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madhatter44
09-15-2013, 05:31 AM
Anyone remember,know or play with a hustler named Toby Sweet?

grover
09-15-2013, 06:07 AM
yes.......................cool dude.

Nostroke
09-15-2013, 06:21 AM
Many thought him to be the best in the World way back in mid 70's. He still plays but rarely gambles.

oldschool1478
09-15-2013, 07:05 AM
Back in 1988 I lived on my sail boat docked behind his apartment. He had a pool hall in Hollywood Fla. at the time, where he gave me a few lessons.
If anyone has his phone number, please PM me!

Dan

BillPorter
09-15-2013, 07:44 AM
I have a few pics of him.

http://billporter.smugmug.com/Pool/1986-Clyde-Childress-Memorial/i-69pGs57/3/XL/Sweet1-s-CC86-S5-XL.jpg
http://billporter.smugmug.com/Pool/1984-1985-Clyde-Childress/i-T7TTwgQ/1/XL/Sweet1-s-XL.jpg
http://billporter.smugmug.com/Pool/1984-2nd-River-City-Open-9/i-hFD4SbJ/1/XL/Toby%20Sweet2-XL.jpg
http://billporter.smugmug.com/Pool/1983-1984-Dayton-9-Ball-Opens/i-hB6KpW3/1/XL/Sweet_Strickland1-s-XL.jpg
http://billporter.smugmug.com/Pool/1984-2nd-River-City-Open-9/i-6XsDqRm/1/XL/Toby%20Sweet1-XL.jpg

macguy
09-15-2013, 07:49 AM
Anyone remember,know or play with a hustler named Toby Sweet?
Played him and saw him play many times. Back when he was at his best he played 9 ball about as good as the game could be played. I am not talking about this guy was better then that guy or any of that, I am talking about from a technical stand point. His overall pool game was perfect. He did very little, no unnecessary movements or strange habits, his game was flawless. This was later evidenced buy how well he played after years of not playing at all. He just picked up a stick again and went back to his very simplistic way of playing and it still worked.

I have been around pool for over 50 years and I would say of all the players I have seen play, Toby would be the best for any player trying to learn the game to emulate. It seems like every player regardless of who they are from world champ to banger have some bad or goofy habits or quirks. Toby has none. He makes the hardest things look easy. In fact after watching him for a short while he makes "anyone" watching feel like they could just pick up a cue and do it to. Im not kidding, just watching him play will make your game jump up. I am running out of words to explain how good his game was.

Woof Biscuit
09-15-2013, 08:45 AM
Played him and saw him play many times. Back when he was at his best he played 9 ball about as good as the game could be played. I am not talking about this guy was better then that guy or any of that, I am talking about from a technical stand point. His overall pool game was perfect. He did very little, no unnecessary movements or strange habits, his game was flawless. This was later evidenced buy how well he played after years of not playing at all. He just picked up a stick again and went back to his very simplistic way of playing and it still worked.

I have been around pool for over 50 years and I would say of all the players I have seen play, Toby would be the best for any player trying to learn the game to emulate. It seems like every player regardless of who they are from world champ to banger have some bad or goofy habits or quirks. Toby has none. He makes the hardest things look easy. In fact after watching him for a short while he makes "anyone" watching feel like they could just pick up a cue and do it to. Im not kidding, just watching him play will make your game jump up. I am running out of words to explain how good his game was.

Exactly. I've played him recently. Great guy and player. He is still around. He usually spends the summer in NY and winter here in the West Palm Beach area.

lou the greek
09-15-2013, 09:30 AM
In the late 70s I had the privilege to watch him play a lot, he hanged out @ the Hi Cue in Elizabeth NJ that's where a lot of the great players used to play A.Hopkins, R.Martin. S.Mizerak ,J.Colavita, P.Margo,J.Frady,even Danny Gartner who was in his 80s and still played good hanged there,well Toby played all of them and held more than his own that's how good Toby was, a great player.

jay helfert
09-15-2013, 09:32 AM
Exactly. I've played him recently. Great guy and player. He is still around. He usually spends the summer in NY and winter here in the West Palm Beach area.

Please tell him Jay from L.A. says hi. Thnx

oldzilla
09-15-2013, 09:40 AM
Toby is a very good player, a real grinder !

He would catch a ride with me to some of the Florida Tour stops we played in.

He was a good friend at that time. I have not been to Florida for a long time.

On another note, the redhead girl just above Toby's elbow ( last pic in post #5) looks like

Bonnie Hoffman. She was starting to climb up the rankings but then she

kind of vanished from the scene. Her sister Corrine was the TD on the Fla Tour.

I heard she passed away. Their father was a great guy too.

He was a regular at CM's Place in Seminole.

:groucho:

BillPorter
09-15-2013, 10:20 AM
I hope someone shows Toby this thread. Seems like he would really enjoy reading the comments about him.

Anyone want to volunteer to do this?:thumbup:

Pushout
09-15-2013, 11:04 AM
I saw Toby once, at the NYS 9 ball Championship in the early or mid '80s. He had a great rep as one of the best gamblers in the country at the time. A guy with Joe Kerr, I think it may have been Lyle Gay(sp?), tried to make a game with Toby with the wild 8 but Toby offered the call 8, they never did play. Toby seemed very quiet and reserved, not real concerned whether they played or not.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk - now Free (http://tapatalk.com/m/)

bobbycotton
09-15-2013, 11:50 AM
I played Toby in 1969 in Memphis at the Highland Cue. He was with "Cuban Joe", Toby ran 11 racks on me on a Gold Crown, I guess he could play a little lol !

