Dallas West

Socopool79

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Just got done looking at the BCA hall of famers and one guy you don't hear much about is Dallas West. Does anyone have any stories about this hof?
 

Jimmy M.

Insomniac
Silver Member
Man I saw the title and thought "oh no!".

I'm glad it wasn't another thread on someone we've lost.

If I lived anywhere near Rockford, Il, I'd follow the guy around with my pool cue everywhere he went trying to pick up what I could about straight pool. There aren't many left who play that style of straight pool and who know it as well as he does.
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
He was a great example for me and I'll always admire his character as a Professional

Just got done looking at the BCA hall of famers and one guy you don't hear much about is Dallas West. Does anyone have any stories about this hof?

Dallas West was a truly top notch player. I went to a bar table tournament in Clinton Iowa when I was 17 years old and EVERYONE was there, Sigel, Hopkins, Hall, Mizerak, Louie Roberts, Jimmy Reid, LA KEITH, Rempe, etc.

I was road partners with Omaha John - John got the semis and had to play Dallas West....Dallas ran the set out on John (9 and out, and looked like he could run 20) to get to the finals against Buddy Hall.

Buddy refused to play Dallas on the same table and I believe Buddy beat Dallas in the Finals. I'm not 100% on the details, but I am POSITIVE Dallas ran that 9 and OUT.....he was a brutally strong player, and Straight Pool was his best game if I remember correctly.

Dallas was also one of the those "old school" players that had a intense presence....he could make a chill go down your spine if you weren't extremely confident with yourself. ;) At 17 years old he made me nervous, and I wasn't scared of much. :eek:

I ended up spending time with DALLAS in Hong Kong playing on the same team representing the USA with Mark Wilson and Earl Strickland and Dallas was a charismatic man, a true gentleman and I can't say enough about how well he dressed and carried himself.....he was a great example for me (growing up), and I'll always admire his stellar image as a true professional.
Dallas%20West%2086%20325.jpg
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In December 2005, Dallas West was one of the BCA Hall of Famers that was given a gift of $30,000 by Kevin Trudeau, the man some on this forum seem to despise with a vengeance, for just coming to Orlando to compete in the King of the Hill event. Each BCA Hall of Famer was also given not only $30,000, but they each had two byes in the tournament, which included Efren Reyes, who won.

Here's Dallas West in December 2005 in Orlando. Quite a dapper-looking gentleman with burgandy tuxedo and cool vest, wouldn't you say? :cool:
 

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Rico

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
You are right CJ Dallas ran 9 on John and the place didnt even notice 2 tables awa y Buddy beat Allen 9-2 with Buddy never missing, just played safe once.Buddy won9-6 in the finals. Dallas made me money in Detroit in the Stroughs beer 14.1 tour. Dallas forgot to clear the pocket playing Danny DeLibirto on a big run, the ball came back out on the table .Danny proceeded to run out. But Dallas came back to the finals against Steve Mizzerac and had to beat him twice. Nobody gave Dallas a chance , Mezz had four onehundred ball runs.I got 4-1 bet i bet $50 yep Dallas wins and let the bet ride turn $50 into $800 .To me Dallas is one of the best all around players of alltime.
 

Tobermory

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have not had much chance to be around Dallas West, but let me offer a few random thoughts.

Somewhere on the Web there is a video of Dallas running one hundred balls and then doing a commentary in which he explains what he was trying to do on each shot. As he gets to the ninety-eighth and ninety-ninth balls, the shots become more difficult. You can just feel, and sometimes hear, the spectators pulling for him. On an Accu-Stats tape, Grady Mathews says that West made this run on his first attempt.

If you would like to get the tenor of the man, get the Accu-Stats video of the early-twenties John Schmidt playing the coming-out-of-retirement Mike Sigel. (The one in which Sigel breaks his cue.) Schmidt plays a wide-open game, to say the least. The cue ball flies all over. Balls get shot into the two top corner pockets to solve positional problems. Dallas West is doing the commentary with someone else. Neither commentator can believe that Schmidt is giving Sigel fits (and will eventually win) playing this way. West was the master of the control game. Open up four or five balls, run those, and then break out four more. Et cetera through the rack. Move the cue ball as little as possible. Schmidt is doing everything West wouldn’t. At one point, West clearly thinks that he and the other commentator may have been a little too tough on the newcomer. He says, “It’s not that we don’t like the young man. We don’t know him!”

