Allison vs Jean?

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
If Allison ever spent much time extensively practicing 14.1, she would have had absolutely no trouble running 100+ balls.

There was just no incentive for her to ever practice 14.1, other than that one U.S. Open 14.1 tournament they had 20+ years ago in NYC, which she won the women’s division.

culturally jean faced more uphills battles than allison.

Jean even had trouble getting supported by fellow women.

Jean learned in a more challenging time.
Jean has grit.
 
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JohnnyOzone

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I was fortunate to have seen both Jean and Allison in their primes.
Jean never had to face the really stiff competition that Allison faced.
Yes, there were a few female players who occasionally gave Jean some tough matches...Robin, Loree Jon, Ewa, Belinda, etc.
But she completely dominated the field in most tournaments during the 1970's and 1980's.
After Jean withdrew from competition, Allison rose to stardom during the 1990's and the 2000's in the US.
Allison faced tougher competition than did Jean during her career...Jeanette, Karen, Kelly, Gerda, etc.
But, if I had to make a wager, I'd go with Jean.
what about the men's tournaments she entered and did pretty well in? does that count as atiff competition?
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
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what about the men's tournaments she entered and did pretty well in? does that count as atiff competition?
The point was the women's tournaments that Jean dominated weren't as difficult as those Allison faced. Jean never won a major men's tournament. She won a few matches against the top men pros. The bar for women was so low this was a big surprise. Allison has also won matches against men pros as have the hundreds and hundreds of players in the same Fargo Rate range as her.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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The point was the women's tournaments that Jean dominated weren't as difficult as those Allison faced. Jean never won a major men's tournament. She won a few matches against the top men pros. The bar for women was so low this was a big surprise. Allison has also won matches against men pros as have the hundreds and hundreds of players in the same Fargo Rate range as her.
Jean was only able to play in a few men's events. The promoters/directors wouldn't let her play in many of them. It was very controversial in every supposedly "Open" tournament she was able to enter. Some of the men complained and withdrew. Others threatened to sue the promoters. And still others refused to play her. Jean put up with a lot of heat just to be able to play the game she loved against the best competition she could find. I had nothing but admiration for her at the time. She was basically the only woman of that era who sought entry into these elite fields of players.

That, despite all the recriminations, Jean was still able to perform at a high level and be competitive against our very best players is a testament to how determined she was to make her mark in the pool world. I was the tournament director when she entered the Sands Regency tournament in Reno, and I put up with a lot of guff from the men when Jean was allowed to play. I stood up for her and maybe it was for personal reasons as well. I wanted to see how she stacked up against the men at 9-Ball. I already knew she was a threat at Straight Pool from the tournaments she had entered back East. I'm glad I did since Jean proved to be a worthy opponent for anybody she was up against. Make no mistake, she could play some 9-Ball! Once those balls were out in the open she could run out as good as anyone. Her cue ball control was upper level and her shot making very consistent. Jean never appeared flustered and remained calm in every match I watched. Best of all the fans flocked to see her play and cheered hard for her to win. I loved every controversial minute of it! :)
 
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measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I only saw Jean play once in person at the now gone West End billiards in Elizabeth N.J. weekly tournament.
She played Jimmy Fusco 9 ball and she played awful.
I was disappointed as I thought she would give Jimmy a good battle.
It was a hellva night to watch this weekly little tourney.
The list of players was awesome.
Jimmy Fusco
Petey Fusco
Tom Storm
Neptune Joe Frady
Jean Balukas
Johnny Ervolino
And probably a few more killers that I forgot
 
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Phil Carr

New member
This is like trying to decide who was the greatest in snooker - Joe Davis, or his names' sake Steve Davis, or now Stephen Hendry or Ronnie. The simple fact is that BOTH games and the conditions under which it is played have changed dramatically over the years, and ever more rapidly with technology playing such a part as well.
Most obviously, the difference in the equipment (tables, pocket sizes, cloths, balls, CHALK, etc.) is vastly different now.
Also the PRIZE MONEY - larger rewards mean greater pressures and stresses on the players, and hopefully greater and greater standards.
And the venues - matches were often played in small, smokey, quite dingy, rooms where audiences would be packed like sardines. In todays modern arenas with TV coverage, there is a wider audience and also more pressure.
Also, thanks to it's International appeal now, there are more players (thank goodness) and so even more competition, so it's harder for any one player to sustain any air of invincibility. Shane is without doubt one of the most successful in the modern game, but even he cannot win everything these days. Same with snooker. Back in the 80's, Steve Davis dominated; likewise Hendry in the 90's but now, it seems that almost anyone in the 'Top Ten' can win. Even Alison belonged to a different era that has now changed, not just Jean.
Both amazing players that did so much for the game, but of the two, I think both belonged to their own 'era' so to speak.
What a shame we couldn't have a 'decider' between the two of them!! (over several days, winner take all) So, I feel the jury on 'who is the best' is TOTALLY out on this one.
 
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hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
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Well the old question arises from time to time, in their primes who was the better of the two? I know it’s almost impossible to say kind of like the old Ali vs Marciano debate but l thought I‘d throw it out there anyway. Maybe Jay could chime in on this one.

Jean was dominating the women back when a "good" woman player can be a B+
Pretty much the same thing happened with Alison and Karen, yes they were great players, however average with the men, but they were even greater compared to the competition they were facing.

