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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012, 10:23 AM
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jalapus logan jalapus logan is offline
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Default Gary Spaeth

I'd like to hear some more about Gary Spaeth. From what I've heard and read, he was a fine player and one of the best bankers to play the game. For those who knew him, how about sharing some stories and some of his memorable shots.

Here's one to start. John, do you remember this one:


I also found this match where Gary ended up beating Bugs:


Freddy, if Gary and Bugs were both playing well and had to play each other every day for a month for the cheese, who would come out ahead in your opinion? Would the outcome be different if it were full rack vs. short rack banks?

Thanks guys.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:43 AM
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fred bentivegna fred bentivegna is offline
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Originally Posted by jalapus logan View Post
I'd like to hear some more about Gary Spaeth. From what I've heard and read, he was a fine player and one of the best bankers to play the game. For those who knew him, how about sharing some stories and some of his memorable shots.

Here's one to start. John, do you remember this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgL5aEtvjz0

I also found this match where Gary ended up beating Bugs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UARNoccs5-0

Freddy, if Gary and Bugs were both playing well and had to play each other every day for a month for the cheese, who would come out ahead in your opinion? Would the outcome be different if it were full rack vs. short rack banks?

Thanks guys.
No contest. Bugs drawing away. Especially for big,big money. Gary was able to fade a decent bet, like up to $1500 to $2000 a set, tops. The sky was the limit with Bugs, even tho both players would be getting backed.
Gary was a great banker. He just didn't play as good as Bugs. As far as I know, only Eddie Taylor did. Maybe Youngblood. Maybe.

Beard
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  #3  
Old 09-17-2012, 11:25 AM
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Default "Bugs" More talent then any man should be allowed!

Leonard "Bugs" Rucker had more natural talent for pool than any player I’ve ever seen! Here's a man that played his entire career with a house cue off the rack, or, borrowed someone else’s. Can you imagine what kind of spot that is starting off every session, maybe 2-3 balls!

Playing for BIG money, he had NO fear; he never refused to play anyone EVEN banks and mostly 1 pocket too. Bugs traveled the entire countryside playing, so that hometown Chicago thing never applied to him! I can't tell you how many times we would run into each other on the road, as being true scuffs, we would just nod to each other and try to get down a bet!

I remember back in the mid 70's I was called to come to DC, to play "George the Greek" 3 cushion, he was high roller! Bugs was already there playing Ervolino 1 pocket 8-7, Bugs had a BIG dope dealer killer,"Melvin Williams" as his backer. BTW, Johnny beat him that day.

I'm not sure, but, I believe Bugs, Nick Varner and Eddie Taylor are the only players who are in the Bank and One Pocket Hall of Fame!

Bill Smith “Mr3Cushion”
http://mr3cushion.com
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mr3cushion View Post
Leonard "Bugs" Rucker had more natural talent for pool than any player I’ve ever seen! Here's a man that played his entire career with a house cue off the rack, or, borrowed someone else’s. Can you imagine what kind of spot that is starting off every session, maybe 2-3 balls!

Playing for BIG money, he had NO fear; he never refused to play anyone EVEN banks and mostly 1 pocket too. Bugs traveled the entire countryside playing, so that hometown Chicago thing never applied to him! I can't tell you how many times we would run into each other on the road, as being true scuffs, we would just nod to each other and try to get down a bet!

I remember back in the mid 70's I was called to come to DC, to play "George the Greek" 3 cushion, he was high roller! Bugs was already there playing Ervolino 1 pocket 8-7, Bugs had a BIG dope dealer killer,"Melvin Williams" as his backer. BTW, Johnny beat him that day.

I'm not sure, but, I believe Bugs, Nick Varner and Eddie Taylor are the only players who are in the Bank and One Pocket Hall of Fame!

Bill Smith “Mr3Cushion”
http://mr3cushion.com
There was a "George The Greek" who was a top three cushion player in Los Angeles who played at Romy's at 4th & Main in the 60's. Is that the same guy?

