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lfigueroa
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08-22-2019, 06:43 AM

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Originally Posted by Cornerman View Post
Three interesting names, each with a different degree of greatness, each with some similar peers in Anyville USA. All stay(ed) within a couple hours of home.

Gene Nagy

Gary Spaeth

CM Lee

Gene Nagy was legendary.

On his home track he could run balls forever. Supposedly he'd spend hours and hours shooting a 14.1 break shot trying to predict where all the balls would land. Gary Spaeth was also legendary but he traveled. CM Lee... not in the same category. A fine player but I beat him in the US One Pocket Open one year when I could barely spell one pocket.

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08-22-2019, 06:49 AM

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Originally Posted by Chopdoc View Post
Yup. Certainly.

But only to those who knew him or heard of him.

You are talking about fame I guess. So, would such a person ever be famous? Be known beyond their circle in the pool world? Probably not.

But that does not make them any less great in my view.

I look at my own field. There are famous respected surgeons. And then there were those that never left their own little circle, their own practice. They didn't publish. They didn't work in a big university setting. And that were great. Those that knew them and learned from them or watched them know. I have known a couple surgeons like that. They passed in obscurity, they certainly were among the greats, but only to those who knew of them. Interestingly, those that did become famous did actually know of their obscure colleague and would likely tell you they were among the greats.

.

Yes, I'm talking about fame but also talent.

And IMO talent -- when it comes to being a great pool player -- includes the ability to adapt to different rooms, different tables, and different environments. I think that is part of being great at any sport. After all you don't play all your games/matches on your home field or court. What makes a champion is beating the other guys in their houses.

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jay helfert
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08-22-2019, 08:09 AM

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Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
George was a great player but IMO not one of the greats.

I had the opportunity to meet him at Airway in Dayton. I was looking for a 1pocket game and he steered mo over to a young guy I didn't recognize, saying, "He'll probably play you some." It was Jason Miller.

Lou Figueroa
I beg to differ. George Rood was a GREAT pool player! As a young man (20's and 30's) his road partners (and best friends) were Luther Lassiter and Don Willis. George got married and settled down in Dayton and became a top line dog breeder for show dogs. He never quit playing though and burned the bankrolls of anyone who got out of line coming through Dayton. Some terrific pool players like Joey Spaeth and Chuck Morgan drew the line at playing Rood.

By the way his old buddies Lassiter and Willis would often come by just to visit with him. They both had tremendous respect for George who was their equal. Truth be told, he may have been the best of the three!

Every old time pool player knew who George Rood was and they didn't dare come looking for him. One more little story. There was a guy named Buddy Wallace who lived in Cleveland and was something like the fifteen time Ohio Straight Pool champion. He bragged to some newsman that no one in Ohio could beat him and George got wind of it. George sent a message to Wallace that he would play him a Straight Pool match for $10,000, an un-Godly sum back then. Wallace fell silent!


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mikemosconi
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08-22-2019, 08:15 AM

I think that all in all sports a big part of measuring performance is how well one does at the highest levels of competition in environments that are not a Constant. Dealing with the mind is a large part of true championship play- it is a factor that always separates the talented and skilled from the true championship performers in all sports. The Gene Nagy's and Mike Eufemia's were far more talents than they were champions. I can't speak for George Rood- but I suspect he was all three- a talent, one of great skill, and a champion within the gambling circuit willing to take on all comers including the very best! I don't think he needed tournament wins to prove his championship caliber.

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08-22-2019, 08:20 AM

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Originally Posted by mikemosconi View Post
I think that all in all sports a big part of measuring performance is how well one does at the highest levels of competition in environments that are not a Constant. Dealing with the mind is a large part of true championship play- it is a factor that always separates the talented and skilled from the true championship performers in all sports. The Gene Nagy's and Mike Eufemia's were far more talents than they were champions.
Eufemia handled tournament competition a lot better than Nagy. He just couldn't play for money.


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08-22-2019, 08:35 AM

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Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
Yes, I'm talking about fame but also talent.

And IMO talent -- when it comes to being a great pool player -- includes the ability to adapt to different rooms, different tables, and different environments. I think that is part of being great at any sport. After all you don't play all your games/matches on your home field or court. What makes a champion is beating the other guys in their houses.

Lou Figueroa
Well, as usual, out of your own mouth, defeat awaits!

ALL those , 'Champions', (Jersey Red, Jimmy Reid, Louie Roberts,Cecil Tugwell, Boston Shorty, Joey Spathe, Dallas West, David Howard, Aguzete (both playing 1 handed 1P), Gene Nagey...) that came to Chicago to play Artie must not have been REAL champions! They all forgot to win in, Artie's hometown!

Do you really believe the stuff that comes out of your mouth! With or without thinking first!


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alstl
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08-22-2019, 08:45 AM

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Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
Can a player be considered great if he only played at his home room?

Pool history is filled with stories about guys that could only play on their home track. Or, could run balls like water during practice but choked their brains out in tournaments. Or, were great in tournaments but couldn't beat McGoorty's apocryphal Girl Scout for the cheese.

I grew up reading Tom Fox's on-the-scene accounts from the Jansco's Cue Club in SI about all the road men who traveled the country from one side to the other, north to south, but would congregate once a year in Johnston City, IL: Wimpy, Fats, Squirrel, Handsome Danny, Weenie Been, Tugboat, Detroit Whitey, Bear, Warbucks, Youngblood, NY Blackie, Cornbread, and many others.

But what about the guy who stayed home? Can he ever be considered one of the greats?

Lou Figueroa
I've heard of Detroit Whitey but for things he did other than pool. Was he considered a great player?
  
