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HUSTLERS' HOLIDAY IN THE LIONS' DEN
Tom Fox
December 04, 1961
New York Fats, self-proclaimed greatest pool hustler of them all, battles his peers with cue and quips and action on the side
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December 04, 1961

Hustlers' Holiday In The Lions' Den

New York Fats, self-proclaimed greatest pool hustler of them all, battles his peers with cue and quips and action on the side

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"You're washed up, Fat Man," Tuscaloosa Squirrelly says.

"Quit giving me that who-shot-John stuff," Fat Man says. ("Who-shot-John stuff" is hustler lingo for nonsense.)

Jones returns to Cokes and whispers, "I've got $200, Mr. Cokes. Will you go for $300?" Cokes hands three $100 bills to Eddie Taylor, the Knoxville Bear, who holds the bet. Jones puts up two bills and says, "I got a stake horse, Fat Man. Four out of seven for $500."

The Fat Man hands Taylor five $100 bills. He walks over to a table, washes his face, powders the cue stick and tells Jones, "Daniel, you're in the lions' den."

The first game goes to the Fat Man, but Jones runs out the next two.

"You know who I am, Fat Man?" says Jones. "I'm Fast Eddie, I came from California to get you." (Fast Eddie is the hero of The Hustler, a recent novel and motion picture about pool hall characters.)

"Look, Junior, you shoot your best and if you win the money no hard feelings," Fat Man says.

He's having trouble getting shots. "I'm not getting the breaks," he moans. "I shoot 700 balls and I don't get a break." He shoots the six ball but misses. "Look at that, will ya, I put a million dollars' worth of spin on the ball and only a nickel's worth took hold."

"You're dogging it, Fat Man."

"Quit giving me that soft con," says the Fat One.

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