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"The Miz" Will Be Missed
May 30, 2006, 9:45 AM

Billiard legend and Hall-of-Famer Steve Mizerak passed away on May 29, after being hospitalized since January when he was admitted for gall bladder problems. "The Miz" had been in a coma for the past few months, never having fully recovered from a stroke he suffered in 2001. He was 61 years old.

Mizerak was born Oct. 12, 1944 in Perth Amboy, N.J. and became a world champion pool player, dominant during the 1970s and early 1980s in the game of 14.1 continuous. He earned a teaching degree and taught school for 13 years before he gained notoriety for the game of pool. He appeared in a humorous commercial for Miller Lite beer in which he proclaimed that you can "really work up a thirst even when you're just showing off" and later as an actor in the 1986 film "The Color of Money."

Mizerak is most famous for winning the U.S. Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Championship four years in a row from 1970 to 1973. He was also the U.S. Open 9-Ball Champion in 1978. He was inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame 1980 as the youngest member ever and was named the sixth best player of the century by Billiards Digest in 2000.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Mizerak owned and operated pool halls in the West Palm Beach-Lake Park, Fla., area. He founded the "Senior Tour" in 1996 for players 50 years of age and older and often hosted Senior Tour events at his pool hall in Lake Park. Mizerak suffered a stroke in 2001 which left him with physical challenges that prevented him from playing pool competitively. He is survived by his wife Karen, two sons and a stepson.

You can read or post memories of "The Miz" on Billiard Digest's forum, "the cue chalkboard."

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