Shoot Pool, not people
In the late 60's and into the 70's, there was a lot of great one-pocket action at a well-lit upstairs room: Celebrity Billiards on Vine St. in Hollywood. I lived two blocks away at the time. Saw a very long session with Ronnie Allen giving Ed Kelly 9-8. Other top players seen there that I enjoyed talking to, during breaks in the action, included Richie Florence, Jack "Jersey Red" Breit who I knew from NYC, Danny Diliberto (very frequent "visitor"), Lou Butera, and Joe Balsis. Endless stream of lovely pool groupies/actress wannabes "decorated" the place -- I enjoyed "talking to" them as well. Cecil Tugwell was a regular who played many of the top one-pocket and bank-pool players. I played a lot in Tiff Payne's N. Hollywood Billiards later on, in Burbank (later acquired by retired 14.1 pro, Harold "Red" Baker who had one of the most beautiful strokes of all. He was a longtime friend of Mosconi and also "Cowboy" Jimmy Moore. Both of them came in every time they were near L.A. over the years. I've still got the #5 1965 "A-Series" original Palmer that Willie sold me, literally out of his car trunk. Replaced the worn, original Irish linen wrap a couple years ago.
Great story! I spent a lot of time at Celebrity, just a couple miles from the Billiard Den. I played my first $100 One Pocket game there against Black Rudy, a high line pimp who loved to play pool. He was a decent player who asked me what game I thought I could give him. I told him 8-6 and he said okay we can play if you bet $100 a game, big money in the late 60's. My entire bankroll might have been seven or eight hundred bucks, but I knew I could win so I agreed to play him. He only wanted to play at Celebrity, but they had Gold Crowns so I said okay to that too. We scheduled a meet up for a couple of days later at 8 PM. I went early and practiced for thirty or forty minutes before he got there. He hit balls for a few minutes and then we played. I won four games in a row but it was not easy. Every game was close. He quit then but I felt great. I had made a nice score ($400) and found out I could stand up for a big bet. Once the game began I forgot about the bet and just played the best One Pocket I could. Rudy was a cool dude though and paid me off without a whimper and congratulated me afterwards for playing so good.