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10-15-2019, 03:37 PM

Fats was put in the HOF for Meritorious Service and not as a great player.
Iím sure he could play at a high level but probably could never compete with the best.


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10-15-2019, 04:47 PM

I know that The Terrible Turk and Happy the Chinaman always had trouble with him!


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BC21
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10-15-2019, 06:08 PM

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Originally Posted by rhinobywilhite View Post
Dean could probably know for sure but I don't think Fats ever had a job. Fats owned a home and drove a nice car.

How many of you current champs can say the same?

By the time he was playing Mosconi on "Wide World of Sports", Fats was well past his prime and Mosconi was in the same boat.
Good point. I think I could've beat him, but I'd say he busted a lot of guys who thought they could beat him, and I might've just been another one of those that helped pay for his car and motorhome. Lol.


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alstl
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10-15-2019, 06:33 PM

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Originally Posted by deanoc View Post
i guess eddie taylor and his upright stance fooled a few
wimpy and jimmy moore,even mosconi and ray martin played upright

uj puckett

i am thinking of trying it again because my neck is getting stiff

as far as fats goes,i thought he played a ball under ronnie

not a bad speed

it has become popular to knock fats these days

but he was a very good player
Mosconi must have played standing straight upright in matches when he wasn't on video.
https://youtu.be/-JCdJ08_M3Y?t=1245
  
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10-15-2019, 08:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alstl View Post
Mosconi must have played standing straight upright in matches when he wasn't on video.
https://youtu.be/-JCdJ08_M3Y?t=1245
This is a common misconception about the older champions, that they played upright. No one ever thinks about the idea that they HAD to play more upright as they aged, due to flexibility, eyesight issues. Prolly not too many 60 year olds getting their chin on the cue, and many of these players were in their 60s before most pool players alive these days would have even seen them on Wide World of Sports.

Logic never was much of a strong suit for a lot of AZer's tho...
  
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10-15-2019, 09:20 PM

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Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
Good point. I think I could've beat him, but I'd say he busted a lot of guys who thought they could beat him, and I might've just been another one of those that helped pay for his car and motorhome. Lol.
Fats was in his 50's at the Johnson City tourneys, so I don't think that's a fair way to judge his speed.
  
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jay helfert
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10-15-2019, 09:22 PM

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Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
According to many of the better players back in the Johnston City days, Fats was a much better game maker than a player. He was best at setting up games he could win, always getting spots from better players, which was most of the time. And he loved the action.

I think I'd have beaten Fats and his yapping mouth if I had been around then, just as many here would've done. But chances are he'd have wanted too much weight and we'd have never gotten a game with him.

Too many people think of Jackie Gleason's character in The Hustler, and associate that fictional skill level with the fat man that hoodwinked people into believing he was Walter Tevis's "Minnesota Fats". Wanderone was probably a decent player, but not a real good player, despite his self-appointed crown of greatness.
It took a very strong player to beat Fats at One Pocket, Banks or Three Cushions and only the champions could spot him. I saw Fats come into a roomful of champions and start woofing and having fun with them. I didn't see a lot of guys trying to make a game with him, and even the ones who did were very careful. He was a top flight gambler who played better the higher the bet and the more the pressure. At Pool, that is. He could be a sucker at cards.


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10-15-2019, 09:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by raistlinsdragon View Post
Fats was in his 50's at the Johnson City tourneys, so I don't think that's a fair way to judge his speed.
He beat Richie Florence, who was in his prime, out of $26,000 playing One Pocket at JC getting 8-7. They played about eight or nine times over a three week period and never bet over 300 a game! That's probably the equivalent of winning over 100K today. That was in 1966 or '67 when he was in his early 50's. I also watched him beat one of the top Three Cushion players in the country for $1,000 in a single Race to 50. He ran nine and out when trailing 47-41. That was in 1963. I traveled with Fats around Ohio and Indiana when I was a kid (19-20) and he put on exhibitions every day, usually playing Eight Ball against all comers. On two or three occasions someone challenged him to play for money and he never backed down. He got a little excited by such a challenge and became very animated. If someone asked him to play one game for $10, he would say bet 50. The guys who challenged him would usually shut up after that but twice I saw him play someone for $50 and he won both times. Fats could play and don't ever think he couldn't. The other old time greats respected him. Guys like Wimpy, Taylor, Moore, Irish, Rood and Willis were always amused when he came in and started talking. Some of the young players didn't like it quite as much.


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10-15-2019, 09:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
He beat Richie Florence, who was in his prime, out of $26,000 playing One Pocket at JC getting 8-7. They played about eight or nine times over a three week period and never bet over 300 a game! That's probably the equivalent of winning over 100K today. That was in 1966 or '67 when he was in his early 50's. I also watched him beat one of the top Three Cushion players in the country for $1,000 in a single Race to 50. He ran nine and out when trailing 47-41. That was in 1963. I traveled with Fats around Ohio and Indiana when I was a kid (19-20) and he put on exhibitions every day, usually playing Eight Ball against all comers. On two or three occasions someone challenged him to play for money and he never backed down. He got a little excited by such a challenge and became very animated. If someone asked him to play one game for $10, he would say bet 50. The guys who challenged him would usually shut up after that but twice I saw him play someone for $50 and he won both times. Fats could play and don't ever think he couldn't. The other old time greats respected him. Guys like Wimpy, Taylor, Moore, Irish, Rood and Willis were always amused when he came in and started talking. Some of the young players didn't like it quite as much.
Jay,

Did you ever get to see Johnny Irish play? He must have been older at the time, if so... What was his game like?
  
