custom pool cue collectors

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by billiardcue, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. billiardcue

    billiardcue Cue Connoisseur

    Sep 9, 2011
    Are there any collectors of custom and collectible cues on this forum?

    I see from a previous thread there are guitar enthusiasts, I know several pool cue collectors that also collect guitars.

    If you are out there show us what you have.

    Here are two excellent examples - a contemporary work of art by Samsara and a classic masterpiece by George Balabushka.


  2. Texaspoff

    Texaspoff They call me Tator

    Aug 19, 2011
    I haven't been into pool for may many years. Played quite a bit in college. My best friend was Hunter Bludworth. His uncle Leoard Bludworth built two custom cue for me. I had those for many years along with a Schon. I sold them all years ago, but I have always missed playing. Life has a funny way of doing that...TXPO

  3. billiardcue

    billiardcue Cue Connoisseur

    Sep 9, 2011
    I've known Leonard for about 25 years - he is quite the character. Back in the day a lot of great pool players used his cues.

    Leonard was inducted into the International Cuemakers Association hall of fame two years ago.

    Pictured are two Bludworth cues I owned several years ago.


    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  4. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    Very stunning. High-end cues are something I don't know much about.

    I had someone tell me that there's a startling rate of diminishing returns with these. He argued that a $60 house cue, as long as it's new and not yet abused, will play as well as one that costs fifty times as much. His remark was that it's mostly cosmetic when you really get up there.

    I disagreed, although to be fair I don't really know what I'm talking about. It just seems an odd argument that you're only paying for looks. I'd like to think that those high-end cues are more consistent and accurate across the board.

    Thoughts? :smilie:

  5. billiardcue

    billiardcue Cue Connoisseur

    Sep 9, 2011
    This has to be looked at from several different views.

    A world class player using any old cue is going to beat a very good player using the best cue money can buy. Just as a world class pistol shooter using a WWII surplus 1911 will out shoot the majority of good shooters using the best 1911 tack driver.

    Abilities being equal the better cue or pistol user will come out on top. Sometimes it’s the Indian and sometimes it’s the arrow.

    A few years ago having a conversation with Earl Strickland (arguably one of the top five 9 ball players ever) concerning cues, Earl told me if he could play with the cue of his choice his game would increase by at least a ball. To put this in perspective a one ball increase at the level of Earl’s play is tremendous; a one ball increase to the average pool player is the difference between decent night of pool and a decent night of pool.

    At the time Earl was playing with a mass produced Chinese cue, the U.S. distributor was paying him $80,000 a year to use their cue, an offer he couldn’t refuse.

    Now from a different perspective take Samsara as an example, maker of the artistic masterpiece in the top photo above. The pictured cue sold for $25,000, the amount of planning and work took a year to complete. The cue is comprised of several hundred individual pieces of exotic wood, semi-precious stone and elephant ivory. The machining and detail is absolute precision, there are only two or three other cuemakers on the planet who could or would attempt to build this cue.
    Samsara makes one or two cues a year of this caliber and about a hundred cues a year destined to be played with on a regular basis by pool players at all levels of play. The construction techniques, quality of workmanship and materials, dimensional standards and fit and finish is the same in any cue they produce, whether it sells for $1500 or $25,000, they all play great. I assume this is “a startling rate of diminishing returns”.

    Other points to consider:

    If every shot on the pool table was struck with cue tip hitting the cue ball dead center and using the exact same stroke there would be little difference in the outcome regardless of the cue stick. At any level of play beyond rank amateur this is not the case.

    Two identical cues made by the same cuemaker might play slightly different. Cues are made of natural materials, predominately wood, and no two pieces of wood are exactly the same. These subtle differences may not be noticed by the casual player but by someone tuned into cues will notice. I’ve discussed this with musicians, a fined tuned ear can discern subtle differences in “identical” instruments that would sound exactly the same to you and me.

    The small (12mm to 13mm diameter) piece of leather attached to the end of the cue can make a ton of difference. This is where “the rubber meets the road”. If I am compelled to play with the $60 house cue off the wall my first and foremost concern is the tip, I don’t look and at the weight or roll it for straightness, I examine the tips to make my choice.
  6. Hokie

    Hokie Active Member

    Aug 17, 2011
    Did someone say Balabushka?


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