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6 months ago
Jeremy Jones is a professional pool player. He was the 1998 US Open One Pocket champion, the 2003 US Open 9 Ball champion, and has represented Team USA in the Mosconi Cup on seven occasions.
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David McCumber, Playing Off the Rail: A Pool Hustler’s Journey
Jerry Forsyth, Road Player: The Danny Diliberto Story
Yeah, I mean, it's just, it grabs you and, you know, if you're watching paying attention what goes on, it's like hardly ever the same thing. Yeah. You know, you don't realize how much control you have. I thought, I thought pool was kind of like a game you played waiting on a bowling alley lane, you know, prior to playing it. Right. I didn't know you could play it well. I didn't know you could play it for a living. You know, there's movies out there and stuff, but I mean, it just didn't seem real. When you, how old were you when you first started playing? Really planned 17. I was 17 years old. Yeah. I started late. I started really late. I was 25, I think somewhere around 24, 24, 25. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I worked two jobs and one of them, we'd, you know, have a few beers on the weekends at a pizza restaurant and play poker with our money, our tip money. And one of the guys would go to the game room and play pool. And he took me down there one day and kind of hustled me a little bit. You know, we kind of knew each other like that. And the only thing I wanted to do was be able to beat him, Joe. That's like, that's what I wanted to do. Yeah. And that's so I quit one of the jobs. I quit the pizza restaurant, went and got a job at the game room so I could play for free. And, you know, kind of the rest is history from there. Wow. It's a game that just sucks you in. I remember I used to go and play with my friend, John, and we would go to this place, executive billiards and white planes. And when we got there, you know, it was an interesting time because there was a lot of gambling going on in that place. And the guy, the owner was a wild man. The owner of the pool hall was this really eccentric musician. Yeah, his name was Guy Azaridi, but he would use the name Guy Hamilton when he performed. He was this musician, like a piano player, like really good musician. And he had some money from, you know, his career as a piano player. And he was really in a pool. He loved the culture of it. And so he was the owner of this joint and we were all just hanging out with him, having fun. And I would go there and it'd be filled with people gambling. And I was like, this place is wild. And then I was watching like really good players play when I was, you know, just starting out, didn't know what I was doing. And I was like, that looks so different than anybody else I've ever seen play pool. Like the way they hit the ball so soft and they're in such control. And you're watching the ball spin off the cushions, you get perfect to the next ball and everybody's like shaking their head. Wow. I'm like, that, that got me hooked. Yeah, that's what got me. Yeah. I think the culture of it is a big, big part of it. I mean, just being able to gamble and not take it personal, you know, like you hate the casino when you go lose, right? I mean, they're like cussing the casino, they're cheating, they're doing this. Right. But I mean, where I was at, we could gamble and then we could hang out. Yeah. I mean, and then we're on teams next day and we're not on, you know, so that to me was pretty fascinating overall, you know. There's a culture that encourages more gambling and the best way to encourage more gambling is not have fisticuffs every time somebody loses. Like some guys just get too, like it's a natural feeling. The guy just beat you. You feel, you're angry at him, but really you should be angry at yourself. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it's just, that's what you're both trying to do. It's an agreement. Like you figure it out. Yeah. I mean, you know, you beat a guy, you don't bust his chops too often, right? You let them cool off and then it all is good. But, uh, Everybody goes back to like McCready's character in the color of money, which is apparently from what everybody tells me from those days, really McCready was probably like wilder than that. No, I think I've sweated it a hundred percent. Really? Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, uh, I, uh, was in with a player playing Keith and I think they played something like four days or five days with like an eight hour break or 10 hour breaking in the middle, you know? And if you say that, stay there and sweat that kind of pool with those guys, you see stuff that you're just not going to see, you know what I mean? They get a little rum dumb, they get a little agitated, then they're hugging, you know, an hour, oh yeah, it's crazy. Yeah. But, but Keith would definitely talk a little bit, you know, he liked a little banner. Those are the craziest legendary sessions when guys just gambled for three straight days in a row and people think it's bullshit. But that was, that's part of the thing about pool and gambling is nobody wants to quit. Oh no. No, you're trying to, I mean, if you don't quit when you're up and if you're down and you still got some fight left in you, this guy might get tired. Or money, you know, you might, you know, I've seen him go through three or four state courses in a night and you know, but I mean, I think you and I were talking about earlier so much different these days. When I went to the pool room, I was fully rested like 10, 12 hours. Cause I knew I'm there to be four or five guys. I'm going to be there 20, 30 hours. Wow. Yeah. I mean, you know, that's what you want. You want to put the parlay on them. You know, like that you want to take a, you know, somewhat small bankroll and try and run it through somebody. So that's a fascinating way to live your life. It really is. I've always, I mean that if out of all of the things, if you talk about like American folklore, just like American culture, all the poetic characters, the professional pool player is one of the most interesting because it is the least guaranteed job that has ever existed. Yeah. There's lots of sayings. I think it's the, you know, hard way to make it easy living, easy living as one of them, right? But, but I mean, you know, if I was lucky, I was around some of the old school ones as well, and the charisma is true. You know, like if you see genuine charisma, I mean, it's a real thing. Yeah. And that's what the old guys had that the other young guys have it too, but it's just a little different. Well, everyone seems it's interesting because it seems like pool is just like every other thing in that the guys today are as good, if not better than anybody that's ever existed. Oh, absolutely. There's more of them. That's the problem. Yeah. You know, there's so many of them. Yeah, exactly. And I'm so impressed. I mean, Europe, Asia, you know, guys from Taiwan, guys from China, guys from Japan, guys from Spain, it's like, whoa, killers, most global sports there is. I think it's, it's amazing how much. Talent there is out there. Like I'm just so impressed with how, what the level is now. Cause if you like, no disrespect to anybody who played back in the day, but if you go back and you watch a tournament from like the eighties versus you watch how these guys are playing now, it's, it's almost like it's a completely different game, different style rather. Yeah. That's I think the equipment allows for that too. Yeah. You know what I mean? So yeah. And the training, I mean, these guys, you know, you had Federer Gorist, I'm sure you all talked about his regimen, right? He's my, my perfect example. If he's almost playing like a totally different style of pool, like his style of pool is like, it's so perfect. Like his position, the way he stands with his body, the rigid it is. It's like people that don't understand that are just seeing a guy just make something look easy, but people that do understand it's like, that's like a work of art, like look what he's doing. Oh, absolutely. Artwork. Yeah. He's kind of like, you know, back in the day, you had kind of, you know, I used to say to a lot of guys that go on the road, Hey, if they don't beat me in the first couple of hours, we're all right. You know what I mean? Cause I'd get better and better and better. And he kind of doesn't even look for that. You know, he doesn't even want a gear. He just has, it's just steady gear. You know what I mean? It's just like, he's not looking for that rhythm, even though it's there, I guess a little bit, but he's just a different machine, you know? Well, he's so well-trained in terms of his fundamentals and it's also repeatable. And I think that, that exists in martial arts. It exists in archery and it really exists in pool. If you have really good fundamentals, like, like that's why a lot of those snooker guys really excel when they try to learn pool. They're fundamentals, like they're stroke fundamentals are so perfect. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, they, they, they learn some things as they come over. I mean, they hate when you say snooker though, right? Don't, don't they give you a hard time? Snooker. Snooker. Yeah. Or the, you know, I don't still don't know why a bank is called a double and snooker. That's what we got. Just a one rail bank is called a double. So there's a few of them that, that I'm not really sure about, but you know, that's, that's an interesting game too. Oh, it's a great game. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, I think nine balls, a little better looking for today's people, you know what I mean? Like Snooker has done really well and it's got a great following and it should, but I don't know, there's nothing like breaking and running down. Yeah. The different balls, you know, you know, you feel a little more aggression, I think, yeah, you know, which in sports you usually want to feel that aggression, right. And if you fuck up and leave the nine in front of the hole, it's an easy victory for your opponent. There's something beautiful about luck, the luck aspect in nine ball balls, bounce all over the place. And when you're down and then all of a sudden, boom, the guy shits a nine ball in you're like, God damn it. And you can change it around. You know what I mean? You turn things around. It's such an exciting game and it never stops being exciting. When it's played at a good level, it's just never stops being exciting. It's like, it's one of the most engaging physical games that I've ever participated in. Yeah. And you would think for a non-contact sport, the adrenaline gets way up there. I know. I mean, it's, it's pretty intense. They've done heart rate monitors on guys, right? Oh yeah. What's like the highest anybody got jacked? Oh my God. You know, a guy, you know, a couple of years ago, Max Eberly was trying to make the team. So we traveled to, to Moscow, actually to play the Russian team and we put them on there. I think it was Garmin that was the sponsor or whatever. Max, I mean, some guys are 130, 125. Max was like 180. I mean, it was unreal. Oh my God. Yeah. And he couldn't play position at all. It was just one of those things, but he knocked into every shot. I mean, I was super proud of him. Yeah. Fundamentals? Yeah. Fundamentals. Max has picture perfect fundamentals. Yeah. Yeah. Real straight stroke. You know, been around a long time and it was, it was a pretty fun experience for Max. I was happy to see it. So when you were a kid and so you start off working in this game room and you learn how to play pool then, like how long before you're just all in with pool, like all day long? Oh, it didn't take long at all. And I was kind of lucky, a little unlucky, but lucky at the same time where my parents actually split up for like 12, 13 months. Right. So during this time I live with my mom and there's no chance I would have ever been a pool player if they didn't split up for that little period of time. Right. So my dad just wouldn't have allowed it. And so they got back together and then I'm graduating high school, getting out of school. So it wasn't really up to him, but I was pretty much first road trip right out of high school. Wow. Yeah. So what did you do and how'd you do it? Okay. The road trip? Yes. Okay. So me and my high school buddy, Doug Donovan, then we went and played. We played a lot of pool together. We decided we're going to do this. And his was more of an experience, experiment kind of thing. You know, he was going on to UT and, you know, doing his thing. And, and, uh, so we went to New Orleans first, we're going to go visit my grandparents in Florida, new Florida was a good spot. So we went Florida, we went New Orleans first, Mississippi, second, Alabama third. You know, we hit all these spots, you know, and back in the day, now I didn't know this as of yet, cause it was my first road trip, but on a normal road trip, because no cell phones, right, you go to like waffle house when you drive in, you get you some food and you go get the yellow pages and you literally go to where it says Bayards in the yellow pages, you know, and you just start going to pay phone and calling, uh, and normally. The bartender or whoever answers will divulge a little more information than they probably should, you know, like if the players knew, Oh yeah, she's telling me, yeah, Joe's a good player. And he likes to gamble nine ball. This guy likes to play one pocket, you know, so you get a lot of information over the phone. And then you just go to those pool rooms and you know, start trying to get down. Wow. And how good of a player were you fresh out of high school? Well, you know, a year and I was real lucky. I had some really good players just kind of like come to the pool room and played me pool and do things with me and show me things. And, and I was a pretty good athlete anyway, so I kind of picked up things quick. Um, but I played good enough to beat them on the way to Florida, Joe, but they're way too smart and we were way too dumb to stop at the same pool rooms on the way back because they got us on the way, but they kind of knew how we played. You know what I mean? Brought some play. Yeah. Yeah. Got us on a few gaff games, you know? So we kind of went empty on the way home pretty much, but explain a gaff game to the unknown. So a gaff game is kind of like, you know, three card, right? The shell game, many of those games, you know, you're going to lose. And even if you're going to pick the right one, they start the, you know, the song and dance again, that's how the shell game goes, right? So it's basically a game that you're just not going to win at. It sounds good. Kind of like, Oh, like this might sound good to you, but you know better now. Like eight ball, taking balls off. That kind of thing. Or say we're playing nine ball, right? And I might say to you, Joe, all you got to do is drive a ball to the rail, but I get break ball in hand playing nine ball. You understand? Right. So, so, I mean, if I'm basically playing the ghost, meaning I'm going to try and run out every time, but until you start to see it happening, you're not going to believe it, you might go for that. You ain't even got a pocket of ball. You just got to drive one to a rail. You know, there's tons of them. So that's an interesting game to play with someone who can't play. Cause that would get them thinking I can do that or naive pool rooms. Like if there's not any pool rooms with a good player that just really ain't running out, I mean, that just sounds like the world. Right. You know what I mean? That just sounds all right. Yeah. Go ahead. Yeah. Exactly. I can drive one to a rail. That's for sure. But you know, That's, but the thing is like what, like practicing with you today, probably not. Like, and especially if it's a bucket, it's a large pocketed table. You've run out like a champion, man. It's amazing. And I know you're not like playing professionally as much anymore, but damn, that was really impressive. Yeah. I've been here a few days, got to play with a little pool here in Austin already, so that's good, but skinny Bob's. Yeah. Skinny Bob's. That's a great spot. Yeah. The 50th going on the longest run tournament in the country. I went there last year to sweat it. I might try to make it there this year too. It's fun, man. It's what it's, I love watching high level pool. It's just, uh, just, and especially it's one of those things that always said it's like an art form that only the people that do it appreciate. Yeah. And when you really get into it, you see different strikers, you know what I mean? The strokes are different, you know what I mean? A little bit, you know, the positions a little different at times, different things, different breakers, different ways to win, you know what I mean? So it's attractive in that manner, I think. Yeah. No, it's just, it's an interesting thing that there's different approaches. You know, some guys have like fixed shafts, some guys have little tiny shafts. Yeah. Body types. Yeah. Right. We're talking about Kochi and you know, unfortunately what happened to him recently, but this guy looks like, you know, like built like Gronk almost not quite as muscle as big dude. Yeah. Huge. And then you got what little co who's one of your favorites that you said. Yeah. I love the cobra. 