Best player ever for the cash?

Welder84

AzB Silver Member
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One other guy who I never saw dog it for the cash was Jack Cooney. Granted most of the time he was spotting suckers in big money games, but if he got hooked up with a real player he could up his game if necessary. No one really knew how good he was, but as for me he was not only the smartest pool player on the planet, but also one of the best. I got a glimpse of his top speed and he may have been right there with Ronnie and Bugs at One Pocket. James Walden was one more guy who could play real high and had no dog in him.
Cooney lasted a lifetime on the road. So for me longevity makes him top tier for sure. Even if he snuck up on guys hustling. Playing in strange (hostile) places can be unnerving (to say the least).

Another lifelong road dog was Bucky Bell (maybe top 100 old road guys). He was not the best, but he outlasted the rest.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Those two claimed they went to Hawaii and ran into a Chinese guy they couldn't beat. No elaboration. Anybody got an idea what that was about?
"Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto talked about the guy who taught him a couple of times. Said he was a better player then he was and Brian was a top speed player. I think his name was Bing or something like that. He was legendary around Hawaii poolrooms but I don't think I ever met the man, although he was still alive when I first went there in the 70's. Rodney knows about him I'm sure.

Speaking of great road players, Brian is right up there. All he did was win the money everywhere he went for decades! And he wasn't afraid to play other good players. I was stubborn, playing him a few times in my room in Bakersfield getting the seven ball. I played my best pool back then but it wasn't good enough to beat Brian. He also gave me 9-7 in One Pocket and beat me. Once he gave me 9-6 and I won a few games. Never again! We also never played Banks. I asked him for 8-7 and Brian was too smart to give me that game. I wouldn't play him any game even. He was just too good.

One more story about Brian. He got robbed somewhere in Bakersfield and came to me for a loan. I got him a hotel room and gave him $200. He was my friend for life after that. If I went to Hawaii, he would pick me up at the airport and take me to a nice hotel in Waikiki Beach. I never got a bill for that hotel room either!

Brian Hashimoto was one of my all time favorites in the pool world. He would play with his sunglasses perched on top of his head, rarely showing any emotion and always complementing his opponent on their good shots. He had this wry sense of humor (same as Billy Johnson/Wade Crane) and could come up with a good retort to anything you said. I secretly envied that quality to think so fast on your feet. Everybody liked Brian and even the guys he beat had mad respect for the man.
 
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JB Cases

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"Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto talked about the guy who taught him a couple of times. Said he was a better player then he was and Brian was a top speed player. I think his name was Bing or something like that. He was legendary around Hawaii poolrooms but I don't think I ever met the man, although he was still alive when I first went there in the 70's. Rodney knows about him I'm sure.

Speaking of great road players, Brian is right up there. All he did was win the money everywhere he went for decades! And he wasn't afraid to play other good players. I was stubborn, playing him a few times in my room in Bakersfield getting the seven ball. I played my best pool back then but it wasn't good enough to beat Brian. He also gave me 9-7 in One Pocket and beat me. Once he gave me 9-6 and I won a few games. Never again! We also never played Banks. I asked him for 8-7 and Brian was too smart to give me that game. I wouldn't play him any game even. He was just too good.

One more story about Brian. He got robbed somewhere in Bakersfield and came to me for a loan. I got him a hotel room and gave him $200. He was my friend for life after that. If I went to Hawaii, he would pick me up at the airport and take me to a nice hotel in Waikiki Beach. I never got a bill for that hotel room either!

Brian Hashimoto was one of my all time favorites in the pool world. He would play with his sunglasses perched on top of his head, rarely showing any emotion and always complementing his opponent on their good shots. He had this wry sense of humor (same as Billy Johnson/Wade Crane) and could come up with a good retort to anything you said. I secretly envied that quality to think so fast on your feet. Everybody liked Brian and even the guys he beat had mad respect for the man.
Brian was also triple smart. Some of my all time favorite shirts were my Hawaiian Brian's poolroom shirts. They were like the Ocean Pacific style but cooler. But I didn't get mine in Hawaii unfortunately, I got mine at the BCA expo.

