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  • #16
    i awalys vote for the fat guy.

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    • #17
      Fats didnt steal anything from Tevis

      Originally posted by gulfportdoc
      "New York Fats" was an exceedingly clever con man who stole the persona of "Minnestoa Fats" from Walter Tevis. The character in the book did not resemble Wanderone in the slightest, nor did the Jackie Gleason character in the movie version. I doubt that Tevis had ever even heard of Wanderone. Tevis was living in Lexington, KY in 1959 when he wrote The Hustler.

      The question is, was Fats a good enough one-pocket player in back room action to be considered for our HOF; or alternatively was his influence strong enough in the history or promotion of 1P to be considered via the Teachers and Promoters category?

      If he does not qualify under one of these two, then he is not HOF material, despite his cleverly self-promoted fame.

      Doc
      Just to qualify myself, and defer to San Man's unfounded point that I havent given Tevis his due, I read the book within minutes of its publication. I also read the precursor to the book, the article he wrote for Playboy magazine. Once I got the book I read it cover to cover. As soon as I got to the last page and finished that, I flipped back to the first page and started all over. I have read that book a minimum of five times. To say, Doc, that the character in the book didnt resemble Fats in the slightest is a remark that I wont let stand. How many great, FAT, big money pool hustlers were there in the US at that time? How many of them had a nervous tic? How many of them played in Bensingers (Benningtons)? Lets see, how many pool players were as "dainty and meticulous" around the table as the book Fats? Certainly not me, or 90% of the pool players that I know. Most of us are slobs around the table, if nobodys looking, I might spit on the floor. How about the "light on the feet?" All the fat people I know are light on their feet, right? Let's next check on "coiffed," like the expensively coiffed Fats in the book. Anybody ever see Fatty with a hair out of place, or a dirty or rumpled shirt, or anything other than expensive shoes, shirt and slacks? Apparently you didnt spend much time around Fats, Doc. Finally, and this is really a tough one to get past, how many of them were named "Fats?"

      Now to the "Tevis never heard of him." Here below is a link to a Sports Illustrated story about hustlers that mentions New York Fats in an article dated March 1961, seven months BEFORE the first Johnston City tourn. Tevis also knew, and had been to Bensingers as is evidenced by his description of the room in the book. But the strongest case to be made, and no one has even asked me about it, was his knowledge of that shit little pool room on State Street where he writes about the Tom Smith character. I name the date, the place, and the guy, and everybody just blows right past that. This is getting to be like talking to my ex wife. Ignore, deny, and change to subject.
      So Tevis knew about an obscure Tom Smith, but Minnesota Fats came to him in a literary apparition. Just because most of you never heard of Tom Smith aint an argument. There are plenty of people still around that did.

      More examples of my PERSONAL EXPERIENCES being peed on: the question of could Fats actually play? Didnt I cite earlier in this thread that Fats challenged, and got down with Squirrel, one pocket dead even for $400 a game in Tampa in 64 or 65 -- and ran 8 and out 4 games in a row? Squirrel played as good as anybody at that time. What am I, some kind of bullshitter? Anything I say on these forums about what happened, especially about someone else, I will bet my money on it being the truth. I might add a little color to my own adventures, but even there, if I tell you a spot I gave or received, or who I beat, you can bet your Granny's soc sec check on it.
      Weenie Beanie and Strawberry Brooks are in the OnePocket HOF. Fats would have robbed Strawberry, and I would have bet on him against Beanie. I beat Strawberry out of $10,000 in Chicago at Bob Agins black pool room on the South Side; yeah, the same one from the Color of Money -- playing dead even. Sugar Shack Johnny Novak was in with me, and he is still alive. Notice how I name names and places when I claim something. I never thought I could beat Fats playing one pocket, but I did believe I could beat Beanie.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...2373/index.htm

      the Beard
      Do I gotta go to the 40k he beat Riche Florence out of, or have I pontificated enough?
      New stuff on my site. 100s of pgs. of pool goodness
      www.bankingwiththebeard.com

