How good was Keith McCready?

WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The very first time I met Keith was between '03-'06 at the infamous Tuesday night tourney at the old Champions Laurel. I know there's at least a handful of posters in this thread that will remember that tournament and the caliber of players that were in it, week in week out. Every week you had pros, more road players than you could shake a stick at, plenty of regional Champs etc etc! Of course on any given day anyone can win a race to 9; BUT, IMHO there were only two players really that Keith may have had to worry about. They were Mike Davis and Danny Green. Truth be told Keith was probably the favorite over both of them at the time but all three play " JAM " ( see what I did there Jammy ��) UP!!! I'd also go as far to say imo on any ( and really every ) week Keith was even money against the field. Keith and I were between rounds in the tourney, I walked over to introduce myself and told him I was a fan. I actually asked if he would play a few with me while we were waiting on our next matches to keep loose. He said sure so we did for a bit . I immediately liked Keith as even though he was famous and shot lights out pool he was very down to Earth and just as nice and friendly as can be. We all know how some Champions can be if they don't know you but it was nothing like that with Keith and that impressed me as much if not more than how good he plays.

Keith, CONGRATS on your induction buddy ! !! You truly deserve it and I'm so happy both both of yall!

PS - Jammy, if your travel is still up in the air hit me up. Ttyl☺

Absolutely right. However, it didn't start with Champions in Laurel. It really got going with Champions in Shirlington, Virginia. Late 1989, incredible, no pool rooms around, other than Champions in the little Westmont shopping center on Glebe Road.

I think it was either a Monday or Tuesday night nine ball tournament in Shirlington that got things really going. All the greats were there. Jimmy Mac, Shorty (Jim Henson), Bill Elliott, Danny Green, Freddie and Scotty Boggs, and a host of others. Even Billy Stephen from Richmond showed up. It was actually Jimmy Mac who got the Mid Atlantic Regional Circuit (MARC) going, before Planet Pool became a reality.

That's when Keith came in, Planet Pool. He showed up at Orange Ball in Rockville, Champions in Rockville, and Champions in Laurel. I rarely saw him taken down, though Allen Duty from Richmond did it once, and Mike Davis a couple times. Keith was a regular in Planet Pool, and it drew folks to watch him.

I miss those days.

All the best,
WW
 
Last edited:

smashmouth

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
interesting to me that for TCOM Hollywood needed massive A list actors and Director to pull off a pool movie
and they got the best of the best in Cruise, Newman and Scorcesse, not to mention the ridiculously amazing supporting cast with Forrest Whittaker, John Tuturo, etc....

it took em all of five minutes without knowing jack about the game to figure out which pool player would be their hollywood equivalent
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...!

That is a whole slew of people from the mccumber book too!

And a few RIPs, for those who have left us.

Absolutely right. However, it didn't start with Champions in Laurel. It really got going with Champions in Shirlington, Virginia. Late 1989, incredible, no pool rooms around, other than Champions in the little Westmont shopping center on Glebe Road.

I think it was either a Monday or Tuesday night nine ball tournament in Shirlington that got things really going. All the greats were there. Jimmy Mac, Shorty (Jim Henson), Bill Elliott, Danny Green, Freddie and Scotty Boggs, and a host of others. Even Billy Stephen from Richmond showed up. It was actually Jimmy Mac who got the Mid Atlantic Regional Circuit (MARC) going, before Planet Pool became a reality.

That's when Keith came in, Planet Pool. He showed up at Orange Ball in Rockville, Champions in Rockville, and Champions in Laurel. I rarely saw him taken down, though Allen Duty from Richmond did it once, and Mike Davis a couple times. Keith was a regular in Planet Pool, and it drew folks to watch him.

I miss those days.

All the best,
WW
 

john noe

Registered
Keith in his prime playing rollout 9 ball was the best player I have ever seen. He was the best shotmaker I have ever seen. He would roll out to a very low percentage shots and make it like it was in front of the pocket. I know most of you thing I am exaggerating but I'm not. His high gear was unbeatable by anybody. When rollout was played you had to be a shotmaker and he was the best shotmaker in the world bar none. Its hard to explain how good he played. His confidence was also unbeatable in his high gear.

