Arthur Bodendorfer came to America from Austria with his family when he was just eight years old. His father was a concentration camp survivor, which no doubt sharpened Artie’s own instincts for survival. As a teenager he worked for the carnival in a ‘flat store’ – a type of game that was fixed. It was on the streets and in the carnival that Artie first learned the higher arts of gambling and game-making.
Artie began to play pool as a teenager and when he began to beat everybody in the local pool, he began going downtown to Bensinger’s. He got acquainted with Chicago legend Mexican Johnny while he was still in high school. A good money manager at a young age, Mexican Johnny used to pick him up from school so that he could back Johnny in action.
Artie matured into a very sharp and determined gambler gifted with a genius for strategy and table management, giving him the necessary edge to consistently beat players that both shot better and banked better than he did. Proving yet again the importance of all-around skills in One Pocket, Artie was a solid three-cushion player, and was very comfortable on 5×10 tables as well.
Eventually Artie came to own Bensinger’s for a year, before selling it when the lease was in jeopardy. Later he was in on a lot of the action at Freddie Bentivegna’s North Shore Billiard Club.