Rocky Antennuci—Fresno’s Best. As in Fresno’s best pool player.
Rocky had such a heart for playing pool, and welcomed anyone who wanted to play him. According to a local pool player, Phil Holmes, players would come from all over to play and “he’d clear them out, breaking them and their bank accounts” one by one. There wasn’t anybody he wouldn’t play.
No one remembers Rocky better than long time Fresno resident and pool player, Neal Johnson. He says Rocky played pool for money with Bob Murphy back in 1948, upstairs at the Mecca Billiards in downtown Fresno. “He was good!” He later saw Rocky with the same passion and sill playing pool at Diamond Billiards 50 years later in 1998.
He played in any tournament he could get into from Reno, to Sacramento, to Fresno, to Los Angeles. He would take on all the “road” men. Phil Holmes says, “He was just a likable guy.” A few local places he frequented were the Palace and the Paladian on Van Ness, both bowling alleys with pool tables. Anyone who plays pool may remember him from Mecca Billiards, Rebco Billiards, Classic Billiards, The Rack Family Billiards, and of course, Diamond Billiards.
Rocky came to Fresno at the age of 12. He was a clerk in the Fresno County Clerk’s Office for Judge Creed until his retirement.
He had a passion and a love for pool, and played right up to just months before he passed at the age of 77. Sheri Dadian, now the owner of Diamond Billiards, knew Rocky personally and even had the privilege of playing him. He would play anyone! This will be the 7th year we have honored Rocky Antennuci and recognized him as Fresno’s “best pool player for 35+ years”. The Rocky Antennuci Memorial 9-Ball Tournament will be held on Saturday and Sunday—Feb. 28th & March 1st—at Diamond Billiards, Fresno. It is always open to any and all players. Everyone else (non-players) is invited to come and watch some great players.