Brian had to go to the expo each year as a room owner. So he would buy a booth and put a couple attractive helpers in it and they would sell his shirts. I met Brian there and asked him the point of this (should have been obvious but I was 23) and he said the profit from shirt sales paid for the trip and advertised his room. He got to do all of his business and made money on top of it.
 

chefjeff

If not now...
Silver Member
Brian was also triple smart. Some of my all time favorite shirts were my Hawaiian Brian's poolroom shirts. They were like the Ocean Pacific style but cooler. But I didn't get mine in Hawaii unfortunately, I got mine at the BCA expo.

Brian had to go to the expo each year as a room owner. So he would buy a booth and put a couple attractive helpers in it and they would sell his shirts. I met Brian there and asked him the point of this (should have been obvious but I was 23) and he said the profit from shirt sales paid for the trip and advertised his room. He got to do all of his business and made money on top of it.

I somehow ended up with a Hawaiian Brian T-shirt in my closest years ago.

Don't have a clue where I got it.

At the pool hall, a guy, who probably had dyslexia, commented on my Hawaiian BrAIn shirt. He thought it was a weird name for a pool hall. brain's.

I didn't have the heart to tell him.



Jeff Livingston
 

JB Cases

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I think that this topic has no answer because at various times and in various situations any of the top players have found themselves having to dig deep and bring it for the cash.

Just a few weeks ago Chip Compton was racing to 40 for $50,000 against Scott Frost in one pocket and was down the whole way, starting day two 13-6. He stayed in the game and finally caught up in the mid 30s, got to the hill first, saw Scott tie it and then elected to play one game for the match instead of extending the race.

He won. I think all players have those stories and periods where they beat all comers.
 
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JB Cases

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I somehow ended up with a Hawaiian Brian T-shirt in my closest years ago.

Don't have a clue where I got it.

At the pool hall, a guy, who probably had dyslexia, commented on my Hawaiian BrAIn shirt. He thought it was a weird name for a pool hall. brain's.

I didn't have the heart to tell him.



Jeff Livingston
Brian sold them to other rooms. I saw people buying them by the box. I didn't mention that his booth was near mine at the one show I was referring to.
 

chefjeff

If not now...
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Brian sold them to other rooms. I saw people buying them by the box. I didn't mention that his booth was near mine at the one show I was referring to.

I had been at the Maui pool room so maybe I got it there?


Jeff Livingston
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
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"Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto talked about the guy who taught him a couple of times. Said he was a better player then he was and Brian was a top speed player. I think his name was Bing or something like that. He was legendary around Hawaii poolrooms but I don't think I ever met the man, although he was still alive when I first went there in the 70's. Rodney knows about him I'm sure.

Speaking of great road players, Brian is right up there. All he did was win the money everywhere he went for decades! And he wasn't afraid to play other good players. I was stubborn, playing him a few times in my room in Bakersfield getting the seven ball. I played my best pool back then but it wasn't good enough to beat Brian. He also gave me 9-7 in One Pocket and beat me. Once he gave me 9-6 and I won a few games. Never again! We also never played Banks. I asked him for 8-7 and Brian was too smart to give me that game. I wouldn't play him any game even. He was just too good.

One more story about Brian. He got robbed somewhere in Bakersfield and came to me for a loan. I got him a hotel room and gave him $200. He was my friend for life after that. If I went to Hawaii, he would pick me up at the airport and take me to a nice hotel in Waikiki Beach. I never got a bill for that hotel room either!