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08-22-2019, 09:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornerman View Post
Three interesting names, each with a different degree of greatness, each with some similar peers in Anyville USA. All stay(ed) within a couple hours of home.

Gene Nagy

Gary Spaeth

CM Lee
I saw Gary Spaeth play only once, at his dad Joey Spaeth's short-lived pool room in Langley Park, MD. This would have been around 1967 or 1968, and my memory of Gary was that at that point he could barely reach onto the table, but that somehow he could still run balls. Obviously the talent was there in his DNA.

Another great talent from that time and place was "Little Nicky" Vlahos, who at 14 came down to Brunswick Billiards at 14th and Irving in DC and beat everyone on the 5 x 10 front table. He later won a one pocket tournament out in Maryland where he not only went undefeated, but the average score was about 8 to -2. At the end he was playing one handed and just toying with his opponents. He moved up to New England with his folks, and from what I've heard became a great money player who never ventured far from his home turf. Pat sells a DVD of a straight pool match where he crushed Earl, but that's the only video evidence I've seen of him. He may have been the greatest local talent I've ever seen in the DC area, including legends like Beanie, Gump, Geese and Strawberry, but unfortunately he died way too young.
  
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jay helfert
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08-22-2019, 10:15 AM

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Originally Posted by alstl View Post
I've heard of Detroit Whitey but for things he did other than pool. Was he considered a great player?
Whitey was a very good player. It took a champion to beat him. He was also a notorious lowlife who would do anything for a buck.


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lfigueroa
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08-22-2019, 12:31 PM

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Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
I beg to differ. George Rood was a GREAT pool player! As a young man (20's and 30's) his road partners (and best friends) were Luther Lassiter and Don Willis. George got married and settled down in Dayton and became a top line dog breeder for show dogs. He never quit playing though and burned the bankrolls of anyone who got out of line coming through Dayton. Some terrific pool players like Joey Spaeth and Chuck Morgan drew the line at playing Rood.

By the way his old buddies Lassiter and Willis would often come by just to visit with him. They both had tremendous respect for George who was their equal. Truth be told, he may have been the best of the three!

Every old time pool player knew who George Rood was and they didn't dare come looking for him. One more little story. There was a guy named Buddy Wallace who lived in Cleveland and was something like the fifteen time Ohio Straight Pool champion. He bragged to some newsman that no one in Ohio could beat him and George got wind of it. George sent a message to Wallace that he would play him a Straight Pool match for $10,000, an un-Godly sum back then. Wallace fell silent!

Thanks for the info.

That's an example for why these kinds of discussions are of value. Old farts (that would be you) can educate the younger farts (that would be me) about obscure points of pool history.

Lou Figueroa
  
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lfigueroa
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08-22-2019, 12:34 PM

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Originally Posted by mr3cushion View Post


Well, as usual, out of your own mouth, defeat awaits!

ALL those , 'Champions', (Jersey Red, Jimmy Reid, Louie Roberts,Cecil Tugwell, Boston Shorty, Joey Spathe, Dallas West, David Howard, Aguzete (both playing 1 handed 1P), Gene Nagey...) that came to Chicago to play Artie must not have been REAL champions! They all forgot to win in, Artie's hometown!

Do you really believe the stuff that comes out of your mouth! With or without thinking first!

No one -- except you -- has mentioned AB in this thread.

Now go away.

Shoo.

And let the adults continue their conversation.

Lou Figueroa
  
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lfigueroa
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08-22-2019, 12:35 PM

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Originally Posted by alstl View Post
I've heard of Detroit Whitey but for things he did other than pool. Was he considered a great player?

I've heard he was pretty good, not top tier, but pretty good.

By-and-large his infamy came from a willingness to do the grosses things imaginable to win a bet.

Lou Figueroa
  
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08-22-2019, 01:16 PM

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Originally Posted by lfigueroa View Post
No one -- except you -- has mentioned AB in this thread.

Now go away.

Shoo.

And let the adults continue their conversation.

Lou Figueroa
NO one on this site, knows him better than me! And I'm pretty sure, along with many others I have YOU figured out!

A player hater wannabe!


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08-22-2019, 01:20 PM

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Originally Posted by Taxi View Post
I saw Gary Spaeth play only once, at his dad Joey Spaeth's short-lived pool room in Langley Park, MD. This would have been around 1967 or 1968, and my memory of Gary was that at that point he could barely reach onto the table, but that somehow he could still run balls. Obviously the talent was there in his DNA.

Another great talent from that time and place was "Little Nicky" Vlahos, who at 14 came down to Brunswick Billiards at 14th and Irving in DC and beat everyone on the 5 x 10 front table. He later won a one pocket tournament out in Maryland where he not only went undefeated, but the average score was about 8 to -2. At the end he was playing one handed and just toying with his opponents. He moved up to New England with his folks, and from what I've heard became a great money player who never ventured far from his home turf. Pat sells a DVD of a straight pool match where he crushed Earl, but that's the only video evidence I've seen of him. He may have been the greatest local talent I've ever seen in the DC area, including legends like Beanie, Gump, Geese and Strawberry, but unfortunately he died way too young.
Nick came to CA in the 70ís and I played him some $50 nine ball getting the wild eight. We were even after a couple hours and he quit, telling me I could still get the game, but needed to bet more $. I declined. A good guy who was not after the glory, but the $.


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lfigueroa
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08-22-2019, 01:47 PM

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Originally Posted by mr3cushion View Post
NO one on this site, knows him better than me! And I'm pretty sure, along with many others I have YOU figured out!

A player hater wannabe!

Take deep breath.

Let it out slowly.

Itís all going to be OK.

Lou Figueroa
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