Have you any good stories about underworld characters you met in Pool Rooms?

Get_A_Grip

Truth Will Set You Free
Silver Member
I've not gambled against any mafia members that I was aware of. But I was strong-armed once by a group of guys that had a strategy of simply raising the bet, and if their player lost, the biggest guy would threaten the winner and claim that you weren't really playing for $20 a game, you were only playing for $1 a game. And yes, I ended up surrounded by 4 guys and a huge bouncer and I had to just pull my winnings out of my pocket and let them pick through and take back my winnings and replace each bill over a dollar with a $1 bill. They lied and told the bouncer that we really were only playing for $1 a game and that I took or stole the exta money from them. And the meathead bouncer believed them -- or he was actually in on the scam too. LOL

I've also played a drug dealer. We started at $20 a game and he won about 1 game out of 4. Then he asked to play for $100 a game, I said sure. He lived nearby and left and came back with more money. Playing for $100 a game, I slowed down more and won the first 2 games. He commented that I am playing much better now for $100 than I was earlier (insinuating that I was hustling him). Next thing I know, he had called two of his "buddies" and they were watching me like a hawk and getting involved in our games and accusing me of pulling moves. The owner of the place warned me that he heard them talking that they were going to kick my @ss. I think I won between $400-500 and eventually the drug dealer stopped playing. I did get out with the money and in one piece.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
Guy wanted to be partners with me. A "made man" for those that know what that means! I didn't want to be involved with him so I kinda tiptoed around for a few times. This guy was about my height but his shoulders came out of the side of his ears! Looked like he was wearing football gear when he was in a t-shirt. He wasn't long out of the joint and he wasn't long before going back. It was obvious this guy was muscle, not brains.

Made friends with another guy, it wasn't until we were friends that I learned that he used to be known as the head of organized crime in the area. Used to go around with a car load of heavies. He had fenced tons of dope for the local state troopers and even then was the liaison between the cops and heavy criminals around there.

Many nights I went into places owned and ran by real heavies, Mother And Fathers Italian Association. First thing I did when I went in the place was check if one of the owners was there. If they were I stopped and paid my respects first then went about my business. I had problems right outside their businesses a few times, never inside. If I ever had trouble inside I wanted to be seen as a "good boy". There was the occasional token police raid, meant nothing with the chief of police in the illegal poker game down the hall. The lights would go off and it sounded like a hail storm with all of the stuff hitting the floor!

Earlier I had found some ten footers over there and was learning on them. Rarely somebody else playing in that dank old hall. One night somebody was playing me, I lost, he tried to up the bet 1000% when he came to collect. He was far bigger than me so I broke a house cue and thrust it in his face, opened him up from the corner of his mouth to his ear. Nobody cared, I was back in there playing three nights later. They wouldn't have cared any more if the other guy had robbed me. Neither of us were connected. It was after this incident that I started paying my respects. I didn't need or want to be connected, I did need to be recognized as a good boy. I really was a boy then but everyone was a "boy" when the man was talking about them until well into their thirties.

Hu
 

fjk

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK, I've got one:

Back in the 80s when I was 17 or 18, I was playing some guy I've seen before but didn't really know. I can't recall how much we were playing for..$40 seems to ring a bell. So we were playing straight pool and about half way through the game I think we both knew I was the stronger player and was going to win. So the guy takes a break to get something to eat (our pool room made burgers and finger food). We were on time and I thought it was kind of rude, but no big deal, I waited.

He comes back and makes a comment something about me quitting. I said "what are you talking about?". Now our voices are raised and people are listening. This guys loudly states I quit and I need to pay him. I raised my voice to match his and told him what a liar he was and he had his choice to either finish the game or pay me my $40. Now this guy knows full well what happened. For some reason he must have just decided he didn't like me and was going to try to intimidate me. That wasn't going to work on me.

This guy was pretty big, probably 6'1" and 250 or so. We start pushing each other around the pool hall, waiting for someone to take the first swing. At about this time I notice this other guy VERY interested in what was going on. He was so close to us, I thought he was this guy's buddy and about to join in and double team me. I still didn't back down.

No punches were thrown and eventually it de-escalated. Later I learned the guy I was playing was a very well-know drug dealer. That guy who was right by us when we were pushing each other around was his personal bodyguard. I heard that he was waiting for me to throw and punch and then he was going to shoot me in the head right there and then. Freaking drug dealers.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I used to play a guy that a few different people told me was dangerous and I should probably steer clear of him.

He needed a spot and we played 50 to 100 a game, he rarely came out ahead and I never won real big... Over the course of a couple years, I was probably 2-4k winner and we played prob 30-50x, I'd guess.

