Unknown "monster" players

henho

I Beat Fidelshnitzer
Silver Member
Mark Maryo from Cleveland Ohio put the beat down on many a top-name player in the 80s and early 90s. Was a great gambler and had heart to boot.
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I do not know if he has been mentioned or not, but around my area, Sam Kolesnik comes to mind. Most know him as Big Sam. He certainly knows his way around a table.

Braden

Was Big Sam out of Texas? We had a fella by the same name come through my area in the mid-80's. Real strong player.
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Vaughn was my dad. I commented on this thread along time ago and forgot about it and saw the thread tonight, went to the last page and found this post. Great story, thanks for telling it, my dad passed away in 2002 so it's always good to hear a story about him. If I remember correctly that was the tournament when my dad ran 9 racks on somebody. I was in HS then and into my own stuff so I didn't really understand how good he was, now that I play I realize how well he really played. I've within the last year dedicated myself to pool in his honor and I can only hope that I could be talked about in the same breath with my dad some day. If only I was into pool then like I am now maybe I'd be farther along but I'm enjoying the journey and enjoying the stories my dad left behind. Thanks again for the story.

Your dad could move real good, I remember. He hid his top speed as good as anyone.
 

Two-Rail Nate

New member
JoeyA said:
Very nice first post Nate.

WELCOME to the main forum!
JoeyA

Thanks JoeyA. I enjoy your commentary, especially on one pocket matches.

I've been around the pro pool scene since 1985. I've played one pocket against Steve Cook, Jose Parica, Grady Matthews, Bugs Rucker, Reyes and a host of other great players. As well as some great rotation players who quit after a few games and said "one pocket sucks". lol I don't play in tournaments, but in my hustling days I used to show up a couple of weeks after the big pro tournaments. That way, no one would suspect me of playing very well.

The reason I relate the above info, is because I think I may know the greatest, or for sure one of the greatest unknown monsters of all time, who is still unknown. See, the problem with most of the people named in this thread, is that they are known. This guy is known by very, very few. Even most players he has beat, don't really know how good he plays. Thats what made Vernon Elliot so great, he could play a duck for three days and never run more that two, or three balls. This guy is like Vernon Jr. No, its not me, but I wish I had his talent. Not only at billiards, but at the art of the con.

I met him over twenty years ago and he is still in top form today. I was new in town and knew none of the players from the area. I found a decent pool room with a pro shop and some nice Gold Crowns. He walks in and strikes up a conversation, he asks if I'm a pro golfer, bowler, pool player? I say no. He asks if I want to play 9-ball. I say I'm no good and don't own a cue. He says he has no cue either. We grab the balls and house cues. We agree to play for $5 a rack, Texas Express rules, which he had to explain to me. :p I win the flip, break, don't make anything and he runs out like Strickland. :eek: Then he breaks and runs out, in the next six games I had two kick shots and fouled once. So I'm eight games loser, having only shot three times. In the ninth game he hangs up the seven ball and gets very angry. He grabs the 7,8 and 9 and racks the balls and moves the coin. I hit a full force Mike Sigel break and don't make anything, because he had put a house rack on me. :cool: He promptly runs out that rack, then breaks and runs out two more in a row. I quit and handed him a fifty.

So, needless to say, I was impressed and perplexed by his hustling style. :confused: Who is this guy? Why would he run out like that on a potential duck? Anyway, in the interest of brevity, it was in the hopes that I would chase my money. Sort of like the JoeyA one-pocket rule of 'get ahead, stay ahead'. He was hoping that I came back with my cue and tried to high roll him. Which I unfortunately did. :eek: We have been fast friends ever since though and he is the best I've ever seen. Maybe not quite as good as Vernon, but he plays dead even(at certain times, beyond;)) with Nick Varner and almost no one has heard of him.

I might as well get to the bad news. He still wishes to remain undercover. There are people who know him, as he is getting close to sixty now, but as far as I know, the only people who know his true speed keep it a secret.

One day I shall write a book of our adventures. I think some will find it quite entertaining. :smile:
 

qfans

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
unkowns

I have a teammate that went out to the Amateurs in Vegas in 2010 with me. Kim White was teaching jump shots to me for Predator, when my buddy walked up and she looked at him and said "Dave Sink what are you doin here? There's noone here that can beat you? Which turned the heads of the pro instructors within earshot. He's had some health issues but he's gotta damn good stroke.
 

DoubleA

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I do not know if he has been mentioned or not, but around my area, Sam Kolesnik comes to mind. Most know him as Big Sam. He certainly knows his way around a table.

Braden
Saw Big Sam break out two table lights in the same tourny with his cueball during the break. He was pissed about something, and did it on purpose(I think). I know he could do it on cue if he wanted. Owner said he would bar him if it happened again.
 

buska95

Registered
unknown road agents

Has anyone mentioned Danny Altimore from around pittsburgh pa in about late eighty's early ninety's he seemed to play real well. Little Mikey or pittsburgh Mike is alive and well in uniontown pa he has a few fed-ex trucks but still plays in KJ's in uniontown pa east and south of pittsburgh. Bushwacker aka Gary Nolan closed his room last year and is actually hitting balls again. How would they stack up on the list......I think Bushwacker was there once. Also Danny Altimore.
 

Webbs Billiards

Billiards Dealer
Silver Member
Players who are largely "unknown" but possess close to champion speed? Would love to hear some stories. I will throw one name out there as an example(Vernon Elliot). He doesn't play anymore, but when he did, he was a "monster". Some of you know him and his reputation. would like to hear about him and any others that you know. Not trying to knock any action, I'm talking mainly about the "old timers".
My dad would hold a table at the navy yard in the late '60s for as long as he wanted. He said his cue had an automatic switch. He's been a "monster" with amazing speed and accuracy all my life. Even now at 65 you won't get a shot if he doesn't want you to. I figure I'm a good enough player, but he's forgot more than I know.
 

nevermiss

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Mark Maryo from Cleveland Ohio put the beat down on many a top-name player in the 80s and early 90s. Was a great gambler and had heart to boot.

