary had to BANK EVERY SHOT! OK, it was just practice and no money was involved, and some of you won't believe this, but he generally held his own or came out a bit ahead in a 30 minutes practice session. Maybe that says as much about how weak my nine-ball game was, but it was not unusual for Gary to run out from the 5 or 6 ball.

cuesmith
06-26-2010, 03:14 PM
I have to think Brumbeck had played Gary a lot, i might be wrong though. I remember Gary sleeping in the chairs at Starchers with his case on his lap waitng to play or action whichever. I really liked him, nice guy

Yes, they were both Player reps for my cues and we were all friends. They both played on my old GCII in my shop all the time.

Yes Gary was a very nice guy and my best friend. I have the dubious distinction of having been pall bearer at both Joey and Gary Spaeths funerals.

Here's a little story about Joey that just came up in a conversation with my buddy Billy Carrelli yesterday.

This was before my time in the pool world so I'm relying on Billy's recollection. It was about '75 give or take a few years and Joey Spaeth was one of the top one-pocket player in the country. He won the one-pocket division at Johnson City and was one of the true "Movers" of the game. Bugs came to Dayton to play Joey who was in Dayton more than Cincinnati for action those days. Joey spotted Bugs 8-7 and won about $800 @ $100 a game. Joey was playing very good and Bugs hadn't really figured out one-pocket at that time. He was going to school. Well the next week Bugs came back and they played the same way breaking even. The next time Bugs won a little. Next time it went to 9-8 instead of 8-7 and Joey won a little. Within 6 months they were playing even and Bugs was winning. Joey came in the poolroom the day after Bugs beat him even for the first time. If any of you remember Joey, he was a thinking man. Often you could tell he was about to say something, but he just wasn't ready to spit it out. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere he'd come out with the comment or story, well thought out in his mind! lol Sometimes I'd ask him something and he'd be thinking about his response so long I'd be wondering if he heard the question. The he'd come out with a good well thought out response to the question including any implications I may not have considered in the original topic. This was how he played one-pocket also. Anyway I'm drifting. He came into the poolroom and sat down next to Billy at the counter. Billy said he knew Joey was about to say something by his expression, but he knew Joey and just waited him out. lol "I guess I just can't beat that SOB, I mean he just banks soooo good! And now after I've played him cheap for the last 6 months, he knows everything I know. Everytime I put him in a trap, he either banks a ball that noooooo one shoots at, and makes it of course or he puts me in a worse trap! I never should have played him cheap! Gave him all my knowlege I took years to learn and invent, for pocket change. I must be the stupidest man on earth!" Joey was kind of hard on himself when he lost and often started on a practice regime. He had a check list of things he'd do (drills and concentrating on staying down til the object ball reached the pocket, stance and grip methods etc.) He do his best to force himself to get in stroke. He'd practice for hours on end, something Gary was NEVER known for. Gary had more natural talent and having grown up in a poolroom watching and playing some of the best in the world on a regular basis, had pool savvy he couldn't even explain. I remember once having a discussion with him while we were on the road driving. We were talking about different spots (handicaps) and which was a greater spot. I made the argument that the order wasn't written in stone, that the players them selves could make a difference in what was a bigger spot (ie. Spotting someone who has a terrible break, the break wasn't nearly as much of a spot as giving it to someone who breaks like king kong) anyway Gary was firm on the pecking order. I asked him why it was that way. He said "I don't know, it's that way now it's always been that way and that's the way it is!" lol Oh and for the folks who didn't grow up in a poolroom, Joey's coloquilisms about Bugs were not at all mean spirited, more a sign of respect! He thought a lot of Bugs too! I can't ever remember anyone saying anything bad or disrespectful about Bugs and gambling with him, win or lose, was never a bad experience. He was confident without being cocky, which is hard to pull off gracefully. I'm rambling again...

cuesmith
06-26-2010, 03:32 PM
Gary's stake horse on the Germany/Europe trip was Dave Meyerson. Dave and I played a lot in the Cincinnati area. I haven't spoke to Dave since the late 90s. Dave, as well as Gary, was mentioned in Tony Annigoni's Road trip book 'Playing off the Rail' by Dave McCumber.

Yes, David Myerson did stake Gary for a few years in the early 90's when I opened up Beechmont Billiards and couldn't get away to tournaments. David also had business in Europe and brought Gary to Germany on 2 different occasions. I have pictures of Gary rolling on the motel bed with a bunch of Deutch Marks! I still see David every couple of months and we always spend some time remembering Gary!

BillPorter
06-26-2010, 03:45 PM
That was the old Monday night 9 ball tournament.. run by local pool player con-artist.. trunk full of hot merchandise... Vince Balcamino.

Hey, Tom, back when I went over there the tournaments were run by Charlie Sayler, aka 9-Ball Charlie. Charlie is no longer with us. Vince ran them later and as you say, he may have had a character flaw or two.:grin:

cuesmith
06-26-2010, 03:47 PM
That was the old Monday night 9 ball tournament.. run by local pool player con-artist.. trunk full of hot merchandise... Vince Balcamino.

I was in Miami until 1981 and wasn't in the pro pool scene at all until I met Gary in 1982. Belcamino pretty much haunted anyplace he thought he could steal some lunch money. He was upset with me when I was getting ready to open Beechmont. He stopped by and made a comment about "He'll be glad when we get open. There's always a new bunch of suckers when a new room opens. I told him that they weren't a "new bunch of suckers" they were MY CUSTOMERS, and I wouldn't let him rob any unsuspecting kids or people who didn't have a clue. I had no problem with him matching up with the "pool players" or people who know the ropes, but, they were MY CUSTOMERS, I was paying ALL the overhead and I wasn't about to take advantage of the customers, I couldn't let him or anyone else for that matter. Sure there were times when people made games and got screwed, I wasn't up everyone business, but you can tell when scammers are about to pounce sometimes and we didn't turn our heads to that. Damn, I'm rambling today. Too hot outside to do anything!

jay helfert
06-26-2010, 08:33 PM
Yes, they were both Player reps for my cues and we were all friends. They both played on my old GCII in my shop all the time.

