Keith McCready story

btal

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I was right there with you, scrambling around to make my little scores. :)
I had a regular game with Jimmy Caan (the eight ball) and another with Jack Ackerman (also the eight ball), the famous composer. Played Crazy Bruce several times with the understanding that as soon as he went off it would be the last game. He was on good behavior until he got stuck and then the fountains would open up and he would erupt.

Marvin was a good friend of mine and he was one cool cat, sitting back in the corner with his shades on watching everybody. Pancho was center stage meanwhile, constantly working the room, trying to generate something. He had more cons than all the rest of the hustlers combined. Brooklyn Butch looked out for me and took care of things if someone tried to stiff me. One word from him and I got my money plus an apology.

Cecil was the best young black player I ever saw, but his bad attitude got him crippled at a young age. He and Butch had a blood feud and they both tried to kill each other, more than once! Preacher Red was also known as Low Down Dirty Red, a name well earned! Lenny Moore was all mobbed out, and no one ever messed with him. Even Danny gave him a lot of respect, and Danny wasn't afraid of anyone, not even Butch.

I was also buddies with Arizona Sean, a high line cat burglar who was so handsome and charming he had famous actresses swooning at his feet. My other buddy there was Leon from Louisiana, an avowed bank robber. He got killed in a shootout with the cops after robbing Pinks, the famous hot dog stand. Leon always had a .45 stuffed under his shirt!

I first met Freddie in there in the late 60's. He was probably the most intelligent pool hustler I ever met. Ye Billiard Den was my home room in the late 60's to early 70's and it was a slice of life I will never forget. By far the most interesting poolroom I ever hung around. 😉

P.S. JJ is right, Keith did come in there with his backer in about 1973 or 74 and challenge the whole room to empty out. Too bad Marvin or Ronnie wasn't around that day, but there were always good players in there and Keith got action. No one in L.A. could beat Keith by the time he was 17 except Richie Florence. And Richie was one of the top 9-Ballers in the country with a nationwide rep.
Always a joy to read your memories and how you paint their pictures Jay. One of my Keith stores - I was sittin' in my home pooI room back in the early 70's making pretty good money there and elsewhere at the time. I was a young up and comer in the Detroit area and got word from friends that Keith was putting beatdowns on the guys out at the Rack. A buddy warned me to stay away from a 17 year old kid wearing tennis shoes. Well ...... I walked into the local action bar at the time - Sullivans on Harper in Detroit - and sure enough there were those scary tennis shoes staring me in the face - with their stake horse. Pretty sure they had their soles on me. I was quickly offered the call 7 in a 7 ahead set for a couple hundo. I just couldn't resist the temptation. I loved that big cue ball. Got up 3 or 4 games, missed a ball (maybe two) and sat down to be obediently mesmerized. Keith started breaking squatting that big cue ball perfectly like a rubberband - center table. You know the rest. After running the last I don't know how many racks, I handed over the cash as he continued to stand at the table hitting the cue ball. To this day I still vividly remember him say (like Keith does with a smile) "Man I feel like I could run these tables ALL night". I think he could have. LOL
 
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VVP

Registered
Is Keith McCready in the BCA HOF? I looked and could not find his name. If not, why isn't he in the HOF? I think he is one of the best pool player I have ever seen on TV.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Nice to see this thread resurrected. Ye Billiard Den was one of my all time favorite hang outs and I pretty much lived in there from 1968-70. Too many experiences to put on here. They belong in a book of their own. A couple of things I can add to what I just read though. Peter Falk was a great guy but a mediocre pool player. In the poolroom wealth, fame and celebrity does not get you points. The only that matters is what "speed" you play! Richie Lebell was a close friend of mine and became a top notch attorney, along with his partner Mark Silverman, who remains my close friend to this day. His uncle Gene Lebell was a well known tough guy in Hollywood and a frequent stunt double on movie sets. One well publicized story about him was when he was working on a Steven Seagal movie. Seagal thought he was the original bad ass of Hollywood and liked to challenge people. He was kind of a bully to people on his sets. So he's doing a movie and Gene Lebell is doing stunts for it. Seagal starts going off about how tough he is and challenges anyone to take him on. He's the big "star" so no one will say anything, but LeBell had enough of his bragging. LeBell says he'll try him and Seagal tells him to come ahead. Gene walks over to shake hands with him prior to fighting and reaches up and grabs Seagal by the big muscle that leads from your neck to your shoulder (I don't know the name of that body part). He squeezes Seagal there for a few seconds and then sets him back down in his chair, ASLEEP! LeBall had put him out cold just like that! They say that when Seagal woke up he did not remember what happened.
 
