Banks champion John Brumback was born November 9, 1963, and grew up in the small town of Owenton, KY. It was a small town, but still had its own small poolroom. Furthermore, Owenton was within 60 miles of the Bank Pool Mecca’s of Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati. When John was only about 6 years old, his older brother Randy set up a pool table in the basement – it had been a high school graduation gift. It was right there at that basement table that John developed the intensity of focus that has become one of the hallmarks of his game. Even with a 9 year difference in age, the two brothers were highly competitive about everything, so as John got older, naturally he worked hard at improving his pool game so he could compete with his brother. It was during this time that someone gave John the 1977 book The 99 Critical Shots in Pool, by Ray Martin. John studied that book with the focus of a biblical scholar, until the pages became worn and dog eared. Naturally, after he began to beat his brother, John’s circle began to expand, and it was not long before he was trying his hand against the better players in Lexington, Louisville and beyond.
When he first started venturing out to Lexington, John was still focusing his game on 9-Ball, but after a number of disappointing sessions with a player that John was beating at 9-Ball, but losing to at Banks, John began to turn his focus toward Banks. The rest is history – not that he only excels at Banks, because John still plays well enough at other games that in 2009 he was the Derby City Classic “Master of the Table” all-around champion, against the best in the world!
When John talks about how he built his Banks game into the complete package, he credits learning a lot about long straight backs from the master of straight backs himself, Truman Hogue. He credits Don Anderson with improving his position play and learning to string banks together. And John says he learned a lot of moves from two of our late fellow hall of famers, Gary Spaeth and Bugs Rucker. John also learned from Bugs to pay close attention to what an opponent is weak on, and strategic nuances like leaving a double-kiss on purpose.
Some of John Brumback’s major tournament wins:
- 2006 BCA Banks champion
- 2007 US Open Banks champion
- 2009 & 2010 Derby City Classic Banks champion
- 2009 Derby City Classic Master of the Table