My claim to fame in Billiards is beating The Ghost two games to 15 when he came to CA a year or so ago. I started playing billiards around 1960 at San Gabriel Lanes and played a bit with Charlie Milliken. Watched you play at California Billiards in San Jose in the 80's.
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:26 PM
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There was a "George The Greek" who was a top three cushion player in Los Angeles who played at Romy's at 4th & Main in the 60's. Is that the same guy?

My claim to fame in Billiards is beating The Ghost two games to 15 when he came to CA a year or so ago. I started playing billiards around 1960 at San Gabriel Lanes and played a bit with Charlie Milliken. Watched you play at California Billiards in San Jose in the 80's.
John; Guilty on all counts! I don't know when he decided to make DC his new stomping grounds, but he was good action!

I loved California Billiards, and Ed Kreiger and I were close friends, best venue to play a 3 C tournament, but, the tables were not up to snuff. Too many different table mechanics always trying to put a European touch to them, Bill Spadafor and Harry "Hollywood Fats" Sims were the 2 mechanics at that time.

They used to put a thick cloth on the rails and the regular Simonis on the bed, so, being a position player, nothing worked well. The balls would sink into the cushions, slow them down, but on the bed it was the correct speed. The tournament never worked well for me, this is the main reason I didn't play in too many "Nationals".

Bill Smith "Mr3Cushion"
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:59 AM
usblues usblues is offline
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Default Bill....

.....I am not understanding why the 2 kinds of cloth?I havent heard or seen of this phenomenon.Thanks,Bob
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:24 AM
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fred bentivegna fred bentivegna is offline
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Originally Posted by jrhendy View Post
There was a "George The Greek" who was a top three cushion player in Los Angeles who played at Romy's at 4th & Main in the 60's. Is that the same guy?

My claim to fame in Billiards is beating The Ghost two games to 15 when he came to CA a year or so ago. I started playing billiards around 1960 at San Gabriel Lanes and played a bit with Charlie Milliken. Watched you play at California Billiards in San Jose in the 80's.
John, did you know "Tommy the Greek" from 4th and Main? And did you know how good he used to play? In the 30s around Bensingers he played 1pkt about as good as anybody. He used to play Chicago Pony 8 to 6. In '69 or '70 I met him at 4th and Main. He was crying about being helpless and having one foot in the grave. I felt sorry for him and didnt try to play him. A month or so later he played Eddie Taylor to a 24 hour draw playing 1pkt $100 a game even. Later, I found out from some Bensinger old timers that he had been dying from that same heart failure since the 30s.

Beard
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  #8  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:28 AM
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.....I am not understanding why the 2 kinds of cloth?I havent heard or seen of this phenomenon.Thanks,Bob
Bob; When you have a thicker cloth on the rails it makes the angles longer, but makes that ball travel slower also, the tables at California Billiards always played short. It's not a good combination for billiards if you're a finesse player, if you're a ball banger nothing matters.

Bill Smith "Mr3Cushion"

Last edited by mr3cushion; 09-24-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:10 AM
wincardona wincardona is offline
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Like Freddie say's.. Gary was a great banker..but not as good as "Bugs". Imo "Bugs" was the best banker I ever seen bank...period...His bank game was ....2 balls....better than his one pocket game. And everyone knows how well he played one pocket.

Dr. Bill
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:49 PM
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Terry Ardeno Terry Ardeno is offline
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Imo "Bugs" was the best banker I ever seen bank...period...His bank game was ....2 balls....better than his one pocket game.

Dr. Bill
Dr. Bill,

Do you rate Bugs a better banker than Eddie Taylor? If they were each in their absolute peak prime and played a race to 100 short rack banks, what do you predict the final score would be?

Your words have always been like gold to me, but I have to be honest and say this statement surprised me some.

Thanks for your input Bill!
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