In 1988, Joe addressed a problem that he knew could be resolved with a little thinking.  If you enjoy playing an occasional game of pool on a coin slot bar table, you know how aggravating it can be when you don't have all fifteen balls to rack and play the game. This problem occurs when a cube of cue chalk falls into the ball return track and blocks some of the balls from returning to the appropriate location inside the table.

Pool Chalk Saver is a cue chalk dispenser uniquely designed for vending pool tables. Five pieces of standard cue chalk are placed in the dispenser then mounted to each side of a pool table under the middle pockets. 

The player applies cue chalk by inserting the pool cue tip into either end of the dispenser and rotating the stick, similar to using a pencil sharpener. As the chalk is used, the cue tip continues to drill a hole through to the next block of chalk.

This innovation resolved three problems for amusement operators.

  1. Eliminates pool table down time.

  2. Eliminates late night service calls.

  3. Saves cue chalk waste and replacement.

The players were also very happy to see that chalk was easily accessible and they did not have to play the game with fewer balls than intended.

At the 1989 Billiard Congress of America (BCA) trade show in Las Vegas, Joe's marketing team introduced Pool Chalk Saver to the billiard industry. 

The product was such a hit that several other vendors stopped by to see if we were giving money away. They said, people were so excited about our idea that they walked right past all the other booths to find us in the show. Within three days, we established distribution throughout the United States and Canada. 

One evening we were invited to attend the Mike Segal hall of fame banquet. Joe had a wonderful time meeting all the top players and a huge surprise when Willie Mosconi decided to sit in the chair next to him for dinner instead of at the head table next to Fats. Willie told Joe his life story about how he played pool standing on a milk crate as a youngster while his father made side bets on the game.  

Some time later, we signed a license with Miller Brewing to use their logo on the Pool Chalk Saver dispenser. Obviously, Pool Chalk Saver was a success and was later sold to our largest distributor.

Mike Sigel
Mike Sigel
1953 - Present
Inducted 1989  

MIKE SIGEL, at 35, became the youngest male elected to the BCA Hall of Fame. Born in Rochester, N.Y. Sigel began playing pool at 13, and turned professional when he was 20. A natural right-hander who shoots left-handed, Sigel won his first major tournament, the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, in 1975. His career blossomed quickly, and Sigel was perhaps the game's dominant player in the 1980s. He amassed 38 major 14.1 and 9-ball championships in that decade. Sigel has won three World 14.1 crowns (1979, 1981 and 1985) and one World 9-Ball title (1985) as well as numerous national titles.  

Saving Christmas one tree at a time.


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