He was playing this guy 11 to 4 and the break, which, since his opponent (Glen) shot pretty good and knew the moves, looked like Red was up against the nuts and he was.
Before leaving he broke 3 more cues in the next two games, cussing, miscuing and going off.
Red would grab a house cue without looking at the tip, stroke it in the air and play....
The last cue he broke didn't have a tip on it. I left...
The next time I saw Red play was a few days later. Truman Hogue had come in from Louisville, and they were playing 4 out of 7 (a race to 4) bank pool on a 5 x10 with shimmed pockets for $10,000.
Having seen Truman rob everybody gambling at bankpool during the Stardust Open earlier that year. I figured Red was in another trap.
Back and forth they went, both playing great.
Finally the score was 3 to 3 in games and 7 to 7 in balls. Last ball for $10,000!
Red after just having run 2 to catch Truman and knot the score at 7/7, had the object ball a couple of inches off the middle of the end rail, likewise the cueball was about a foot off the middle of the opposite end rail.
Straight back Red said. Truman standing a little behind Red and to his right, walked up to the pocket he knew Red meant and said; "Where?" - trying to shark or bother Red, who was already down on the ball.
Red, never coming up off the shot looked sideways at Truman and where he was standing, snarled a grin at Truman and said; "STRAIGHT BACK UNDERNEATH YOUR CODS", Red hit the ball 100 miles an hour and split the wicket, told Truman to get out of town and come back when he got hold of some real money. Game-Set-Match.
Immediately, he started cussing Glen out and offered him 11 to 5 and the break, only this time they had to play for at least $2000 a game.
Since he had destroyed Red w/ 11 to 4 and the break just a few days earlier it was easy for Glen to find some willing partners to throw in with him.
Red beat him 5 in a row, like 55 to 3 or something. Red gave up weight as good as anybody.
And I thought he was trapped $20,000 earlier... Jimmy
Red was one of the funniest people to talk to, listen to him match up and super entertaining to watch play. Sometimes just 1 stroke and other times a few strokes no matter what the bet was Cornbread Red could play some serious 1 pocket. Especially on 5 X 10 pool or snooker tables. A master one pocket and snooker player.
Coming soon - Ronnie (Fast Eddie) Allen - more Red later.
Billy (Cornbread Red) Burge:
Without a doubt, one of the greatest gamblers, players, and characters of all time.
1969, Heard through the grapevine there was more action at the Capital St. Mens Social Club in Oak Park, Michigan, than anywhere else on Earth...
What an understatement that was! You couldn't get anybody to watch if you were betting $1000 a game, that was considered a below average bet.
In fact there were quite a few below average players betting $5,000 - $10,000 a game.
My first time there, the entrance consisted of two glass doors and a regular member had to vouch for you before they would buzz you through and in.
Somebody knew me & they buzzed me in.
Cornbread was playing a heavyset guy one pocket on a snooker table directly in front of the main desk.
With my back turned toward the game and while introducing myself to Gil (part owner & daytime houseman) all of a sudden I heard this loud crack of wood real close behind me.
I turned and saw Cornbread throwing a broken house cue under the table, where there already were another 8 or 9 broken housecues waiting for this one to be added to the pile.
I figured Red must be losing...Clever deduction huh?
Red proceeded to a rack of cues on the wall, grabbed another one without looking at the tip, chalked up like a sucker (in GRIP)
and went right on playing.