Best Player that Quit Early on

metallicane

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I have not read the entire thread, but I will say Jean Balukas would be #1 and Mike Sigel, while he had a great career, quit with a lot of good years ahead of him.
 

cincyman

Banned
ioCross said:
Wow after this thread i went and read up on Jean Balukas... an amazing story.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Balukas

I wonder how many other pool greats there were that i don't even know about.
GREAT READ,, and heres the best part i didnt even know it but i have the tape of her playing robin bell when she makes those comments lol. I had no idea that was the reason she quit.
 

8ballEinstein

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
dabarbr said:
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.

Thank you, Frank. I did mention Buddy way back in post #33 and this is what I said -

In California, we had a young fella named "Little Buddy" from San Jose. He shot lights out 9-ball but was also very strong in One-Pocket. I remember he beat Cecil in One Hole when Cecil was the best in LA. Was a fearless shooter who traveled quite a bit.

He hung it all up to get married and become a carpenter. I ran into him when he came into the poolroom I was at but didn't immediately recognize him. He was just there to have a few drinks with a friend but when he got on the table, there was no doubt Little Buddy was in the room. Several locals tried to convince him to come back and start playing again (me included), but he just thought it was too much of a grind.

I'm sure Keith or jrhendy could vouch for his credentials.


I'm glad someone else remembers him. The guy was fearless!
 

tedkaufman

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.

Jay, I remember Dalton well from Chelsea Billiards in NYC. He was known only as "Leon" then. He and Fran Crimi were dating seriously at the time. Word around the poolroom was Leon was assasinated by a Chinese gang, which occurred a few steps outside Chelsea Billiards.

I recall Leon in two epic matches against Sammy Kong. They played two 9-ball marathons of at least 36 hours straight. Leon came out on top both times. They'd go back and forth, but Leon eventually wore Sammy down. After the second loss, I never saw Sammy play pool again.

A little side note, I have Leon's Southwest cue. He sold it to some guy when he was short of money, with the agreement he could get it back when he got back on his feet. But he was killed before that happened. I never knew it was his cue till I showed Fran pictures of it last year and she said, "That was Dalton's cue!"
 
Last edited:

turbofred

New member
kieth Thompson

I grew up playing with Keith and his brother Tommy. [Squirrel] Keith was from
Pasadena Texas.
 
Last edited:

Island Drive

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I grew up playing with Keith and his brother Tommy. [Squirrel] Keith was from
Pasadena Texas.

I saw em win it at Johnson City, the hippies were cheering for em. He had it on a string back then, 1969? give or take a yr. He was like 20 yr old? then, help me out.
 

The Chinchilla

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Mark Tadd wasn't yet fully matured. Man that would have been something to see. Everybody in the world was already afraid of him.
 

railroad82

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
What about?

What about Reed Pierce? He is one of the best players I've ever seen. I think if he would have stayed on the tour there is no telling what all he would have won.
 

SirNoobs

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would've liked to see Evgeny Stalev play some more. He's a powerful player. Now I heard he's gone over to poker and I've also heard he doesn't play much Russian Pyramid either over there.
 

poke&hope

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Best players to quit early

Marlon Manalo, imop one of the phillipines best.

Nicki Benish from Greenville SC. I watched her play in Greenville long after she was off the Womens Pro Circuit and she played great. Her focus,knowledge and saftey play was still professional.
 

cuetechasaurus

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I would've liked to see Evgeny Stalev play some more. He's a powerful player. Now I heard he's gone over to poker and I've also heard he doesn't play much Russian Pyramid either over there.

I 2nd this. When he came to the USA to go on the road nobody wanted to play him rotation games. He lost some money playing one pocket I heard. But I think he learned the game in a short while and would only get played by the top one pocket guys. This is all just hearsay I picked up.
 

cueball1950

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
people won't agree/ sorta long maybe

I have to say that Dick Leonard was 1 of the best I have known to have ever quit early. You may know him as #####leonard over on Billiards Digest. Has a high run of 326 in straight pool right handed and several runs over 100 left handed. When the pool room he was working in closed he became a teamster driver delivering liquor all over NY STATE to support his family. Although he can't shoot right handed any more because of medical problems he can still run over 100 left handed. He once tol me that Mike Sigel never beat him in a straight pool tournament. I decided to ask Mike and Mike did verify this. Johnny Ervolino once also told me that he had never seen anybody alive that could back cut a break shot like Dick could. I watched him play Mosconi in an exhibition once and Dick was beating him and Mosconi told him to cut it out. People came to watch me play not you. He also told Dick that he could be the next champion if he did not get married. Well Dick got married a couple of months later and there went his competitive game. And he could gamble. Back in the late 60's i watched him play Turk Vartigan some $50.00 a game 9 ball and run out from all over the place. I know that $50.00 does not sound like much' but back then it was......thats my story and i am sticking to it.............mike
 
Last edited:

cueball1950

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
stalev/SVB

I would've liked to see Evgeny Stalev play some more. He's a powerful player. Now I heard he's gone over to poker and I've also heard he doesn't play much Russian Pyramid either over there.

A few years ago i watched SVB beat Cliff Joyner on a bar box at Q-Masters and Stalev asked SVB to play but that he had to make what you broke and SVB turned him down. SVB would only play him if he could shoot anything after the break. I would have loved to see that match go on but again SVB did not want to play the way Stalev did. I am sure he would play that game now for sure.....................mike
 

branpureza

Ginacue
Silver Member
I would've liked to see Evgeny Stalev play some more. He's a powerful player. Now I heard he's gone over to poker and I've also heard he doesn't play much Russian Pyramid either over there.

Absolutely. That guy is a damn beast. One of my favorite players to watch, he played so effortlessly...
 
Top