hey mate, got a few questions for you
a) who are the three best all round pool players you've ever seen play or play against ?
b) what has been your biggest and/or most dramatic money match you've ever had ?
hey mate, got a few questions for you
a) who are the three best all round pool players you've ever seen play or play against ?
b) what has been your biggest and/or most dramatic money match you've ever had ?
to big bro, are you down under mate? The best players at pool I have seen. Allow me to go to Golf, and my teaching from it's head guru, Ballard, who told me never compare athletes in any sport from decade to decade. Take Bobby Jones in his prime, put him in a time machine & take him from l920 to l953, put him up against Hogan, Ben kills him. Take both of them to l965 & put them up against Fat Jack, Nicklaus kills both of them, take all 3 of them to 2000 & put them up against Tiger Woods & he kills everyone.
Things change, equipment changes, players get better, the bar gets higher. Ballard said it doesn't count if you come along like Johnny Miller, Jerry Pate and tear everyone up for 2 or 3 years, then lose your swing & yo mama can beat you. He says if that player was great, knew really what he was doing, he would have never lost it in the first place. He say's to be great, you have to dominate every one in the world, defeat every opponent for a decade, 10 years. Once he meets that test, you examine his record, and how big a star he was. When I do that, combine all that, the winner is clear, Ralph Greenleaf, teens, 20's, 30's. Nobody in pool was ever a bigger star & was more loved & respected than Ralph, until he began to drink himself to death in public. His record would have been better than Mosconi's if he had not destroyed 10 playing years being drunk most of the time. Mosconi barely edges him out in stats. Before Ralph, Taberski could come to the table & run 50. Ralph raised the bar, he was good for a 75 any time, but that was now the bar, he did not need to go above that. Mosconi was good to run a century any time he stepped up, he was almost unbeatable. I saw Ralph play at the very end, was not much to see, but I have a lot of film of him in his prime & have studied him in depth as I have Hoppe. I set all my early records using Willie Hoppes tea cup grip, now my grip is very similiar to Greenleafs, only I dont do the side saddle thing with my arm. Mosconi I played twice, lost twice. This is going to piss everyone off, but IMHO, NOBODY SINCE HIM, HAS PLAYED AS GOOD. I saw him run over 200 four times, once he almost got to 300. The problem with Willie, is he lacked star quality, a lot of people did not like him, most were very jealous of him because he was so much better than them, he was a little cocky & arrogrant, but when your that fargin good, & you know it, it's hard to be humble. Who's #3, you guys tell me, I don't know, I like Efren, Bustamonte, Earl, Nick Varner, Rempe, sigel, the miz, these are guys who have put in their decade. There are alot of new kids coming on playing fantastic, let them do it for a decade. Then talk to me about them. The list could go on & on, Archer, Buddy Hall, Caras, Crane, Lassiter, and I am surely leaving out 10 others who should be there. If you tied me to a tree & began to starve me for the answer, I would probaby filp a coin between Sigel & the Miz. I never played either of them, but have studied their play in great detail & have most of their matches on tape. That l50 & out Mike put on poor Zuglan, may be the purest & most perfect run I have ever seen. Miz was the bigger star. Ask me who was the greatest baseball player & I will say Babe Ruth, others will say Ty Cobb, to me star power always is the deciding factor when records are close. Players from the past can never win this contest, because most who vote are younger, and they tend to vote for their current hero's they now know see & admire. They wont vote for a ghost they just heard about or read about. Other sports know their past, their history, their legends, pool does not, and that greatly concerns me. I was talking to a new student, he said do you have any references, I said sure, several dozen in writing from world champions, hall of famers, but I only need one & not the others. I handed him a picture of Jimmy Caras & in his handwriting he wrote to Fast Larry, one of the great artistic billiard players ever. Jimmy signed