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Pool Trivia: Billiard Facts And History

Quotes History Players Questions Fun

Some Of The Things On The Cheese Pool Players Need To Know or Just Wants To Know

Pool Quotes

  • Thou shalt not hustle. For they shall surely hustle themselves. -- Janice Moore
    (Me! your OnTheCheese.Com Webmistress)
  • Pool taxes your patience at a rate even the IRS would consider obscene -- Irving Crane
  • The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. -– Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)
  • A lot of people think international relations is like a game of chess. But its not a game of chess, where people sit quietly, thinking out their strategy, taking their time between moves. Its more like a game of billiards, with a bunch of balls clustered together. -- Madeleine Albright
  • I learned to approach racing like a game of billiards. If you bash the ball too hard, you get nowhere. As you handle the cue properly, you drive with more finesse. -- Juan Manuel Fangio

Fun Facts Billiard History Trivia

  • During the 1800s, Billiards was illegal in Virginia. Thomas Jefferson built a hidden room in his home to conceal his billiards table.
  • Billiards was the first sport to have a World Championship in 1873.
  • Billiard balls have been created out of clay, bakelite, celluloid, crystallite, ivory, plastic, steel and wood
  • The first company to manufacture billiard table cloth was Iwan Simonis in 1453.
  • 'Mary, Queen of Scots body was covered with the cloth from her billiard table when she died.
  • A poolroom now means a place where billiards is played, but in the 19th century a poolroom was a betting parlor for horse racing. Billiard tables were installed as a way to kill the time between races. Eventually the game of billiards and the poolroom became connected in the publics mind. Today, the two words are used interchangeably.
  • DERBY CITY CLASSIC - Since 1997 has been an annual pocket billiard convention held every January in Louisville, Kentucky. It is eight days long and offers various events for pool players of all caliber.
  • U.S. Open Nine-ball Championship - This long-running nine-ball tournament began at Q-Master Billiards in Norfolk, Virginia in 1976. It remains one of the most prestigious and hotly contested competitions in pool. The present-day event is held at the Chesapeake Conference Center, Chesapeake, Virginia, which has been its home since 1997.