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jay helfert
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10-15-2019, 10:06 PM

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Originally Posted by ShortBusRuss View Post
Jay,

Did you ever get to see Johnny Irish play? He must have been older at the time, if so... What was his game like?
I played Johnny Irish (twice) at 7-11 in New York when I was 20 and he was in his 60's. We played $2 9-Ball each time. Yes I said $2 a game!

He beat me easily out of $15-20. He still played good but I never got to see his best game. It was not necessary playing me. What I did know was that he was the mentor to players like Jersey Red, Johnny Ervolino, New York Blackie and Richie Ambrose.

Later on I found out that this old man I had been playing was once considered the best player in New York. I only really knew of him by reputation. I'm not sure I ever saw him play against anyone but me. I think I saw him shoot some proposition shots once but that's about it. He also went to Johnston City and may have played the first year, but I don't think he played in the tourney the first time I went. I just don't remember seeing him play.


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10-15-2019, 10:23 PM

I played fats in an exhibition match in Bloomington, IL around 1964 at a Montgomery Wards Store. He was there to promote his namesake tables. I was a decent player and more well known in my hometown as a baseball player. I beat Fats playing several games of 8 Ball...bank the 8. Fats was a ton of fun...noisy...always talking loud even when shooting...funny as hell. The only time he talked quietly was after I beat him and he whispered...so that the crowd of about a 100 people couldn't hear...that we could play again for $50 a game. He knew and I knew that as a 18 year old college kid that even if I could come up with the money...I'd choke for $50. But man was he fun to be around. He wasn't a champion player...but he was a champion game maker, gambler and comedian. I also saw and played Ronnie Allen in Phoenix in his later years. He to was a fun guy to be around and a big time hustler...but he was also a champion pool player...much better than Fats every was. Both put a smile on your face every time they came around.


I could be wrong...But I doubt it.

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gears - 10-16-2019, 01:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
He beat Richie Florence, who was in his prime, out of $26,000 playing One Pocket at JC getting 8-7. They played about eight or nine times over a three week period and never bet over 300 a game! That's probably the equivalent of winning over 100K today. That was in 1966 or '67 when he was in his early 50's. I also watched him beat one of the top Three Cushion players in the country for $1,000 in a single Race to 50. He ran nine and out when trailing 47-41. That was in 1963. I traveled with Fats around Ohio and Indiana when I was a kid (19-20) and he put on exhibitions every day, usually playing Eight Ball against all comers. On two or three occasions someone challenged him to play for money and he never backed down. He got a little excited by such a challenge and became very animated. If someone asked him to play one game for $10, he would say bet 50. The guys who challenged him would usually shut up after that but twice I saw him play someone for $50 and he won both times. Fats could play and don't ever think he couldn't. The other old time greats respected him. Guys like Wimpy, Taylor, Moore, Irish, Rood and Willis were always amused when he came in and started talking. Some of the young players didn't like it quite as much.



I just spent hours watching Fats. What I saw was that he had gears, always seemed to have one more too. As a youngster I thought I could have beaten the in his fifties or so Fats if I could have taped his mouth shut. I wouldn't have tackled the nonstop needling. Looking with a bit keener eye, probably best for me we never met!

Fats reminds me of a slight of hand artist. He is running his mouth so much it is easy to miss how well he is really playing and the difficulty of the shots he is firing in.

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10-16-2019, 03:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay helfert View Post
It took a very strong player to beat Fats at One Pocket, Banks or Three Cushions and only the champions could spot him. I saw Fats come into a roomful of champions and start woofing and having fun with them. I didn't see a lot of guys trying to make a game with him, and even the ones who did were very careful. He was a top flight gambler who played better the higher the bet and the more the pressure. At Pool, that is. He could be a sucker at cards.
I saw Fats play a couple hundred games through the 70's & 80's. Taught me some nice 3C shots. Supposedly 3C was his best game but of course no money in it.

Your description of Fat's game is spot on. But of course you know that.

Better come prepared playing banks or one pocket. Maybe not the best in the world but no pushover. I did see him play Ronnie Allen in St. Louis. I forget the outcome or spot, but remember it as a close game.

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10-16-2019, 03:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootingArts View Post
Fats reminds me of a slight of hand artist. He is running his mouth so much it is easy to miss how well he is really playing and the difficulty of the shots he is firing in.

Hu
armed only with stories
and past-prime youtube vids
I see pool in fats

just because he talked a lot
doesn't mean he couldn't play
even now, with st. peter racking
fats is still working a crowd
here on mortal earth


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10-16-2019, 05:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
According to many of the better players back in the Johnston City days, Fats was a much better game maker than a player. He was best at setting up games he could win, always getting spots from better players, which was most of the time. And he loved the action.

I think I'd have beaten Fats and his yapping mouth if I had been around then, just as many here would've done. But chances are he'd have wanted too much weight and we'd have never gotten a game with him.

Too many people think of Jackie Gleason's character in The Hustler, and associate that fictional skill level with the fat man that hoodwinked people into believing he was Walter Tevis's "Minnesota Fats". Wanderone was probably a decent player, but not a real good player, despite his self-appointed crown of greatness.
I think Walderone had it wrong. It wasn't Tevis who used him as a basis for Minnesota Fats. I think it was Gleason. They were both from New York and both hung out in pool halls and probably knew each other, or at least, knew of each other. Many of Gleason's mannerisms in the film were similar to Walderone's, particularly a neck twitch.
  
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