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View Full Version : Jean Balukas - why did she stop?


9BallBust-O
05-10-2006, 11:00 AM
I am just curious is anyone knows why she stoped being as excellent as she was. Does anyone know why she has/had no interest in the ITP King of the Hill HOF. Did something bad happen in the past? Get a bad taste for the sport? Didnt she stop playing really young? I mean I hear there was just no woman that could touch her at that time and that even men had some troubles, some great men. Thanks for the info

m0rn
05-10-2006, 12:01 PM
I've actually seen her recently at Hall of Fame billiards here in Brooklyn. I believe her family runs the joint. I haven't spoken to her, and was actually wondering the samething as you.

emptypockets
05-10-2006, 12:05 PM
I am just curious is anyone knows why she stoped being as excellent as she was. Does anyone know why she has/had no interest in the ITP King of the Hill HOF. Did something bad happen in the past? Get a bad taste for the sport? Didnt she stop playing really young? I mean I hear there was just no woman that could touch her at that time and that even men had some troubles, some great men. Thanks for the info




Ref: answers.com

Jean Balukas (June 28, 1959 – ?), an American billiards player from Brooklyn, New York, ranks among the stellar females players in the history of the sport. Many aficionados place her as the greatest female player ever.

Balukas' rise through the ranks from a young age is legendary. She began playing at four years of age and competed in her first Billiard Congress of America U.S. Open at a precocious nine, taking seventh place. At twelve she won her first BCA title and at fourteen her first national women's championship. Her subsequent titles include seven BCA U.S. Open straight pool titles, six World Open titles and numerous 9-ball and straight pool first place finishes. She was inducted into the BCA's hall of fame in 1985 with the added honor of being its youngest inductee.


Dissension among the ranks

In the mid to late 1980s, a rancorous dispute occurred in the Womens Professional Billiards Association in which Balukas was accused of unprofessional conduct. Balukas vehemently denied the charges. There were countercharges of professional jealousy based on Balukas' then virtual domination of women's professional pool. The result was that Balukas reportedly quit the sport in disgust rather than accept professional sanction. Although she no longer competes professionally, Balukas helps run her family's billiard parlor, Hall of Fame Billiards, located in Brooklyn, New York.

emptypockets
05-10-2006, 12:14 PM
http://marybruno.com/clips/mb_toogood.html

9BallBust-O
05-10-2006, 01:08 PM
:eek:

Sounds like she got "LISTED" - seems like there are some players out there that seems to get blasted on. I mean a lot of players blast each other but there are some instances I have found that there are a few that get attacked or really ganged up on. Sounds like she threw up her middle finger on em. Honestly, about that game with Robin, I think I read it was in the finals and Robin blasted in 9 on the snap twice in a row, I may have mumblled a few words about luck my self, not putting down Bell, it just dont feel good when its on the wire and 2 snap in a row.


Cant blame her, sometimes all that crap kills everything that is good about playing. Seems to be some of that ganging up on "CERTIAN PLAYERS" going on now as well, be he is still straight shootin.:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Thanks for the information.

Jeffrey Gale
05-10-2006, 01:19 PM
http://marybruno.com/clips/mb_toogood.html
Great story!! So that's what happened.

JoeyInCali
05-10-2006, 01:25 PM
Great story!! So that's what happened.
She was playing Robin Bell ( Dodson now ).
Robin slopped a 9 in.
She tells Robin sumthin about slopping the 9 and she should earn her victory or sumthin like that.
Robin reports her and Jean was fined.
Jean said up yours and retired.

Told to me. How can I check authenticity?:)

9BallBust-O
05-10-2006, 01:29 PM
look for the link in this post - its a great story and I dont blame her.

Snapshot9
05-10-2006, 01:34 PM
Jean got fined for saying, 'Beat me with skill, not luck'. What a pansy Robin was. I met and liked Robin very much in Vegas, but I have also heard that she was no angel before he name became Dodson, and became a Christian afterwards.

I guess I could have been fined for saying, 'You lucky SOB' after getting snapped on several times, huh?

Seems like a shame that a good friendship should be ruined over something so trivial?

Robin should match up with Earl or Jack Hynes if she thinks Jean wasn't nice ..... lol

JoeyInCali
05-10-2006, 01:37 PM
Jean got fined for saying, 'Beat me with skill, not luck'. What a pansy Robin was. I met and liked Robin very much in Vegas, but I have also heard that she was no angel before he name became Dodson, and became a Christian afterwards.

I guess I could have been fined for saying, 'You lucky SOB' after getting snapped on several times, huh?

Seems like a shame that a good friendship should be ruined over something so trivial?

Robin should match up with Earl or Jack Hynes if she thinks Jean wasn't nice ..... lol
I disagree.
If you are a pro player, you should respect your peers.
One way to show respect is to show good sportsmanship.
No talking trash in the middle of the match.
Leave that to hockey and basketball players.

TSW
05-10-2006, 01:39 PM
If Balukas was wearing a mike and knew that everything she said would be audible to the entire audience and on the TV recording, then her actions were inappropriate.

She's got a point that the people punishing her shouldn't be current tour players. That's a bad system all around.

