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Old 09-17-2012, 11:23 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, 11:43 AM
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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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Old 09-17-2012, 12:25 PM
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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, 06:05 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, 06:26 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, 04:59 AM
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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, 09:24 AM
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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.

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Old 10-06-2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fred bentivegna View Post
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
Actually like most times, Freddy, you're close! Gary would agree that Bugs, at his prime, was probably the better and Eddie Taylor at the top of the heap in banks. And you're right on the money

aspect also. I staked Gary for many years and I was never a deep pocket gambler. I had a family and a business that took priority and would not put myself in a position that would harm either

of them. Gary always knew that and cared about my family and business as if they were his own. I never once had a concern of whether Gary was trying his best for my money! He often would

refuse games that I wanted him to try because as he said "it's too tough"! Because of that we very seldom lost! From the mid '80's on Bugs could not beat Gary! They played at least 6 times

that I have very vivid memories of and Gary won all but one time. That time most of the people thought Bugs won when in fact they broke even on sets, Gary was ahead on games won and

because I was pressured in to raising the bet prematurely, we lost $1k. Two of the times they played, they played one pocket and Bugs spotted Gary a ball. Gary won both of those and the spot,

even though a psychological advantage, did not really show up in the score. I'm certainly not saying Gary was better than Bugs, but by this time Bugs just could no longer beat Gary. I'd also

like to go on record as saying that Bugs was probably the best person on the planet for Gary to match up with. I wish they could have played EVERY day and not because we were winning. Bugs

was always a gentleman. Meaning that there was never any sign of an argument, disagreement, or disrespect of any kind between them. They both had a lot of respect for one another. We'd

sometimes take a break in the action to go outside for a little fresh air (or maybe smokey air) the 3 of us together as if we were road partners or just friends instead of rivals. We were rivals, but

still friends!

Since we're on the subject of "Spaeth & Bugs", I'll relate another little story about Joey Spaeth and Bugs. This was told to me in part by Billy Carrelli, another Cincinnati player and comments

from Joey. When Bugs first started playing one pocket, his stake horses recognized his talents but knew there was a great deal he didn't know about the game. Joey was one of the best movers

in the country at that time, so Bugs' stakehorses set up a weekly game at a small quiet pool room in Dayton. They would bring Bugs down every week to Play Joey cheap ($50 a rack) one pocket

with Joey giving Bugs 11-8 in the beginning. Of course over a period of about 6 months or so, the game made several adjustments until they were playing even and Joey realized that he could

no longer beat Bugs even. Joey said "I took him to school and now Bugs is the teacher".
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Last edited by cuesmith; 10-06-2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: spacing
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2012, 05:49 PM
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Sherm; GREAT story about Joey and Bugs, I knew Joey and Gary when he only about 14-16 yrs of age. Young Gary was already trying to play for money. At that time Joey hung around a pool room in the "red light" district of Cincy. Very good player defensively, and real nice guy. As usual, I was called in to play an older rich business man some 3C. I can't tell you how many times the scenario from the movie, "The Hustler" came about, I will have to admit it was by my design, But I'll save all those stories for when I write my life story, "Hustling the Niche Game"! I got the idea for the title from a so called member of this forum.

As I've stated before, "Bugs" had more natural talent than all the players I've seen throughout the years, and no fear of losing or the money!

Bill Smith "Mr3Cushion"
http://mr3cushion.com

Last edited by mr3cushion; 10-07-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:47 PM
cuesmith cuesmith is offline
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Default for Billy Smith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr3cushion View Post
Sherm; GREAT story about Joey and Bugs, I knew Joey and Gary when he only about 14-16 yrs of age. Young Gary was already trying to play for money. At that time Joey hung around a pool room in the "red light" district of Cincy. Very good player defensively, and real nice guy. As usual, I was called in to play an older rich business man some 3C. I can't tell you how many times the scenario from the movie, "The Hustler" came about, I will have to admit it was by my design, But I'll save all those stories for when I write my life story, "Hustling the Niche Game"! I got the idea for the title from a so called member of this forum.

As I've stated before, "Bugs" had more natural talent than all the players I've seen throughout the years, and no fear of losing or the money!

Bill Smith "Mr3Cushion"
http://mr3cushion.com


Thanks Billy. I'm looking forward to reading your book when it comes out! While we telling stories, I've got one you'll get a kick out of.



I'm sure you don't remember this, but we met about 20 years ago at the Chicago Billiards Cafe. I was driving to Minneapolis to pick up my new CNC machine and made arrangements to meet

Deno Andrews at CBC to pick up a copy of Pedro's 3C trick shot videos. You were knocking balls around on the table closest to the counter so Deno introduced us and gave me a quick bio about

you.


About a week later I was back in Cincinnati at my poolroom, Beechmont Billiards. Bucky Bell has been a friend of mine (and a player rep for my cues) for many years. Bucky happened to be in

that morning having his morning coffee and he was hitting balls around on my old Brunswick Anniversary carom table. He made the casual statement that he wished there was someone he

could gamble with at 3C. He fancied himself as a pretty good 3C player but he said "those damn billiard players are a bunch of stuffed shirts! They won't bet that they're alive!" I said, "Bucky, I

think I can find you a little action." Just as he took a long gulp of his coffee, he asked "WHO?" I quickly replied "Bill Smith" thinking it was a generic enough of a name that he'd probably not

recognize it. To my surprise, Bucky's face kind of exploded spewing coffee all down the front of MY shirt! lol When he was able to talk, he asked "What kind of a trap are you trying to put me in?"

He went on to say "That damn Billy Smith is probably the best American 3C player on the planet, and he WILL gamble!"





I just thought you'd get a kick out of that story. When do you expect to get your book out or is it in the "thinking about it" stages like the one I've been planning to write for many years?



Sherm
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