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Running the Table: The Legend of Kid Delicious, the Last Great American Pool Hustlerby L Jon Wertheim
Synopses & Reviews
From a popular senior writer for Sports Illustrated comes this high-stakes, boys-on-the-road story about the most unlikely of phenoms--a heavyset, bipolar, and endlessly charming pool hustler named Kid Delicious
In most sports the pinnacle is Wheaties-box notoriety. But in the world of pool, notoriety is the last thing a hustler desires. Such is the dilemma that faces one Danny Basavich, an affable, generously proportioned Jewish kid from Jersey, who flounders through high school until he discovers the one thing he excels at--the felt--and hits the road.
Running the Table spins the outrageous tale of Kid Delicious and his studly--if less talented--set-up man, Bristol Bob. Never was there a more entertaining or mismatched pair of sidekicks, as together they go underground into the flavorfully seamy world of pool to learn the art of the hustle and experience the highs and lows of life on the road. Their four-year odyssey takes them from Podunk pool halls to slick urban billiard rooms across America, as they manage one night to take down as much as $30,000, only to lose so much the next night that they lack gas money to get home. With every stop, the action gets hotter, the calls get closer, and Deliciouss prowess with a cue stick becomes known more and more widely. Ultimately, Delicious sheds his cover once and for all and becomes professional pools biggest sensation since Minnesota Fats.
In a book sure to appeal to fans of Bringing Down the House and Positively Fifth Street, Wertheim evokes a subculture full of nefarious but loveable characters and illuminates Americas fascination with games and gambling. He also paints a lasting portrait of an insanely talented and magnetic hustler, who is literally larger than life.
"'This new release from Sports Illustrated writer Wertheim (Venus Envy), who expertly reports a true life story reminiscent of The Hustler and The Color of Money, details the exploits of Danny 'Kid Delicious' Basavich, who, after dropping out of high school in the 1990s, went from being a suicidal, overweight teen to a legendary pool player. Wertheim has created a new version of the American dream, one where the predictable life of white picket fences and green lawns is replaced by the adventures brought by the spin of a cue ball and wads of greenbacks continually changing hands. At the heart of the book is the engrossing tale of two distinct relationships. The first is about Kid's two selves — the personable, pool-playing wiz and the bedridden, depressed bundle of nerves. The other story line follows the ruckus raised by the pool-playing exploits of the fat and friendly Kid and his fit and feisty partner, Bristol Bob. Adding to the book's appeal is Wertheim's eloquent and vivid prose that so perfectly captures the squalid, sepia-toned environs of America's billiard halls that it's easy to forget that the events in this book reflect recent history and not pool's roaring 1920s heyday .' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
and#147;A tremendously satisfying road story. What makes Running the Table so special is not the pool prowess of its protagonist but the unlikely bond between two wildly different young men who find each other through an exhilarating, often infuriating game.and#8221;and#151;Los Angeles Times
Running the Table spins the outrageous tale of Kid Delicious, an affable skilled pool shark from New Jersey, and his studly if less talented setup man, Bristol Bob. Wertheim follows this mismatched pair of sidekicks as they go underground to learn the art of the hustle while experiencing the highs and lows of life on the road. Their four-year odyssey takes them from podunk pool halls to slick urban billiard rooms across America, some nights taking down as much as $30,000 and others ending up with just enough gas money to get home. With every stop the action gets hotter, the calls get closer, and Deliciousand#8217;s prowess with a cue stick becomes more widely known. Ultimately the Kid sheds his cover, becoming perhaps the biggest sensation in professional pool since Minnesota Fats. Wertheim paints a lasting portrait of an insanely talented and magnetic hustler who is literally larger than life.
and#147;Renders the trappings of a road playerand#8217;s life . . . readers are taken on a sweet and varied ride.and#8221;and#151;Sports Illustrated
About the Author
L. Jon Wertheim, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, has been on the full-time staff of the magazine since 1997 and has covered a broad range of topics, including tennis, the NBA, and business and social issues in sports. His work has been featured in The Best American Sports Writing? numerous times, and he is the author of three previous books. A member of the New Jersey and New York bar associations, Wertheim received his B.A. from Yale and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Table of Contents
1 The Opening Break 1 2 Hustlers Finishing School 16 3 The Ribbon of Highway 37 4 Life on the Rail 56 5 The Warsaw Pact 76 6 Kings of the Road 91 7 Philadelphia Story 105 8 Bristolicious, Inc. 114 9 Flying Solo 134 10 Wherever I May Roam 145 11 Pros and Cons 168 12 Roll Tide 190 13 Back in Form 203 14 A New Wingman 208 15 Running the Table 226
Epilogue 237 Glossary of Pool Terms 243 Acknowledgments 246
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