Former U.S. Open Champions; Left to right, David Howard, Late, Great, Super Personality and Friend - Steve Mizerak and a special shout out to his loving wife Karen Mizerak.
Mike Sigel, Allen Hopkins, Johnny Archer who is behind promoter Barry Berman, Reed Pierce, Efren Reyes, Tommy Kennedy, Buddy Hall, Nick Varner, Mike Lebron, Yours Truly, Jimmy Reid and last but not least.
Winning more US Open 9 Ball Championships than anyone else, Earl 'The Pearl' Strickland. Earl has a Brunswick at home, practice makes perfect.
1991./ The last time I asked Earl to gamble was at Mueller's 9 Ball Tournament in Canada, he'd just toasted / roasted me in the tournament which was rare, we had a lot of hill/hill matches but these pockets were huge (6") side pockets so big with a ball about 4" off the rail and a diamond below the side it could be made straight in the side, normally you'd play this ball in the far corner or a pocket on the other side of the table.
Well Earl slaughtered me, final score was 11 /2 or something. Taking the heat as usual since Earl didn't play 1 Pocket, I'd asked him to play some 9 ball or10 ball for money.
Earl answered "I quit gambling!" to which I replied, "No you didn't , I heard you gave Moro Paez the 8 last week in Reno and beat him for $10,000 ."
Then Earl said "With you Reid, I quit gambling with you." We both laughed, wise choice Earl..
* 1964./ Beat Minnesota Fats in an exhibition match of 8 ball and 9 ball, racing to 4, results were 4 / 1 in both. After winning he said the score would be different for money, then a friend of mine, Danny Lanes threw a huge bankroll on the table and Fats said okay let's play some 1 pocket for $1,000 a game.
Fats was sharp, bet his own money and played the best, most offensive style of 1 pocket in 1970 that I'd ever seen when he beat Ronnie and Richie Florence for $40,000.
17 in spring of 64, I'd only seen 1 pocket played a little at the Mines in Boston and Congress Bowl in Miami so I had to decline, 1 pocket didn't interest me at all at 17..
Fats gave a great exhibition, most memorable to me was his making a cross corner bank frozen to the rail past the side pocket 12 times in a row while telling a story about when he made it on a snooker table over 300 times in a row when he was 4 years old and beat the King of Belgium out of $2 million.
Fats made everybody laugh, he was the all-time greatest talker, super entertainer and great money player who usually bet all his own money.
Fats ended this exhibition making (in rotation) 15 tough wing shots in a row and the crowd smothered him with applause and love. 'Carefree Theater' West Palm Beach, FL.
* 1965./ Married my first serious fun loving girlfriend Cindy Bowe and on 1/1/66 Cindy gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl in the world, "Dawn Kimberly Reid", I named her. Trying to be a good husband and father I worked 6 months 7 days a week at The Belle Glade Sugar Mill.
Moved, joined the Iron Worker's Union in West Palm Beach, FL.. RCA just opened a new plant in Lake Park, FL.. 200+- applicants required to have completed 2 years of college to take the exam. I lied, hiring told them I went to St. John's Prep in Mass. they let me take the exam. Were only hiring 3 new employees. An hour later, my name was called first.
1967./ Although I worked my butt off and crazy in love with my daughter, the marriage didn't work. Leaving my first real true love (my daughter Dawn) I took off for CA..
Anyone who thinks they know what true love is has no idea until they have a child then true heartbreak is leaving that child. Thinking I already knew everything about everything, love included, man was I off base. Having your own children is the moment you know there is a God, what a miracle that is. Shook me to my soul. .
My daughter taught me what true love really was. It literally nearly killed me to leave her. There wasn't anyone who could party as hard or as long as I could after that.
Moved to Hollywood CA.. Subconsciously realizing years later, I didn't care about living or dying for over a year, I overdid everything.
No pool! Just lots of sex, drugs, dancing, rock and roll then more sex, drugs, dancing and rock and roll. Well known by every doorman in Hollywood or 'The Red Velvet' on Sunset Blvd. that opened at 6 A.M. Sunday by invitation only.