Jimmy M.
05-10-2006, 03:13 PM
Jean got fined for saying, 'Beat me with skill, not luck'. What a pansy Robin was. I met and liked Robin very much in Vegas, but I have also heard that she was no angel before he name became Dodson, and became a Christian afterwards.

You met her once and now you know the story and can come to the conclusion that she was a pansy? I've known her for about 16 or 17 years, before she was "Robin Dodson", and she was already a Christian when I met her. There was a time when we were actually pretty good friends and I saw her on a daily basis. At that time, Robin Bell's "wild days" were already long behind her. In fact, the stories she would tell me just seemed so unbelievable, given what I knew of her, that I would often times ask her to "tell me a Robin Bell story" (she knew what I meant - I wanted to hear of her pre-Christian days). Meanwhile, that really has nothing to do with what happened during her match with Jean. It's true. Jean said something along the lines of "if you're going to beat me, beat with me with skill, not luck". Robin told me the story and, to be honest, I can sympathize. At the time, Jean completely dominated women's pool. Aside from just being the best player out there, by far, most of the women were scared to death whenever they had to play her. So, according to Robin, this one particular match she was finally playing well against Jean. Not to say she'd beat her when she played well but the point is that, not only did Jean play heads and shoulders above the other girls, but Robin (and most of the other girls) would play bad on top of it because they were scared to shoot at her. So, back to the story, Robin felt she was playing well this particular match and she was ahead. At one point, she got a lucky roll and that's when Jean made her comment. Now, whether you want to think Robin should have been more thick-skinned than this or not, the comment apparently rattled her and she felt like she really dogged it after that because she was rattled. Jean came back and won the match. Afterward, Robin went and reported the incident. That's pretty much the story as Robin told it to me. The WPBA fined Jean $200, Jean refused to pay, and that was that. Years later the WPBA (after breaking away from the MPBA) decided that it had been long enough and waved the $200 fine clearing the way for Jean to return. As we all know, Jean never did return.

Was it a petty dispute? I don't know. Sportsmanship should count for something. If you were a PGA touring pro and you said something like that to a guy you were in a playoff with, for example, I can't be certain, but I think that the PGA would fine the player who said it. Hell, you'd be disqualifed from a tournament for tapping down a spike mark! How much unsportsmanship-like conduct is acceptable in professional pool? Where is the line drawn? Personally, I get tired of playing people who do things that are unsportsmanlike and I wish that rules against that behavior would actually be enforced.

JoeyInCali
05-10-2006, 03:16 PM
Was it a petty dispute? I don't know. Sportsmanship should count for something. If you were a PGA touring pro and you said something like that to a guy you were in a playoff with, for example, I can't be certain, but I think that the PGA would fine the player who said it. Hell, you'd be disqualifed from a tournament for tapping down a spike mark! How much unsportsmanship-like conduct is acceptable in professional pool? Where is the line drawn? Personally, I get tired of playing people who do things that are unsportsmanlike and I wish that rules against that behavior would actually be enforced.


Tap, tap, tap.

sjm
05-10-2006, 04:14 PM
I was a fan of women's pool even back then. I know both Robin and Jean and have heard both their accounts of what happened. Despite all this, there remains a lot of room for speculation.

It's all true. Jean made a few remarks that Robin didn't like and a protest was filed and a fine assessed. Jean refused to pay it, but the story of why she gave pro pool up requires some speculation. After all ---

1) Jean was a gifted all-around athlete, especially proficient at basketball, golf, and bowling, and craved to compete in many areas of sport.

2) There was little left for Jean to achieve in pool and nobody ever emerged that could compete with her for #1. Allison Fisher has had Karen Corr to push her for the last seven years, but nobody ever threatened Jean's domination of women's pool.

3) One must consider the possibility that once Jean had been away from the game for a while, she didn't really miss it. While her refusal to pay the fine assessed against her was the initial reason she walked away, I suspect the reason she stayed away is that she realized she didn't miss women's pro pool.

Although the story wasn't written this way, in so many ways, Jean walked away on her own terms, atop the sport and indisputably the best ever in her sport.

Jean Balukas and women's pro pool are thriving today, and here's to a great future for both.

buck15
05-10-2006, 09:35 PM
i saw the match that the incedent took place.jean was out of line,i believe that the ref even came over and told her somthing.i believe i have the incident on tape.i will have to look.if i do i will post the espn aired version,word for word as it aired.

JoeyA
05-10-2006, 09:59 PM
EP, thanks for that bit of info. I wish I lived in Brooklyn New York. I would put my two years of Psychology to work on Jean. :-) I like her and have never met her let alone seen her play.
JoeyA

http://marybruno.com/clips/mb_toogood.html

rackmsuckr
05-10-2006, 10:26 PM
I have met Jean a couple times. This one was in Chicago. What a sweet, accommodating lady. It was a great honor for me!

