Tony Annigoni suicide

slider12

Registered
I first met Tony in Manteca , Ca

When they Opened bucktooth billiards.

We became friends, We stood friends over the years . His really loved billiards and wanted it to grow . He tried to get kids involved, many times I called him and he would be at a youth center helping kids play pool . He was always looking to open a room somewhere. He opened his last room in Fairfield Ca . He called it the Two cushion club . When I first heard what happened to Tony I was in denial, called his phone a dozen or more times. The reality set in late that night as he never answered. He always had his phone next to him and pencil behind his ear .I reached out to mutual friends in Northern California and was told the details. We last spoke in late too mid March he called me to tell me he spoke to bucktooth and thanked me for always being a friend and listening to him . One conversation , I’ll share is regarding the movie “shooting gallery “starring Freddie Prinze jr . He was very angry that there was a character in there named “tenderloin Tony “ which was Annigoni’s nick name . He was angry as the character had a drug addiction, any one who knew Tony knew he didn’t do drugs or drink .



My Condolences to the Annigoni Family.

Tony will be missed..
Last time I spoke with Tony he told me he was talking to Bucktooth and wanted to get His teeth he said they would be worth a fortune if he got them gold plated
 

slider12

Registered
I first met Tony in Manteca , Ca

When they Opened bucktooth billiards.

We became friends, We stood friends over the years . His really loved billiards and wanted it to grow . He tried to get kids involved, many times I called him and he would be at a youth center helping kids play pool . He was always looking to open a room somewhere. He opened his last room in Fairfield Ca . He called it the Two cushion club . When I first heard what happened to Tony I was in denial, called his phone a dozen or more times. The reality set in late that night as he never answered. He always had his phone next to him and pencil behind his ear .I reached out to mutual friends in Northern California and was told the details. We last spoke in late too mid March he called me to tell me he spoke to bucktooth and thanked me for always being a friend and listening to him . One conversation , I’ll share is regarding the movie “shooting gallery “starring Freddie Prinze jr . He was very angry that there was a character in there named “tenderloin Tony “ which was Annigoni’s nick name . He was angry as the character had a drug addiction, any one who knew Tony knew he didn’t do drugs or drink .



My Condolences to the Annigoni Family.

Tony will be missed..
Last time I spoke with Tony he told me he was talking to Bucktooth and wanted to get His teeth he said they would be worth a fortune if he got them gold plated
 

slider12

Registered
I first met Tony in Manteca , Ca

When they Opened bucktooth billiards.

We became friends, We stood friends over the years . His really loved billiards and wanted it to grow . He tried to get kids involved, many times I called him and he would be at a youth center helping kids play pool . He was always looking to open a room somewhere. He opened his last room in Fairfield Ca . He called it the Two cushion club . When I first heard what happened to Tony I was in denial, called his phone a dozen or more times. The reality set in late that night as he never answered. He always had his phone next to him and pencil behind his ear .I reached out to mutual friends in Northern California and was told the details. We last spoke in late too mid March he called me to tell me he spoke to bucktooth and thanked me for always being a friend and listening to him . One conversation , I’ll share is regarding the movie “shooting gallery “starring Freddie Prinze jr . He was very angry that there was a character in there named “tenderloin Tony “ which was Annigoni’s nick name . He was angry as the character had a drug addiction, any one who knew Tony knew he didn’t do drugs or drink .



My Condolences to the Annigoni Family.

Tony will be missed..
Last time I spoke with Tony he told me he was talking to Bucktooth and wanted to get His teeth he said they would be worth a fortune if he got them gold plated
 

Timkrieger

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I first met Tony at Two Cushion Billiard club in Fairfield that he opened. Probably the best pool room I've ever had the pleasure to play in. The money he put into his place in the tenderloin in San Francisco was evidence of his love of the game. Warm guy, very nice to me and my family, very sweet to the kids and took time to show the kids a few things on the table. He love pool and the history of pool. He loved the old tables and he knew everything about each one. His appreciation and dedication to the game was unmatched. Learning about his passing was a gut punch. Tony was special.
 

Timkrieger

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
When Tony was living in Manteca he had a 5 X 10 anniversary that had a white line worn in the cloth at the center from the head rail to the foot rail from hours of a practice drill to stroke straight.
That 5x10 was Tony's practice table, he had it set up in Fairfield at the Two Cushion Club. Motivated me to get a 5x10 Centennial. He showed me that same drill. I heard from local table mechanics, Tony had his 5x10 Anniversary set up at a local warehouse in Sacramento. If anyone has info on that table, I'd be interested. I would hate to see that table just abandoned somewhere.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I remember the Manteca days. Sad ending for Tony. Never imagined he was that troubled. 2nd person I’ve known who went out on that bridge.
 

