Sociologist Recalls Jersey Red and 1960s Hustler Culture

Sociologist Recalls Jersey Red and 1960s Hustler Culture

A little more than 20 years ago I interviewed Ned Polsky, the late author of Hustlers, Beats and Others. We spoke about the 7-11 pool hall and Jersey Red and where pool’s been and where it was then going. Polksy himself had met Red at the 7-11 in Manhattan, and the two became fast friends. The 7-11, as you many New Yorkers may recall, was then one of the city’s premier action rooms....
Hall of Fame Inductee Charles Ursitti Known for Marksmanship

Hall of Fame Inductee Charles Ursitti Known for Marksmanship

Did you know that Charles Ursitti, recent Hall of Fame inductee and a key figure in the book The Hustler & The Champ, was also a highly competitive sharpshooter? He learned about guns from his father, and then went on to shoot both in public exhibitions and in tournaments. Charlie was the driving force behind the Great Shoot-Out, the famous 1978 televised match between Minnesota Fats and...
Michael Phelan, the Father of American Pool — A Timeline


Michael Phelan, the Father of American Pool — A Timeline


Michael Phelan is considered the father of American pool. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1993. Just below is a timeline that outlines major events in his life. 1819 (April 18th) — Born in Castle Comer, County Kilkenny, Ireland. 1823 — His father John Phelan immigrates to the United States. Here, he begins to operate a number of pool rooms. 1824 —...

From 2015: Pool Historian William Hendricks Dies

Here’s a bit of sad news for pool history fans: William Hendricks, author of the very good but somewhat obscure Official Standard History of Pool, Billiards and Snooker, has died. The World War II veteran was 90 years old. He passed away on May 15, 2015 in an Illinois nursing home. The Official Standard History of Pool, Billiards & Snooker is a hard-to-find gem, one that includes fascinating...
One-Pocket Mystery: Who Invented the Hustlers’ Game?

One-Pocket Mystery: Who Invented the Hustlers’ Game?

Here’s a one-pocket mystery. Jack Hill, apparently from Oklahoma, is referenced in Hustler Days as the inventor of one-pocket. But the original source for that information was The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, the book by Minnesota Fats. Fats offers only a few details about Hill, and we have never seen Hill’s name referenced elsewhere. According to Fats, a man by the name of...