that on 7-2000 at the BCA trade show in Vegas in the Brusnwick booth. He & I had lunch, I asked Ewa to play me a rack of 9 ball, I broke, did not make a ball, she ran out, I left saying nice run. The student said, who is this guy Caras,never heard of him, do you have any references from the people I see on TV today. I wanted to cry. Go into any pool hall anywhere on Friday or Saturday night at 9pm, do a survey of l0 rooms, 200 players and ask this question, who is Willie Mosconi, did you ever hear of him, what game did he play? I will bet you Wonder Dog 95% of them fail to answer this simple 2 part question. Do the same on l0 public golf courses, ask them who is Bobby Jones, what kind of shafts did he play with, & I will bet you 95% of the golfers know the 2 answers. Golf teaches it's history, teaches etiquett and only has one rule book every player owns & has in their bag, they just dont make up the rules as they go along like we do in bars. Pool has none of the above. What was my biggest money match I ever won, if I was really the BS artist I am being now accused of I could really make up some woppers you would love, & how would know? I gambled on my game from 1959 to 1973, I quit because I got hurt real bad in a bar fight in Rapid City S.D, got hit over the head with a beer bottle, broke my right hand & crushed my knuckles so bad I could not play for a year, the hand was like a claw when it came out of the cast. All I did was clean the guy out, nicely, then his girlfriend snuggled up to me on the bar uninvited I may add, that was it, the guy went ape, tried to kill me. After that, I never gambled on my game ever again. I will play for a beer, or the time, & I think it makes you a better player & competitor to always have something riding on the out come. I think gambling your entire paycheck away is pretty dumb, so use reason with this. I did 3 road trips in l96l, the first one was to Hot Springs Ark, U J PUCKET, had him stuck, but he came back & wiped me out. I lost every thing in that town, my loot, my cue, even my car, I literally walked out of the state, nobody would even pick me up & give me a ride, I damn near starved. I did 2 cross country trips out to California, the first one I again came home broke, but with my Rambo & car, the 2nd one I made a few bucks, nothing to brag about. Had I stayed with it yes I could have become a great roadie, but I could not stand that lifestyle. What I could not get used to is you win, you lose, you win, you lose, You just could never get really ahead & stay there. Fatty said that's the way it is my boy. I guess when it comes to being a money player, I sucked. The main thing I did, was never play any one of merit, never any pro. Would not go near the top stick in the house, this guy was always broke & did not have 2 dimes to rub together, but he could find a backer & play fearlessly, it was not his money, he did not care. I only played average players who thought they were good & had a lot of money on them. I managed to stay totally unknown & unrecognized & I was taught, that is the key to it. Once they know you, then you are giving every one a spot, spot, that's my dog, I dont give no spot, are you kidding. My theory was it is not how good you play, it is how good you matched up. That is what Fatty did better than any one else. I was a locksmith, I put you in a Hungrarian Mortal lock from the get go, from which you could not escape. If I could beat you giving you the 7 & the break, I would only play you if you gave me the 7 & the break. Then, how can I lose. Being able to sell the game was more important than playing it. I played Titanic Thomson, this is the guy who really invented the Miller lite trick shot, few know that story, I know all of his moves, & that is what he taught me, dont bet a nickle unless the guys in a trap, then it aint gambling no more, now it's a simple con. I never played for big money, Never won more than a thou in a match, but remember a dollar in 6l, is $6 today.
I tried to do 2 things, never clean a guy out, leave him with some respect, and 2, never play the guy who has a lot of loot on him. How many honest normal people do you know who go to the local pool room with $3000 cash on them. People with big money on them, can be very dangerous, play around long enough, you will catch a drug dealer who would rather kill you than pay you, it dont matta no how to him.
