How good was Keith McCready?

Pushout

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Keith, though more known for his money play than tournaments, was the winner of the first major pool tournament I ever attended. It was the B C Open 9-Ball Tournament in Binghamton, NY in the mid '80s. He was already a legend for his action play and for generating action just about wherever he was. My memories of the time are a bit blurred now but I think I remember Keith going at it in the practice room with Grady Mathews. I had never heard that Keith even played One Pocket, but he held his own against Grady, who, at that time was still considered a One Pocket force to be reckoned with.
He went on to win the tournament playing Mike "Spanish Mike" Lebron in the finals playing with a borrowed cue after his {actually Jay Helfert's} was stolen.
He won the $25,000 first prize, a pretty great payday at that time. I've seen Keith several times since then and he's always great fun to watch and when he's rolling his extraordinary talent can still show up. Keith is one of AZ Billiard's favorite people, that's for sure. He even posts here from time time.
 

lfigueroa

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?


Keith was a top-flight player who was probably one of the scariest road players on earth for many year because he made shooting at pool balls look so easy, so fluid. At the table he was a complete natural and where other players were predictable in their shot selection and strategy, Keith was completely unpredictable. No doubt that in his own mind, Keith fully believed there wasn't a shot he couldn't make or a position he couldn't achieve.

Many players were far more disciplined -- perhaps even robotic -- in their approach to the game. You almost always knew what they were going to do. But Keith was, IMO, always more artist at the table than mechanic. In certain ways, he reminds me of the great 3C player from Turkey, Semih Sayginer. If you've ever seen that man in competition, you can attest to the fact that he is fully willing and capable of shooting shots, mid-match, that other players would probably relegate to the post-tournament trick shot exhibition. Keith was that way. Shots that you knew were there, but that you thought to yourself, "Hell, he'll never shoot THAT" came to realization right before your eyes.

I got play Keith in a 1pocket tournament in Olathe KS, maybe back around the late 90's. I had just been playing 1pocket for a few years and really didn't know what I was doing. So I draw the legend, Keith McCready, in the first round and we are put on a table right next to Jose Parica. It's a race to three.

One of the things I've always been pretty good at are my 1pocket banks. So we start off and I am hitting "all" my banks: up-and-down, cross-table, and even a two-railer or two, and I get Keith stuck 2-0. Now Jose, who's been watching this out of the corner of his eye, is over at the next table and is almost on the floor laughing at Keith saying words to the effect that Keith is about to lose to a lobster. And Keith is racking the balls, snarls at Jose, "Well he's making every f*cking bank he shoots at!" and slams the rack down and then goes on to play flawless pool and whitewashes Lou three games in a row.

So how good was Keith? Pretty damn good IMO.

Lou Figueroa
 
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bfdlad

T-Wheels
Silver Member
For all you Keith fans out there, you will have a nice suprise coming real soon. I can't say too much right now but there is something great on its way :)

"Don't choke now, its not that hard a shot"
 

OTB

I DIDN'T DO IT!!!!
Silver Member
Is he pregnant?

J/k Keith is a stand up guy.........................:thumbup:
 

TATE

AzB Gold Mensch
Gold 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?

Back in the 1970's, Keith was known as a young phenom who would play anybody for anything on a bar table. He was a top player on the big table as well.

To give you an idea of how good he was, Mike Sigel was the dominant player in the 1980's. I watched a raw video of Mike Sigel at his peak playing Keith. To my surprise, Keith had more than enough to handle Sigel playing 9 ball.

Keith rarely missed on an open table and he would shoot in a second or two. He had laser-like shotmaking ability and the cue ball on a string. He was also a was a very creative safety player.

I heard many stories that he was the push out pool player ever. He would push out to impossible cuts and banks and just fire them in and run out. As far as his game goes, if Keith had a weakness, I think his break shot was just average for a pro, but his other skills more than made up for this.

Also - Keith made a comeback not long ago and took 3rd place at the US Open 9 Ball in 2003. The U.S.Open has a ridiculously difficult field - that's quite a feat, believe me.

Chris
 

greyghost

Coast to Coast
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?

Keith was THE PACKAGE MAN!!!! His play was mortifing, petrifying, stupifying....the kind of player that made you sit so long you thought it was nap time little kiddies...wake up sometime later wipe the sleep off your eyes and your lying in the gutter butt naked and your cue is gone....

The man did and can break and run like Genghis Khan....just plain old smash you....IT'S LIKE A NIGHTMARE!!!!

They call him EARTHQUAKE son, if that don't tell ya....your in the wrong place lol

-Grey Ghost-
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Keith played good enough to get the $$$ most of the time. BIG ACTION was his strong suit-not tournments or $500 pool. I have awalys liked keith, He is a free spirit living life by his rules, he is funny as hell too in the pool room. I spent probably 100 nights with him in the pool room and he was awalys funny-however I was young and shy and never really got to know him. I have spoke to him a number of times and it was awalys cool. He what pretty much his normal self in that movie, he wouldnt listen to a director anyways,
 
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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Keith played good enough to get the $$$ most of the time. BIG ACTION was his strong suit-not tournments or $500 pool. I have awalys liked keith, He is a free spirit living life by his rules, he is funny as hell too in the pool room. I spent probably 100 nights with him in the pool room and he was awalys funny-however I was young and shy and never really got to know him. I have spoke to him a number of times and it was awalys cool. He was pretty much his normal self in that movie, he wouldnt listen to a director anyways
 

EZMoney

Could this be your money?
Silver Member
Could It be?

