are my thoughts about people and aspects of the billiard world
that are essential in my mind for others to know about. Perhaps
no one else is going to recognize their significance, but nonetheless
I felt the urge to showcase these people, events and my beliefs
on certain topics within these pages. Please keep in mind I have
a reputation for being controversial, a moniker I treasure.
SY AND DOLLY ECKSTADT
FORMER OWNERS OF THE GOLDEN CUE IN NEW LONDON CONNECTICUT
SUPPORTERS OF THE BILLIARD INDUSTRY
AND THE WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL BILLIARD ASSOCIATION
Billie was trying to find room owners willing to hold a qualifier
for her first World Open event, the first person she telephoned
was SY ECKSTADT, owner and operator of Gold
Crown Billiards in
New London, Ct. For years, Sy, and his wife DOLLY, had hosted qualifiers
for the BCA US Open and hosted the Eastern
Addditionally, they held exhibition
matches, both trick shot shows and competitions between top male
players at their location. Besides showcasing the players, and
giving their customers an opportunity to see the game at its best,
Sy and Dolly paid their performers. At a time when there was little
funding for pool players, the Eckstadts provided some financial
relief to a number of the best talents of the day.
.....Likewise, they supported the BCA by buying
a room membership and as volunteer scorers at the US Open. Additionally,
they were avid supporters of both players and the industry and had gained national
regonition for their consistency of actions, values, principles, and expectations.
They are well respected by everyone in the industry. When the founders of the
PPPA broke away from the BCA, rather than takes sides, Sy remained neutral and
continued to support both fractions. His intelligence as a business man and his
integrity as a human being made him a sought after counselor for both the PPPA
and Billie Billing.
she explained to Sy that she was putting together the women's
division of the 1977 PPPA World Open and requested
that he hold a qualifying event, Billie was surprised to hear
his response. "How
do I know you're not going to take off and disappear with the qualifying
....."I was completely taken aback and told him, Sy, I would never do something
like that!" Billie remembered.
.....He replied, "I know you wouldn't do that
Billie, but other room owners don't know you like I do. You are
new to the pool world. If you want to raise money people have got to know your
name and develop a trust in you. You
to figure out a way to get your name out there."
.....Billie immediately realized that Sy had given
her some wise advice. She went to work finding a venue. By January 1977, Billie
started writing her first billiard column in the American Billiard Review.
Since in her "real" life
Billie was a professional photographer in the public relations
office of Long
Island University, she began selling her photos of pool players to billiard
publications like the National Billiard News.
Between her playing, writing and photography Billie slowly gained recognition
throughout the billiard population.
.....SY and DOLLY went on to become two of the
most influential advisor's to the WPBA in the early growing years as
prominent members of its Board of Directors. In 1980, they became the second
recipients of the WPBA
President's Award. And
in 1984, they rightly entered the WPBA Hall of Fame.
RECEIVES THE FIRST WPBA PRESIDENT’S AWARD
of the short rack game, GLORIA WALKER dominated over everyone,
including JEAN BALUKAS (Queen of
pool) during the '75, '76 seasons in 6, 8, and 9 Ball. The initial
Vice President of the WPBA in 1979-1980, she won the first two
WPBA tournaments ever held, the 8-Ball Masters and the 6-Ball
Gloria also excelled in straight pool winning many WPBA 14.1 events
from 1977 throughout the 80s. Gloria was the first recipient of
the WPBA President's Award established by Billie in 1979
to show her gratitude towards persons deserving of special merits.
The President's Award is still being given out to this present
GLORIA WALKER won the 1976 6-Ball Masters, held at the Hall of Fame
Billiards in Lansing, MI. It was the second event sponsed by the
newly created women's pool players association.
do remember a few of the other players in the photo but not their
Billie. "My apologies to anyone I've missed, but it is worth
noting the few I recollect."
you can identify anyone in the picture please contact
us so we
can add their names.)