Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Champ Frank Taberski Plays "Chinese" Pool
Here's some footage of Frank Taberski playing "Chinese Pool," which was a popular variation of the game during the early 20th Century. Mike Shamos, in his excellent New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards, described Chinese Pool as a game "in which the cue ball is not stroked but is instead rolled down the groove formed by two cue sticks held parallel to one another."
The origin of the game's rather un-PC name remains unclear. Shamos notes that Americans at the turn of the century commonly applied the adjective "Chinese" to anything done in an unusual fashion. He also speculates that it "may relate to the chopstick-like appearance of two cues held together."
Taberski (the nation's dominant player shortly before the reign of Ralph Greenleaf) could easily run a rack or more playing this odd variety of the game.