Tronpocket
09-15-2013, 11:52 AM
His name came up yesterday in remenicent conversation between some former pro players and it was agreed that he had one of the best Q balls....Ever.
And could play with anyone. Believe it.
And his one handed game was on par with almost anyone alive.

Nostroke
09-15-2013, 07:00 PM
Incardone played him a few sets and as i hear it-never won one of them and had enough of Toby for life.

sjm
09-15-2013, 07:12 PM
Toby stilled played great pool in the 1990's. I saw him take Jim Rempe to the double hill at the PBT ?1995? Florida Flare-up event in Fort Lauderdale.

jay helfert
09-15-2013, 08:01 PM
I saw Toby play many times when he was at his best. He was the last guy to spot Buddy (the eight ball) in the late 60's. Toby was this innocent looking, slender little hippy kid, who was quiet and reserved. He never spoke loud, and I never heard him cuss or yell. He wouldn't argue about making a game. He would offer a spot and if you liked it the game was on, and if you didn't there was no game.

Even at the table he was not as impressive as guys like Hippy Jimmy, Mataya, Buddy, Cole or Keith. His stroke did not stand out so much to impress you. He didn't draw the ball all around the table. And he wasn't firing in long rail Banks and running out. He didn't have to! His position was flawless and he never seemed to miss a ball. His power of concentration may have been the best all time in pro pool. He was the original Zen pool player, until that animal Wu showed up at age 16.

Probably the only two players who missed as few times as Toby, were Lassister and Sigel. And they might miss one ball an hour at the most. Toby became a killer player simply by not missing and playing simple but effective position rack after rack. He could play that way all day and all night. Most other players (even today) have lapses in concentration. Nothing ever seemed to bother Toby. He would just smile and keep making balls! Hard to beat a man who never misses!

Only other player who played that tight close position all the time was Don Watson, also a great money player. The one time I saw them together, someone tried to match them up. Don took his head out of the newspaper (studying the lines) and took a long hard look at Toby and shook his head NO. He knew Toby from somewhere and had no interest in playing him, backer or not.

Boy, what secrets are contained in his head. He knows some things about pool that most of us are seeking to learn. As for me it's all about the power of pure focus and concentration on ALL shots! Worked pretty well for Toby for a long, long time.

OTB
09-15-2013, 08:08 PM
Hi, Jay...hurry up and post 10 more times so I can see you hit 20,000...:thumbup:

jay helfert
09-15-2013, 08:10 PM
Hi, Jay...hurry up and post 10 more times so I can see you hit 20,000...:thumbup:

Ha Ha, only nine to go, and then I can retire with my pension! :thumbup:

HighEndCues
09-15-2013, 08:28 PM
I saw Toby play many times when he was at his best. He was the last guy to spot Buddy (the eight ball) in the late 60's. Toby was this innocent looking, slender little hippy kid, who was quiet and reserved. He never spoke loud, and I never heard him cuss or yell. He wouldn't argue about making a game. He would offer a spot and if you liked it the game was on, and if you didn't there was no game.

Even at the table he was not as impressive as guys like Hippy Jimmy, Mataya, Buddy, Cole or Keith. His stroke did not stand out so much to impress you. He didn't draw the ball all around the table. And he wasn't firing in long rail Banks and running out. He didn't have to! His position was flawless and he never seemed to miss a ball. His power of concentration may have been the best all time in pro pool. He was the original Zen pool player, until that animal Wu showed up at age 16.

Probably the only two players who missed as few times as Toby, were Lassister and Sigel. And they might miss one ball an hour at the most. Toby became a killer player simply by not missing and playing simple but effective position rack after rack. He could play that way all day and all night. Most other players (even today) have lapses in concentration. Nothing ever seemed to bother Toby. He would just smile and keep making balls! Hard to beat a man who never misses!

Only other player who played that tight close position all the time was Don Watson, also a great money player. The one time I saw them together, someone tried to match them up. Don took his head out of the newspaper (studying the lines) and took a long hard look at Toby and shook his head NO. He knew Toby from somewhere and had no interest in playing him, backer or not.

Boy, what secrets are contained in his head. He knows some things about pool that most of us are seeking to learn. As for me it's all about the power of pure focus and concentration on ALL shots! Worked pretty well for Toby for a long, long time.
Hey Jay,
Toby just spent the whole summer here in NY. He was at my poolroom everyday, mostly just hanging around with all of us. Every once in a while Toby and I would just bang them around. As a kid I used to go to Toby's room in New York which was right up the road from where my room is today. I would watch my father play, and many times Toby would be in action. I ended up years later working there, and playing there for about 15 years. I've heard almost every road story from Toby, and have been on a few. He could write an amazing book. Back in the late 60's,70's,and into the 80's No one had to like it, and played almost everyone.
Jay,
I did tell him you said hello.. He remembers you well.
Best,
Ken

DTL
09-15-2013, 08:32 PM
.......................

Delaware Lar
09-15-2013, 08:53 PM
He was the only road player to win money from Benny's Cue Club (Gentleman's Cue), near Baltimore, without being armed. All them rich Jewish guys loved him.

I got to meet Toby when he was playing Russell Parsons in Delaware. I noticed that his shaft was as smooth as glass. I asked him how he got it that way. He gladly showed me how he would take one little piece of 1500 grade sand paper, and he would keep going over the shaft with the same piece of sandpaper many times. Eventually both the sand paper and the shaft were as smooth as glass.

