Pool Legends


300 SEK / In stock.
. . . in which -- after all the hustlers have traded lies and shots -- Wimpy and Fast Eddie are left standing to play some no-forgiveness pool.
(This article first appeared in the November 1970 issue of the magazine) There are some worlds in which the spoken truth isn’t welcome or necessary. Professional pocket billiards is one. In a room with a pool table and a couple of hustlers, the truth is a silly abstraction. Around high-stakes pool, everybody lies about everything, to everyone, loudly or quickly, but nonstop and with style. And it works. A tight society of pool hustlers -- the best 100 or so players in the country -- hangs together, perpetuates itself, sees very many arguments, very few fights, makes inside jokes, has a jargon of its own, maintains a grapevine, works around a common gaggle of superstitions, has gentlemen and drunks. Young Turks and old pros, fat times and skinny, Rembrandts and Walter Keanes, watches new people arrive and old ones die. The reason it can exist on a billion little lies is that the single unspoken truth it honors is the only one for which it scores points: That’s Euclid’s truth -- Newton’s truth. Poke the cue ball at the right angle (there’s Euclid) and the object ball drops (that’s Newton). One point. The lies after all, are designed only to get you a game: “My game’s off. I been sick.” “Yeah, well, I been up four days straight. I’m dead. I’d go to bed but I can’t find my hotel.” “You shoot good tired.” “Well I’m drunk too.” “You shoot even better drunk.” “Hell, I can’t even see the table. I’m blind for Christ sakes.” “Yeah, and you shoot good blind.”
“Listen, I’m drunk, I’m tired, I’m sick. I’m having trouble with my old lady -- and I’ll spot you three balls.” “All right, rack ’em.” “Bastard.” The lies get you into the game, but only the truth gets the hell out with the money. Chalk, shoot, think, bank shot, roll, chalk, work the rack, chalk, shoot, until someone goes home with the truth in his pocket. All rolled up in a rubber band. Some go home with just the rubber band, and some lose that too. It’s the little lies that get the press -- but only because they’re so damn much fun. The truth about professional pocket billiards is its own classic and subtle drama which is built around a set of skills that takes a lifetime to master. The observer’s problem is that for every hour these men spend learning to play, they spend two hours learning to talk crooked about it. Pool tournaments are a mixture of the truth and the lies. In the official games only the score means anything and it’s guarded by a referee, a scorekeeper and a standings poster. But the side games, the unofficial afternoon or late night action is generated by the network of lies. The hustlers meet for tournament play four or five times a year. There’s the Stardust tournament in Las Vegas for $35,000, the Johnston City meet for $20,000, the Billiard Congress for $20,000, and usually one or two others to get the sharks off their home tables in Houston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles or Philly, and get them together to work on one another. Because notoriety precedes most of these men into the pool halls across the country, the only real action they can get is among themselves. The Johnston City, Illinois, World’s All-Round Pocket Billiards Championship is the oldest of the pro tournaments. Paulie and George Jansco started it 11 years ago in a room they’d built behind their Show Bar. That was in 1950 and pool was at its lowest ebb. The pros had of course, been playing all along, but for 20 years things had been lean -- so lean that some hustlers had even learned a trade. About 1940, pool halls around the country had begun to close for lack of business. Before that, pool in America had seen its golden age between about 1920 and 1930. Those were the salad days of guys like Al Miller. He was on the road at 14, hustling for a living and pocket billiards was a dude’s game. “I remember about 1918, I was a teenager and got my first tailor-made Rambeau. Beautiful thing, cost $7.50. Rambeau was the best cue you could get. Still is, and a lot of guys use ’em. ‘Course, Old Man Rambeau’s dead, but they’re still making the sticks. Back then, you could really hustle. Not that you can’t today but then . . . well, a lot of things was different. Around ’30, ’31, I was really shooting. I won four tournaments in Chicago and a couple in Philly and in ’32, I won the national. The halls were different then. They were like palaces. There was this one place in Detroit that had, like, 144 tables and girls racking the balls. And these places were for gentlemen only. You’d go in and a girl would take your hat and you had to sit down and be quiet, and pretty soon you’d get a table. The place was done in royal purple with brass rails and fittings everywhere and during the day you could get away with a sweater with velveteen sleeves. But at night, you had to have a tux. Only games we played then were Straight Pool and Rotation. There was no Nine-ball or One-pocket or even Eight-ball then. And the balls were Zanzibar ivory, much heavier, and you really had to smack ’em to move ’em around.” By 1939, pool had a rotten name. It mattered little that the best of the players wore tuxedos and behaved like gentlemen. The public knew that there was a lot of gambling and cigar smoking and hoods who liked the game. When the War came, professional pocket billiards nearly disappeared.

Click the link below to read the 9 page article about the Johnston City Hustler Tournaments

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Product description
Everyone needs a go-to, cozy sweatshirt to curl up in, so go for one that's soft, smooth, and stylish.
It's also perfect for cooler evenings!
• 50% cotton/50% polyester
• Reduced pilling and softer air-jet spun yarn
• Double-lined hood
• 1x1 athletic rib knit cuffs and waistband with spandex
• Double-needle stitching throughout
• Front pouch pocket

Size guide

Length (inches) 2627282930313233
Width (inches) 2022242628303234
Length (cm) 6669717476798184
Width (cm) 5156616671768186

Estimated shipping delivery times:
USA: 3-5 business days
Canada: 5-10 business days
World: 10-20 business days
Within Europe 5-10 business days
Your order will be sent out on average within 3-5 days of ordering.


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