Brian Hashimoto was one of my all time favorites in the pool world. He would play with his sunglasses perched on top of his head, rarely showing any emotion and always complementing his opponent on their good shots. He had this wry sense of humor (same as Billy Johnson/Wade Crane) and could come up with a good retort to anything you said. I secretly envied that quality to think so fast on your feet. Everybody liked Brian and even the guys he beat had mad respect for the man.
Brian was good friends with Tony Cattuci who owned a big room(36 Gold Crowns) in Toms River N.J.
Brian would visit for a couple weeks in the winter.
I hung out in that room this was the mid 80's.
One trip he brought a teen age Rodney Morris to have him play some N.J. players,not much variety on the Island.
Rodney got a taste of high level play,there were dozens of strong players around the Jersey-Philly-N.Y. area at that time.
On one trip we invited Brian to play 1 and 5 or Chicago depending on where you are from.
It was me and 2 other pretty good players.
Brian just kept running out on us and busted the game,that was the last invite he got.
Tony told me a story about the Miz giving Brian the 7 in 9 ball and they broke even,that's how strong the Miz was back then.
I also have a shirt from his room.
And Brian was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
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"Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto talked about the guy who taught him a couple of times. Said he was a better player then he was and Brian was a top speed player. I think his name was Bing or something like that. He was legendary around Hawaii poolrooms but I don't think I ever met the man, although he was still alive when I first went there in the 70's. Rodney knows about him I'm sure.

Speaking of great road players, Brian is right up there. All he did was win the money everywhere he went for decades! And he wasn't afraid to play other good players. I was stubborn, playing him a few times in my room in Bakersfield getting the seven ball. I played my best pool back then but it wasn't good enough to beat Brian. He also gave me 9-7 in One Pocket and beat me. Once he gave me 9-6 and I won a few games. Never again! We also never played Banks. I asked him for 8-7 and Brian was too smart to give me that game. I wouldn't play him any game even. He was just too good.

One more story about Brian. He got robbed somewhere in Bakersfield and came to me for a loan. I got him a hotel room and gave him $200. He was my friend for life after that. If I went to Hawaii, he would pick me up at the airport and take me to a nice hotel in Waikiki Beach. I never got a bill for that hotel room either!

Brian Hashimoto was one of my all time favorites in the pool world. He would play with his sunglasses perched on top of his head, rarely showing any emotion and always complementing his opponent on their good shots. He had this wry sense of humor (same as Billy Johnson/Wade Crane) and could come up with a good retort to anything you said. I secretly envied that quality to think so fast on your feet. Everybody liked Brian and even the guys he beat had mad respect for the man.
I remember seeing Brian in the LA area. He hung out at a Mr. Pockets I think on Western. I remember the hat, the toothpick and the blue suit thing he seemed to always wear. Never saw him in real action. Heard a few action tales is all. I think Brian ended up taking down that Bing guy for top dog honors though.
There's still that mystery Chinese guy Don Willis couldn't beat. ??
 

JB Cases

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I remember seeing Brian in the LA area. He hung out at a Mr. Pockets I think on Western. I remember the hat, the toothpick and the blue suit thing he seemed to always wear. Never saw him in real action. Heard a few action tales is all. I think Brian ended up taking down that Bing guy for top dog honors though.
There's still that mystery Chinese guy Don Willis couldn't beat. ??
One of my favorite Don Willis stories is one where Don decided to play in a tournament and the promoter wanted everyone to fill out a bio sheet for introductions. Don didn't want to do that preferring to stay incognito. The promoter insisted saying no bio no play. So Don asks to see the other player's sheets and finds one with a bunch of titles listed on it. He takes it and writes "I beat him" across the top.
 

Tennesseejoe

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Brian was also triple smart. Some of my all time favorite shirts were my Hawaiian Brian's poolroom shirts. They were like the Ocean Pacific style but cooler. But I didn't get mine in Hawaii unfortunately, I got mine at the BCA expo.

Brian had to go to the expo each year as a room owner. So he would buy a booth and put a couple attractive helpers in it and they would sell his shirts. I met Brian there and asked him the point of this (should have been obvious but I was 23) and he said the profit from shirt sales paid for the trip and advertised his room. He got to do all of his business and made money on top of it.
I would like to see some of these shirts. Are any for sale? I am tired of all the boring black pool shirts with stupid comments like "pool players have a good stroke". I think they are black because they do not show dirt and can be worn for a week without washing. Ocean Pacific were high quality, colorful, and had pleasant designs.
 