Mark can really play. All games too. He used to beat me mercilessly playing bank pool. I have seen his name dropped in an article by Willie Jopling in one of the pool magazines several years ago and again in Hal Mix's book.
 

Chip Roberson

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK there were a few missed--Eddie O'connell from Bridgeport Conn--great player in his day--Can't say enough on how great Bill (Irvin) Lawson was in his day--cue ball couldn't be driven any better in my book--Steve (Silas) Carter could get in a great gear--Bud Ogbern--one of the best Snooker players ever out of this country--from Danville Va...both he and Steve--Johhny Ross out of Jacksonville Fla--Sammy Blumenthall helped him and Harley play I'm sure--An old freind Berkley Whitlow was a good player back in the 60's--watched him run 204 in straight pool back in early seventies at his Pool Room--learned a great deal about that game from that Gent--
 

thelmstetter

Tomcat
Silver Member
How about Mike "geese" Gerace, Tom "cigar Tom" vanover, Gary "Bushwacker" Nolan, Jerry Slivka, Scotty Boggs, Danny Green, Punky Jones
 

foxx333

Registered
If you had seen Vernon play in his prime, you would know that he could give Frankstein's monster the 6 out.

I've know Vernon since I was 16 when he would come down on Rossville Blvd. in Chattanooga in the early 70's his nick name was Burnie because he could burn the table up. I knew his whole family and kind of grew up with his kids. He taught me a lot about shooting pool. I called him not long after he had a stroke and you could really tell a difference. I really hated to hear he died. We lost one hell of a pool player and I lost a very good friend.
I remember back in the day when we had a lot of good players come through Chattanooga. They would play at the River Boat after hours. This was before the CBC or the Brew & Cue was open. Plus we had the locals like Billy Johnson he ran with Glen Young(backer), Gary Milsaps aka Tennessee from Sweetwater Tn. Huey, and Gene The Machine Cooper just to name a few. I went to Florida with Gene back in 1975 he had his Balabushka with him. Anyway while we were at this tournament in Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 1975 Danny DiLiberto was the host when George Balabushka died. Everyone was wanting to buy his stick after that. I've got a couple of pictures of Gene at that tournament with that stick. Back then Gene was called a world beater, this was before he hurt his back from breaking to hard. His game never was the same after that.

I played pool until the late 90's but back then I was the front runner if someone beat me then they would have to play my partner at the time. It was a fun crazy wild life and I loved it!
The Foxx
 
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huckster

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Has anyone mentioned Danny Altimore from around pittsburgh pa in about late eighty's early ninety's he seemed to play real well. Little Mikey or pittsburgh Mike is alive and well in uniontown pa he has a few fed-ex trucks but still plays in KJ's in uniontown pa east and south of pittsburgh. Bushwacker aka Gary Nolan closed his room last year and is actually hitting balls again. How would they stack up on the list......I think Bushwacker was there once. Also Danny Altimore.


I remember Chuck Altomare but can't picture Danny Altimore
 

JDB

Idiot Savant
Silver Member
How about Mike "geese" Gerace, Tom "cigar Tom" vanover, Gary "Bushwacker" Nolan, Jerry Slivka, Scotty Boggs, Danny Green, Punky Jones

There are a couple of monsters on your list; however, Jerry Slivka and Danny Green are more like very good shortstops.

They will beat most of the local competition but would have a problem in larger tournaments with mostly pros.

I understand they are very strong players, just not what I would call monsters.
 

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
There are a couple of monsters on your list; however, Jerry Slivka and Danny Green are more like very good shortstops.

They will beat most of the local competition but would have a problem in larger tournaments with mostly pros.

I understand they are very strong players, just not what I would call monsters.
Though Gerry's 1p game is top-shelf.
 

JDB

Idiot Savant
Silver Member
Though Gerry's 1p game is top-shelf.

That is a great point and an over sight on my part. I am rotation game biased because I don't play one-pocket. Therefore, my remarks were based on rotation games.

Thanks for the reminder that we are not just talking about rotation games.
 

Seneca Steve

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Anyone remember Bob "Sleepy Bob" kaufman from back in the sixties and seventies. Played real strong.
 

mortuarymike-nv

mortuarymike-nv
Silver Member
road monsters

I have read a few post and havent seen his name ,it was a brief encounter .
little guy Mike davino ex boxer I think he has been down a rough road once or twice. always treaded me nice gave me a few lessons.

from the southeast said he was close friend of earl strickland and jimmy reid. kentucky florida I think . he trashed most the players in reno
boise too. I havent seen or heard from him in 5 or 6 years.
MMike
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have read a few post and havent seen his name ,it was a brief encounter .
little guy Mike davino ex boxer I think he has been down a rough road once or twice. always treaded me nice gave me a few lessons.

from the southeast said he was close friend of earl strickland and jimmy reid. kentucky florida I think . he trashed most the players in reno
boise too. I havent seen or heard from him in 5 or 6 years.
MMike

Mike DeFino is who I think you mean (not the fella from San Diego with the same name). Last time I saw him was in Reno and Las Vegas, about 4 or 5 yeras ago. He was traveling at the time and did well at a tournament somewhere in Idaho or Wyoming. I haven't seen him since. I'm guessing he hung it up. It's a rough life on the road.
 
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