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Pool Stories & Poems

I Read Pool by Ace Toscano

I read pool.
Not the news
The paper spews,
Not a tale
To make me wail,
Not those books
'Bout dumb-ass crooks,
Just what say
How best to play.
I read pool.

©2004 by Ace Toscano

More pool stories and poems by Ace >>


Pool & Billiards Literature

Several years ago, when the internet was still new, I got the bright idea of making a site that was dedicated solely to pool and billiards literature. I surveyed all the available online material, chose what I considered the best examples, and built a webpage that featured them. The resulting site, Ace's Cool Pool Lit & Links, became one of the most frequently visited personal pool pages on the web. Related pages, like my pool and billiards in fine art page, my collection of photos of celebrities shooting pool, and my cue and billiards supply pages all enjoyed first page rankings on the major search engines. Visitors poured in.

In fact, so many visitors poured in that my ISP repeatedly threatened to close down my site because my traffic was exceeding their limit. So, I had no choice but to move my site to a new location,, and to sign up with a new web host. Now, traffic is no longer an issue. The literature presented here in an all new layout has been updated to include my latest writings. Hope you enjoy your visit.


Mark Twain

Mark Twain Anecdote

While attending a billiard tourney on the evening of April 24, 1906, Mr. Twain was called on to speak. He told this story:

THE game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. Once, when I was an underpaid reporter in Virginia City, whenever I wished to play billiards I went out to look for an easy mark. One day a stranger came to town and opened a billiard parlor. I looked him over casually. When he proposed a game, I answered, "All right."

"Just knock the balls around a little so that I can get your gait," he said; and when I had done so, he remarked: "I will be perfectly fair with you. I'll play you left-handed." I felt hurt, for he was cross-eyed, freckled, and had red hair, and I determined to teach him a lesson. He won first shot, ran out, took my half-dollar, and all I got was the opportunity to chalk my cue.

"If you can play like that with your left hand," I said, "I'd like to see you play with your right."

"I can't," he said. "I'm left-handed."

Pool Haiku #1

by Ace Toscano

Cue ball spinning right,
Never makes it to the rail,
Wasting energy.

Stories & Poems by Ace Toscano

New Reaching Out: A Stroker Smith Adventure

Pool Room Psycho

Requiem for a Lightweight

Once A Weasel

The State of Pocket Billiards In Florida in the 21st Century

No Joy In Poolville

Old Sharkie's Deathbed Revelation

The Truth About Van Gogh's The Night Cafe

Remembrance of Ignominious Things Past

The Kid Who Beat Mosconi

The Christmas Meucci

The $20 Pool Rap

Mickey and the Wild Eight

A Nit With No Name


What Happened at the R & R?

Willie Mosconi: A Profile


The State of Pocket Billiards In Florida in the 21st Century
by Ace Toscano

A game of points
Without a ten ball run,
A race to eleven
Playing just for fun,
A hag at the counter
Calling everyone "Hon" -
They're lucky
I don't have a gun.

© 2007 by Ace Toscano

Old Sharkie's Deathbed Revelation
by Ace Toscano

Everyone knew his end was near,
Yet, when it arrived, only I was there.
He'd been hustlin' the reaper for three dark days,
Then he sat straight up, his eyes ablaze.
He beckoned me forward. I crept to his bed.
Then, Old Sharkie chuckled and unmistakably said,
"Tune out."

With that, he died, and left me trying
To decipher exactly what he'd been implying.
It seemed obvious enough, and I noted clearly,
That this wasn't a reference to Timothy Leary.
T'was in the world of pool Sharkie'd made his name;
This was sage advice meant to lift my game -
Don't be distracted - "Tune out."

I swore an oath to give his wisdom a chance;
Now, I focus so fiercely I go into a trance.
Yet, as hard as I work on my concentration,
I'm far from becoming a pool sensation.
In nine-ball tourneys, I'm still overmatched,
And I'm always the first chump to get dispatched -
Two 'n' out.

©2005 by Ace Toscano


Pool Literature on the Web

The Boys' Life of Mark Twain: LXII. A New Era of Billiards by Paine

Fat Man of Pool by Jim Murray

AKA: Nicknames, Monikers & Also Known As - An Index of Pool Player Nicknames, Past and Present

Willie Mosconi - Obit. - Obituary Published September 18, 1993, New York Times


Willie Hoppe


A Nit With No Name
by Ace Toscano Bounce your cue against the floor.
It only makes me bear down more.
Laugh out loud, sneeze, snort and snore -
Let loose your entire repertoire.
You can sigh and moan and curse your luck.
My pov? You dogged the duck.
And when you see I'm on the hill,
Recommence your sharking drill.
Too bad, these moves won't help you none.
It's clear by now the battle's won.
No doubt, you nit, you're done, done, done.

© Ace Toscano 2007


A Hustler Teaches the Boys A Lesson by Professor Smith

Fast Mikie Retires His Willie by Michael McCafferty

Pool Tales by Pat Stokes and Jim Meador

Six-Rail Artistry: Antique Tables Transform Billiards and Pool Games Worthy of the Grandest Parlor by Joe Harkins



We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

     ~Gwendolyn Brooks

© 1960 by Gwendolyn Brooks.



Pool Hall Days by Dean McClain

The Blood-Red Cue by David Malone

Custom Cues by David Malone

The Grass-Green Baize by David Malone

The Perfect Match by Carrie Williams


Mickey and the Wild Eight

by Ace Toscano

Don't play with little Mickey,
That pleasant Irish lad -
He's got a charming way of talking,
But his coping skills are bad.

I bumped into him at Chalkie's
Just the other day.
He offered me the wild eight.
I shot back, "Sure, let's play."

When he fell behind three to one,
He swore the table was at fault.
So we moved from two to three
Where I continued my assault.

Determined to expose me
To all his sharking tricks,
He vacationed to the men's room
Then moved the game to table six.

If you're seeking the worst table,
Table six is it.
It's just inside the entrance
And there's no safe place to sit.

Foot traffic rumbles back and forth
Through the ever-swinging door.
And everybody stops to chat,
"Who's winning?" "What's the score?"

Down two sets and dying,
Mick's attitude got meaner.
Then he choked as I hopped up -
T'was a concession misdemeanor.

He called me on it - I owned up
And offered him the game.
But, he kept on losing,
So, of course, my sharking was to blame.

Play ended with me three sets up,
But he only paid me two.
Next time he offers the wild eight,
I'll tell the lad, "Go screw!"

© Ace Toscano 2005


Late Nights in the Pool Hall by Rhonda Nolan Levy

A Pool Player's Luck by David Smith

THE CYCLADES by © Robert Sward

POOLROOM FACES by Joseph Kalar

And One Golf Story

Hacker's Slow Play Ruin's Golf Game by Ace Toscano


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