POOLCUE GEORGE BALABUSHKA GB SERIE
George Balabushka was born in Russia on December 9th of 1912 and emigrated to the United States in 1924.
Balabushka's first job was a wooden toy designer and maker in Manhattan. Unfortunately, Balabushka lost his middle finger in an electrical saw accident on the job, and made himself a replacement plastic finger from a wooden mold of such craftmanship that even his friends did not realize his loss until long after the incident.
Balabushka was an avid billiard player, expecially of the game "Straight Pool", where he took part in many competitions. While running the room, he began repairing cues, and it was not long before the idea was sparked to build pool cues himself.
Because of the excellence of this product, Balabushka's name quickly became well known amongst professional players.
Balabushka's emphasis was on playing ability and fine craftsmanship. He was also an innovator in cue construction, cue finishes and cue design. His cues were not the elaborately decorated attempts at building art that so dominates the cue market today. Rather, most Balabushka cues are relatively plain and without grand flourishes. Many of his trademark construction techniques have become standard in the industry, such as the use of Irish linen for wrap material and block style ringwork above the cues wrap which are eponymously named "Bushka rings".
Although already well known and valuable to collectors, Balabushka and his cues became much more so after being prominently featured in Martin Scorsese's 1986 film, THE COLOUR OF MONEY (the sequel to the classis 1961 film The Hustler). In the film, Tom Cruise's character, Vincent Lauria, is presented with a beautiful cue by Fast Eddie Felson, as played by Paul Newman. Vincent takes the cue, his reverence obvious, and breathlessly asks "is that a Balabushka?". After this, Balabushka's name became associated by the general public which highly-valued and rare cues.