Los Angeles area players from the past

BmoreMoney

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If is Tom Vanover, we can only play one pocket.:grin: Ran into him in Vegas at the BCA Seniors several years back and realized I was outclassed.

Ues, one in the same! Damn, I was hoping for a score lol ☺. On a sad note his brother Bob died not too long ago. I was just with Tom the other night ( we have been good friends for A LONG time and he used to give me lessons when I was a kid on my 9 ball game lol.
 

$TAKE HOR$E

champagne - campaign
Silver Member
Not really sure where to post this but didn’t want to start a new thread. A friend sent me this and said it was made by a CA cuemaker and he purchased it on eBay. Just curious if anyone recognizes the logo
 

Attachments

  • CAB23018-09F0-4B85-962C-29EAAC78CBDE.jpg
    CAB23018-09F0-4B85-962C-29EAAC78CBDE.jpg
    194.9 KB · Views: 510

jschaefer

Registered
sf valley

some of the players i knew of: big mama's - coke, tony ola, fat bob goodman, jeff mervis. hollywood jack and mike, shaky red, jolly solly, harold (red) baker.
 

Baby Huey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jay, I had a standing game with Arizona Sean every sunday night at the Billiard Den in Hollywood. We played for months betting $15/game. It was a strange bet and I'm not sure why we settled on that amount. We were about the same age and full of testosterone. I got the best of him in One Pocket and he got me in Nine Ball. Then all of a sudden he vanished and I never saw him again. I'd like to know what became of him?

Ronnie Roper and I also tangled quite a bit back then as well. Ronnie had better betting power than I did because Rudy Oliver was his stakehorse. Mostly we played for what I could dig up, usually $20/game or occasionally $100 sets race to four. He got the best of me over the long haul. If I knew he was betting his own, the game was a lot closer. He made some big scores because people knew Rudy was staking him and they would fire at his bankroll. I saw him playing poker at the Commerce Casino about ten years ago and he told me he was in the Mortgage Business. One last item. Ronnie was a great golfer and I suspect he is still taking it down playing golf.

Lastly, what happened to Billy Kenyon? What a great player and golfer. His road game believe it or not was Archery.
 

atthecat

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone remember Pete ? From old and new Hollywood Billiard. Skinny, gray hair, members only jactet with a gruff voice. Smoked a lot.
 

Island Drive

Otto/Dads College Roommate/Cleveland Browns
Silver Member
What I didn't see mentioned, or I may of missed it. Gabby, H. Brian and LB Bill....76-81. During those years Arturo, Morro, Paez, Rafa were cutting their teeth daily and getting better every month, along with the rest of the Mex. contingent.
Also, I forgot the name of the Mex. player, who acted drunk, but wasn't, he also played, and worked the dollar$ very well. Sergio?
 

CrownCityCorey

Sock it to 'em!
Silver Member
What I didn't see mentioned, or I may of missed it. Gabby, H. Brian and LB Bill....76-81. During those years Arturo, Morro, Paez, Rafa were cutting their teeth daily and getting better every month, along with the rest of the Mex. contingent.
Also, I forgot the name of the Mex. player, who acted drunk, but wasn't, he also played, and worked the dollar$ very well. Sergio?

Sounds like “Big Sergio” Gandarilla to me. Always on the sly... had a bit of head jump and stand up-ish style - smooth stroke and very knowledgeable. Mostly a bar box guy. Maybe saw him at Hard Times, or Vegas, within the last ten years.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Anyone remember Pete ? From old and new Hollywood Billiard. Skinny, gray hair, members only jactet with a gruff voice. Smoked a lot.

Even though I lived fairly close to the old Hollywood Billiards (late 70's, early 80's) I rarely went in there. I was busy by then with my mother expanding our real estate business. I didn't like visiting the bad neighborhood around the poolroom, totally unsafe at night. That said, I did go in there one night to see what was going on and say hi to some of my old buddies. Smitty was winning the money playing Snooker and pool and I wanted nothing to do with him.