West was a regular in the fields of the BCA Straight Pool Championships played every August in Chicago in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s. He had coal black hair which he slicked straight back with lots of pomade. He had a square chin. A reporter for a Chicago newspaper wrote, “How did this man ever escape getting the nickname ‘Dick Tracy.’” After someone pointed it out to you, you couldn’t miss it!

West played in the IPT Eight Ball tournament at The Venetian, about six years ago. I saw him play Scott Frost. By that time West had lost height and strength. First he won a game. Winner broke. West hit the rack with a thermonuclear device. The cue ball rolled ever so gently back to precisely between the two side pockets. With the balls spread all over creation, West ran the rack out as if it were straight pool. Then he broke the next rack. The same ear-shattering explosion. The same trickling cue ball back to the same spot. The same run out with no excess motion of the cue ball. This pattern repeated itself several times. At one point Frost turned to the crowd, gave a dramatic shrug of his shoulders, and grinned in a way that said, “What am I supposed to do?”

At that tournament, I stopped Dallas West and spoke with him. He was cordial and generous with his time. Can we clone him?
 

middleofnowhere

Registered
Just got done looking at the BCA hall of famers and one guy you don't hear much about is Dallas West. Does anyone have any stories about this hof?

Just curious, I have met him a number of times and drew him a few times in tournaments. Is Dallas West his real name? It sounds made up.
 

huckster

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I had some side action once when JR Gay played what I thought was an over the hill Dallas West in some straight pool tourny JR broke safe Dallas left him up on the endrail JR leaves dallas a shot, Dallas goes 125 and out.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Dallas West was a truly top notch player. I went to a bar table tournament in Clinton Iowa when I was 17 years old and EVERYONE was there, Sigel, Hopkins, Hall, Mizerak, Louie Roberts, Jimmy Reid, LA KEITH, Rempe, etc.

I was road partners with Omaha John - John got the semis and had to play Dallas West....Dallas ran the set out on John (9 and out, and looked like he could run 20) to get to the finals against Buddy Hall.

Buddy refused to play Dallas on the same table and I believe Buddy beat Dallas in the Finals. I'm not 100% on the details, but I am POSITIVE Dallas ran that 9 and OUT.....he was a brutally strong player, and Straight Pool was his best game if I remember correctly.

Dallas was also one of the those "old school" players that had a intense presence....he could make a chill go down your spine if you weren't extremely confident with yourself. ;) At 17 years old he made me nervous, and I wasn't scared of much. :eek:

I ended up spending time with DALLAS in Hong Kong playing on the same team representing the USA with Mark Wilson and Earl Strickland and Dallas was a charismatic man, a true gentleman and I can't say enough about how well he dressed and carried himself.....he was a great example for me (growing up), and I'll always admire his stellar image as a true professional.
Dallas%20West%2086%20325.jpg

CJ, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you play Dallas after winning the World Series of Pool "amateur" division. He had won the pro division and then you guys met in a playoff. You were still Carson J. Palmer then, high school champion! :p

Dallas was (and is) a good man, who went about his business quietly and matter of factly, kicking ass all the way! :rolleyes:
He was always a threat to win no matter who he was playing or what game (except One Pocket which he despised). Dallas was a top ten player throughout his career. He somehow managed to stay under the radar for the most part, but the other players were very much aware of his presence.

In addition to being a great pool player, he was an excellent Three Cushion player as well. He reminded me of Elvis, with his slicked back hair and long sideburns. A cool guy, a real man, soft spoken, who let his cue do the talking!
 

Mikjary

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I played Dallas in a 9 ball tourney in Chicago years ago. I was in stroke and had him 3 to 1. He rolled out on the 2 ball (2 shot foul rules) down on the short rail, 9 feet away. I looked at it for a second... no bank open and only a corner of the object ball showing. Not wanting to turn the cue ball loose, I passed it back.

