The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

The Legendary Cisero Murphy: Trailblazer and Champion

Brooklyn’s Cisero Murphy smashed through professional pool’s color line. Since we’re all about history here and this month is Black History Month, I think it’s appropriate we take a moment to commemorate the spectacularly talented pool champion who broke through our sport’s color barrier. Cisero Murphy, shown in the video that you can find here, was the first...
Guest Post: The Hustler’s Newman vs Gleason Match Up

Guest Post: The Hustler’s Newman vs Gleason Match Up

The catch, however, is that the match was never really played. By Bryan Johnston Ask any pool player what they consider the greatest pool match ever played and you’ll most likely hear Efren Reyes vs. Earl Strickland, June, 1995. Or perhaps Willie Mosconi vs. Rudolph “Minnesota Fats” Wanderone, Valentine’s Day, 1978. The Reyes/Strickland match is an obvious contender from a pure skill...
BCA Makes It Official: Schmidt Breaks Record

BCA Makes It Official: Schmidt Breaks Record

The Billiard Congress of America has recognized John Schmidt’s new straight pool record of 626. Just below is the sanctioning body’s Aug. 15, 2019 press release that makes the record official. The previous record of 526 was set by Willie Mosconi in 1954. Willie Mosconi’s record of 526 stood for 65 years. SUPERIOR, COLO., August, 15, 2019 – The Billiard Congress of America would...
Cranfield, Plus Record Runs Official and Otherwise

Cranfield, Plus Record Runs Official and Otherwise

UPDATE: John Schmidt is said to have broken the record on Memorial Day, May 27, 2019 — running 626 on a nine-foot table in Monterrey, California. We’ll post video and details as they become available. Back in 2010 I received a note from reader Dave Capone, who told me about an encounter with the late Hall of Famer Arthur “Babe” Cranfield. Cranfield, as you may recall, was...

The Dean of Pocket Billiards: Memories of Onofrio Lauri

From left: Willie Mosconi, Onofrio Lauri, Irving Crane. Erling Hammarstrom, the son of Norwegian parents, wrote me a few years back to recount stories of his poolroom hero, the famous Onofrio Lauri. I’ve reproduced his letter,  shortened somewhat for space. My sister and our parents settled in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood called Bay Ridge. The year was 1953 and I had just graduated...
Mosconi Records in National Archives: What’s in his case?

Mosconi Records in National Archives: What’s in his case?

Consider exhibit A, above. It’s a handwritten note in which someone has enumerated 13 pool shots, each of which has been described with just a few words. The unnamed author uses cursive letters that slant off to the right. It also looks like he took his time writing it because the script is deliberate. Almost tidy. And judging from the crease marks, one can assume the note was at one time...