Titanic Thompson

related topics
{game, team, player}
{son, year, death}
{black, white, people}
{film, series, show}
{work, book, publish}
{theory, work, human}
{country, population, people}

Alvin Clarence Thomas (1892–1974) was a gambler, golfer and hustler. He created the character, Titanic Thompson, and lived that character's secret life, unknown to almost all of America, during his lifetime.

Contents

Life of a hustler

Thomas, born in Rogers, Arkansas, began conducting his nomadic, lucrative career of hustling in the rural United States in the early 1900s. Later, when he had honed his skills, he moved on New York City where he became an underground legend by winning at all manner of propositions.[citation needed]

Blessed with extraordinary eyesight and hand-eye coordination, he was a skilled athlete, crack shot and a self-taught golfer good enough to turn professional.[1]

In an era when the top pro golfers would be fortunate to make $10,000 a year, Thomas (who after a misprint in a New York newspaper conveniently let people think his name was Thompson) could make that much in a week hustling rich country club players who thought they knew how to play golf, but found out—under extreme pressure from Thomas's creative and massive bets—that they were in way, way over their depth.[citation needed]

Thomas's genius was in figuring out the odds on almost any proposition and heavily betting that way. He also had to perform under pressure as he had to in golf — and most often did.[citation needed]

One hustle of his was to beat a golfer playing right-handed, and then offer double or nothing to play the course again left-handed as an apparent concession. One thing his opponent usually did not know was that Thomas was, in fact, naturally left-handed.[2]

Origins of the Nickname

In his own story, published in Sports Illustrated in 1972, Alvin Thomas said:

'It must be Titanic,' said Clark. 'He sinks everybody'.

So I was Titanic from then on."

[3]

Note: Excerpt is re-printed with the permission of the legal owner of the story, Sunbelt Productions, Inc., a Texas corporation.

Notes

External links



Full article ▸

related documents
Sonoma County Crushers
Fanorona
Pedro Montañez
Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics
1932 Summer Olympics
Single-suit squeeze
Pedro Alcázar
William Perry (American football)
Appalachian League
Penalty area
James Norris Memorial Trophy
Pioneer Baseball League
Eastern League (baseball)
Cards speak
National Soccer Hall of Fame
Renate Groenewold
Reggie Walker
1924 Summer Olympics
Aberdare Athletic F.C.
Scotland Yard (board game)
1920 Summer Olympics
Isolation (poker)
Gateway Grizzlies
Sokolsky Opening
Keepie uppie
Passe-dix
Unified Team at the Olympics
Archie Hahn
Knockout Kings
Gerard van Velde