Yes Gary was a very nice guy and my best friend. I have the dubious distinction of having been pall bearer at both Joey and Gary Spaeths funerals.

Here's a little story about Joey that just came up in a conversation with my buddy Billy Carrelli yesterday.

This was before my time in the pool world so I'm relying on Billy's recollection. It was about '75 give or take a few years and Joey Spaeth was one of the top one-pocket player in the country. He won the one-pocket division at Johnson City and was one of the true "Movers" of the game. Bugs came to Dayton to play Joey who was in Dayton more than Cincinnati for action those days. Joey spotted Bugs 8-7 and won about $800 @ $100 a game. Joey was playing very good and Bugs hadn't really figured out one-pocket at that time. He was going to school. Well the next week Bugs came back and they played the same way breaking even. The next time Bugs won a little. Next time it went to 9-8 instead of 8-7 and Joey won a little. Within 6 months they were playing even and Bugs was winning. Joey came in the poolroom the day after Bugs beat him even for the first time. If any of you remember Joey, he was a thinking man. Often you could tell he was about to say something, but he just wasn't ready to spit it out. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere he'd come out with the comment or story, well thought out in his mind! lol Sometimes I'd ask him something and he'd be thinking about his response so long I'd be wondering if he heard the question. The he'd come out with a good well thought out response to the question including any implications I may not have considered in the original topic. This was how he played one-pocket also. Anyway I'm drifting. He came into the poolroom and sat down next to Billy at the counter. Billy said he knew Joey was about to say something by his expression, but he knew Joey and just waited him out. lol "I guess I just can't beat that SOB, I mean he just banks soooo good! And now after I've played him cheap for the last 6 months, he knows everything I know. Everytime I put him in a trap, he either banks a ball that noooooo one shoots at, and makes it of course or he puts me in a worse trap! I never should have played him cheap! Gave him all my knowlege I took years to learn and invent, for pocket change. I must be the stupidest man on earth!" Joey was kind of hard on himself when he lost and often started on a practice regime. He had a check list of things he'd do (drills and concentrating on staying down til the object ball reached the pocket, stance and grip methods etc.) He do his best to force himself to get in stroke. He'd practice for hours on end, something Gary was NEVER known for. Gary had more natural talent and having grown up in a poolroom watching and playing some of the best in the world on a regular basis, had pool savvy he couldn't even explain. I remember once having a discussion with him while we were on the road driving. We were talking about different spots (handicaps) and which was a greater spot. I made the argument that the order wasn't written in stone, that the players them selves could make a difference in what was a bigger spot (ie. Spotting someone who has a terrible break, the break wasn't nearly as much of a spot as giving it to someone who breaks like king kong) anyway Gary was firm on the pecking order. I asked him why it was that way. He said "I don't know, it's that way now it's always been that way and that's the way it is!" lol Oh and for the folks who didn't grow up in a poolroom, Joey's coloquilisms about Bugs were not at all mean spirited, more a sign of respect! He thought a lot of Bugs too! I can't ever remember anyone saying anything bad or disrespectful about Bugs and gambling with him, win or lose, was never a bad experience. He was confident without being cocky, which is hard to pull off gracefully. I'm rambling again...

Sherm, I love hearing your stories. Joey is one of the guys I grew up with and idolized. Definitely the best full time pool player around that part of the Midwest. George Rood doesn't really count because he wasn't making his living playing pool. Although he was probably one of the best players in the country. You would have to go as far north as Rockford, Il. and Dallas West, or Detroit and Cornbread to find anyone who could beat Joey at any game. And Dallas wasn't about to gamble with him, except at Straight Pool. Going east there was Rempe and Butera, two great players. Both the equal of Joey in ability. Rempe may have been a better player but not a better gambler. For low stakes like $20 9-Ball, hardly anyone could beat Lou. At Straight Pool, forget about it. He was the best. Dallas wouldn't have a chance against Butera in a long match. Oh, and there was Teddy Elias up in Toledo back then, but he was primarily a 14.1 specialist too. Ervolino came through and cleaned him out one time. Steve Cook was the top young gun around then but he couldn't beat Joey at One Pocket in those days. Maybe 9-Ball, but I can't say for sure.

I played Joey in Dayton in 1974 getting 8-7 and the break. Seemed like a big spot, but I lost $400 at fifty a game. I know it seems like I'm always talking about losing on here, but those are the games you never forget. I beat a lot of guys who remember me, but I don't even remember playing them. Joey was more introverted and didn't talk much with strangers. I hung around Mergards for six months and he was there every night and never said two words to me. Gary, on the other hand, was a super friendly kid, who loved to talk pool and analyze games and spots. He was always respectful with me and never once asked me to play. Thank God!

P.S. Like you said it's hard to compare players from different eras. But going by their best games, I still have to say Taylor was the best Banker I ever saw and Bugs was second, Cannonball was third. I still put Gary even with Truman and Tony Fargo. I can't see him giving any weight to either of these two guys. I do put Gary above Jason Miller, John Brumback, Wade Crane, Mark Jarvis, Youngblood, Varner, Sigel and Buddy. All these guys played great Banks too. The guy who could have given him trouble, particularly if he went to Philly was Jimmy Fusco. Jimmy was a fantastic Bank Pool player. He just didn't get to play it that often.

LAMas
06-26-2010, 11:31 PM
... I did play the other Youngblood, James Brown, who was one of the best in his day. He could play right there with Fargo and Truman, but I make him a slight dog. At 8-7 Youngblood would have the best of it though. Blood gave me 5-4 in L.A. at the Den and we played all day. Probably the best I ever played and I still lost, maybe four games at twenty a game....


I remember the LA Open that you put on for it was the first time I was able to see the best pros from across the USA and the world.

I watched James Brown playing Jimmy Reid one hole and I was thinking that Brown was taking a lot of time getting down getting up getting down again and then getting up. This must have bothered Jimmy for he went to the director (you) and asked that a clock be put on Brown. Putting Brown on the clock changed his whole game and he started making mistakes and eventually lost to Jimmy.... as I remember.:)

Those were the best tourneys then or since in L.A. - kudos.:thumbup:

jay helfert
06-27-2010, 04:28 AM
I remember the LA Open that you put on for it was the first time I was able to see the best pros from across the USA and the world.

