The Manila Mauler

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Kind of a funny story with a touch of irony,

A few years ago there was a fairly good size tournament going on at the old California Billiards in Mt. View which featured several prominent pro players in attendance.

My friend John and I were seated at the lunch counter when this young guy, walked up to Mike Massey who was standing just a couple of feet from us and proceeded to tell him how he and his stakehorse were planning to go over to the Philippines and ‘clean up’ or words to that effect. He even said “my friend has seen me play and he said I shouldn’t have any trouble over there”,

Incredulous at hearing this and undoubtedly thinking to himself this guy has been out in the garden again without his sun hat, the ever accommodating Massey tried in vein to give this young guy some professional advice by saying things like “you won’t be a able to,,,,,,
”I mean I know all those guys,,,,,,”you just can’t go over there and,,,” well you get the picture. Realizing there was no convincing thei young guy, Massey stopped trying and just let him go on. There was no dissuading this young guy he was too hellbent on this idea of going over there and showing all those Filipinos what fer!

John and I jokingly nicknamed this guy ‘The Manila Mauler’.

Contrast this with a story I heard Johnny Archer tell some time ago about the time he and a friend were due to catch a flight back to the states from the Philippines only to find out once they arrived at the airport that their flight had been delayed until the next morning. At that point Johnny and his friend decided just to get a room for the night at one of the airport hotels and catch the flight the next morning.

They checked into the hotel and while going up to their room to freshen up a bit, Johnny noticed a Gold Crown in the recreation room, not unusual as pool tables are everywhere over there. After resting up a bit, Johnny went down to the recreation room and hooked up with some unknown Filipino kid in a race to 15 nine ball for $300. It wasn’t a lot of money, and they had the night to kill anyway before catching their flight the next morning.

In 29 racks of play Johnny said that he only missed ONCE and only barely squeaked by this kid for the match which ended up at 15 to 14!
Johnny never saw the unknown kid again, and wouldn‘t recognize him if he saw him again on the street because he will have grown up by now. Just some unknown kid looking for some action at an airport hotel.

I wonder how The Manila Mauler would have fared against him.........
 
I read that same Johnny archer story before. Imagine some local guy giving a world champion all He could handle! That just goes to show you the level of talent they have over there!
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
not likely he would get a 300 dollar game from some kid. thats a big bet over there. that story was embellished along the way a few times.
 

FeelDaShot

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have a hard time believing the Johnny Archer story. I went to the Philippines and I didn't see any world beaters or even A players in the few places I went. I had a hard time finding pool halls and once I did find a few I couldn't get any action. Everyone I asked was scared to gamble and just wanted to play for fun. Which was fine by me since I was planning on donating anyways.

There was this one action hotspot that my wife and I briefly visited. It was in a very shady part of Davao City recommended by a cab driver. There were two beat up tables side by side in a small storefront along the sidewalk. There was no wall between the sidewalk and tables so it was kind of an open air atmosphere. The entire room was filled with spectators that poured out onto the sidewalk. When we approached one of the spectators immediately begged me to play and offered to kick them of the table so we could play. I talked to the guy for a few minutes then my wife pulled me aside and said that someone warned her to get me out of there before they took all my money lol. So we left pretty quickly. Besides this place, the other pool halls were all pretty chill and safe.
 
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JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The kid should have talked to Mika, Marcus Chamat , Tang Hoa, Oscar and Jay Halfert .
I have a hard time believing the Johnny Archer story. I went to the Philippines and I didn't see any world beaters or even A players in the few places I went. I had a hard time finding pool halls and once I did find a few I couldn't get any action. Everyone I asked was scared to gamble and just wanted to play for fun. Which was fine by me since I was planning on donating anyways.