Tommy-D
05-11-2006, 12:58 AM
> There is more to this than has been posted here. The referee in that match was Joe Kerr,who was head of the MPBA at the time,and he said something to her about her comments. Someone in the crowd heckled her somewhat,and a piece of chalk was thrown,Joe spoke to her again,and words were exchanged,and a name usually associated with a large drainage ditch was used. The chalk-throwing incident was supposed to be the real reason for the fine. There was an earlier,unrelated 200 dollar fine assessed to Jean for some minor dress-code violation that was also left unpaid from a previous tournament. In addition to also playing in and cashing in 3-4 men's Tour events,at the time of the Brunswick tournament she had won literally 16 events in a row. Tommy D.

jay helfert
05-11-2006, 05:59 AM
The link to the newspaper article was very apropos. The story related there is quite accurate.

I have known Jean since she was a little 11 year old playing with a cue longer than her. I saw her beat Dorothy Wise for the women's title at age 13.

Several times after she retired I attempted to get her to play again. More than once she related to me that she was burned out on Pool. Remember she had been playing non stop from age 4 to 29. That's twenty five long years as a poolplayer. That is a long career for anyone.

As far as the fine, she was not allowed to appeal it and in my opinion it was a bit harsh. Her comments would go unnoticed in a mens event. If Robin got sharked by it, then she was a little too thin skinned. That's all part of Pool. I've seen far worse in every mens tournament I've ever worked.

As someone else said, Jean had won sixteen tournaments in a row. The other women were not real happy about her domination. I wonder how many of them called Jean to ask her to come back and play. Try zero.

Many times I was asked how Jean would have done with Allison and Karen.
My personal opinion is that Jean would not have been the dominant player anymore, but she would win her share of tournaments. Jean had a strong will to win and the talent to back it up. Overall her game matched up good against the best women today. She could have cranked it up a notch if she had to.

I saw her play against the men and she had to play better than before. She won matches against many top players, including Buddy, Keith and Lebron to name a few. She finished in the top sixteen with all the top men present.
If she had continued, I expect she would have done even better, maybe even won a tournament.

It's kind of like comparing Eddie Kelly to Earl. Different eras, different game in many respects. But remember Kelly came back after many years off and won Grady's big One Pocket tournament in Reno in 1991. All the top players were there. The cream always rises to the top. Kelly and Cornbread played a great match in the finals.

And if Jean had decided to come back, I suspect she would still be a tough match for anyone.

JohnnyP
05-11-2006, 06:46 AM
If they were miked up, then there must have been cameras rolling, too. How do we get ESPN to show it?

Someone's always saying that what pool needs is some "personality"/human interest. Seems like seeing Jean winning the next seven games would be fun to watch.

9BallBust-O
05-11-2006, 06:50 AM
> Someone in the crowd heckled her somewhat,and a piece of chalk was thrown,Joe spoke to her again,and words were exchanged,and a name usually associated with a large drainage ditch was used. The chalk-throwing incident was supposed to be the real reason for the fine. .

So let me get this "straight" ... someone in the crowd or the ref. called her some slang term refering to her sexuality and she threw some chalk at them?? And SHE got fined?? They are lucky they didnt get their butt beat.:eek: That is a SHAME. WELL and the FUNNY THING IS .... that didnt shark her.... SHE WON! CHAMPION!


YEAH ESPN .. AIR THIS MATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JustPlay
05-11-2006, 09:14 AM
The link to the newspaper article was very apropos. The story related there is quite accurate.

I have known Jean since she was a little 11 year old playing with a cue longer than her. I saw her beat Dorothy Wise for the women's title at age 13.

Several times after she retired I attempted to get her to play again. More than once she related to me that she was burned out on Pool. Remember she had been playing non stop from age 4 to 29. That's twenty five long years as a poolplayer. That is a long career for anyone.

As far as the fine, she was not allowed to appeal it and in my opinion it was a bit harsh. Her comments would go unnoticed in a mens event. If Robin got sharked by it, then she was a little too thin skinned. That's all part of Pool. I've seen far worse in every mens tournament I've ever worked.

As someone else said, Jean had won sixteen tournaments in a row. The other women were not real happy about her domination. I wonder how many of them called Jean to ask her to come back and play. Try zero.

Many times I was asked how Jean would have done with Allison and Karen.
My personal opinion is that Jean would not have been the dominant player anymore, but she would win her share of tournaments. Jean had a strong will to win and the talent to back it up. Overall her game matched up good against the best women today. She could have cranked it up a notch if she had to.

I saw her play against the men and she had to play better than before. She won matches against many top players, including Buddy, Keith and Lebron to name a few. She finished in the top sixteen with all the top men present.
If she had continued, I expect she would have done even better, maybe even won a tournament.

.......... The cream always rises to the top.......

And if Jean had decided to come back, I suspect she would still be a tough match for anyone.


Great perspective, Jay....Jean was ahead of her time as a woman professional pool player and the lack of (or abundence) of top womens players must have worn her down after 25 years of playing. Her real competition was the men players. It must have been frustrating for the other women players at the time to watch her win tournament after tournament and just the oppsite maybe true for Jean as well. When another woman player was abel to step up and compete with her, it might have frustrated her to be challenged by someone(s) whom she has always dominated and having to play lucky 9-ball most of the time also added to the frustration..

CaptainHook
05-11-2006, 11:57 AM
I think she would have mopped the floor with Coor & Fisher. Her speed would have thrown there rhythm out the window. She was a "Shot maker".
If she would have kept at it, she would be in a league of her own.