For all you Keith fans out there, you will have a nice suprise coming real soon. I can't say too much right now but there is something great on its way :)

"Don't choke now, its not that hard a shot"

Might your great surprise be a match with The Earthquake vs. The Pearl? What a great match up this would be. The best two chirpers on the earth, the two best cue sport entertainers ever and two of the best 9 ball players of all time. Tell me it true!:thumbup:
 

JamisonNeu

Mr. Masse
Silver Member
When I first started shooting out in the scene...Kieth was still gambling everwere I went. The best played pool I ever saw came from Kieth.

I was asleep and some friends came up and told me hey KM caught gear come watch...So I went down and there he was sure enough running out like nothing I had ever seen.

When I walked up KM was on 2 in a row, and he finale played a safety in the 12th game that makes 11 in a row with a safe at the end. Well its not over yet he gets ball in hand, and he hits the guy with a 9 in a row, followed by another safety. He gets ball in hand again, and runs 7...now he has made 27 wins and no mistakes he played dead perfect safes 2 times.

Kieth misses so bad he gets lucky and the ball is left safe. The guy finale after 27 games makes his first good hit...just to sell out another run of 7 in a row...making Kieth a 34 game winner and only one miss the entire time...The miss resulted in a lucky roll...

That my friends is as good as I have ever seen. The very next day Dennis Hatch won the Valley Forge Champion...And no one in the building would play him so he decided to stake me (everyone will play me).

I go straight after Kieth and said "Sir you are the greatest I have ever seen. I have never taken a spot from anyone, and although I will not use it can I get the 8 ball, and lets play some 9 ball for 200 a rack? Without even looking up from his chair to turnaround to see who it is he says "You got me, rack em up." How about that for confidence!!!

Kieth is one of the greatest ever without a doubt!
 

SpiderWebComm

HelpImBeingOppressed
Silver Member
When I first started shooting out in the scene...Kieth was still gambling everwere I went. The best played pool I ever saw came from Kieth.

I was asleep and some friends came up and told me hey KM caught gear come watch...So I went down and there he was sure enough running out like nothing I had ever seen.

When I walked up KM was on 2 in a row, and he finale played a safety in the 12th game that makes 11 in a row with a safe at the end. Well its not over yet he gets ball in hand, and he hits the guy with a 9 in a row, followed by another safety. He gets ball in hand again, and runs 7...now he has made 27 wins and no mistakes he played dead perfect safes 2 times.

Kieth misses so bad he gets lucky and the ball is left safe. The guy finale after 27 games makes his first good hit...just to sell out another run of 7 in a row...making Kieth a 34 game winner and only one miss the entire time...The miss resulted in a lucky roll...

That my friends is as good as I have ever seen. The very next day Dennis Hatch won the Valley Forge Champion...And no one in the building would play him so he decided to stake me (everyone will play me).

I go straight after Kieth and said "Sir you are the greatest I have ever seen. I have never taken a spot from anyone, and although I will not use it can I get the 8 ball, and lets play some 9 ball for 200 a rack? Without even looking up from his chair to turnaround to see who it is he says "You got me, rack em up." How about that for confidence!!!

Kieth is one of the greatest ever without a doubt!

I believe every word of this.... but, even if you divide the above numbers by two--- it's gargantuan. If I ever accomplished such a feat, I'd be like this guy and need someone to help carry around my nuts:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjEUleEqUvI&has_verified=1

I guess pool nirvana is having your top offensive gear exceed your capabilities of cocking-off. I guess that's when you quit trying to cock-off and just wear T-Shirts offering the world the 8. That way, they can just form a line near table number one while you finish your Bud.
 

cuesmith

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!
Silver Member
He was the most feared player on the planet for a period of time.

That's very true. When Keith was in his prime no one wanted any part of his action, at least no one with any pool sense! He had a funny side arm stroke from learning to play before he was tall enough to stroke properly, but he ran racks like nobodies business!
 

Eric.

Club a member
Silver Member
When I first started shooting out in the scene...Kieth was still gambling everwere I went. The best played pool I ever saw came from Kieth.

I was asleep and some friends came up and told me hey KM caught gear come watch...So I went down and there he was sure enough running out like nothing I had ever seen.

When I walked up KM was on 2 in a row, and he finale played a safety in the 12th game that makes 11 in a row with a safe at the end. Well its not over yet he gets ball in hand, and he hits the guy with a 9 in a row, followed by another safety. He gets ball in hand again, and runs 7...now he has made 27 wins and no mistakes he played dead perfect safes 2 times.

Kieth misses so bad he gets lucky and the ball is left safe. The guy finale after 27 games makes his first good hit...just to sell out another run of 7 in a row...making Kieth a 34 game winner and only one miss the entire time...The miss resulted in a lucky roll...

That my friends is as good as I have ever seen. The very next day Dennis Hatch won the Valley Forge Champion...And no one in the building would play him so he decided to stake me (everyone will play me).

I'm guessing this story was from Valley Forge? If so, I did see KM do something somehwat similar, although your numbers are prolly double what I saw. Assuming we saw the same games, I think Keith held the table for, maybe, 13 straight games or so. I'm guessing this was in the pit @VF, around 2004 or 2005?


Eric >when they used to play 9 ball
 

bfdlad

T-Wheels
Silver Member
Might your great surprise be a match with The Earthquake vs. The Pearl? What a great match up this would be. The best two chirpers on the earth, the two best cue sport entertainers ever and two of the best 9 ball players of all time. Tell me it true!:thumbup:
Its better, WAY better
 
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