NitPicker

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I just got word last night about Tony from a mutual friend. I met Tony about 6 or 7 years ago when he was in Fairfield, CA. I didn't know him long but spent quite a bit of time with him as I was also helping him with a couple of projects he had going. He was a character, but I found him to be an intelligent and compassionate person. He loved pool and was passionate about getting kids more exposure to it. He started some things like the Railbird Project that was aimed at schools and boys and girls clubs. My wife would come with me to his room and read books while I banged balls around and he signed a copy of his book Playing Off The Rail to her. He introduced me to McCumber and Pat at Accustats, which I considered a great compliment. I didn't know him in his younger days but I watched him play often and he clearly was a world class player. I hadn't talked to him since I moved from the bay area a few years ago, something I now regret. He's a huge loss to the community and I personally will miss him. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.
 

jjohnson

Registered
I also met Tony in Mountain View. California Billiards was just off El Camino Real, is this right. I'd say it was around 1977. That is when I met an "Up and coming player out of Modesto, California." Yeah. I played Kim Davenport some $5 nine ball. He played like he was on another planet or universe for that matter. He beat me 5 in a row and I quit. He played but it was like he wasn't even there. I forget if he told me or it was just talk going around the pool hall. He was going to play Ray Suden after the tournament. We were at a middle table along the left wall and across from us along the opposite wall was Ray getting in stroke. Standing against the wall at his table was Sax Del Porto and Sax's wife was sitting on a bar stool next to Sax. I heard Sax was Ray's mentor and possibly his backer. Thinking back Kim was so young it was like he still had some of his baby fat. Ha ha.

I had a friend George La Far who told me he played this kid (Tony) who had him stuck for some serious money. He couldn't believe "this kid" had him stuck. But he told me he toughed it out and got even. Cole was in town, Fremont, and I said something about George's game and Cole. George wanted to let me know something: he told me Louie, the owner of Fremont Family Billiards, let Cole and George play after hours and late into the wee morning hours. George told me that he played Cole for hours and hung in there with him all the while. George let me know that he was no slouch. I believed George.

My older brother went to high school with George and told me he was on the Diving Team. Once George was talking about how he once could do twenty handstand push ups. I gaffawwed. He said, You don't believe me. Here. I'll show you. So here is George about 30 years old and now a sales rep for, I forget. He was stout and a little bulky. I said, George, no, I believe you. I didn't want him to bust a brain blood vessel. He said no, I'll show you. He said I haven't done these in a while I'll need to do them against the wall. Me and a few other regulars were anxiously watching. George had his suit on took off his jacket, loosened his tie and unbuttoned his long sleeve shirt cuffs. No kidding. He got down and up against the wall he did five handstand push up with some serious exertion. But we had no doubt he was telling the truth when he said he could do 20 handstand pushups when he was younger and in shape. So when he said Tony, this kid, had him seriously stuck when they played and he fought back to break even I believe him.
 

azhousepro

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
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I also met Tony in Mountain View. California Billiards was just off El Camino Real, is this right. I'd say it was around 1977. That is when I met an "Up and coming player out of Modesto, California." Yeah. I played Kim Davenport some $5 nine ball. He played like he was on another planet or universe for that matter. He beat me 5 in a row and I quit. He played but it was like he wasn't even there. I forget if he told me or it was just talk going around the pool hall. He was going to play Ray Suden after the tournament. We were at a middle table along the left wall and across from us along the opposite wall was Ray getting in stroke. Standing against the wall at his table was Sax Del Porto and Sax's wife was sitting on a bar stool next to Sax. I heard Sax was Ray's mentor and possibly his backer. Thinking back Kim was so young it was like he still had some of his baby fat. Ha ha.

I had a friend George La Far who told me he played this kid (Tony) who had him stuck for some serious money. He couldn't believe "this kid" had him stuck. But he told me he toughed it out and got even. Cole was in town, Fremont, and I said something about George's game and Cole. George wanted to let me know something: he told me Louie, the owner of Fremont Family Billiards, let Cole and George play after hours and late into the wee morning hours. George told me that he played Cole for hours and hung in there with him all the while. George let me know that he was no slouch. I believed George.

My older brother went to high school with George and told me he was on the Diving Team. Once George was talking about how he once could do twenty handstand push ups. I gaffawwed. He said, You don't believe me. Here. I'll show you. So here is George about 30 years old and now a sales rep for, I forget. He was stout and a little bulky. I said, George, no, I believe you. I didn't want him to bust a brain blood vessel. He said no, I'll show you. He said I haven't done these in a while I'll need to do them against the wall. Me and a few other regulars were anxiously watching. George had his suit on took off his jacket, loosened his tie and unbuttoned his long sleeve shirt cuffs. No kidding. He got down and up against the wall he did five handstand push up with some serious exertion. But we had no doubt he was telling the truth when he said he could do 20 handstand pushups when he was younger and in shape. So when he said Tony, this kid, had him seriously stuck when they played and he fought back to break even I believe him.
Is this the same George La Far that plays out of Phoenix now?

