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My Life in Pool - 07-26-2020, 07:36 AM

Good day!

A thread here several months ago about when you first played pool got me thinking.

I've hung out here since the RSB days.

Honestly can't remember playing for the 1st time, was too young. Having thought alot
about it I recall my Dad pounding fundamentals; closed bridge, 4 points of contact, stroke, etc...

My Dad was a 3 cushion player who played Hoppe in the thirties in an exhibition in or near Hammond Indiana. Said they played even to about halfway through match, then realized who he was playing and he got the "Willy's".

Never had a table at our house cause Dad said then he'd have no excuse to take me to the bar. I played alot in high school cause we had 4 or 5 nice old Brunswicks in what we called the Commons. Spent more time down there than I did in class. Teachers would come down there to get me. Dropped out as soon as I turned 16 and worked as a bellman at a Sheraton for $1.31 an hour. Lied bout my age and served alcohol.

Went on to several factory/manufacturing jobs and realized wasn't getting anywhere, so joined the Marines at 19. Played sporadically through-out these years. Was always a little better than the guys I knew. Was playing at a hall in New London, CT. in '78 or '79 and ran into a Road Player I'd still love to identify. We played several games of 8 Ball for 5 bucks a game about even and then got hustled bad. He asked if I'd like to make it interesting, play some 14.1 to 100 for a buck a ball. Won lag, made the 2 balls he broke out, buried him in the back of the rack on a safety. He commenced to make a through the rack combo to a far corner and then run
99 balls, mostly one handed. Really brought me down to earth as a pool player. Haven't gambled seriously since.

Got discharged, went home to take care of my Dad (Mom died while I was in the Corps). Got married to a vapid blond, she cheated, gave her the boot. Didn't play at all from '82 - '87. After divorce started playing leagues for fun and a social life. Used to argue with the Bar owner about which one of us would anchor cause neither of us wanted to "work that hard".

My "claim to fame" on the table came one Friday night at that bar when a beautiful lady dressed to the nines comes in with a guy carrying her cue puts Quarters up on my table. Her turn comes up, asks to play for $, which I decline - play for the table. Apparently my "spidey sense" was triggered, had the right # of beers and hit a gear. Commenced to run 4 or 5 racks and she "stormed out". Owner comes over and says, "Do you know who that was?". No. Just know she kinda pissed me off. "That was Eva Montoya". I'm like, "I coulda been somebody!"

Met my current wife (26 years and 2 grown Sons) as she worked at that club. She's a good player (Banks like there's no tomorrow) and we play weekly to this day.

Turned 62 in April and started drawing Soc. Sec.. Hope as this Covid thing calms down at some point to end up in Northern Wisconsin/UP Michigan near water with a table in my house.

Don't have stories like Jay, Deanoc, CJ, Kickin', Robin, Lou, Danny H., etc... but I sure do enjoy lurking/learning here. I can't even look at certain subjects here like aiming discussions for fear of screwing up my own systems. Saw the wars start on that subject and ran screaming into the night.

I know there's a ton of folks that lurk here and hope this thread (My 1st started thread) doesn't get flamed too hard and may bring out some other posts on people's life in pool!


Dave

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07-26-2020, 08:01 AM

Are you referring to Eva Mataya Laurence? I seriously doubt her being at a bar in Wisconsin asking someone to play for $ on a bar box, but a nice story!

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07-26-2020, 08:05 AM

Great Post - loved it! Thanks for sharing a great pool story. Have my sights on a D-19 that a guy I know may give up due to a bad back- he's the original on it- I hear they play real nice and soft too! Well, maybe Eva has a twin sister that plays real good too
  
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07-26-2020, 09:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnbnt View Post
Good day!

A thread here several months ago about when you first played pool got me thinking.

I've hung out here since the RSB days.

Honestly can't remember playing for the 1st time, was too young. Having thought alot
about it I recall my Dad pounding fundamentals; closed bridge, 4 points of contact, stroke, etc...

My Dad was a 3 cushion player who played Hoppe in the thirties in an exhibition in or near Hammond Indiana. Said they played even to about halfway through match, then realized who he was playing and he got the "Willy's".