There was this one action hotspot that my wife and I briefly visited. It was in a very shady part of Davao City recommended by a cab driver. There were two beat up tables side by side in a small storefront along the sidewalk. There was no wall between the sidewalk and tables so it was kind of an open air atmosphere. The entire room was filled with spectators that poured out onto the sidewalk. When we approached one of the spectators immediately begged me to play and offered to kick them of the table so we could play. I talked to the guy for a few minutes then my wife pulled me aside and said that someone warned her to get me out of there before they took all my money lol. So we left pretty quickly. Besides this place, the other pool halls were all pretty chill and safe.
The best pool hall in Davao back then was inside the GMall . Pacquiao used to play a ton in Davao. The best players from the south of the islands eventually go to Manila and get in the action there . Andam, Gabica, Orcollo , Raga and company eventually did .
Oscar Dominguez and Tang Hoa found plenty of action from the second and third tier of players in Manila.
 
I have a hard time believing the Johnny Archer story. I went to the Philippines and I didn't see any world beaters or even A players in the few places I went. I had a hard time finding pool halls and once I did find a few I couldn't get any action. Everyone I asked was scared to gamble and just wanted to play for fun. Which was fine by me since I was planning on donating anyways.

There was this one action hotspot that my wife and I briefly visited. It was in a very shady part of Davao City recommended by a cab driver. There were two beat up tables side by side in a small storefront along the sidewalk. There was no wall between the sidewalk and tables so it was kind of an open air atmosphere. The entire room was filled with spectators that poured out onto the sidewalk. When we approached one of the spectators immediately begged me to play and offered to kick them of the table so we could play. I talked to the guy for a few minutes then my wife pulled me aside and said that someone warned her to get me out of there before they took all my money lol. So we left pretty quickly. Besides this place, the other pool halls were all pretty chill and safe.
I heard the story from Johnny himself in a interview. I can’t see him making this up, why would he?
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
I too heard Johnny tell the story in an interview that‘s where this came from. I believe Johnny Archer to be a man of integrity so I can’t see him making this up either. Maybe Johnny can chime in himself on this if he happens to read these comments.
 
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Good Sam

Registered
I seem to remember Tyler Styer talking about getting beat by the taxi driver in an interview somewhere. I also think Rodney Morris talked about a taxi driver waiting on the street for him to get ready so they could go play.
 
I seem to remember Tyler Styer talking about getting beat by the taxi driver in an interview somewhere. I also think Rodney Morris talked about a taxi driver waiting on the street for him to get ready so they could go play.
I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos, and I’ve seen lots of every day players in the Philippine play world class pool.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I have a hard time believing the Johnny Archer story. I went to the Philippines and I didn't see any world beaters or even A players in the few places I went. I had a hard time finding pool halls and once I did find a few I couldn't get any action. Everyone I asked was scared to gamble and just wanted to play for fun. Which was fine by me since I was planning on donating anyways.

There was this one action hotspot that my wife and I briefly visited. It was in a very shady part of Davao City recommended by a cab driver. There were two beat up tables side by side in a small storefront along the sidewalk. There was no wall between the sidewalk and tables so it was kind of an open air atmosphere. The entire room was filled with spectators that poured out onto the sidewalk. When we approached one of the spectators immediately begged me to play and offered to kick them of the table so we could play. I talked to the guy for a few minutes then my wife pulled me aside and said that someone warned her to get me out of there before they took all my money lol. So we left pretty quickly. Besides this place, the other pool halls were all pretty chill and safe.
I'm not sure where you went, but my experience was entirely different. On my first few trips to Manila, I would go out nightly to local poolrooms looking for games. They were everywhere back then (15-20 years ago), one on every street corner. Many were "outdoor" style rooms with only a tent like structure to keep the rain and sun out. Almost invariably as soon as I walked in someone would ask me to play (Rotation was the standard game). They loved to challenge a "foreigner." And always there was a bet, usually very small stakes like 100 or 200 pesos ($2-4). I will agree that a $300 bet (15,000 pesos) is a big game in the Philippines and Johnny knows that too. Only the best players will bet that high and they usually have a backer with them. The most I ever played for was 1,000P a game (about $20) and a race for 5,000P. I did get challenged to play for more a few times but passed, knowing I was outclassed. In the PI you are liable to run into a hustler from Australia (many of them), Europe, Taiwan, China, Singapore or Thailand. There are a lot of good players running around over there and games for 50-100,000P are not uncommon ($1-2,000).