I watched James Brown playing Jimmy Reid one hole and I was thinking that Brown was taking a lot of time getting down getting up getting down again and then getting up. This must have bothered Jimmy for he went to the director (you) and asked that a clock be put on Brown. Putting Brown on the clock changed his whole game and he started making mistakes and eventually lost to Jimmy.... as I remember.:)

Those were the best tourneys then or since in L.A. - kudos.:thumbup:

That was the last hurrah for so many guys. James Brown (Youngblood), Jimmy Reid, Donny Anderson, Bugs, San Jose Dick and on and on. The big winners that week were Jose Parica (what else is new), Billy Incardona, and Roger Griffiths. All won around 10K each. Of course Mark Tadd was the big winner pulling in $26,000! ALL paid in cash too! I went with him to the bank to cash his check. Oh and Steve Cook won the One Pocket and $10,000 and promptly got on a plane and flew home to Florida. Bill Amadeo had put him in the event.

Ken_4fun
06-27-2010, 05:46 AM
Only on AZ can we have two guys play each other. One never loss, and the other never got beat....

:eek:

Ken

freddy the beard
06-27-2010, 11:59 AM
Sherm, I love hearing your stories. Joey is one of the guys I grew up with and idolized. Definitely the best full time pool player around that part of the Midwest. George Rood doesn't really count because he wasn't making his living playing pool. Although he was probably one of the best players in the country. You would have to go as far north as Rockford, Il. and Dallas West, or Detroit and Cornbread to find anyone who could beat Joey at any game. And Dallas wasn't about to gamble with him, except at Straight Pool. Going east there was Rempe and Butera, two great players. Both the equal of Joey in ability. Rempe may have been a better player but not a better gambler. For low stakes like $20 9-Ball, hardly anyone could beat Lou. At Straight Pool, forget about it. He was the best. Dallas wouldn't have a chance against Butera in a long match. Oh, and there was Teddy Elias up in Toledo back then, but he was primarily a 14.1 specialist too. Ervolino came through and cleaned him out one time. Steve Cook was the top young gun around then but he couldn't beat Joey at One Pocket in those days. Maybe 9-Ball, but I can't say for sure.

I played Joey in Dayton in 1974 getting 8-7 and the break. Seemed like a big spot, but I lost $400 at fifty a game. I know it seems like I'm always talking about losing on here, but those are the games you never forget. I beat a lot of guys who remember me, but I don't even remember playing them. Joey was more introverted and didn't talk much with strangers. I hung around Mergards for six months and he was there every night and never said two words to me. Gary, on the other hand, was a super friendly kid, who loved to talk pool and analyze games and spots. He was always respectful with me and never once asked me to play. Thank God!

P.S. Like you said it's hard to compare players from different eras. But going by their best games, I still have to say Taylor was the best Banker I ever saw and Bugs was second, Cannonball was third. I still put Gary even with Truman and Tony Fargo. I can't see him giving any weight to either of these two guys. I do put Gary above Jason Miller, John Brumback, Wade Crane, Mark Jarvis, Youngblood, Varner, Sigel and Buddy. All these guys played great Banks too. The guy who could have given him trouble, particularly if he went to Philly was Jimmy Fusco. Jimmy was a fantastic Bank Pool player. He just didn't get to play it that often.

If I wasnt so visable on the internet forums I probably wouldnt squawk, but I never seem to get a plug in the bank area from you. When it comes to top bankers, you keep leaving me out. So let me set the record straight.

Gary and I never played for money. I was headed downhill then and he was on the rise. However, in a very contentious bank tournament with almost every bank champ in there except Bugs (he was in jail overnight), Gary beat me in the finals 23 to 21. Jason Miller and Brumback were too current for me to compete with. But I had my day with Wade Crane in Johnston City, spotting him 9 to 8 and banking 9 and out the last game before he pulled up. Jarvis I beat all his life before we had to quit playing because of all the sh*t he pulled to keep from paying off the last time we played.

James Youngblood Brown suffered many strummings at my hands (he came out ahead about 20% of the time) Varner would never play until deep into his rise and my down slide.

The last time I played Sigel was during the filming of the Color of Money, I beat him three in a row, banking 8 and out the last game. He quit and we went to dinner.

I beat Buddy banking on the bar table in Johnston City (the only year they had one), after that he would only play 8 to 7 for many years. However, I did not have much success with the 8 to 7 game. We played even in the 80s and I lost twice.

Unbelievably, I had phenomenal success with Cannonball lefty Chapman. Every time we played, I played my absolute best and beat him 80% of the time.

Donny Anderson, who played almost as good as anybody suffered an 8 game strum at Bensingers in the 70s. I mentioned this win someplace on the forums once and Donnie personally called me up on the phone to contest my claim. Donnie had a case of pool player senility, whereby you only forget all the losers. Donnie finished his rant with the claim that he had only lost 5 times in his 50 year career anyway.

Tony Fargo and I only played twice and he lost both times.

Jimmy Fusco and I never played, and as far at the banking devil, Truman Hogue went, I have no shame saying I ducked him -- as did just about everybody else. Truman, like Bugs instilled a sense of dread in me.

I also had no problem ducking CornBread Red playing even banks.

Finally, I played Ronnie in Big Mama's in the early 70s 9 to 7 for $1500. The session ended incomplete, when he called a ridiculous foul on me when I was banking out.

So you see Jaybird, I hate to have to be this contentious, but your opinion is held in too high of an esteem around these forums for me to allow this obvious oversight on your part to go uncorrected. I'm sure you just forgot, thank you very much. If not, then you can consider yourself historically enlightened.

Beard

jay helfert
06-27-2010, 12:50 PM
If I wasnt so visable on the internet forums I probably wouldnt squawk, but I never seem to get a plug in the bank area from you. When it comes to top bankers, you keep leaving me out. So let me set the record straight.