This older guy was repairing someone's cue tip and we struck up a conversation. I told him that I'd played some pretty good players around L.A. a few years back and this seemed to perk his interest. He asked me what game we played and stuff like that. He then asked me if I liked to play Eight Ball and I told him that I'd played a lot on bar tables. Oh yeah, I had my eleven year old daughter with me and I didn't want to hang around too late. One thing led to another and he took me upstairs to another separate poolroom that had maybe eight tables in it (all 9' tables). It was on the ground floor above Hollywood Billiards. He hustled me to play $10 Eight Ball and he even loaned me a cue. Long story short, we ended up playing for hours and my little daughter curled up in a chair and I put my jacket over her and she fell asleep. We played until I busted him, maybe $100 or so. He didn't say much after that, just packed up his stuff and left. I carried my daughter out to the car. It was about 1 or 2 AM and the vampires were out. No one bothered us though and we went home.

I saw that guy a time or two after that and he never said boo to me.
 
Last edited:

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
some of the players i knew of: big mama's - coke, tony ola, fat bob goodman, jeff mervis. hollywood jack and mike, shaky red, jolly solly, harold (red) baker.

Knew them all! Gambled with Cokes (big time bookie), Tony Ola (a real gangster), Mervis (got rich from real estate), Bob Goodman (he loved to play Banks), Hollywood Jack (a great Snooker player). Shaky Red wouldn't play unless he had the triple nuts!
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Jay, I had a standing game with Arizona Sean every sunday night at the Billiard Den in Hollywood. We played for months betting $15/game. It was a strange bet and I'm not sure why we settled on that amount. We were about the same age and full of testosterone. I got the best of him in One Pocket and he got me in Nine Ball. Then all of a sudden he vanished and I never saw him again. I'd like to know what became of him?

Ronnie Roper and I also tangled quite a bit back then as well. Ronnie had better betting power than I did because Rudy Oliver was his stakehorse. Mostly we played for what I could dig up, usually $20/game or occasionally $100 sets race to four. He got the best of me over the long haul. If I knew he was betting his own, the game was a lot closer. He made some big scores because people knew Rudy was staking him and they would fire at his bankroll. I saw him playing poker at the Commerce Casino about ten years ago and he told me he was in the Mortgage Business. One last item. Ronnie was a great golfer and I suspect he is still taking it down playing golf.

Lastly, what happened to Billy Kenyon? What a great player and golfer. His road game believe it or not was Archery.

Sean was good friends with Don Johnson and did some work on the old Miami Vice TV show. He was a good friend of mine as well (wrote about him in my second book). Sean was a really charismatic guy, who attracted all the most beautiful women. He was a double for Warren Beatty and actually doubled for him in Shampoo and one other movie. It can be told now since he is dead (four or five years ago), Sean was part of an infamous Cat Burglar gang that preyed on celebrity homes. They got in and out with some very large hauls of cash and jewelry. He borrowed my car one night to commit a crime (without my knowledge) and almost got caught. I would surely have lost my car if he did.

I played with Ronnie several times as well. It surprises me that you couldn't beat him at One Pocket because I had his number. I never knew he wore a wig until it got caught on a light at one of Fred Whalen's tourneys and fell off on the table. He picked it up and laid it aside and kept on shooting! I liked Ronnie. He was a pretty smart guy. P.S. I made my first big score in L.A. off Rudy. I gave him 8-6 for 100 a game and won 800. I was totally stoked! :smile:

I think Billy is still alive. What an amazing guy he was. Spent his life caring for his invalid son and working full time as a stuntman in Hollywood. Billy was gifted, there was nothing he couldn't do well. He was a jam up pool player too, much better than you or I! I was there when he beat Cecil at Tournament Billiards (in Cecil's prime) and Cecil wanted to fight him. Big mistake! Billy put him on the ground in five seconds and had him in total submission. He was also a martial arts expert! Loved that guy. Soft spoken at all times but also very direct and clear in everything he said. A man of few words but every one meant something. He was a man's man!
 
Last edited:

JessEm

AzB Goldmember
Silver Member
Not really sure where to post this but didn’t want to start a new thread. A friend sent me this and said it was made by a CA cuemaker and he purchased it on eBay. Just curious if anyone recognizes the logo

I see your post is a year old, but did you ever find out the maker of this cue? If not, I have a long-shot idea that might help...
 

desi2960

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Guys I remember

Cuban Joe Valdez, Fred Walen, Peter Gunn, Popcorn, and many of previous named.
But there was a high $ golf game played on the big snooker table, I don't know their real names but, Tweedy and Heart Attact Jack, comes to mind.
I was a young rail bird at the old upstairs place on bellflower Blvd.
 