Now here's my little Archer type story about Shane on his first visit to the PI. He didn't know his way around yet so I took him to a big poolroom near where the tournament was going on. I warned him that he could get challenged to play by a teenager in this spot and he better be careful because the guy might play real good. Shane just smiled and gave me that little wink of his, like no problem. Shane got a game right away and beat one guy for a few thousand P and they saw that he could play pretty good (this has to be over ten years ago). Then they brought in this young kid who had to be maybe 17 or 18. His backer, who spoke English, told me they would play a Race to Eleven for $500, a very big bet over there. Okay, we posted the money and the game began. The kid played lights out and I thought Shane was going to lose (we were in 50-50) because he was not as familiar with the tables. On top of that they were trying to shark Shane on every shot, talking and even yelling across the room while he was shooting, etc. They didn't know Shane just turned off his hearing aid and heard nothing, so that didn't bother him. Shane dug in and somehow won that set 11-9. I was very proud of him that day. He didn't look quite so smug after it was over though. He looked at me and smiled, "That kid played good!" A high compliment from Shane.

Later on, Shane played Jeff DeLuna (who was not known in the States yet) a set for $5,000 in a private poolroom and won a close match with him in a long race (they prefer playing races over there). Mika ($1,000), Shane and I ($2,000 each) put in the money together. After that trip Shane played just about everybody over there and did just fine and I did okay too, side betting on him. He never forgot that first match though. He gained a healthy respect for Filipino pool players after that, just like Johnny did. By the way, there are no bar tables in the Philippines. It's all 9' everywhere!

P.S. I played in that room in Davao a couple of times. I was there when an earthquake hit. That was scary with the pillars shaking back and forth and people running out of the mall. I didn't want to run out for fear of something falling on my head. I hugged a wall until it was over. That room is gone now.
 
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justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
Sports development by country is very specific.
Did you contact the right people?

Unlike American business where its publicly advertising.
In other areas business is best kept quiet.

The Makati area has several pool halls.

If there is a pool hall in a small town, then you can imagine a lot of people with local reputations to protect.
I consider pool similar to NFL in america. Even in the most challenging parts of the country, communities provide a pool table for the young to develop sports habits.

I have a hard time believing the Johnny Archer story. I went to the Philippines and I didn't see any world beaters or even A players in the few places I went. I had a hard time finding pool halls and once I did find a few I couldn't get any action. Everyone I asked was scared to gamble and just wanted to play for fun. Which was fine by me since I was planning on donating anyways.

There was this one action hotspot that my wife and I briefly visited. It was in a very shady part of Davao City recommended by a cab driver. There were two beat up tables side by side in a small storefront along the sidewalk. There was no wall between the sidewalk and tables so it was kind of an open air atmosphere. The entire room was filled with spectators that poured out onto the sidewalk. When we approached one of the spectators immediately begged me to play and offered to kick them of the table so we could play. I talked to the guy for a few minutes then my wife pulled me aside and said that someone warned her to get me out of there before they took all my money lol. So we left pretty quickly. Besides this place, the other pool halls were all pretty chill and safe.
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I'm not sure where you went, but my experience was entirely different. On my first few trips to Manila, I would go out nightly to local poolrooms looking for games. They were everywhere back then (15-20 years ago), one on every street corner. Many were "outdoor" style rooms with only a tent like structure to keep the rain and sun out. Almost invariably as soon as I walked in someone would ask me to play (Rotation was the standard game). They loved to challenge a "foreigner." And always there was a bet, usually very small stakes like 100 or 200 pesos ($2-4). I will agree that a $300 bet (15,000 pesos) is a big game in the Philippines and Johnny knows that too. Only the best players will bet that high and they usually have a backer with them. The most I ever played for was 1,000P a game (about $20) and a race for 5,000P. I did get challenged to play for more a few times but passed, knowing I was outclassed. In the PI you are liable to run into a hustler from Australia (many of them), Europe, Taiwan, China, Singapore or Thailand. There are a lot of good players running around over there and games for 50-100,000P are not uncommon ($1-2,000).