I think Alison, Karen, quite a few of the Asian ladies, top Russian women, would all have winning records vs Jean. Their fundamentals are just too solid and the modern training and practice routines are creating more and better technical players. Soon as Asia and Europe learned the correct way to play and started taking pool seriously they chipped away at the US players in the last 20 years where the US no longer has the advantage.
 

Maniac

2manyQ's
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I think Alison, Karen, quite a few of the Asian ladies, top Russian women, would all have winning records vs Jean. Their fundamentals are just too solid and the modern training and practice routines are creating more and better technical players. Soon as Asia and Europe learned the correct way to play and started taking pool seriously they chipped away at the US players in the last 20 years where the US no longer has the advantage.
The Asians have definitely stepped-up their games. If there were a Mosconi-type competition between the USA and Asia, I don't think the American side would win in the rest of my lifetime....men or women.

Just my opinion.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Asians have definitely stepped-up their games. If there were a Mosconi-type competition between the USA and Asia, I don't think the American side would win in the rest of my lifetime....men or women.

Just my opinion.

We really just need to look at the World Cup of Pool, which I think is the best overall "world" tournament setup as a fun thing with competing countries, and that can tell you who the top dogs are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cup_of_Pool China, Philippines, Taiwan, have 7 each top 4 finishes with the US only having 4.

I really wish they would get away with the host country having two teams though since there were only really two host countries in the history of the event, of the 14 times they held it, 10 times was in either England of Philippines.
 

Steve Lillis

New member
Having grown up with Jean in the New York Metro area and being a friend of her family as I did my Gospel Trick Shot Show in their family billiard room in Brooklyn, my bias would be with Jean. However in the late 1990's when I was with Jean and her family I remember asking Jean directly if she would like to come back and challenge Allison and her answer at that time was that she did not think she could beat her and she did not want to try. Jean was moving in a different direction even though her family and myself would have liked to see her return to competition and try!
 

TWOFORPOOL

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
As I recall Jean won thirteen women tournaments in a row. She started playing in the Open Division with the men and she started beating some of the best players. As a result the Professional Billiard Association (PBA) formed the Mens Professional Billiard Association (MPBA) for the sole purpose of keeping Jean out of their tournaments. I have been told by a player who has played both Jean and Allison several times that Jean was the best.
 
prime Alison wins easy imo, that doesn't mean she was better though

How would Jean have performed had she been born of a newer generation and vice versa for Alison?

every sport has the scenario of the old guys against today's guys

with women's sports the argument can be furthered by measuring performances against male fields if the data exists

Jean competed against very low level competition, Alison's competition was not that much better, yet her technique and technical ability was significantly above Jean

Women's pool is pretty awesome, I hope it can make its way back
 

chas1022

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
They both where great in their primes and dominated their era. Who would have won nobody can gage a champions heart and make no mistake about that both had heart and skill. They both believe they would win and both could . To me it doesn’t matter they are are both great and it’s unfair to say which one would win because that is taking away from the other. Two of the greatest pool players of all time.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Adapted from a previous post of mine:

I am able to speak as somebody who has played nine ball against both of them, having played each of them several times. Jean had the better break and the more powerful stroke. Allison pocketed the balls a little better and played better safeties. Both were champions of the highest order, but my sense of things is that Allison was just a hair stronger than Jean at nine ball. I am also speaking as one who saw both of their careers up close, having attended about 60 different WPBA events over the years 1980-2010, and having seen both often in their respective primes.

Jean, of course, would have cleaned Allison's clock at straight pool. and rates the better all-around pool player of the two.

All that said, I always come back to the same point when it comes to comparing these two greats. If Jean had somebody to push her, she would have raised her level even higher, but given her level of domination, there was never any real need for it. I'm not trying to make light of Jean's toughest competition back then. but Ewa Mataya, Loree Jon Jones, Belinda Bearden, and Robin Bell Dodson never pushed Jean the way players like Karen Corr, Jeanette Lee, Ga Young Kim and Gerda Hofstatter pushed Allison. In my heart of hearts, I'll always believe that Jean was more talented than Allison, but Allison played nine ball just a bit better for the simple reason that she had to.

At nine ball, I'd guess that Allison played to about a 730 Fargo while Jean would have been at about 715. To be fair, Jean and Allison only did what it took to be the dominant players in their respective primes. Jean's big break gave her a better chance against the top men than Allison had, but neither had world class tactical skills by men's standards.

It's a debate for the ages, and in the end, it's not so important to resolve it. Anyone who thinks the matter of Jean vs Allison is cut and dried needs to think it out again. They are both rightly remembered as legends.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
prime Alison wins easy imo, that doesn't mean she was better though

How would Jean have performed had she been born of a newer generation and vice versa for Alison?

every sport has the scenario of the old guys against today's guys

with women's sports the argument can be furthered by measuring performances against male fields if the data exists

Jean competed against very low level competition, Alison's competition was not that much better, yet her technique and technical ability was significantly above Jean

Women's pool is pretty awesome, I hope it can make its way back

Getting America to support womens sports is slow progress.

Its athletic competition why the culture is not supported is wrong.

Supporting women in the USA matters. In my home state women are disrespected and discarded by elected employees. And treatment just gets worse further down the line.

Women sports can help build women communities and future women leaders.
As for Allison versus Jean, its best to keep strong and talented women in the spotlight. these amazingly talented women are symbols for future generations.
 
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eg9327

Member
It would be easier to assess their competition. Skills are more finely honed against the abilities of those they meet. I would guess that overall Allison met a stronger field than Jean.
 
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