Every great band from all the night clubs like 'Whiskey A-Go-Go', 'The Hullaballoo' or concerts at The Hollywood Bowl would show up and jam at 'The Red Velvet' Sunday 6 A.M..
You might see anyone jamming with anyone. From the Monkeys, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Country Joe and The Fish to Frankie Avalon, Johnny Mathis or Judy Garland.
Along with one black guy we'd steal the dance floor. Having my choice, I'd leave with the prettiest blonde or red head hopefully with a room at The Beverly Hilton.
Arriving alone by limo, taxi or maybe she was a local and the valet parking attendant would describe to me the girl driving that RR Corniche Convertible. He laughed his butt off a few times when I'd leave with the one he'd described.
Love-ins, a flower child for a year and a half, didn't go into a pool room or bar with a pool table, only dance clubs or 1 of 2 all-night coffee houses, The Omnibus and 5th Estate.
* 1968./ Walked into 'Ye Olde Billiard Den' on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, CA.. Met Marvin Henderson.
Quit all drugs except pot which I smoked on and off until contracting cancer in Jan. 2006. The last time I bought pot was in the late 60s, for 7$ a lid which was a little more than an ounce. Being a world beating pool player most gangsters and drug dealers loved pool and pot was free.
*1967./ At some point during those wild years. While at 'The House Of Awareness' (I think) I picked up every book I could on 'Transcendental Meditation' and even purchased books on the subject. Always being an avid reader even as a child. Years later, reading 'The Godfather' in 13 hours from cover to cover for example there were what seemed like 2 year periods a few times in my life that I read books on a daily basis.
Probably around 200 in all. From Shakespeare, Ludlum, Dickens, Heinlein, Hesse, Maltz, Twain, Stevenson, Capote, to Ed McBain.
Transcendental Meditation forces visualization in pool and like a perfect guided missile, it's almost impossible to miss when your visualization is so clear.
Transcendental meditation allowed me to be out of body before shooting an extremely difficult shot I was in the stands watching the successful results before they happened.
Hearing 2 old timers saying "Did you see that cut shot, man what a great shot." Then the other old timer commenting "Look at Reid, he hasn't moved yet the cueball's going up and down after that unbelievable fan shot and his head still hasn't moved." Then I would hear the whole crowd applauding with a standing ovation.
In Europe I learned to visualize hearing hundreds of people snapping their fingers together before making a tough shot, which is a quieter, classier means of showing approval. European spectators save their applause until the match being played is completed and they make sure
Practicing transcendental meditation at home, I leave my body go up through my roof fly over Hollywood to Santa Monica Beach, Ehrbach Germany to Micchelstadt or from my condo now since I know the surrounding area so well go up very high and see Wellington, Lake Worth, Singer Island and Palm Beach then return back to my chair.
1970 / 71./ Traveling, playing pool on the road or at tournaments. For years I could put my mind and body back on that tough 5' X 10' pool table downstairs at Hollywood and Western in CA and recall the muscle memory and mental approach to tougher shots than I would ever see on any regulation table, knowing that I'd made tougher 3 times in a row boosted my confidence to a high I don't know if any other pool player has ever achieved.
First of all I'd have ground sirloin, cottage cheese w sliced tomatoes, 2 eggs over easy w 2 pieces of whole wheat toast, orange juice and milk. Sometimes for a change I'd have corned beef hash with poached eggs, rye toast orange juice and milk.
Remember that practice routine on the toughest 5 X 10 pool table I've ever seen. FOR 3 WEEKS AND 9 HOURS A DAY I'D THROW OUT 6 TO 10 BALLS - PICK THE TOUGHEST MAKABLE SHOT PLAYING POSITION ON ANOTHER BALL AND IF I MISSED, I HAD TO PUT IT BACK UNTIL I MADE IT 3 TIMES IN A ROW, THEN PICK THE TOUGHEST MAKABLE SHOT EVEN THOUGH I'D GOTTEN POSITION I WOULDN'T SHOOT THAT BALL, THE TOUGHEST MAKABLE BALL EVERY TIME AND A GREAT RULE I USED WAS THAT FROM BEGINNING TO END I COULD NEVER MOVE THE CUEBALL.