Now here's my little Archer type story about Shane on his first visit to the PI. He didn't know his way around yet so I took him to a big poolroom near where the tournament was going on. I warned him that he could get challenged to play by a teenager in this spot and he better be careful because the guy might play real good. Shane just smiled and gave me that little wink of his, like no problem. Shane got a game right away and beat one guy for a few thousand P and they saw that he could play pretty good (this has to be over ten years ago). Then they brought in this young kid who had to be maybe 17 or 18. His backer, who spoke English, told me they would play a Race to Eleven for $500, a very big bet over there. Okay, we posted the money and the game began. The kid played lights out and I thought Shane was going to lose (we were in 50-50) because he was not as familiar with the tables. On top of that they were trying to shark Shane on every shot, talking and even yelling across the room while he was shooting, etc. They didn't know Shane just turned off his hearing aid and heard nothing, so that didn't bother him. Shane dug in and somehow won that set 11-9. I was very proud of him that day. He didn't look quite so smug after it was over though. He looked at me and smiled, "That kid played good!" A high compliment from Shane.

Later on, Shane played Jeff DeLuna (who was not known in the States yet) a set for $5,000 in a private poolroom and won a close match with him in a long race (they prefer playing races over there). Mika ($1,000), Shane and I ($2,000 each) put in the money together. After that trip Shane played just about everybody over there and did just fine and I did okay too, side betting on him. He never forgot that first match though. He gained a healthy respect for Filipino pool players after that, just like Johnny did. By the way, there are no bar tables in the Philippines. It's all 9' everywhere!

P.S. I played in that room in Davao a couple of times. I was there when an earthquake hit. That was scary with the pillars shaking back and forth and people running out of the mall. I didn't want to run out for fear of something falling on my head. I hugged a wall until it was over. That room is gone now.
Jay, that room is gone and moved indeed . The owner did open a new place more north of the mall next to a fish market. Soup place on the first floor and pool hall on the second floor .
 

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Cezar Morales

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not sure where you went, but my experience was entirely different. On my first few trips to Manila, I would go out nightly to local poolrooms looking for games. They were everywhere back then (15-20 years ago), one on every street corner. Many were "outdoor" style rooms with only a tent like structure to keep the rain and sun out. Almost invariably as soon as I walked in someone would ask me to play (Rotation was the standard game). They loved to challenge a "foreigner." And always there was a bet, usually very small stakes like 100 or 200 pesos ($2-4). I will agree that a $300 bet (15,000 pesos) is a big game in the Philippines and Johnny knows that too. Only the best players will bet that high and they usually have a backer with them. The most I ever played for was 1,000P a game (about $20) and a race for 5,000P. I did get challenged to play for more a few times but passed, knowing I was outclassed. In the PI you are liable to run into a hustler from Australia (many of them), Europe, Taiwan, China, Singapore or Thailand. There are a lot of good players running around over there and games for 50-100,000P are not uncommon ($1-2,000).

