Best Player that Quit Early on

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How about Billy Aguero

I was thinkin' about em a couple weeks ago, he came thru Colo./Springs in the early eighties with a backer, at that time I couldn't win, BUT I played and busted his stakehorse out of $2,600 give or take, also lost my cue that day. Nice pleasant person. Didn't he have long black hair most of his playing yrs?
 

PickPocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It's been 37 years and I have never forgotten Squirrel.

I am from Fremont, CA. In about 1970 Cole Dickson came in off the road. (He's from Fremont.) He rolled in town from Huston driving a faded green VW bug with a large dent in the front fender. Seems they hit a deer on the way.

I was just 16 at the time. I was in the Family Billiards with just a few other people. Cole had been knocking a few balls around. And now he was just sitting on a bar stool next to the table. Next to him stood a skinny guy with long brown shoulder length straight hair. I think it was this guy that owned the VW.

Anyway, nothing was going on. So Cole goes over to the table and places the cue ball on the center rail of the short rail and the eight ball across table on the center rail of the other short rail. He says, "Squirrel, go over there and shoot that shot."

Squirrel takes his cue stick that was leaning against the table and strides over to the table right in front of me. He leans down and strokes up one time then shoots cutting the 8 ball into the corner pocket like it was nothing. The only thing I ever heard of Squirrel after that is that he had won the World Nine Ball Championship a couple of years later. This must be at Jansco's.

I have been obsessed with finding out who this guy was for 37 years! But just yesterday I asked an old-timer here at Hard Times in Bellflower CA who it might have been and he told me who he thought it might have been: Keith Thompson better known as Squirrel.

So now in this thread when you said Keith Thompson and Squirrel and Houston... Well I'll be damned. I can now sleep a little easier at night.

By the way. I met a guy from Texas about 7 years ago. He's the only person I've ever met who heard of Squirrel until I just started asking around. He told me that Squirrel became a preacher. Yep.

JM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjanes188/3111666979/in/photostream/

Is that the guy?
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
This thread lists many fine players that quit early, but the original post requests the name of "the best player that quit early on."

In truth, the question could hardly be simpler, as the best male and the best female American players of the last 40 years both quit early.

It's difficult to argue that in men's pool, it was Mike Sigel, who quit competing regularly at about 40.

In women's pool, it is equally clear that it's the legendary Jean Balukas, who gave up competing at about age 30.
 

Seneca Steve

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was thinkin' about em a couple weeks ago, he came thru Colo./Springs in the early eighties with a backer, at that time I couldn't win, BUT I played and busted his stakehorse out of $2,600 give or take, also lost my cue that day. Nice pleasant person. Didn't he have long black hair most of his playing yrs?

Yes thats him. I backed him for a while in the mid-seventies. We both had long hair in those days.
 

backplaying

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jimmy Wales was the best young player at 15 i ever saw. He was giving players like Earl Kellum the 8 and beating them. I carried him on the road at 15 and he robbed players like Harold Dollar.
 

stevekur1

The "COMMISH"
Silver Member
Pete Margo comes to mind, I know there were a few others that went to bettin on the horses and card playing. But Margo made it big I heard in Video or DVD's, something along that line.
Jean Balukus was another, tho she has a pool room in NY that keeps her busy. There was another player out the the Quad City area, forgot his name, was a good golfer also, but a great gambler.

are you thinking of Scotty Nacovski son of Jerry Nacovski ???
 

catpool9

"Rack Um"/ Rusty Lock
Silver Member
Ya thats my dad. Its weird seeing him that young cuz i look just like him, except better looking Ha!


Thanks for sharing the story about your dad, I'm sure there are many more, how old would he be now 60 or so?, he's still young enough to have some good years of pool left in him, especially 1 pocket.


David Harcrow
 

fathomblue

Rusty Shackleford
Silver Member
> Good stories here. A player that I felt was destined for greatness at a young age didn't up and quit,he was killed by an accidental discharge that was preceeded by an argument over Chinese food. His name was Peter Keanu,but I only knew him as Tito. When I met him,he had been playing about a year,and was already about an APA 7. Two years later,he was said to be living around Tulsa,and was making a living beating the 10-ball ghost. In just 3 years,he was close to the speed of players like Hennessee,Billy Young,and Bill Bailey. He had a stroke that was just a thing of beauty,and approaching Larry Nevel-like power. Tommy D.

Is there any chance that this Tito character was in Jonesboro, Arkansas around 1993-94? Short, skinny guy with slick, black hair? Would have been in his early 20's (maybe) around that time? Everyone thought he was Hispanic, but the rumor was that Mike Sigel trained him in Hawaii. I could see him being a Hawaiian kid. I got the chance to play him for fun at Ron's Recreation in Jonesboro after watching him play for several months. I was playing the sportiest pool of my life and he beat me 6-4 in 9-ball on the big table. I couldn't help but think he was tryin to hide his speed a bit, as he really wanted some action. I told him that I wasn't a gambler and I just wanted his best game. I asked him about who trained him and he said, "Sigel in Hawaii....". But, I often wondered if he said that just because he knew the rumor.