I avoided these people & these games. OK, call me a pussy, I told you I sucked at this. A very good friend of mine, who once came in 4th in the US Open 9 ball championship, which proves he can play, when he was young, 2 dudes roll into his home room wanting action. He took them for $3000 cash, cleaned their clocks. When he went home, they jumped him in the parking lot, beat him up, took back the loot, dragged him behind a building, poured gasoline over his head & set him on fire. The guys life was ruined. He did survive, but not his face. I have seen 3 people get killed in pool halls with pool cues, I have been stabbed once & shot at once in a pool hall, I have been attacked twice in a parking lot. It just got too dangerous for me, so I left it & don't miss it a bit. Sorry to disappoint you, I knew a lot of these people, I did not run with them on the road. I got married, graduated from college, had 3 kids, became a sales executive in a fortune 100 firm, had a nice home & life. The story about Martin Kiaman & his condition, when many of the old roadies begin to lose their nerve, their eyesight & their games, they wake up & realize they never bought that little 8 table room with card game in the back room as planned. They just bet their sock & lost it to some punk they used to be able to sweep the floor with. No hope, no future, Some do a St Louie Louie, stick their rod in their mouth & pull the trigger. Most of them go out ugly, real ugly, it's not pretty. The roadie I wrote about running 5 racks & out on me twice, played better than God, I saw him sitting on the corner of a pool hall with dark glasses acting like he was blind with a tin cup begging for food. The roadie is a most interesting study. Never confuse me for being a Minnesota Fats, we have nothing in common. I was a 4 palm eagle scout as a kid, I was brought up to not tell a lie, & dont get on my case about that one too, yes I can send you a copy of that award, dont even think about it. I grew up in a very strong Christian family, and live that same life today. It drives me nuts when people call me a hustler, I dont hustle any one. I am a professional teacher, A professional entertainer. Every one I teach, leaves me happy & with his money's worth. Every show I do, I get paid $50 for every shot I take, whether I make them or not, it does not matter, I get paid in advance, before the cue comes out of the case. There is no gamble to what I do, I dont have to gamble, some of these other guys do. I really dont like gambling, others love it. Last month Me & Wonder Dog were flown out to Hollywood to star on the premier of the new prime time show, pet star, we were competeting for a $25,000 prize. I come walking out in a tuxedo, I look like Steve Davis, black tie, with Jake the Wonder Dog, room full of people in the CBS studio 56 in Burbank, the MC Greets me & say's, whow, you really look like a pool hustler, I said excuse me, I dont hustle any body, I am a pool professional sir. He say's, well you look like you could play me for some money, I said sir, I am not a hustler, I dont gamble on my game, but if you want to play the dog for a hundred a rack, he will, 3 cameras are closing in & the director yells out cut, what is going on here. I said you cant call me a pool hustler on national TV, my mother will watch this show, and all of her friends. We do take 2, Jake makes the chatanoogo choo choo shot with his nose, the 1-2-3-4 balls roll into the side pocket in rotation. We get nice scores, 8-8-9, the Texas herd dog wins. My big mouth killed me with the judges, I dont care if I blew 25 grand over it, I will not be called a hustler, it is a insult to me. They are calling & begging me to come back out & do it again, I am so pissed, I am not sure I want to. It's my name that is killing me, Fast Larry, everyone assumes this is a Fast guy, a pool hustler. Fatty gave the handle to me, simply because I played a very fast game of 9 ball, The room I came up in had 3 fast players, me, fast joey & the original Fast Eddy, Parker, who was a good friend of mine. In my era, you could only have a handle if you became a good player & a top stick awarded it to you. My 2nd handle, the teacher, the professor of pool, was awarded to me by a physics professor at Ga Tech University, so dont come after my handles, I am as clean as new fallen Kansas snow on them. Players today just make them up, lets see, how about I am the duke of doom, Ok, that's my new name. Give me a break. I earned my handle in l994 when I set my 7th worlds record, by breaking the Scottish record that had stood for 8 yrs, I broke a rack of 15 balls, the CB stopped after every shot & I ran out in 33.95 seconds, broke the record by 3.95 sec. This record stands today untouched for the last 9 years. When Pearson came over & thought he was the fastest, he was shocked to learn me & 2 others were able to beat him. Gerni was living with him & booking him. I said let's settle it & see who's the best, I offered to play him for a $1000, they put up no money, if he beats me, he got the grand. I also offered the same bet to Gerni, I would play him for a grand on his 30 show shots he had been shooting for 25 years, he ran & hid. My next letter offered the bet again, this time I would play him one handed, he ran & hid. They both ran & hid. My record was on a 9' table, Dave has ran a rack a little faster than than on a 7' bar box, the smaller the table, the easier & faster the run can be. We both hold world records on this, me on the 9, him on the 7. He now accepts this, he didn't at first, but he does now. He's OK, I have no problem with him. But when I did that, I technically became, and still am, the fastest pool player on the planet. Dave can make the same exact claim. Now I can barely walk, but that does not matter, the record still stands. Fast Larry, is simply a fast player, that is all I claim. Regards, Fast Larry Guninger
I'll tell you this Fast Larry, I sure am happy you stuck around. You say you're a professional entertainer. I'm imagining you spinning stories and what your voice would sound like. Yes, I'm beginning to see the light and I'm truly entertained.
