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The Bar Match that Made Willie Hoppe Famous

The famous moment in bar pool room history that may have made Willie Hoppe Famous!

The Bar Match that Made Willie Hoppe Famous

The Bar Match that Made Willie Hoppe Famous

There just ain't many names in the world of cue sports bigger than Willie Hoppe, considered one of (if not the) best ever to play and a legend among competitors of all backgrounds. A world champion in three billiards disciplines many, many times over and still the only player to ever put on an exhibition at the White House, it's no wonder that Hoppe is consistently named to the top of "greatest pool player" lists.

While many who play billiards know the man's name, what you might not know about him is that his fame began in large part due to one match that kick-started his career and made him a star in the sport at the tender age of 12 years old. The match was a weird one, set up between the little-known Hoppe and Al Taylor around the year 1900, weird because the 30 year old Taylor was considered one of the best players there was at the game (balkline), and Hoppe was so small that they had to agree that he could get on top of the table to make his shots.

The story goes that Taylor, obviously believing the match would be no problem for him, was all smiles and jokes beforehand, even patting the young Hoppe on the head and famously offering to buy the boy ice cream if he won. Not too long later, Taylor's smile had disappeared, as Hoppe took him apart to the tune of a 300 to 207 score. Enraged, Taylor apparently snapped his stick in half over his knee, but true to his word, took Hoppe out for ice cream before retiring from the game entirely and becoming a miner in Colorado. Hoppe, on the other hand, was named "The Boy Wonder" and became one of the best there ever was, along with being incredibly famous.

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  • Title: The Bar Match that Made Willie Hoppe Famous
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 2/28/2017 9:51:14 AM
  • Last Updated: 2/28/2017 9:58:30 AM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

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