Born in Glendale, California,
Jerry grew up in La Crescenta. His father, Patrick, owned and operated a construction
business, while his mother, Karen, stayed home running the office and raising
Jerry, and his two older sisters, Leanne and Kathy.
At age 13, two Mormon
missionaries were staying in the family guesthouse. They showed young Jerry
a card trick. When he asked how it was done, the missionary answered, "You
figure it out." And that he did. Only he came up with a new and more creative
way to do it. That sparked his newest love: "Magic". He soon discovered the
local magic store in his pursuit of greater knowledge. There he quickly became
friends with 19 year old Eric Nolan, magic store manager and a professional
magician. Eric began introducing Jerry to all the best magic books and all
the right people. That first summer and the next school year Jerry spent 8-10
hrs a day honing his new craft. By the time Jerry was 15 years old he was
working a local L.A. restaurant as the house Magician - making $100.00 a night
while he still needed his mother to pick him up after work. Around this time
he also auditioned to be a member of Hollywoodıs famous MAGIC CASTLE junior
society (under 21).
In spite of his age,
he soon became one of the Magic Castleıs regular Sunday matinee performers.
One of Jerryıs contemporaries (and the now famous) Lance Burton, was also
a Jr. Member, performing stage magic while Jerry was working the close-up
rooms. In 1981, at only 16 years old, he won the Pacific Coast Association
for Magicians for best close-up magic in the over 21 category.
In 1982, when Jerry was
17, a fellow magician and local barber named Dean Dill, who was also a "local
action" pool player, took Jerry from the barbershop through the poolroom.
Dean coaxed Jerry into playing for money. Dean did everything for money (tennis,
golf, and pool). Jerry began playing Dean regularly, sometimes winning. He
quickly learned the basics of pool and "how to match up". He began to see
local greats like Ismael "Morro" Paez, Ernesto Dominguez, and Keith McCready
playing in L.A. Jerry was still working part time performing magic, but his
passion was now shifting toward pool. His senior year in high school Jerry
made his first pool cue in wood shop and the very first McWorter Cue was born.
He made a wooden case to match. Like all "first cues" it was less than wonderful.
He later became friends with Santa Barbara cue maker John Robinson and bought
a fancy Robinson cue (still in Jerryıs personal collection).
From 1982 to late 1983
Jerry and his Robinson cue played in every poolroom and in every tournament
in California. In December of 83ı Jerry left for South Carolina to serve as
a Mormon missionary until 1985. Shortly after his return, he married his high
school sweetheart. He played pool a few times a week and worked in his fathers
construction business. In 1987 they had a son, Collin Christopher McWorter.
One year later, the bumps and bruises of his marriage left Jerry single once
Due to the fading national
economy the California construction industry was taking a nosedive, and Jerry
needed a new career. He saw the need for a simple, affordable "player style
cue and was convinced that selling cues might be a nice sideline until construction
picked up again. He created a cue design, and thought of his friend John Robinson
to make it. But John declined and tried to explain that there was not enough
money in plain cues because "Thereıs just too much work for too little money".
Jerry still believed it was a great idea, and decided he would make it himself.
He began scouting machine
shops until he found the lathe he wanted, and started teaching himself cuemaking.
Jerry dove in to his new work headfirst and worked 70- 80 hours a week trying
to make a sellable product. He was out of money, the rent was late and the
child support was due. About two months later he sold his first cue for $200,
and took his first order. It was late 1988 and McWorter Custom Cues was now
Don Lee, owner of West
Coast Billiard Supply, was giving Jerry wood for cues and shafts. Dave Kirsenbrock
was working for Don making cues. Jerry would frequent the store, running the
shaft machine and asking questions.
During this same year
Ernie Gutierrez, maker of the famous "Gina" cue was also gearing to return
to the cue business after a 13 year break. Jerry knew Ernie from the poolroom
and was buying lathe parts, shaft wood and fenolic from Ernie. Ernie began
to notice Jerryıs progress. Ernie was always encouraging but always held his
techniques and knowledge very close to the vest.
"I made a lot of ugly
cues in the early days," Jerry admits, " but they played good! Now that I
look back, one of my smarter business moves was not putting my name on those
early ones. Maybe no one will know theyıre mine." He was being showered with
positive feedback on the playability of his cues; and the looks improved rapidly.
The cues began selling and quality kept improving. Jerry soon started building
relationships and selling his cues to some of the local dealers. Joe Salazar
was (and still is) a traveling road player/cue dealer and AAA Billiards Supply
was the main West Coast cue dealer and billiard supply. Jerry started attending
some of the national tour stops, selling cues and making name for himself.