I for one, miss watching her play.

She was a true inspiration.:)

wannaplaySOME?
05-11-2006, 12:14 PM
lol, it is so funny when i read this... i heard many countless stories as to why she doesn't play anymore, some to include, the women on the tour united together to get her off because she was too good, the men didn't want to lose to her so they wouldn't allow it... many.. but now that i read the articles and real reason i have to say what a BUNCH OF FU&*$(g BULL##*$!!!!! I say that because, that is the natural conversation that goes with this game... you hear it all the time... man if earl strictland got a fine for every time he threw a fit, stalled, walked out or any player for that matter... then they would all be broke and the A$$HOLES running these tourmaments would be filthy rich!

this language is part of the game, people wonder why it has a negative connotation.. THIS IS WHY but it is PART OF THE GAME! and always will be, theres not enough soap in the world to clean out the potty mouths in pool, and im not even going to argue that i am not one of the offenders!

this was all a ploy to get her out of the sport, which the people who wanted to successfully did... its a shame it happened IMO.

Eric.
05-11-2006, 12:16 PM
Jean still plays at a high level, even though she rarely practices. Hall of Fame Billiards in Brooklyn, has a Thursday night Open tourney that she plays in. I think it's the last Thurs of the month (I haven't been by there in a while) and Jean usually plays if she's in town.


Eric

9BallBust-O
05-11-2006, 12:28 PM
HEY WANNAPLAYSOME?!!!!

Just a few questions since you have seen Jean play. Fast play? She use wrist action or mainly elbow? How was the break?

wannaplaySOME?
05-11-2006, 12:41 PM
HEY WANNAPLAYSOME?!!!!

Just a few questions since you have seen Jean play. Fast play? She use wrist action or mainly elbow? How was the break?


...seen her play, many others on here have seen her though, i think you just read my post incorrectly... however from the time that i began shooting, back in 2001... i have always been told that she is the greatest woman to ever play the game, including fisher and coor... and when the question arises, "will women ever be as good as the men, or why aren't women as good as men?" <--- the answer I have heard is that Jean Balukas was as good as the men, and she is the closest any woman will ever come.

9BallBust-O
05-11-2006, 01:05 PM
wanna -

ooppss yes I did mis read - sorry


You know, this goes back a little bit in the post but Im still fired up about it for some reason. If the ref. called her some slang term for her sex life then he should be fined. Better yet, I wonder what would happen if a ref got up in Earls face and called him a "fagett". Hes not and Im not saying he is,I like Earl a LOT, but I can tell you this with great confidence, there would been a little bit more going on that some chalk being thrown. SECOND OF ALL ... didnt it all start cause Jean said something about Robin getting lucky - JEANS SMART MOUTH?? Give me a break - this has got to be one of the biggest JOKES EVER that they fined Jean.

freddy the beard
05-11-2006, 02:32 PM
Trivia: Who was the first player Jean played against when she played in her first Pro men's tournament? And how did she do?

the Beard

Jimmy M.
05-11-2006, 02:42 PM
Trivia: Who was the first player Jean played against when she played in her first Pro men's tournament? And how did she do?

the Beard

Was it Mizerak? I remember seeing a quick interview with him where he said something along the lines of "she plays well, but she has no chance of winning a major men's event". If I remember correctly, she beat him in a tournament after that at some point. I'm going off memory here of something that happened when I was about 14 so I could be wrong. :D

Jimmy M.
05-11-2006, 02:51 PM
Her comments would go unnoticed in a mens event. If Robin got sharked by it, then she was a little too thin skinned. That's all part of Pool. I've seen far worse in every mens tournament I've ever worked.

Hey Jay. Unfortunately, you're right about the men's tournaments. However, wouldn't it be nice to see crap like that go away in tournament pool? Gambling is another story, of course, but that crap really shouldn't be so accepted in tournament pool. I've had to deal with it from time to time myself and, until recently, I've never said anything to a tournament director about it. I did say something in a recent match when it was getting a little out of hand. That was the first time. Maybe I'm getting a little idealistic in my old age. ;)

Big Dave
05-11-2006, 04:38 PM
Fascinating thread!

vader93490
05-11-2006, 04:44 PM
Trivia: Who was the first player Jean played against when she played in her first Pro men's tournament? And how did she do?

the Beard

If I remember correctly, she played & beat Buddy Hall. The score was 11-4, I think.

JG-in-KY
05-11-2006, 04:49 PM
Trivia: Who was the first player Jean played against when she played in her first Pro men's tournament? And how did she do?

the Beard
Lets see...Lake Charles, ILL 1987, some guy named the mustache, goatee or something like that. She won and also beat Mike Lebron and finished 17-24.:D

sjm
05-11-2006, 07:35 PM
Trivia: Who was the first player Jean played against when she played in her first Pro men's tournament? And how did she do?

the Beard

I recall that in her first ever PPPA Straight Pool Championship playing in the men's division (1981, I think), she lost to a fellow name Dave "The Face" Lipner, but I don't think it was her first match.

vagabond
05-11-2006, 09:00 PM
I've had to deal with it from time to time myself and, until recently, I've never said anything to a tournament director about it. I did say something in a recent match when it was getting a little out of hand.

hi,
Hire me as your body guard and the punks will never dare to mess with u any more.I am a parking lot pugilista.

