Born: October 12, 1944
Died: May 26, 2006
Town: Perth Amboy
Steve Mizerak was born on October 12, 1944, in Perth Amboy. He first began playing pool at age four, learning the game from his father, a former New Jersey state champion. When he was only 13, Steve won the Perth Amboy City Championship. A year later, he was not allowed to compete there because he was too good. This is when he decided to turn professional.
In the 1960's, competitive world pool tournaments were becoming much less popular. This enabled Johnston City Hustlers tournaments to rise. Steve decided that he could not make a living off of pool anymore and decided to attend college. He graduated with a teaching degree and taught social studies for the next 13 years.
Steve still competed in tournaments across the country. He was known for his powerful nine-ball breaks, once sinking seven out of nine balls in one shot! Steve won the U.S. Masters in 1974 & 1976 and the World Open in 1976 & 1978.
Steve enjoyed a brief moment of fame in 1978 when he appeared in a Miller Lite commercial. It demonstrated his famous "Trick Shot" with the line "You can work up a real good thirst...even when you're just showing off!"
In 1980, Steve became the youngest player to ever be inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame. He also had a speaking role in the 1986 movie The Color of Money. Steve competed in a few tournaments in 1987 and 1988 in both pool and snooker—a similar game played with one white cue ball, 15 red balls worth a point each, and 1 ball each of yellow (2 points), green (3), brown (4), blue (5), pink (6), and black (7). He beat Jimmy White and Steve Davis, who was a World Snooker Champion.
Steve owned and operated pool halls in Florida throughout the 1990's. He also founded the Senior Tour in 1996 for players 50 years of age or older. Steve suffered a stroke in 2001, which prevented him from competing in pool. He died on May 26, 2006 at the age of 61.