Playing Off the Rail: A Pool Hustler’s Journey

November 9, 2017 - Comment

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

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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 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.