Unknown "monster" players


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I haven't talked to Fez in over a year. He was at a Veteren's home about 150 miles from El Paso and had been there for the last three years. Another friend of mine had stopped to see him a few months ago and he was barely hanging on. He was something else...we cracked many a pop together and would take him to some out of town tourneys in Texas. At 93 he still had game and played all the barbox local tourneys for something to do. He loved to sweat the action but would only bet on a few because he had been dumped so many times. What a character. Bobby Madrid still plays some across town, don't see him much. Not a lot of action around here these days, everybody is scared, wants the mortal nuts and have turned into a bunch of lamb killers. Oh well, it's probanly saved me a ton of cash.:D

i ran into Fez In Odessa tx way back in about 81-82. I didn't know hime and we played on the bar box. He was in a white shirt pleated slacks, wing tipp shoes and his hands shook like the wwest aTexas wind. My partner and Iwere laughing and I told him this woul be over with in an hour. He was astubborn old man and I told my partner the same thing8 hours later and finally they kicked us out fo Woddys at 3 am and dead even. I was rather happy they did at that point.

Fez walked over and shoook my hand and asked me toplay agian the next day. We agreed and met and played about 6 hours. I had him six games stuck, he ran 6 on me to get even and I said I had had enough. The old man had a twinkle in his eye and then took us out to dinner. We shared some spots and made some money and only saw him a couple of times afterwards. We talked often though.

I truely love and repspect Fez!!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When I was in Vegas, Cotton asked me about Dave Jaeger (sp?). I used to play him about 15 years ago and he was certainly a barbox monster from Clinton Iowa. A fishing accident (fish hook in his right eye) ended his pool career about 10 years ago.

Another relative unknown is Donny Branson. He gave me the 8 and the break and beat me 11 to 1 a couple years ago on a Gold Crown. I didn't think anybody I'd never heard of could do it.

Dave Yager, another balst from the past. Nice guy too!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes, Joe is a well known player! All I was saying was when Joe was on the road in his early days he wasn't known, that's why I classified him as an unknown player in his early years. Everyone starts out unknown until they beat a few noticeable players and people start to take notice. In his day he beat a a lot of great players before they starting talking and he got noticed, then everyone was scared to play him.

i happen to know Joe quite well and I am afraid to to tell some of the stories he told. Like the time he gave siegel the 7 on the bart table and beat him and that is just a teazer too. I doubt Joe minds to much now as he plays very, very seldom, but I'm afraid most wouldn't believe most of the stories!


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In that same crew was Rick Van Uum. I think I spelled his name right. What about Jr. Brown? Did you know him?

we are telling our ages Jay. I like ridky too and he would today be a great candidate for the speed pool thing. The guy played very fast and I believe from St Louis!!

Jr Brown, an incredible character is alive and so far, well in Wichita Kansas!! Jr is one funny guy!!


"We are the dead." -Winston Smith-
Silver Member
Martin Rimlinger is probably the best player around here.


Tramp Steamer

One Pocket enthusiast.
Silver Member
Godzilla was a little known 'monster player' who played mostly in the poolrooms around south Tokyo. Being a very aggressive player he was seldom invited back to a pool hall, but was reputed to have had a phenomenal break. Later in life he abandoned the cue sports and took up acting, where he starred in several low budget films. :wink:


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Here are a couple of names from yesteryear that were from/played in Southeast Texas:

Phillip Hyde: played in the 70's, from Port Arthur(The Groves), TX. Played some in Houston, too. I was told he matched up with Buddy Hall and was ahead, until someone told him who he was playing. Bad habits took Phillip early, in his early 40's I think.

Joe Bob Humphrey: He was short stop speed in pool playing, but one of those guys who was a remarkable talker and hustler. He created action from thin air. Also had the not so unusual baggage of 'doing whatever it took' to remain ... unbroke, so to speak. He got into casino dealing, I think. Last I heard he may still be kicking, up in Vegas.

A-1 billiards

Silver Member
How about? James St Jean circa 1940's out of Mass. or Dave "the face" Lippner Queens NY from the seventy's. TJ Laflamme out of Maine. Mike Ufiemia out of Queens NY. Wendell Weir, Norm "farmer" Webber, Roger Boucher out of Mass. All talented players under the radar.


Silver Member
Martin Rimlinger is probably the best player around here.


