I have two distinct lives. One in the trenches of low-budget film and television, the other in professional gambling. Because of the feast-or-famine nature of show business I need a reliable income... gambling. So here you will read about both worlds. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Gambling With an Edge - guest Jay Helfert

Our guest this week is Jay Helfert. Jay is a pool player, tournament organizer, and pool room owner.

We welcome your questions - send them to us at, or you can find me at @RWM21 on Twitter or

Click to listen - Alt click to download

Show Notes

[00:00] Introduction of Toupee Jay Helfert, pool and poker player
[00:16] Origin of the "Toupee Jay" nickname
[02:22] When did Jay start playing pool?
[03:38] Games with the most money
[04:59] Traveling to play pool
[05:54] Backing games
[08:13] Big cash games in Vegas
[09:55] Similarities between pool and poker
[12:00] Owning pool rooms
[13:52] Tournament play
[14:29] The Color of Money
[21:42] Walter Tevis
[26:16] Most well known pool hall
[29:03] South Point Casino April Promotions - $500k Money Madness casino-wide progressives
[29:50] - Gold Membership offers correction on most games, free Pro Membership trial for GWAE listeners
[30:48] Backing Keith McGrady and stolen Szamboti cue
[38:42] Normal split between player and backer
[40:10] Ronnie Allen
[42:14] Current landscape of road hustling and handicapped games
[46:54] Gaffed pool cue
[48:47] Shane Van Boening
[51:16] The World Pro Am at the Tropicana
[56:27] Jay's book Pool Wars

Sponsored Links:

Books Referenced:
Pool Wars by Jay Helfert
The Color of Money by Walter Nevis
The Queen's Gambit by Walter Nevis

Jay's Links:


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