Saturday, January 2, 2010
Walter Tevis isn't the only renowned billiards hustler from Kentucky; there's also Cornbread Red (1931-2004), born in Mayfield, KY to sharecroppers during the Great Depression.
According to the book Cornbread Red: Pool's Greatest Money Player, "in a fast, thrilling and sometimes dangerous culture, Red learned the "Rules of the Road" from hustlers, gamblers, con-men and champions."
Cornbread, whose real name was Billy Burge, went on to Las Vegas and Detroit and became one of the greatest money-earning players and proposition men of all time. According to Wikipedia, when someone asked Cornbread about the highest-stakes game he ever played in, he replied that it was a Race To Six for $100,000.
Not bad for a Kentucky farmboy.