Jimmy M.
05-11-2006, 11:23 PM
hi,
Hire me as your body guard and the punks will never dare to mess with u any more.I am a parking lot pugilista.


I know we're about to meet in Vegas so now that I know that I would like to formally apologize for anything I might have ever said during any forum disagreements. :D

freddy the beard
05-12-2006, 02:43 AM
Lets see...Lake Charles, ILL 1987, some guy named the mustache, goatee or something like that. She won and also beat Mike Lebron and finished 17-24.:D

I was the first male pro she played and she beat me 11 to 2. She missed nary a ball and shot an accu-stats 900. Incidentally, her break was pretty crispy too. She was such a nice kid, she apologized for beating me so badly.
"I'm sorry, Freddy." she said. I wasn't the last guy to fall to her. She beat more than Mike LeBron in that tourney. From then on she beat just about every champion at least once. Her fundamentals were scary.

the Beard

Gerry
05-12-2006, 03:22 AM
That's ok Freddie, I got beat by Karen Core in a 14.1 tourney.....she just started playing the game, and told me she stole a few patterns from me!:D...i was like......uhh, yea right! no problem, well played....She was nice as could be, and I think Julie Kelly was sweating the match that day...very cool.

Anyone think maybe Jean was looking for an out from Womens pool, and that's why she let all this blow up into quitting the game? Seems to me if she wanted to continue playing, a small fine, and a short vacation could have fixed things. If you really LOVE doing something, nothings going to keep you away. Like Jay said, maybe just too many years of tournament play...

Gerry

JohnnyP
05-12-2006, 04:45 AM
So why doesn't ESPN show some of her matches? WPBA politics?

vagabond
05-12-2006, 05:26 AM
I know we're about to meet in Vegas so now that I know that I would like to formally apologize for anything I might have ever said during any forum disagreements. :D


I never felt slighted by you with your responses to my posts and u do not need to apologize.we only had minor disagreements.I am a big believer in freedom of speech.I also believe that I can live in harmony with the people that disagree with me.I did not construe your disagreements with me as insults hurled at me.

WingsFan
05-12-2006, 06:26 AM
... Anyone think maybe Jean was looking for an out from Womens pool, and that's why she let all this blow up into quitting the game?

Absolutely. I don't know a thing about the situation first hand, but wasn't the fine $200? To walk away from the game for $200 is using it for a convenient excuse. Again, I'm just some Joe from the EXTREME outside looking in on the situation, but that's definitely the way it reads to me.

Rich R.
05-12-2006, 06:54 AM
So why doesn't ESPN show some of her matches? WPBA politics?
You may find this hard to believe, but ESPN didn't record a lot of pool matches at the time Jean was playing. There may be some around someplace, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Come to think of it, in the "grand scheme" of things, ESPN doesn't record that many pool events now. There are so many great pool tournaments, around the world, that we never get to see.

ScottR
05-12-2006, 07:59 AM
I was a fan of women's pool even back then. I know both Robin and Jean and have heard both their accounts of what happened. Despite all this, there remains a lot of room for speculation.

It's all true. Jean made a few remarks that Robin didn't like and a protest was filed and a fine assessed. Jean refused to pay it, but the story of why she gave pro pool up requires some speculation. After all ---

1) Jean was a gifted all-around athlete, especially proficient at basketball, golf, and bowling, and craved to compete in many areas of sport.

2) There was little left for Jean to achieve in pool and nobody ever emerged that could compete with her for #1. Allison Fisher has had Karen Corr to push her for the last seven years, but nobody ever threatened Jean's domination of women's pool.

3) One must consider the possibility that once Jean had been away from the game for a while, she didn't really miss it. While her refusal to pay the fine assessed against her was the initial reason she walked away, I suspect the reason she stayed away is that she realized she didn't miss women's pro pool.

Although the story wasn't written this way, in so many ways, Jean walked away on her own terms, atop the sport and indisputably the best ever in her sport.

Jean Balukas and women's pro pool are thriving today, and here's to a great future for both.
I can't help selfishly wishing that Jean would find the fire again, practice and rejoin the WPBA for a year or so. I would love to see her compete against Allison, Karen and the rest of the top players today.

I saw Jean play in the early 80's and I've seen the current WPBA stars play. I don't think it would be a cakewalk for Jean, but everyone she played would not like it. :cool:

Heck. While I'm wishing . . . . Jean, please practice and play in some 14.1 events (though few and far between).

CaptainHook
05-12-2006, 08:03 AM
Her fundamentals were scary.

the Beard

That is what i'm talkin about. I was a total Mike Sigel clone, but when i watched her play, i became a closet fan of her style & patterns.

I saw her in the audience sitting with the "Miz" on a pool show that was on TV last year. I can't recall wich one.:)

I miss her, i wish she (like Sigel) would come back.

I was surprised when i did NOT see her name on the IPT web site list of players.