TWOFORPOOL

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Kenny and I had a memorable Bank Pool game one night at my poolroom. He loved to play Banks and so did I. I closed the place at 2 AM and we played until daylight. Pretty strong game for the 1970's, $75 a game (he chose the bet), Short Rack Banks. I got a little bit the best of it that night but we became fast friends from then on. Kenny still lives somewhere up in the Northwest, Portland area I believe.

"Artesian Kenny" lives in Salem, OR and at 80 years old can still play a little with a Fargo rating of 598. He has been my good friend for 35 years and will be on my 5 person team at the Regional WBCA tournament in March.
 

Baby Huey

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think one name from the 70's - early 80's is Hawaiian Brian. He was probably the best nine ball player in that era from Los Angeles. He was a champion beater and made big scores playing on the road during that time. No one had to like playing him any pool game and his One Pocket game was pretty sporty. He is a good friend and we had some great road trips together. I was all in no matter what the game and who his opponent was. One memorable road trip took us to Houston at the Le' Cue where he beat everyone for the week we were there. He had a tremendous heart and loved action.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Cuban Joe Valdez, Fred Walen, Peter Gunn, Popcorn, and many of previous named.
But there was a high $ golf game played on the big snooker table, I don't know their real names but, Tweedy and Heart Attact Jack, comes to mind.
I was a young rail bird at the old upstairs place on bellflower Blvd.

Peter Gunn (Len Wesson) was one of the great undercover players. Everybody knew his name but not many knew what he looked like, other than he was black man. Pretty much stayed on the West Coast, but made "guest" appearances as far away as Texas. He grew up gambling against Bakersfield Bobby and they both went on to become top players. Peter was built like a bull (he was a star high school fullback) and no one in their right mind would want to get him mad or tangle with him. If you had a gun you better get him good on the first shot. I do know of one instance where a gun was pulled on him and he backed the guy down!

P.S. I asked him once about playing all the great Mexican bar table players (Peter was a bar table killer) and he said they all played really good. Then he added that Big Sergio was the only one he couldn't beat.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I think one name from the 70's - early 80's is Hawaiian Brian. He was probably the best nine ball player in that era from Los Angeles. He was a champion beater and made big scores playing on the road during that time. No one had to like playing him any pool game and his One Pocket game was pretty sporty. He is a good friend and we had some great road trips together. I was all in no matter what the game and who his opponent was. One memorable road trip took us to Houston at the Le' Cue where he beat everyone for the week we were there. He had a tremendous heart and loved action.

I loved Brian, even though he tortured me more than once. He is one of the only guys that I couldn't find a spot that helped me win, so after awhile I just gave up. He gave me the seven and the break playing 9-Ball and beat me. Next time I asked him for the five and the break and he refused. That's the closest I ever came to winning. :smile:

He also gave me 9-7 and the break in One Pocket. Also no good! I then asked him for 8-4 and he turned me down, so I guess I beat him twice. :rolleyes:
In Hindsight, 8-5 was probably the game I needed to have a chance against him, the same game I played Danny D. with. That was Brian's true speed.
He was probably in the top five road man of our generation. Plus he brought Rodney to the mainland to take up where he left off, and they did it again!

When he put his sunglasses on his head backwards, you were dead meat. That was when he was getting serious. :thumbup:

One time he was in Bakersfield and couldn't find a place to stay, so I hooked him up at a nice motel nearby where I knew the manager. He returned the favor years later when I visited Honolulu. He had his partner pick me up at the airport and take me to really nice hotel on Waikiki Beach. When I was ready check out they told my bill had been taken care of.
 
Last edited:

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
"Artesian Kenny" lives in Salem, OR and at 80 years old can still play a little with a Fargo rating of 598. He has been my good friend for 35 years and will be on my 5 person team at the Regional WBCA tournament in March.

Please say hi to Kenny for me. He was a great guy to play with and a top flight bar table player. He came through my room in Bakersfield one day and asked me to play. I didn't know that Bank Pool was his favorite (and best) game when he asked me if I played it. He made me bet higher than I wanted to (75 a game in the early 70's was a big game!). He had asked me if I wanted to play for 50 or 100 a game, and I said maybe 50. We settled on 75, a strange number and the only time I've ever played for that amount per game. We started after I closed at 2 AM and played all night, back and forth, and at day break I was a few games up when we quit. We've been friends ever since.

I've got a feeling that Popcorn steered him to play me Banks, since I had played Corn several times for 20 or 30 a game. I never did ask Kenny though.
 
Last edited:
Top