Cornbread Red, Minnesota Fats and a Johnston City Burn

Cornbread Red, Minnesota Fats and a Johnston City Burn

Old-time hustler was part of pool’s most colorful generation. The autobiography of Minnesota Fats, written with Tom Fox, references Cornbread Red. Billy Burge, better known as “Cornbread Red,” was a famed road player, an expert one-pocket player and a colorful wild man. He was a fixture of “The Rack,” a famed pool hall in Detroit, and a backroom denizen of the...
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...
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...
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”...
Guest Post: The Hustler’s Newman vs Gleason Match Up

Guest Post: The Hustler’s Newman vs Gleason Match Up

The catch, however, is that the match was never really played. By Bryan Johnston Ask any pool player what they consider the greatest pool match ever played and you’ll most likely hear Efren Reyes vs. Earl Strickland, June, 1995. Or perhaps Willie Mosconi vs. Rudolph “Minnesota Fats” Wanderone, Valentine’s Day, 1978. The Reyes/Strickland match is an obvious contender from a pure skill...
Guest Post: Puckett Still Haunting Texas Pool Hall?

Guest Post: Puckett Still Haunting Texas Pool Hall?

Poolroom regulars say the old pool hustler, dead now for more than 20 years, still causes mischief. By Jennifer Gardner Utley Puckett, better known to the pool world as hustler U.J. Puckett, was born in 1911 and died 81 years later, in 1992. In life he knew fame and fortune as a professional nine-ball and one-pocket champion alongside fellow sharks Jersey Red and Ronnie Allen. He was famous for...