Traveling with Zen Master and Pool Hustler Extraordinaire, Dalton Leong

CJ Wiley

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I've had the opportunity to play and travel with many of the greatest pool players of all time - they were street wise and had unique areas of expertise.

One of these players was Dalton Leong who taught me a lot about life, hustling and far eastern martial arts which inspired me to reach 2nd Degree Blackbelt and teach over 24 years in Dallas Texas.

We won a lot of money gambling in Minnesota, we also lost through some unfortunate accidents, including a fire that destroyed many of Dalton's most sentimental possessions.

This is the story of how the partnership started between Dalton and me, which would lead to a 7 month adventure in many states, bars and pool rooms.

https://youtu.be/YbHoL-APqcI
 

gogg

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Hi CJ,
What martial art do you practice? Just nosey, but I have heard the references several different times and am interested to know.
I am an Aikidoka
 

CJ Wiley

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I'm not familiar with the word Aikidoka, is it another word for Aikido?

Hi CJ,
What martial art do you practice? Just nosey, but I have heard the references several different times and am interested to know.
I am an Aikidoka

Shaolin Kung Fu was the main style, I studied other disciplines under Masters in Taekwondo, and Brazilian Jiujitsu - Maser Orlando Waugh is also an accomplished pool player in Arlington Tx. We used to trade pool lessons for Jiujitsu at his house.

My main interest was weapons and forms\movements that could be done in small areas like hotel rooms, however, most of my training these days is outside in fresh air and sunshine.

I'm not familiar with the word Aikidoka, is it another word for Aikido?
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
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Search Results
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Aikidoka - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Aikidoka
Aikidoka (合気道家 aikidōka) is a Japanese term for a practitioner of the martial art Aikido. The term is rarely heard among native speakers of Japanese, in spite of its common use as a loanword in other countries.
 

CJ Wiley

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I know Karate and 7 other oriental words

Search Results
Web results

Aikidoka - Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Aikidoka
Aikidoka (合気道家 aikidōka) is a Japanese term for a practitioner of the martial art Aikido. The term is rarely heard among native speakers of Japanese, in spite of its common use as a loanword in other countries.

We learn something new every day!

Reminds me of Ronnie Allan who said "I know Karate and 7 other oriental words!":groucho:
 

jaime_lion

AzB Silver Member
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I practice wing chun kung fu. Also I was in a pool hall a month or so ago. And I heard a guy talking about a time there was so much money on the light that the light came down from the ceiling.
 

Paul Schofield

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Dalton had an inner toughness. No matter what the game was, no matter what the bet was, Dalton fought hard. A Dalton experience was unforgettable.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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I've had the opportunity to play and travel with many of the greatest pool players of all time - they were street wise and had unique areas of expertise.

One of these players was Dalton Leong who taught me a lot about life, hustling and far eastern martial arts which inspired me to reach 2nd Degree Blackbelt and teach over 24 years in Dallas Texas.

We won a lot of money gambling in Minnesota, we also lost through some unfortunate accidents, including a fire that destroyed many of Dalton's most sentimental possessions.

This is the story of how the partnership started between Dalton and me, which would lead to a 7 month adventure in many states, bars and pool rooms.

https://youtu.be/YbHoL-APqcI

More great stuff from CJ. He has a lot of interesting pool memories to share, and throws in some pearls of wisdom along with it. It was good to hear him talk about Dalton, who was a legendary undercover gambler, first on the West Coast and later all across the country. He spent a lot of time around L.A. but we never played. I'd like to think it's because he respected my One Pocket and Banks game, but it's more likely he didn't want to show his speed to beat me out of relatively small money. I was not known as a high roller. :)

Dalton was just beginning to show some success as an actor when he was the victim of a street mugging in New York where they ended up shooting and killing him. That sent shock waves through the entire pool world because he was so widely respected. I walked those same streets alone at night many times years before, and I guess I was just lucky.
 

CJ Wiley

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Prepare for Life through Pool and Prepare for Pool through Life

Dalton had an inner toughness. No matter what the game was, no matter what the bet was, Dalton fought hard. A Dalton experience was unforgettable.

You would certainly know, Paul, I'd like to have been there when you two battled, I imagine it was epic!

Dalton taught me a lot of things and I've told many players how much the book 'Zen in the Art of Archery' helped my mental game.....Dalton highly recommended that book and 'The Way of the Samarii' that I read a few years later.