FROZEN TO ANOTHER BALL OR JACKED UP IT DIDN'T MATTER. PICK THE TOUGHEST MAKABLE SHOT ALL THE WHILE KEEPING MY HEAD DOWN 1 THOUSAND, 2 THOUSAND, 3 THOUSAND AFTER THE BALL DISAPPEARED AND IF I MISSED I HAD TO KEEP MY HEAD DOWN UNTIL ALL THE BALLS STOPPED ROLLING THEN MAKE IT 3 IN A ROW BEFORE MOVING ON TO A DIFFERENT TOUGH SHOT.
AT THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OR SO I RARELY MISSED ANYTHING. THEN AT THE END I HAD TO MAKE 40 SPOT SHOTS IN A ROW GOING BACK AND FORTH FROM SIDE TO SIDE WITH HIGH ENGLISH AND WITH DRAW. IF I MISSED OR SCRATCHED I'D START OVER AGAIN, 40 IN A ROW WITH BARBARA COONEY REID CADDYING FOR ME...
Missing anything on a regulation table after those 3 weeks was crazy and just wasn't going to happen.
No head up opponents for so many years and knowing how men's tournaments being run by greedy promoter's was always a deflating issue to me.
Finding the respect and admiration given to pool and snooker in Europe was so refreshing to me. With a chance to make millions as the best snooker player in the UK made sense. They haven't changed the rules to give ball in hand to the weaker players in order to give them a chance to beat the best players.
They haven't shortened the races or anything. for TV It remains a test of skill and the spectators all over Europe knew the safety the players were going to shoot after the break.
1973./ After I'd accomplished everything I set out to do in pool beating everybody gambling playing rotation on any table at a higher calibre for money than anyone else alive.
I experienced a huge letdown, to overcome this depression I started reading books again, books for winning at anything in life.
'Psycho Cybernetics' by Maxwell Maltz(s) is excellent. My suggestion is to read from positive page to positive page. Leave out and ignore the negative pages. I could've written this book and if I had, would've added a transcendental chapter to it. Skip all the con pages, pros (positive) only. It will help your game and life.
* 1968./ Ye Olde Billiard Den probably saved my life. After leaving and losing my daughter I had adapted an I don't care attitude about life in 1967, did a lot of LSD and every other drug you could name. lucky to live through those times.
* 1968./ The billiard den was beautiful, 12 Brunswick 4.5'x9' Anniversary tables. No windows, very plush with large double wide olde English wooden doors, the foyer and bathrooms had marble tile flooring. There was royal red w black pepper carpet throughout the elevated lounge area and pool room.
There were different olde English family Crests and Coat de Arms on all the walls around the pool room, it was the nicest pool room I'd ever seen at that point in my life.
* 1968./ Became great friends with Mavin 'Pittsburgh Flash' Henderson who was the Guest Of Honor at Strawberry's tournament in 1994 the last time I saw him. A year earlier Eddie Taylor had been the Guest Of Honor just to put this honor in proper perspective where it belongs and let most of you who never saw Marvin play man o man what a player he was.
1994./ My wife wonderful wife Larissa Schmidt from W. Germany and I walked into Strawberry's and Marvin yelled out "there's my guest of honor" we still loved like brothers.
1968./ We spent a lot more time together and Marvin thought I had more guts than anyone, I made him show me where the action pool rooms were in Watts.
1968./ Marvin didn't like it and was worried about me until I told him exactly what I was going to say and do, that it always worked in the past everywhere I went sometimes I was the only white person in 5 miles and I'd started doing it very young at 15 years old in Roxberry Mass..
Then at 18 in The Cotton Club in Riviera Beach, Fl is where I developed my entry speech. "i'm probably the best player you've ever seen, I almost always beat everybody I play.'
Here's how I'd walk in, first I'd go straight to the houseman and tell him I was a very good player, probably better than anyone there or anyone he'd ever seen, understand I didn't shave until I was 25 and looked very young.
This speech and style worked everywhere, get in heavy action fast beat everyone then on to the next spot. Gather that money fast.