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      • #18
        Originally posted by fred bentivegna
        Newman, Gleason and the fag, over Fats?!! Tevis is full of shit saying, "work of fiction, no real people." Bull shit! He told me that same bag of puce in Dayton OH. In the book he describes a rat joint that I played in on Congress and State, to a tee, a real place; hamburger joint up front, pool tables in the back. He has a guy in there that is supposedly fictional. He is the first guy that Eddie plays after his thumbs heal. The old slavic guy that took up hustling after he came to America in his 50s. That was Tom Smith, my good friend. There aint no coincidence like that. Two slavs that took up pool in their 50s? And if you knew Tom, like I did, Tevis's description of him is dead on. Tom hustled pool up until he was a 100 years old! He was a gigolo when he was in his eighties. Big, strong, bull of a man. Faught off a stick up guy when he was 90. Refused to give up the money to a man with a .45. Took a pistol whipping instead. I'd walk thru a long puddle of Figeroa's bullsh*t, in my bare feet, to spend some time around Fats.
        At Johnston City, any broke, young pool player could get an automatic hot $20 bill from Fatty, no questions asked. A $20 bite back then was a weeks rent and 3 or 4 meals. That I know from personal experience. A guy named Lindy who used to live down there, when he found out I was empty, he said, c'mon with me, Fatty will put you in action. Lindy intro'd me to Fats as a young, broke pool player, and Fatty hit his roll and peeled off a tough 20, no problem. There was a line of guys that went on the books. I watched him play Ronnie, nobody can tell me he couldnt play.


        the Beard

        I know Fat's speed in his prime, from people who knew, like Marcel Camp, Chicago Pony, Gene Skinner and others.

        Funny you should mention, "...walk(ing) thru a long puddle of Figeroa's bullsh*t, in my bare feet, to spend some time around Fats" because I was just thinking of Dan McGoorty's comments about Fats:

        "I'm sorry, but Minnesota Fats was never a top player. He was good, sure, but not tops. There have always been at least twenty people in the country who would have been glad to swim a river of shit to play Fats for money. Fats won a lot of money in his life, but it was mainly because of the heavy hustle he used. Oh, the stream of bullshit he would pour on people was enough to make you sick. He was afraid to rely on his game alone; he had to constantly irritate the other guy. Either that or he would get his backers to put up so much money that his opponent would crack under the pressure. Even playing somebody like Zsa Zsa Gabor on his television show he was afraid of getting beat, wouldn't let her shoot in peace, kept bothering and distracting her all the time. Now, if a man is afraid to play fair with Zsa Zsa, how do you think he would have done against real players like Wimpy Lassiter, Washington Rags, or even Big-Nose Roberts?"

        McGoorty, page 155

        Lou Figueroa

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        • #19
          Originally posted by lfigueroa
          Funny you should mention, "...walk(ing) thru a long puddle of Figeroa's bullsh*t, in my bare feet, to spend some time around Fats" because I was just thinking of Dan McGoorty's comments about Fats:

          "I'm sorry, but Minnesota Fats was never a top player. He was good, sure, but not tops. There have always been at least twenty people in the country who would have been glad to swim a river of shit to play Fats for money. Fats won a lot of money in his life, but it was mainly because of the heavy hustle he used. Oh, the stream of bullshit he would pour on people was enough to make you sick. He was afraid to rely on his game alone; he had to constantly irritate the other guy. Either that or he would get his backers to put up so much money that his opponent would crack under the pressure. Even playing somebody like Zsa Zsa Gabor on his television show he was afraid of getting beat, wouldn't let her shoot in peace, kept bothering and distracting her all the time. Now, if a man is afraid to play fair with Zsa Zsa, how do you think he would have done against real players like Wimpy Lassiter, Washington Rags, or even Big-Nose Roberts?"

          McGoorty, page 155

          Lou Figueroa
          You must have a high dollar edition of the book Lou. It's on page 131-132 in my cheapo paperback.
          But to continue on with the 1 1/2 pages Byrne's devoted to Fat's, Mc Goorty goes on to say....

          "I suppose I shouldn't say these things, because Fat's was always nice to me. I heard him say once on national TV, 'The only person left in the country who knows anything about three cushion billiards is Danny McGoorty'.
          But it is high time somebody stood up and said, that Fat's estimate of his own ability is just part of his act. Why his name is even made up. "Minnesota Fats" is just a nickname, his real name is New York Fats. He started using Minnesota because that's what the fat man was called in the movie The Hustler.
          As a promotion man, thats different. He may very well be the all-time greatest promotion, or con man. But a player ?
          When he gets on television and says he was the best, and that everybody was afraid to play him, dozens of guys around the country jump out of their chairs and try to get to the toilet before they ruin the rug."