Dude never made any trouble with me and though we had very different home lives, I think we kind of had a pretty good rapport. I asked him once why he never tried to adjust the game and he pulled out a fat knot, said to me... I got boxes of this s*** at home, what am I going to do with it, put it in the bank?"

Things they did not reach me of in college....:eek:

I had a former medium large sized dealer worked for me, an honest trade. He told me the same thing about money, a closet full and no way to launder it. He said when the Thunderbird cars were hot he sometimes bought one after a one night stand and gave the girl, nothing better to do with the cash. Bought it in her name of course. This was the 77-79 model so maybe ten grand or a bit less.

Funny to think the biggest problem some of those guys had was figuring out how to launder their money.

Hu
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This was early wifi, its more exciting calling it spying than saying performing maintenance and experimental tests.
Did you like listening to science fair projects? Evolution of presentation is happening in many fields except billiards.
When I was in the military I was in something called the NSG. Look that up.

Our adversaries don't have to spy. They bribe and blackmail corrupt politicians and officials to give them what they want.
 

gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Stumbled into a $50 eight ball game in Chico, CA. In the course of busting him at $650, I had 3 people that I didn’t know whisper in my ear, “Beat this guy, he’s a drug dealer.” On the way home I commented to my wife that with all the people telling me he was a drug dealer I didn’t expect him to be on the street much longer. Clipped him for another $100 the next night. The next day he was residing at the Many Bar Hotel.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
When I was in the military I was in something called the NSG. Look that up.

Our adversaries don't have to spy. They bribe and blackmail corrupt politicians and officials to give them what they want.
i dont care what group you are in. were you the person that invented the technology or concepts. you could be donald trump and i would still say the samething.

explaining what a bribe is does not give you a free pass. And you didnt relate that entire post to pool.
When I was in the military I was in something called the NSG. Look that up.

Our adversaries don't have to spy. They bribe and blackmail corrupt politicians and officials to give them what they want.
"Our adversaries" unless you share a key phrase that only I would know, then there is no our. I think your Vladimir Putin.

unless you share a public profile that everyone on the forum can view then you are the spy.
 

alstl

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i dont care what group you are in. were you the person that invented the technology or concepts. you could be donald trump and i would still say the samething.

explaining what a bribe is does not give you a free pass. And you didnt relate that entire post to pool.

"Our adversaries" unless you share a key phrase that only I would know, then there is no our. I think your Vladimir Putin.

unless you share a public profile that everyone on the forum can view then you are the spy.
Okay I confess. I'm a spy. Now what?
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i dont care what group you are in. were you the person that invented the technology or concepts. you could be donald trump and i would still say the samething.

explaining what a bribe is does not give you a free pass. And you didnt relate that entire post to pool.

"Our adversaries" unless you share a key phrase that only I would know, then there is no our. I think your Vladimir Putin.

unless you share a public profile that everyone on the forum can view then you are the spy.
"And you didnt relate that entire post to pool."
 

CJ Wiley

ESPN WORLD OPEN CHAMPION
Gold Member
Silver Member
Speaking of Underworld Characters, anybody like the movie CASINO - I have a story about Joe Pesci that happened during the time he was in that movie.....he is a pool player by the way, who knew?

It was the early 90s, and a few pro players were in Las Vegas playing at the Mirage , a tournament called 'Challenge of Champions' - we had a day off and Bobby Baldwin (Pro Poker player and then President of the Mirage Casino) invited 4 of us to play Steve Wynn's private golf course called 'Shadow Creek'. *

This virtual "Shangri-La" is a 60 million dollar golf course with trees, grass and sand from different countries on every hole. Steve W. only allowed (at the time) 4-6 groups to play on any given day. It was free to play and you were not allowed to tip Steve's employees (he paid them handsomely, and it would have been an insult to tip them).

After the round we were sitting in the clubhouse and in walks Joe Pesci.

I didn't know what to say, however, Allen didn't hesitate "hey Joe, how's the golf game these days?"

Joe looked quickly at Allen and lit up, smiling ear to ear, "Allen Hopkins, it's been a long time, did you get lost, there's no pool tables around here!" both smiled in acknowledgment and Joe came right over and sat down with us.

Allen introduced us and we sat and talked for about 45 minutes, what a serene moment. Joe seemed like just a normal, humorus fella - who would have guessed he is a Hollywood star? I was a bit uncomfortable at first, however, they both made a point of including me in the conversation, which immediately "took the edge off" the scenario.

Allen and Joe traded stories about the pool room in New Jersey they both frequented a few years earlier. They knew many of the same pool players and Joe sounded like he'd spent his share of hours watching the "action" games.

