by: Paul Marquez
The other day I was trying to match up with and an uninvited mouth butted in. “What’s worse is that this guy could play!!!”. I took 8 years off partly because my city doesn’t make pool very fun for good players . We are considered a B town and this is unlikely to change. The influence of legends like Kenny Dodd are unheard and great players like Glenn Atwell get to sit on the bench. Learning from Kenny did well for me and this story I have been waiting to to tell for a long time.
The only time Portland is live and players got action was when Diamond Bill Cress entered the pool room. Thank God for Bill!! Pool got fun!
Bill Cress changed many games of many players. Take the whole Portland scene for instance. He was able to create a game and bam their was something to sweat or side bet. His personality was fun and knowledge of pool was unmatched. One lesson from Bill was all I needed to escape that dreaded B player title. Bill definetly changed me . You see most of Portland is the B capital of the west so good players are rarely found. Or get totally bbbbbbbbbbbbored. John Morabito, Brad Gowin and Pon Konlaya still live here!!! Bob Zack may be the last Mohican to hear about. “Go Bobby ” “Good luck” from all the defeated pool hearts. No disserepect to Matt Horner he’s been doing his thing. But the old school: David, Russ, Tom Ross don’t let them get you. But this story isn’t about all these cats. Did I mention Jay “action central” Reid? Where are you? It’s about gambling etiquette and my coolest score. That’s right. Me. Ha.
Learning class from Ken and skill from Bill was intricate in this boast if you will. Here’s what I mean. Bill had me on the upswing. Nobody knew I was drastically changing my play. For weeks I was arriving to the pool room early to work on my fundamentals and hopefully get some advice from Bill before anyone arrived. Bill didn’t formally teach me I just listened to whatever he said. An hour into my practice I got bored probably because Bill never showed. I returned the balls, grabbed a coffee and sat alone reading the paper. Then it happened. He walked in by himself even though his stakehorse Jon Han and two young short stops Nick Kruger and Damian Allishan were not in tow. He grabbed some balls and went to our action table. It was also the one pocket table with 4 1/2 inch pockets. He never looked twice in my direction partly because I guess pool players don’t show up before noon or wasn’t on the hit list. He rolls the balls out and gets his cue together. He then shot them all in without a miss. “Into the lower right hand pocket!!!!!! Holy wow! Now this was something new to my understanding of pool excellence. Without dragging this on, just believe that Portland being the first among many cities experienced a painful yet graceful hurricane. A sea of unarmed opponents lay to rest until they could shake off the beatdown and humility check. Jon could out smart you and definitely out play you. Could I have spoiled his stop after witnessing his unknown exhibition? Yes. Is that the code taught by the old school? No. I doubt it would matter though. Once he was gone there was still arrogant doubters cause like I said “Nobody is paying attention here because improvement is futile “. I could tell Bill new right away . You could see it in his face. Ken knew, he’s been hustling world beaters before I was born. Their reactions to Jon verified what I witnessed and what the world now know.
Martial arts have taught that eyes don’t lie but Bill nor Kent opened their mouth. You see in the world of action class is first. And having class means “FYI Portland”. “If you’re not involved in action keep your mouth shut and don’t kill someone’s game. Some places doing that means they kill you. Now we three class gamblers just watched and learned from this new road sharp hustler who outsmarted the the lock up artists and dismantled the room. Here’s the Paul Marquez segway we have been expecting. In 5 days of action the road crew got beat once and it was John Mr 400 Schmit himself who made he game. This minor setback costing him 400 staking his boy Nick at one pocket to guess who? Good guess. Me!!!!!!!!!!!!
The B town gossipers gave Jon the line on me. Finally killed the killers by pure fate. Don’t hate the player hate the game. The B double knitty backstab line Jon heard didn’t calculate the recent influence of Bill or Kenny. The line was out of line! This old school student just beat questionably one of the top 3 straight pool players to ever live and currently the 7th rated player in the world out of 400 dollars.! And maybe if B town could shut your yap and start stepping to the plate and pay your dues instead of whining the blues!!!! And maybe stop the hate club on very few non- bumblebees who must at any above 5 dollar tournament need a redicoulous spot to show up with your cue. But i beg you !! “Please” in the pool room have class and let people play and maybe they could stop calling my beloved “P town” “B town!! Only then new Portland players or even your old ones get to tell a story like this.
Paul Marquez “born and raised in Portland but couldn’t stand being mediocre” and still can’t.