Lou Butera

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Lou Butera.JPG
Lou Butera, December 2005
Born Pittston, Pennsylvania
Occupation Professional pool player
Known for BCA Hall of Fame

Lou Butera (born 1937 in Pittston, Pennsylvania) is an American professional pool player (now retired and operating a pool hall) and an inductee into the Billiards Congress of America's Hall of Fame in 1986.

His nickname, "Machine Gun Lou", derives from his stunning the crowd and fellow competitors by running 150-and-out in straight pool in 21 minutes against Allen Hopkins in 1973.[1]

He gained exposure to the masses in 1981 and 1982 when he appeared in network trick shot competitions on CBS and ABC.[2]


Butera knocked off top players regularly in the 1970s with his trademark fast-paced style, which seemed to make the game of pool more exciting for the spectators.[3]

In 1974, Butera won the All Japan title against the world's best, and also triumphed over Richie Florence to win the Bud Lundahl's Midwest Open, a straight pool tournament he won by a score of 150-68 in the title match.[4] In 1991, Butera served as coach of the World Billiard Federation World Team, whose members included such luminaries as Nick Varner, Mike Siegel and Ray Martin. In a profile that appeared in the May/June, 1995 issue of Snap Magazine, he was referred to as "...the man who may be the fastest pool player the game has ever known."

Lou Butera was one of the 43 invited pool players who competed in the International Pool Tour's King of the Hill Shootout in Orlando, Florida, December 2005.[5] Digitized videos of Butera demonstrating spectacular trick shots were included with the PC pool simulator Virtual Pool.


As an accomplished pool player, Butera has produced various instructional videos for students of pool about the fundamentals of the game.[6]

Lou Butera appeared in several films as an actor and technical advisor. He had a cameo appearance, as himself, in the pool hustling comedy film The Baltimore Bullet and as a pool player in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege.[7] Butera had a cameo appearance as pool player in, and was the pool technical advisor for, the 1984 film Racing with the Moon, starring Sean Penn.



  1. ^ Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame
  2. ^ The Snap Magazine, pages 12-13, May/June 1991
  3. ^ "The Collectible Breed," Nick Stubbs, page 12, Snap Magazine. Retrieved August 4, 2007
  4. ^ "Pot Shots", by Bruce Venzke, page 17, The National Billiard News, June 1980. Retrieved May 19, 2007
  5. ^ Lou Butera, IPT player profile
  6. ^ "Machine Gun Lou," Lou Butera Pictures
  7. ^ Lou Butera, Actor, at the Internet Movie Database