Kato~~~loves stories, loves 'em all.
Signature deleted by***********Kato
I agree, Larry definately can talk!
I saw him at Valley Forge a couple of years ago. Larry bet my friend(during an exhibition) that Wonder Dog could run 6 or 8 balls in less strokes than my buddy(the balls were hanging in the pockets with, I think, 2 on the end rails, can't quite remember) If my friend won, he would win a Cuestick from Larry. My friend wound up winning and we had to bust his balls - If you win, you beat a dog and if you lose... [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Dear Kato, you asked what I am really like & how I talk & sound. Did I ever get my self in hot water with that one, you see I stick my foot up my A** or in my mouth a lot, you would think I would learn, old people, what can I say. 5 years ago I produced a video tape to showcase most of my record shots. At the half way point, I did a paraday, a comedy sketch of Harry Da Horse the pool hustler, I was trying to be funny. What a disaster, it damn near destroyed me, just about every one who saw it, thought that was really me, that I was like that. That thing still floats around to haunt me, the worst mistake I ever made. The tape I have out now, shows the Ripleys TV show, several TV appearances & some record shots. The 2nd half of it, one hour, is an interview on the Ripleys set, the day before the shoot, by the producers. They were after sound bites for the commercials and they ran me every hour 24 hrs a day for 10 straight days 0n TBS, the super station, on cable, then the show came on. The show has aired several times. A lot of people got to see what I am like & how I do talk. The interview, I had no idea what the questions were going to be in advance. If you really want to know who I really am, what I am like, how I really talk, buy the tape, email me at Fastlarry@earthlink.net. You will be shocked what you find out, I am totally different than some of these people are making me out to be. Will they ever check it out, no, they are having too much fun beating me up, they would then have to find somebody new to abuse & insult. They finally found somebody who will stick & stay & take it, they love it. The only reason I am staying, seriously, is I got over 25 private emails from the players asking me to do that, and what they said about those attacking me I would not reprint. I am here for you, the player, and my jealous competitors can keep calling me a pig & jackass till the cows come home, go for it guys.