Mike
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I also met Tony in Mountain View. California Billiards was just off El Camino Real, is this right. I'd say it was around 1977. ...
In 1977 California Billiards was in San Jose at the junction of 280, Stevens Creek and Lawrence Expressway. I think it had opened not long before. In the early 1990s it closed and a new version opened in Mountain View on El Camino, owned by Chet Itow. That second version has now moved to Fremont.
 

cuetechasaurus

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I met Tony at a tournament in either 2003 or 2004 at House of Billiards in Sherman Oaks. Nice guy who was very willing to share his knowledge of the game. He offered to sign my copy of his book but I didn’t have it with me. I remember being very impressed with his cueing and fundamentals, it looked perfect. If I remember correctly he lost to Wayne Pullen but he stuck around and hung out with the other players. RIP
 

WGDave

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
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In 1977 California Billiards was in San Jose at the junction of 280, Stevens Creek and Lawrence Expressway. I think it had opened not long before. In the early 1990s it closed and a new version opened in Mountain View on El Camino, owned by Chet Itow. That second version has now moved to Fremont.
Yes, that’s correct. It was located next to Futurama Bowling Alley with the dome out front. After that, a place across Stevens Creek Blvd and a half mile east opened called Santa Clara Billiards. That place closed a few years ago.

California Billiards was my high school hangout place until I went off to college. The guy that worked behind food bar used to sell dime bags.

Good memories of that place.
 
Last edited:

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In 1977 California Billiards was in San Jose at the junction of 280, Stevens Creek and Lawrence Expressway. I think it had opened not long before. In the early 1990s it closed and a new version opened in Mountain View on El Camino, owned by Chet Itow. That second version has now moved to Fremont.
I remember the 80’s one.
 

jjohnson

Registered
I had a senior moment. The pool hall I was referring to around 1977 where I played Kim Davenport was just off El Camino Real but I think it was in Palo Alto and it was called Golden something. I forget. Tony told me when I spoke with him at Hard Times Bellflower about 8 years ago. I think I might be a little autistic because he spoke in my ear and as soon as he told me the name I forgot it.

I bet twenty dollars on him against Moro (Paez) with Calvin. He ran like 5 racks then missed a shot he should have made: under cut it and drove it right into the rail. He lost the match and I lost 20 bucks. He wasn't upset about it. He said it happens. It was a tough match. It was a great match. That thumb nail photo above showing Tony down over a shot is classic Tony form. It reminds me of Artie Bodendorpher (sp?). I have a short clip showing a very young Artie taking a few shots and he gets down over his shots very similar to Tony.

I don't know where George La Far (sp?) is now or what he is doing. If you ever talk to him ask him if he is from Fremont, California. And mention what I related about him. He sure is a competitor, that is for sure. He leans into a tight stance with a pump stroke. I seem to remember he likes his cue tip like a pea. Isn't that like Efren? I went with him to a dingy pool hall once where Al the Plumber (Wichenbaugh sp?) was intensely working on his game. Man, Al sure looked mean. Meaner than Lee Van Cleef.

Fremont is where Cole Dickson is from. Every time Cole came back home from being on the road for months on end he would show up at Fremont Family Billiards. One day Cole comes in early just after opening and he walks down to a table against the back wall with a big smile on his face. He was heartily received by three guys playing pool. I am pretty sure one of them was Cecil Tugwell. That would have been around 1970. I remember when I first saw Cole he was probably 18. Then I saw him shoot. That is when I was told that when Cole was 16 no one in the San Francisco Bay Area could beat him. I didn't doubt it.
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
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I had a senior moment. The pool hall I was referring to around 1977 where I played Kim Davenport was just off El Camino Real but I think it was in Palo Alto and it was called Golden something. I forget. Tony told me when I spoke with him at Hard Times Bellflower about 8 years ago. I think I might be a little autistic because he spoke in my ear and as soon as he told me the name I forgot it.

I bet twenty dollars on him against Moro (Paez) with Calvin. He ran like 5 racks then missed a shot he should have made: under cut it and drove it right into the rail. He lost the match and I lost 20 bucks. He wasn't upset about it. He said it happens. It was a tough match. It was a great match. That thumb nail photo above showing Tony down over a shot is classic Tony form. It reminds me of Artie Bodendorpher (sp?). I have a short clip showing a very young Artie taking a few shots and he gets down over his shots very similar to Tony.