I had heard later that Tito had moved on and was shot somewhere in the South. It didn't surprise me, simply because everyone hated him at Ron's, or so it seemed, whether it be out of jealousy or the fact that he ran his mouth a lot. Someone even made their feelings known about him on the men's bathroom wall.

I happened to run into Chuck Burns (brother of Vester Burns) and he recounted the same recollection of Tito.

Granted, I've not been around a lot, but Tito is still the best player I ever played. He was extremely quick, graceful and dragged the cueball around on a string. I've honestly still never seen anyone play like that. Ever.

And he LOVED to play the 9-ball Ghost.

Anyone else ever see the guy? Wish I had a pic.
 
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PoolBum

Ace in the side.
Silver Member
This thread lists many fine players that quit early, but the original post requests the name of "the best player that quit early on."

In truth, the question could hardly be simpler, as the best male and the best female American players of the last 40 years both quit early.

It's difficult to argue that in men's pool, it was Mike Sigel, who quit competing regularly at about 40.

In women's pool, it is equally clear that it's the legendary Jean Balukas, who gave up competing at about age 30.

Correct on both accounts.
 

dardusm

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jimmy Wales was the best young player at 15 i ever saw. He was giving players like Earl Kellum the 8 and beating them. I carried him on the road at 15 and he robbed players like Harold Dollar.

A few years back at a Tournament in Olathe, KS was a player named Jimmy Wales on the calcutta sheet. I had hear stories about him being a super strong player from the South. I checked with the tournament director and it wasn't the same person. Saved me $$$ on bidding. :smile:
 

catpool9

"Rack Um"/ Rusty Lock
Silver Member
Is there any chance that this Tito character was in Jonesboro, Arkansas around 1993-94? Short, skinny guy with slick, black hair? Would have been in his early 20's (maybe) around that time? Everyone thought he was Hispanic, but the rumor was that Mike Sigel trained him in Hawaii. I could see him being a Hawaiian kid. I got the chance to play him for fun at Ron's Recreation in Jonesboro after watching him play for several months. I was playing the sportiest pool of my life and he beat me 6-4 in 9-ball on the big table. I couldn't help but think he was tryin to hide his speed a bit, as he really wanted some action. I told him that I wasn't a gambler and I just wanted his best game. I asked him about who trained him and he said, "Sigel in Hawaii....". But, I often wondered if he said that just because he knew the rumor.

I had heard later that Tito had moved on and was shot somewhere in the South. It didn't surprise me, simply because everyone hated him at Ron's, or so it seemed, whether it be out of jealousy or the fact that he ran his mouth a lot. Someone even made their feelings known about him on the men's bathroom wall.

I happened to run into Chuck Burns (brother of Vester Burns) and he recounted the same recollection of Tito.

Granted, I've not been around a lot, but Tito is still the best player I ever played. He was extremely quick, graceful and dragged the cueball around on a string. I've honestly still never seen anyone play like that. Ever.

And he LOVED to play the 9-ball Ghost.

Anyone else ever see the guy? Wish I had a pic.




This is a photo of Tito, he won the 9-Ball Arkansas State Championship back in 95, he's the one in the top photo, "Good Time" Charlie Owens from Monroe,LA. is the bottom photo.


I looked up the year he won it on APPA, this is the Tito that Tommy-D was talking about , his name was listed as Tito Keanu

He did play some phenomenal pool that year, he was good!

David Harcrow
 

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fathomblue

Rusty Shackleford
Silver Member
Holy cow, David! That's the Tito I played. I never thought I'd see a pic of him.

Does anyone know the true story of his apparent early demise? I had always assumed that he hustled the wrong guy. Maybe so. Maybe not.

Is he wearing a green kilt in that pic or what?

What speed would you say he was, David? Any comparisons? Was the Sigel bit true?
 

backplaying

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jimmy Wales was the best young player at 15 i ever saw. He was giving players like Earl Kellum the 8 and beating them. I carried him on the road at 15 and he robbed players like Harold Dollar.

If anyone knows where Jimmy Wales is, I would appreciate any information on how to get in touch with him. He called my local poolroom a few years back and was out west somewhere. Thanks.
 

freddy the beard

Freddy Bentivegna
Silver Member
Ya thats my dad. Its weird seeing him that young cuz i look just like him, except better looking Ha!

In 1970 at Johnston City, your daddy and I played One Pocket almost every day -- I had no chance with him playing 9 Ball. He won the All - Around against Ronnie and Wimpy playing with my Joss cue.

Beard
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ya thats my dad. Its weird seeing him that young cuz i look just like him, except better looking Ha!

I tell ya a story about your dad and those hippies from Carbondale Univ. that showed up to cheer him on. Fats was of course in the mix DUH ;) and a bunch of hippie chicks were surrounding him and talking, one of the gals asked for his autograph, and I'll never forget, ''Fatty Became Speechless''....Fats whipped out his signature stamp....and ink pad, the gal said, "if I wanted a signature like that I would of gone to a bank". Fats needed some weight he was in a tough spot now :).
 
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