Best Player that Quit Early on

The Beginner

<<<Too Hot to Handle
Silver Member
ginky said:
one of the nicest things ive heard in a while. many seem to believe i dont have an intrest in the game anymore.. but its not true, if it wasn't for the mishaps that life has thrown at me and my family these past two years i would be activley playing in all tournaments, i just realized that my family comes first, the most important thing to me right now is having a child and i will focus my full attention on my wife's health as she goes on in her third pregancy so i can make sure my child is born and my wife is healthy, after that, you will see me playing in and winning a hell of alot of tournaments !


tap!tap! tap!!!...family first no matter what and thats being a good father and a husband ....
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jay helfert said:
I'm glad someone mentioned Mark Beilfuss. He was absolutely the best player I knew that quit at a very young age, maybe only 18 or 19. I heard it was either girls or drugs that got him. Don't know for sure.

Coltrain quit young as did Kucharo. Both were champions already. Bonnie Hoffman was the best women player I saw quit young. Jean was 29 when she quit and had won everything for years. Margo was in his early 30's and had been a top player for at least ten years. He realized he wasn't going to get rich playing pool, so he got into the Movie Rental business, and did get rich.

Chan Witt was a great young player, who died at age 19 or 20 in a car accident several years ago. And now young Tyler Strawn is killed by a car this year at age 20. Tony Ellin was in his 30's when he died, and had already won major tournaments.

Gene Nagy was one of the greatest players who ever lived! And who has heard of him? He pretty much gave up tournament pool by age 30. He was responsible for making a champion out of Jeanette Lee. Jerry Brock got busted and was put away for a long stretch. Richie Austin was a helluva gambler out of Memphis, who is still serving time for murder. He has done over 25 years already. Joe Balsis quit from age 21 until he was in his 40's. That was when he won all his titles.

I could probably think of others if I tried harder, but these are a few that come to mind.

Wow...Jay, so many names and so many questions!

Why did Bonnie Hoffman leave the game?

Same for Nagy. Why did he hang it up? (BTW, I thought Bobby Hunter get the credit for Jeanette Lee's success)

You say Jerry Brock got busted and was put away. Was this the same Jerry Brock from San Diego and Ventura? What can you tell us about this?

Where is Tyler Strawn from? I may have heard of him.

Wasn't Chan Witt mostly a snooker player?

Anyhow, I remember Petey Margo. He was very talented and wanted to be compensated for his time and efforts. Pete realized pool was not going to pay off and sure enough, he made the right call. Too bad the game can not support it's top players.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
ibuycues said:
Omaha John Shuput was a great player, he injured his neck and was not able to continue at the same level of play. I still have the fancy Josswest box cue he played with.

BTW, does anyone remember Emil Glocar from Akron, who quit cold in 1982 and went to Vegas to deal?

Will

Will

Yes, and so did Eddie Kelly about 25 years ago. Kelly basically gave up pro pool when he was about 40. He made one notable comeback, winning Grady's big One Pocket tourney in Reno in 1991.
 

jrhendy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jay helfert said:
Here's a name from the past. Dalton was a terrific Asian player living in L.A. Just under Brian's speed. He became a successful actor and was killed in a robbery in New York in the late 70's. Does anyone else remember Dalton, a handsome kid.

Dalton used to come around the Golden Cue in Rosemead & we played several times. He hid his speed pretty well and I used to play him with the last two. The same way I played Island Drive with the same results. Next to Hawaiian Brian, he probably got me for as much as anybody, but I always enjoyed playing him. John
 

grisbe

Registered
Sammy, what was his last name? Guzman? He used to hang around with Tony Robles and Frankie Hernandez. He was the best player of the three. When he died in a drug deal gone bad, something kind of snapped in Tony and his game shot up.

Dalton was also known as Leon. I think his real name was Dalton Leung. He was Fran Crimi's boyfriend, and was also killed in a drug deal.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
8ballEinstein said:
Wow...Jay, so many names and so many questions!

Why did Bonnie Hoffman leave the game?

Same for Nagy. Why did he hang it up? (BTW, I thought Bobby Hunter get the credit for Jeanette Lee's success)

You say Jerry Brock got busted and was put away. Was this the same Jerry Brock from San Diego and Ventura? What can you tell us about this?

Where is Tyler Strawn from? I may have heard of him.

Wasn't Chan Witt mostly a snooker player?

Anyhow, I remember Petey Margo. He was very talented and wanted to be compensated for his time and efforts. Pete realized pool was not going to pay off and sure enough, he made the right call. Too bad the game can not support it's top players.

In a nutshell, Bonnie's dad put so much pressure on her, I think she began to hate the game. She went back to school, got her degree and is doing good last I heard.

Gene couldn't handle the pressure of tournaments. He would lose it if he missed a makeable shot or played bad position. His pressure was self imposed. At some point, he realized tournaments were not a good setting for him. Bob Hunter was Jeanette's boyfriend for a number of years and may have helped her to improve as well. But even she gives credit to Gene first.

That is not the same Jerry Brock. This one was from back East, the Carolinas I believe. He was a bar table monster, better than Hennessee or Pickle IMO.

Chan Witt was a pool player from Kentucky, who died about 5-6 years ago.
 

grisbe

Registered
Gene was probably the funniest pool player I ever met. He had a dry wit and was a great observer.

He was actually offered a scholarship to Juliard, but dropped out to play pool. I think he regretted that decision to the end. Then again, if he couldn't handle the pressure in pool, I doubt he could have faded the pressure of being a professional musician.
 