It took Jerry about 2
years in business before he discovered that his friend John Robinson was right.
There was too much work and too little money in making only simple player
style cues! After adding a milling machine to the shop tools he started building
six point cues and other embellishments. McWorter cues had a very solid reputation
for playability, so adding points and inlay work was a natural progression.
At that time (as now) there were companies ofering prefabricated point blanks
and various stock inlays from a catalog, but Jerry insisted on doing all his
own work. "The catalog cue parts were made by good companies and much prettier
work than mine, but I knew I was in this business for the long haul, and I
was determined to learn all those tricks (and more) for myself."
In 1992 Jerry had carved
himself a niche in the cue business and was playing well. His daily schedule
consisted of working on cues from 11:00 am to 9:00 PM and playing pool at
Hollywood Billiards until about 2am or 3am. At one Hollywood Athletic Club
Saturday tournament, Jerry met the new tournament director (and Pro player)
Jan Hacker. A couple months
later he ran into Jan again at the annual Willardıs tournament in Chicago.
They spent some time watching matches and chatting on the sidelines. Two weeks
later their paths crossed again at the Sands Regency tournament in Reno NV.
Jerry had a booth selling cues and Jan was running a clothing booth for her
roommate, best friend and fellow pro player Robin Bell. That week at the Sands
event resulted in the kick-off of Jerry and Janıs (now 9 year) romance and
1992-1994 proved to be
important years for Jerry and his cue business. McWorter cues were becoming
much better known on a national level and many of the best local players were
strong supporters. Jerry was still playing a fair amount, attending many of
the professional tour stops and getting to know most of the top players, both
as a player and cue maker. He also befriended Pat Fleming and began working
as a color commentator for Accu-Stats video productions. Jerryıs speaking
experience as a performing magician coupled with his knowledge of 9-ball came
in handy. Commentating with Billy Incardona, Buddy Hall, Grady Mathews and
other great players was great national exposure for Jerry and McWorter cues.
During those years (through
the local pool room) Jerry became friendly with 21 year old Japanese college
student Yoshi Horigome, who was buying cues in the states and exporting them
to Japan as a side job. Yoshi began buying McWorter cues and introduced them
to some his Japanese contacts. Yoshiıs efforts proved very successful and
he began buying consistantly. It wasnıt long before Jerry was regularly receiving
orders from all over Japan. Time passed and Yoshi got his Business Degree
, later returning to Japan and landing a job with Ford Motor Company there.
Yoshi and Jerry are still very close and continue to do business together.
They have orchestrated many promotional trips and productions in Japan, making
McWorter cues one of the strongest names and sought after cues in there.
In 1993 the American
Cue Makerıs Organization was formed to further the American craft of cue making.
Jerry became a member soon after its formation and became friends with many
of his fellow cue makers he formerly knew only by their products. Jerryıs
product took a great leap forward by being associated with other great craftsmen.
He quickly recognized the benefit of showing his cues side by side with other
industry greats. He pressed himself even harder to further refine his work.
He was particularly impressed with the creative innovations of Alaskan cue
maker Thomas Wayne. They became friends and Thomas introduced Jerry to the
New World of CNC machining. Jerry bought his first CNC machine from Thomas,
who graciously allowed his brain to be pumped dry of information about the
In 1995 Jerry and Thomas
joined efforts with L.A. based photographer Chuck Montique to produce the
famed " Showcase of American Cue Art". (Later renamed, The Gallery of American
Cue Art) This unique concept, originally envisioned by Jerry to show the "art"
of cue making in a venue and style that this functional art form deserved.
The first show was held in Dec of 1995 at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles
California and served as a genuine turning point in the history of cue making.
The event featured the work of most of top cue makers worldwide and eniticed
them to pull out the stops in their designs. The show returned the following
and then relocated to the prestigious New York Athletic Club for the next
Also In 1995 Jerry and
Jan bought their home in Ventura, California, preparing for the birth of their
son Ryan. Jan continued to play on the WPBA tour following Ryanıs arrival.
Jerryıs outside interests moved away from playing pool towards playing music.
In Ventura Jerry found a strong dance and music scene and soon began playing
drums with a talented swing / blues band. They worked all the local Ventura
and Santa Barbara swing and blues clubs as the SwingTones. In 1999 Jerryıs
artistic interest began following in his sister Kathyıs movie business foot
PRESENTLY TOO BUSY MAKING CUES TO RETURN MY CALLS, BUT THE STORY CONTINUES
TO UNFOLD AND WILL BE UPDATED SOON (IF HE CAN TEAR HIMSELF AWAY FROM THAT
SHOP FOR A FEW MINUTES! - Graphic/Site Designer: Jonathan