Trivia About Pool Players & Billiard Personalities

  • RALPH GREENLEAF - "The Showman" (1899-1950) Won his first world title in 1919. ',
    'WILLIE MOSCONI - (1913-1993) In 1945 Mosconi set a record for highest run in a single game with a 127 ball run and a record 526 balls during an exhibition in Springfield, Ohio in 1954.
  • JAKE SCHAEFER, JR. - "The Prodigy" (1894 – 1975) held four records never broken by another American (some have since never been broken or beaten by anyone. He was the son of billiards pro Jacob Schaefer Sr.
  • JOHNNY LAYTON - "The Diamond King" (1896–1956) He was credited with originating the method of using the diamond system.
  • JIMMY CARAS - "The Boy Wonder" ( 1909 - 2002) The second living person to be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. Became known as the "Boy Wonder of the World" after defeating Ralph Greenleaf, at the age of 17. He was 93. His billiards career spanned six decades, competing with such players as Ralph Greenleaf, Willie Mosconi, Luther Lassiter and Irving Crane.
  • WILLIE HOPPE - "The King" (1887-1959) Thought by many to be the greatest all-around billiard player of any era. Won his first world title at the age of eighteen.
  • The longest Championship winning streak of all sports is trick shot billiard player, Paul Gerni, winning 22 consecutive championships.
  • In the 1890s, Frances Anderson proclaimed herself Champion of the World and offered $5,000 to any woman who could beat her. Legend has it that she remained undefeated for 25 years. She traveled extensively through out Europe and America. She shock the pool world when in the 1920s, Anderson made a public announcement stating her real name was Orie and that she was a he.
  • The ‘First Lady of Billiards’ is Masako Katsura. During the 1950s, Katsura was the only Japanese female professional billiards player and the first woman ever to be included in any world billiards tournament.
  • JEAN BALUKAS - "Cue Queen" The second woman to be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. Competed in her first U.S. Open at the age of 9, finishing seventh. Won her first U.S. Open at the age of 12.
  • STEVE MIZERAK - "The Miz" (1944 - 2006) one of the most recognizeable faces in the world of pool, appearing in the movie " The Color of Money" and a series of Miler Lite commercials.
  • JOHN M. BRUNSWICK - (1819-1886) Swiss immigrant and woodworker. Emigrated to America in 1819. Built a billiard table factory in 1845. For nearly 150 years, Brunswick has been the most visible name in American billiards.
  • JAMES WILLIAM MOORE - Cowboy Jimmy Moore (1910 – 1999) known for his straight pool exhibition work, as a formidable road player, and for his unusual pool style, which included both his flamboyant cowboy dress, and his rare form of cueing technique known as a slip stroke.
  • IRVING CRANE - "the Deacon" (1913 – 2001), so called because of his gentlemanly ways, his cautious approach to the game of pool and his well dressed and conservative appearance.
  • Rudolf Walter Wanderone, Jr. - "Minnesota Fats" (1913 – 1996) dropped his original nickname,"New York Fats" and adopted the nickname "Minnesota Fats" from a character in the 1961 film The Hustler, claiming that the character was based upon him. The author who wrote the book on which the movie was based Tevis denied having based the character on Wanderone for the rest of his life.
  • MIKE SIGEL - "Captain Hook" (1952 - present) earned his nickname from his ability to hook his opponents with safety plays
  • OLIVER ORTMANN - "The Machine" (1967 -present) is a German top professional pool player. In 1989 he defeated Steve Mizerak to win the US Open 14.1 Championship. In 1995, he became the WPA Mens Nine-ball World Champion.
  • SHANE VAN BOENING - (1983- Present) is currently ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Rankings of the UPA Tour (at the time this was first written). Comes from a pool playing family. His grandfather, Gary Bloomberg, was a trick-shot artist; his grandmother, Jeanne Bloomberg, a VNEA national champion; his mother, Timi Bloomberg, a BCA national champion; and his aunt, Gari Jo Bloomberg, a three-time VNEA national champion.
  • Earl "The Pearl" Strickland (born on June 8, 1961, Roseboro, North Carolina) Strickland started playing pool at the age of nine. He entered his first pro tournament at 15.
  • JOSE PARICA - "the Giant Killer" (1949 - Present) a Filipino professional pool player from Manila. He is the only player to achieve a perfect game of nine ball in a (race to 11) match.
  • Cecil P. "Buddy" Hall - "The Rifleman" (1945 - Present) has been an American professional pool player for three decades. Credited for creating the "clock system" which is a technique for where to hit the cue-ball, using the clock as a mechanism for where to aim.
  • Johnny Archer - "the Scorpion" (1968 -Present) One of the most successful nine-ball players of the past two decades. He has won the majority of the games major tournaments at least once. At the end of the 1990s he was named the Billiards Digest Player of the Decade.
  • Allison Fisher - "The Duchess of Doom" (1968-Present) is an English professional pool player and former professional snooker player. She won her first world title at the age of 17. To date, she has won over 80 national titles and 11 world titles in total. She has an unequaled record, winning 50 WPBA titles, which includes 4 world 9-Ball championships.
  • Efren Reyes - "The Magician" (1954 - Present) a Filipino professional pool player and a two-time world champion. In 1994 he defeated Nick Varner in the finals to become the first non-American to win the US Open Nine Ball Championship.
  • Francisco Bustamante - "Bustie" (1963-Present) the second player from the Philippines after Efren Reyes to be added to the Billiard Congress of Americas Hall of Fame.
  • Ralph Greenleaf won a total of 20 World Pocket Billiards Championship titles from 1919 to 1937 and amazed audiences with his exhibition trick shots. A combination of alcohol and wild living led to an early grave at the age of 50.
  • Willie Mosconi, known as "Mr. Pocket Billiards," held 15 world titles during his era, setting a single game record of 127 balls in 1945, along with potting 546 balls consecutively in 1954.
  • Wimpy" Luther Lassiter - (1918 – 1988) from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. He once ate twelve hot dogs and drank thirteen Cokes and Orange Crushes at a ball game so everyone started calling him "Wimpy" after the J. Wellington Wimpy character of the Popeye comic strip who loved to eat hamburgers. Lassiter was highly respected in the pool world as being the epitomy of the Southern Gentleman. The winner of multiple world Championships and titles. Known for his mastery of the game of 9-ball at which he is widely considered one of the greatest players in history.
  • Eddie Taylor - "Knoxville Bear," is widely held to be one of the greats in one-pocket and bank pool.
  • John “Rags” Fitzpatrick one of the best all-around hustler in the USA. He was considered unbeatable in 9-ball and one-pocket.
  • U. J. Puckett (1911 - 1992) he had a big voice, ready smile and huge personality, his white hair stuck out from under a big hat. The dean of hustlers.
  • Ray Martin - "Cool Cat" (1936 - Present) is an American professional pool player. How did he get his nickname? During a California earthquake in 1971 he calmly won a world title.
  • Michael Phelan - “Father of American Billiards” (1817-1871) was a player, inventor, manufacturer, and dedicated promoter of billiards. In 1860, he wrote the first American book on billiards, "Billiards Without Master." He holds many patents for billiard table designs, and cushions. He is credited to be the first to put diamonds on the table.

