Sport: No Need for Tricks

From its clattering bowling alleys to its reeking card rooms, Bensinger's Recreational Amphitheater on Chicago's Randolph Street is a male refuge in a world that is rapidly going to the dolls. There, fly-blown velvet curtains shut out the flickering neon of The Loop; cigar smoke hangs like a grey curtain of decency between the elbow benders and the ripe, oil-painted nudes behind the bar. Cluttered with old-fashioned sporting prints and spittoons, Bensinger's is a comfortable clubhouse for pool sharks, poker players, three-cushion wizards, and foul-air fiends of every variety.

Last week, though, the Bensinger regulars put aside their cards and pool cues...

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