JOHNSTON CITY, Illinois-The world's All-Around Pocket Billiards Championship is in its final days. Pool sharks from all parts of the country annually congregate in Johnston City (pop. 3900), a rural city in southern Illinois, during October to contest the $20,000 prize money.
Famous hustlers-Omaha Fats, Weenie Beanie, Boston Shorty, Wimpy Lassiter, Cuban Joe, Junior Golf-shoot it out in three different tournaments. The winner of each division plays in a three-way round-robin on the last day for the title of World's Greatest All-Around pool player.
The straight pool tournament was won by Joe Russo of Trenton, New Jersey, and the nine-ball tournament went to Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter of Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The one-pocket champion has yet to be crowned. Verteran observers feel that tonight's match between Boston Shorty and Ronnie Allen will be crucial. The victor should be able to dominate the rest of the one-pocket field. Sentiment runs heavily in favor of Boston's five-foot, two-inch pool wizard, but the hard money makes the unpopular California motor mouth a 7-5 favorite.
Gambling is continuous on all fronts. Last night in the back room, Weenie Beanie was finishing up a two-day head-to-head gin rummy battle with an unknown card player from the west. Sadly pushing threc hundred-dollar bills into his opponent's pile of green paper, he was heard to remark, "I'm stuck so bad now, I can't stop."