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gregcantrall

Center Ball
Silver Member
Nice to see this thread resurrected. Ye Billiard Den was one of my all time favorite hang outs and I pretty much lived in there from 1968-70. Too many experiences to put on here. They belong in a book of their own. A couple of things I can add to what I just read though. Peter Falk was a great guy but a mediocre pool player. In the poolroom wealth, fame and celebrity does not get you points. The only that matters is what "speed" you play! Richie Lebell was a close friend of mine and became a top notch attorney, along with his partner Mark Silverman, who remains my close friend to this day. His uncle Gene Lebell (now departed) was a well known tough guy in Hollywood and a frequent stunt double on movie sets. One well publicized story about him was when he was working on a Steven Seagal movie. Seagal thought he was the original bad ass of Hollywood and liked to challenge people. He was kind of a bully to people on his sets. So he's doing a movie and Gene Lebell is doing stunts for it. Seagal starts going off about how tough he is and challenges anyone to take him on. He's the big "star" so no one will say anything, but LeBell had enough of his bragging. LeBell says he'll try him and Seagal tells him to come ahead. Gene walks over to shake hands with him prior to fighting and reaches up and grabs Seagal by the big muscle that leads from your neck to your shoulder (I don't know the name of that body part). He squeezes Seagal there for a few seconds and then sets him back down in his chair, ASLEEP! LeBall has put him out cold just like that! They say that when Seagal woke up he did not remember what happened.
Here is Joe Rogan telling the Segal story as told to him by LeBell
 

Ken_4fun

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Is Keith McCready in the BCA HOF? I looked and could not find his name. If not, why isn't he in the HOF? I think he is one of the best pool player I have ever seen on TV.

Several years ago, I was at the One Pocket HOF dinner at the Derby City Classic. Keith was there to be inducted into the HOF. I had seen Keith play many times years and years ago at DCC, but lately he hasn't been there for some reason. Anyway, everyone was tickled to death that Keith was there and I felt even some of those hardened pool players were genuinely glad to see Keith again in person. I sat with some friends from Louisville and it seemed that everyone had a "Keith Story". I think Keith really had a great time.

Why Keith hadn't been coming to DCC recently still is a mystery to me. He was treated like royalty, and drew a mob of folks wanting to see Keith play, (me included). It is understood that Keith isn't the same player he was when he was 17, but neither is Buddy Hall, Earl Strickland and many others from that era.

I hope he comes back to DCC to see his friends, fans, and well wishers.

Ken
 

djg576

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Nice to see this thread resurrected. Ye Billiard Den was one of my all time favorite hang outs and I pretty much lived in there from 1968-70. Too many experiences to put on here. They belong in a book of their own. A couple of things I can add to what I just read though. Peter Falk was a great guy but a mediocre pool player. In the poolroom wealth, fame and celebrity does not get you points. The only that matters is what "speed" you play! Richie Lebell was a close friend of mine and became a top notch attorney, along with his partner Mark Silverman, who remains my close friend to this day. His uncle Gene Lebell (now departed) was a well known tough guy in Hollywood and a frequent stunt double on movie sets. One well publicized story about him was when he was working on a Steven Seagal movie. Seagal thought he was the original bad ass of Hollywood and liked to challenge people. He was kind of a bully to people on his sets. So he's doing a movie and Gene Lebell is doing stunts for it. Seagal starts going off about how tough he is and challenges anyone to take him on. He's the big "star" so no one will say anything, but LeBell had enough of his bragging. LeBell says he'll try him and Seagal tells him to come ahead. Gene walks over to shake hands with him prior to fighting and reaches up and grabs Seagal by the big muscle that leads from your neck to your shoulder (I don't know the name of that body part). He squeezes Seagal there for a few seconds and then sets him back down in his chair, ASLEEP! LeBall has put him out cold just like that! They say that when Seagal woke up he did not remember what happened.
Pretty sure Gene is still above ground.
 