Never had a table at our house cause Dad said then he'd have no excuse to take me to the bar. I played alot in high school cause we had 4 or 5 nice old Brunswicks in what we called the Commons. Spent more time down there than I did in class. Teachers would come down there to get me. Dropped out as soon as I turned 16 and worked as a bellman at a Sheraton for $1.31 an hour. Lied bout my age and served alcohol.

Went on to several factory/manufacturing jobs and realized wasn't getting anywhere, so joined the Marines at 19. Played sporadically through-out these years. Was always a little better than the guys I knew. Was playing at a hall in New London, CT. in '78 or '79 and ran into a Road Player I'd still love to identify. We played several games of 8 Ball for 5 bucks a game about even and then got hustled bad. He asked if I'd like to make it interesting, play some 14.1 to 100 for a buck a ball. Won lag, made the 2 balls he broke out, buried him in the back of the rack on a safety. He commenced to make a through the rack combo to a far corner and then run
99 balls, mostly one handed. Really brought me down to earth as a pool player. Haven't gambled seriously since.

Got discharged, went home to take care of my Dad (Mom died while I was in the Corps). Got married to a vapid blond, she cheated, gave her the boot. Didn't play at all from '82 - '87. After divorce started playing leagues for fun and a social life. Used to argue with the Bar owner about which one of us would anchor cause neither of us wanted to "work that hard".

My "claim to fame" on the table came one Friday night at that bar when a beautiful lady dressed to the nines comes in with a guy carrying her cue puts Quarters up on my table. Her turn comes up, asks to play for $, which I decline - play for the table. Apparently my "spidey sense" was triggered, had the right # of beers and hit a gear. Commenced to run 4 or 5 racks and she "stormed out". Owner comes over and says, "Do you know who that was?". No. Just know she kinda pissed me off. "That was Eva Montoya". I'm like, "I coulda been somebody!"

Met my current wife (26 years and 2 grown Sons) as she worked at that club. She's a good player (Banks like there's no tomorrow) and we play weekly to this day.

Turned 62 in April and started drawing Soc. Sec.. Hope as this Covid thing calms down at some point to end up in Northern Wisconsin/UP Michigan near water with a table in my house.

Don't have stories like Jay, Deanoc, CJ, Kickin', Robin, Lou, Danny H., etc... but I sure do enjoy lurking/learning here. I can't even look at certain subjects here like aiming discussions for fear of screwing up my own systems. Saw the wars start on that subject and ran screaming into the night.

I know there's a ton of folks that lurk here and hope this thread (My 1st started thread) doesn't get flamed too hard and may bring out some other posts on people's life in pool!
Nice story Dave. You write well and easy to read, thanks for taking the time to share.


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07-26-2020, 10:00 AM

Yep Chris, that's her. This was at Steve's on Bluemound, a well known pool bar in Milwaukee right near Miller Park. She was in town for a 9 Ball tourny at romine's and word was she was either recently divorced or about to be from Jimmy.
Knew someone would call me on that.


Dave

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07-26-2020, 11:06 AM

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Originally Posted by dnbnt View Post
Yep Chris, that's her. This was at Steve's on Bluemound, a well known pool bar in Milwaukee right near Miller Park. She was in town for a 9 Ball tourny at romine's and word was she was either recently divorced or about to be from Jimmy.
Knew someone would call me on that.
I stand corrected! For some reason I assumed this was more recently. She and Jimmy were residing in that area Of the country when they were together, way back when.
  
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07-26-2020, 11:23 AM

I just want to be in the pool.

Its the summer time.

The pool is much cooler.
  
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great story and well written!
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great story and well written! - 07-26-2020, 12:00 PM

Dave, you tell a story well and it is well written for readability. Some have great stories but they are very tough to read huge blocks of text. I think you need to crank up your posting to a bit more than once a month.

My story is pretty simple, beer! I had played a bit when I was fourteen but I got my driver's license and started hitting the bars and pool halls hard the very day I turned fifteen.

I discovered that people played various things, for beer! Foose ball, pin ball, most things I stunk at! The real shuffle boards I was fair at, the bowling machines, again pretty fair at. I wasn't a bad bowler at the alley and it transferred to some of these things better than others.

Pool I stunk at, very badly! However, pool hooked me. Almost always action for a beer or a few dollars on a pool table. I found a few places I could drink, practice on a pool table, and be left alone. Took about six months of near daily hours put in on a pool table until I got to where I was winning more than I was losing just playing typical barroom bangers.