Billiard Manners, Tips & Answers To Common Questions

  • Quit talking and start chalking!
  • Apply chalk to your cue stick like you are coloring in the tip with a crayon, completely covering the surface of your tip. Do not twist the chalk onto your tip!
  • No cigarettes or drinks on the pool table, or the Billiard Police will hunt you down!
  • When shooting your lower arm should form a right angle (or nearly so) to the cue stick which should be near to level above the table.
  • How heavy should your cue be? New players want heavier sticks around 21 ounces in weight to help stay on the shot longer due to the cues increased mass. Intermediates and experts want lighter cues for more control of ball speed and spin.
  • Practicing center ball aim for 30 minutes a day during your practice routine to increase your shot making confidence and ability.
  • I haven't played in months. (Your Common Excuses/Beware of Pool Shark)
  • Again, Keep your butt off the table! And if your not the one playing go somewhere else.
  • 'Always make a steady solid bridge. The same reasons you hold a camera steady to shoot a good pictures applies to shooting shots on the pool table.
  • Approach your shot, not the table.
  • Commit to the shot. Clear headed determination and persistence is the key.
  • Your tip should be rounded to the radius of a nickel or dime with no mushrooming.
  • Hard, Soft or Medium? What type of tip depends on how you play. There are 3 basic types, soft, medium and hard. The harder the tip, the less english or spin you get on the ball, hard tips are used mostly for jumping or breaking. The problem with hard tips is they give more chances of miscueing. Soft tips provide a better "feel" when you hit the cue ball and seem to give the best english with least deflection. But the soft tips mushroom out and flattens faster than others. Most one-pocket players choose to use soft tips. However, because of the problems caused by miscueing with the hard and often getting to much english with the soft; the most commonly tip choosen to use is a medium.
  • Do not lean your cue against a wall or any other surface. As this may bend the end of your cue.
  • Do not leave your cue next to a heat source like a radiator or in a hot car. As this may warp your cue.
  • Do not bang the cue butt on hard floors. Although your cues may have a protective butt cap on the end, banging the end of the cue on a hard floor can cause the wood splices to split.
  • Try to store your cue flat, in a cue rack or ideally in a hard case. As this will help to prevent your cue warping or getting bent.
  • Cheap cues use screw on or push on tips but professionals always use stick on tips.
  • My cue makes a funny sound when I play a shot, like a twang sound. Is it cracked? Probably not. The tip is probably just loose.
  • You can maintain your cue by polishing it with Carnauba wax every five years or as needed.
  • To remove chalk and stains from shaft use a damp magic eraser rub til stain is gone dry with paper towel. If grain is lifted burnish lightly with 1500 grit paper.
  • Never use anything rougher than 800 grit sand paper, preferably 1500 on you cue stick.
  • Dirty ferrul? Use a toothbrush and carefully clean with toothpaste.
  • Keep your stick clean. Use a soft towel to wipe down your cue after each use, And to keep it feeling smooth in your hands when stroking burnish the wood with leather or a crisp new bill
  • Never lay your chalk upside down on the rail of the table. Sit facing up for good pool ettiquette, and to keep the equipment clean.
  • Do Not Use Hand Chalk! It mixes with whatever dirt and oils are on your hands and gets into the pores of your stick causing an icky sticky feeling, which most people try to get rid of by using more chalk.
  • When your turn is done at the table DO NOT grab the chalk and start chalking your cue. Wait for your next turn at the table.
  • DO NOT walk behind someone while they are shooting! DO NOT hover around the table! DO NOT stand in front of the pockets! DO NOT crowd the player!
  • The table and equipment "belong" to the shooter. When your turn is done move away from the table while your opponent is shooting. Also, since your turn is over, you wont need the chalk so leave it alone.
  • 'When shooting, always keep one foot on the floor.
  • Do not lay the cue across your shoulders and wrap your arms around it. When not shooting, hold the cue vertically.
  • Do not sit on the table to reach your shot. Use the bridge!

Fun Facts: Trivial Trivia - Just Because You Are A Know It All

  • Diameter size of Carom billiard balls is 2 7/16 inches, Snooker balls is 2 1/16 inches and the American Pool balls is 2 1/4 inches.
  • The term scratch comes from the games original penalty of "scratching off a point" from a player score
  • What is the tip impact for various hardness of tips and various shot speeds? The contact time for most tips and most speeds are extremely close to a thousandth of a second (0.001 sec). A soft tip at slow speed has a longer contact time (about 0.002 sec), which is still extremely small. Very hard tips (phenolic) at fast speed have a shorter contact time (about 0.0005 sec). And, contact time decreases slightly for faster speeds, but not by much.

So.... What Does On The Cheese Mean?

On The Cheese Billiard Mouse


In 9 ball the money ball is refered to as "The Cheese Ball". You win by pocketing the cheese ball. And! Everybody knows that mice love cheese. Being "on the cheese" is an idiom for "the thing", or "the best"

So now, how do you like your Pool & Billiards?