That was the last time I got up to shoot that session. Dallas cut the 2 ball about 100 degrees on a backward cut and the rest is history. I later took lessons from him. Quite the gentleman and a fierce competitor.

Best,
Mike
 

kkdanamatt

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Dallas West -- a class act

One of the all time greatest names anywhere.......!! :smile:

I refereed a few of Dallas West's Straight Pool matches back in the 1980's and can attest to the fact that he was both respected and feared by all his opponents.

He holds World Titles in 8-ball, 9-ball and 14.1 Straight Pool....five in all.

His high run in Straight Pool is 468 on a 9 foot table and he's run over 80 balls left-handed!

Dallas is a true gentleman. His appearance, demeanor and skill secured his place in the Hall of Fame.

Tom Karabotsos sometimes practices with Dallas and told me that Dallas, whose about 72 years old, can still run 100 balls.
 

KeithS66

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have always been a Dallas West fan. I first read about him as a kid in the Thomas Fensch book The Lions and The Lambs. I must have checked it out of the library a couple of hundred times back in the 70's. BD has had articles on him and I've got a couple of Accu-Stats videos of him. What great player and gentleman.
 

SloMoHolic

When will then be now?
Silver Member
Thanks for all the stories so far! I love threads like this!

I don't have any stories about Dallas, but the little "jump-billiard" shot at 3:12 in one of my slomo videos was based on a straight pool break out shot that he was known to perform. He would elevate, cut a ball in, and jump the cue ball right into the middle of the stack. I'm sure it was a "just for fun" shot. I don't remember where I first heard of that shot, but I know it was Dallas that inspired me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdWnR1wFsc0
 

sjm

Older and Wiser
Silver Member
Dallas was one of the best 14.1 pattern players in the world, on a par with guys like Sigel, Crane, Rempe and Varner.

I recall the 1992 14.1 Championships in New York, most remembered for Sigel's 150 and out on Zuglan and Zuglan's subsequent run of 148 against Ray Martin. In the end, after losing to Sigel, Zuglan still managed to get to the loser's bracket final, to be played on the final afternoon with Sigel awaiting the winner in the hot seat. He'd need to beat Dallas West for the chance to play Sigel for the title.

I remember that I was not able to attend the afternoon session and I missed the match. As I walked into the evening session at the Roosevelt Hotel, I saw Mike, still in his tuxedo, and asked him how it went in the afternoon session. His reply was "don't even ask." If memory serves, West had flattened him in two innings.

Several years later, in 1999, I'm walking down 57th Street, vey near my home, in NYC and notice none other than Dallas West walking toward me. I couldn't imagine what he was doing in NYC. Surely he wouldn't recognize me, although we'd met a few times over the years, so I took the initiative of approaching him. Turned out that he was in town (with Tom Karabotsos) for a straight pool event.

Dallas West is rightly remembered as one of the all-time greats, and is one of the most knowledgeable players of recent times.
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This, from a couple of years ago:

#####
Well, I finally did it and got my 14.1 lesson with the great Dallas West.

Just by way of background: I got some Accu-Stats 1pocket DVDs for Christmas this past year from my wife. But the gift that really got me was a series of small boxes she had individually wrapped and then strung together. She insisted I open them in order.

The first was a gift certificate that she had personally made up on the computer, complete with graphics, that entitled me to gas money to the city of Rockford, IL. The second box, also with artwork, had another gift certificate, valid for dinner at any restaurant in Rockford. The third was another gift certificate with a photo of a Marriott property in Rockford and good for a one night stay. And the final box held, surprise, one last certificate. It had on it a color picture of Dallas West and was good for "One Pool Lesson with Dallas West."

Apparently, sometime during the last year I had said over dinner that one day I'd love to get a 14.1 lesson from Dallas West, up in Illinois, or perhaps Ray Martin, if I was ever out in Florida again. She had figured out where Dallas was and put together the boxes for my gift. (Sorry about that, Ray.)