He's very personable.

rayjay
09-15-2013, 09:14 PM
Sounds like an autobiography waiting to happen. Any film of him?

jay helfert
09-16-2013, 03:43 AM
Hey Jay,
Toby just spent the whole summer here in NY. He was at my poolroom everyday, mostly just hanging around with all of us. Every once in a while Toby and I would just bang them around. As a kid I used to go to Toby's room in New York which was right up the road from where my room is today. I would watch my father play, and many times Toby would be in action. I ended up years later working there, and playing there for about 15 years. I've heard almost every road story from Toby, and have been on a few. He could write an amazing book. Back in the late 60's,70's,and into the 80's No one had to like it, and played almost everyone.
Jay,
I did tell him you said hello.. He remembers you well.
Best,
Ken

Thanks Ken. I wish I could hang out with you guys. I know you have a cool room. Who knows, I may show up some day. PM me the info on your room please.

richiebalto
09-16-2013, 04:14 AM
He was the only road player to win money from Benny's Cue Club (Gentleman's Cue), near Baltimore, without being armed. All them rich Jewish guys loved him.

I got to meet Toby when he was playing Russell Parsons in Delaware. I noticed that his shaft was as smooth as glass. I asked him how he got it that way. He gladly showed me how he would take one little piece of 1500 grade sand paper, and he would keep going over the shaft with the same piece of sandpaper many times. Eventually both the sand paper and the shaft were as smooth as glass.

He's very personable.

Cigar Vanover made money in that room also and he never carried either!

Also Cigar was from well just down the street.

Cigar played a lot of the great players, i dont think he played Toby, i will find out today if he did or not.

SCCues
09-16-2013, 04:29 AM
I used to be in the Accu-stats video of the month club and one month they sent me a VHS tape of Toby Sweet vs Steve Mizerak with Billy and Grady as the announcers. I thought the match wouldn't be that good since I'd never heard of Toby at that time and was I ever wrong. Toby played flawless against Steve the whole match and had the 7, 8, & 9 left to win the match against Steve, but the shot on the 7 was the only mistake he made in the match which he under cut it just enough to miss the ball down the rail. They interviewed Steve after the match and he said he couldn't believe he got back to the table when Toby was on the 7, 8, 9 to win the match. After watching Toby's soft smooth position play I knew from then on who he was in the pool world. The man can play at the highest level! Grady and Billy had some great stories about Toby and both of them had the utmost respect for Toby in their comments. His position play was flawless and like Jay said there was nothing fancy, but just enough to get the job done. I wonder if he still plays with a tooth pick in his mouth! Grady made a comment about Toby and his tooth pick and Nick Varner with his chewing gum! The commentary was priceless during the match. This match was on the Seniors Tour at Terry Romines room in Milwaukee.

James

Chip Roberson
09-16-2013, 04:47 AM
There's also a vid with Toby playing Wade (Billy Johnson Crane--never got to meet with Toby--but has to be the real deal when word of mouth says that he's that good. Gave Buddy Hall the 8 did he....well bout says it all right there

fasteddief
09-16-2013, 06:29 AM
Cigar Vanover made money in that room also and he never carried either!

Also Cigar was from well just down the street.

Cigar played a lot of the great players, i dont think he played Toby, i will find out today if he did or not.

Cigar Tom played Toby to a draw for 10 dollars a game. Toby said Tom was tough to beat. He played in Gentlemans Cue for about 2 weeks, his cue ball had a string on it. perfect position player and maybe the best push out player in his time. A great money player. Gave up big spots and overcame it. Had Weenie Beenie stuck 4000 and started to spot him the 8 ball and lost it all back. told me he should have won all the money but just started playing bad. A great Guy and easy to talk to. He traveled in a big Sleeper Truck. Smart as they come. He wouldn't play one pocket .

Nostroke
09-16-2013, 07:14 AM
Toby was probably one of the first to go to Germany and grab some cash. In the early 80's? iirc.

He paints-real colorful stuff. A pair of bell bottoms in his size still aren't safe either.

jrhendy
09-16-2013, 08:59 AM
Toby HATED Texas Express rules 9 ball.

He came into Hard Times in Bellflower around 1990 with Cuban Joe, and I played him a set for $500 and beat him. I was running pretty good in the liability games on the 6 x 12 and was playing well and would take a shot with just about anybody I did not know. I knew he could play because Joe put him on me but played anyway.

I did get lucky a couple times and he said he would play another set if we played shootout. I figured I was getting a free shot now, so I agreed and we played another set with the old rules.

Toby tortured me and I pulled up. I knew I was lucky to win the first set. I found out later that he was a favorite over almost anyone playing the old shoot out rules.

HighEndCues
09-16-2013, 09:37 AM
I used to be in the Accu-stats video of the month club and one month they sent me a VHS tape of Toby Sweet vs Steve Mizerak with Billy and Grady as the announcers. I thought the match wouldn't be that good since I'd never heard of Toby at that time and was I ever wrong. Toby played flawless against Steve the whole match and had the 7, 8, & 9 left to win the match against Steve, but the shot on the 7 was the only mistake he made in the match which he under cut it just enough to miss the ball down the rail. They interviewed Steve after the match and he said he couldn't believe he got back to the table when Toby was on the 7, 8, 9 to win the match. After watching Toby's soft smooth position play I knew from then on who he was in the pool world. The man can play at the highest level! Grady and Billy had some great stories about Toby and both of them had the utmost respect for Toby in their comments. His position play was flawless and like Jay said there was nothing fancy, but just enough to get the job done. I wonder if he still plays with a tooth pick in his mouth! Grady made a comment about Toby and his tooth pick and Nick Varner with his chewing gum! The commentary was priceless during the match. This match was on the Seniors Tour at Terry Romines room in Milwaukee.

