Most Expensive Pool Cue - Luther Lassiter's Stick Weighs In

Lassiter's "Bala" Fetches High Asking Price

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Luther Lassiter took his pool cues seriously. Photo (c) All About Pool

A Luther Lassiter owned, George Balabushka crafted pool cue, joins the ranks of fabulous pool cues hitting auctions this year. This one is close to the coveted title of the most expensive pool cue ever.

Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter's pride and joy, a George Herman Balabushka custom cue, was posted on for a starting bid of $45,000.00 US. Why so much money?

First, Lassiter is arguably the greatest 9-Ball player of all time. He was famous for kicking to score balls from anywhere and running out constantly. Wimpy would rather play than do most anything, except eat hamburgers like his Popeye cartoon namesake. Further, Wimpy Lassiter was so dedicated to pool he never found time for relationships, saying "He just didn't have time for a girlfriend." Besides which, women who wanted him would talk with him but his face would swell as if he was having an allergic reaction!

An Infamous Hustler

Second, the only thing as desirable as a top pro's cue stick is a top hustler's stick, and Lassiter surely was among the very best. So why not the most expensive cue?

Lassiter spent most of the Second World War in Norfolk at the huge naval base there, scamming the servicemen who loved to shoot pool. He would show up in farmer's blue overalls with a piece of wheat protruding from his mouth and the seamen would take him for a hopeless rube. He was further one of the greatest ever Straight Pool champions--although overall he considered himself a "player beater", a competitor who played best head-to-head rather than in round robin tournaments.

Third, add George Herman Balabushka's devastatingly brilliant cue craftsmanship and you have a real winner on sale. The legendary Balabushka was such an outstanding wood craftsman, he once lost a finger to a buzzsaw--no, that's not the craftsmanship part--and replaced it with a wood finger he made. For decades, even good friends had no idea it was an artificial wood finger.

Try It Before You Buy It?

While I admit to having paid four figures for really fine cue work myself, I at least got to shoot with my most expensive cues at the tables. I can't imagine anyone but an enthusiastic millionaire ever taking more than a few shots with his new Lassiter Balabushka--unless he wanted to potentially incur the wrath of an insurance company.

Personally, I'd be terrified to break the thing. Okay, actually, I would play with the cue. But I would be gentle at all times.