Gary and I never played for money. I was headed downhill then and he was on the rise. However, in a very contentious bank tournament with almost every bank champ in there except Bugs (he was in jail overnight), Gary beat me in the finals 23 to 21. Jason Miller and Brumback were too current for me to compete with. But I had my day with Wade Crane in Johnston City, spotting him 9 to 8 and banking 9 and out the last game before he pulled up. Jarvis I beat all his life before we had to quit playing because of all the sh*t he pulled to keep from paying off the last time we played.

James Youngblood Brown suffered many strummings at my hands (he came out ahead about 20% of the time) Varner would never play until deep into his rise and my down slide.

The last time I played Sigel was during the filming of the Color of Money, I beat him three in a row, banking 8 and out the last game. He quit and we went to dinner.

I beat Buddy banking on the bar table in Johnston City (the only year they had one), after that he would only play 8 to 7 for many years. However, I did not have much success with the 8 to 7 game. We played even in the 80s and I lost twice.

Unbelievably, I had phenomenal success with Cannonball lefty Chapman. Every time we played, I played my absolute best and beat him 80% of the time.

Donny Anderson, who played almost as good as anybody suffered an 8 game strum at Bensingers in the 70s. I mentioned this win someplace on the forums once and Donnie personally called me up on the phone to contest my claim. Donnie had a case of pool player senility, whereby you only forget all the losers. Donnie finished his rant with the claim that he had only lost 5 times in his 50 year career anyway.

Tony Fargo and I only played twice and he lost both times.

Jimmy Fusco and I never played, and as far at the banking devil, Truman Hogue went, I have no shame saying I ducked him -- as did just about everybody else. Truman, like Bugs instilled a sense of dread in me.

I also had no problem ducking CornBread Red playing even banks.

Finally, I played Ronnie in Big Mama's in the early 70s 9 to 7 for $1500. The session ended incomplete, when he called a ridiculous foul on me when I was banking out.

So you see Jaybird, I hate to have to be this contentious, but your opinion is held in too high of an esteem around these forums for me to allow this obvious oversight on your part to go uncorrected. I'm sure you just forgot, thank you very much. If not, then you can consider yourself historically enlightened.

Beard

You're the best Freddie! I'm still 1-0 against you though! I hope you haven't forgotten our little match. :wink:

Freddie I always give you props for your books and DVD's. By far the best stuff ever produced on Bank Pool with no close second. You must have missed them or just don't want to acknowledge that I recommended you.

I'm sorry if I didn't rate you as high as you'd like, but I never saw you at your best in Chi town. Only that one match with Medina, which was pretty hotly contested. But if you try to tell me you schooled Bugs and broke even with Taylor I'll begin to wonder about you. If you did actually beat Cannonball anywhere close to his prime I'm very impressed. He was a damn good one, but did drink on occasion, which was his downfall more than once. I smoked some weed with him once. He was a funny motherfcker. Of course you and I shared a doobie or two ourselves. You might have been a speed or two funnier. :rolleyes:

Getting the best of Donny Anderson (even in Chicago) is also quite impressive. He had a lot to do with making Gary the banker he became. I'm glad you drew the line at Truman. He was a FREAK at Banks. Taylor loved little Truman and treated him like his lost little boy.

Scoring a win at Banks against Tony Fargo is also quite a feat. Pretty impressive list of victims you put up there. ALL good Bankers! You didn't look for any soft action did you?

CrossSideLarry
06-27-2010, 03:04 PM
Most people don't know that Gary Spaeth's grandpa, aka, "Northside Eddie Spaeth" was an awesome player and he taught his son, Joey Spaeth how to play. No one could come close to Eddie's speed in the 1940's and 50's. He played at Mergard's bowling alley in Northside, a tough subdivision of Cincinnati, Ohio. My dad bowled three nights a week at Mergard's and took me with him. I was 11 years old then and never was questioned when I would walk back to the pool area while my dad bowled. Eddie, Joey and Gary... what a fitting threesome to personify the old adage, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"

I hope someone reads this and can write something about Eddie Spaeth. I'm sure he beat the best of his era on more than one occassion including for sure, Cornbread Red, Nine ball Harry Sexton, aka "Poochy" and countless others

In 1967 after getting out of the military, I would often play in the monday night nine ball tournament at Western Bowl in Western Hills, Cincinnati. Balcomino assisted the tournament director and was always woofing at someone, usually trying to get a bet down. I remember one Monday night when Joey Spaeth was in the finals with a black guy who was a very good player. You could not get a place to stand anywhere as they were four deep around the final table. The match went hill-hill until Joey ran out the last rack to win the match.

I couldn't help but notice a clean well dressed looking guy who was standing outside the entry into the pool room. After a few minutes of staring at him, I realized who it was... Eddie Spaeth. I was surprised to see him leave without coming in to congratulate his son, Joey on his win?

It is my understanding that Sherm at one time was considering doing a commemorative series of Joey and Gary Spaeth cues. I would hope he would add Eddie in that series. I would be the first to buy!


Cross-Side-Larry


"Learn from the best, and beat the rest"

cuesmith
06-27-2010, 07:26 PM
You're the best Freddie! I'm still 1-0 against you though! I hope you haven't forgotten our little match. :wink:

Freddie I always give you props for your books and DVD's. By far the best stuff ever produced on Bank Pool with no close second. You must have missed them or just don't want to acknowledge that I recommended you.

I'm sorry if I didn't rate you as high as you'd like, but I never saw you at your best in Chi town. Only that one match with Medina, which was pretty hotly contested. But if you try to tell me you schooled Bugs and broke even with Taylor I'll begin to wonder about you. If you did actually beat Cannonball anywhere close to his prime I'm very impressed. He was a damn good one, but did drink on occasion, which was his downfall more than once. I smoked some weed with him once. He was a funny motherfcker. Of course you and I shared a doobie or two ourselves. You might have been a speed or two funnier. :rolleyes:

Getting the best of Donny Anderson (even in Chicago) is also quite impressive. He had a lot to do with making Gary the banker he became. I'm glad you drew the line at Truman. He was a FREAK at Banks. Taylor loved little Truman and treated him like his lost little boy.

Scoring a win at Banks against Tony Fargo is also quite a feat. Pretty impressive list of victims you put up there. ALL good Bankers! You didn't look for any soft action did you?