One example was in a tournament playing at the Sports Arena in Anaheim Hills, CA. He was playing Jay "Swanee" Swanson on TIGHT 9' Rebco tables. It was a race to 7 and Jay had Keith 6-1. Swanee broke the balls and came up dry when Keith jumped up out of his chair and told the Swanee that just cost him the set (in front of at least 75 people). Keith proceeded to run 6 and out to win the set.

I'm sure Keith has had more 10 pacs than anybody else has ever had. If he made a serious effort to play again I hope some pros would play him some roll out 9 ball. All I can say is DON'T BET AGAINST HIM!
I have seen, on YouTube the talent of Keith McCready when he was playing in his prime. I do not disagree with any claim you made. He played as far above the ball as I've ever seen and had this side arm stroke that never left him from childhood and not being able to reach the table. His confidence level was as good or better than anyone I've ever seen. In his prime he was almost my favorite player to watch. He places 2nd to the Pearl but not by much. Cheers
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Probably said more than once on the prior pages, but Keith's forte was not tournaments with the scrubs like me.

He laid it down for the cask and you can be damn sure he played power pool for hours on end, not for a single hour, a la tournaments.
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have seen, on YouTube the talent of Keith McCready when he was playing in his prime. I do not disagree with any claim you made. He played as far above the ball as I've ever seen and had this side arm stroke that never left him from childhood and not being able to reach the table. His confidence level was as good or better than anyone I've ever seen. In his prime he was almost my favorite player to watch. He places 2nd to the Pearl but not by much. Cheers

I noticed something odd, I think a match with him and Jose Parica. He has as pretty and straight of a pendulum stroke as you could possibly hope to see, ... when he is shooting left handed! Might be one reason he doesn't hesitate to shoot with his off hand when it is for all the marbles.

Hu
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For a time he was one of the top three $$ players on the west coast when there were a LOT of really good players. A lot of people mistook his weird style for an inability to play. Their depleted bankroll said otherwise.
 

GaryB

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For me Keith along with Efren are my favorites to have watched. When Keith caught his gear only his mouth could keep up with him.

Quick story. John Schmidt had been learning 1 Hole from Cooney during the afternoons at Hard Times. It had been going on for a long time and the spot Jack was giving John was getting smaller and smaller. One Tues John came in from Victorville. He was know as "Victorville John" back then. He and Jack were getting ready to play and John said to Jack "I thought I was learning all of the right moves from you and then Friday night I played Keith for 2K." Jack turns and asks John "How did that go." John answered "He broke every rule you taught me and took me down for 2K." They both shook their heads and laughed.

Keith was a wonder. There were times when So. Cal had big tournaments at the Gambling casinos almost always after the tournament the pros would show up at Hard Times. I saw nights pass when Keith couldn't scrape up a game with world renowned players in the room.

He was fun and the stories would boggle your mind. The majority of the stories probably true.
 

Tooler

Inside Engrish Prease
Silver Member
It will be much more entertaing when keith is hanging out with Jimmy mattaya either playing pool or brewiskieing.I will pay to watch these two guys together.That will be the best entertainment any pool fan can ask for.:cool:
HaHa...

The Brew Brothers🤣

Two of the most entertaining players in the last 50 years.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I became aware of him from the Color of Money ("It just keeps gettin' worse and worse doesn't?" or "The impossible dream!' haha). So I decided to search for any of his matches on Youtube. The only matches I found were a match against Earl from '88 and match with Buddy Hall from '03. In the '03 match he was clearly past his prime but against Earl he looked very strong and he's probably the most entertaining player I've seen play with his sidearm stroke, upright stance, and fast and loose pace. But he's never mentioned on here. Would love to see more of his matches posted. Was he just not that good or what?
He was a great player, most of his best play was in the 70s and 80s, then I stopped seeing him in the East he may have still been playing in California or Vegas at a high level, and I just didn't hear about him. He always seemed more of a gambler than tournament player to me . Although he did play in tournaments, he had usually been up all day and night for 3 days, before the semi finals, playing money matches , so he would usually be out of gas, or be so pumped up on his winnings, that the incentive wasn't there.
I used to love to hear him chirp, he was a master.
I asked Grady what he thought, and he said he believed Keith could have been the greatest player ever, if things had gone a bit differently.
Take that for what you will. There have been a lot of colorful characters in pool in my lifetime , and "Keither with the Ether" is right there in the upper tier.
 