James
:) Nothing has changed. Toby still has a toothpick in his mouth and bellbottoms on everyday.
I still like hearing the stories from everyone. Many I've heard before.
Toby was one of the first people to take Allen Hopkins on the road with him.
Some great stories Allen could tell.
Best,
Ken

pt109
09-16-2013, 09:43 AM
I wish you people would call him by his right name.......:)
....New York Toby....

I can't think of anything out-standing about his game....
....he just did everything above average...
....and sensible.

His game reminded me of Curtis Strange when he dominated the PGA tour....
....everything worked with no trade-mark shots.

Nostroke
09-16-2013, 10:29 AM
I wish you people would call him by his right name.......:)
....New York Toby....

I can't think of anything out-standing about his game....
....he just did everything above average...
....and sensible.

His game reminded me of Curtis Strange when he dominated the PGA tour....
....everything worked with no trade-mark shots.

lotta New Yorkers here so we are not going to say that -not to mention usually when you have a distinct name like that just the first name will do. If you are talking rotation games, everyone knows who Toby is.

The only other PLAYER named Toby that i know of is the 1P guy (Fleharty) and i havent heard nothing about him in 12+ years

pt109
09-16-2013, 10:50 AM
lotta New Yorkers here so we are not going to say that -not to mention usually when you have a distinct name like that just the first name will do. If you are talking rotation games, everyone knows who Toby is.

The only other PLAYER named Toby that i know of is the 1P guy (Fleharty) and i havent heard nothing about him in 12+ years

Well, naturally you New Yorkers aren't going to call him New York Toby....
....but that was his name in a lotta States.

Did anyone call him White Plains Toby around the Big Apple?

jay helfert
09-16-2013, 11:03 AM
Toby HATED Texas Express rules 9 ball.

He came into Hard Times in Bellflower around 1990 with Cuban Joe, and I played him a set for $500 and beat him. I was running pretty good in the liability games on the 6 x 12 and was playing well and would take a shot with just about anybody I did not know. I knew he could play because Joe put him on me but played anyway.

I did get lucky a couple times and he said he would play another set if we played shootout. I figured I was getting a free shot now, so I agreed and we played another set with the old rules.

Toby tortured me and I pulled up. I knew I was lucky to win the first set. I found out later that he was a favorite over almost anyone playing the old shoot out rules.

Cuban Joe, what a dandy he was! He would pat you on the back, while his other hand was in your pocket :wink:.

He brought Billy Johnson (Wade Crane) with him to my poolroom in Bakersfield in the early 70's. He told me Billy was his backer and had a wad of cash. Billy paid off the money while I played Joe One Pocket for 40 a game. After I won a few games, Joe pulled up and told me to play his "backer" some $50 or $100 9-Ball, that I was stealing. He wanted 20% for the steer. I went for it and $600 later I wised up.

I can tell you a lot more about him, but it will have to wait. :)

P.S. In the pool world back then (the 70's and 80's) if you said "Toby" everybody knew who you meant. He was not exactly flying under the radar. All I ever heard was about him beating somebody. :thumbup2:

macguy
09-16-2013, 11:03 AM
I wish you people would call him by his right name.......:)
....New York Toby....

I can't think of anything out-standing about his game....
....he just did everything above average...
....and sensible.

His game reminded me of Curtis Strange when he dominated the PGA tour....
....everything worked with no trade-mark shots.

Actually Toby is his nickname, his real name is Danny.

fathomblue
09-16-2013, 11:05 AM
Actually Toby is his nickname, his real name is Danny.

That's the first time I've ever heard anyone say that.....

Nostroke
09-16-2013, 11:29 AM
Well, naturally you New Yorkers aren't going to call him New York Toby....
....but that was his name in a lotta States.

Did anyone call him White Plains Toby around the Big Apple?

He was from Spring Valley or thereabouts- The other side of the Hudson.

There was a White Plains Charlie. He didnt possess one good quality that i ever saw and i saw him a lot. He had a $250/month room-a $650 pension and gave up the room, lived in shelters, street etc so he could blow the entire $650 on the first of every month at Yonkers Raceway.

pt109
09-16-2013, 11:29 AM
Actually Toby is his nickname, his real name is Danny.

Ah, the plot thickens....never heard that one.:confused:

On the other hand, I learned a lot of 3-cushion shots from an Armenian
in Detroit......
.....his name was Frenchy!

And Russ Maddox introduced me to a man named Baldy....
....he claimed his real name was Curly.


I love the pool world....:)

fathomblue
09-16-2013, 12:14 PM
For those wanting to see Toby in action:

Toby Sweet vs. Steve Mizerak: http://www.1vshop.com/Accu-Stats/store.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000334&PNAME=Wade+Crane+vs.+Toby+Sweet+%28DVD%29

Toby Sweet vs. Wade Crane: http://www.1vshop.com/Accu-Stats/store.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000333&PNAME=Steve+Mizerak+vs.+Toby+Sweet%2A+%28DVD%29

Both available thru Accu-Stats. The match with Miz was mentioned earlier in this thread and garnered an Accu-Stats " *star* ", so it's supposed to be a good match.

