The black widow is to pool what Ben Franklin is to kites, Wallenda is to heights and Google is to sites. Her ink-black Rapunzel hair, Asian beauty and killer stroke make her the most famous player in the world.
So why doesn't anybody in this Indianapolis pool hall recognize her?
Because she's in disguise.
See, I had this sinister idea: Could I walk into a pool hall with the most famous player in the world and hustle people for money?
Hey, it's not like Jeanette Lee hasn't done it before. The daughter of Korean parents--her dad still runs a tiny newsstand across from the Empire State Building, and her mom's a retired nurse--she started hustling at 18. "I never hustled people," she says. "I just gambled against them. Every guy thinks he can beat a woman. The only disguise I needed was showing up female."
The most she's ever taken off a guy? "Well, $90,000, years ago," she mumbles.
But now that she's on TV more than Larry King, she needs a disguise. A slender 5'9", she has spent most of this day getting her nose widened, her bust stuffed, her butt and thighs padded, her head wigged and her eyes covered in cheap sunglasses. Suddenly, at 33, she's a hoochie mama.
The disguise is so good that a guy sidles up to her at the bar in the pool hall and asks, "You workin'?"
I laugh out loud, and she responds in perfect hoochie style, wagging her index finger in my face. "Donchu even disrespec' me like that!"
I'm playing Billy, her stake horse, and I'm wearing a wife-beater, a bad hat and cheap gold. I'm pretending to be drunk and throwing hundred-dollar bills on the felt, the traditional bait for pigeons.