To: Eric, that was a fun 3 days at the Hopkins Expo 2 yrs ago, I was not there last year, I was crippled, could not walk. I'll be back, at about 75%, dont expect too much from me, but old Wonder Dog has not lost a step. Here's the story on that, I am working the Stealth booth, I go to Mark Stoller, who is a very cool guy, very generous, tell him I want Wonder Dog to take on all challengers for a free cue, he says OK, just dont give away the booth. I said dont worry, Wonder wont lose many cues. He lost 2 in 3 day's, yours was the first, I said Wonder, you gotta stop running out of these people, this time, you gotta go into da tank, take a dive, and if you make another ball, no T bone steak after the show. Old Wonder always get's his own Tbone l4oz steak as a reward for doing the show. He heard that & went blind, he took a dive like a pro. Glad you got the cue. The other cue he lost, a guy brought up a little 4 year old girl with blond hair, a beautiful child. He says to me, if the dog plays with his nose, why does my child have to use a cue, cant she play with her nose also. I say why not, he put her up on the table & she ran out with her nose, I gave her a cue, the crowd went wild. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen in pool, I would have given anything to have captured that on film. Wonder Dog only lost once, and one tank job, not a bad record. Same challenge is up this year, bring your booties on, Wonder is ready. I did give 4 cues away to kids that were hanging around the booth a lot & were having a ball with what was going on, Nobody saw that. We had a lot of fun, & I was told by several people who know, Wonder stole the show. I was told the same thing by the show promoter who runs the BCA trade show when Wonder made his first show appearance there. The Dog is not a serious thing, it's a fun thing, kids love it, so do families. We had a lot of fun the last time there, a lot of people went away with a smile on their face, and that is the only reward we really care about. Fast Larry
Fast Larry, i really appreciate your lengthy and detailed replies!
i guess your a fast talker and a fast typist [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
Response to Blue wolf, thank you sir for you nice comments.
Response to D Morris, dear sir, thank you for your negative review, I dont agree with it, but I defend upon my death your right to free speech & your right to your opinion. In every situation, the glass is either half empty, or half full, which depends on if you are positive or negative. You either like me, then you believe me, if you dont, I could have the pope throw holy water on my shots at the Vatican & you would still say they are a fraud.
I dont seek to change your opinion, rarely can you do that, and this is all my fault for being a jerk & making a lousy first impression, for that, I am sorry & that I regret. I only listed I was crippled to explain why I came in last in the lst BCA world trick shot venue. I only brought that up, because I was attacked unfairly. Those who take that & use it against me to run me down, & publish that, are my enemy, and I say to them, I'll do the proper Christian thing & turn the other cheek.
I did not then seek sympathy, nor do I now. I have been crippled, Unable to walk, work or play for over l l/2 yrs & not a single person in pool knew about this, I hope that answers your question. You see no mater what I do, or no matter what I say now, you will turn it around against me. I cant win. Sir, I never implied, nor have I ever stated I ever appeared in the Guninness book of records, only the sloppy reporters did that, and they tend to copy what was written before them. You dont know how hard I tried to stamp that out. I never said I was a BCA master level instructor, I said I was a master level instructor, if you got that wrong, dont blame it on me. If you want to verify my medical condition at the first BCA event, email me, I will give this out to only one person, I will provide you with the name & phone number of the table judge who I gave my entire medical file to before the event. He saw me almost pass out at the table. I wanted one person to know, I had a problem. I asked for no special treatment. I accepted I came in last, but being ranked 8th was understandable, if I never played again, is now being ranked last in the world & 28th fair, sir, everyone running this event agrees with me on this, & the answer to that is no, you are right, the list will be changed. I wish I could jump in there & play these guys & show the world what I really have, If I could have, I would have. Am I using this as an excuse to hide my inability to play, no, I was the one out there in 95 96 97 98 begging them all to play me, & they were running & hiding, not all, not Rossman, not Middleditch, but a lot of them were. I hide from no one, fear no one, losing is something every one does, it is how well we play the game & enjoy it that matters. The stroke took away my best game, it will never return. My A game has passed, time does not ever give that back to you. I will never compete or win again. I can teach, I can entertain, I can do that in a wheelchair, and that is enough for me, I am happy with that. All I ask is dont destroy my good name so I cant do that. I will fight you for that. If you want the guys number, his name is Jim Oliver, email me for it at email@example.com. If you come to town from time to time, & want to buy me a beer, OK, email me, I will send you my cell phone number, call me, I will buy you a beer, you will not buy me a beer. Regards, Fast Larry
Larry, this is a great post. Lengthy....yes, but great. I couldn't agree more with your discussion of great players past and present. But, if other posters here (especially newbies) take one thing from it, I hope it's your stories of the danger in playing pool for money. Your assessment of most of the money players is correct: they end up with little to show for it. I am fortunate enough to have never been injured over a money game, but I have learned my lessons several times. I once had a road player come to the pool hall I frequented and try to hustle me. We played small stakes (I think up to $20/game, 9 ball), and after an hour or so I stuck him a couple hundred. He paid me $50 and stiffed me the rest. $150 is not enough to risk a confrontation with someone you know nothing about, so I let it go. Lessons learned: Don't play for money with someone you don't know. Too many things are against you. The only good thing that can happen is you win and they pay you with no incident. On the bad side, you can lose and have to pay up, you can win and get stiffed, or you can win, get paid, and get rolled in the parking lot. And I agree with your comments on that Sigel 150-out against Zuglan: just brutal. I can't choose between Sigel and Miz, so I'm keeping both on my all-time list. Good job, Larry. Sitck around.