From there, pool soon paid for all of my fun, all my friend's fun when they were with me too. By now I was addicted to rolling the balls around and happy to do that every evening.

After a few years I was gambling for fair money and laying spreads for the local hustlers. Communications weren't the same then as they are now and when I played quality road players I never knew it. One of my favorite stories is about the road player I didn't play, Tom Ferry I believe. This player was wily enough to scout me three nights and by then he decided that trying to beard me in my den was too tough of a game and we talked awhile. One of only a couple guys that I was sure had busted my hustle, saw through me.

Danny Medina was the other. We had a great battle and a great time playing each other. It was the most fun and the biggest challenge I ever had playing pool. With home field advantage, I was dead even with him. He was trying to pump up when he came there and I think the bar table may have gotten more of his money than I did. We had the coin mechanism warm to the touch because games didn't last long!

Most nights were just chopping wood, fun enough at the time but they weren't making memories. Hit a place or three, usually find a would be hustler, almost always lighten their wallet, repeat the next night. Not exactly what I chose but with little competition, I tended to stand a bit above the crowd. I played a few times in Greenway but quickly learned that killed all of my small action. I had learned how to make pool a cash cow and I truly liked hitting balls so I was happy grinding for small beer.

Somebody from Greenway steered road players at me for a few years and that did make life entertaining. Then I got involved with owning and running the ponies, my avatar picture is from a late eighties owner's license, then the whole wife and children thing came along and pool faded for a few decades. Now I poke the balls around a little to watch them roll.

Hu
  
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07-26-2020, 12:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnbnt View Post
Good day!

A thread here several months ago about when you first played pool got me thinking.

I've hung out here since the RSB days.

Honestly can't remember playing for the 1st time, was too young. Having thought alot
about it I recall my Dad pounding fundamentals; closed bridge, 4 points of contact, stroke, etc...

My Dad was a 3 cushion player who played Hoppe in the thirties in an exhibition in or near Hammond Indiana. Said they played even to about halfway through match, then realized who he was playing and he got the "Willy's".

Never had a table at our house cause Dad said then he'd have no excuse to take me to the bar. I played alot in high school cause we had 4 or 5 nice old Brunswicks in what we called the Commons. Spent more time down there than I did in class. Teachers would come down there to get me. Dropped out as soon as I turned 16 and worked as a bellman at a Sheraton for $1.31 an hour. Lied bout my age and served alcohol.

Went on to several factory/manufacturing jobs and realized wasn't getting anywhere, so joined the Marines at 19. Played sporadically through-out these years. Was always a little better than the guys I knew. Was playing at a hall in New London, CT. in '78 or '79 and ran into a Road Player I'd still love to identify. We played several games of 8 Ball for 5 bucks a game about even and then got hustled bad. He asked if I'd like to make it interesting, play some 14.1 to 100 for a buck a ball. Won lag, made the 2 balls he broke out, buried him in the back of the rack on a safety. He commenced to make a through the rack combo to a far corner and then run
99 balls, mostly one handed. Really brought me down to earth as a pool player. Haven't gambled seriously since.

Got discharged, went home to take care of my Dad (Mom died while I was in the Corps). Got married to a vapid blond, she cheated, gave her the boot. Didn't play at all from '82 - '87. After divorce started playing leagues for fun and a social life. Used to argue with the Bar owner about which one of us would anchor cause neither of us wanted to "work that hard".

My "claim to fame" on the table came one Friday night at that bar when a beautiful lady dressed to the nines comes in with a guy carrying her cue puts Quarters up on my table. Her turn comes up, asks to play for $, which I decline - play for the table. Apparently my "spidey sense" was triggered, had the right # of beers and hit a gear. Commenced to run 4 or 5 racks and she "stormed out". Owner comes over and says, "Do you know who that was?". No. Just know she kinda pissed me off. "That was Eva Montoya". I'm like, "I coulda been somebody!"

Met my current wife (26 years and 2 grown Sons) as she worked at that club. She's a good player (Banks like there's no tomorrow) and we play weekly to this day.

Turned 62 in April and started drawing Soc. Sec.. Hope as this Covid thing calms down at some point to end up in Northern Wisconsin/UP Michigan near water with a table in my house.

