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Exhibition and competition::Cowboy Jimmy Moore

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Exhibition and competition Though Moore continued playing on the road—as he would for over 40 years—he began competing and placing in top-tier tournaments. His tournament career was to be overshadowed by an enduring series of runner-up finishes that would earn him the nickname "pool's underpaid prince" in such publications as Esquire Magazine. The name that stuck with him for life, however, was Cowboy. According to Moore, he became 'Cowboy' Jimmy Moore when he appeared at the Commodore Hotel championships in New York City in the 1950s wearing the required tuxedo, but nevertheless sporting cowboy boots and his signature white Stetson hat.<ref name="McCumber" /><ref name="Tribune" />

The second-place-saga started in 1951 at the two-week-long, double-elimination, round robin format, World Championship tournament, held that year in Boston. At the competition, Moore was defeated in his last match by Willie Mosconi. His record was seven wins in nine matches, including triumphs over future Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall-of-Famers, Irving Crane and Arthur "Babe" Cranfield.<ref name="McCumber" /><ref name="NYT1">The New York Times Company (April 5, 1952). Mosconi Clinches Title; Beats Moore, 150-58, in Pocket Billiard Match at Boston. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref>

In 1952 he made a strong showing in the same competition, held once more in Boston, running 93 balls against Lassiter, beating him 150 to 25, but again finishing behind Willie Mosconi, this time sharing second place with Jimmy Caras and Joe Procita.<ref>Unlike in a traditional tournament format, in a round robin competition, multiple players can tie for a particular placement.</ref> Moore's match with Mosconi had an ending score of 150 to 58 in 19 innings.<ref name="McCumber" /><ref name="NYT1" /> Moore competed in the 1953 World Championship in San Francisco, but did not place, losing in his last match to Crane, 150-56 in 7 innings.<ref>The New York Times Company (March 12, 1953). Mosconi Clinches Title; Defender Gains Eleventh World Cue Crown in 2 Innings. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref>

The following year Moore took second place yet again in the World Championship, held that year in Philadelphia. The 1954 tournament was not sponsored and was unsanctioned by the BCA; in its absence being organized by Irving Crane. It was denominated by newspapers, such as The New York Times, as the "Unofficial World Pocket Billiard Championship." In a career highlight in the penultimate match there, Moore was losing 148 to 8 to Irving Crane. When Crane let him back to the table, Moore ran 142 balls and out. Despite this feat, Moore was dispatched to second place by Lassiter, with a final score of 150 to 95, sharing second place with Crane. The defending champion, Mosconi, did not participate.<ref name="McCumber" /><ref>The New York Times Company (March 27, 1954). Lassiter Takes Title; Tops Crane to Capture Crown in Pocket Billiards. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref>

Moore's runner-up streak continued in the 1956 World Championship held at Judice's Academy in Brooklyn, New York. He clinched second place, to Willie Mosconi's now almost ubiquitous first, with a 150 to 50 score over Al Coslosky of Philadelphia in 15 innings, a win over Richard Riggie of Baltimore, 150 to 121, with an inspired run of 107 balls, but a loss to Lassiter, 150 to 70 in 7 innings.<ref>The New York Times Company (November 6, 1956). Moore Wins Cue Test, 150-50. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (November 17, 1956). Lassiter Defeats Moore. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (April 11, 1956). Mosconi Beats Rudolph; Eufemia, Moore Also Score in World Pocket Billiards. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref> That same year Moore played Mosconi at a challenge match in Kinston, North Carolina. It was not Moore's day as Mosconi posted a career highlight; a perfect match—150 balls in a row in one inning.<ref>The New York Times Company (September 18, 1993). Willie Mosconi, 80, Who Ruled The World of Billiards With Style (obituary). Retrieved on March 25, 2008.</ref>

In all, Moore came in second at the World Championship five times but never took the crown. He did however win the National Pocket Billiards Championship held in Chicago at Bensinger's Billiards in 1958. The tournament was a challenge match, marathon straight pool race to 3,000 points between Moore and Luther Lassiter. It was a tight competition, with Lassiter leading at one point 1,800 to 1,512. Moore battled back and eventually won with a final score of 3,000 to 2,634.<ref name="McCumber" /><ref>The New York Times Company (April 2, 1958). Lassiter Adds to Cue Lead. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref>

"Cowboy" Jimmy Moore, Billiards Digest (1999)

Moore would eventually have ten second place finishes in world-title competition. Nevertheless, he frequently competed with and beat all of the players whom he so often played second fiddle to in sanctioned tournament play. In fact, later in 1958, the same year he won the National Pocket Billiards Championship against Lassiter, he roundly defeated Mosconi in a two-day exhibition match in his home town of Albuquerque, with a final score of 500 to 397.<ref name="McCumber" /> Moore and Mosconi would battle it out many times in unsanctioned but publicized play. In addition to matches previously mentioned, they vied at Albuquerque's old Chaplin Alley in 1956; at the Highland Bowl in 1958; and later, in matches in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Chicago and Johnston City at the Jansco Brother's Stardust Open, where Moore would win the prize for "all-around honors".<ref name="Tribune" />

It was not until 1965 at the National Invitation Pocket Billiards Championship, seven years after his last first place finish, that he would repeat as champion in a sanctioned tournament. At that contest held at the Riviera Terrace in New York City, along the way to first place and the prize of $4,000, Moore defeated: Onofrio Lauri 150 to 117; Joe Balsis 150 to -3; Cisero Murphy 150 to 96; "Champagne" Edwin Kelly 150 to 83 in 3 innings; and the ever-present Luther Lassiter, 150 to 41 in 4 innings. The runner up in the tourney was Joe Balsis.<ref>The New York Times Company (November 1, 1965). Moore Gains Billiards Lead. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (November 3, 1965). Moore Wins and Holds Lead in U.S. Billiards Tournament. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (November 4, 1965). Moore Retains Cue Lead. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (November 5, 1965). Moore Holds Billiards Lead. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref><ref>The New York Times Company (November 6, 1965). Moore Wins Title, $4,000 In Pocket-Billiards Tourney. Retrieved on January 19, 2008.</ref>

In addition to competition, Moore served as a technical adviser for billiard-related scenes in television and film, including My Living Doll starring Julie Newmar and Robert Cummings in 1964, and the Jerry Lewis movie The Family Jewels in 1965.<ref name="Journal" />


Cowboy Jimmy Moore sections
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