When I was 13, Texas Tony was one of the best 9-Ball players at Red Carpet Billiards.
He was wise for his age and had a special rule about never giving lessons for free. I knew if I could ever get him to play me my game would considerably improve.
He showed up regularly on Friday nights to play in Desoto Don’s Midnight five dollar 9-ball tournament. On this particular Friday night it was still early yet almost all the players were in attendance, including Texas Tony. Both Poker Paul and Desoto Don had been mentoring me for weeks on how to get him to play me.
True, I had strong young eyes and a little talent, yet Texas Tony believed these advanced lessons were not suitable for someone of my young age. After all I was a just boy and these men simply thought I wasn’t quite ready for the brutal reality of a true pool hustler’s game. My plan was to propose some simple action before the tournament started as a warm up session.
All the 9-Ball players always gathered together before the tournament to swap stories and tell lies, and with all his brethren gathered around him I spotted an opening and took my shot:
“Say TT, how about some 9-ball action for 25 a game?” They all looked surprised to say the least! He cautioned me, “You don’t want to throw your money away Kid, save it for a rainy day!” I said, “Hey, if you’re not up for it, I promise not to tell your girlfriend!” It got laughs from all the brethren who were now each encouraging TT to “Go ahead and play the Kid! Show him what you know!” When he stood up and grabbed his stick he asked me if I was sure I wanted to play for 25 a game? I told him, “Sure! I’m ready! I got a whole pocket full of quarters right here!” All the brethren busted out laughing again and each one insisted he had to play me now! We lagged for break and he won and over the next two hours beat me 88 times for a grand total of 22 bucks!