JB Cases

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I would like to see some of these shirts. Are any for sale? I am tired of all the boring black pool shirts with stupid comments like "pool players have a good stroke". I think they are black because they do not show dirt and can be worn for a week without washing. Ocean Pacific were high quality, colorful, and had pleasant designs.
In later years I wasn't as impressed with the designs. I don't know if or what they are doing now or even if the pool room still exists.

I totally agree that we need better design for pool shirts.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
"Hawaiian Brian" Hashimoto talked about the guy who taught him a couple of times. Said he was a better player then he was and Brian was a top speed player. I think his name was Bing or something like that. He was legendary around Hawaii poolrooms but I don't think I ever met the man, although he was still alive when I first went there in the 70's. Rodney knows about him I'm sure.

Speaking of great road players, Brian is right up there. All he did was win the money everywhere he went for decades! And he wasn't afraid to play other good players. I was stubborn, playing him a few times in my room in Bakersfield getting the seven ball. I played my best pool back then but it wasn't good enough to beat Brian. He also gave me 9-7 in One Pocket and beat me. Once he gave me 9-6 and I won a few games. Never again! We also never played Banks. I asked him for 8-7 and Brian was too smart to give me that game. I wouldn't play him any game even. He was just too good.

One more story about Brian. He got robbed somewhere in Bakersfield and came to me for a loan. I got him a hotel room and gave him $200. He was my friend for life after that. If I went to Hawaii, he would pick me up at the airport and take me to a nice hotel in Waikiki Beach. I never got a bill for that hotel room either!

Brian Hashimoto was one of my all time favorites in the pool world. He would play with his sunglasses perched on top of his head, rarely showing any emotion and always complementing his opponent on their good shots. He had this wry sense of humor (same as Billy Johnson/Wade Crane) and could come up with a good retort to anything you said. I secretly envied that quality to think so fast on your feet. Everybody liked Brian and even the guys he beat had mad respect for the man.
I was talking to Rodney 2 weeks ago in Georgia about Brian and how good he moved. Rodney said “Brian could talk his way into games that were soft he had the Hungarian nuts and the loser would still buy Brian dinner” that’s how good Brian could lay it down. “The best I ever saw matching up” was Rodney’s exact words.

We both got a 🥲 quickly and paused. Was a moment in the middle of a heroic day opening their new room. Brian was magical in his charm, passion and as a person. He was special and we always looked forward to him coming through Central Ca. Barry, Terry other room knees and players always welcomed him and the guys he’d bring. I was lucky to be around for some of that.

🤙🤙🤙
Fatboy
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would like to see some of these shirts. Are any for sale? I am tired of all the boring black pool shirts with stupid comments like "pool players have a good stroke". I think they are black because they do not show dirt and can be worn for a week without washing. Ocean Pacific were high quality, colorful, and had pleasant designs.
OP cloths were the best back in the day!!👍😍
 

BRLongArm

Registered
In 2021, Dennis Orcullo and Alex Pagulayan would be without peer in an all around championship for big money. Below them would be Joshua Filler and Shane Van Boening. Dennis holds up under pressure the best because he gives up ridiculous games and out runs them. Alex isn't interested in outrunning the nuts, nor is Shane, but both are great for the money. Joshua Filler has the potential to be the best out of all of them, but is only elite in rotation, straight pool and eight ball right now, and slightly behind Dennis/Alex in one pocket and banks. In two years, Filler may be the best all around player out of all of them. Alex and Dennis are in their 40s now, and Shane is in his late 30s.
 
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straightline

AzB Silver Member
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One of my favorite Don Willis stories is one where Don decided to play in a tournament and the promoter wanted everyone to fill out a bio sheet for introductions. Don didn't want to do that preferring to stay incognito. The promoter insisted saying no bio no play. So Don asks to see the other player's sheets and finds one with a bunch of titles listed on it. He takes it and writes "I beat him" across the top.
Yeah. One of the first things I read of the mysterious Don Willis.
 
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