After we ate we started chit chatting with our waitress and started dropping
a few names that were our targets. She immediately knew one of them and started to give us personal information about him. He will never know that he was “set up” by a friend of his without her even knowing it. It is amazing how often someone we would
meet would actually know one of the names on our list and unknowingly give
us detailed information on where to find them and how to approach them.
Sometimes our spot book wasn't up to date and there would be another place
to play in town or another player that we could key on. It didn't matter,
once we were in town for a few hours we knew we would have all the info we
would need to take off a score. This was our business and we knew it very,
very well. We got directions to where we needed to go and we headed for the
car. As I stepped out the door I could feel the flakes of snow falling and
got an instant adrenaline rush. I knew tonight everyone would be inside,
out of the weather and doing what they enjoyed most, gambling at pool.
Little did any of them know who had just come into their little town and
what was in store for the ones that would play a stranger a game of pool. I
got into the backseat of the car and started to rehearse my lines and
fantasize about winning my biggest score as we prepared to go to the nights “office” and see what our “bosses” were willing to pay us at the chance of beating us out of our money …hahaha that would be the day!
We pulled over at a little country cafe and went in to get some good food
before we were subjected to the bar scene, where pork rines were considered
a delicacy. We would also use this time to get a plan together and decide
who would play and in what order and if we would split up and cover the pool
room and the bars. I enjoyed this as much as actually playing sometimes.
Like I said before it is not the winning that was important to a road
player, but winning the maximum amount that made the difference. I would
run in to other road players that were unfortunate enough to get behind us
on a road trip. They would come in to town a day or two after we had left.
I always got a good laugh when they would comment that we would leave
nothing but tombstones in these poor pool rooms and bars. Some of the towns
wouldn't take kindly to someone asking to play for money soon after we had
tortured them. They weren't in the best of moods about gambling at pool
after we had drained them.
I sat in the backseat, thumping through my partners roadmap. Each state had
many towns circled with names, numbers and descriptions beside them. I knew
if I wanted more detail they also had a "spot book" that would have every
player in each town with a description of them and an order in which we
would ideally "take the town off". You see we weren't interested in just
beating someone playing pool, we were out to beat the whole town out of as
much as possible. Most little towns had their "champion" that everybody
would bet on and usually we would have to play him to win a big score, but
not always. I have been a part of huge scores where we were playing someone
that couldn't hit the ocean if they were standing on the beach. I wasn't
the one that was usually playing the pigeons. That was usually done by my
partner that looked more like a football player than a pool player, but
don't ever let looks deceive you, he could play right under championship
speed, especially on the bar size tables.