I think I'll order both of these next month, as I actually just placed my normal monthly order a couple of days ago.

book collector
09-16-2013, 07:19 PM
Ah, the plot thickens....never heard that one.:confused:

On the other hand, I learned a lot of 3-cushion shots from an Armenian
in Detroit......
.....his name was Frenchy!

And Russ Maddox introduced me to a man named Baldy....
....he claimed his real name was Curly.


I love the pool world....:)

I could write a book just about Russ Maddox "deals" I have been told about.
If half of them are true he was an extraordinary guy.

G&M
09-16-2013, 09:42 PM
He was from Spring Valley or thereabouts- The other side of the Hudson.

There was a White Plains Charlie. He didnt possess one good quality that i ever saw and i saw him a lot. He had a $250/month room-a $650 pension and gave up the room, lived in shelters, street etc so he could blow the entire $650 on the first of every month at Yonkers Raceway.


Toby's poolroom, named Holli's (after his daughter), was in Nanuet, NY (right next to Spring Valley). He owned it with Vinnie Cass, another great guy and a strong player in his own right. It was a fantastic room to hang around ... lots of characters ... and the first room where I ever struck a ball.

In the 70s, Toby and Vinnie bought the place. Seeing Toby play was -- and is -- something special. The Accu-Stats match between Toby and Steve Mizerak gives a sense of how Toby plays, but I know that Ken and many others on this forum have seen Toby play at an unreal level, flawlessly. He was able to get tremendous action on the cue ball when he needed to. Often, he'd move the cue ball just enough to get here or there ... and with a delicate, precise touch, but if he needed to load it up, power the cue ball, and make it do something extraordinary, he could do that too. His stroke was such that, on most shots, the cue ball didn't seem to move very fast, but it kept going slowly, slowly, until it floated over to exactly the right place. Push-out was his game because it favored knowledge and judgment. He'd often say that with the time and effort he put into pool, he could've gone to med school and become a doctor.

Met Ken at Holli's back when we were both young! Toby motivated a lot of people to play. We all looked up to him, and still do. Beyond his pool ability, he has a great sense of humor and a lot of insight into life, people, and human nature. Toby is unique. He established his fashion sense in the late 60s and hasn't seen fit to change it. He was also a rarity because he was a pool player who knew how to manage his money. To the rest of the world, I may have been another teenage nobody, but when I walked into Holli's, Toby would say "Hey!" and call me by name. (Most other people, just got the "Hey!" Names were not Toby's strong point.)

Toby was always wise in the ways of the world. He didn't make bad games. If he knew he was supposed to win, he'd play on a tighter table so nothing was left to chance. For the same reason, he preferred to play 10 head rather than a race to 10. He was odds on to win, so the less luck the better.

Besides pool and his family, Toby enjoys painting and music. He's got lots of interests.

Thanks for this thread. George Fels has mentioned Toby in Billiards Digest several times, but not everyone seems to be as aware of Toby and how much respect he got from the top players.

Larry Moy

P.S. -- I knew White Plains Charlie too -- from Post Billiards, underneath the Post bowling alley in White Plains, and, after that, from Hi-Pockets, George Hadges' room. Once, at George's place, after missing, I complained that it was ridiculous that I could miss such an easy shot after playing pool more than 15 years. Charlie, who was pretty elderly at the time, was at the next table. He said -- "You know when you start to play really good? ... after 25 years!"

HighEndCues
09-16-2013, 10:59 PM
Toby's poolroom, named Holli's (after his daughter), was in Nanuet, NY (right next to Spring Valley). He owned it with Vinnie Cass, another great guy and a strong player in his own right. It was a fantastic room to hang around ... lots of characters ... and the first room where I ever struck a ball.

In the 70s, Toby and Vinnie bought the place. Seeing Toby play was -- and is -- something special. The Accu-Stats match between Toby and Steve Mizerak gives a sense of how Toby plays, but I know that Ken and many others on this forum have seen Toby play at an unreal level, flawlessly. He was able to get tremendous action on the cue ball when he needed to. Often, he'd move the cue ball just enough to get here or there ... and with a delicate, precise touch, but if he needed to load it up, power the cue ball, and make it do something extraordinary, he could do that too. His stroke was such that, on most shots, the cue ball didn't seem to move very fast, but it kept going slowly, slowly, until it floated over to exactly the right place. Push-out was his game because it favored knowledge and judgment. He'd often say that with the time and effort he put into pool, he could've gone to med school and become a doctor.

Met Ken at Holli's back when we were both young! Toby motivated a lot of people to play. We all looked up to him, and still do. Beyond his pool ability, he has a great sense of humor and a lot of insight into life, people, and human nature. Toby is unique. He established his fashion sense in the late 60s and hasn't seen fit to change it. He was also a rarity because he was a pool player who knew how to manage his money. To the rest of the world, I may have been another teenage nobody, but when I walked into Holli's, Toby would say "Hey!" and call me by name. (Most other people, just got the "Hey!" Names were not Toby's strong point.)

Toby was always wise in the ways of the world. He didn't make bad games. If he knew he was supposed to win, he'd play on a tighter table so nothing was left to chance. For the same reason, he preferred to play 10 head rather than a race to 10. He was odds on to win, so the less luck the better.

Besides pool and his family, Toby enjoys painting and music. He's got lots of interests.

Thanks for this thread. George Fels has mentioned Toby in Billiards Digest several times, but not everyone seems to be as aware of Toby and how much respect he got from the top players.