:)

Craig Fales
05-12-2006, 08:29 AM
What it seems like to me is that this was an opportunity to lynch a dominant player and get her out of the picture....just like now with Allison the current crop of top pro women can't play at her level....I watch Dawn Hopkins and Ewa Mataya-Laurance play...there's a reason they are commentating instead of playing....I'd gamble even up with them any day of the week...
________

Rich R.
05-12-2006, 08:43 AM
I saw her in the audience sitting with the "Miz" on a pool show that was on TV last year. I can't recall wich one.:)
It is not uncommon to see Jean in attendance at some of the WPBA events. I have also seen her on TV, watching the Ladies Tournament of Champions events, from the large booths where the VIP's sit. It's a shame, most of the people in the audience don't even know who she is.

Like you, I would love to see her make a come back and I think she would be more successful than Mike Sigel has been.

jay helfert
05-12-2006, 08:53 AM
lol, it is so funny when i read this... i heard many countless stories as to why she doesn't play anymore, some to include, the women on the tour united together to get her off because she was too good, the men didn't want to lose to her so they wouldn't allow it... many.. but now that i read the articles and real reason i have to say what a BUNCH OF FU&*$(g BULL##*$!!!!! I say that because, that is the natural conversation that goes with this game... you hear it all the time... man if earl strictland got a fine for every time he threw a fit, stalled, walked out or any player for that matter... then they would all be broke and the A$$HOLES running these tourmaments would be filthy rich!

this language is part of the game, people wonder why it has a negative connotation.. THIS IS WHY but it is PART OF THE GAME! and always will be, theres not enough soap in the world to clean out the potty mouths in pool, and im not even going to argue that i am not one of the offenders!

this was all a ploy to get her out of the sport, which the people who wanted to successfully did... its a shame it happened IMO.


Excuse me, could you repeat that? Tell us how you really feel.

wannaplaySOME?
05-12-2006, 09:00 AM
Excuse me, could you repeat that? Tell us how you really feel.

you don't EVEN want to get me started... and it seems that many people on here agree with me...

jay helfert
05-12-2006, 09:11 AM
I recall that in her first ever PPPA Straight Pool Championship playing in the men's division (1981, I think), she lost to a fellow name Dave "The Face" Lipner, but I don't think it was her first match.

In that same tournament, she had to play a good player named Earl Herring. Prior to the match, he said that if a girl beats him he will quit pool. She did and he did, for about twenty years.

And yes, Jean did win a 9-Ball match with the Miz. I think it was at the Sands in the late 80's. Machine Gun Lou dropped out of the tournament because they let her in. He refused to play in a tournament with a woman. I always wondered if he was afraid he might have to play her.

She was not way better than Allison or Karen. These two are way above the opposition Jean faced in the 70's and 80's. They are both capable of beating Jean at her best in 9-Ball. And she would be just as capable of beating them. Now Straight Pool might be a different story. Jean would reign supreme.

jay helfert
05-12-2006, 09:15 AM
you don't EVEN want to get me started... and it seems that many people on here agree with me...

LOL. I was just teasing you big guy.

Let me give you some unsolicited advice son. When you talk like that, no one listens or hears anything, just noise.

wannaplaySOME?
05-12-2006, 09:39 AM
LOL. I was just teasing you big guy.

Let me give you some unsolicited advice son. When you talk like that, no one listens or hears anything, just noise.

what is tough about thes forums is that you can't ever physically hear something that is being typed, i was laughing during all of my posts, and when i said don't EVEN get me started, it was pure sarcasm, because I could go on and on about how ridiculous this whole thing is, and actually we are in much aggreance about the topic... no harm was meant, i am always smiling or laughing when typing, just imagine that when i wrote don't EVEN get me started!! :) <-- i should have done that! have a great day!

jay helfert
05-12-2006, 09:56 AM
what is tough about thes forums is that you can't ever physically hear something that is being typed, i was laughing during all of my posts, and when i said don't EVEN get me started, it was pure sarcasm, because I could go on and on about how ridiculous this whole thing is, and actually we are in much aggreance about the topic... no harm was meant, i am always smiling or laughing when typing, just imagine that when i wrote don't EVEN get me started!! :) <-- i should have done that! have a great day!

Thanks, You too

wannaplaySOME?
05-12-2006, 10:22 AM
FYI i m definitely a female, not a male... son ;)

tedkaufman
05-12-2006, 10:26 AM
Jean was head and shoulders above the other women of her era. But, honestly, who was her competition? Vicki Paski, Billie Billings, Belinda Bearden-Campos-Whatever, and Robin Bell. I don't think Eva or Loree-Jon had matured as players when Jean dropped out. So really Jean didn't have the kind of competition Allison, et al, face in women's pool today. Yes, she beat the occasional man--even the Miz--but not consistently.

All tours, men's and women's, are stronger today. Were Jean to take her game at her peak against Allison and Karen today, they'd stomp her.

I've never seen Karen play straight pool, but I'm pretty certain Allison would pound Jean in that game too. Consider that until the US Open of '92, Jean held the record for high run with something like 56. Lorie Jon and Eva broke it with 64 and 68, minutes apart. If women were playing straight pool regularly, I have no doubt Allison would have pushed the mark over 100, as well as Jenette and a few others.

JG-in-KY
05-12-2006, 11:04 AM
....

