So Minnesota: Pool Player

So Minnesota: Pool Player

So Minnesota: Pool Player

He was once one of the best pool players in the world.

Many consider Jimmy “The Kid” Wetch the greatest Minnesotan to ever pick up a cue stick.

“I was just mesmerized by it,” Jimmy Wetch said 

Growing up in St. Paul, Wetch fell in love with the sport as a teen playing in pool halls around the Twin Cities. Pool became his passion. Wetch dropped out of high school to take up the life of a road player, a hustler.

“You are somewhat of an actor,” Wetch said. “I would go on under a different name, then when I was on the road for a few years people would be talking about me and I’d be sitting right next to them, but I was under a different name and they didn’t realize it.”

Six years later, Wetch decided to go pro. Wetch won the rookie of the year playing in tournaments on ESPN. By the mid-1990’s Wetch was the fifth-ranked pool player in the world.

“I prepared,” Wetch said. “I practiced hard. I don’t think anyone practiced harder than I did.”

Wetch retired as a pro and opened his own pool hall in Columbia Heights more than two decades ago.