Last edited:

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
In 1980 at the SF Open, Keith and Mike Sigel matched up opposite-handed after hours. Mike played righty and Keith lefty. Mike is right handed and I'm told he started to play that way but switched to left at some point. In that match they both played better than they did in the tournament.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In 1980 at the SF Open, Keith and Mike Sigel matched up opposite-handed after hours. Mike played righty and Keith lefty. Mike is right handed and I'm told he started to play that way but switched to left at some point. In that match they both played better than they did in the tournament.
Who won?
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
he was certainly one of the top at his prime. drunk most of the time and couldnt stay in money for long. absolutely one of the best to watch when in a game.
nowadays all the players put you to sleep watching them play.

and as far as another top player not wanting to play a top player is it rarely happens because few have enough money to bet their own and most backers dont want to give up the juice to his man to bet on a mostly even game if he has any brains.
 

RJPpool

Registered
Great stories. I have a couple I'd like to share. Years ago I was playing in a Joss Tour event in Stamford,Conn. I was playing pretty good at the time and I drew Keith. He had about 6 or 7 empty beer bottles lined up by our table. He shouted out to the crowd if he could borrow a stick as he couldn't find his. I laughed, but not so much as he ran 6 racks and out on me. My friend drew him next. He again asked to borrow a cue. That person had left so someone else gave him a cue. He meanwhile had another 5 or 6 beverages. He proceeded to run 7 racks and out on my friend. True story. Another time at a Joss event in Bristol,Conn., I arrived at about 10 in the morning as I had to travel quite far to get there. Who walks in right behind me, Keith, carrying a CASE of beer. He told me this should last about half a day. It did. He snapped off the tournament. Great player and a funny and nice guy.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Great stories. I have a couple I'd like to share. Years ago I was playing in a Joss Tour event in Stamford,Conn. I was playing pretty good at the time and I drew Keith. He had about 6 or 7 empty beer bottles lined up by our table. He shouted out to the crowd if he could borrow a stick as he couldn't find his. I laughed, but not so much as he ran 6 racks and out on me. My friend drew him next. He again asked to borrow a cue. That person had left so someone else gave him a cue. He meanwhile had another 5 or 6 beverages. He proceeded to run 7 racks and out on my friend. True story. Another time at a Joss event in Bristol,Conn., I arrived at about 10 in the morning as I had to travel quite far to get there. Who walks in right behind me, Keith, carrying a CASE of beer. He told me this should last about half a day. It did. He snapped off the tournament. Great player and a funny and nice guy.
thats very impressive
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great stories. I have a couple I'd like to share. Years ago I was playing in a Joss Tour event in Stamford,Conn. I was playing pretty good at the time and I drew Keith. He had about 6 or 7 empty beer bottles lined up by our table. He shouted out to the crowd if he could borrow a stick as he couldn't find his. I laughed, but not so much as he ran 6 racks and out on me. My friend drew him next. He again asked to borrow a cue. That person had left so someone else gave him a cue. He meanwhile had another 5 or 6 beverages. He proceeded to run 7 racks and out on my friend. True story. Another time at a Joss event in Bristol,Conn., I arrived at about 10 in the morning as I had to travel quite far to get there. Who walks in right behind me, Keith, carrying a CASE of beer. He told me this should last about half a day. It did. He snapped off the tournament. Great player and a funny and nice guy.
Besides being close to dying from alcohol poisoning, I would be totally distracted if I drank that much beer because I'd have to pee so badly and often
 
Top