All tours, men's and women's, are stronger today. Were Jean to take her game at her peak against Allison and Karen today, they'd stomp her.


I am afraid I would have to respectfully disagree with this statement. Too bad that match couldn't be arranged. You could keep me broke!

Vahe
05-12-2006, 11:17 AM
While in one of the sky boxes at the BCA event in Vegas in 2002, I was siiting a few seats away from Buddy Hall and Johnny Archer.

Jean Balukas and Gerda Hofstatter were in the next booth watching a match between Allison and Vivian (B side finals, I think).

Buddy asking Johnny if he had ever played Jean. Archer commented that she walked away just as he was coming onto the tour. Buddy mentioned splitting 2 matches with Jean and watching her playing Earl at some point. He said "Once I saw Earl checking her racks, I knew he was in trouble."

The conversation moved to a comparison of the top women at that time and Jean.

Buddy Hall's response was "only Allsion and Karen would have a chance against her".

I think his choice of words makes a strong point - "have a chance". Not to say that on any given day no one would be able to beat Jean but he did remark on her level of play and held her abilities in high regard.

I've also heard that Jean is not against playing Allison but the only way she would agree to a match would be if the monies, from ticket sales, advertising, videos, etc., are donated to charity.

Jerry Yost
05-12-2006, 11:25 AM
lol, it is so funny when i read this... i heard many countless stories as to why she doesn't play anymore, some to include, the women on the tour united together to get her off because she was too good, the men didn't want to lose to her so they wouldn't allow it... many.. but now that i read the articles and real reason i have to say what a BUNCH OF FU&*$(g BULL##*$!!!!! I say that because, that is the natural conversation that goes with this game... you hear it all the time... man if earl strictland got a fine for every time he threw a fit, stalled, walked out or any player for that matter... then they would all be broke and the A$$HOLES running these tourmaments would be filthy rich!

this language is part of the game, people wonder why it has a negative connotation.. THIS IS WHY but it is PART OF THE GAME! and always will be, theres not enough soap in the world to clean out the potty mouths in pool, and im not even going to argue that i am not one of the offenders!

this was all a ploy to get her out of the sport, which the people who wanted to successfully did... its a shame it happened IMO.

I don't understand why you would compare / justify her behavior by comparing it to the behavior of the sometimes worst behaved group of professionals I've ever seen (i.e., men's professional pool). I commend the WPBA for what they have done to legitimize women's professional pool (i.e., dress code, code of conduct, etc.).

Have you ever seen:
Earl Anthony: (After his opponent gets a lucky strike and the match is still ongoing)
Why don't you try actually hitting the pocket with your next ball!

Tiger Woods: (After his opponent get's a lucky bounce off the cart path)
What are we playing here …. miniature golf?

Larry Holmes: (After failing to tie Rocky Marciano's 49-0 streak)
Rocky Marciano couldn't carry my jock strap
…. Oh wait a minute … bad example!

I think your standards for what is appropriate behavior in a professional match are way too low!

jay helfert
05-12-2006, 07:28 PM
FYI i m definitely a female, not a male... son ;)

In that case, thanks mom.

vagabond
05-12-2006, 07:32 PM
Belinda Bearden-Campos-Whatever

hi,
Now she is Belinda Calhoun.Nice Lady.

sjm
05-12-2006, 08:26 PM
I recall that in her first ever PPPA Straight Pool Championship playing in the men's division (1981, I think), she lost to a fellow name Dave "The Face" Lipner, but I don't think it was her first match.


In that same tournament, she had to play a good player named Earl Herring. Prior to the match, he said that if a girl beats him he will quit pool. She did and he did, for about twenty years.

Wow, great name from the past. I remember Earl Herring hit them pretty straight and recall that he came 4th when Lisciotti won the PPPA World Open Straight Pool event at Asbury Park, NJ, during the summer of 1976. It was one of the first tournaments I ever attended.

Craig Fales
05-12-2006, 08:36 PM
Personally I think you get a person, or two, that excel well above other players...in women's pool there seems to be an extreme domination, first with Jean Balukas, then in between her and Allison Fisher you really didn't have anybody that stood out...in men's pool there is no one person that I can think that has ever strongly dominated pool....
________

racefornine
05-12-2006, 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by jay helfert
In that same tournament, she had to play a good player named Earl Herring. Prior to the match, he said that if a girl beats him he will quit pool. She did and he did, for about twenty years.


Jay, While I wasn't at the tournament Jean beat Earl H. I can assure you that is not why or when Earl quit playing.

racefornine
05-12-2006, 09:38 PM
Wow, great name from the past. I remember Earl Herring hit them pretty straight and recall that he came 4th when Lisciotti won the PPPA World Open Straight Pool event at Asbury Park, NJ, during the summer of 1976. It was one of the first tournaments I ever attended.




SJM, Earl has a champion's heart and mind. At age 62 he still hits em pretty straight. He loves straight pool and is still capable of running 100+.He is one of the finest gentlemen I know. It is a shame the game didn't have more to offer him in his prime.