Fast Larry, I have a vivid imagination. Comes from being a reading junkie. By the time I die I will have some 10,000+ books in my collection. When you read you must force yourself to look beneath the letters, read between the lines. So I tell you this, I don't know what you look like, I don't know the sound of your voice but I do see passion in your words like you can't get enough letters on the page. That my friend is a gift you have and a gift I see or perceive. Whether I'm right or wrong isn't important right now, merely my perceptions. [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
As you can see by the number of my posts I've been here a while. During this time I've developed several close relationships with members of this board with one common bond. Perhaps one day I'll have this same bond with you. The more you open up to us the more you endear yourself to us. [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
A quick story. A year or so ago I was trying to quit smoking. One of our members, Dr. D asked me to call her to talk about it, what I was going through. While talking to the good Doctor she told me she had someone there that wanted to talk to me. Turned out Fran had walked into her office around the time I had called. Fran didn't know me but spoke to me for a few minutes. That endeared her to me for life. Several others have gone the same route. Sure we're a little skeptical sometimes but all in all we're a pretty nice group of folks. [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
Kato~~~ok, so I'm long winded, what's the big deal? [img]/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Signature deleted by***********Kato
Okay Larry, I want this thing to die down, as I expect everyone does. Let's not continue beating this dead horse in the CCB. We can e-mail each other to continue our discussion on the matter if you like. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
One last time, just for the record: I formed an opinion of you based upon your initial posts, as did many others. I have since realized that I may have been quick to judge you in some aspects. For that I apologized, and still do so. The fact remains that, as you say, you put your foot in your mouth in virtually all of your early posts, but now that I feel like I know you a little better, I'm over it. I still ask of you, as did Fran and others, to think of what you're typing and how it might come across. That's all I'm asking. If you'll tone down the derision in your posts a bit, I don't see any of us here having a problem with you.
And for the last time, please stop saying that I think you're a fraud and that I don't believe you're crippled and that think you're lying. I never said any of those things. I did say that I had trouble finding out any information about you, and following Fran's initial mistaken impression that you were a BCA fraud, I voiced some skepticism, but never outright said I didn't believe you. But Fran corrected herself and vouched for you -- that's good enough for me, I now believe everything you say. Really, I do. I said so in the post you're replying to here, yet you continue to accuse me of calling you a fraud. I believe that you're crippled if you say so, I only noted that you kept emphasising it, and it sounded like you were padding your defense with the fact. Okay, so you're crippled, I'm very sorry that you're crippled, and in no way do I think less of you because you're crippled.
And I was NOT the only one who understood you to claim you were both in Guinness Book and a BCA Master Instructor. Please stop acting like I was the one who brought it up and pursued it. I didn't. Again, my main gripe with you was your attitude towards other posters. THAT was what I was pissed about. Not your bragging, not your records, not your TV appearances, and not your dog.
There. Now that I've said all of that for the last time, I must insist -- the beer is on me! Now can we all have a group hug and put this behind us and move forward? Larry, you do tell some fascinating stories. I look forward to learning from you.