Gordon: I don't think there's a pool player alive who shoots better pool than I saw you shoot the other night at Ames. You got talent.
Eddie: So I got talent? So what beat me?
Gordon: Character.
Eddie: Sure, sure.
Gordon: You're damn right I'm sure. Everybody's got talent, I got talent. You think you can play big-money straight pool or poker for forty straight hours on nothing but talent? You think they call Minnesota Fats the best in the country just cause he got talent? Nah, Minnesota Fats's got more character in one finger than you got in your whole skinny body.
Eddie: I got drunk.
Gordon: He drank as much whiskey as you do.
Eddie: Maybe he knows how to drink.
Gordon: You bet he knows how. You think that's a talent too, huh, knowin' how to drink whiskey? You think Minnesota Fats was born knowin' how to drink?
Eddie: OK, OK, what do I do now? Lie down on the floor and, uh, bow from the ankles? What do I do, go home?
Gordon: That's your problem.
Eddie: So I stay. I stay until I hustle up enough to play Fats again. And maybe by that time, I'll develop myself some character.
Gordon: [chuckling] Maybe by that time you'll die of old age. How much do you think you'll, uh, need?
Eddie: A thousand.
Gordon: Naw, three thousand at least. He'll start you off at five hundred a game, he'll beat the pants off ya. That's the way he plays when he comes up against a man who knows the way the game is. He'll beat you flat four or five times, maybe more, depending on how, uh, steady your nerves are. Then he might, just might be a little scared of ya, and that could change things, but I wouldn't count on it.
Eddie: How do you know, huh, when nobody knows that much?
Gordon: You see that big car parked out by the fireplug on your way in? Well, that's mine. I like that car. But I get a new one every year, because I make it my business to know what guys like you and Minnesota Fats are gonna do. I made enough off you the other night to pay for it twice over.
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