James Walden was born March 11, 1964 in the town of Frederick, OK – almost in Texas. But his pool game really developed in Oklahoma City, where he got a chance to watch local players like Norman Hitchcock & Herman the German. OKC had a strong history of great players and a lot of pool gamble, so for years many players passed through, including guys like Ronnie Allen and Buddy Hall. As James developed as a player, he himself became one of the big names that attracted high stakes action. In about 2001 Walden and One Pocket HOF player Jack Cooney locked horns at the Derby City Classic Executive West location in an epic One Pocket match that set the bar for high stakes match-ups at DCC and inspired Greg Sullivan to initiate the Louie Roberts Action & Entertainment Award.