Former Pool Checkers Champions
Throughout the course of the American Pool
Checkers short history, there have been many
worthy checkers masters from across the country.
The American Pool Checkers Association has
an account of the most successful players.
Here are a few of the more notable of the
former Pool Checkers Champions. Charles ‘Pecan’ Thompson,
American Pool Checkers player creates vivid
memories in his articles on these great checkers
players that have become part of the Association’s
Pool Checkers Champions Clyde "King
- New York City, New York
- Pool Checker Player in the mid 20th century.
- Wrote two books on the game: Secrets
of Spanish Pool Checkers (#1 & 2).
- His books turned Pool Checkers into an art, not just a mind sport.
- His strong side/weak side theories are relevant in today’s game as well.
- Tough and tenacious player in his time.
Pool Checkers Champion George Robinson
- Toledo, Ohio
- 1988 - 1997, Robinson finished in the Top Ten at the APCA Tournaments.
- 17 Top Ten finishes from 1971 through 1997.
- Impressive checkers performances at
the checkerboard in Pool Checkers tournaments
~ he had two memorable hard fought matches
with three times APCA champion, Elton Williams,
- Checkers games were thought provoking
and interesting in strategy that never
appeared the same with successive games.
- Each checkers game would prove a new
opening or reply to an existing play so
that the opponent always had to be totally
alert and ready for a challenge.
Pool Checkers Champion Victor "Vic" Krafft
- Chicago, Illinois.
- Former president of the Chicago Pool
Checkers Club, but resigned to devote his
time entirely to playing checkers, not
managing tournament games.
- Developed the quality of his game by
playing Carl Smith on a regular basis.
- 1969 ~ 1987, playing in a total of 19
checkers tournaments, he finished in the
Top Ten thirteen times; this result was
remarkable for he had not played in a checkers
tournament for several years due to illness.
- 1971 co-champion with Ollie ‘Shot
Gun’ Howard in Flint, Michigan;
eventually lost his share of the co-championship
title in a 14-game playoff with Howard
at the local YMCA; the match continued
into a sudden death finale because both
checkerists were tied with 3 point each;
to conclude the game they had to move
to the clubhouse due to the late hour.
- Towards the end of the match, Howard
shotgun has got him," and this
was Howard’s way of saying, "I
have a winning position, and I will win
it", or he would use other
variations of the same theme ~ "The
shot gun is going off" or "The
shot gun done gone off," or
even, or "The
shotgun got him", which was
simply translated into "I
am getting ready to win," or "I
have the winning position," or "I
will absolutely win it."
- Pool checkers champion Howard made a
dramatic finish and won the trophy over
Pool Checkers Champion Ollie ‘Shot
- Played in Chicago, Illinois.
- From his win in 1971, Howard would often
appear at the annual APCA National Tournament
with that trophy and his checkerboard.
- His two favorite statements were: "I
am the Pool Checkers Champion of the
World," and "The
Shot gun is going to go off."
- Howard once told Charles Thompson that
on his plane ride back to New York, after
his win, the passengers, and even the pilot,
had asked him about his trophy that he
was proudly showing off and he told them
that he was the "Champion
of the World” and in his mind,
he surely was a champion.
- Often, this type of pronouncement would
be made to pump up the checkers player
and his hopes but also distract and even
intimate the opponents; regardless, it
was always done in fun with no malice intended.
- Impressive record: 1969~1985 Howard had
15 Top Ten finishes and of that was in
the top five more than 50% of the time.
- APCA Checkers Tournament record was indeed amazing.