Meet your new history teachers, snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan (pictured right) and sports broadcaster Matt Smith (pictured left), as they cross the pond to explore America’s 300 year history with the game of pool. The real-life mates travel the US to hunt down America’s most notorious pool hustlers while meeting a few characters along the way. The duo go to New York City, Chicago, Memphis and San Francisco, to immerse themselves in the history of each location, discovering local quirks and lapping up the Americana. The end goal is to seek out local pool shark legends in the hope they can beat them at their own game, in their own back yard! With Ronnie’s genius-with-a-cue reputation fairly unknown, it’s the perfect set up for a hustle, or so he thinks. Brand new and exclusive HISTORY® commission.
Danny Basavich, popularly known as "Kid Delicious" is a former pool hustler turned pro player. Acquiring the nickname "Kid Delicious" after defeating pool rival "Kid Vicious" Eddie Hubler, he grew up in New Jersey and discovered a natural talent for playing pool in his teens.
By the time he was around 18 he was able to win money "hustling" local pool halls and by his mid twenties was earning as much as $200,000 a year hustling pool halls across America. Once his game was discovered, he switched to professional pool and was awarded "Rookie of the Year" in 2004 by the United Pool Players Association.
Find out more about Danny and his exuberant career here.
Earl "The Pearl" Strickland is a professional pool player and is widely considered as one of the greatest nine-ball pool players in history. He entered his first professional pool tournament at just 15-years-old and rose to national prominence by his early twenties.
He is a multi-time winner of the pool Player of the Year Award, won the United States Open Nine-ball Championships an amazing five times and was even inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2006.
Earl shows off his pool prowess to Ronnie in Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle and challenges him to a game.
Find out more about Earl here.
Jeanette Lee is a professional pool player who earned her nickname for her deceptively sweet nature and incredible talent at the pool table. She began playing pool professionally in 1989 and ranked as the top female professional pool player in the world several times in the 1990s.
She has gone on to win various international awards including the gold medal for the United States at the 2001 World Games.
Today Jeanette continues to play and teach pool around the world and demonstrates her talent when she challenges Ronnie to a game in Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle.
Find out more about The Black Widow here.
Johnny Archer nicknamed "The Scorpion," is an American professional pool player.
Given his nickname for his star-sign, he is one of the most successful nine-ball pall players of the last two decades and was named Billiards Digest Player of the Decade in 1999.
He has also won the WPA World Nine-ball Champion twice and was the 1999 US Open Champion. He has won over 60 professional tournaments in his career.
In Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle Ronnie admits he's been previously thrashed by Archer and they challenge one another to a new game.
Find out more about Johnny and let us know if you think Ronnie can beat him in tonight's episode of Ronnie O'Sullivan's American Hustle on HISTORY at 10pm.
Five- times snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is on the ultimate road trip with his mate Matt Smith. This week the boys hit the heights in the Big Apple, visiting Ellis Island, once New York’s gateway to America, and cruising in their very own Yellow Cab from historical pool scenes to street basketball games, sampling some classic New York street food, attempting to hustle local hot-shots – and tangling with pool-hall legends ‘Kid’ Delicious and Earl ‘The Pearl’ Strickland.
Ronnie and pal Matt are in Chicago, the ‘Windy City’, getting a taste of Americana watching baseball team the Cubs at Wrigley Field – and seeing if the snooker champ can turn his hand to this very different ballgame. After cruising the streets and jazz clubs once run by notorious mobster Al Capone, Ronnie tries shooting at a gun range – and certainly needs his killer instinct hustling the locals where iconic pool flick The Color Of Money was filmed – before he takes his sporting life in his hands facing the sassiest pool legend in the USA today… the ‘Black Widow’ Jeanette Lee.
Snooker champ Ronnie O’Sullivan and friend Matt Smith hit the birthplace of the blues on the latest leg of their epic US tour – starting with the Graceland home of Elvis Presley – but will Ronnie be allowed to play on the King’s own pool table? Elsewhere in this fascinating town they learn some inspiring lessons in the Civil Rights Museum and make a top-class pool-cue with a maestro of the craft. On the tables, an attempt to hustle the locals might just backfire – before Ronnie risks a sting in the tale from a man they call ‘The Scorpion’ – one of the greatest players in pool history.
Snooker superstar Ronnie O’Sullivan and pal Matt Smith hit the streets of San Francisco in a Steve McQueen-style ’68 Mustang to try to hustle the locals – with some sleight of hand from Ronnie – before he plays pool against one of the game’s biggest ever money-earners. Along the way, they train with local NFL team the 49ers, check out the cyber-future of pool in nearby Silicon Valley – with disastrous results – and get the shocking real story of life behind bars at notorious former prison Alcatraz, from an inspiring ex-guard.