1960s major tournaments

Poolhall60561

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Other BCA Sanctioned Tournaments from 1974 BCA Rule book

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Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There were quite a few major 14.1 tournaments still going on then,Chicago?. If you ever heard of the pro (if your old like me you have most likely heard of) Frank McGowen, he got involved with a businessman, and designed/ the Corner Pocket Pool Rooms of American. CPk.....Rooms were laid out properly for spectators, handicapp players, location of bathrooms and a grille/bar overlooking the room, and that allowing when it was slow, for the barkeep to also cook when slow
 

Guy Manges

Registered
Jersey City off season?
What does that mean?
I want this story to be fiction only. I want the geography to be us, real but the venue tournament to be fiction and to not coincide with an actual event, otherwise to take place away from the real events... Guy
 

Guy Manges

Registered
There were quite a few major 14.1 tournaments still going on then,Chicago?. If you ever heard of the pro (if your old like me you have most likely heard of) Frank McGowen, he got involved with a businessman, and designed/ the Corner Pocket Pool Rooms of American. CPk.....Rooms were laid out properly for spectators, handicapp players, location of bathrooms and a grille/bar overlooking the room, and that allowing when it was slow, for the barkeep to also cook when slow
I'm west coast, we had Brunswick family centers and Golden West family centers, Lots of them... Guy
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m digging this old school pool thread.

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Eric: You, Guy and other AZBers will likely enjoy more of my recollections (and involvement) in the major pool tournament scene during that period:

There's a now widely-known anecdote relating to the time when Luther Lassiter had just completed a long, flawless Straight Pool run-out in front of a packed house in Los Angeles. He was busy screwing together his cue when a dazzled teenage fan in the front row asked him a clearly heard question:

"Do you ever give lessons Mr. Lassiter?"

Luther politely replied: "No, son -- I can't teach pool, because I don't know what I'm doing."

Many in the crowd chuckled heartily, but most just smilingly agreed and nodded, knowing full well the subtlety of what Luther meant by the answer. He was often heard to give the same answer during many later years.

True story. I was about 15 feet away, having served for this particular match as one of the many volunteer, rotating scorekeepers at this mid-1960s World Invitational 14.1 Championship -- an event that was one of many in the exciting series of them founded and managed by Fred Whalen in the huge downtown Elks Club in Los Angeles. Fred held these ambitious 14.1 Round-robin events annually -- from the early 1960s thru the early 1970s. The counterpart, (unrelated) NYC 14.1 Invitationals were held for a number of years by different organizers, in the Hotel Commodore. Mandated tuxedos on both coasts. Lassiter and Cisero Murphy had a memorable Commodore match there one year.

Addicted LA locals like myself and Jay Helfert, and about a dozen other fellows during that decade, loved scorekeeping those matches, because during those 3-week round-robins we got to meet and get to know every one of the star entries who turned out for the tourneys. There was always plenty of press and TV interview coverage every year, and always in attendance were show biz folks who liked great 14.1 (Fred Astaire, Peter Falk, Johnny Mathis, Paul Sorvino, etc.). I got to know my fellow New Yorker, actor Vic Morrow, very well. He loved watching professional 14.1. I often casually coached him in Red Baker's North Hollywood room half-a-block from the corner of Magnolia & Vineland.

I was working graveyard tool-making shifts at Lockheed (Burbank) and had plenty of convenient time available to Freeway-down for those dream scorekeeping duties at the daily matches.

I've still got a few of the annual event official programs from those years that I'm going to scan and pdf for the AZB pool history project recently announced on this forum. My 1970 program bears the enjoyably-wrought signature of Mizerak and a number of other top invitee players.

As mentioned elsewhere, I'm of Danny Diliberto's Depression Era-born generation (couple months apart in the mid-1930s), and got to also know Danny very well when I score-kept a number of his matches as part of that approx. 12-man rotating group of L.A.-based volunteer scorekeepers at each of Fred Whalen's annual Round-robin Invitational 14.1 Championships (held at that downtown Elks Club during most years of the 1960s and early years of the 1970s).

Arnaldo
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Funny thing i remember all that , I was not there, but in Pico Riviera playing 8 ball probably... Arnaldo a question for you when Willie came to the family billiard center in Signal Hill were you there. There was a pretty good turn out. I think it was a Monday evening about seven pm and he was only there for about two hours... Guy
That area was one of five stops he made during his LA circuit for Brunswick that year. I caught the one he made at the Red Baker/Tiff Payne room in North Hollywood about a mile from my Burbank apartment. He had just served as technical advisor during the filming of the 1961 "Hustler" flic about 6 or 7 years prior to the circuit you're referencing.

Arnaldo
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measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I want this story to be fiction only. I want the geography to be us, real but the venue tournament to be fiction and to not coincide with an actual event, otherwise to take place away from the real events... Guy
I'm from Jersey and the term "off season" refers to the Jersey shore towns when all the tourist's leave for the summer.
Generally the season is early June to labor day.
 

Guy Manges

Registered
That area was one of five stops he made during his LA circuit for Brunswick that year. I caught the one he made at the Red Baker/Tiff Payne room in North Hollywood about a mile from my Burbank apartment. He had just served as technical advisor during the filming of the 1961 "Hustler" flic about 6 or 7 years prior to the circuit you're referencing.

Arnaldo
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Your wright , I was thinking 66 , but it was 67, I do pretty good with my memories, thankgoodness for you... Guy
 

Guy Manges

Registered
I'm from Jersey and the term "off season" refers to the Jersey shore towns when all the tourist's leave for the summer.
Generally the season is early June to labor day.
Yours is a world that I don't know anything about, I guess thats why all my questions, thank you for helping me... Guy
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Weenie Beanie's Jack 'n' Jill Cue Club in Arlington, VA used to have yearly 9 ball and other tournaments in the late 60's and early 70's that attracted the likes of Jimmy Rempe, Billy Incardona, Luther Lassiter, and other top pros of that era. At the time "Beanie's" was also one of the top 24/7 action spots in the entire country, with road players in there all the time looking for high stakes action.