90 pounds soaking wet. Maybe. Yeah. Coping Chung and coping year or two of my favorite guys to watch because there's the way they play is so smooth. It's just, it's so controlled. Yeah. Like it seems like he's never hitting the ball at different speeds. He's just hitting it at different places on the ball, unless it's a very soft shot. Everything is just like this beautiful controlled stroke. Yeah. Everything looks medium, right? Everything looks like a right in the middle. I forget what match I was watching recently, but he broke around the first five racks and it was just like exquisite. Oh yeah. Like little one, the little one. No, that was the big one. Oh, coping me. Yeah. Yeah. There's a third, you know, there's a third one, you know, heard. Yeah. I haven't seen that guy play. Yeah. He's got a lot of talent. He's, he's way tall compared to the other two. Oh, really? So it's almost like when I watch him, he's still kind of getting his coordination as a tall man, because he's, he's pretty young, you know? So yeah, but he's got a lot of game as well. There's something about, you know, watching these guys from the time that they're really young, like some guys get so good, so quick, like Wu Cha Ching, you know, that dude who won the world championships at what? 16 years old. Yeah. The nine ball. And then later in the year, the eight ball as well. Insane. Oh yeah. 16. Oh yeah. I was there when he won the nine ball. He was like fearless. Well, he manhandled the whole tournament at 16. It was like, you could see after like the third or fourth round, a little different complexion on his opponents compared to everyone else's opponents. Yeah. He was an interesting guy too, because he played with a heavy Southwest, right? Yeah. Well, the Chinese Taipei former Taiwanese, right? Uh, that's a big common cue for them is the Southwest, maybe more on Southwest and Chinese Taipei than anywhere in the world. Well, that's what's interesting too, is that everybody has like a different philosophy on whether a cue should be heavy or a cue should be light. But what's, you know, to the people that don't know what the fuck we're talking about, what's so fascinating about it is you're trying to apply a certain amount of pressure to this thing that you're holding in your hand, that you drive into a cue ball to get the proper amount of revolutions and you're doing it across a whole table. So it's like a nine foot canvas. And when the ball goes three rails and comes all the way back, it's, it's perfect for position on the next ball. It's one of the most beautiful things in life. Oh yeah. The curve. People don't realize the cue ball curves all over the place. You know, you know what a mass say is, right? But like every shot it curves. So how much knowledge did you have when you were out there hustling when you were 17? Did you know how to make a good game? Did you just wing it just for experience? No, I mean, you know, Baytown where I'm from, East side of Houston. So, you know, I stayed in Baytown, that area for the first six, eight months I played, and then I, because everyone said, don't go to Houston, you know, to me, great players. And so I started going there, but I started learning real quick. Like, you know, you're trying to hang onto your bankroll. You learn a little quicker. And, uh, so I was a little savvy for a year player, probably a little more than most, but, but yeah, I was pretty naive. And you, so you were telling me, we were talking about earlier that there's parts of the country that are not good to go to for gambling. Back in the day, at least back in the day, but the South is overwhelmingly good to go to for gambling. Oh yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. It's just like tournaments with Calcutta's or auctions, you know, a good auction in New York, if they even have one might be like 5,000 in there, you know, where Buffalo's, I think they had, I don't know, 320,000 or something like that in May. And that's in New Orleans. So we're going to get in trouble with the IRS because of this conversation? Well, no, it's legal in Louisiana. So they don't take anything out of them out of the purse or anything. So there's, there's no, you know what I mean? So for people that don't know what a Calcutta is. So, uh, if Jeremy was in a tournament, you could actually buy him in the tournament and you're gambling against all the other people that are picking different players. Yeah. They auctioned everyone off on a side spot. Exactly. Yeah. And if there's a lot of gamblers, it can get pretty high and it gets fun. Yeah. Like, you know, yeah, like at your country club, like a tournament, like your club tournament or whatever, they usually do a Calcutta for each team. Yeah. They do that in golf. Yeah. So when you were first, like just trying to go out and get games, you're just calling people in the yellow pages, showing up at places and how do you know your speed in comparison to like, are you just guessing, uh, a little easy, like your first experiences like traveling? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah. I mean, you know, you hear about things, right? You get information from people as you, as you go on, you get to start to know people, you know, you, oh, you meet this guy in this area, that area. So you keep in touch and if something serious going on, they, you know, send you a page on the old pager and you know, you make a call and you make a decision if you're going to drive across. Now that was a few years into it, but at first it was kind of like, I did some dumb shit, you know, like went in with like a, a mechanic shirt on, you know, like all green stuff, you know, I, you know, color of money didn't get me going for a pool that was a little bit before, but I did watch it, you know, so I kind of felt like, you can be a hustler. Yeah. Yeah. But immediately went away from that lot better just to go in and say, Hey, we like to play, you know, and they usually get one of their better players and you're hitting every little town. Yeah. You know what I mean? So you're betting on yourself a little more often and it's easy to tell pretty quickly unless you catch one of them smart guys that know how to stall, you know, they're hustling you, you know what I mean? Right. So that's happened. Did you encounter a lot of those? A lot of attempts, you know, but normally the hustler would come up asking for a big spot. You know, the, the smart hustler was the one that could come in and start playing even and then figure it out from there. You know, it's just a little easier to get down. You know, and I knew a lot of those guys that, you know, were there to win. Now, when you would go to a new pool room, would you try to make a friend and make, maybe give them a gapper if you steered you in the right direction? Yeah, that was kind of touchy. I mean, you might, you quick, learnly, quick, you know, quickly that if it's double steer, the same guy that's going to give you information is probably talking to someone else too, you know, kind of thing, you know, so, you know, best off to be able to evaluate a room pretty quickly. And it's amazing from coast to coast how common people are in the pool room. And when you were doing this, did you realize like how wild it is to be a young, free man, just traveling the country, gambling on pool? Did you realize like how wild that is? Absolutely. I got reminded of it a lot of times just because you get stuck in situations and you, so you get to know people and they kind of remind you of it. You know, we're in Chattanooga one time, we're stuck for like two weeks because there's the blizzard of 91. I don't know if you remember, it was just freaking crazy. People lit, died in the mountains because of it and all that. But so we're stuck in this and we're basically walking to the pool room, sliding to the pool room, whatever, every day. So you kind of think about it. And then you, my friend that was with me, he finally had to end his road trip to go back and go to school. So that reminds me of what I'm doing a little bit. Right. You know, that I'm out there just kind of going from place to place, single, just playing all the pool I can. And, and you know, it was great. Yeah. Pretty special. Yeah. It's romantic. Yeah. It's like, it really is. I mean, how many movies are there about pool hustlers or, or that type of person who's just living this? I mean, it's, that's what was so attractive to it to me. It was not just watching people that played really well. It was the culture. It was a culture of people that just weren't going to fit in with nine to five. It was not an option. These guys were wild people and they, there were a lot of them were gambling addicts and a lot of them were really fucking smart guys and they were really good pool players and they just couldn't deal with regular world. They had to get to a pool hall. Let's get to a fucking pool hall or any pool players around here. And they didn't give a fuck about anybody. He wasn't a pool player. Yeah. They're comfortable. You know what I mean? Yes. And they were just around these people and every day would be the same kind of conversations like this guy could get the eight and it was always like, you don't have heart, you know, in New York, right? Oh my God. New York was so much talk with so little like real high gambling that I saw, but I saw a few, I told you about water dog when he played this guy, uh, George the Greek, that was one of the craziest things I've ever seen. I've talked about it before. So in brevity, he would do heroin in the bathroom, come out, sit on a chair for 20 minutes, just like gone. And then couldn't miss. It was wild on a, what you would call like a gaff table. It was a very tight table and the shims were all fucked up. It wasn't perfect. Right. I give you, if you didn't hit the point on the way in weird shit could happen. You could hit the ball well and then not go. Yeah, it was, but he was firing them in like it was a swimming pool. Oh yeah. He was firing them in. It was like Earl right there. His stroke was so pure. It was so pure. It was so wild to watch. He was just running out. He's I think he met, he might've run like 75 an hour or something like that. Like something like 300 on a regular table. Just watch him do it. It was like watching him just run ball after ball. Why George couldn't do shit. He beat him a couple of times like that with different games too. I think they played some one pocket too. George loved one pocket, but he would gamble high. He would like be with the one guy that would gamble thousands of dollars. And then there was this one dude named international Sal and international Sal made his money from American express card scam way back in the day. They would get the carbons and then they would make duplicate cards and buy a bunch of shit and then then sell it. And he was, he would go to the pool hall and they would bring him bags of cash, just bags of cash. And he was just there all day gambling losing. Yeah. Well, he was probably one of the few gamblers there. I mean, I love New York. I love the guys around New York, but it is more of like a lot of shit talking really, and not as much action. Maybe it's interesting that that's the case. Cause you would think of New York, you would think of like wild people crazy. They're out there on the streets. They're gambling, you know, like, yeah, it's almost like they've been doing it longer though, like they're smart. You know what I'm saying? Like, I mean, they want to win. I mean, they want the edge and you know, that's another part of it. That's always awesome. You know, when you're in there trying to match up, everyone's trying to get a little edge. Yeah. It's just almost like human instinct to try and get a little edge. You know, did you read running the table, the kid delicious book? No, I haven't read it completely. Yeah. It's a really good book. He was a great guy. The guy who wrote it, what is his name? John Wertheim, I believe. Uh, fucking just did a beautiful job, like painting that romantic, that's a painting that romantic story of them doing the same thing, like traveling the road and playing pool. And I know there was all this talk about turning that into a movie. And I think it would have been a great movie. I think if the right person got a hold of it, it really understood what you were talking about. Yeah. Danny used to talk about it. Yeah. Possibly becoming a movie. So I know they were trying to do something with it, but then he died. You know, so I don't know, you know what they would, I don't know. I mean, you would have to get someone to play him that looked like him. I don't know if anyone could ever act like him. He was awesome. No, like incredible. One time wearing Toledo at the glass city open and Sports Illustrated was following him. And me and him were playing like the third round, the winners. And I got him like 10 to six racing 11 and he comes back and beats me. But the shot he made to win at Hill Hill out of the pocket, right? Like, you know how you set the ball up in the middle of the table and you know, you put the cue ball in the corner and you try to follow it in sometimes. Or you try to draw, I mean, and he stabbed this ball in, but he gave the Sports Illustrated photographers the Hulk. I mean, it was, I mean, it was great. Right in Sports Illustrated too. Yeah. Yeah. I love that guy. He was incredible. Yeah. He's a, there's a few really good books on pool playing off the rails. Another one, really good book on pool and, and, uh, Tony Anagoni. Yeah, Tony. Um, but that, that just romantic vision of this person doing like the craziest kind of way to make a living, you're making a living off of your skills and you're just gambling random people in pool halls. And the people there are looking out for people like you because they know people like you come into town. Yeah, but they kind of like it too. You know what I mean? Like, I mean, it's, you know, more like, you know, we call it complimentary action these days, you know, when you become kind of a name, people want to play you. And you know, they play you, you know, like Shane, he goes to these places. He'll play 50 a set. There was a guy like 10,000 playing 50 a set. There was a guy who was really good, who was from, uh, I believe he was from Montreal. Um, Paul Portier. Yes. Paul Portier. Paul Portier came through, uh, executive billions and robbed a bunch of people. Really? Yeah. That was fun to watch. It was fun to watch. Cause he wasn't a big gambler per se. You know what I mean? He, he, oh yeah, he was so good though. He was stealing with some of these guys. He's a really good teacher up there now. I think that's what he mainly does. Teach his pool. Yeah. He shot my friend, Johnny's nuts. It was, it was beautiful to watch though. I mean, the guy just watching someone who's just like, just elegantly moving that ball around the table from perfect position. He was kind of an elegant kind of guy anyways. He was always cleaned up. Yeah. Real nice, real clean. Yeah. It seemed like, uh, you know, Jackie Gleason. There he is. Yeah. There he is. It was beautiful mustache. Hell of a player. Yeah. He actually lived in Texas for quite some time. Oh, did he really? Yeah. He lived in the Dallas area. So he was the first pro that I ever saw that came through executive. Oh, wow. First like real legitimate pro. And that was, uh, you know, early on, I was just learning pool, just learning pool. Yeah. Well, he was pretty solid fundamentally and stuff, you know, like kind of creak, critique that so be good one to watch, but he was kind of like just a nine ball player, so not to pick on Paul, of course, but when you're on the road, you learn to play everything, you learn, you got to play. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, you're going to come into some areas where they just don't play nine ball. How many times you've gone to a place that they only play bank pool? Well, I'll tell you one place. I was in Cleveland, so I was on the road with it, which is right next to Kentucky. Well, this is North O house North. Oh, Cincinnati, Cincinnati. Okay. I'm trying to figure Kentucky is supposed to be the bank place. Well, yeah. Well, I'll get back to that when I was going to talk about it. But yeah, I went through like, uh, all over Kentucky, a lot of small towns. That's the only, now I wouldn't say that's the only thing they would play, but that's the only thing they play me without knowing me. Oh, okay. So like Mount Sterling, I don't know if the pool, I don't know how old this pool table was, right? These pool balls were so old. They were like snooker ball size. They're worn out. Oh my God. It was unbelievable how they're like BBs. I mean, these balls, right? No, this guy had been racking the balls for 60 years, getting a quarter in this board, 60 years for the gamblers. They're playing like, I'm playing like 300 a game. These guys played two, three, 400 games a quarter rack for 60 years. You ever get a raise? Did he ask for a raise? I don't know. I was only there like two days. So I don't know. Yeah. Can I get a dollar? No, he was happy as hell. Wow. I mean, he looked, you know, just one of the nicest guys in there. Just like being there. Yeah. Yeah. But one time I was in Cleveland and I was on the road with a friend of mine who's black guy, right? So he's going to take me to these spots where the black guys play mainly, you know, like in that area. So I walk in this pool room in Cleveland called Carnegie Billiards and the whole area is more, more black area. Right. So we walk in the pool room and there's a sign says no nine ball out, no recreational pool out. So they had eight, eight, nine foots on a bear table and you couldn't take your date in there. It was all action. Yeah. So the guy, he's like, you're young recreational. Yeah. No recreational play. Yeah. Yeah. Holy shit. Yeah. Yeah. Now you'll see those no gambling signs. That's a no, no gambling. Yeah, exactly. Right. Exactly. Right. I love that. No, no, it was awesome. Play. So the guy that ran the joint was called Shorty and, uh, he was one of the younger guys in the place. He's probably 35, you know, and I'm, this is 1994. So I'm 23. So he says, you're kind of young. He says, I know you want to play nine ball. He said, I'm a little one set for 500. You know, he just first, almost first thing he says to me. So, cause he knows the guy I'm with. So we're there for action. You know? And so, uh, I beat him and said a nine ball. It's only nine ball played, but I stay there two weeks playing those guys. Uh, and all they play is one pocket banks or Bayards. That's it. Wow. Three cushion billiards. Three cushion billiards. Yeah. Yeah. There were a couple of really great players, uh, in there that, I mean, they kind of played giving some handicaps in the three cushion, but it was mainly one pocket and banks. That's a wild game. Three cushion billiards. It's one that just for whatever reason, it's really hard to find. It never took off for some strange reason in America or did at one point in time. It was very popular, right? Yeah, it was popular, but it, it was more like exhibition and the tournaments just didn't pay that much. It's almost