Larry Moy

P.S. -- I knew White Plains Charlie too -- from Post Billiards, underneath the Post bowling alley in White Plains, and, after that, from Hi-Pockets, George Hadges' room. Once, at George's place, after missing, I complained that it was ridiculous that I could miss such an easy shot after playing pool more than 15 years. Charlie, who was pretty elderly at the time, was at the next table. He said -- "You know when you start to play really good? ... after 25 years!"
Hey Larry,
I hope all is well. Always a pleasure hearing from you.
It was fun spending most of my youth at Holli's. Thanks for taking the time describing perfectly days of old. Toby left NY last week, but its always great having him around for the summer.
WP Charlie, Post Bowl, George, Hi Pockets, many memories. Good and Bad :)

Stop down to DJ's and say hello..
Best,
Ken

jay helfert
09-16-2013, 11:06 PM
I could write a book just about Russ Maddox "deals" I have been told about.
If half of them are true he was an extraordinary guy.


Russ was the "promoter" of all things pool in Southwestern Ohio for decades. He put together some pretty good money matches for George Rood against some well known players. I NEVER saw George lose to any of them either! Straight Pool or 9-Ball. He did lose an exhibition match to Eddie Taylor though. Money matches - NEVER. George refused to play Fats and dump the match, even if he was getting paid. Fats had no chance against him on the square! Unless they played One Pocket, which George did not play.

Russ had other talents as well, especially with a deck of cards in his hands. I got to find out first hand, up close and personal. :o
He liked me though, and kept me out of some other traps. God bless him for that.

Chrippa
09-17-2013, 01:04 AM
I really like this kind of thread, fun to read about and I wish more vids out there of the "old school players" to watch . Well have to buy some from Accustats I presume:smile:.

Some of them have some funny looking strokes etc but just look at them going throw the cue - perfect, the more I learn the more subtle things I see. The knowledge they have is enormous.

Well anyway, hereīs a story about Toby that I was told by a very good Swedish player a couple of years back.

It was in the late 80īs I believe and he was at his peak, just won European Championship and was competing in US at the time, full of confidence and played really strong.
He was matched up against Toby in a money game ( I have no clue if he got weight etc) and they played for 2 days. They ended the game a tie because they couldnīt get anywhere and he told me it was amazing to see him play, everything looked so simple and every rack took the "same time" to run for him, it was so simple.
He said - "it took 8 h of play until I got my first a ball in hand".

regards

Chrippa

Nostroke
09-17-2013, 04:13 AM
Toby's poolroom, named Holli's (after his daughter), was in Nanuet, NY (right next to Spring Valley). He owned it with Vinnie Cass, another great guy and a strong player in his own right. It was a fantastic room to hang around ... lots of characters ... and the first room where I ever struck a ball.

In the 70s, Toby and Vinnie bought the place. Seeing Toby play was -- and is -- something special. The Accu-Stats match between Toby and Steve Mizerak gives a sense of how Toby plays, but I know that Ken and many others on this forum have seen Toby play at an unreal level, flawlessly. He was able to get tremendous action on the cue ball when he needed to. Often, he'd move the cue ball just enough to get here or there ... and with a delicate, precise touch, but if he needed to load it up, power the cue ball, and make it do something extraordinary, he could do that too. His stroke was such that, on most shots, the cue ball didn't seem to move very fast, but it kept going slowly, slowly, until it floated over to exactly the right place. Push-out was his game because it favored knowledge and judgment. He'd often say that with the time and effort he put into pool, he could've gone to med school and become a doctor.

Met Ken at Holli's back when we were both young! Toby motivated a lot of people to play. We all looked up to him, and still do. Beyond his pool ability, he has a great sense of humor and a lot of insight into life, people, and human nature. Toby is unique. He established his fashion sense in the late 60s and hasn't seen fit to change it. He was also a rarity because he was a pool player who knew how to manage his money. To the rest of the world, I may have been another teenage nobody, but when I walked into Holli's, Toby would say "Hey!" and call me by name. (Most other people, just got the "Hey!" Names were not Toby's strong point.)

Toby was always wise in the ways of the world. He didn't make bad games. If he knew he was supposed to win, he'd play on a tighter table so nothing was left to chance. For the same reason, he preferred to play 10 head rather than a race to 10. He was odds on to win, so the less luck the better.

Besides pool and his family, Toby enjoys painting and music. He's got lots of interests.

Thanks for this thread. George Fels has mentioned Toby in Billiards Digest several times, but not everyone seems to be as aware of Toby and how much respect he got from the top players.

Larry Moy

P.S. -- I knew White Plains Charlie too -- from Post Billiards, underneath the Post bowling alley in White Plains, and, after that, from Hi-Pockets, George Hadges' room. Once, at George's place, after missing, I complained that it was ridiculous that I could miss such an easy shot after playing pool more than 15 years. Charlie, who was pretty elderly at the time, was at the next table. He said -- "You know when you start to play really good? ... after 25 years!"
\
Hey Larry

When Hi Pockets first opened, all the champions from the Tri State area were in there. You know the usual gathering when a new nice pool room opens. This was 1997 give or take one year . An over the hill Toby pops in complete with bell bottoms and a female 25 yrs his Jr. It may have even been his daughter, maybe not.

Anyway Toby is given the Superstar treatment and all eyes are on him. Someone asks him if he is gonna play and Toby says something along the lines that he really hasn't been playing (nuff said) but he will play a set or 2 if someone wants to play. Again the room is full of killers but no one wants to step up.