As a 14.1 aficionado, I have always considered Dallas to be one of the Straight Pool Greats, with a very pure 14.1 style. Even back on RSB, his name would occasionally come up and I recall discussing a Dallas West vs. Nick Varner match with Grady commenting and relating that Dallas got so good at 14.1 by repeatedly throwing three balls on the table and then practicing getting on a break shot.

Back at the 2000 DCC I actually got a chance to play the great man himself, in the 1pocket division. And, if you ever get a chance to see the Accu-Stats Grady/Varner match, you may catch a glimpse of me playing Dallas on an adjoining table. He beat me 3-2 (I had him 2-1!). Dallas was gracious in victory and provided me with what was probably the highlight of the tournament for me personally. Now admittedly, he may say this to all the girls, but as we were shaking hands after the match he said, "I really like your game. I was lucky to beat you." For a guy that came up playing straight pool and idolized the 14.1 gods, that meant a lot coming from a World Champion Hall of Fame guy like Dallas. That same year, at the 2000 US Open 14.1 Championship in NYC, I was repeatedly drawn to his matches and watched him play and defeat Ginky and John Schmidt and lose to Efren.

And so, with the help of Duane Tuula (thanks, Duane!) and subsequently Dallas’ son, I was eventually able to get in personal contact with Dallas and set up a lesson in Rockford. As I spoke to him on the phone I told him that my basic idea was not to spend much time on basics, but rather let me pop a rack wide open, start a run, and have him talk me through the shots, position, and racks, explaining why one shot should be selected over another.

So on a Monday morning about three weeks ago, I met Dallas and his wife, Shirley, at the Rockford Denny’s and we sat and chatted a bit. Dallas is still as gentlemanly and cordial as ever and over coffee he explained to me that he doesn’t shoot much anymore, having had an eye operation to insert a lens that didn’t quite take -- he said that nowadays he has difficulty focusing out past six feet. We drove out to his studio in a converted barracks out near the Rockford Airport. An old Brunswick table with clay style balls, and true to my request, he had me set up a break ball and that’s were the fun started.

I asked him about break ball theory and asked him to set up the balls for his ideal break situation. And he showed me the set up and where he wanted to go into the stack. That alone was worth a lot. From there we went off to discuss break balls in general: do you prefer a higher or lower break ball (higher); all things being equal will you chose a poorer break ball on the left side in lieu of a better position on the right side (right side); do you play for break balls underneath the rack (no, it sends too many balls up table); do you favor follow or draw for your break shots (draw, to a surprising degree).

And then we had a chuckle when I asked him what he thought of the side pocket break, popular at Bob’s DCC 14.1 Challenge. He didn’t know about this event, so I explained as much as I knew and we finally came back to my original question and he kind of just shook his head and asked me, with a twinkle in his eye, “I don’t like it. Let me ask you something: when they shoot that break shot, what happens? Do the balls open up pretty good?”

And I said, “Sure -- they bust wide open.” And he shot back, “Exactly. And that’s why it’s no good -- it opens them up too much. You lose control of the balls.” And that’s when he threw out one of what was to be many simple but insightful gems, “Work the rack, don’t let the rack work you.” From there we talked about Mosconi, and Greenleaf, and Caras, and Joe Diehl and their preferred styles of playing and breaking and he showed me Caras’ favored break shot which made me blurt out, “Really?!”

All this and neither of us had hit a ball yet.

And so he said, ”Let’s go, open them up” and I rearranged the balls to his favored position and off we went. Each shot, I’d suggest a ball to be shot and what position to be played and often, frequently, well, almost every time I was wrong and he’d correct me and say, “No, you want to do this instead” and then explain why. In all honesty, I’d have to calculate that I was wrong in my selection around 60% of the time. At another point I had two balls on the end rail behind the rack and it was an obvious play: shoot the first ball into the right pocket, lay the cue ball on the rail for position for a gentle back cut on the second ball to the opposite pocket to go up table. I shoot the first ball and lay it on the rail and he stops me and says, “No. You let it go too far.”

What I had done was to gently shoot the first ball with slow follow and the cue ball had rolled forward, like maybe an inch or two. What Dallas was telling me was that the right way to shoot the shot was with draw to bring the cue ball back an inch or two: a total discrepancy of maybe three inches and he said, “That’s what you have to do: fight for every inch, don’t get lazy.” That was an eye opener.