Freddy I have to give you props too. I don't mention you much because we just didn't cross paths much back in the day. You and Gary played that one time (that I know of) in the tourney and I did tell that story a couple of times. lol You played very well in that tourney and knew all the moves to keep Gary out of his "comfort range". I now have a new found respect for you having purchased your "Banks That Don't Go, But Do" series. Having spent many years around top flight bank pool action I've seen pretty much all the shots before, but never could anyone I knew explain the shots in a way that made sense. Gary could make the shots but wasn't a good teacher at all. He often didn't understand why he needed to use a certain english to make a shot work, only that he had to use that english, from years of hitting them certain ways and observing the results or having been told by Joey or Donny or maybe even you when he was a kid, I wasn't around pool then. I've recommended to several people that they pick up your DVD's when they've told me they needed help with their banks, and will continue to do so! I also attend the One Pocket/Bank Pool Hall of Fame dinner at the DCC every year, usually with Danny. I will always remember those nights fondly. The stories and comraderie about brings tears to my eyes sometimes and you are always one of the most interesting story tellers there, and that's saying something because there are some beauts! I also appreciate your contributions to the forums, to your fans and to the sport in general. I wish you well in all you do. If you're ever passing through Cincinnati, please give me a shout and stop by! Danny D calls my place his "home away from home" and he'll tell you we have a good time when ever he comes. Billy Carrelli is over a couple of times a week too and I'm sure he'd like to get together and swap war stories too. Later Buddy!

freddy the beard
06-28-2010, 05:05 AM
You're the best Freddie! I'm still 1-0 against you though! I hope you haven't forgotten our little match. :wink:

Freddie I always give you props for your books and DVD's. By far the best stuff ever produced on Bank Pool with no close second. You must have missed them or just don't want to acknowledge that I recommended you.

I'm sorry if I didn't rate you as high as you'd like, but I never saw you at your best in Chi town. Only that one match with Medina, which was pretty hotly contested. But if you try to tell me you schooled Bugs and broke even with Taylor I'll begin to wonder about you. If you did actually beat Cannonball anywhere close to his prime I'm very impressed. He was a damn good one, but did drink on occasion, which was his downfall more than once. I smoked some weed with him once. He was a funny motherfcker. Of course you and I shared a doobie or two ourselves. You might have been a speed or two funnier. :rolleyes:

Getting the best of Donny Anderson (even in Chicago) is also quite impressive. He had a lot to do with making Gary the banker he became. I'm glad you drew the line at Truman. He was a FREAK at Banks. Taylor loved little Truman and treated him like his lost little boy.

Scoring a win at Banks against Tony Fargo is also quite a feat. Pretty impressive list of victims you put up there. ALL good Bankers! You didn't look for any soft action did you?

Seriously, thank you for your "retraction?" I knew you were going to bring up that pounding for $500 a game I took against Danny Medina on my home court, with you in with Danny, and then that time when you "drizzled out " on me at Derby City. As you have already noticed, I have a touch of that pool players Alzheimer's, just like Donny Anderson, whereby you only forget the losers.
Lucky for you, you werent in with Danny the next time we played a few months later at Akron? or Toledo?, I forgot which tourn. when I gained revenge. Eight in a row for $200 a game (we were both betting our own). Danny broke it down with the most delicious pool compliment I ever got, "I cant beat you playing bank pool." Jay, you knew how cocky and confident Danny was, so you know what it took for him to say that.

Cannonball was my hero when I was a kid. He was the first guy I ever seen bank 8 and out (on Danny Jones), so I was always sky high when we played and he was usually a little oiled. He did imbibe a bit, as you well know. He also, as did Javenly Youngblood Washington, spend a few vacations in the booby hatch.

Excerpt from my book The GosPool:
Some Great Black Players That I Knew:
John "Cannonball Lefty" Chapman from Chicago's West Side. He played all games, including a smattering of Three-Cushion Billiards. This is how he would warm up before a match: He had such a supple body he would roll up into a ball on the floor; knees up against his chest, head between his legs, arms around his ankles. You could have rolled him down a hill. "Mexican Johnny" Vasquez used to go to the West Side and play Lefty bank pool. I once asked how Lefty played him, and what kind of handicap was involved. Johnny replied that Lefty spotted him 14 to 8 playing banks on a 4' x 8' pool table. I gasped. I couldn't believe anybody on earth could give a journeyman player like Johnny that much spot. I asked him, "How the hell could you possibly lose getting that much weight?" Johnny replied in his inimitable style, "Sheet, man, dat ain't sucha good game. Lefty git a shot, he bank 'leven, bank twelve, bank ten."
Javenly "Youngblood" Washington from Chicago's South Side, the original Youngblood. He was one of the all-time great bank-pool players. Besides his fabulous pool skills, 'Blood had some mental problems. He was periodically institutionalized at a mental center in Chicago. His backers used to help him get over the wall at Manteno's mental institution to escape and go to the West Side to play "Cannonball Lefty" Chapman bank pool. 'Blood would still have the hospital bracelet on his wrist. Those sessions would bring sweators in from everywhere. The poolroom would be packed wall-to-wall. When the session was over, the backers would take him back to the hospital and hoist him back over the wall to be recommitted.

Beard

freddy the beard
06-28-2010, 05:12 AM
Freddy I have to give you props too. I don't mention you much because we just didn't cross paths much back in the day. You and Gary played that one time (that I know of) in the tourney and I did tell that story a couple of times. lol You played very well in that tourney and knew all the moves to keep Gary out of his "comfort range". I now have a new found respect for you having purchased your "Banks That Don't Go, But Do" series. Having spent many years around top flight bank pool action I've seen pretty much all the shots before, but never could anyone I knew explain the shots in a way that made sense. Gary could make the shots but wasn't a good teacher at all. He often didn't understand why he needed to use a certain english to make a shot work, only that he had to use that english, from years of hitting them certain ways and observing the results or having been told by Joey or Donny or maybe even you when he was a kid, I wasn't around pool then. I've recommended to several people that they pick up your DVD's when they've told me they needed help with their banks, and will continue to do so! I also attend the One Pocket/Bank Pool Hall of Fame dinner at the DCC every year, usually with Danny. I will always remember those nights fondly. The stories and comraderie about brings tears to my eyes sometimes and you are always one of the most interesting story tellers there, and that's saying something because there are some beauts! I also appreciate your contributions to the forums, to your fans and to the sport in general. I wish you well in all you do. If you're ever passing through Cincinnati, please give me a shout and stop by! Danny D calls my place his "home away from home" and he'll tell you we have a good time when ever he comes. Billy Carrelli is over a couple of times a week too and I'm sure he'd like to get together and swap war stories too. Later Buddy!