Finally Danny Barouty says with not much confidence "Hell I'll play" He was probably the 5th best in the room at rotation that night. I havent known Danny to do much gambling since so i think maybe he just wanted to get in there with a legend. It was $250/set

Anyway Danny gets drilled 2 sets and Toby soon leaves the poolroom, his legend status intact..

davey gravy

macguy
09-17-2013, 07:18 AM
I really like this kind of thread, fun to read about and I wish more vids out there of the "old school players" to watch . Well have to buy some from Accustats I presume:smile:.

Some of them have some funny looking strokes etc but just look at them going throw the cue - perfect, the more I learn the more subtle things I see. The knowledge they have is enormous.

Well anyway, hereīs a story about Toby that I was told by a very good Swedish player a couple of years back.

It was in the late 80īs I believe and he was at his peak, just won European Championship and was competing in US at the time, full of confidence and played really strong.
He was matched up against Toby in a money game ( I have no clue if he got weight etc) and they played for 2 days. They ended the game a tie because they couldnīt get anywhere and he told me it was amazing to see him play, everything looked so simple and every rack took the "same time" to run for him, it was so simple.
He said - "it took 8 h of play until I got my first a ball in hand".

regards

Chrippa

Was that Swedish player named Mike?

HighEndCues
09-17-2013, 12:23 PM
\
Hey Larry

When Hi Pockets first opened, all the champions from the Tri State were in there. You know the usual gathering when a new nice pool room opens. This was 1997 give or take one year . An over the hill Toby pops in complete with bell bottoms and a female 25 yrs his Jr. It may have even been his daughter, maybe not.

Anyway Toby is given the Superstar treatment and all eyes are on him. Someone asks him if he is gonna play and Toby says something along the lines that he really hasn't been playing (nuff said) but he will play a set or 2 if someone wants to play. Again the room is full of killers but no one wants to step up.

Finally Danny Barouty says with not much confidence "Hell I'll play" He was probably the 5th best in the room at rotation that night. I havent known Danny to do much gambling since so i think maybe he just wanted to get in there with a legend. It was $250/set

Anyway Danny gets drilled 2 sets and Toby soon leaves the poolroom, his legend status intact..

davey gravy
Hey Davey,
I was there that night as well. Also, Toby hadn't been playing at all before that.
Best,
ken

Chrippa
09-17-2013, 02:13 PM
Was that Swedish player named Mike?

Yes, Mikael Hallgren. Still a good player but havenīt played for about a year or close.
I hope he will get back because heīs very knowledgable and have a great game to show, he was just caught up with everything and needed some time away from everything I guess. He didnīt compete much the last years though but when he played "for fun" he still has a great game to show.

Do you know him?

Chrippa

macguy
09-17-2013, 02:29 PM
Yes, Mikael Hallgren. Still a good player but havenīt played for about a year or close.
I hope he will get back because heīs very knowledgable and have a great game to show, he was just caught up with everything and needed some time away from everything I guess. He didnīt compete much the last years though but when he played "for fun" he still has a great game to show.

Do you know him?

Chrippa

He was a very good player. I played his some straight pool and he played real good. He also was very good at jumping. This was before everyone even knew what a jump cue was. I saw him play Miz and Miz played a safe on him. Before sitting down Miz went over and got Mikes jump cue and handed it to him. Everybody laughed. Sure enough Mike jumped the ball and ran out. If you ask him about this I am sure he will remember. They were playing in what was called "The Pit". He seemed to be very pleased that a player like Steve Mizerak had such respect for him.

Chrippa
09-17-2013, 03:03 PM
Was that Swedish player named Mike?

He was a very good player. I played his some straight pool and he played real good. He also was very good at jumping. This was before everyone even knew what a jump cue was. I saw him play Miz and Miz played a safe on him. Before sitting down Miz went over and got Mikes jump cue and handed it to him. Everybody laughed. Sure enough Mike jumped the ball and ran out. If you ask him about this I am sure he will remember. They were playing in what was called "The Pit". He seemed to be very pleased that a player like Steve Mizerak had such respect for him.

he still is:-). I heard it:-). I remember when I started 96 or close I attended the weekly tournaments on our hall, Mondays 9 ball and Tuesdays 5 & 9 and he and 3 other very strong players got a weekly check every time:-), 5&9 races was to 21 and theese guys had ./. 24 and the tourneys were packed with people but they just kept running balls like water:-). The 3 others never went to US to compete but one is 2or 3 time European champ, one was the junior world champ (run 11 out in a competion and 13 in a ring game) and the "weakest" was a several Swedish champion in Snooker, very good money player and probably the best all around player of them all. Still plays a bit but mostly 3 cushion, reminds me. He told me the other day that he beat Le bron in a cash game - not that shabby:-). Funny thing is that he didnīt even know who he was at the time:-).

C

Btw - I actually think he still has/uses that Huebler break cue as a jump cue still, when jumping with full cue that is. He was sponsored by Paul for a long time and still has a beautiful Huebler. Plays with a Prather now though.

G&M
09-17-2013, 03:49 PM
Hey Larry,
I hope all is well. Always a pleasure hearing from you.
It was fun spending most of my youth at Holli's. Thanks for taking the time describing perfectly days of old. Toby left NY last week, but its always great having him around for the summer.
WP Charlie, Post Bowl, George, Hi Pockets, many memories. Good and Bad :)

Stop down to DJ's and say hello..
Best,
Ken

Ken,

Always great to hear from you as well. Lots of people spent most of their youth in poolrooms, but not many of them have done as much with it as you have, in terms of playing ability and otherwise. That's something you and Toby have in common. Will give you a call soon if that's alright.