And so it went, shot after shot until, without realizing it, I had run somewhere around 70-80 balls fresh out of the gate. When I finally missed (I had no shot and was frozen against the stack and missed a table length kick) he said, “You have a real nice touch, Lou. And, I know you didn’t want to get into basics, but… would you like to know what took me from being a 70-ball runner to the next level? Because I can see that’s where you’re at and it’s something you could work on.” And I said (wait for it), “Yes.” And he told me and frankly it’s not something I’m going to give away. You all need to see Dallas for that one, but believe me, it has been helping me *A Lot.* In this same vein, he showed me two shots and their variants that he said were essential for me to learn to excel at straight pool (I knew one of them from my 1pocket endeavors, but not the other.)

We also talked about aiming systems and I described current thoughts on the subject and he just shook his head and said, “Just an appeal to the vanity of man.” (I’ll let you figure out what he meant by that ;-) Manufacturing, or as he likes to call it, “fabricating” break balls and key balls. How to use other object balls to break up clusters. How some cut shots are deceptive. How to kill cue ball angles off object balls. He showed me caroms and combos and in particular a two-ball frozen combo that I swear I thought wouldn’t go. (In fact, I was incredulous and swore it wouldn’t go. But he showed me how to do it.)

At the end of four hours I could tell he was getting a little tired (he’s 70 now, but looks great) and I called it a wrap. Honestly, spending those four hours with Dallas was probably one of the best things I‘ve ever done for my pool game and I loved every minute of it. For the entire time I spent with him I felt as though Dallas was willing to share with me any and all knowledge he had and provided a thoughtful answer to each of my queries. And here’s one of the best things about the whole experience that goes beyond any specific tidbit of information he gave me: when I play 14.1 now, I hear Dallas in my head as if we were still back in his studio while he is talking me though the racks. I now have him in my brain and know what the right shot is. And, it’s kinda funny because every once in a while I’ll go against what Dallas is telling me to do and, almost invariably, the shot turns out badly for me and I have to laugh out loud -- me, the student, questioning The Master.

And so that’s it. If you love 14.1, and can get to Rockford, IL, you need to go now.
#####

Lou Figueroa
 

3kushn

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dallas West was a truly top notch player. I went to a bar table tournament in Clinton Iowa when I was 17 years old and EVERYONE was there, Sigel, Hopkins, Hall, Mizerak, Louie Roberts, Jimmy Reid, LA KEITH, Rempe, etc.

I was road partners with Omaha John - John got the semis and had to play Dallas West....Dallas ran the set out on John (9 and out, and looked like he could run 20) to get to the finals against Buddy Hall.

Buddy refused to play Dallas on the same table and I believe Buddy beat Dallas in the Finals. I'm not 100% on the details, but I am POSITIVE Dallas ran that 9 and OUT.....he was a brutally strong player, and Straight Pool was his best game if I remember correctly.

Dallas was also one of the those "old school" players that had a intense presence....he could make a chill go down your spine if you weren't extremely confident with yourself. ;) At 17 years old he made me nervous, and I wasn't scared of much. :eek:

I ended up spending time with DALLAS in Hong Kong playing on the same team representing the USA with Mark Wilson and Earl Strickland and Dallas was a charismatic man, a true gentleman and I can't say enough about how well he dressed and carried himself.....he was a great example for me (growing up), and I'll always admire his stellar image as a true professional.
Dallas%20West%2086%20325.jpg
Not half bad at 3-Cushion either.
Actually could play with the best we had in his hay day.
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Just got done looking at the BCA hall of famers and one guy you don't hear much about is Dallas West. Does anyone have any stories about this hof?
Here is a peripheral story about him leaving California in a hurry one time:
http://forums.azbilliards.com/showpost.php?p=3176904&postcount=14

In the 1975 US Open, he was my first match. I opened with a pretty good safety but he found an off-angle combination in the head of the rack and ran 70. I managed to answer with a 28 which I thought was pretty good for the circumstances (first big tournament, in a suit and tie). He won that tournament, so I felt better about the loss.
 
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