like the old school players back in the day. They didn't make their money off the tournaments. They made their money, winning some tournaments and then getting sponsored and traveling the country for Brunswick, doing these exhibitions, you know, like Moscone and Caris and all those kinds of guys. Right. So, but now it's starting to take off a little bit because Korea's, it's so huge in Korea again. Really? Yeah. Big money they're playing for. Really? I mean, you know, not like golf money, but I mean, a hundred thousand for first, a hundred and 50,000 for fourth. Yeah. Big money. Yeah. No kidding. And who's putting these events on? A couple of Korean companies over there, because it's always been big in Korea. Right. It just kind of got rekindled again. So now all around the world, really, they're having bigger tournaments. Yeah. They're playing for thirties and forties. That's good for first, you know, 16 players. Yeah. Well, I, I'd love that there's so many events now, you know, because I watched so many of them on YouTube. Like if you enjoy watching pool, I used to have a box of Accustats VHS tapes. It was like this, like a washing machine box filled with Pat Fleming's tapes. And, um, I, uh, I got rid of all of them now. Cause you just fucking get everything on YouTube. Yeah. Everything's on YouTube. Well, I asked this question. You might know, is there any more stream sport in the world than pool? It's streamed constantly. I mean, but so many different ones as well. Right. All these different pool rooms, like Oscars pool room, hard times in Sacramento, just streamed that tournament. I was saying that I was watching, uh, uh, Tyler styler and Shane play. Yeah. Let alone great players. I mean, the next level down other tournaments, I mean, just, yeah, it's amazing to me. I don't know of other sports. I don't watch them like that. I mean, I'm a sports guy, but maybe, maybe what you're into some type of MMA or some type of martial arts or something. Maybe that's streamed a lot. Do they don't really stream that that often? I mean, there's only like big events that stream. There's UFC, there's Bellator. There's, uh, I guess you could probably get PFL on, uh, some sort of streaming device too, right? It has to be right. And then one championship, but then you get that streaming too. But I feel like there's so many multiple pool events that are happening, like simultaneously. Oh, platform after platform. Really? I mean, there's a ton. I mean, there's no more, I don't think that I've ever heard of or seen. I think it's the internet. I think the internet sort of rekindled it in some people. And, uh, I also think it got a boost during the pandemic because people started playing again. Oh yeah. Yeah. I was talking to you about pool table sales and whatnot during, during the pandemic, it was through the roof. And, uh, and along with that, I mean, you're going to just get a percentage that like it, you know? And once they start liking that, they're going to watch it. So if you know people, right? Gets really good now. It's actually a legitimate career path, but when you were doing it, you're just a wild person. You're just out there doing wild person things. Well, yeah, it kind of made steps for me. I mean, I kind of, like I said, I never knew you could make a living or play good pool and then it kind of, all right, I can make a pool. I'm actually making, you know, cash money, you know, pretty good overall for the year. And, and then I started to plan some smaller. I never really had a clue of playing professionally still. It kind of crept up on me. When did that happen? Uh, well, 1995 and six is, I was, Johnny Archer kind of just told me, he said, Hey, you need to start playing the next level. You said you're the good enough players where you should be. It just depends on if that's what you want to do, you know? And so I still gambled afterwards. Kind of slowed down a little more of the gambling, started to go to tournaments, traveling all over the world and the country playing tournaments. But I started to realize I really liked the tournaments. That's a different pressure only knowing you can't, you know, just flip the coin again. Yeah. No. So especially because the first year, I think I played seven tournaments and I might've won one match. Really? And I could beat most of the guys I was losing to. Now the first draw was hard because I wasn't a seeded player. So I was that friend, you know, Lou, I, you know, Johnny, you know, came down board, all those guys, but, um, but on the loser side, I lose matches to guys I'm supposed to beat a lot of times, but I was a different nervous. So I was really intrigued on getting through that, you know, like getting to where that wasn't a problem, whether I want or not. It's a different nervousness than gambling. Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. Gambling. I don't recall ever starting off nervous. Only only take that back. Now, if I only had a couple barrels and I was on the road, you know what I mean? Like, and that's happened several times where, you know, let's just imagine now this is true story, even smaller probably, but let's just say I had a hundred bucks. And that sounds crazy to be a thousand miles away and you know, he gets a hundred bucks and a guy's trying to say, come on, I'll play you some hundred game one pocket. Right. And I'm trying to get him to play for 50 so I can have two barrels, you know, and he's just insisting we play for a hundred. So now start, you know, so, but I've had to do that a few times because, you know, so, but I've had to do that a few times because, you know, so, but I've had to do that a few times because percentages say I'm supposed to beat this guy, you know, and pump up. Oh, yeah. Percentages say, yeah. But I mean, you know, that's the difference that, but I mean, overall gambling, I played racist to five for 5,000. I played the biggest set I ever played was like 38 G's. Um, but I wasn't nervous at all. Really? No. I mean, I knew the person I was playing. We probably had history of playing before, you know what I mean? I knew what to expect. You know, generally it was one pocket more. It just wasn't as much big nine ball back in the day, you know, uh, unlike today. But, um, but yeah, the tournament is totally different. And like you go up to scale, like Moscone cup is off the charts. That's why it's so impressive watching someone just break and run five racks in a row in a tournament. Perfect precision. It's because you know, the control that's involved in all of those little fine movements and oh, yeah. But that's the thing though, when they heat up a little bit, you know what I'm saying, they start to forget about a little bit more, they start to play better. But even the fillers and fetters and all them, you know, and they'll tell you, but they're nervous. I mean, you can see it out there, you know, like, you know, they're nervous, but they're battling through it. Yeah. I could imagine poor max at 180 beats per second. He was pissed. 180 beats per minute is so much. That's like, that's like a full on sprint. No, it was way up there. And there was somebody, I can't remember exactly, maybe it was Shane. That was like 90 or 85. Like way shut the world out. It's not a great thing to be deaf, obviously, but just shut the world out. It's not a great thing to be deaf, obviously, but just shut the world out. It's not a great thing to be deaf, obviously, but to have that with pool, you know, it's almost like, it's, he's like, it's like, do you know what a sensory deprivation tank is? I'll show you one. We have one out here. You lay in salt water and you float and the water is the same temperature as your skin, you close the door, total silence, total darkness. And in the absence of sensory input, your brain becomes like supercharged. You can think about things better. You see everything more clearly and you start to almost achieve like a psychedelic state while you're doing this. And the benefit of not having sensory input is the other senses for whatever, or your mind rather is more free. It has less resources that are hogging up. It's, you know, it's, yeah, it makes sense. It's energy. I imagine that's what's going on with him. He shuts that hearing aid off and he can probably just completely concentrate on the game. Well, that and the one I thought about with him, because he's always been talked about with practice so much, right? His regimen was so long, right? But I mean, to be able to shut them off when you're practicing and being in a pool room, you know what I mean? Like really get involved in yourself. That's the big deal with most guys that practice, even the ones that want to get bothered a lot, you know what I mean? Distractions and whatnot. Probably also just a situation when he was there, people just left them alone. They kind of knew it. I was hanging out with Max Everly and we were at this pool hall in Las Vegas that this Italian guy owned. This guy had the best food of any pool hall I've ever been to in my life. I mean, legit Italian food. It was sensational. He had lasagna and linguine with clams and garlic bread. Yeah. This guy was from Italy and he would bring over food from, he was like a chef in Italy, he was insane that the food was so good. But anyway, it was insane that the food was so good. But anyway, this is while Shane was still on top of the world. This is when he was doing the tar matches and all those things. And we're playing, it's like a Friday night before a UFC and Shane is practicing by himself for like five hours, just five hours, stroking in balls and getting perfect position, setting things up again and setting things up again for five hours by himself, didn't talk to anybody, just firing balls in. Well, that's the amazing thing too. You ever see him just sit on the back rail with the cue ball and set up the long shot, hitting it a hundred miles an hour? We'll try doing that for like three or four hours straight. Yeah. Hitting the ball that hard, you know, swinging the, I mean, you'll be wore out. I mean, he'll be, he'll win the hot seat at the US Open and be the first guy practicing, not even play till the next day, you know, be there eight hours, nine hours, getting ready next day. He wakes up, does the same thing eight or nine hours before he's got to play the big final. Wow. Oh no, he's sick. He's a sicko for sure. But I mean, it shows though. It shows. Yeah. I mean, under, you know, I don't know if there's anyone better in the tough shot ever. I mean, I know filler is awesome and everything, but the true tough shot, I mean, under the biggest pressure, maybe Shane is the best. Oh, he's certainly in the argument is the greatest of all time. I mean, you got a handful of people, Efren and so many different people. We were talking about Bustamante when he was in his prime. But the thing about all those guys, like, like when you go back to like the early days of tournament play and Efren Reyes and the Filipino invasion, like that was all gambling. It was all gambling. Oh, 100%. Which is one of the most exciting parts of the game of pool is this illegal aspect of it. Well, it's like such a, it's not illegal everywhere, but in a lot of places it is. Well, as soon as someone bets on the side, it becomes illegal, I think is how it works. Oh, well, that's illegal. Every single guy. Right. Right. But it means you decide in Texas. Yeah, that's that's a form of racketeering or something. Yeah, something like that. Yeah. Yeah. But Efren, you know, you can't even make a bet with your friends. Like what if you and I were playing? No, me and you are supposed to be able to play and we could bet a million. Okay. And it wouldn't be a problem. But Jamie couldn't bet on us. I think that's something. That seems. Or if there's someone taking a percentage of some sort. That seems kind of like the poker. Y'all got the legal poker around here, right? I do not know. I don't play poker. Yeah. Well, they got the legal poker rooms, but they charge like pool time, you know, like by the hour so they don't take any money out of the pot. You know, like, yeah, so it's legal now. That makes sense. That's not a bad compromise. But I feel like not being able to bet on your friend is un-American. I were definitely not texting. That's for sure. You know what I'm saying? Like if you're gambling with somebody and you're playing this someone, I'm like, I got money on Jeremy. If I, and if I say that that's illegal. If like you were just making an agreement. I think so. Yeah. I think so. So crazy. Pretty sure. That sounds so crazy. It happened once in Houston, like right before I started actually a couple times, but once in Houston at a pool room that I frequented, um, like a year or two before I really started going there. Right. When I was young, they didn't take the guys that were playing. They took the guys that were all betting on the side. Oh my God. Yeah. Is that crazy? Yeah. Meanwhile, how many people are out there getting robbed for real robbed? Yeah. Right. How many people could you get arrested instead of like finding people who are gambling the wrong way? Yeah. They're all, there's a lot of those, right? Yeah. It's just, it's such a, like, and you know, like I said, the, the, those two books are great at like depicting the romantic aspect of it, playing off the rail and running the table. But to have actually lived that life to actually been like, when did you, when did you come off that life? Like, when did you stop like traveling constantly? And, uh, like town to town kind of thing. Yeah. Probably around 90, 98, 99. I really jumped up in the rankings. Uh, started being able to get like real sponsors, paychecks, uh, stuff like that from sponsors, um, but I still didn't quit gambling. I still played plenty of people. It was just kind of like, it wasn't spent a lot of time traveling, you know, like waiting around, like you might go somewhere. If you know, it's a good spot, you know, like somebody sent you there, Hey, they're gambling, you know, but it might take a little time to get to know you and whatnot before they're comfortable. You might stay a week, two weeks, three weeks at a place. Was there the fear that you entering into professional tournaments would knock your gambling? Uh, by this time people, everyone knew, I mean, you know, it didn't take long before a few few trips, I went by my middle name. Yeah. Cause there were magazines that, you know, you could see what's going on around the country. Right. You just might not get a picture or video of it or whatever. So you start to hear names, you know? So like first time I went to California, uh, I did that actually. You know, it worked out nice. So what did you do? You just use a different name. Well, it's a funny story and I think he can laugh about it now, but you know, Marcus Shumates right from Sweden. So, so there was a guy that was staking him and a lot of other great players and he was big action, the guy was, and I knew Marcus was out there. And so I'm in hard times. And I think I told you about this, how they would Keith, but the only two people in the hard times that knew me, all right, uh, was Keith and Jose Perica. All right. So everyone else didn't know who I was. So Marcus Shumates standing next to two other guys that I know play, but won't play kind of thing. So I go up and I asked those two guys, I was like, you know, when do you all want to play some, you know, $50 a hundred sets of nine ball, you know, knowing Marcus is going to just jump right on me. You know what I mean? Like he's right next to him. So long story short that happened. And, uh, but I introduced myself as Tyler, my middle name, you know, like I just did, you know, so we start playing. He beats me a set for a hundred playing even. I quit. He offers me the eight beats me a set for 200. I quit. Now he offers me the seven. So now his stay course starts coming over near me because Marcus is just stealing this little four or 500. I ain't got nothing to do with a stay course. You know what I mean? This is like pocket money. So now his stay course comes over and he's kind of interested in the game. And he says, he'll give you the seven, but you got to bet, you know, everything else on me. You wouldn't know it, but I do, you know, so I can't pause it on me. You wouldn't know it, but I do, you know, so I can't pull out 25 or 30,000. They're going to know something's up. So me and my buddy, we just talked for a second. So we ended up pulling out like 4,500. So we play for a little bit. And, uh, we're now we're playing seven ahead. We were playing a race of seven for the hundred and 200. Right. So now he thinks he's stealing because I mean, the way I played in the other two sets, you know what I'm saying? So he just comes out like gangbusters. You got me like four games down. I'm talking to my buddy. I'm like, man, this is sick. We're going to get beat in this spot right here. I'm getting the seven, you know? So finally I get a shot and I start to run out. Now I'm starting to run out. And so his stay course is there and he says, man, ain't this something? You know what I mean? He says, uh, we thought we were stealing. It looks, it looks real bad now. So, so I beat him that set. So now at hard times you've been there, right? Now I, yeah. So they got the player side, right? With the tight tables and they got the looser tables. Well, he had me on the looser tables thinking, you know, I'm just a sucker. You know, so he says, uh, the stay course says double the bet and we'll give you the eight on the tight tables. Right. So this is like really good for me. You know, now I'm getting a spot on even a tougher table. So I beat him that set. But during that second set, a friend of mine had built me a cue and sent it out to the guy that ran the tournaments in the LA, right? So I'm going by Tyler and this guy walks up and he says real loud. He says, are you Jeremy Jones? Oh, no. He says, if you are, I got a cue for you, you know, and I was like, no, I ain't Jeri because I'm in the middle of this 13, $9,000 set plan, you know? So I said, no, I ain't Jeremy Jones. You know, and I just sent him on his way. And then the next day when I came in, Mark knew who I was and you know, everyone spilled the beans kind of thing. I had to go tell the guy, all right, that's my cue and everything. So