See you at the next Hall of Fame Dinner at Derby City, Sherm. Bring that fricken Billy Carrelli with you. He's a terrific undercover banker too. I'm gonna expose his ass to the public. He tricked me a few times down in Hot Springs AR, masquerading as a horse trainer (which he actually was).

Beard

jay helfert
06-28-2010, 08:18 AM
See you at the next Hall of Fame Dinner at Derby City, Sherm. Bring that fricken Billy Carrelli with you. He's a terrific undercover banker too. I'm gonna expose his ass to the public. He tricked me a few times down in Hot Springs AR, masquerading as a horse trainer (which he actually was).

Beard

I wonder if Billy remembers me from Mergards. He was always on my ass to play. I played him 9-Ball once and lost. That was enough for me. I got a lot better later though. I should have gone back for him. :wink:

jay helfert
06-28-2010, 08:24 AM
Seriously, thank you for your "retraction?" I knew you were going to bring up that pounding for $500 a game I took against Danny Medina on my home court, with you in with Danny, and then that time when you "drizzled out " on me at Derby City. As you have already noticed, I have a touch of that pool players Alzheimer's, just like Donny Anderson, whereby you only forget the losers.
Lucky for you, you werent in with Danny the next time we played a few months later at Akron? or Toledo?, I forgot which tourn. when I gained revenge. Eight in a row for $200 a game (we were both betting our own). Danny broke it down with the most delicious pool compliment I ever got, "I cant beat you playing bank pool." Jay, you knew how cocky and confident Danny was, so you know what it took for him to say that.

Cannonball was my hero when I was a kid. He was the first guy I ever seen bank 8 and out (on Danny Jones), so I was always sky high when we played and he was usually a little oiled. He did imbibe a bit, as you well know. He also, as did Javenly Youngblood Washington, spend a few vacations in the booby hatch.

Excerpt from my book The GosPool:
Some Great Black Players That I Knew:
John "Cannonball Lefty" Chapman from Chicago's West Side. He played all games, including a smattering of Three-Cushion Billiards. This is how he would warm up before a match: He had such a supple body he would roll up into a ball on the floor; knees up against his chest, head between his legs, arms around his ankles. You could have rolled him down a hill. "Mexican Johnny" Vasquez used to go to the West Side and play Lefty bank pool. I once asked how Lefty played him, and what kind of handicap was involved. Johnny replied that Lefty spotted him 14 to 8 playing banks on a 4' x 8' pool table. I gasped. I couldn't believe anybody on earth could give a journeyman player like Johnny that much spot. I asked him, "How the hell could you possibly lose getting that much weight?" Johnny replied in his inimitable style, "Sheet, man, dat ain't sucha good game. Lefty git a shot, he bank 'leven, bank twelve, bank ten."
Javenly "Youngblood" Washington from Chicago's South Side, the original Youngblood. He was one of the all-time great bank-pool players. Besides his fabulous pool skills, 'Blood had some mental problems. He was periodically institutionalized at a mental center in Chicago. His backers used to help him get over the wall at Manteno's mental institution to escape and go to the West Side to play "Cannonball Lefty" Chapman bank pool. 'Blood would still have the hospital bracelet on his wrist. Those sessions would bring sweators in from everywhere. The poolroom would be packed wall-to-wall. When the session was over, the backers would take him back to the hospital and hoist him back over the wall to be recommitted.

Beard

"Drizzled out"! what kind of compliment is that? You hate admitting that someone may have beaten you one little time. I had just got done whipping it on Mike Lebron when he was the U.S. Open champ (won $400 from the book), and I beat Larry Humphreys for $350 at fifty a game short rack. He was a good banker out of Oklahoma. Dave Piona set up the game. The next day I played you and Billy made the line I wouldn't get three going to five. I bet $400 (two by me and two by Danny) on the match and won 5-3. Where was the drizzle? What I remember was a lot of SIZZLE! By me!

Ha Ha :thumbup: Love you Freddie. Let me have my one moment of glory. There weren't too many. Oh and one more thing, while you were playing Danny, I was playing your backer Big Wayne short rack Banks for fifty a game. Do you even remember how many games I beat him out of? No? Well try FIFTEEN! Tommy Spencer watched part of it and afterward said, "I'm not playing you any Banks. So don't even ask!"

P.S. Danny and I cleared ten thousand on that little three week road trip. So it wasn't all bad. Thanks for your contribution!

12squared
06-28-2010, 10:43 AM
For a brief moment this thread brought tears to my eyes. I remember Bugs, the warrior he was, limping around the tables in Los Angeles in 1993 and still playing good Banks. He never complained or offered any excuses. That's not the kind of man he was. All the years I knew him (and maybe only spoke to him once or twice), he always carried himself in a very dignified manner. No raised voices, no bragging, no nothing. He would walk in the pool room and just stand there. He was the quiet assassin, looking for his prey.

Everyone would know Bugs was in the house, and the whole mood in the room would change. He had a God-like presence in the pool world. People/players were in awe of him. Hubert Cokes was the only other person I ever saw who commanded this kind of respect. Bugs was a legendary figure, who most people wouldn't even approach. He talked very little, just observed. He made his games quietly and without fanfare, usually having someone (like Sylvester or Paul Jones) match it up for him. When he was satisfied with the game, he just went to the table and got it on. He went about his business just as quietly too. And when it was over, he disappeared into the night. Never saw another one like him!

Very poignant, Jay. I tried to rep you but couldn't. I know what you mean, I bought Bug's instructional bank tapes when they came out just to support him, have them, and see Bugs hit balls.

