At the age of 17, David McCumber was stricken with "road fever" that irresistible call to the itinerant life of a professional gambler. Twenty-two years later, he got the chance to follow that dream-not as a player but as the "stakehorse" (financial backer) for Tony Annigoni, a non-smoking, macrobiotic-eating "Renaissance Pool Hustler," student of Eastern religion, and masAt the age of 17, David McCumber was stricken with "road fever" that irresistible call to the itinerant life of a professional gambler. Twenty-two years later, he got the chance to follow that dream-not as a player but as the "stakehorse" (financial backer) for Tony Annigoni, a non-smoking, macrobiotic-eating "Renaissance Pool Hustler," student of Eastern religion, and master of the pure green-felt poetry of the dead stroke." With $27,000 in David's pocket they took off together on an astonishing four-month odyssey across America-traveling from seedy, hole-in-the-wall billiard parlors to high-class snooker rooms to high-tension pro tourneys, from Seattle to Miami and back again-exploring a shady twilight subculture and uniquely American mythos, in search of serious money, local glory...and the perfect hustle....
|Title||:||Playing Off the Rail|
|Number of Pages||:||384 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Playing Off the Rail Reviews
I'd read some positive reviews of this book on Amazon before I ordered it and being a pool fan, I'd found a real dearth of good books written on the subject so I gave it a whirl.I can't say I was too impressed with the writer's style and I feel the book never really made me 'smell the smoke' of the pool halls of America. Having said that it did teach me some things about the way of things around the table over there, so my money wasn't completely wasted.I fear that those without a backgorund in the game would be completely bored by it though.
If you love pool you will love this book. Playing off the rail is a travelogue of sorts that details the authors journey as he backs a professional pool player while traveling to different high stakes games around the country. You can learn a ton about the game here, and a lot about human nature and gambling as well.
A writer goes on the road to put up the money for a pool player for a couple months. As one would expect based on that, this is chock-full of interesting characters, high (and low) stakes, and tales from the road as an outsider becomes an insider. While occasionally the break down of insults and shot-by-shot jabs gets tedious (as does the listing of "famous" champions), that is not the bent of the story. Rather, this look at modern (1992) pool hustlers on the road. Entertaining throughout and has me looking forward to picking up a cue again for the first time in years. Although definitely not for money.
794.72 Biography - In late 1992, McCumber became the ``stakehorse'' for his friend Tony Annigoni, owner of a San Francisco poolroom and a player of championship caliber. In that role, McCumber put up the money whenever Annigoni played and they split the winnings. The world of the pool hustler is sui generis, McCumber shows, and it's primarily a gambler's world because, for most, money, not pool, is the name of the game. But like players in any other sport, these men (and, recently, women) must have the ability to bounce back from crushing defeat and start another contest with the right mental set (McCumber terms it ``reinventing the self''), so the book offers some psychological insights as well.
A journalist "stakehorse" writes his story of funding and going along on a national hustling tour with a world-class pool player. This is all about surviving the pressure cooker of high-stakes gambling.
So far, so good...
I loved this book. It is a great read for any pool enthusiasts
One of my favourite books, not for everyone though, a look into the somewhat seedy underbelly of the game, that few ever see.
A true story and an enjoyable read for the pool hall junkie.