          Just pointing out... not all people shared your view of his cuemanship Freddy. And one pocket WAS his best game. It sure as hell wasn't "trick shots". (have you ever seen him make one ?).

          Freddy, I am not against Fat's getting the kudos he deserves as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest characters, or hustler's, who ever picked up a cue...But the disagreement we have going here, is how GOOD a player was he ?

          You seem to want to hang it all out there and say he beat "everybody he ever played", when you KNOW he was getting weight, from a half drunk Richie Florence, and almost every other top player he ever matched up with.

          I would REALLY question the circumstances surrounding him beating Squirrell, EVEN...at any time during the 60's. It's not a question of believing YOU, although you have admitedly been known to shade the truth.(or maybe omit extenuating circumstances, if it better suits your agenda)

          What is your point ??? Is it because his roots are in Illinois ? Sorry Fred...but, your not wanting to play Fat's does not make him a shoo-in for the 1P HOF.. <---note smiley faces

          PS..One of my adventures with Fatty, is covered in SMAS ( page 299 ) and is attested to by Jersey Red. (also note the quote by Earl Heisler)...I repeat, whats your point ?
          Lets give it a rest Fred, you have your take on Fat's ..and myself and quite a few others, have ours.
          Last edited by SJDinPHX; 11-02-2009, 12:25 PM.

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          • #20
            What a reference, Danny McGoorty

            Originally posted by lfigueroa
            Funny you should mention, "...walk(ing) thru a long puddle of Figeroa's bullsh*t, in my bare feet, to spend some time around Fats" because I was just thinking of Dan McGoorty's comments about Fats:

            "I'm sorry, but Minnesota Fats was never a top player. He was good, sure, but not tops. There have always been at least twenty people in the country who would have been glad to swim a river of shit to play Fats for money. Fats won a lot of money in his life, but it was mainly because of the heavy hustle he used. Oh, the stream of bullshit he would pour on people was enough to make you sick. He was afraid to rely on his game alone; he had to constantly irritate the other guy. Either that or he would get his backers to put up so much money that his opponent would crack under the pressure. Even playing somebody like Zsa Zsa Gabor on his television show he was afraid of getting beat, wouldn't let her shoot in peace, kept bothering and distracting her all the time. Now, if a man is afraid to play fair with Zsa Zsa, how do you think he would have done against real players like Wimpy Lassiter, Washington Rags, or even Big-Nose Roberts?"

            McGoorty, page 155

            Lou Figueroa
            You used the right guy to talk about how much bullsh*t and self promotion Fats did. Mcgoorty was originally from Chicago so his story is known to us peoples. His book is filled with as much unadultered horse dung as the stables at Churchill Downs. Ask Grady what a wonderful reference point Danny McGoorty was, and how much you could rely on his word. The only thing he told the truth about was that he was a drunken lout.

            the Beard
            Last edited by fred bentivegna; 11-02-2009, 02:00 PM.
            New stuff on my site. 100s of pgs. of pool goodness
            www.bankingwiththebeard.com

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            • #21
              Originally posted by fred bentivegna
              You used the right guy to talk about how much bullsh*t and self promotion Fats did. Mcgoorty was originally from Chicago so his story is known to us peoples. His book is filled with as much unadultered horse dung as the stables at Churchill Downs. Ask Grady what a wonderful reference point Danny McGoorty was, and much you could rely on his word. The only thing he told the truth about was that he was a drunken lout.

              the Beard
              No wonder I felt such a bonding to Danny....PLUS, he was Irish. (another Chicago escapee to California ?)

              PS Actually Fred, he was born in S.F. His family moved to Chicago when he was a just a kid. They went backwards.
              You have to admit, the opening few pages of his book (dealing with Chicago cops) is a riot, isn't it ?
              Last edited by SJDinPHX; 11-02-2009, 02:08 PM.

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              • #22
                Im taking real steam

                Originally posted by SJDinPHX
                You seem to want to hang it all out there and say he beat "everybody he ever played", when you KNOW he was getting weight, from a half drunk Richie Florence, and almost every other top player he ever matched up with.

