Sport: Deacon v. Machine Gun

Wimpy Lassiter, his belly ballooned by hamburgers, was back again, still conversing animatedly with himself. Jersey Red Breit was there, too, as nervous as ever, with five cigarettes lit at once. Minnesota Fats, not in the same class, had not been invited. He probably wouldn't have come anyway, it being black-tie and all. "Dressing a pool player in a tuxedo," Fats once said, "is like putting whipped cream on a hot dog."

Fats may have had a point. For most of the 20 players in this year's World Championship of Pocket Billiards—a black-tie name for straight pool—seemed uncomfortable in their cummerbunds. There...

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