On the road::Cowboy Jimmy Moore


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On the road Moore first partnered with hustler cum exhibition player, Ray St. Laurent, a colorful character who staged exhibitions wearing a red cape and mask while billed as "The Red Devil". Although St. Laurent fostered Moore, they were not equals on the pool table. One winter evening in Canton, Ohio, St. Laurent was losing badly in a thoroughly overmatched gambling session to Ohio road legend, Don Willis,<ref name="McCumber" /> known as the "Cincinnati Kid", who was considered by many of his colleagues of the time "the deadliest player alive".<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The wager was 25 cents a ball—a not inconsiderable sum at the time—and Moore was stakehorsing the match. Eventually disgusted by the uneven proceedings, Moore told St. Laurent that he couldn't win and asked him to step aside and let him have a go.<ref name="McCumber" /> Willis later recalled:

Don Willis, Billiards Digest (1999)

Moore and Willis became traveling partners following their match, often accompanied on the road by future six-time world champion<ref>The New York Times Company October 27, 1988. Obituaries section: Luther Lassiter, 69, Billiards Star Who Captured Six World Titles (Associated Press). Retrieved on January 8, 2008.</ref> Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter. Given his skill and prominent road partners, Moore's name began to be known in the billiard world. In 1940, the World Pocket Billiards (straight pool) titleholder of that year,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Andrew Ponzi, sought out Moore looking for a challenge. At the match ultimately arranged, Moore first beat Ponzi out of $80 playing nine-ball, and then beat him at his own game of choice, straight pool, with Moore scoring 125 points to Ponzi's 82.<ref name="McCumber" />

After Moore's match with Ponzi, he was hired by Ponzi's sometime employer, Sylvester Livingston, a pool impresario who hosted exhibitions with a stable of top pool talent including Irving Crane<ref name="McCumber" /> who, like Lassiter, would become a six-time world champion.<ref>Billiards Digest (2000). A Rusty Game? Are today's players out of stroke when it comes to 14.1? by Bob Jewett. Billiards Digest Magazine. July 2000 issue, pages 22-24.</ref> During 1941 Moore performed 250 exhibitions across the country, earning $5 for matinees, and $7 for evening performances. He lost only one match over the year, and posted straight pool runs of 100 or more in 24 out of the 250 exhibitions.<ref name="McCumber" />

By that time Moore was recognizable by his cowboy airs.<ref name="McCumber" /> He customarily wore cowboy boots, a white Stetson hat and a string tie, kept his hair in a crew-cut, and was rarely seen without a cigar.<ref name="Mizerak" /><ref name="Dyer">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> He was also known for his unusual form of stroke. Moore employed a slip stroke<ref name="McCumber" />—a shooting technique in which a player releases his gripping hand briefly and re-grasps the cue farther back on the butt just before hitting the cue ball.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Employing the slip stroke to good effect, Moore was deadly accurate, but could also shoot with great power.<ref name="Dyer" /><ref name="Sarge">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

In 1945, Moore's purchased a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he would live for the rest of his life with his wife, Julie Chavez, whom he married in 1949. They had seven children together: sons Jamie, Raymond and Tommy, and daughters Pamela Nathan, Kolma Moore, Emily DiLorenzo and Linda Bates. Soon after moving to Albuquerque, he became co-owner and operator of the U Cue Billiards Hall located in the City.<ref name="Tribune" /><ref name="Journal" /> It was said that hustlers avoided going through Albuquerque just to avoid getting into a money game with Moore.<ref name="Sarge" />

Cowboy Jimmy Moore sections
Intro  Early years  On the road  Exhibition and competition  Later life  References  

On the road
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