Really? Marty and I have been friends for over 20 years and I never saw him win a Monday night tourney at Airway. He's a great guy and what a lot of people don't know is he was the first to video pool matches and the first to use video as a training aid, but he's not at the top of the food chain in Dayton. He's certainly a credit to the sport and I really think if he read this he'd be in full agreement with what I wrote.

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
God, so many players mentioned on this thread. Many of them weren't truly unknown though. Guys like Greg Stevens, Weldon Rogers, Tommy Sanders, Mark Tadd and Joe Salazar were very well known, although Weldon stayed undercover pretty good.

And then a lot of them are "local" players who rarely strayed out of their area. I still think Toby Sweet and maybe Buster Merchant were the best "unknowns." Jerry Brock was a great player (but not as good as Buddy) until he got sent on "vacation."

Dave Lipner played pretty good Straight Pool but what a character! He was one crazy guy to watch. Did anyone mention Sammy Guzman? Just as fast as Lou Butera and played almost as good. Got shot down on the streets of New York. Norm Webber was still beating people up till a few years ago. Omaha John was one of the best bar table players alive, but also one of the slowest. Keith could run six racks while John was studying a combo! :eek:
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AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Blast from the past for sure...........

Anybody remember--

Jr. Harris
Dick Spitzer
Mike "Chewy" North Dakota
Dennis Favaro
California Vic
Jeff Carter
Ron Dobosinski
Dale Slicenger
Louie Lemke-RIP
Davey "Crocket"-Kunert
Don Gibson-RIP
Gene Albrect
Jimmy Wetch
Greg Fix
Ken Carpenter-RIP

I have stories on top of stories about these guys. No time right now but will share later.
You said a mouthful there.....


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jay you never cease to amaze................

Some pretty good players on this list, although not unknown by any means. Jeff Carter and Jimmy Wetch both had successful tournament careers. Greg Fix played regularly on tour in the 80's and 90's. Probably the slowest player out there.

Jr. Harris was a road man of note, moving around the country for decades. He parked one of his Volvo's at my house for months, while he was off traveling. He batted heads with Bill Mielke over and over again, and never could beat him.

Louie Lemke was a solid shortstop, who played in many tourneys as well. He could win on the local level. Also a very talented musician and all around great guy. Gone to soon to cancer. Waterdog (Don Edwards) was a sometimes great player who succumbed to drug addiction. I played him once when he was high on acid (he told me). He went broke to me having the time of his life. :rolleyes:

Spitzer and Chewakin were two of the best from Big Sky country. Last I heard Chewy was driving a bus up there. Spitzer kept winning bar table tourneys until recently. He also did well at the BCA many years.

Dobosenski was a super straight shooter from Wisconsin I believe. Played right there with Carter, Willie Munson and George Pawelski. I think his temper was his undoing more than once. He could get down on himself for missing a ball.

Gene Albrecht won in tournaments and gambling for a long time. Hope this helps.

Hi there Jay,

I don't know how you do it but everytime you you post a line on someone your dead on. Many years of knowledge and a great memory.
And alot of these players here and there you were directly involved with.

What great memories. Keep it up. Thanks geno..........


Efren's Mini-Tourn BACKER
Silver Member
But Reed was only about 10 years old in the early 70's! How old was Alfie?

I Lived in Jackson, MS in 1974 and Reed Pierce was already playing at a top speed then. Just guessing that he must have been around 18 at the time. Now Reed spends his time grilling steaks.



Stevie "wonder" Dombrowski

I backed Stevie for about four years from 2000 to 2004. When focused he was a world beater. My record backing him was over 90% and that included tournaments. In 2000 I backed Stevie against Cliff Joyner, we got 9-7 and robbed Cliff. Two four a head sets. Our largest score was 10k when I entered him in the world fastest three ball league. Steve Mizerak was a guest referee and when he saw Stevie he was running up to everyone to get a bet down.

I know Stevie can be tough to deal with at times but he is the most honorable pool player I know of. I used to send him on the road to a tournament with the cash and there was never a problem.

Anyone have any stories of Stevie Wonder?

Corvette Scott


"Rack Um"/ Rusty Lock
Silver Member
Reed Pierce

I was curious, so I googled Reed Pierce, I thought he was 3 or 4 years younger than me, as I remember being in a tournament in Tupelo,Miss. back in 1981 and Reed was 18yrs. then.

Reed was born April 24, 1963.....

so in the 70's Reed would have been very young....

David Harcrow