We all traded "good by's" - Allen and I headed out to the waiting Limo, my mind still trying to process what had just happened. It was like I had been transported into a movie for an hour and was now attempting to get back to "reality".

On the way to the front, in the lounge, we saw one of the most visually stunning women I had ever seen.....was she waiting on someone? (I was pretty sure it wasn't me)
😉


That's right, she was accompanying Joe Pesci (it was that moment I realized Joe was no "normal" guy) - Joe and the lovely lady left out of the side entrance to their waiting car and were gone in an instant. I looked at Allen and he just smiled, with a sparkle in his eye "Joe's a trip isn't he?" ......I just nodded my head, mesmerized by the moment.

Later that evening we found out they were both in Las Vegas working on a movie called 'CASINO'. The Vegas opinion at the Mirage was the movie should do "pretty well" at the Box Office.....and so it did!
 

cscott67

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
About 15 years ago a couple of local drug dealers killed a guy, and buried him in concrete in the basement of a house after wrapping the victim in plastic. Unfortunately for them they buried him with his cell phone on.....

About a month prior I was gambling with one of them at the pool hall. You never really know who you are playing with sometimes.......Always pays to be respectful. Doc
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
I was out playing pool hanging with my friends, living the good life, while I left my parents buried alive fighting each other alone. To this day I still wonder whether or not I could have made a difference being more involved and patient. Now that pool is over and social distancing a health directive, that time will be gone forever as lost opportunities.
 

jrhendy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We used to leave the pool room and go play poker at my place. One of the regular big losers was Big George. He did not work and always had $. We were riding to the game in his car and I was riding in the back seat. There was a bag halfway under the seat and I took a look. There was a mask and a gun in it. I never said a word. He later got busted robbing the local market where he shopped sometimes.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have several stories about Hoods that I shared in my two books. The first one was about the time I beat the President of the local Gypsy Jokers motorcycle club out of all the money he had on him (well over a grand) and his Harley. I had the title to his bike and it was locked up outside the bar we played in and I had the key. He owed me $1,000 on the bike and called me two days later to get it back. He paid me the money and I gave him back his title and the key. WHEEEE!! There's more to this story. The same guy got arrested less than a month later and it was on the front page of the Santa Barbara newspaper. Turns out he was the biggest drug dealer around and they found many thousands worth of drugs in his home AND a Thompson sub-machine-gun! Oh yeah! There's still more but that's enough for now.

Where I grew up in Dayton the Stepp Gang was notorious. Often members of the gang hung out at the poolroom I frequented. They liked to brag about their illegal activities and were proud when their name got in the newspaper for some recent crime. A hustler from Mansfield, Ohio named Bill Stigall came in there and hustled one of the regulars who was an acquaintance of the gang members. They decided to teach Bill a lesson. The next time he came in, they made sure he got into a big game where each side put up $400. A spectator was enlisted to hold the money and sit by the table while they played. Maybe 30 minutes into the session a guy comes in waving a big gun around looking for the spectator who was holding the money. He found him and when he saw the bulge in his shirt pocket, he ripped the pocket (and the money) right off his shirt. When Bill objected, saying that the stake money was for the game he was playing, the guy pointed the gun at him and told him to get back. He did as told! We were all ducking under pool tables. I'd never seen anything like this before. The guy then walked out of the poolrom and no one followed him!

The next day I go back to the poolroom and there they are, all sitting together and having a big laugh - the spectator, the gunman and a couple of the Stepp boys. I was dumbfounded, WTF was going on? One of my buddy's there was was a lot older and wiser than me, and he told me it was all a set up to steal Stigall's money and it worked perfectly. I never saw Bill Stigall in that room again.
 
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straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One of those Ronnie Allen blogs, he goes at length about being in debt and gets steered to Mexico to hustle golf. Yup the future cartel guys. Hilarious but only in a very dark way. I always stuck to the players I tagged along with. Din ass no questions. lol...
 

Icon of Sin

I can't fold, I need gold. I re-up and reload...
Silver Member
I watched Jayson Shaw's infant child at Steinway billiards during the tournament. (I didn't watch the whole time, I didn't know it was a family event)
I stood watching many pros at Amsterdam Billiards.
I have competed against league players who keep their identities anonymous. I think the league I played in is full of foreign agents or espionage saboteurs. In today's generation its normal to share social media. There are no invisible worms that the NSA uses to monitor you checking your inbox for emails from people that forgot about you. They even know how often you click a website to refresh for udpate.

If I mention a name, no one will know who I am talking about.
 

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