                There you go again, using that shitty ploy of accusing me of what I never, never, said to make a jerk off argument seem somehow plausable. Am I making these posts in Chinese where you need an interpreter that might misread to you what I said? Where did I ever, ever say he beat everybody he played? Then you use a quote from that shitheel McGoorty, where he says Fats would beat people by making them bet too much. You and McGoorty quoted that as if that was something bad to do.
                "A half drunk Richie Florence." Was Richie half drunk the whole THIRTY (30) DAYS they played, and wasnt smart enough to sober up before he blew the whole $40,000 giving Fatty 8 to 7? Yeah, Richie spotted him. It must have been a terrific game for Richie since Ronnie Allen didnt take 50 cents of Richies bet.

                I would REALLY question the circumstances surrounding him beating Squirrell, EVEN...at any time during the 60's. It's not a question of believing YOU, although you have admitedly been known to shade the truth.(or maybe omit extenuating circumstances, if it better suits your agenda)

                And there you go again, again. Just about calling me a dunce or a f*ckin liar, and couching it in that con, "It's not a question of believing YOU." Well, who is it a question of? Who said it? I did. I said what I said -- do you want to bet against it? Am I to suffer some sort of penalty from everybody because I happen to have EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND the stories, and matches that you might have HEARD ABOUT?


                What is your point ??? Is it because his roots are in Illinois ? Sorry Fred...but, your not wanting to play Fat's does not make him a shoo-in for the 1P HOF.. <---note smiley faces

                Why dont you address what I said about Strawberry and Weenie Beanie? Two of our resident HOF'rs.

                Lets give it a rest Fred, you have your take on Fat's ..and myself and quite a few others, have ours.
                Yeah, lets give it a rest, but you close with another rhetoric trick, you concede my take on things, then you add your take, which would be fair --- but then you close with "quite a few others," to outnumber me. No names of course.


                the Beard
                New stuff on my site. 100s of pgs. of pool goodness
                www.bankingwiththebeard.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by fred bentivegna
                  Yeah, lets give it a rest, but you close with another rhetoric trick, you concede my take on things, then you add your take, which would be fair --- but then you close with "quite a few others," to outnumber me. No names of course.


                  the Beard
                  Obviously, you've chosen to take this beyond "a difference of opinion" and make a federal case out of it. Unless you choose to ignore the gist of this thread... I would say the "others" I refer to, comprise about half the responders thus far. (you do read the other posts don't you ?)

                  The jury is still out on Fat's skills, or lack thereof...we have just chosen to re-convene it, in what I thought could be a friendly discourse. It is NOT a new subject you know. It has been brought up many, many times before, and the concensus is usually (by those who know) that Fatty talked a MUCH better game than he actually played.

                  I should have known better than to take an opposing viewpoint to yours. even though most of my slings and arrows, are "tongue in cheek"
                  You however, feel the need to get personal, if ANYONE challenges ANYTHING you say.

                  It must be a great feeling to be perfect, in all your player evaluations and recollections. Just once, can't we have a healthy argument...without your need to make YOURSELF an indisputable source of logic ?

                  Have you EVER admitted you just might possibly be mistaken ?


                  San <---has a weakness for hard-headed old P---ks... so he still wuvs you, but I guess I'll just have to learn to accept your word...as the "Gospool".

                  PS..The OP (Doc) asked a simple question...can't it even be discussed without bitterness and animosity ?
                  Last edited by SJDinPHX; 11-02-2009, 03:55 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Could he play

                    SJD, Come on Dick you know FATS could play, I watched you play him every night for about 3 or 4 days straight.
                    Rod.
                    Rod.

                    Rodney Stephens.
                    (e-mail) rod.stephens0105@att.net(e-mail) #713-973-0503 is now working

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by androd
                      SJD, Come on Dick you know FATS could play, I watched you play him every night for about 3 or 4 days straight.
                      Rod.

                      Rod,

                      I thought you might have been there, ('67 wasn't it ?) What was the game Rod, I honestly don't recall. I know we played even the exhibition match, race to 3 which I lost hill,hill (Seigel put up a grand to the winner for that)...I alluded to that in Robbin's book
                      I know I gave him weight for bigger cash the next few nights.
                      That was neither of our primes. He was over the hill and I was under it.

                      I admit I was a little unnerved by his playing too the crowd, (like he always did) during the exhibition. I liked it better when it thinned out to just the regulars. I liked our 2nd and 3rd play much better.
                      Last edited by SJDinPHX; 11-02-2009, 04:49 PM.