I don't know where George La Far (sp?) is now or what he is doing. If you ever talk to him ask him if he is from Fremont, California. And mention what I related about him. He sure is a competitor, that is for sure. He leans into a tight stance with a pump stroke. I seem to remember he likes his cue tip like a pea. Isn't that like Efren? I went with him to a dingy pool hall once where Al the Plumber (Wichenbaugh sp?) was intensely working on his game. Man, Al sure looked mean. Meaner than Lee Van Cleef.

Fremont is where Cole Dickson is from. Every time Cole came back home from being on the road for months on end he would show up at Fremont Family Billiards. One day Cole comes in early just after opening and he walks down to a table against the back wall with a big smile on his face. He was heartily received by three guys playing pool. I am pretty sure one of them was Cecil Tugwell. That would have been around 1970. I remember when I first saw Cole he was probably 18. Then I saw him shoot. That is when I was told that when Cole was 16 no one in the San Francisco Bay Area could beat him. I didn't doubt it.
i am a onepocket nut.
i would love to see a clip of artie shooting.
 

arnaldo

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I remember when I first saw Cole he was probably 18. Then I saw him shoot. That is when I was told that when Cole was 16 no one in the San Francisco Bay Area could beat him. I didn't doubt it.
Given the way teenage/early-twenties players in *every* developed country worldwide are increasingly infatuated with 9- and 10-ball, it's statistically inevitable that thousands of male & female pool prodigies roughly equal to Cole, Kim (Davenport), Artie B., Louie Roberts, McCready, Strickland, and teen-aged Efren, increasingly emerge every year.

Literally "kids" that have the world-class strokes, fundamentals, and strategy of their idols and mentors. Same thing happening in international snooker playing to a degree.

Televised and streamed billiards, and worldwide quality instructors also have a lot to do with all of this appreciable influx of dazzlingly talented, very young players -- many of whom have their own cadre of eager backers, much like the above-cited prodigies of past decades.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great 8 ball match between Archer and Bustamante that accu stats posted last week with Incardona and Tony commentating. Tony was a good commentator- very knowledgeable.

 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I had a senior moment. The pool hall I was referring to around 1977 where I played Kim Davenport was just off El Camino Real but I think it was in Palo Alto and it was called Golden something. I forget. Tony told me when I spoke with him at Hard Times Bellflower about 8 years ago. I think I might be a little autistic because he spoke in my ear and as soon as he told me the name I forgot it.

I bet twenty dollars on him against Moro (Paez) with Calvin. He ran like 5 racks then missed a shot he should have made: under cut it and drove it right into the rail. He lost the match and I lost 20 bucks. He wasn't upset about it. He said it happens. It was a tough match. It was a great match. That thumb nail photo above showing Tony down over a shot is classic Tony form. It reminds me of Artie Bodendorpher (sp?). I have a short clip showing a very young Artie taking a few shots and he gets down over his shots very similar to Tony.

I don't know where George La Far (sp?) is now or what he is doing. If you ever talk to him ask him if he is from Fremont, California. And mention what I related about him. He sure is a competitor, that is for sure. He leans into a tight stance with a pump stroke. I seem to remember he likes his cue tip like a pea. Isn't that like Efren? I went with him to a dingy pool hall once where Al the Plumber (Wichenbaugh sp?) was intensely working on his game. Man, Al sure looked mean. Meaner than Lee Van Cleef.

Fremont is where Cole Dickson is from. Every time Cole came back home from being on the road for months on end he would show up at Fremont Family Billiards. One day Cole comes in early just after opening and he walks down to a table against the back wall with a big smile on his face. He was heartily received by three guys playing pool. I am pretty sure one of them was Cecil Tugwell. That would have been around 1970. I remember when I first saw Cole he was probably 18. Then I saw him shoot. That is when I was told that when Cole was 16 no one in the San Francisco Bay Area could beat him. I didn't doubt it.
Al the Plumber was one of the nicest men you could ever meet in a poolroom. And he could play too! Al was consistently well up in the money in every tournament he played in, and he didn't miss many that were held in California.
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
I’m from the area and I don’t remember and pool rooms just off El Camino in Palo Alto in that time. Maybe he was thinking about Dee Hulse’s ‘Executive Billiards’ just off El Camino in Redwood City?
 

L.S. Dennis

Active member
I used to play at Antonio's Nut House on Cal Ave up by the railroad tracks. But it was not a pool hall just a bar with a table. I did play in Mountain View at California Billiards but I am talking about the 80's as well.. Antonio's was a ton of fun. I lived on Tennyson Ave and worked at Stanford, fun times...
I remember Antonio’s, crazy place to be sure. The old Palo Alto Bowl did have some tables if I remember correctly, but that was more in the late 60’s. Because of the cost of doing business on this side of the bay, most pool halls have pretty much dried up with the exception of Town and Country in Daly City, and the Great Entertainer in San Mateo. Too bad there used to be a lot of pool played here at one time.
 
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