Mark Twain Gets Hustled
Mark Twain, known as "America's Favorite Author" as well as a skilled cueist, related this story about how he was once hustled at billiards:
The game of billiards has destroyed my naturally sweet disposition. Once, when I was an underpaid reporter in Virginia City, whenever I wished to play billiards I went out to look for an easy mark. One day a stranger came to town and opened a billiard parlor. I looked him over casually. When he proposed a game, I answered, “All right.”
“Just knock the balls around a little so that I can get your gait,” he said; and when I had done so, he remarked: “I will be perfectly fair with you. I'll play you left-handed.” I felt hurt, for he was cross-eyed, freckled, and had red hair, and I determined to teach him a lesson. He won first shot, ran out, took my half-dollar, and all I got was the opportunity to chalk my cue.
“If you can play like that with your left hand,” I said, “I’d like to see you play with your right.”
“I can’t,” he said. “I’m left-handed."
Willie Mosconi Video
While researching the details on the auction of Mosconi's cue (previous post), I found this video of Willie giving a running commentary while he runs racks.
He also answers the question of whether he missed, or just quit, on his record 526-ball run.
Check out the video!
Willie's Cue is for sale
News comes this morning that Willie Mosconi's personal cue, made for him by the legendary Balabushka, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder by Willie's son. (Click for story)
This is so wrong, on so many levels, and yet... I want that cue! Yes, it's a stupid thing to want to own something so expensive only because someone famous once owned it.
What is the best use of this cue? To allow people to buy a few moments with the cue, to hold it and even use it in a game. To rent it out by the minute, by the hour? What would that be worth, $100 per hour? One thousand dollars to use the cue for a weekend tournament?
That sure beats having it stuck in a case in some collector's home, or some museum, or the Brunswick corporate archives.