Good post.

Dave

cuesmith
06-28-2010, 10:58 AM
See you at the next Hall of Fame Dinner at Derby City, Sherm. Bring that fricken Billy Carrelli with you. He's a terrific undercover banker too. I'm gonna expose his ass to the public. He tricked me a few times down in Hot Springs AR, masquerading as a horse trainer (which he actually was).

Beard

Yeah, Billy told me about running into you and George Michaels in Hot Springs once. And about giving you a tip on a pony once that you were happy about. lol

lfigueroa
06-28-2010, 02:36 PM
If I wasnt so visable on the internet forums I probably wouldnt squawk, but I never seem to get a plug in the bank area from you. When it comes to top bankers, you keep leaving me out...

Beard


Why is that whenever these great bank pool player lists come out, Freddy is always the guy with an asterisk next to his name?

Lou Figueroa
just kidding Freddy :-)

freddy the beard
06-28-2010, 03:29 PM
Why is that whenever these great bank pool player lists come out, Freddy is always the guy with an asterisk next to his name?

Lou Figueroa
just kidding Freddy :-)

I cant get nothing past you, Lou Lou.

Beard

freddy the beard
06-28-2010, 03:36 PM
"Drizzled out"! what kind of compliment is that? You hate admitting that someone may have beaten you one little time. I had just got done whipping it on Mike Lebron when he was the U.S. Open champ (won $400 from the book), and I beat Larry Humphreys for $350 at fifty a game short rack. He was a good banker out of Oklahoma. Dave Piona set up the game. The next day I played you and Billy made the line I wouldn't get three going to five. I bet $400 (two by me and two by Danny) on the match and won 5-3. Where was the drizzle? What I remember was a lot of SIZZLE! By me!

Ha Ha :thumbup: Love you Freddie. Let me have my one moment of glory. There weren't too many. Oh and one more thing, while you were playing Danny, I was playing your backer Big Wayne short rack Banks for fifty a game. Do you even remember how many games I beat him out of? No? Well try FIFTEEN! Tommy Spencer watched part of it and afterward said, "I'm not playing you any Banks. So don't even ask!"

P.S. Danny and I cleared ten thousand on that little three week road trip. So it wasn't all bad. Thanks for your contribution!

Wayne going off, just killing time while I was playing, often ran into more money than I could win in the middle. To put me at ease he would say he was only playing for $10 a game. It took a long time before I found out them 10s was really 50s.

Beard

By outing your win over me, you gave my nemesis, San Jose Dick cannon fodder to use against me. He's in hog heaven right now.

lfigueroa
06-28-2010, 07:05 PM
I cant get nothing past you, Lou Lou.

Beard


Well shoot, Fred, Fred -- if you just want to come up with nicknames, I can easily go with Freddy "The Asterisk" Beard in all future correspondence :-)

Lou Figueroa

jay helfert
06-28-2010, 08:22 PM
I'm older than Methuselah! Let's see, 15,000 posts in six years means 2,500 a year. That's sick! Get a life Jay! :thud:

cuesmith
06-28-2010, 09:30 PM
I'm older than Methuselah! Let's see, 15,000 posts in six years means 2,500 a year. That's sick! Get a life Jay! :thud:

Thanks for cheering me up Jay. I'm 59 1/2 , have 1150 posts in 7 years. And I thought I had a problem.... :thumbup:

freddy the beard
06-29-2010, 05:18 AM
Well shoot, Fred, Fred -- if you just want to come up with nicknames, I can easily go with Freddy "The Asterisk" Beard in all future correspondence :-)

Lou Figueroa

Jeez, how thin skinned are you? I was actually being slightly affectionate. Dont you think I could have been a little more creative if my intention was to slight or insult?

I take that as an insult that you would think that that was meant as an insult.

Beard

Asterisks aint gonna hide the hides of the top bankers I accumulated throughout the years. I aint no one-year-wonder, Roger Maris.

CrossSideLarry
06-29-2010, 10:30 AM
I must defend my home boy, Bugs. Gary was a great player, and I really liked the kid, but I believe Bugs was a better banker, especially for giant money.

I'll concede the rest of the field to Gary. As I said, I really liked the kid. I knew him from when he was little, and he was always respectful to me, and considerate enough to not embarass me by asking me to play.

Beard[/QUOTE]

lfigueroa
06-29-2010, 12:33 PM
Jeez, how thin skinned are you? I was actually being slightly affectionate. Dont you think I could have been a little more creative if my intention was to slight or insult?

I take that as an insult that you would think that that was meant as an insult.

Beard

Asterisks aint gonna hide the hides of the top bankers I accumulated throughout the years. I aint no one-year-wonder, Roger Maris.


Geez, Freddy, I put a happy face at the end of it. No biggie.

AND, I take it as an insult that you took it as an insult that you thought I took it as an insult!

Lou Figueroa
or suumthin'
like that :-)

TheCueHunter
06-29-2010, 01:29 PM
Yes that was a trip,he always wore his shirt's untucked and when his shirt touched a ball they called a foul,pissed Gary off so much he stripped to the waist and beat them into submission!

Thanks Jay,Sherm and Freddy for the memories of Gary,he was a fun loving guy that played top speed pool that was taken to early,he is greatly missed by many.

Nice signature:thumbup: Bill said thats the best he ever seen you play:killingme::eek:

Doug
06-29-2010, 01:37 PM
Never knew Gary and not many of the great players mentioned in this thread. But Vernon Elliott was a close friend of mine so via his stories to me of his experiences playing most of these great players I feel like I knew them. Vernon never played tournaments otherwise his name would be as prominently mentioned as any. Notice that Jack Cooney isn't mentioned as well and I suspect he wouldn't be far off the mark in any game either. Vernon never had exceptionaly high praise for anyone who didn't gamble and gamble high but he had very high praise for Gary Spaeth. When I asked him about Gary Spaeth his eyes would light up and he would say; Gary is a player. From that comment I knew Gary was the real deal.

cuesmith
06-29-2010, 03:04 PM
Never knew Gary and not many of the great players mentioned in this thread. But Vernon Elliott was a close friend of mine so via his stories to me of his experiences playing most of these great players I feel like I knew them. Vernon never played tournaments otherwise his name would be as prominently mentioned as any. Notice that Jack Cooney isn't mentioned as well and I suspect he wouldn't be far off the mark in any game either. Vernon never had exceptionaly high praise for anyone who didn't gamble and gamble high but he had very high praise for Gary Spaeth. When I asked him about Gary Spaeth his eyes would light up and he would say; Gary is a player. From that comment I knew Gary was the real deal.
Yes You're right about Vernon. He and Clem Metz were 2 of the best players to play the game and neither would shoot in tournaments. They'd sometimes show up as it was ending and often robbed the tournament winner when they felt invincible and had some cash!