Tommy-D
05-14-2006, 02:17 AM
> Make NO mistake,Allison can play 14.1. Jean would kill her at first,but if they played 2 150 point games every day for a month,Allison would be winning games regularly in that time. Back when Mizerak was doing the once-a-year exhibition against the reigning snooker champion,this particular year it was Stephen Hendry. That year also had Allison against Ewa. Allison had Steve Davis who was also a decent 14.1 player show the the basics,later that day she played Ewa 2 out of 3 games to 75. Allison ran 75-out twice,but Ewa beat her soundly at 8 and 9 ball. I imagine Karen plays it pretty well too. From what I saw of Jean back in the late 80's,her break and sheer concentration,along with the competitive nature that comes with being an all-around athlete would make the difference between her and and the top players now. Tommy D.

bud green
05-14-2006, 07:21 AM
Jean would of been seeded in the 30,000 dollars guaranteed bracket of the KOH IPT event and still chose not to go?

Wow, that really puzzles me. To turn down that much money, it seems to me she doesn't want to be a public figure at all if she's still playing a little bit but doesn't want to take her shot at the big $$

rackmsuckr
05-14-2006, 02:33 PM
So why doesn't ESPN show some of her matches? WPBA politics?

Realistically, although it would be fascinating to us sports fans, I doubt many others would find an old event interesting enough to draw an ESPN-size audience.

Secondly, I don't think ESPN was very old when this happened. The live event might have been on a major network instead, like ABC, CBS or NBC and they would own the rights.

rackmsuckr
05-14-2006, 02:37 PM
What it seems like to me is that this was an opportunity to lynch a dominant player and get her out of the picture....just like now with Allison the current crop of top pro women can't play at her level....I watch Dawn Hopkins and Ewa Mataya-Laurance play...there's a reason they are commentating instead of playing....I'd gamble even up with them any day of the week...

I have a DVD of Ewa playing Jean and Ewa beat her. Ewa can play great.

Another thing of note about comparing Jean to Karen and Allison is that Jean stroked the balls like a man on slow cloth. She has been playing the right patterns and playing aggressive pool all her life. I'd say she played more like Ga Young Kim than either Karen or Allison with their methodical potting. Not that either style is at a disadvantage on today's fast cloth, but it really did require a great stroke to get around the table then, plus it is a bigger factor in the break, especially on slower cloth.

Fast Lenny
05-14-2006, 04:47 PM
Originally Posted by jay helfert
In that same tournament, she had to play a good player named Earl Herring. Prior to the match, he said that if a girl beats him he will quit pool. She did and he did, for about twenty years.


Jay, While I wasn't at the tournament Jean beat Earl H. I can assure you that is not why or when Earl quit playing.

I agree Dave,many people (oldtimers) seem to think thats why he quits but from what i gather from the people that know him personally that wasnt the truth,there were other reasons outside of pool.

bruin70
05-15-2006, 01:47 AM
according to her close girlhood friend, who helped stabilize amsterdam billiard club in it's first year, balukas was a gifted athlete with many talents to display, and pool wasn't necessarily always her game of choice.

now,,,,by the time1989(amsterdam's opening) rolled around, this may have become so for balukas, and she may have said to herself "i don't need this sh*t". she may have felt she had other things to do.

quite frankly, i'm surprised at how many gifted players, both upper and lower level, simply give it all up. lack of income aside, there's a love/hate dynamic at work in pool. i know quite a few players who will play for hours, play well, yet will leave the room feeling they're wasting their time.

poolmouse
05-15-2006, 02:01 AM
And if Jean had decided to come back, I suspect she would still be a tough match for anyone.

jean won't come back. she has nothing to prove. neither does lance armstrong - why would he want to race again?

i remember playing jean in her weekly tournament at hall of fame billiards in bay ridge brooklyn. the final set was hill hill, i broke and didn't make anything. i left her a very, very tough shot. as i walked to my chair i thought to myself...well, that's the end of this tournament. jean whipped through the rack as i it were nothing.

at the end i told her "i knew when i broke and didn't make anything the set was over". :) she smiled...she probably knew too.

poolmouse

jay helfert
05-15-2006, 08:55 AM
Jean finished second in the Women's Superstars competition on televsion in the 1980's. She had to play several sports against the most gifted women athletes of her day.
I can't remember who won, but Jean was outstanding. By the way, Jean has done well for herself, and money is not an issue for her. She is probably more well off than most women players, with the exception of Jeanette.

Chris
05-15-2006, 09:18 AM
Jean would of been seeded in the 30,000 dollars guaranteed bracket of the KOH IPT event and still chose not to go?

Wow, that really puzzles me. To turn down that much money, it seems to me she doesn't want to be a public figure at all if she's still playing a little bit but doesn't want to take her shot at the big $$

For some people $30,000 a year would be a pay cut, and not worth gambling on the IPT's success or failure. While it may be more than people typically make playing pool, it is not exactly "the big $$."

Rich R.
05-15-2006, 10:48 AM
For some people $30,000 a year would be a pay cut, and not worth gambling on the IPT's success or failure. While it may be more than people typically make playing pool, it is not exactly "the big $$."
That $30,000 would not be for the entire year. It was for one tournament, which ran for a few days, and would only be a portion of her yearly income. Like others, Jean would have taken home a minimum of $30,000, regardless of IPT's success or failure.