JG-in-KY

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Chan Whitt

Chan Whitt was from West Virginia and was the National Junior Champion in 1989. He was killed in an automobile accident in 1994. Besides playing in tournaments he traveled the country giving many exhibitions and promoted the game positively.
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
jay helfert said:
In a nutshell, Bonnie's dad put so much pressure on her, I think she began to hate the game. She went back to school, got her degree and is doing good last I heard.

Gene couldn't handle the pressure of tournaments. He would lose it if he missed a makeable shot or played bad position. His pressure was self imposed. At some point, he realized tournaments were not a good setting for him. Bob Hunter was Jeanette's boyfriend for a number of years and may have helped her to improve as well. But even she gives credit to Gene first.

That is not the same Jerry Brock. This one was from back East, the Carolinas I believe. He was a bar table monster, better than Hennessee or Pickle IMO.

Chan Witt was a pool player from Kentucky, who died about 5-6 years ago.

Thanks Jay. A few long-time mysteries are now answered.

I was thinking of Kenny Brock (not Jerry) as the guy from San Diego and Ventura. I can tell, my memory is starting to slip.
 

cyrex

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
How cool!

jmorton said:
I am from Fremont, CA. In about 1970 Cole Dickson came in off the road. (He's from Fremont.) He rolled in town from Huston driving a faded green VW bug with a large dent in the front fender. Seems they hit a deer on the way.

JM, I didn't know Cole Dickson was from Fremont. That's pretty cool. I just moved to the Oakland area from Fremont but I still play there quite a bit. Course, it's a lot different from when you used to play here I'm sure. While I'm on the local subject.. I'll add in my player..

Bryce Avila. He used to run with Chohan and Amar Kang. One of the most naturally talented players I have ever seen. IMHO he was a better player than both of them and I think anyone could argue that he could have been a world class player. I know he is still around in the area but doesn't take the game seriously like he used to. I hope he finds his way through life and gets back to the tables. It's a loss to the sport not to have him participating.
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
cyrex said:
JM, I didn't know Cole Dickson was from Fremont. That's pretty cool. I just moved to the Oakland area from Fremont but I still play there quite a bit. Course, it's a lot different from when you used to play here I'm sure. While I'm on the local subject.. I'll add in my player..

Bryce Avila. He used to run with Chohan and Amar Kang. One of the most naturally talented players I have ever seen. IMHO he was a better player than both of them and I think anyone could argue that he could have been a world class player. I know he is still around in the area but doesn't take the game seriously like he used to. I hope he finds his way through life and gets back to the tables. It's a loss to the sport not to have him participating.

I saw Bryce at the Glen White Memorial a couple of weeks ago, so I don't think he hung up the game entirely. It's just taken a back seat with him, I believe. But yes, he had incredible talent that could have taken him to a high level. As a youngster, he spent countless hours on those tight pocketed tables at Garlic City Billiards in Gilroy.
 

hemicudas

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK, so here's the whole poop.

Dalton Leong, is/was the same guy who ran through the south circa 1974 playing pool under the name, Jerry Dalton. I have checked this with 3 other guys who knew him as Jerry Dalton at that time. It is quite possible he used other names on the road.
 
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Celtic

AZB's own 8-ball jihadist
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Dr.DreckDonkey said:
Jon Kucharo was on his way to a topflight nine baller, heard his demons got the best of him. He was a terror, gave me a the breaks and a game on the wire going to 7 and busted me... He's still young (late 20's mybe early 30's) hopefully he'll make a comeback

No offense but if a guy can give you all the breaks and a game on the wire and still bust you it says more about how you shoot then how he does.

Nevertheless Kucharo was a strong player and could have been playing in the Mosconi cup atm had he not quit. If I am not mistaken he did come back and play in the IPT. Most of the top players that left pool never would have left if the sport did not suck so bad atm as a profession. We all lose when our organizations and tours cannot get the shit together and produce a quality profitable tour that pays the best players in the world well.
 

bigpocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My good bud Tim Horne from WI quit early. Jr. state champ a few times kid had some talent.
 

Patrick53212

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
gregoryg said:
I am curious if anyone remembers a guy named Kevin Stanelle? Used to play out of Milwaukee back in the late 70's maybe. I remember talking with his backer about him playing some tournaments in Vegas and maybe missing two balls throughout the whole tournament. Never heard what happened to him since I am not in Milwaukee anymore.
Kevin Stanelle is still in the Milwaukee area and is part owner of Shepherds Sports Bar in West Allis, WI. He is still one of the strongest players in the Milwaukee area. I heard back when he was younger he locked horns with Keith McCready at The Next Best Thing on Villard and murdered him on the bar table. This was back when McCready was at the top of his game. He definitely was a killer from the stories I have heard from people who were playing in those days but I suppose he did not really focus on his game to take it to the "Pro" level. You can find Stanelle's name listed in the AZ player list.
 

dabarbr

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I haven't read all of the posts here but does anyone remember little San Jose Buddy? This guy at twenty looked like he was 15. Ran eight and out in one pocket like he was playing straight pool. With his looks he could have gotten action any where.
 

yobagua

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
hemicudas said:
Dalton Leong, is/was the same guy who ran through the south circa 1974 playing pool under the name, Jerry Dalton. I have checked this with 3 other guys who knew him as Jerry Dalton at that time. It is quite possible he used other names on the road.

Hemi, Dalton was an old buddy of mine from San Fran. He was a sweet kid who had a lot of talent. He ran with Earl when they were young. He could shoot lights out and had a heart of a lion. He also wanted to be an actor and was in an old Ironsides episode. I loved the kid but he got murdered by some Chinatown hoods in New York. I asked some NY homicide dicks I know about it and they dont know who did it. I had tears when I heard of his early demise.
 
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