Then tell them everywhere I'd won the Tuesday night 8 ball tournament at Bud's Lounge in Hot Springs Arkansas the last time I played in it and some waitresses and players said they thought I was ready to go pro. Get me somebody to gamble with and tell me what you think.
After beating everyone. Who could get mad at me? I told them they probably had no chance. In their mind they just thought I was crazy or stupid. As it turned out I was telling them the truth except that part about winning the Tuesday night 8 ball tournament the last time I was in Hot Springs Arkansas. I never won that tournament. don't even know if there was a Bud's lounge in Hot Springs, Arkansas. lol, smiley face, smiley face.
Then I'd ask who the best player was cause that's who I wanted to play. They almost always thought I was a little nuts or just plain stupid. I've had them tell me well slick is the best but you probably can't beat slick. John and Clyde will both play you and if you beat them maybe you do have a chance w slick.
Understand that before leaving town everybody got offered the last 3 or 4 playing 9 ball. Then everybody would bet on the side and I'd break the whole town.
1972,/ Offering everybody the call 8, last 3 and 6 to 5 on the money after playing 9 ball for the last week of Freddie Whalen's $50,000 3 week tournament at The Hollywood Bowl. CA. Mizerak and Hopkins who were both still straight pool junkies decided to stake Gene Nagy to play for $300 and 11 / 3 later no more action for Reid this year.
So Cicero Murphy and I found 2 young ladies to play cards with. That was Cicero's last tournament until the 1979 Allen Hopkins' $100,000 straight pool tournament and association gave Cicero a complementary free entry and room.
1979./ Mike Sigel woke me up finals morning telling me he was scared to death of Balsis who'd been behind by over a hundred balls in his last 5 wins.
So he asked me to hypnotize him and brain wash him for a percentage of the $25,000 1st place money.
By game time, I'd convinced him not to play any safeties w Balsis w these huge pockets just shoot at everything like long backward cuts that were very tough to miss on these tables. Turn it into 9 ball.
Balsis broke leaving Sigel a few inches off the end rail and a long backward cut. After Sigel made it and broke up the stack he looked back at me behind him a few rows away in the stands, moved his eyebrows up and down and said mmm 9 ball w a smile.
Buddy Hall, the second best player in the world in my mind was living in Shreveport, LA. So Mataya and Incardona went on the road to Shreveport, LA.. Buddy gave them the 7 or something like that and robbed them. What did they think would happen. Listen if my opponent gets to the 7 before I do, I can't win even.
When we started playing our best, meaning Buddy Hall and I handicaps meant nothing whoever made the 1 ball won the game but against me playing push out, I could pus
out for double tough cut shots for everybody else, shots that not even Buddy could bet even money on but I could make them all day long even on a 6' X 12' snooker table.
After awhile it gets your opponent weak when they're not even money to make it, it doesn't bank, there's no good safety and they've learned they can't let me shoot it.
Who hustles pool telling people he probably plays better than anyone they've ever seen and brag about winning an 8 ball tournament somewhere an idiot that's who.
*1964./ Riviera Beach, FL, at The Cotton Club w Sam and Dave performing. 2 long bars on both sides of the dance floor w 100's of round tables having 6 chairs each and another horseshoe shaped bar in the smaller room in front near the only entry.
After keeping the table all night the owner (Jim) asked me Johnny Drake because you had to be 21 to get in I was 17 going on 18 and the only white person within 5 miles.
Jim then said to me you know "I've learned that the more you bet the more shots you get" then he asked me to play some for a $100 a game and lost 4 games in a row.
Bringing my total win for the past 5 hours up to over $1200.
I've used that saying a hundred times to get the bet raised. I'd played mostly for $5 then $10 a game for hours a few games for $20, a couple for $50 but Jim didn't know that.
Jim asked if I'd ever drank Pinch Scotch Whiskey with water back as he opened the bottle of Pinch. We drank and talked for another 3 or 4 hours until after daybreak.
"Beat 'em and make 'em like it." Jimmy Reid IF YOU ORDER THIS 10 HOUR INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES, PLEASE CALL ME: 772-370-031i... Thanks, Jimmy Reid