Now here's my little Archer type story about Shane on his first visit to the PI. He didn't know his way around yet so I took him to a big poolroom near where the tournament was going on. I warned him that he could get challenged to play by a teenager in this spot and he better be careful because the guy might play real good. Shane just smiled and gave me that little wink of his, like no problem. Shane got a game right away and beat one guy for a few thousand P and they saw that he could play pretty good (this has to be over ten years ago). Then they brought in this young kid who had to be maybe 17 or 18. His backer, who spoke English, told me they would play a Race to Eleven for $500, a very big bet over there. Okay, we posted the money and the game began. The kid played lights out and I thought Shane was going to lose (we were in 50-50) because he was not as familiar with the tables. On top of that they were trying to shark Shane on every shot, talking and even yelling across the room while he was shooting, etc. They didn't know Shane just turned off his hearing aid and heard nothing, so that didn't bother him. Shane dug in and somehow won that set 11-9. I was very proud of him that day. He didn't look quite so smug after it was over though. He looked at me and smiled, "That kid played good!" A high compliment from Shane.

Later on, Shane played Jeff DeLuna (who was not known in the States yet) a set for $5,000 in a private poolroom and won a close match with him in a long race (they prefer playing races over there). Mika ($1,000), Shane and I ($2,000 each) put in the money together. After that trip Shane played just about everybody over there and did just fine and I did okay too, side betting on him. He never forgot that first match though. He gained a healthy respect for Filipino pool players after that, just like Johnny did. By the way, there are no bar tables in the Philippines. It's all 9' everywhere!

P.S. I played in that room in Davao a couple of times. I was there when an earthquake hit. That was scary with the pillars shaking back and forth and people running out of the mall. I didn't want to run out for fear of something falling on my head. I hugged a wall until it was over. That room is gone now.
Thanks for sharing , Great story !
I heard a version of young Shane getting robbed by Ronnie Alcano in Alcano’s prime and refusing to play anymore till he got better and said Ronnie is too good.
Subsequently he even sponsored Ronnies visa to the States .
This was definitely before the time Shane became the King of 10 ball where he wld play anyone in a race to 100 and even pay for ur accomodation

however,Ronnie repaid this gratitude by throwing a dick move during the Pacquiao tournament a few yrs ago and Shane decided to forfeit the game in disgust.
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
Thanks for sharing , Great story !
I heard a version of young Shane getting robbed by Ronnie Alcano in Alcano’s prime and refusing to play anymore till he got better and said Ronnie is too good.
Subsequently he even sponsored Ronnies visa to the States .
This was definitely before the time Shane became the King of 10 ball where he wld play anyone in a race to 100 and even pay for ur accomodation

however,Ronnie repaid this gratitude by throwing a dick move during the Pacquiao tournament a few yrs ago and Shane decided to forfeit the game in disgust.
I’d like to hear more about this aforementioned move,,,,,,
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I’d like to hear more about this aforementioned move,,,,,,
Here is the thread. The real problem was a tournament organizer who had no clue.

 

Cuaba

Livin Large
Silver Member
Max Eberle and I were in General Santos City for one of Manny Pacquiao's tournaments about 5 years ago. We had a taxi driver who recognized Max from television and he challenged us to a Scotch doubles game against him and another taxi driver. We played on an old table under a roof with no walls. I think half the taxi drivers in town showed up to watch that match. I think we played for around $10 or $20 a set, and they ended up beating us. They knew Max was a top pro and they had no idea how I played, but they were fearless and just wanted to play. And they played great :)
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Here is the thread. The real problem was a tournament organizer who had no clue.



I was there for that one. The rule was that you had to call the ten ball or at least point to the pocket. It was a stupid rule and many players made that mistake and it was overlooked, but Ronnie decided to make an issue of it in his match with his "friend" Shane. It actually came up again in the Finals when Carlo failed to call the ten on the match and tournament winning ten ball. He got called on it by the ref and his opponent "Pulpul" then won the match (it was hill-hill when it happened).
 

maha

from way back when
Silver Member
its totally shitty when something like that happens to you. but tournaments are a game of rules. and those rules can and will be used against you if they can. if you equate tournament play with gambling in your home room you are toast.
if playing a tournament and against a friend or regular then tell him or agree with him what you can do and not.
or tell him all rules apply here and you will you use them to win if necessary and he can too.
against all others its cutthroat and play to win.
 
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