When did vlahos die and where in dmv did he call home?
I think he died of a brain tumor sometime in the mid-to-late 90's, but that's secondhand information. He moved to New England around 1969-70 and I lost track of him after that.
I first saw him play when he was attending Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD in the late 60's, and used Roman Billiards as his home base. Two memories of him at the time stand out.
The first one was in 1967 when he came down to Brunswick Billiards at 1419 Irving St NW in Washington, which featured a 5' x 10' 1920's era Brunswick with extremely tight pockets. He was about 14 or 15 at the time, and nobody down there would play him after just watching him run rack after rack while practicing. Like Geese's, his stroke was poetry in motion.
The second one was when Roman Billiards had a one pocket tournament that drew all the top players from the area. This was when Nick was about 15. Not only did he go through it undefeated, he didn't lose a single game, and in most games his opponents wound up owing balls at the end. In the last game of the finals, he started playing one handed with barely a noticeable letdown.
Roman Billiards had some other great young talent at the time in there, including Geese, Jerry Stevens (a fabulous 9 ball player), and Tom Wirth, the author of One Pocket: A Game of Controlled Aggression
. At the time, Tom (or Tom-Tom, as he was later called) was just learning the nuances of the game, but he's always had a strong observational eye, and the last time I talked to him he agreed that for pure talent and pool intelligence, Nick Vlahos was as good a player as he's ever seen in his lifetime coming out of the Washington area. I've seen Strawberry, Geese, Gump, Beanie, you name it, but I've never seen anyone around DC with "Little Nicky's" sheer talent for the game, especially one pocket.
It's hard to get a peg on him only because he mostly stayed local and undercover, never playing much in tournaments, but he also was a great money manager and invested his winnings in real estate. He was confident almost to the point of arrogance about his game, as you can see in that interview after he beat Earl, but as Dizzy Dean once said, "It ain't bragging if you can do it.