Brady Behrman doesn't need to bus tables or mow lawns for spending money.
The 18-year-old senior at Mater Dei High School in Breese has turned his love of pool into a part-time job.
"He wins tournaments all over the place," said his father, Glen "Shorty" Behrman, 58, of Albers. "He bought his own car with pool. I never give him money. He's self-supporting."
Beyond the financial boost, Brady is making a name for himself in local, state and national pool circles.
He competed in his first professional tournament last January as part of the Derby City Classic in Indiana. He placed 25th out of more than 300 players and won $350.
The highlight was facing Johnny "The Scorpion" Archer, one of the most successful nine-ball players in the country.
"It was special because I was playing in front of 200 people, and they were all rooting for me -- people I don't even know -- because I was the underdog," Brady said.
"But I lost on a tough shot. I rattled the pocket, and if I had made that, I would have had a chance to beat him."
In April, Brady placed second out of 128 players in an amateur men's eight-ball tournament at the Illinois Coin Machine Operators Association Gaming Conference and Trade Show near Chicago. He had gone into the final round undefeated.
It was an impressive showing, especially since Brady was the youngest player in the tournament. He won $700.
"I played the defending Illinois state champion and beat him 3 to 1," he said. "Then I played a past champion and beat him 3 to 0."
Last summer, Brady placed fourth in the 18-and-under boys' division at the Billiard Education Foundation Junior National 9-Ball Championships in Milwaukee.
That paved the way for him to compete at the World Pool-Billiard Association's 9-Ball Junior World Championships in Germany in early December.
Brady was eliminated after two games, but he considered the trip a good experience.
"He had a bad draw," his father said. "He played a guy from Chinese Taipei in the first round, and that guy won the whole tournament. And then he played a guy from Germany who came in fifth (out of 32)."
Brady grew up with pool at Shorty's Tavern in Albers, an historic family tavern Glen owns with his wife, Theresa.
Shelves are lined with dozens of trophies won by Shorty's team in the Clinton County Bank Pool League. Glen has never missed a Sunday match in his 37 years as league president.
As a toddler, Brady stood on a chair next to the tavern's pool table and rolled balls with his hand.
"I said, 'If you learn your alphabet by the time you turn 3, I'll buy you a (kiddie) pool table,'" said Theresa, 59. "And he learned them in a week."
Brady taught himself to play and seemed to naturally develop "good form," but he got tips from his father and uncle, Clyde "Balls" Behrman, one of the best pool players in Clinton County.
Brady won his first tournament in eighth grade. He joined the league at 18.
"(Brady) is so far advanced compared to where I was at 18, " said Clyde, 56, of Albers. "All the records I have will be broken by him if he continues playing in the league."
Brady practices pool almost every day, either at Shorty's or at home, where he has a 9-foot pool table in the garage.
Brady enters tournaments almost every weekend in the metro-east or St. Louis.
"He plays in tournaments with first, second and third place, and he gets money, but it's regulated," his mother said. "It's not gambling. It's not hustling for money."
Glen and Theresa allow teens to play pool at Shorty's after school as long as they behave themselves. Brady serves as an inspiration and sometimes acts as a coach.
"He's the best pool player around," said Saul Santos, 16, of Albers, who was playing against his friend, Robert Allen, 16, on a recent afternoon.
"He knows how to shoot the ball and set himself up for the next shot. Every day after school, we come here and he shows us how to do stuff."
After high school, Brady plans to attend Kaskaskia College in Centralia. He hopes to become a professional pool player.
"I want to get better," he said. "I want to play the best in the world."
Favorite movie: "The Color of Money"
TV show: "SportsCenter"
Music: Everything from country to Top 40
Subject in school: Business management
Restaurant: Steak 'N Shake
Team: L.A. Lakers
Hobbies (other than pool): Surfing the Internet, Facebook
Pet: Shitsu named Kobe (after Kobe Bryant)
Siblings: Sister Jackie Campos, 35