Don't have stories like Jay, Deanoc, CJ, Kickin', Robin, Lou, Danny H., etc... but I sure do enjoy lurking/learning here. I can't even look at certain subjects here like aiming discussions for fear of screwing up my own systems. Saw the wars start on that subject and ran screaming into the night.

I know there's a ton of folks that lurk here and hope this thread (My 1st started thread) doesn't get flamed too hard and may bring out some other posts on people's life in pool!

Great story, Dave -- thanks for sharing.

Lou Figueroa
  
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07-26-2020, 01:14 PM

That's what I'm talking about! Thanks Hu! Better story than mine by far!


Dave

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a coin flip!
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a coin flip! - 07-26-2020, 01:46 PM

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That's what I'm talking about! Thanks Hu! Better story than mine by far!

Not being overly blessed with modesty I'd say they are a coin flip! Yours is at least as good, maybe better. Hopefully others will join in. I know Lou has a great story and can tell it well. Others too of course. What would be really nice would be to tease a few of the people out that rarely talk about themselves but have great stories to tell.

How funny would it be to read Ewa's version of that night's happenings?

Hu
  
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07-26-2020, 02:11 PM

Great stories.

FYI when I was in high school in the mid-60s I played at Grand-Olive in St. Louis trying to separate other high schoolers from their money at $.50 per game. Definitely batted over .500. Tom Ferry was the guy we all looked up to. He was older and wiser and one of the best players there. Maybe the best. I think he played Detroit Whitey once when we were there. It wasn't cool back then to crowd around the money games to watch and its been 55 years so I'm not positive but that is what I remember.

As many of you know, Tom was Missouri Nine Ball Champion once in the mid-80s and then again in 2005 or 2006 before he died. He was Oldhasbeen on AZB.

Another guy at Grand-Olive that was a very good player was"Rotten Mouth" Johnson. I have never heard anything about on this forum or others. Has anyone here ever heard of him?

One of my St Louis buddies said a few years ago that he saw him occasionally at Fairmount Park, an Illinois horse track near St. Louis.
  
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07-26-2020, 02:12 PM

Thanks for sharing your story. By the way, we both turned 62 in April and we both began drawing social security then. Small world.
  
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07-26-2020, 02:23 PM

Ya know, I think she came in wanting to put on an exhibition only I never gave her a shot.

Small world, indeed, sjm. How about at least some of your story?


Dave

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07-26-2020, 03:38 PM

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Ya know, I think she came in wanting to put on an exhibition only I never gave her a shot.

Small world, indeed, sjm. How about at least some of your story?
To be honest, I'm not sure even I believe my own story, but here it is in a nutshell.

My introduction to the game came, fittingly, as a fan, as my father used to deposit me in the bleachers at the Golden Q poolroom in Queens, NY back in the mid 1960's, while he shot pool with his friends. I fell in love with the game before I ever hit a ball and got to know many of the world's best players.

My dad bought a house in 1969 and put in a Brunswick Gold Crown 1 and it was then and there that my days as a player began, with my dad as my mentor. Still, I was always a pool fan first, and I went to my first major pro event in 1976 in Asbury Park, NJ, which was the World 14.1 Championships. I was always a competent, but never a great player. I was the runner-up in the Eastern Regional ACUI Collegiate Championship in 1980, but played pool only recreationally from 1980-87, occasionally in small but never in big action. I then gave up pool completely from about 1987-93 to focus on my career, but I continued to attend pro events all over the country and I've done so for 44 years now. I somehow managed to win a qualifier into the World 14.1 Championship in 2007, and played in the event, which was very exciting. I retired in 2008 and have used a lot of my free time since to go to as many pool tournaments as possible.

I'm known, quite rightly, as a dedicated fan with a broad base of knowledge about the game's theory, history and lore. This year has been a real downer, though, as I've had to cancel trips to the US Open 9-ball, Turning Stone, The International 9-ball and I'm mentally prepared to have to cancel my December trip to London for the Mosconi Cup.

Pool and those who participate in it in any way are a big part of my life and this will be true for as long as I'm still alive.

... so that's about the size of it.

Last edited by sjm; 07-26-2020 at 04:11 PM.
  
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