He told me two things one day and insisted that I meditate of the deepest meanings until they had an impact on my life. I not only did that, for years they entered my mind and I based several decisions with these two thoughts in mind.

1) He said "money must be a result, not an incentive" - even hustling pool Dalton treated as an art form and since he was an actor he was an amazing hustler, playing the part of the Japanese tourist, the Chinese businessman, the Alaskan fisherman, etc etc

2) The second thing he stressed with me was "readiness is everything, or preparation is all" - he wanted me to prepare for life through the game of pool and the game of pool through learning the deepest psychological aspects of life.

Dalton made an impact on everyone that knew him, it was unfortunate what happened to him in New York, and I have reason to believe it was no ordinary robbery, that's another story for another time and place.

The Game is the Teacher
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
Thanks for addressing leong's passing. Look forward to hearing your take on it, as your perspective is both different than others', and it seems like your exposure to him was very different than most whom encountered him
 

CJ Wiley

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He'd just sit, drink coffee or tea and read a book for hours at a time.

More great stuff from CJ. He has a lot of interesting pool memories to share, and throws in some pearls of wisdom along with it. It was good to hear him talk about Dalton, who was a legendary undercover gambler, first on the West Coast and later all across the country. He spent a lot of time around L.A. but we never played. I'd like to think it's because he respected my One Pocket and Banks game, but it's more likely he didn't want to show his speed to beat me out of relatively small money. I was not known as a high roller. :)

Dalton was just beginning to show some success as an actor when he was the victim of a street mugging in New York where they ended up shooting and killing him. That sent shock waves through the entire pool world because he was so widely respected. I walked those same streets alone at night many times years before, and I guess I was just lucky.

Dalton would hang around pool rooms for long periods of time and not play, he did that in New York too. He'd just sit, drink coffee or tea and read a book for hours at a time.

Eventually he would start at the bottom of his list and move up according to how well they played and how much they'd bet. When we were together I did 90% of the playing and he just acted like he was my backer.
 

wahcheck

AzB Silver Member
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Thanks

Thanks for the stories about Dalton. He was from San Francisco where he was thought of as the best Chinese player in the City. I didn't know how good he really was until I read your stories about him. The #2 of things he told you, seems similar to what Kareem Abdul Jabbar said was one of the sayings that UCLA's great coach, John Wooden, used to teach: "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail......" One of those things I always try to tell my grandchildren concerning school work, but it applies to most endeavors we have in life.
 

CJ Wiley

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"The readiness is all" - William Shakespeare (or was it?)

Thanks for the stories about Dalton. He was from San Francisco where he was thought of as the best Chinese player in the City. I didn't know how good he really was until I read your stories about him. The #2 of things he told you, seems similar to what Kareem Abdul Jabbar said was one of the sayings that UCLA's great coach, John Wooden, used to teach: "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail......" One of those things I always try to tell my grandchildren concerning school work, but it applies to most endeavors we have in life.

That's great advice.

I think Dalton got the saying from Hamlet who came to the belief that God had a hand in every detail of his life. Hamlet claimed that whatever is destined to happen will happen soon enough, and for those on Earth, "The Readiness is All".

This was written by William Shakespeare who Dalton believed was actually Sir Francis Bacon, the philosopher and scientist.......I would bet on Dalton regarding this subject too.
 

Paul Schofield

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In Cleveland, Dalton was known as "The Chinaman".
 

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CJ Wiley

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Dalton used to talk about an Indian kid in Cleveland they called JR

In Cleveland, Dalton was known as "The Chinaman".

Dalton used to talk about an Indian kid in Cleveland they called JR who was a great pool player. I haven't heard much about him other places, does anyone know who he was?
 

Paul Schofield

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Leil Gay. He went by JR. My favorite pool story involves JR and his father "The Chief". (the GIF is of JR and Ronnie Allen) JR passed away on a reservation a few years ago.
 

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CJ Wiley

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How good did he play?

I'm pretty sure his name was Leil and pronounced like Neil.

How good did he play, Bob?

I remember Dalton thought he had potential to be a great player but I never heard much more about him.
 

u12armresl

One Pocket back cutter
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He did go by JR.

Ran around the Midwest a lot and I ran into him at most of the Texas Express stops, especially any in MI.

Leil Gay. He went by JR. My favorite pool story involves JR and his father "The Chief". (the GIF is of JR and Ronnie Allen) JR passed away on a reservation a few years ago.
 
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