was he mad at you? No, no, not at all. He understood. It's kind of like a funny story around there now, I think, but Marcus was mad at me for a little while. Yeah. That's what I was asked. Oh yeah. Because he was European, you know? And it was just kind of like, you know, if someone got me like that, you know, I'm going to, it's going to sting, but it's going to be more like, all right. Touche kind of thing, you know what I'm saying? You know, we're going to laugh about it and stuff, but it took, it's almost like if you first beat Efren, he walks by you, but he don't say much to you for about a month or two. Really? Oh yeah. He's got to let that wear off a little bit. But it took Marcus probably about a decade before it was bad. Yeah. So when, when he beat you the first two sets even, were you, were you hustling a little? Well, I might not have put forth my best effort, but he played real good. You know what I mean? He was just, all right, let me pick up this four or five hundred. You're purposely trying to set something up. Well, I thought I, you know, I'm definitely not trying to win for 200. You know what I mean? Like his stay course, who now is actually after that trip became real good friend of mine, you know, at that time he was known you could beat him out of 40 and 50, you know, thousand, right? So you're not going to start off doing anything like that for 200. So when you first start playing, you play good, but you're not really bearing down. Right. Right. So you're showing them that you can play a little, but you might miss some shots that plus I want to see him play. Right. You know, I heard the name, kind of wanted to really see, because eventually to beat him out of the real money, it's going to be playing even. Right. You know what I mean? Cause he's another great player. So that eventually was going to happen, but Marcus ended up having to leave the country for his visa got shortened up or something like that. He actually ended up leaving the next day, but I stuck around for about a month. In these other countries, is there a lot of gambling going on? Obviously in the Philippines there is, but is there a lot of gambling going on in these other countries where all these players are emerging? Some of Asia for sure. Um, Southeast Asia, especially I think, you know, Thailand, like you said, Philippines, Indonesia, um, Europe here and there, not a whole lot, not a whole lot at all. And I think it's more of the state course kind of situation. It's just not the mentality, you know, there's not a state court, you know, people aren't just thinking, Oh, let me go put somebody else in action for thousands of dollars. Yeah. You know, it's just not your everyday thing. One of the fun parts of American pool culture, the state courses. Oh, absolutely. There's some of the biggest characters. Yes. Wild, crazy people with tons of money. Yeah. And how they got it. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, they're interested in gambling on pool. Yeah. I've, uh, been paid in, uh, buried money quite a few times. Really? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It stinks. It stinks. Oh yeah. Not nice. The whole car stunk. Oh yeah. Real bad. Do you think there's like bodies next to the money? I don't think so. Why don't it smell just mildew and shit? Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I'm talking about. Yeah. I think this has been there a long time, 30, 30 years. Yeah. There was a guy one time where South Carolina is another place that, uh, I frequented in the summers, especially cause we gambled to golf, but, um, this guy Frank and he was a great, great guy. And he was the coming in overalls. Didn't know he had a penny, but he staked a lot of players and he did a lot for the pool community. So he comes in one morning cause we'd all meet at the pool room about 10 AM and we'd all make a golf game. Then we go out to the golf course, gamma golf, come back to the pool room and make pool games. Right. It was, it was awesome. I mean, the whole summer was like this. So this Frank comes in one morning and, uh, he looked real upset and he never looked upset, always happy. Even if he lost, he was happy. And so I said, Frank, what's wrong? You okay? Uh, come out my back door and I saw one of my bushes dug up today. So one of his sons that is kind of, you know, a little detached at times from the family for one reason or another, he let us stay there and he said he knew it right. It was a $30,000 Bush. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so he took it like a grain of salt. He was more disappointed. It was kind of like a disappointed father kind of thing more than upset. He had plenty of money, you know? So, but it's amazing what people do with their money. Yeah. That's a, that's a hundred Biden type move. Probably got it buried a little better. You need something. Yeah. But I mean, digging that money up for a need. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's, uh, it's just the, the kind of people that would, uh, go to these places and look forward to matching these guys together. Like that was always the, the, it's a famous story. Um, that's in the, um, running the table book about Chicago billiards. Did you ever go to that place? It's in Connecticut. I don't think so. Chicago billiards was, uh, owned by this one eccentric millionaire who would encourage gambling. And if no gambling was going on, he would put money up for guys to play. He just wanted action constantly. They had dorms there. Like people would sleep at beds in the back. People would sleep there. Cause it come in stay for days. Oh yeah. Well, that's, you know, just like poker games, Houston had a big underground poker scene and the same thing with pool rooms. If you have a guy that owns the poker room, that's action. That's the best games. Yeah. I mean, they're putting the money back in play. And the same thing with the pool room, the poor homeowners involved. Yeah. I mean, you know, he's going to have players around. He's going to have options usually. And that's some of the best spots for action. I remember I was watching this guy play. And he just got off the phone and he said, my wife just told me if I don't come home now, I'm getting a divorce. And he goes, rack the balls. I've heard that in so many words before. It was, but he said it out loud. He was rack the balls. Yeah. He was like, we're going to keep playing. Oh yeah. Because like I'm getting divorced. Not the first time she's told him that probably. It's just too addictive. Those places are too addictive. I would get, I couldn't wait to get back to them. When I'd go on the road and I do stand up, couldn't wait to come back, get to the pool room. What's going on? Oh yeah. Who's playing who what's happening? Yeah. You know, a lot of truck drivers that played, you know, got to play all over in different places. Yeah. You know, but the one thing about pool, you really, even if you don't run the gamut, it's hard to leave totally the game. I mean, it's just, it's good to hit the ball. Well, it feels good. You know what I mean? It's just like golf. They say when you hit it, well, it feels good. Right. Have you ever considered writing down some of your road stories? Oh yeah. Putting together like Danny DiLiberto has a book out. Yeah. There's a good friend of mine, Harley Brian. Uh, I think I was telling you a little bit about him the other day, but he's like a legend guy. And, uh, I tell him all the time. I'm like, I mean, this is like the best book ever. If you just tell it, you know, tell your stories, you know, he was raised on a riverboat, his, uh, like porkies. You know what I mean? You know what I mean? Yeah. You know, like that's what his dad owned two of them in Jacksonville. The only two, you know, like just the stuff he was raised around. Then he was a great pool player around, you know, Jimmy Carus and Moscone and all those guys, he's actually he's 84 now, I think. Yeah. But yeah, that'd be good to put the pool stories down. There's a lot of them. That's one of my favorite expressions is a riverboat gambler. Oh yeah. Those types of people. Yeah. He's one of them riverboat gamblers. Just wild people. People around the water. I mean, I don't know what it is. I mean, I'm from there too. Baytown, like right on it. What do you think it is? It's a very carefree kind of, you know, once you don't Bay for a week, kind of figure out you ain't got to that often again. I mean, I don't know. I don't know what the mentality is, but. But why, why is gambling so prevalent in the South? That's what's fascinating to me. Like, why is it so a part of the culture? I mean, and even in things that are illegal, like rooster fighting and shit. Like, oh yeah. Gambling is like so pervasive. Yeah. I mean, you know, you would know more about the North than I would, but maybe the faster paced, I mean, we always just said it's kind of like California and a little bit the same, they're real smart and they play well. And they're just not, they're not just going to take much of a beating. And the thing is, even if you play well, the difference, a lot of people, like I used to get accused for being on, you know, the best of the game, which who doesn't, right? But people would mistake that also for someone who could play well under pressure. You understand? You know, if you play well under pressure, it looks like you got the best of the game. You know, most people can't. So even if you beat them playing really well, so it's hard to make another game off of how you just played, because you played really well. Like that's hard to do all the time playing pool. You know that, right? Right. So you guys try to match up for hours, give up, come back, give up, come back. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. And then finally, oh my God, they're racking the balls. They're racking the balls. Yeah. But you know, I go to senior centers, right? Sometimes play pool with some of the older guys or have a lesson there or something like that, they talk a little shit without any, you know what I mean? So, and some of it goes way back. Like it's pretty nasty stuff. Oh really? Well, I mean, kinda, I mean, you know, they don't know me from Adam talking about something real personal from 25 years ago. That's hilarious. Yeah. That's pretty funny. So I think the barking in general, being somewhere you're allowed to bark a little bit. Yeah. You know? Well, that's, it was always, it's just a part of the fun of it all. It's like wild things are happening. Oh yeah. Absolutely. People are accusing people or sharking them and it's just. Well, the swings to the ups and downs, you know, like, I mean, you know, you just broke so-and-so he's dead broke. He was borrowing money yesterday and you know, you spent two days out of the pool room and he's, he's won 10,000 cents. You know what I mean? So you keep track of everyone. Yeah. Especially if you're in a place locally that you live at that has action. You always want to know what's going on a little bit. And for people that don't understand the allure of this, you're constantly engaged in some kind of competition. There's, it's constant happening. Oh yeah. And there's, and it's endless. Yeah. It's endless. Yeah. They ain't, you know, basketball. What are you going to do? You're going to go shoot free throws maybe, or maybe play one. I mean, this is endless. The pool games and the handicaps, the partners. It's no season. Yeah. Y'all too could play mean, you know, we could rotate. Yeah. I mean, it's just all kinds. So. Yeah. When you, have you ever sat down and try to like, like write out some of these stories? Not really the stories. No, I've written some stuff for teaching. Cause I do a lot of that. Right. And, uh, uh, it helps to write it down. Yeah, for sure. Um, but no, not the stories probably should. You definitely should. Yeah. I think I'd want to know somebody though, like really trust putting it in someone else's hands, right? You know, someone's going to come across with that. Yeah. Give it the right climate, whatever that is. You know, I'm not sure what that is yet, but maybe we could just record some of your stories, just record some of your stories, make YouTube videos that might actually be even better than a book. Well, some of them are pretty crazy. Give me a crazy one. What's the craziest one? Oh, uh, oh, there I can't tell you probably maybe the craziest. I'll tell you later on the craziest ones on there, but, uh, uh, let's see. So, so, so one time I was at a tournament in, uh, Mississippi and to get on with this, uh, I won the tournament, uh, tough tournament, Johnny Archer, all the great players and his bar table. So I went like 8,000. So by the time I won the tournament, I think I was about 25,000 losing in the casino. Okay. He's like terrible trip. I mean, I wouldn't even try and you're, you remember Tony Ellen. Yes. So he was 20 minutes late to get a steak dinner at the horseshoe. It cost me about 12,000. I went down there and said, oh, let me just, let me just pitch 300, you know, and they just pounded me. Right. So I got the tournament money after one and it was 8,000 went straight to the cage and cash it went straight to the blackjack. Yeah. I had it about 10 minutes. So the 8,000 was gone. And so this guy that was playing there, his name was Frank seals and he was a legendary steak horse. And you steak CJ when he was a kid and a lot of players throughout the years. And he said, Hey, if you're ever bored, you want to come up to Morristown, Tennessee, I got a kid. I'll let you play. If you still want to play, you know, I like the way you gambles what he said. He watched me play blackjack blow all my money, right? Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I told him, that's when I said, you ain't dealing with me. You know, blackjack up there. If I go up there. So anyways, I go up there. So he's got this guy, Mark Owens was his name, good player and a real high gear. Maybe not the most steady player, but real high gear. So we're playing, we start off playing racist and nine or 10 or something for a thousand, so long story short, I got him 10,000 loser. Okay. And it's because we raised it and whatnot. And, uh, so now the whole town, this is a small town, okay. Just up in the Northeast corner of Tennessee. So the whole town starts coming in and this is their hero. So my buddy starts taking bets on the side, you know, so now we I got him 10,000 loser. And, uh, he says, we want to play a separate 10,000. This is what Frank says, the, the stake horse. He says, but we need to call eight, you know, what the call eight is of course. Right. So, uh, so I said, okay. Yeah. So we're going to race to let another race to 15. So we're betting about 10,000 on the side. Okay. So we're playing a separate like 20. All right. Cause my buddy's got a list of bets this long with all the town people, you know what I mean? Yeah. So it's nine to eight me, instead of playing safe on the eight, I try to jack up off the end rail and stab it in and draw my ball, you know what I mean? And I, I bobble it. He makes it. He breaks and runs five racks. He's up 14 to nine. So now he breaks on to 15 and the four nine is wired over the spot. He makes an incredible shot on the one. He's got the three down the rail and he's just got a cupcake on the four nine. So I turned my buddy and I said, man, we ain't got, but like 8,000 left. You know, cause we were winter. We start off a thousand a set. I said, we can't lower the bet. You can't do that. Then they know you're short. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. So I'm like, what are we going to do? You know, we get more money tomorrow and whatever. Right. So the pool table's here, right? He's shooting at this corner. Now Frank is the only guy sitting right here on a stool chair, right? Like a little school chair. Everyone else is way back over here besides me and my buddies over here. Right. All the people watching. So he knocks a three and Mark does and he comes down. He was kind of one of those guys that would fire the nine in. You know what I'm saying? You've seen him. He rifles this four nine. He could have just tapped it and it would have rolled right in the corner. This ball went down and swirled around in the pocket, jumped almost all the way back out to the spot. That's how far it went. Oh my God. Yeah. All the money's on the light. Right. So Frank, he knows about pool and the ball's aimed directly at Frank. So as soon as he hits it, he knows it's in. So Frank starts to get up and get the money. I said, Oh, Frank, I said, the nine's on the table. You know, Frank's like 75 years old. He's got glasses. So I said, the nine's on the table. He says, Oh, I'm sorry. You know, like he didn't realize it didn't go in. Well, it did go in. It just came back out. Yeah. Never pocketed another ball. The whole set I played safe on that first shot. I broke around and played safe, broke around, beat him 15, 14. Right. So now the kid, he quits and he's literally crying out on the stairs. Okay. So, uh, Frank says, come back the next day. We'll play you some more. So we come back the next day. We start out playing like for 3,500 races to 11. So I beat him three sets. So he says, Hey, he's going to take a break. He said, I'll play some more in a minute. I'm like, sweet man. This is good. He good action. You know, so Frank sitting in this chair right here and the kid's practicing a little bit and he hits a ball in that same pocket. It jumps the pocket hits Frank dead in the eye, right? He's glasses and blood's going everywhere. I mean, Oh yeah. Yeah. It was ironically crazy, right? So we ended up having to quit and we never ended up playing again. So the same pocket that kind of saved me the day before, right? Kind of got him the next day and we ended up never playing. Yeah. Funny story. Kind of shitty table is that it was a gold crown, but it had a replacement pockets. You know, the big black ones that go in there, kind of bulky. They kind of move around a little bit. A shitty job. Yeah. Yeah. It's old school pool hall, but man, you know, that Frank, he was something else. So that he I'm playing right. And he pulls up his overall. And, uh, I see a gunshot wound in his leg. I said, dang Frank, you got shot. He said, yeah, my wife shot me about 10 years ago. I said, man, you mean your ex-wife? Don't you? He says, no. He says, I'm still with her. Right? I said, damn, about three months later, she killed him after I played. Same lady that shot her shot 10 months before a 10 year. She shot him dead. Dead. Dead. I think she did six months in a mental place and then she's out. Oh my God. Yeah. Yeah. Six months. Six months. That was it. That's it. She had shot him twice. No, I think it was like, I think it was like five of them in the chat. Oh, and she killed him. Oh, yeah. Mariah was telling you about that buried money. Yeah. Frank gave me some of that buried money. I think he was kind of like a numbers guy. You know how they run the lottery out in the country on their own and stuff. Yeah. I think he did like stuff like that. So my grandma was involved with that. Yeah. That's a big thing in the Northeast. The numbers. Yeah. Yeah. That's a, another thing. People look forward to that kind of gambling. I just don't like restrictions on gambling and I know people have problems with it. I really do. And I've met a lot of people that are like degenerate gamblers and it's horrible to see. Oh, yeah. They get so addicted. They're so fucked up, but it's still fun. And especially with pool, it's really fun. I mean, you're, you're gambling on a game of skill, you know? Yeah. Well, I've rarely seen where someone got their life messed up really. I mean, don't get me wrong. You might not have the best relationship with your lady, you know, if you're gone all the time for days at a time, right? But as far as like financially, really, I've seen it in other kind of gambling and whatnot. You've seen that, I'm sure. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I've seen it in all kinds of sports gambling in particular. Yeah. Did you ever see that movie, Uncut Gems? Yeah. Adam Sandler movie. What a great fucking movie. What a great movie. I like him in serious roles a lot. I've never saw him in one before that, but that one is so good. It's, you get so much anxiety watching that. You're like, don't do it. Yeah. What are you doing? Yeah. What do you do? But we know guys like that. Oh, absolutely. 100%. Yeah. 100%. Those are real guys. Oh, 100%. And it's, uh, it's amazing because usually they get a hold of a big number and it still doesn't matter. No, you know, like, I mean, it used to be like, all right, they got a hold of 30. How long are they going to hold on 30? They got a hold of 60. They were bad Jews. Yeah. But I mean, same guys, I'm seeing them get a hold of fives and 600s and still going and losing it all quickly. Yeah. Month, three weeks. I mean, I went broke tons of time. I mean, I tell between the legs coming back home, but I mean, I'd leave like 3000, 4000 and normally odds are the value I was going to come back pumped up. Sometimes I came back broke, but it wasn't like, you know, like that. I was watching Dana white gamble in Vegas. He was playing blackjack. And when I, when I got there, he was down 600,000. Oh yeah. Yeah. We were on the winning it all back and plus 600. Oh yeah. But like, like the guy we were talking about earlier with the IPT. Yeah. He used to like that real high dollar back around 20, 30, a thousand a hand. Yes. Goes fast. Oh boy. It does. That's just so crazy. But I guess when you just have like fucking shit, tons of money and that's, that's the only way you can get excited. Like it has to be dangerous. I don't know. I think there's gotta be a hypnotism. I mean, they obviously aren't going to go broke, right? Right. So I mean, maybe I hope not. Yeah. I mean, look, it could happen if you just get really wacky and keep going. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you could get yourself stressed out about it, I guess, but, but I mean, you know, I don't know if I happened to the people that I know, but it could. If I had a billion dollars though, I think if I like playing blackjack, maybe thousand hands just going to be just as satisfying, just maybe, maybe be pool player, I don't know. I don't know. Maybe my mentality. I don't know. Cause I used to play a lot higher than a thousand a hand couple of whiskey when I did. Yeah. Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. Couple of whiskey's in you might be bet 150,000. Yeah, maybe. Let's go. I will raise my bed if I get one. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. That's poor, poor mentality. Yeah. Only way to win really. Yeah. Yeah. It's just the art of that though, is what was always fun to watch the art of like making the game and guys going and knowing that they were eventually probably going to play even, but bro, I need the eight. I need the fucking eight. I need the breaks. I need this. I need that. And this is banter back and forth and everybody circling around watching this drama play out. Yeah. And you're trying to figure out who to bet on, you know, cause you know, you can't just sit on the sidelines waiting for the nut game. Yeah. You won't give any action. It's like a poker guy. They know he's got aces of Kings. If he moves all in kind of like thing, right? And there's also an understanding amongst guys who gamble with each other on a regular basis that it's I'm losing money to you. You're losing money to me. We're all good. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. There's a little going this way, a little going that way. There's very rarely were bad feelings after guys would lose money gambling. I mean, some guys get off themselves or some guys, but yeah, I mean, areas were different, I think, you know, and maybe you noticed it more, but like Houston, where I was from, it was just gambling was gambling. Personal is personal. I just, I mean, it was the most cut and dry I'd ever been around. And it was cut and dry sort of in the culture, like as you were crumbing up. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. That way. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Whereas like Dallas, we always called it more nitty, you know, like, but you know, it just was more nitty. It wasn't necessarily nitty. It was just more nitty, you know, more nitty than Houston than Houston was. Yeah. Someone who's like very, you're very conservative and you're gambling. Yeah. Trying to fire one barrel at you. You lose, you're out of there. Yeah, exactly. Where'd that term come from? Nitty. Yeah. You got me. That's an old term. Old, old and it's used not just pool. I mean, I've heard it outside of pool, but well, you know, Houston has been around on the map for the gamma. That's where Cesar Morales went, right? That was Efren's name. And he passed as a Hispanic guy from, from San Antonio. Yeah. That funny story, if you ever heard red walling, the guy that owned reds. Um, so I guess Efren was in the semi-final. And, uh, the tournament still under the name of Cesar Morales. And he went up to red walling and he says, uh, Mr. Walling, he said, I gotta ask you a question or I gotta tell you something. My, uh, my real name isn't Cesar Morales. Am I going to get forfeited out of the tournament and not get my money? You know, he won before he got to win in the tournament, he wanted to fest up, you know, and so red walling said, yeah, just tell us your real name now. So we'll make sure you get paid, you know, pretty crazy. And that was only like 10 miles from where I was from, but it was before my time. So how did those guys know in the Philippines that there was so much gambling going on in Texas back then? And how did they know that he could take this kid from the Philippines who turns out to be one of the greatest players, if not the greatest it's ever lived. And then just Rob everybody. Well, Philippines are everywhere. Filipino people are everywhere. I mean, if you would go to the tournament, it could be just, I mean, you just pick a place out of the blue. If there's a Filipino champion there, there's going to be groves of them showing up to watch. So they kind of keep control of it. Plus there was a, one of the original guys that was a top player, him and his brother, Rudy Pasquale and JR Pasquale, they came before Efren and all them and they lived in Houston. So they, they kind of brought them there for the, for the reds tournaments and all the action. Yeah. So kind of like we said, information. Right. So they knew Efren in the Philippines or so Efren had already had a name. So if you tried to come over as Efren Ray, as people would already have heard about him. Absolutely. A hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. And the thing is then at that point, there were only a couple of them that you heard about from outside of America. So Efren was one of them for sure. It wouldn't get lost. What is the highest stakes match you've ever seen played? Oh, uh, probably in New Orleans, there's a billionaire car bomb. I think he took on like 220,000 worth of action. He's, he's not a good player, but he's not a bad player. He's kind of a guy and he comes down to a few tournaments and he plays real expensive, you know, on the bar table. He plays nine ball, plays another week player, or he plays a good player, getting a huge spot. And like how much is he gambling? Oh, I mean, he's, he's playing like six or seven games a head or maybe a race to nine for, you know, in the middle might be like 80 or a hundred, but he'll bet another hundred on the side. Well, when he comes, everyone bets against him just because the, you know, you're looking at the odds, right? Yeah. You're looking at, and that's another thing in the pool room. You might get a good game, but you know, the guy's short, right? So you got to wait. Right. You know what I mean? You know, you want to get the most out of that game if you do win. You got to wait until he's plump with cash. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. That's interesting. That's it. It's like all knowing when to pull the trigger, knowing where a person's at. Yeah. When it's all prime, knowing if they scored recently, how they're playing. Tony Ellen used to be the best because, you know, people bet on matches and stuff at the tournaments, you know, and he was just so in tune with all the players and some of them, some of them, their personal lives, you know, and like, that makes a huge difference on that because pool is so mental. Oh yeah. Your girlfriend breaks up with you. Yeah. Kicked out of your apartment. Yeah. Now you might play like shit. Or, or if like a couple of things don't go your way to start with. Tony used to say that if he doesn't get it his way at the beginning, he's going to fold, he's just in that mood right now. You know what I'm saying? So like, there's just so many different aspects. Yeah. So is the biggest games that you've seen played or really from people that aren't the best players? Have you seen, what is like the most high stakes between like two elite players? Cause I know there's, there's some legendary stories about, you know, guys like Bustamante and Johnny Archer, Logan Horns and Johnny runs the whole set. Yeah. And Bustamante ups the bet. Yeah. It says flip the coin. Yeah. Double the bet and beat him. Yeah. I was, uh, I played on that table that was in Toledo, Ohio. How many? 13 and out 13 racks and out. Johnny broken ran 13 racks in a row. Yeah. I would never play with another cue ever for a second in life. Yeah. That cue is an extension of his soul. Right. To run 13 racks is so bananas to do it. And how much were they gambling? I think it was like 10, you know, back then the thing is these days, of course, everything has gone up in money, right? So, but there's more being bet now. So I would say like when Dennis and Shane played a few years ago, here it is. That was a huge one. It says one time we're in Toledo and Archer is playing Bustamante or race to 13 for 2000, 2000, 2000, 13 consecutive racks in a row. Yeah. The Johnny was a bad hombre for money. Oh my God. He was awesome in tournament, but he's awesome in everything. Yeah. I just rarely ever saw him get beat for money. I mean, he would give guys that were like really good players the last four, you know what I mean? On tight tail. Oh no, I got this Jeremy. No problem. You know, never saw him practice by the way. No, the guy like Johnny, like with all this new technology with like carbon fiber cues and the like, does a guy like that still play with a wood shaft? I think so. I haven't seen him play in quite some time. He it's been probably four or five years that I've seen since he's really been in a big competitive tournament. Now I did play the USA open a couple of years ago. Um, won a match or two, but didn't, didn't do that well. So I don't think he's playing a ton. So yeah, last I saw him play. Yeah. You know, I think he opened a pool room there in a North Georgia. So doing a lot of that. But this, this technology thing, like we were talking about this today, that there's these new carbon fiber shafts and they're very consistent and all these people play with them, but some players still prefer the feedback that they get from wood and that's part of the enjoyment of the game is like feeling that feedback in your hand. Yeah, I think so. I mean, you definitely get a lot of feel, you know, you don't want something that it's like a two by four, right? I mean, um, you know, that's why. You know, players, they break in, like they get a new cue. They break in the shaft, the oils off your hands, you know, just a number of things you like, I think one of the things about the carbon fiber, which I like, I like it, but you get a lot out of it, but sometimes, you know, if you get a little hairy, the mist can be a little uglier. Really? Yeah. Just cause it does put a little more spin on the ball. You know, it's just, just a higher, a little higher spin rate overall. So, I mean, you know, if you get a little, you know, like say you de-celled the ball, it could be real ugly, you know, or if you really over hit it, you know, but my point would that like Johnny played perfect with a wooden shaft, like try, how would you convince that guy to even try carbon fiber? Wow. If he could just do it a little easier, you know, if you can swing a little bit, yeah, yeah, you could swing a little more, you know, subtly hate to say soft or anything like that, but just a little less on it overall. Or let's say you're putting a tip and a half of left English. Maybe you only got to go a tip or a half a tip. No. And so a little comfort level, you know, comfort overall. It just makes the ball react differently. Yeah. And I don't know exactly all the technology behind it other than, you know, we can, you can build them how you want. Exactly. Right. Wood, there's still a little variable, I think. Yeah. But the thing that bums me out is that part of pool is the custom cue makers. There's all these guys that are making these beautiful functional pieces of art. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, but you know, with the carbon fiber, I guess most of the companies and really with the playability, it's gone to more performance than it is, even though they are, you know, they make attractive cues and all that, but you wouldn't say it's the time and effort, like some of your handcrafted cues. Right. It's just about winning. Yeah. About showing up with a bell bush. Yeah. Yeah. Color of money. It's a great scene. Oh, I love it. I've made a post about my new cue the other day, referring to that. Do you know the video game Doom was named from that scene? Yeah. A bunch of people made that comment on the post over. Yeah, that is amazing. I didn't know that actually. And then John Carmack told me. Yeah. And then I think, you know, how the phones listen to you. I was watching some clip and I think you mentioned that on one of your podcasts. I think so. Yeah. They, um, they wanted to just, they wanted it to be doomed for the video game industry. Yeah. That's crazy. And it's such a great name for a crazy video game. No, it is. But where are they? You know, that we got it from Tom Cruise in the color of money. Exactly. Like Doom didn't come up from something else that came up from there. Did you ever get into video games? Uh, you know, we had an Atari, um, played it for a few days after Christmas. Uh, weren't allowed inside very much. You know, six of us. Oh no, no, no, no. But I mean, exactly. Yeah. Drink out of the water hose. Oh yeah. Oh, a hundred percent. I bet you got an amazing immune system. It's really good. I've been lucky my whole life. Knock on wood. It's from a hose drink and Joey Diaz always talks about that. And we swam in the bay, which was just right across the street. Joey Diaz always like, I drank puddle water. Yeah. Yeah. We weren't allowed there too often till later in the evening and my mom wasn't no neat freak or anything. It was just pandemonium, I think. And plus we had tons of shit to do. We had the park. We had our guys, you know, like I said, go on the bay, go play ball. Yeah. Sounds like an idyllic childhood. Sounds great. Yeah. My neighborhood was cool. It was a little lower class, but it was cool. It was an old one. Like I said, on the water, I mean, there were fights every day, but you know, we all knew each other. You know, but what my point is, it's like the video game thing gets people too. And it got me as well for a while. I was completely addicted to playing online, uh, quake. Yeah. Played like these 3d shooters. I jump on these, these, you could, anytime you want, like it'd be two o'clock in the morning, you could log on and you find some server somewhere and there's some guy waiting to play and you get in and then you just chase after each other in these maps. And you've, you hear footsteps and rockets coming at you. Oh yeah. It's so, but I bought a lot of that stuff for the kids. Have you? Oh yeah. But what it doesn't do though, it's like, it doesn't clear your mind the way pool does when you're playing pool. I think it's a lot like archery and then it's so difficult to do to have like precision and move the, occasionally when you do it right and you're cleaning your mind, it's like so satisfying. Whereas video games are just exciting. When it's over, you're like cracked out. When I would end, I'd be like, Oh Jesus Christ, your adrenaline's all fucked up. Like, you're going to go home. Yeah. This is too much. It's too crazy. Yeah. We talk about a 12 year old is like, Oh, he's been on there too long. You