Also, charlesursitti.com has an archive of older tournament results. You may have to install an add-on security device, but if you're okay with that it'll be worth it.
Was there many times, in the 70s and 1980, when it closed. Here's a good picture of Steve Mizerak and Pete Margo in the tournament area of Weenie Beanie's Jack and Jills. I'm not sure which tournament, or exactly when. I would guess early to mid 70s. You might notice Mizerak's famous Dove Balabushka. Enjoy:

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arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Was there many times, in the 70s and 1980, when it closed. Here's a good picture of Steve Mizerak and Pete Margo in the tournament area of Weenie Beanie's Jack and Jills. I'm not sure which tournament, or exactly when. I would guess early to mid 70s. You might notice Mizerak's famous Dove Balabushka. Enjoy:

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Many younger AZBers (and a few older folks) might not know this trivia tidbit -- Petey Margo was Steve's brother-in-law. As you'd intuit, Steve married Petey's sister. That, and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Fivebucks.

Arnaldo ~ :)
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WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Many younger AZBers (and a few older folks) might not know this trivia tidbit -- Petey Margo was Steve's brother-in-law. As you'd intuit, Steve married Petey's sister. That, and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Fivebucks.

Arnaldo ~ :)
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Didn't know that. Believe her name is Karen, correct?
 

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Karen was his second wife and who he was married to when he passed. Pete's sister was his first wife, and her name was Linda (I think).
Thanks, didn't realize that history. I do remember Karen accompanying Steve to the US Open nine ball tournaments in Norfolk, in 1984 though 1986. Brings back memories.
 

Cuebuddy

Mini cues
Silver Member
Guy: As we've discussed privately, I was born in the mid-1930s -- four years before you, and I'll gladly provide you with information about some events that I personally attended in my own late-twenty and early thirty years of age, during the time period you're asking about:

The 1966 14.1 round-robin co-promoted by shady Arnie Satin and his co- promoter also named Arnie (Rosen surname) and held in a Burbank building that was a former huge supermarket and was slightly "remodeled" (walls patch-painted, and un-optimal carpeting installed) and the venue hyperbolically advertised as "Burbank's Hall of Champions"for the all-tuxedo event. Bleachers were rented and installed.

I saw every one of Mosconi's 16 games in that remarkable, historic tournament (all were evening games -- he refused to play afternoon games).

Willie's playing was increasingly rusty and it sadly led to very audible and continual frustration-motivated demands for rule alterations. Willie feuded daily with promoter Arnie Satin. Various mistaken rumors emerged years later about a post-finals vicious, knocked-unconscious Arnie vs Willie fistfight that actually never happened (they did square-off and swung their arms for about 10 or 15 seconds, but no real punches ever landed -- bystanders instantly pulled the two diminutive fellows apart quickly and easily).

Balsis beat Willie in the finals (a tie-breaking playoff -- they had equal 14-2, win-loss records for the round-robin games). Willie was 53 years old, in far from ideal health or playing condition, and had demanded 10k upfront plus all airline, food and lodging expenses paid just to appear, plus 5% of every night's gate receipts no matter if he won or not. Willie's two losses came at the hands of Irving Crane, then Cisero Murphy. (Followed, as mentioned, by his loss to Balsis in the final match of the event.) As Arnie Satin handed the 2nd place Runner-up trophy to Mosconi he quite audibly (and aggressively) said to him: "How does it feel to lose a tournament, Willie?" Fighting words, as it turned out.

I was standing with two of my pool buddies about 10 or 12 feet away from Willie and the snarky, confrontational promoter.

Willie's face looked livid and deadly serious, enraged by the promoter's nasty, taunting, and ridiculing comment. Willie shouted back: (exact words):

"Stick that trophy up your ass!"

Arnie handed the trophy to a bystander, blasted a couple of obscenities at Willie and then even louder: "Nobody talks to me that way. Nobody!"

Both were steaming now. They did rush towards each other with fists clenched, but as mentioned no real punches ever landed.

(Willie and Arnie were both quite small men -- roughly about the same height -- and were obviously middle-aged men, typically devoid of street-fighting experience.) Tiny tuxedo-ed enemies who were likely both glad their one-rounder was broken up quickly.

Knowing about Willie's all-too-recent health issues: two heart attacks and a stroke -- my buddies and I were equally glad the men were rapidly separated.
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Also, Guy -- for fully grasping the context of that time period's unique historicity here's an exceptional 9-page article that I'm pleased to post to AZB at least once a year. It will be new to some AZBers and a very enjoyable re-read for many others. It's from a 1970 Playboy about the famous Johnston City "Hustlers Jamboree" excitingly and colorfully written by an eye-witness reporter. It's filled with various mentions of the more than 20 top-level players “convening” from all around the country, with a great deal of attention to the gambling between Luther Lassiter and a very cocky Ronnie Allen. (Also includes *plenty* of historical background about decades of American pool hustling during the 20th Century):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HBna2-40eLgTSeKa9QrXVcsMnxj_5RJX/view

Glad to help you, Guy, in any way I can, since we are both -- as you know -- in a "more advanced state of youth" and more addicted than ever to our mutually beloved sport.

Enjoy,

Arnaldo
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This a fantastic recollection of an event that's long passed. Your story telling is great and only surpassed by your skill in writing. Thanks for bringing the past back!
 
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