Vernon was a good friend of Gary and I. We were in pool room in Chattanooga once trying to scare up some action. Gary made a cheap game with some kid and played a few games before the kid pulled up. While they were playing, I saw Vernon come up to the door, stop and leave. I wondered what that was about but stayed watching Gary. When Gary was done and we had some time to kill we left to find some lunch. When we got outside Vernon got out of his car and came over. I asked him why he didn't come in and he told me. All those guys in there know me and if they knew you knew me your action would have been knocked. We took Vernon to lunch of course! I asked him once how he came up with some of those proposition shots he was so famous or should I say infamous for. He said no ones going to pay you for making easy shots unless you shoot 10,000 of them in a row but it's easy to get them to bet against an imposible shot! I just figured out how to make impossible shots and get paid for it.

and Clem.. Clem was the consumate pool hustler with a little bit of larceny thrown in for good luck. I've known Clem since I bought my first poolroom,
Royal Family Billiards of Oakley, in Cincinnati. It was THE action room in Cincinnati at the time while being sort of an "old school" pool room. Clem and I became pretty good friends there. He was a bit past his prime but I found he could still move and run out "at will" on a barbox when I got pissed off about the sandbagging in the APA. I put together a team of hustlers from the poolroom who'd never played in a league before so they had to qualify. Most of them were busted by the "pool police" who recognized them from local tourrnaments and their handicaps rose dramatically. Eugene Metz remained a 2 for a couple of months until someone on our team screwed up and slipped by calling out from the bar "Hey Clem, can I get you a drink?" That was the end of that team. lol I once asked Marshall "Squirrel" Carpenter at the Hall of Fame Banquet about Clem and he told me "You know, at one time I thought I could beat anyone in the world playing one-pocket, Except Clem!" That's pretty strong! Clem told me a lot of stories and I half thought he had that ailment Freddy talks about "Pool players amnesia" or he was stretching the truth a little, but all of the old guys I've talked to, Cornbread, Joey, Grady, Danny all said that Clem had a speed of his own almost like thay talk of Efren! And like I said Clem wasn't above a little larceny. He did some time in jail. He once told me about playing a "sucker" somewhere and he had the guy in a mortal lock with the sucker spotting Clem the 8 ball. Clem was laying down trying to take off a big score not just beat the guy one set but he only had $500 to his name and it was on the light! He let the guy win a couple of games to keep it pretty close, so he would think he had the best of it when Clem won on what was supposed to look like he got lucky. That was the plan anyway! Well when it was 5-5 racing to 7, and just having just received a gift when Clem laid the 9-ball in the jaws intentionally, the "sucker" was up to break. He made the 9-ball twice in a row to win the set. Clem told the guy, "Leave the money on the light, I'll get you $500 out of my car and we'll play another set" He went to his car and instead of getting money (he didn't have) he got his 38 S&W and went back and took the money off the light. He told the guy "You just don't understand! You didn't have a chance in that game, I let you win 4 of the 7 games and I got to have this money"! and away he went..... Of course, I don't aprove of what he did, but that had been 20 years before and was a hell of a story!

Fatboy
06-29-2010, 03:25 PM
i love reading all these old time banks stories, Having played Broomback I just dont see how it is possible to have a "Better" player than him, I'd say equal, he never missed, playing me-never he would just shoot all the balls off the table and I'd rack-one game I made 3 in a row-I felt like a champion(we played break a piece or i'd still be there racking, we played quite a few hours over several sessions-i'm a real good raker :) ). LOL,kinda like the Bugs videos I seen, he played the game as good as it can be played. You an argue for ever who played the best one pocket because its a moving and offence game, as is full rack banks-but in 9 ball racks or 6 ball racks after 12 hours the rolls even out and i dont think there is a better player than Bugs, Broomback or taylor-I bet it would be a tie. Like that tennis game the other day-thery were dead even, some games in life its not possible in games, to have "all time best and in pool I believe thats bank's more so than any other game in pool", unless you factor in pressure then maybe Jett, Bryan gregg, clem, and a few other past champions might get a edge due to pressure, but just the ability to pocket banks, I think therr are a few ties.


ok now that I upset up everyone let the flames begin.

freddy the beard
06-29-2010, 04:12 PM
Geez, Freddy, I put a happy face at the end of it. No biggie.

AND, I take it as an insult that you took it as an insult that you thought I took it as an insult!

Lou Figueroa
or suumthin'
like that :-)

I came to the conclusion long ago that there is no absolute win with you. Matching up must be a nightmare.

Beard;)

I'll try an emoticon

lfigueroa
06-30-2010, 05:42 AM
I came to the conclusion long ago that there is no absolute win with you. Matching up must be a nightmare.

Beard;)

I'll try an emoticon


Freddy, I laughed so hard when I read that that my wife came out of the other room to ask what the hell was going on. Thanks for the compliment :-)

Lou Figueroa

APA7
06-30-2010, 05:58 AM
I came to the conclusion long ago that there is no absolute win with you. Matching up must be a nightmare.

Beard;)

I'll try an emoticon

Lou always needs 2 get the last word :(:rolleyes:

lfigueroa
06-30-2010, 06:57 AM
Lou always needs 2 get the last word :(:rolleyes:


Here, let me bring this down to your level so you understand:

R U sur? Cuz U put out alot of shtty posts URself, allways needing 2 get in the last letR.

Lou Figueroa
at least I can shoot
for the last *word*