know, we can tell the difference for sure. Oh, get him some moisture and some, some vitamins. A hundred percent. Well, well, that game room, I got a job in it had like probably 80 video games. And then it had, you know, we didn't have a nine foot table. We had four by eights and then a snooker table and like some foosball. Couple of them alike, like robotron, but like actual gaming. No, I never got into it. Uh, I was always either playing baseball or tennis or, you know, something. Yeah. But both sides. So you're probably lucky, but now people are making money doing that too. Oh, a hundred percent. I know some guys here that are wasting their lives and they're making shit tons of money playing video games. Yeah. Well, I think he's a one guy I know here for a long time from the pool. He's worked for EA for like 20 years. He's like a develop, you know, test their games. Give them all he does is pretty much give him feedback. I think those guys who develop those games, those guys work hard. Those guys work hard. Those are long hours. Like when they're putting it in like it's crunch time and they're getting to the end of a video game, they basically like live in their studios and offices. Well, I believe it. I know a guy back. He was a year ahead of me. Graduated valedictorian of my high school and he was moving to Japan and to Asia to get into gaming, like developing gaming. He knew a long time ago that the addiction was going to go crazy for gaming. You know, like, like it was going to be kind of like, Oh, I can stay at home and do something else here again that entertains me. Right. You know? Yeah. It's, um, I mean, for kids, it's so captivating. It's so difficult for them to put them down because they're so good now and the graphics are so insane. It's like, it's so much more exciting. And for a lot of kids, they don't want to be outside. Maybe they get picked on. Maybe someone Fox was in school. Like they just can't wait to live in that world. Well, I think the parents too, to be fair. Um, I see parents that don't mind the kids being upstairs, you know, doing their own things, self included at times. You know, I catch myself, Hey, he's been up there too long, but you know, kind of thing, you know, so, uh, and again, I guess it wasn't that long ago you were playing those games, so, you know, even guys our age can get addicted to those things. Right. Yeah. We, we set up a local area network at our old studio and I had a quick cold turkey. I was like, this is too much. Jamie and me and our friend Jeff would be going at it like constantly bring people in and play them. It was fun. It's too fun though. Too crazy. Just too addictive. Yeah. I have a friend in St. Louis. He has places all over St. Louis and other towns just for gaming. People can come in 24 seven. They pay a membership, a bunch of couches set up, a bunch of gaming set up. Oh, so they just come in and just log onto a game. Yeah. Yeah. They pay a monthly for it. Makes sense. Especially if you can't afford like great equipment, you know, social too. I think it's fairly social. Oh yeah. For sure. It's probably a great place to buy weed too. Maybe they have the automated pool rooms now around the country, you know, where there's no one working automated pool rooms. Oh yeah. There's several throughout the country now where you just, uh, you know, they got 10 tables or whatever. They got vending machines and whatnot. And you just have your card that lets you in and has cameras and all that. And you have to be there with a member if you're not, you know what I mean? Kind of just pay a monthly fee. Yeah. Oh, so you log in with your card and however many hours you play, does it charge you by the hour? Well, a lot of them have like a, you can buy the membership plus so many hours a month at a discounted charge, you understand, you know what I mean? Or you get a little break or you can just pay the hourly, I think. So like your credit cards on file or something. That's kind of a bummer because like the house man at a pool hall, there's always been some interesting humans. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. How can you get rid of the house man? Yeah. But I mean, you know, for, for big places like Miami has one, Des Moines has one. Uh, Seattle has one that's kind of part time, meaning half the week they're kind of regular and then the other half of the week they're kind of automated on the slower days. So. I mean, I guess I, it's better than not being open. Well, they can go 24 seven also. A lot of them are 24 seven where people can, you know, kind of like a gym, you know, you kind of go at their own leisure. So you have a car to get in. Yeah. Uh, so it's a club. Yeah, basically. Oh, that's, well, that makes sense. Yeah. It's better. I mean, they have, you know, a lot of people carry some bigger products out of there and whatnot. So you some stuff, you know, make a point for this, maybe like Tony Robles, you know him. Sure. Yeah. He has, he's part of one, uh, in Miami and he coaches a lot out of there and stuff. Oh, yeah. That's all right. That makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. So how often are you, uh, on the road doing commentary now? Uh, probably 15 weeks a year, probably or so, but I do some remotely from home as well, but the bigger events I travel. Do you ever play when you go to these places? Uh, occasionally, but not in the tournament, of course. I'm just working, right? But do you ever match up? I actually played a guy in London a couple of months ago. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, I think I surprised him a little bit. He was a good player, you know, this guy. So, right. But he thought you were done. Yeah. I think he thought he was going to win. You know, he had beaten Darren Appleton last year, gambling, you know, so that tells you he's a good player, you know? Yeah. I mean, I think he was an underdog playing Darren, but he did beat him. And, uh, so, and he's kind of a crazy guy, like known to do some super crazy stuff, like probably stuff I can't say on here, you know? Okay. You know, like you can just imagine just crazy. The botchery. Yeah, exactly. And, uh, he was like perfect gentleman with me. No problems ever. Just nice guy took his beating easily. He wants to play again, actually. So we'll see. Oh, wow. Yeah. Now a guy like that, when he wants to play again, is he trying to get a spot? No. Too proud. This guy. Really? Yeah, but that's good though. I mean, he's like, I think he's very, very wealthy man, you know, kind of like, uh, family stuff, but, uh, but I don't, I can't, can't remember ever asking for a spot from any good player. Oh, wow. Yeah. Well, that's where he gets his juice, right? Well, he tries to beat you with the bet, you know, like he went on, I'll play his VB to not 2000 a set 2000 a game, you know, pounds again. You know, like, yeah. So he, you know, he didn't try that with me as much, but I beat him, you know, like three sets, we were betting that much thousand, right? Heard a couple sets thousand, but then he went to like, uh, let's play 3000 a game, you know, I'm like, yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. We're going to put up like 60,000. Let's go. You know what I mean? But I mean, you know, let's not do it and just play like two games. I don't want to do that. So better off to just play sets. Know where you're at. How many different pros does this guy matched up with? Several. I mean, I think he's played Darren a few times. He plays all the English guys over there. Um, I think he actually has played Shane before. Really? Yeah. I think of course Shane beat him, but, um, but yeah, he tries to play as many as he can. He plays a lot of local guys over in England. Is that common that guys match up like that in England? No, this is the guy that kind of creates the action. Oh, really? Yeah. Most of the action that happens, uh, with the good players is through this guy. You know, but now you know what English eight boys, right? Yes. Okay. So that's hit the scene again. So now they're, they're playing, uh, you might've saw the video on it, but they're playing like huge sets, a hundred thousand pounds sets of English eight ball gambling. Uh, yeah, huge sets. Yeah. And English eight ball, it's just like different colored ball. They don't have numbers, right? Right. And then, uh, it's basically like eight ball. There's maybe a couple little bitty rules that are different. Um, but the pockets are different. Remember like the Chinese eight ball we were talking about there. So they're rounded pockets, like a snooker table, but the balls are smaller also. So it's all fairly comparable. So the balls are smaller than pool balls. Yeah. How much smaller? I think they're like snooker, snooker ball size. Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. Cause the pockets are rounded, you know, and what's the size of the table? Three and a half by seven. Oh, yeah. Oh, interesting. Yeah. There it is right there. Yeah. That's kind of like what Jason Shaw started playing on for the most part, or played a lot of Darren. He was a world champion at this team. And do these guys use pool cues? Oh, wow. Look how small it is in comparison. That's interesting. They use like snooker cues, you know, the ash wood, you know. Now, what is the benefit of that? Because like this is, I've always wanted to ask someone like you these questions. Like why would they play with a cue that's really, really stiff? If, well, they, that little ball deflects and you know, the felt they play on kind of promotes deflection a little easier as well. That thicker nap felt, you know, you've seen the snooker felt, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of like directional felt. You can actually wave your hand and the felt so thick it'll change directions. You know what I mean? So much slower. Yeah. It's well, they've gotten it to where it's actually much faster now than it ever was. But not as fast as Simone. No, it shouldn't be much slower than what American pool players. And the lighter balls don't go as far. Like three cushion. That's why they use the big balls because they go five, six, seven rails with the cue ball, right? Yeah. So it goes a long ways, but yeah, the stiffer, but to me, it's kind of weird because they don't put much side spin on the ball, right? You know, unless they have a cupcake that's laid up in the hole or the real close to it, they aren't putting side spin on the ball. Has anybody tried to develop a carbon fiber snooker cue? Oh yeah. There's a guy, a cue tech actually did. And there's a guy that qualified for the tour using it. Yeah. From a, he's one of the cue tech players. Cause that's the weird thing is how every cue react. It's like you're getting feedback from every different one that's slightly different and how it makes the ball react. Yeah. It's like tips, everything else. When you're on the road, do these players ever match up with each other? Oh yeah. Like that common. Yeah. Vegas is a real good one. You know, we're there for two, like the one I saw you at, I met you at, right? Yeah. Was that March? I think it was. Yeah. Um, that one there, we're there for two weeks. Um, and the Europeans and the Asian, they all liked to gamble. It's just not something that happens a lot where they're from, but when they get over here, yeah, they make a lot of games and they're all getting introduced to one pocket. They all like one pocket, you know? So one thing about one pocket compared to nine ball is it's just a little easier to make a game. There's more room to match up, you know? So like, say for instance, me and you're going to play each other nine ball. Most likely I'm going to give you a game that I can't win at. Or I'm going to give you a game that you can't win at like the handicap. You know what I'm saying? It's hard to make a game unless you get two guys that are real close to each other and level, but one pocket for some reason, the spot shows up. So you can make it that, you know, a game where I go to 10 balls, you go to five or six or something, and it actually, in time, you'll start to see it. It's pretty fair, you know, if the game's right. So where you can see a big ups and downs, tosses and turns, you know? It's just not as exciting to watch. No, no. I mean, you got to get into it. You know, it's, it's, it's not as fast, right? But most people that get into it, they love it. There's no doubt about that. Oh, I get it. I mean, it's a very intricate game, but as far as like getting people to tune into it, you don't have a chance in hell. Oh, no chance. Zero chance. No chance. Even though in the pool world, which is pretty vast, you know that it's the biggest watch streams. Really? Yeah. Like the head up matches, you know, there might be a nine ball that comes along every now and again. But for the most part, because the one pocket people spend, you know, they got money, those are the gamblers. You know what I mean? Yeah. It's weird that that's the big gambling game. Yeah. Well, that's the only reason is again, because you can take levels. Yeah. Yeah. There's so many ways to match up, you know? I mean, I played games, you know, I played a guy in St. Louis one time 55 to eight or nine, I think it was. Wow. So I had to spot my first whatever, 40 ball, 42 balls or something. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Now that's a little extreme spot. Yeah. Yeah. We were, and you know, you got to bet a little higher cause the games don't go very fast, right? Right. But, uh, you know, you know what backgammon is of course, right? And you know how they play with the cube. Yes. Okay. So we played one pocket big money with the cube. So say me and you were playing the cubes neutral. Well, say you break the balls and say we're playing for a hundred a point on the, on the cube, right? And you break the balls and break bad and sell out a shot or scratch or whatever. Right. Okay. Well, I can take the cube and offer it to you and you either got to take the cube and now we're playing for 200 because the cube always doubles, right? Like backgammon or you got to pay off that game for a hundred and we start a new one. Whoa. You see like the backgammon, right? Now this is the advantage. If I offer to you the cube and you accept it, now you're in control of the cube. So if you turn things around later in the game to where it's your advantage, you're the only one that can offer the cube back. So now you offer it back to me and I say, I either got to pay off the 200 that we're playing for now, or now it's worth 400. You see? And, but now I'm in control of the cube because I accepted it. It's a great way to play. Oh, that's exciting. Oh yeah. And you can do that almost any game when you can do it on the golf course, like you, like your guy hits, right? And before you hit, say you hit it in a rough, I can say, all right, we're playing for a hundred a hole. I'm offering you the cube. You want to take the cube and play for 200 this hole before you see me hit, or you want to pay off the hundred. Wow. What's it called? Hamron. Hamron. You have you done this couple of times? Jamie's a golf junkie. Well, backgammon is the most popular place the cubes kind of known for. I know what I mean in gambling, because it's a, it's a numbers game. So you read your numbers, right? Your position. You say, I like my position. I'm going to say, offer you the cube. Great way to gamble, by the way, especially if you're there for a while, like you're playing a guy all the time. That's interesting. Yeah. But you can't do that with nine ball really, but you could do it with one pocket because the one pocket, it's a vast game. It might take an hour, right? You know? Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. But still nine ball is the most fun thing to watch. Well, especially these days, it's off the charts. I have too much ADD for one pocket. You know how many times I've heard that before? Yeah. From all people that were telling you the truth. And then they end up becoming a great one pocket player. Are you talking about like pro nine-paw players? It may be, you know, the diagnosis for your, for your ADD. I don't have that kind of time. I barely have time to play a few hours a week, which is frustrating because like right when I get warmed up, then I got to stop. Yeah. I got to go somewhere because we were talking about this. It's so nuts, like what's required to play really good pool, but it's really eight hours a day. We both kind of agreed on that. Right. Oh, you know, I used to gamble and then I'd play between, right? But when I decided to go ahead and just, I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and, uh, I didn't know anyone, wasn't a real gambling place, had some action, but I just said, all right, I'm just going to practice. I'm going to forget about the gambling. Let's see how I can do on this tour. This 98 and a 98. Once I started doing the eight hours a day, I went from like 24th to first on tour. Wow. Ended up fourth on tour for that year. Uh, Earl ended up winning the tour that year, but, uh, but then got back to first, uh, another 10 or months later, a year later and hovered around the top 10 for 10 or 12 years, mainly just because of that practicing. I could tell the difference between me and the next guy. Yeah. 100%. And when you're practicing, you're practicing with purpose, right? You're practicing, not just throwing balls around, you're setting things up. Oh yeah. And the, and the main thing to me, and this, this will make you practice well as if you just put yourself in a tournament setting, you know, like take your time, go look at your position. You know what I'm saying? Like you don't slow play or anything. You just know what you would normally do. Right. You know, most guys want to just swing the cue a little bit. And then when they get into the tournament, all of a sudden, slow down. And it's hard thing to do all sudden. Better off, just go ahead and play speedy around the table. Like you've been doing, you know, that's the same thing with fighting. Oh, I'm sure. Yeah. You want to really practice the same way that you perform. You know, you don't want to spar hard all the time, but you, you, you definitely don't want to try to switch up what you do and the intense competition. Oh, absolutely. I mean, you know, Skylar Woodward, huge, huge talent. I mean, I think he really could be number one player in the world. Yeah. We were just talking about him. Yeah. Just a real keen mind. And one thing I tell him, I don't need a thousand balls a day. You need 300 quality balls a day. You know what I mean? And that's a huge difference. And I think he's doing that a little more than it's, it's shown. Yeah. It's, it requires so much of you. It's tough. It requires so much of you have to be a full on addict, you know, and that's, those are the guys who succeed in this wild game, but everyone, a good pool player is very attractive to people. Oh, good pool player is very attractive to people. Oh yeah. Yeah. Once you start to see that ball move, but well, everyone's played it. Right. That's why everyone's player, they realize, Oh yeah, we, we went out and had a beer and played one game over an hour and a half, you know, or a couple of, you know, we had four drinks and we played one game, you know, just because it's so difficult. So. But it's, it's one of those things that if you look a person like yourself, like literally made a living, a person like yourself, like literally made a living population has ever done that for years and years. Yeah. Very slim. I'm on my last regular job. I was 19. A lot of people, uh, they, most people laugh. Some are not that happy about that. So they've been working, you know, pretty hard, which, Hey, it takes a lot of hard work though. It's not easy. Well, it 100% takes a lot of work, but how did you transition from doing that to being able to do such a good commentary? Cause one of the things that I really enjoy about your commentary is you explain all the different things that's happening to the ball. You explain what could cause problems. And then a lot of times those problems occur and go, yeah, you know, that's a common mistake. Yes. How did you develop the ability to articulate all these thoughts so smoothly? Uh, I think, uh, man, I grew up loving commentators, you know, whenever I was a kid, you knew all the commentators cause there wasn't cable television and all the games weren't on 38 different channels. And you know, so you kind of learn to know that CoSale was coming on Monday and Frank Gifford and all those guys. Right. So those, uh, I really liked those moments and, uh, and then I was always a sports guy, just, I've always been able to pick apart the smaller things in the games. You know, I was a really good baseball player, believe it or not. Uh, I was a really good tennis player. You know, look, I used to be like 260 in high school playing tennis, you know? Yeah. But I knew how to take advantage of all the smart sides of the game, you know, so I could pick apart, you know, if I did it this way, he's most likely going to hit the ball back that way. You know, I learned all the little things that would help out a slow fat guy. Right. Right. So, um, and I did the same in baseball, just was really good at the things I could do really well. And, and, uh, I think that you just learn more of that way and, and then pull. I was super lucky, Joe. I mean, I mean, I was around the buddy halls, Jersey reds, never had a problem with it, Nick Vauner or any of those guys, uh, helping me. And then I played effort all the time, you know, so learning the game, I learned it a lot and, uh, but as far as the speaking side, I never thought twice about it too much, just kind of do it, you know, like, But it's, it's that you can articulate all the problems that can occur. Yeah. Well, I mean, I've been teaching the last eight years that helps a little bit. Um, but I just always been wanting to be able to see the table, like right after their break, I can see a lot. I can just visualize a lot, um, recognize a problem pretty easily. And then I pay attention to where and understand it's probably the same thing in your, your field to where the mistakes are common. If you see, if you see them coming, you know what I'm saying? Like, you know, from one player to the next, whether it be the position they played, the stroke they made, you know what I mean? Tip position, it doesn't matter. They're pretty common mistakes throughout the players. You just got to be able to recognize them. One of the things that I really love about the game is that there are these two sides of it, there are, there is the quiet tournament play with the applause after a great run out, and then there's the pool, which is so different. The, where people learn how to play pool and where people gamble playing pool. And then where they get really good, then all of a sudden they're doing some totally different thing. Now, now you're playing in this very professional tournament where you're wearing slacks and nice shoes and a golf shirt. Oh yeah. It's fascinating that there's these two different worlds. Yeah. And they, that's where the smarts come in. You kind of learn to live in both, right? Yeah. When, when you were coming up, was it more colorful than it is now? Do you think that like, because there's so many more professionals now and they're so good. Yeah. And I think at times they're, they're trained to be a little more machine-like. You know what I mean? Like, Oh, you can't lose this focus. You can, you know, and where I, I watch some older tapes and I see some of the guys, you know, I look at Efren for instance, man, you can tell he's nervous, but he's enjoying it. You know, he was really a sportsman out there. And I think that's the one thing we're missing a little bit of. Not the playing side of things. And of course the guys, the personalities, exactly. You know, and, and, uh, the good thing is they're getting a little more in front of the camera now. So I think it's starting to come out. Yeah. But it's just like, you can't fake someone being a nut. Like you can't fake it. Keith McCreedy. Oh, no, no, no. Or even Earl Strickland type character. Like that's just what they are. Exactly. Yeah. You can't just come up with lines trying to it's just them, you know, like, you know, if you ever hung out with Earl, which I'm sure you have, and if he starts to tell you about stories, how we should be playing and where we should be at. It's, it's some of the greatest experience you'll ever have. Cause he's so genuine about it. Like he really truly believes we're supposed to be, you know, on the biggest stages. Yeah. Well, his commentary is awesome too. I love when he reviews matches. Yeah. Just does all by himself review it. You can learn a lot from the way he moves the ball around. Oh, yeah. Like that's, it's very interesting just to hear the thought process behind it. Do you, what, do you have a part of the game that you like more? Do you like the pool hall gambling part more or the tournament more? Oh, that's hard. They, but if like, one of the things about pools, we've got to clean up pool and stop gambling. You hear that all the time. And my thought is always like, no, you don't. Like, what are you doing? Oh, no. I mean, I think society today is fine with it. Um, you know, of course you don't want like real bad, bad things happening or anything like that. And I haven't seen that like my career. People ask me about, you know, a few times I was a little sketched about this or that, but I mean, you know, for the most part, I mean, it's just as easy as normal, normal living over overall, you know, you never got in a situation where you, I wouldn't say that. But, um, how many situations did you get in where they were like real tight? Will you give me one that's touch and go? Uh, well, you know, I think I told you, you know, just being safe. I'd, I'd leave the pool room and not went to people. You're a gamma man. It was the people that knew cash was around. They weren't necessarily pool players or anything like that. And so you'd leave the pool room and you drive around 20, 30 minutes. If you're in a, you know, Charleston, South Carolina or somewhere, you know, before you went back, but just to make sure no one's following you. Yeah. Yeah. I was real lucky, you know, knock on wood. I was never robbed, uh, in any farmer fashion. A few times I got a warned maybe something guys were talking about things. So yeah, one time in LA, I was not to go in too deep something. I'll tell you later, but, uh, you know, there was kind of like some mobster guys that were kinda, uh, kind of take an aim on me and a friend of mine. We'd won a bunch of money around there, like a hundred thousand. And, uh, yeah, they were trying to get it. So we got out of there pretty quick. Yeah. And I was very fortunate that actually one of the guys I beat out of probably half the money as the one that told me. Really? Yeah. We had become friends and whatnot. And, uh, and, uh, he just came in to me one day and he kind of laid it on the line a little bit for me. And, uh, yeah. So time to get out of Dodge. Yeah. Yeah. Even though, you know, he was still wanting to have a stab at his money, of course, but, uh, you know, we continued that later on. Well, that's nice of him to do. Oh, heck yeah. Well, we like comics have favorite places to perform, you know, like, uh, Texas was always one of my favorite places to perform before I moved here. Is that the case with pool too? It's like, there's this like hotspot areas. Oh, absolutely. What causes these? You know, is it just like one great pool room and people sometimes you have some, usually a steak horses. Really? Yeah. I mean, even, you know, you have some guys, like I used to always bet my own money, you know, like my whole life, um, after my first divorce, my only divorce actually, but, uh, after my divorce, I kind of went on till a little bit. Yeah. Is that, you know, how it goes? It went on till it went on the road. I think I told you about that the other night, first time and forever I did that. And, uh, so, you know, and I've late when you gamble, it's more like you play one big set for 20,000. You don't start off like we used to do it three, 400 a game and you try to play for a while, you know? So, um, but yeah, steak horses have a big part to do with it. Good pool rooms have a big part to do with it. And then something that you just kind of know, like the Derby city classic, right? You know, there's 10 days of action the whole time, 24 seven. Someone needs to do a documentary about that. Yeah. They've done, had a few people the last few years, you know, 60 minutes was there for a little while. I mean, like a real, I know. Yeah. Tree like Justin and I talked about that. Like that is one of the wildest places on earth. Well, for how many days is it? It's like 10 days, right in the middle of winter, 10 days in the middle of winter. And where are they doing it now? It's at, uh, uh, it's in Elizabeth. It's right outside of Louisville, right across the river in Indiana. Elizabeth town is Indiana. Uh, it's at Caesars, the, uh, casino. And it's 10 days. Yes. 10 days, 10 days of all the pool players from all over the country and the world. Oh yeah. Coming in and just going crazy. Yeah. Well, they have the tournaments, of course, right? You got the main tournaments, the three main ones, then you got some smaller ones. You got the all around, but then the action, yeah. Like, you know, some of the big poker players come out there playing 40, 50,000 a game 30. Yeah. Yeah. Them guys, you know, they like their actions. That's the one wild agreement every year that everyone's going to go to this. Yeah. And it's been going like 20 something years now, you know, since like 99 or 98. It's been going strong. Yeah. Someone's got to do a documentary on that. Yeah. The Derby city classics got a lot of memories. Because I think, you know, we've always talked about like a thing that could reignite pool. Like the color of money did it in the eighties. When that movie came out, pool halls opened up all over the country. Everybody wanted to play pool. And I feel like there's something like that that could be done today. That would really ignite people's excitement in pool again. I always thought of sitcom with the right script, you know, like a real script. It might be a good documentary. Yeah. Documentary. Good documentary. The Derby city might do it. Yeah. Well, they've had some people, I think Alex lately, you know, him, right? That he was the European coach. Yeah. I think he did some stuff over there last year and he did some at Buffalo's trying to put something Netflix maybe. Oh, really? Someone mentioned that. So. Um, but yeah, he's interested in doing all that. If it's done right, you know, you go to the right places and meet the right people and see the right things. It'd give people a window into something that they didn't even know existed. Yeah. Well, one of those genius, you know, directors that can give it the right look, you know what I mean? Yeah. That's what I think Scorsese did real well. Oh yeah. With the color of money. The scene where Tom Cruise and Keith McCready are talking shit to each other and playing in the pool hall. That's a fucking classic scene. Yeah. There's a bunch of them in there though. Yeah. Oh, a bunch of classic scenes, but that kind of atmosphere, that kind of place. Like that's Derby city. Oh, a hundred percent city for 10 days. Yeah. And some of the best players in the world. Yeah. And they're scrambling around like, I mean, cause you want to get a bet. You know what I mean? There's like 50 tables in this place. This might be going on over there. You got to scramble down here to go. Cause there's guys there just to gamble, you know? Right. I mean, don't, don't, don't even bring their cues. They're just betting on the side. They just trying to find a side they like and bet their bankroll, you know? And like, let's get the quick double up one time. What's the legality of that? Uh, well, you know, for a few years, it seemed like about the fifth, sixth day, there's start to be some guys coming around. Oh, you know, he's supposed to be gambling, but it seems like the last couple of years there hasn't, no one's ever got trouble. It's just kind of like, all right, now we've got to not talk about it for. But we're talking about it on a podcast. Millions of people are going to hear. I know, but just in front of these guys with the suits, you can't talk about it for about a, you know, maybe an hour or two before they leave or, you know what I mean? Like they're just roaming around. So, um, but the last couple of years, I haven't had heard of any problems at all. So. I just love that a place like that exists. Well, they got to realize, okay, I can understand that they got a casino and they'd rather you gambling in the casino, but that tournament still brings a ton of casino action for them. Oh my God. Through the roof. For sure. Oh, he's gambling junkies. Unbelievable. Yeah. Your story about losing all the money instantaneously. 100%. Yeah. Yeah. A lot, a lot of people over there. I've gotten beat out of 10, you know, next, next day, they can't play the same game because the guy went and blew the 10 in the casino. I heard a story about Alex Paglielian winning a tournament and then flipping a coin for the, for the winnings and losing. I don't know. I watched him flip one for 10 at griffs. Yeah. Yeah. He lost that one. Now that's an adrenaline rush. I've never bet 10. I bet five on a, on a coin. Have you really? Oh yeah. Oh my God. Did you win? Oh yeah. Did you keep going? No. And the guy never looked at the coin. The guy was gambling with him. He was the Derby city class. Yes. Yeah. This is a 60 minutes piece that was just posted. Yeah. Interesting. Wow. What are the odds? Oh, right. That's this is where Shane talks. Look at that. No smoking, no gambling, but this is in this. He talks about who what is the big guy that was shooting right there, right there. No, that's John Roberta, blonde, the poker player. Oh, he's a, he's one pocket, like nut. He loves it. Yeah. Big action guy. Yeah. There's Shane. In that I saw an interview with him. I didn't see this, but I saw an interview with him where they talk about how he doesn't gamble. Yeah. Well, you know, he plays those matches that are of course being bet on. And, you know, he makes money from that, but I mean, he's not going to go around trying to, trying to, you know, pick on a game or anything like that. Yeah. When you're a five time US open winner, like good luck. Well, you know, well, I mean, you give up the wrong game now. That's the thing. Yeah. You have to give up a crazy spot. Yeah. I bet on you against him, but you know, let me make the game. Yeah, exactly. Right. But he, you know, directed that energy towards trying to be the best in the world. And, you know, it's paid off pretty well for him. Yeah. It's, it's, uh, it's always to me, fascinating to watch a person who rises above all, like, what are they doing different? Like what's going on? How are they doing this so much better than everybody else? And, you know, with him, it's just the obsessive practice and just this fucking focus that he has. Yeah. That's the one that, you know, I think any of us can practice. And at times I feel like his practice could, uh, be better. And I don't mean an unfairly meaning like get a little more out of it. Sometimes like I've seen him shoot, shoot there, sit there and shoot a 900 mile an hour jacked up stop shot for hours. And you mean that's going to come up like once every year? I know. I know. I know. There's a lot to get back on, but the thing that I was getting at is he's just a unique individual with the focus. Like when he gets those crazy eyes, when those eyes, the oxygen starts up and making them, Oh my God. I'm like, all right, we're home. Because if the ball's laid tough, no one's beaten them. You know, if both players get a tough layout, no one's beaten them. So when you are the coach of the Moscone cup, is he the guy that you're like most happy is in the clinch. Yeah. I mean, I was talking about earlier, uh, last night with my buddies, the ones you met, uh, and, uh, you know, the best thing for me to come to the Moscone as far as the decision is Hill Hill. And do I got to pick Skyler or Shane to play that Hill Hill match? You know, pretty good decision. Yeah. It's just because, you know, you got to say Shane's the, the, the pride, the pick most of the time. But I mean, Skyler is one of those that may prove you different that week. You know what I mean? It may be like a no brainer, you know, so. And the Moscone cup is fascinating because it's, it's. They openly encouraged cheering. Like it's so why hear this, hear the volume on this. Oh, that was when. Yeah. Yeah. That's 2018 when we won after losing eight years in a row. But so these crowds, like how are they so much different for the Moscone cup than they were singing and yeah, they're USA versus Europe. Oh yeah. It's big. You know, they're, I mean, all those countries, they're big on that. I mean, the soccer fans, I mean, it was just freaking crazy. Is that okay? Is that, is that better? Would that make it more exciting if people cheered in between shots, but didn't do it at all while the guys down on the ball, like if, cause it seems like they're good at that. Well, they somewhat get almost settled. You know, occasionally you still have something peep out. I hear settle down, settle down for the referee. Well, your call, the first place, it was a small venue, only 600 is when I started. Now that one had like 3000, I think right on top of you. You know what I mean? Right on top of you. You can feel everyone's energy, but your call, they used to have like laser pointers. The crowd did, and they'd point at the nine ball while we were shooting. And I mean, they were ruthless. Yeah. Because they had two sessions, a noon and a six. So they start drinking about 1130. Well, by the time the six o'clock come, there were fights every time. I mean, it was unbelievable. Yeah. I mean, but amongst friends that came together, you know what I mean? Like those English are, but it's so much different than any other pool tournament. And one of the things I was thinking was Jamie and I, Jamie showed me that golf tournament where they play in front of a giant audience and Phoenix. You mean? Yeah. Like that's amazing. Yeah. Like that's what a great idea where everybody's cheering. And screaming. Oh yeah. And maybe that's a thing that like with the Moscone cup, if you had a high stakes game like that, where people in the audience reacted like that. Oh yeah. Maybe that would get more people engaged. Well, I think that, but the thing with the long ones, man, they just play too long of races or raced a hundred. I mean, come on, let's, let's cut it up and do three out of five races. Is it like nine or something? You know, something that's going to keep your attraction. You mean people want to watch it. Yeah. And you know, the big nine ball tournaments now, you know, the ones I've been traveling for and working, the fans are getting like the Moscone every time they're getting closer and closer. Really? Yeah. Real smart fans, really energetic. I mean, going crazy, singing in between games. Really? Yeah. It's getting better. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. So is that encouraged? Heck yeah. We want, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you want people to be more engaged because it was always very quiet. Well, the thing is the players are loosening up a little more. So, you know, the fans are going to follow what the players do. They want to engage with the players. Right. So like at the Moscone, you see Jason Shaw getting them going and whatnot, you know, and we get them going as well. And, uh, that's starting to happen a little more on the regular tour now, to where the players are starting to engage with the fans more. Interesting. Yeah. Well, that might be a thing that helps a lot, but it is nice to see all the streaming and match room and the predator series and all these different things that are happening. So much pool, right? So much pool. It's all over the place. And there's some dollars out now. I mean, is, you know, yeah. And even like the regional ones, right? Like Texas open, it's not considered a pro pro on the calendar tournament, but you know, it's pro quality, right? The great players. But I mean, this event has gone from 15,000 added, maybe 20 to like almost 50 now with all the, yeah, I mean, everything's going up. That's good. Yeah. It makes it easier. It's great for the game. Heck yeah. Uh, yeah, I'm always trying to encourage more people to play it. I just want it to be more popular. Yeah. Well, you fall serious into it pretty quick. Once you get down on the ball, it becomes, I can tell it comes pretty serious. I just don't have enough time. If I had more time, I could play better. Yeah. Just, I just, and I work out too much and lifting weights is literally the enemy of pool because it just, your arm is not communicating with like fine motor skills that well. Oh. You know, it's just like, it stiffens everything up. So it takes hours for me to get loosened up. A couple of times, a couple of times I got broke on that broke, but I lost when I shouldn't have, I went bowling and I didn't bowl very hardly ever. So I went bowling the night before I ended up playing the next day, right? Just like three, four games of bowling, a little 16 pound ball. Ain't nothing to it, but I couldn't draw my cue ball the next day. This little right here, this little muscle right here, the one on top. Oh, it wouldn't, it wouldn't keep going. It would like kind of swing and quit, swing and quit. It was unbelievable. And then the same thing with darts, believe it or not, if you're like, I, you play darts for like a bunch of, yeah, exactly. Yeah. You just get, it just messes up that little sensation you want, you know? So. Yeah. I always found the worst was curls. When you do curls, you're just kidding, boy. Yeah. No feel. Just nothing. Just numb and stupid. Yeah. Well. Willie Hoppe apparently wouldn't even drive his car when he had to play. Willie Hoppe. I wish I would have met him. The ones say he was a, he was a character. Of course all the old guys were. Oh, they had to be. Yeah. Fats was like, uh, everyone loved him. We read a statistic once that at the turn of the century, New York had something like 900 pool halls. Wow. See if that's true. In 1900, I think in the 1900, New York had some absurd number of pool halls. Wow. Cause it was just. Well, Houston had a ton of them whenever I played. 900 sounds nuts. No, you're talking about the state of New York state. No, I mean the city of New York. Wow. That might not be true. What's the good news? Cause I think Houston had one of the most back in like the nineties and they had. This was in like the 1900s. Yeah. See what you're saying. This was like the early 1900s. Yeah. Well, Houston was so great because it was like going on the road yourself. Everyone had, every pool room had their own little champion. Really? Yeah. Their own little like, you know, pool, pool, nut guys, you know, pool groupie kind of guys, you know, like, and so you could go from pool hall to pool and really just play it, play your heart out. Do you miss those days? Absolutely. Cause I see it in your eyes when you talk about your eyes twinkle. Okay. Look at this. Okay. I'm wrong. 117. That's still incredible. What? I think it was 900 because I exaggerated everything. The game was legalized in 1904. By 1935, there was 117 pool halls in the city. That is pretty nuts though. Still. Well, it's amazing. Cause during prohibition that, you know, 117 pool, well, you know, they end up taking them out, right? And that one thing that happened during prohibition, I think is anything to do with any kind of gaming that promoted in some areas, I think New York was one of them, but they ended up, yeah, jukeboxes ended up going away. That's interesting. I think pool tables ended up going away until the end of prohibition. The number of licensed pool halls has grown to 169 from 140. Oh, in Los Angeles where alcohol and food are permitted. The number of licensed pools, all pool halls has grown from 169 to from a one 45 years ago, the city clerk. So they had 169 pool halls at what time? This was in 1987. Really? Right after the color of money. Right after the color of money. That makes sense. Yeah. Wow. And in the last two years, uh, Manhattan has two pool halls to survive. Wow. In the Iowa city based billiard Congress of America. Okay. That's what it was. Okay. Yeah. There's, there's pool rooms everywhere. And you know, like, Right after the movie, just to, Oh, look at the newer movies caused a maxi resurgence in the game. Wow. Yeah. I mean, I remember watching that being fascinated. That was before I was really playing. Going, wow. Yeah. I didn't watch it and then play. I actually was, that was 86. I think it came out. I think so. Yeah. 86. I started in 88. So I played about three or four months before I got turned on that movie. And I was like, Oh, okay. Which I'm Paul Newman is my favorite anyways. Yeah. Favorite actor. So well, that was his first Oscar. You know, executive billiards, uh, where I used to play, they had a VHS player and they played the hustler all the time, all the time. To the point where like everybody in the pool hall could like say the words. They knew it. They knew every line whenever. Great movie is a sad story though. So unbelievable. It was a fucking bummer, man. Yeah. They made some bomber movies back then. Yeah. Well, big parts of it would be so sad. It had, you know, it had great highs, right? But I mean, like when he's beaten fats, but then you just know what's coming. And that's just from there about the next hour of the movie. He's just like tearjerker. Yeah. Um, another thing that was amazing about that movie is how good Jackie Gleason played. Oh, yeah. Jackie Gleason could really play. Oh yeah. Watching the difference between watching a guy like Tom Cruise or watching a guy like Paul Newman, Tom Cruise was better than Paul Newman, but Jackie Gleason looked like a real player. Yeah. It wasn't painful to watch. No, not at all. No, it wasn't like lifting the cue up with every shot. Like there's some scenes with Newman where you gotta shoot that. Don't do that. Don't lift the cue up as you're shooting. That's ridiculous. Yeah. When he's breaking the balls in that one scene, I think it comes up. But he shot a ball with follow and lifted the cue up at the same. Like stay down, stay down. Yeah. Great actor though. But all his shots were kind of like trick shots. Yeah. A little more, you know. They looked okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It looked okay. It wasn't offensive, you know? No, no, no, no. But Jackie Gleason looked like a player. Oh yeah. Like the way he would stroke the ball, like wow. And you could see him making break shots. Like you see his whole body. Oh yeah, moving the cue ball and all that. Yeah. Well, they say he was a, a, a rack boy, I think, at one time as a kid and then just was a real character, like a pool hall kind of guy. So. Makes sense. Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. All his, all his roles he kind of played, not later in his years, but you know, the honeymooners and whatnot, it seemed like the kind of guy that could fit in the pool hall pretty well. Yeah. Yeah. Kind of, again, a lot of charisma. It's just interesting that that one movie, which was like this massive movie where he plays a serious character and it's not funny at all. You would never even imagine that that's the same guy from the honeymooners. I know. You know, because he hardly ever smiles in the entire movie in the hustler. I don't know if he ever did. Nope. He's just a, just a no nonsense killer. Yeah. And what was the, uh, he's one of my favorite actors too. The guy that played his steak horse. Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I think of it in a second. God damn it. I know. It's on the tip of my tongue. My brother, that's right. My brother would be hot at me if I didn't remember that name. Yeah. Oh my God. He was phenomenal. Piper Laurie. Yeah. Phenomenal. The whole movie. Yeah. It's an amazing movie. It's, it holds up too. It's one of those movies that really holds up. You go back and watch it and you go, man, and then the style of film they did back there was more quiet. There wasn't music playing in every moment. They told you how to think, you know, the, the movie played itself out. Yeah. Well, the scenes, the setting. Yeah. Told you a ton about what was going on, you know, like in the pool hall of names, I guess it was, was it Ames? Yeah. It was Ames, mister. Yeah, exactly. And it didn't take a whole lot of words to get the feeling of what, you know, everyone was about in the movie. So, which I thought they did pretty well at that and the color of money as well. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? For the most part. Yeah. For the most part. Cause you could say not many had a lot of lines besides Tom, you know, Mary Elizabeth master Antonio, I think it was in Paul Newman. Everyone else was just bits and pieces. So, but it did capture the feeling that you get from that. I wonder how many people like became pool hostels after the hustler. How many people saw that movie? Because back then they didn't have very many movies. Oh no. Those were two of the big, those were two of the biggest. Yeah. I wonder how many people that probably caused a resurgence of 63 as well. I would, I would say so. Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. I think it did pretty well overall. Oh yeah. It was a huge movie. Yeah. Did it win anything? Who gives a shit about those things? You know, like I was saying, I think, I think the color of money is actually Paul Newman's first Oscar win. Really? Yeah. He got, he got nominated a few times, but never actually won it. Uh, at least I should check the hustler first. Right. Yeah. Uh, best cinematography, best art direction, best actress, best picture. Wow. Best adapted screenplay. Wow. Won everything. Yeah. Jesus. Holy shit. Yeah. I wonder who won best actor that year besides Paul Newman. Yeah. I think that was the thing about the color of money. Like they had to give it to him because he hadn't won it yet. Yeah. Maybe he was good in it though. Oh, he's phenomenal. Yeah. He was really good. It's a great movie. John Tatoro is one of my favorites too. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. But I just love movies that, you know, it's not offensive. It like really does capture what it's like in, in these places. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I, you know, Let me correct that. It was nominated for most of those. I just said, Oh, which ones did it win? One art direction, cinematography. Oh, damn it. Still a little bit of what we talked about. Yeah. For the most part. Exactly. Yeah. Art direction, cinematography were so important in that movie that, that place aims, if that doesn't exist, someone needs to build it. I think it did though. Right. It exists. I think it did. And not, not anymore, but I think probably they filmed in a pool hall. They wouldn't set up a new pool hall. No, I think it did. In fact, maybe it's in another book or another, something to do with pool. I think is, and then it's quoted from that movie. So what was the name of the original place? Do you know what it, what was it really called? McGurr's and Ames. Yeah. Two, two places that were defunct. It says, they were defunct before. Yes. And much of the action was filmed at two, now defunct pool halls. So I guess I don't know whenever they're writing now, if it was the time they're writing it or the time that they're shooting it. Oh. It says McGurr's and Ames Billiard Academy is where they shot it. Yeah. I think those were real places. That's Color of Money or the Hustler? The Hustler. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Now I think now the one that, the one that I didn't like in the Color of Money is whenever the two men and a stranger kind of, you remember that? That didn't, that doesn't really happen. You're trying to get someone in real trouble with something like that. Yeah. But, uh, but a lot of that other stuff though. Yeah. I mean, you know, kind of like I said earlier with Shemaat, you know, I wasn't like not, I just kind of wanted to see him play, you know, because I knew it wasn't going to end up for 200, even if we didn't play, that was just going to be it, you know what I mean? But it wasn't going to be any real action for 200. So let me just kind of evaluate him. Yeah. And that you can kind of see that in the Color of Money when he's kind of, he's figuring out the right way to do it and how Paul is teaching them and he's, you know, handing over small bankrolls, but then getting bigger bankrolls in return. You know, when he wins, you know what I mean? So, so that, that kind of stuff happened a lot actually. I love the Forest Whitaker scene. Oh yeah. Forest Whitaker, can I ask you a question? Yeah. Do you think I should leave late? That was a big dig though. Big dig. But another good one, Forest Whitaker. But he actually looked like he had a little stroke. Yeah. Yeah. A little something. Yeah. He could play a little. Yeah. Yeah. There's quite a few out there that, that, that liked the game. Well, didn't Mike Siegel coach them? Oh, I wouldn't doubt that. I know he coached Tom Cruise. Yeah. Uh, there were a few of them around. The guy I worked with last night. What do you got, Jamie? Yeah. You're right. I'm looking at it right now. Oh yeah. Yeah. Larry Schwartz, the guy from Chicago. You may have heard of him. He worked on that and it was in that movie as well. Worked. I did commentary with him last night. As a matter of fact. Well, my, my big fear is that the game will somehow another slide away. And it doesn't seem like that's, I was worried about that for a while. Yeah. But it doesn't seem like that's happening anymore. Now there's a international resurgence. Yeah. Well, the amateur side league pool, you know, there's so many. Right. And the consumer market's so good right now. Um, I think it's just going to go up and up. Yeah, I hope so. I think so too. And, uh, maybe a solid documentary in the Derby city or something. There you go. We've talked about doing stuff in here, but having challenge matches in here and streaming them, I would do commentary. Oh yeah. So that's still on the table. Yeah. There you go. I just have to find some time. Yeah. Well, you know, a commentator. I do. I know the best. He's right here. As long as it's pool. Yeah. Pool, baseball. I could do a little baseball. Maybe a little golf. That's about it. Well, pool you're the man. Yeah. Uh, well, thank you, Jeremy. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it.