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I parked my ass in Belmont Shores CA from 76-81, It was where I first met Jay. One thing about Jay that I remember through past experiences, was the guys you ''always'' heard about, before you ever saw em. :) These guys took their time, won all the time :). Was fortunate to of chosen to live in so. ca. during those, cough/cough smoke yrs/emission law changes, came out of it with two daughters and 4 grandkids now, one in Manhattan Beach CA. While there for 5 yrs, I, Only saw the mtn once. I was outta LA headin' S, on 405 after playing till closing. Got a dennys type meal and headed s. towards Long Beach. There was a steady W. wind, that had blown the Smog from downtown LA completely''OUT'' of the valley. The lights of the homes and the backdrop of that front range was CO all day long, but the smog. Good times. It was a beautiful sight, now the mtns are visible.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nice to see this thread resurrected. Ye Billiard Den was one of my all time favorite hang outs and I pretty much lived in there from 1968-70. Too many experiences to put on here. They belong in a book of their own. A couple of things I can add to what I just read though. Peter Falk was a great guy but a mediocre pool player. In the poolroom wealth, fame and celebrity does not get you points. The only that matters is what "speed" you play! Richie Lebell was a close friend of mine and became a top notch attorney, along with his partner Mark Silverman, who remains my close friend to this day. His uncle Gene Lebell (now departed) was a well known tough guy in Hollywood and a frequent stunt double on movie sets. One well publicized story about him was when he was working on a Steven Seagal movie. Seagal thought he was the original bad ass of Hollywood and liked to challenge people. He was kind of a bully to people on his sets. So he's doing a movie and Gene Lebell is doing stunts for it. Seagal starts going off about how tough he is and challenges anyone to take him on. He's the big "star" so no one will say anything, but LeBell had enough of his bragging. LeBell says he'll try him and Seagal tells him to come ahead. Gene walks over to shake hands with him prior to fighting and reaches up and grabs Seagal by the big muscle that leads from your neck to your shoulder (I don't know the name of that body part). He squeezes Seagal there for a few seconds and then sets him back down in his chair, ASLEEP! LeBall has put him out cold just like that! They say that when Seagal woke up he did not remember what happened.
Where was Ye Billiard Den located?
 

lfigueroa

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Several years ago, I was at the One Pocket HOF dinner at the Derby City Classic. Keith was there to be inducted into the HOF. I had seen Keith play many times years and years ago at DCC, but lately he hasn't been there for some reason. Anyway, everyone was tickled to death that Keith was there and I felt even some of those hardened pool players were genuinely glad to see Keith again in person. I sat with some friends from Louisville and it seemed that everyone had a "Keith Story". I think Keith really had a great time.

Why Keith hadn't been coming to DCC recently still is a mystery to me. He was treated like royalty, and drew a mob of folks wanting to see Keith play, (me included). It is understood that Keith isn't the same player he was when he was 17, but neither is Buddy Hall, Earl Strickland and many others from that era.

I hope he comes back to DCC to see his friends, fans, and well wishers.

Ken

lol, I actually know the answer to this, having overheard a phone conversation in the hallways of the DCC.

But I will defer to JAM if she wants to throw something out there.

Lou Figueroa
 
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westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Been a long time, but I think? Santa Monica.
Where H. Brian had his home court.??
Been almost 50 yrs now, I could be wrong.
I wonder if this is the place Wayne was talking about in his original post or was the House of Billiards already around back then?
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
santa monica bld. in hollywood or west holly wood. as there was a sign a couple blocks down the street that said welcome to west holly wood.
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would have told it different but I was relaying what JJ Jenkins told me and that was the way he talked. Since he was about 6'5" and 280 lbs and African American, I don't think anyone ever told him to not use certain words.
I thought he was ten ft tall.

He was, wasn't he?
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
HOB....was the HBrian home court.
Missed all the Hollywood stuff but 6th and Western is what I remember about B.H. Went there and looky lood a couple times. Never saw him play really. Hard Times too; my recollection is Newport Beach but I guess that was just the freeway down there...
 

JAM

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
lol, I actually know the answer to this, having overheard a phone conversation in the hallways of the DCC.

But I will defer to JAM if she wants to throw something out there.

Lou Figueroa
This is a hard one to answer. Keith is not a spring chicken anymore, and for the most part, he's living a clean lifestyle, which means no alcohol, no drugs, and no cigarettes—at home.

Keith loves pool, its people, and everything about it. Though he does have a strong fanfare in some pool circles, he is weak when it comes to some things. I will say, however, I am proud that he was able to quit cigarettes about 4 or 5 years ago.

When Keith was inducted into the One Pocket Hall of Fame at the DCC, I was thrilled that he was recognized for this prestigious pool honor while he was still alive to enjoy it. Because of my job, I was not able to go to Louisville, and I worried about Keith going without me.

Keith managed to enjoy himself to the fullest. The horse was out of the barn, and Keith was in pool heaven. For this, I was so happy for him. But, unfortunately, he was out of practice when it came to some old habits. You wouldn't think that much could happen in a 24-hour period. Thank goodness for Ray Hansen and Steve Booth. They saved the day and kept Keith out of the doghouse.

Life isn't so bad at the McCready Ranch. Keith does keep himself busy with sports online games, and he's on his iPhone all day long talking to pool buddies around the country. And he has quite a few of them that he talks to every single day. He's actually quite good at the computer now. He's involved in a couple of pool-related activities with some pool industry members that brings him joy. We both hope to attend some big pool events in the future—together—as I'm almost fully retired now. We will be on the road again to attend some pool happenings, and we will both enjoy that very much together.
 

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Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Ether, see yah one more time +. Got my second C shot tue....and my girl is in the back yard She needs room
16'X20'.
 

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