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                      • #26
                        I am really enjoying this thread guys, keep it up.
                        www.ontherailtv.com

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                        • #27
                          In Fats' Own Words

                          From "The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies", in his own words:

                          "I hung around Broadway making a fabulous living on one-pocket wagers and the proposition pool. The way I put the high run and out to one-pocket was so brutal that after a while I couldn't get an even proposition anywhere. I had to spot a ball and then two balls just to get the action , but the odds didn't matter, because I'd run ten and out, ten and out, like forever. Talk about high runs, I must have run a thousand straight in one-pocket a hundred times. It got so that everybody on Broadway thought I invented the game, but I always told them the way it was- Jack Hill invented it down in Oklahoma, only the Fat Man was the one who refined it."

                          You gotta love the way he talked and bullshitted. Number one of all time.

                          Dennis

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                          • #28
                            everyone loved fats. the fact is when he played his best he was a ball or two under the best in the world. but sometime even the best in the world are a ball or two under the best in the world.
                            oh, not really everyone loved fats. the best players usually didnt. you see fats always seemed to have lots of cash and played high on his own. while the big names, not all but an awful lot were getting staked after begging for it and were simply jealous of him. plus the suckers waited in line for his action.
                            he drew the crowds and got all the attention now is the time to give him his do.

                            plus when the feds busted johnson city he got his say and saved the day.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by SJDinPHX
                              You must have a high dollar edition of the book Lou. It's on page 131-132 in my cheapo paperback.

                              McGoorty, hardcover, first edition :-)

                              I'm kinda surprised no one has cited "The Hustler and The Champ" yet.

                              "Wanderone was a fine pocket-billiards player, a skilled professional who easily fleeced farmers and sailors. But Wanderone never possessed the skill of pool's most celebrated champions. He could ape it, certainly, like all tricksters he could claim the prowess of others as his own. 'I played them all, and I beat them all!' he would crow. But this was a lie. Wanderone never competed in Mosconi's world-tournament level, never competed against Ponzi and Greenleaf and Joe 'Meatman' Balsis in structured competition, and maybe it was because he lacked the skill to do so. But this was not true of all hustlers. An example was John 'Rags' Fitzpatrick, remembered as perhaps the finest one-pocket player ever."

                              TH&TC, page 120

                              Lou Figueroa

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                              • #30
                                Fat's was OK in my book...

                                Originally posted by beatle
                                everyone loved fats. the fact is when he played his best he was a ball or two under the best in the world. but sometime even the best in the world are a ball or two under the best in the world.
                                oh, not really everyone loved fats. the best players usually didnt. you see fats always seemed to have lots of cash and played high on his own. while the big names, not all but an awful lot were getting staked after begging for it and were simply jealous of him. plus the suckers waited in line for his action. he drew the crowds and got all the attention now is the time to give him his do. plus when the feds busted johnson city he got his say and saved the day.
                                Beatle and Fred,

                                I don't think anybody really dis-liked Fats, you accepted him for what he was, and most people did.... Nobody "loves" everyone.

                                As Ive stated in everyone of my posts, he was a very unique, colorful, and likable character, the kind Damon Runyon loved to write about.

                                His demeanor was much like two of our most prominent posters here on 1p.org (care to hazard a guess) The only thing difference was, he accomplished all his fame and legend...DESPITE being a very abrasive, boastful, and self-centered individual... Not many can accomplish that.

                                If Fred does not wish to believe that the movie brought him a national prominence, he would never have enjoyed...well, thats Fred's take on it...but I think he knows, in his heart.. he's wrong.

                                He was a devout animal lover, which I share with him, and IMHO was his greatest attribute. His skill as a top player, was always in doubt, his "smart's" were NOT...But, as you say...he always seemed to stay in money, and that brought a lot of resentment from his peers...(I was not a peer)

                                If Freddy will let me say, what I've been trying to say all along...Fat's deserves a "special" award. A "Lifeime Achievement" award, if you will, (like they bestow rarely, at the Oscars)...not simply an "action" or HOF designation. But one that would singularly display his contribution to the history, and the lore of our game. Wouldn't that be befitting Steve ?

                                NO ONE would be more deserving of that, than Rudolph Wanderone.

                                SJD

                                PS..If anyone construes this as back peddling, they haven't really read and absorbed all my posts on the subject of Fat's. I never said he couldn't play a lick, I just said he was a few balls under his "self acclaimed" skill level.
                                Last edited by SJDinPHX; 10-10-2013, 03:24 PM.

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