Almost Forgotten: Rags, Youngblood & Rotation Slim

Almost Forgotten: Rags, Youngblood & Rotation Slim

Along with Cisero Murphy, “Youngblood” Washington, “Rotation Slim” Hairston and “Rags” Woods were among African American players at the early Johnston City events. In case you missed it, George and Paulie Jansco finally received their much-deserved induction into the BCA Hall of Fame back in November 2019. The principle contribution of these two legendary pool promoters was their creation...
The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

Brooklyn’s Cisero Murphy smashed through professional pool’s color line. Cisero Murphy, shown in the video that you can find here, was the first African-American pool player to ever win a World or U.S. National billiard title. Murphy also was a trailblazer for equal access, having to overcome race prejudice to gain the right to compete at the very top echelon of pool. A native...
Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna’s Parting Gift for Pool Fans

Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna’s Parting Gift for Pool Fans

Freddy “The Beard” Bentivegna “The ‘Encyclopedia’ of Pool Hustlers was the final hilarious work by pool writer Freddy ‘The Beard’ Bentivegna. He published the 325-page tome in 2013 and then passed away too soon in June of the following year. He sent me a signed copy, which I still cherish. The book (apparently out of print but you can still find it...
Rare Photo of Ralph Greenleaf’s widow, the Princess Nai Tai Tai

Rare Photo of Ralph Greenleaf’s widow, the Princess Nai Tai Tai

The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, by Tom Fox. My long-time friend Karen Fox recently sent me this lovely photo, above, of Amelia Greenleaf, the then-widow of billiard champion Ralph Greenleaf, chatting with Karen’s late husband, Tom Fox. Greenleaf is remembered now as one of the very best pool players in American history. Tom was a successful newspaper columnist and the co-author of...
BCA Hall of Fame: Janscos Inducted Posthumously

BCA Hall of Fame: Janscos Inducted Posthumously

The legendary promoters were posthumously honored with 2019 BCA Hall of Fame induction. By R.A. Dyer It was in a nothing poolroom 300 miles from nowhere, a nothing poolroom with concrete walls, bleachers and overshot with the mingled odors of beer, cigarettes and desperation. For respectable pool players, the 1961 tournament at Johnston City’s too-hopefully named “Show Bar”...