Guest Essay: Observations of a Pool Room Junkie

Guest Essay: Observations of a Pool Room Junkie

Novelist Harmon Rangell shares memories of some of New York’s most famous poolrooms. By Harmon Rangell Harmon Rangell The first pool room I walked into was in Queens Village, New York, across from the LIRR railroad station on Springfield Boulevard just south of Jamaica Avenue. It was up a long flight of stairs and I think the reason I went there in the first place was because I heard they...
LASSITER & FATS: BIG BETS IN TODAY’S DOLLARS

LASSITER & FATS: BIG BETS IN TODAY’S DOLLARS

How much were historic wagers by Lassiter, Fats, and De Oro in today’s dollars? This is what Luther Lassiter said about Norfolk, Virginia, back in the 1940s: “Greatest pool town that’s ever been. You had five or six people there who were really gambling. People had lots of cash, and players from all over the country — anybody that played for money at all —...
Marshall “Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter dead at 92

Marshall “Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter dead at 92

Legendary OnePocket player Helped Organize First Johnston City Tournament. Legendary one-pocket player Marshall Carpenter, better known to the pool world as The Tuscaloosa Squirrel, passed away April 5 in his namesake hometown. He was 92. Marshall “The Tuscaloosa Squirrel” Carpenter, right, with Wimpy Lassiter in Johnston City, Illinois, 1963. Born Feb. 9, 1928, Carpenter was the...
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...