Take care,
Larry

richiebalto
09-17-2013, 04:45 PM
Cigar Tom played Toby to a draw for 10 dollars a game. Toby said Tom was tough to beat. He played in Gentlemans Cue for about 2 weeks, his cue ball had a string on it. perfect position player and maybe the best push out player in his time. A great money player. Gave up big spots and overcame it. Had Weenie Beenie stuck 4000 and started to spot him the 8 ball and lost it all back. told me he should have won all the money but just started playing bad. A great Guy and easy to talk to. He traveled in a big Sleeper Truck. Smart as they come. He wouldn't play one pocket .

Thanks for that story Ed, boy that Cigar sure could play with the best of them!

Toby= broke even
Strickland= broke even, after playing for 20 hours.
Rempe= broke even, after Tom was stuck over 10 games.

Tom did lose to Andam and Archer, but he was well into his 50s early 60s.

Jimmy Fusco= Tom beat him more then once, Jimmy only beat Tom when they played back pocket 9 ball.
Pete Fusco= Tom beat him every time.

Joe Frady=Tom beat.
Don Polo = Tom beat
Crazy Jerry= Tom beat

The late great Bobby Legg and Tom had a war going on for a good 10 years, battleing back in forth, i would say either one is up more then a set in that whole battle.

Bobby Legg was a special player also!

NolesFan83
09-18-2013, 10:35 AM
I head that story of Toby giving Buddy the 8 by the owner of Capone's earlier this year. I thought it was a joke but he told the story with such conviction that I had to believe him afterwards. I also have a friend who lives in south florida and ran into toby at a pool room, can't remember which one. He said toby asked his buddy if he could hit with his predator. After a few shots of shooting some ridiculous shot and getting perfect shape he handed the cue back to the kid and said" man I just don't have enough time left to learn how to shoot with one of those) leaving my friend and his buddy in shock. I've heard some stories about toby from the older guys who ran around south florida, its just amazing. One if these days I'll make it down there and actually meet him.

pt109
09-18-2013, 11:18 AM
I head that story of Toby giving Buddy the 8 by the owner of Capone's earlier this year. I thought it was a joke but he told the story with such conviction that I had to believe him afterwards. I also have a friend who lives in south florida and ran into toby at a pool room, can't remember which one. He said toby asked his buddy if he could hit with his predator. After a few shots of shooting some ridiculous shot and getting perfect shape he handed the cue back to the kid and said" man I just don't have enough time left to learn how to shoot with one of those) leaving my friend and his buddy in shock. I've heard some stories about toby from the older guys who ran around south florida, its just amazing. One if these days I'll make it down there and actually meet him.

You know, sometimes an incomplete story confuses the situation.

I would like to know how old Buddy Hall was when he got the 8.....
...'cause in Buddy's prime, the world NEEDED the 8.

I remember a kid in our area became world class at snooker at 18....
....one of the older players was asked how he would've made out with
the kid when he was in his prime...he said "Ten years ago, I could've
given him 40 points."
Everybody disagreed......
He said "Well, ten years ago, this kid was only eight years old....
...and I probably could have given him more."
:smile:

jay helfert
09-18-2013, 01:07 PM
You know, sometimes an incomplete story confuses the situation.

I would like to know how old Buddy Hall was when he got the 8.....
...'cause in Buddy's prime, the world NEEDED the 8.

I remember a kid in our area became world class at snooker at 18....
....one of the older players was asked how he would've made out with
the kid when he was in his prime...he said "Ten years ago, I could've
given him 40 points."
Everybody disagreed......
He said "Well, ten years ago, this kid was only eight years old....
...and I probably could have given him more."
:smile:

Of course this happened well before Buddy's prime, probably around 1968 or '69 in Johnston City. Buddy was in his early 20's and Toby may have been a little older. Toby did play better 9-Ball than Buddy then. A few years later Buddy may have offered Toby the eight. I don't know if they ever played again. Toby was smart that way.

bobbycotton
09-18-2013, 01:40 PM
I played Don Watson in Alabama in 1975, I ran the first 5 racks, it took me 15 minutes, Don ran the next 5 racks,took 45 minutes. I pulled up lol ! He was a great player and I learned so much playing him and watching him. I really miss all the great old timers that have passed away, too many to mention.

richiebalto
09-18-2013, 01:57 PM
I played Don Watson in Alabama in 1975, I ran the first 5 racks, it took me 15 minutes, Don ran the next 5 racks,took 45 minutes. I pulled up lol ! He was a great player and I learned so much playing him and watching him. I really miss all the great old timers that have passed away, too many to mention.

Time has fllew bye, Its sad and true, a lot of great player are gone, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!

As in your reply.

bstroud
09-18-2013, 03:02 PM
I played Toby even 9 ball at Park Row Billiards in Manhattan for 50.00 a game in the mid 60's. I didn't play much push out but Toby sure did. He won every push out that came up.

He had me 8 games loser and I finally got tired of losing all the push outs so I pushed out for an end rail bank. Toby said shoot so I did, made it and ran out. I did the exact same thing the next two games.

Toby quit me 5 games winner and said "play you some more at 7-11". It was his home court at the time so I said no.

Toby was the best 9 ball player I had seen up to that time and played the best push out I have ever seen.

I played the Miz even 9 ball for 350. a game a few weeks later to a tie so I was playing well but still did not beat Toby at that time.

A really great player.

Bill S.

madhatter44
09-20-2013, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the replies to my post. Was great to hear the stories about Toby