SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)–Three times a week, you can find Larry Gendler at Shooters Billiards in Southington, working on his game. He’s been playing pool on and off for the last 75 years.
The 89-year-old Brooklyn native was inducted into the New England Pool and Billiards Hall of Fame this winter. Around here, he’s just known as ‘New York Larry.’
Gendler was inducted not just for his playing ability, but also his ability to help others. He helps seniors and veterans learn the game that he loves so much.
“The first time they hit a ball the proper way, there’s a smile, and to hear that ball whack and that smile does me good,” he said.
Over the years, he’s won tournaments and was able to hold his own with some pros back in the day.
“He’s an amazing player, I didn’t know him in his younger days, let’s say I can only imagine how strong he was then,” said . “He talks about now, he can’t see, he can’t move around the table, and I tell him all the time, that’s what makes it fair for everybody else.”
Even after 75 years of playing pool, Gendler still has that competitive streak that any Hall of Famer could appreciate.
“When people would come to me and say, is there any action here, I’d say not really, I know you only play for money, but I’ll play you for a candy bar, and I want to shame you so bad that you’ll never come back here again,” he said.