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Steve Mizerak

Steve Mizerak pool player, business man, and all around good guy.

Steve Mizerak

Pool player Steve Mizerak, known as one of the greatest players to ever shoot billiards, was born October 12, 1944. He learned to play billiards at age 4 in his father's pool hall, where he had to use milk crates to reach the table. Nicknamed "The Miz" he went Pro at 13, but really dominated the scene during the 1970s and early 1980s in the game of 14.1 continuous billiards. Before becoming famous for his billiard skills, Steve Mizerak was a history teacher in the public school system in Perth Amboy, New Jersey for thirteen years. He says that this was partly because "pool didn't pay very well in those days."

He graduated from Athens College in Athens, Alabama in 1968, and according to Gary Poole, a Billiards Forum member and classmate of Mizerak's, Willie Mosconi attended Steve's graduation (see comment near bottom of page).

Steve Mizerak - "The Miz"

Steve Mizerak, also known as "The Miz" was named 6th in Billiards Digest's 50 Greatest Players of the Century. He claims that public image was important to him, and that he felt his inclusion in the list to be a great honor. Stephen Ducoff, executive director of the Billiard Congress of America says of Steve Mizerak; "He falls in there with Minnesota Fats and (Willie) Mosconi and some of the more popular players. He's a recognizable household name."

Miller Lite, a beer company that used sports celebrities to sell its product in the 1970s and 1980s, shot a commercial that showcased Mizerak. In the commercial, Mizerak made a difficult trick shot making the commercial famous. During the funny advertisement, Steve says that you can "really work up a thirst even when you're just showing off." When he was asked how many takes did it took for him to get all 3 of those shots to work like they did, Mizerak responded:

You can't really say it in that way. Sometimes there were other things that happened besides the shots going. The shots would go but the film wasn't in focus. Someone in the background would sneeze. You know, somebody did something else. We actually did it 181 times in 8 1/2 hours. We did it from about 9:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon. It was a long day, but it was a very successful day and it was a day that would change my career and my life. I owe a lot to Miller Lite and I also owe a lot to my wife Karen."

steve mizerak miller lite commercial

He produced billiard training books and videos, showcasing some billiard basics such as breaks and bank shots, as well as some more advanced billiard techniques for trick shots. In fact, Steve Mizerak has been credited with bringing billiard training content to the masses. Steve Mizerak earned celebrity status by producing an extremely popular instructional pool video entitled Pool, The Master's Way. He was the president and designer for a company he formed to make pool cues called Steve Mizerak, Inc. The company was acquired by Escalade Sports in 2002. Escalade's acquisition of Steve Mizerak Inc. includes an exclusive line of billiard equipment along with the registered trademarks of "Steve Mizerak", "Mizerak", "The Miz", and "The Miz Collection".

Steve Mizerak

Steve Mizerak has several big screen jobs to list on his resume as well. In 1980, he was an actor in The Baltimore Bullet, and was later a star in the 1986 film "The Color of Money," playing an opponent of Paul Newman's character, Fast Eddie Felson.

Later in life, Mizerak founded the Seniors Masters Tour in 1996 for players over 50, which held around 5 or 6 tournaments a year, and offered guaranteed prize money to the tune of $25,000 to $50,000 USD. The tour's home was at a billiard hall he opened in Lake Park called Steve Mizerak's Billiards. He held tournaments there every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. where he offered training for amateurs, and provided critique on player's break shots! The senior's tour even had televised games, including one event at the Grand Casino in Biloxi.

Steve Mizerak's Billiards
914 Park Ave
Lake Park, FL 33403
(561) 840-8836
Noon to 2:00 a.m. (Open 7 days a week)

Mizerak suffered a stroke in 2001 which left him with physical challenges that prevented him from playing pool competitively. Steve Mizerak died in 2006 in Palm Beach County at the age of 61. His passing resulted from complications stemming from gall bladder surgery, which had him in the hospital since January. He maintained an active member in the billiard community, even after suffering a stroke in 2001, said his wife. He is survived by his wife Karen Mizerak, two sons, and two grandchildren.

Steve Mizerak will truly be missed by all in the billiard community.

Steve Mizerak VHS Billiard Videos

View all Steve Mizerak Videos on amazon.com.

Steve Mizerak Books on Billiards

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Steve Mizerak - Billiard Player

Headshot photo of Steve Mizerak:

Headshot Photo of pool playerSteve Mizerak #1

Photos of Steve Mizerak playing billiards:

Photo of Steve Mizerak playing billiards #1

Steve Mizerak - Biography

  • Date of Birth: 1944-10-12
  • Place of Birth: Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA
  • Country of Residence: United States (USA)
  • Steve Mizeraks Nickname(s): The Miz
  • Steve Mizeraks Sponsors: Brunswick Billiards (1970-1977), Lucasi Cues, Apollo Beach Golf & Sea Club, Pot of Gold
  • Steve Mizeraks Website: http://www.themiz.com
  • Inducted into the BCA Players Hall of Fame: 1980

If you know of any other interesting information about the life of pool player Steve Mizeraks, send us an update using the contact form below.

Steve Mizeraks Cue Sports Records and Accomplishments

Throughout his billiard career, pool player Steve Mizerak has made too many accomplishments to list them all, but here are the key items:

  • 1966

    • Indiana State Champion
  • 1967

    • New Jersey State Champion (held for 4 consecutive years; 1967-1970
  • 1968

    • New Jersey State Champion
    • Empire Billiards Association Cavalcade of Stars
  • 1969

    • New Jersey State Champion
    • Norfolk Invitational Champion (held for 2 consecutive years; 1969-1970)
    • Salt Lake City Open Champion - Salt Lake City, UT
  • 1970

    • New Jersey State Champion
    • Norfolk Invitational Champion
    • United States Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Champion (defeated Luther Lassiter, held for 4 consecutive years; 1970-1973)
    • Billiard News Open Champion (held for 5 consecutive years; 1970-1974)
    • Stardust Open Straight Pool Tournament Champion - Las Vegas, NV
    • Landed sponsorship with Brunswick Billiards (represented for 8 years; 1970-1977)
  • 1971

    • United States Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Champion (defeated Joe Balsis)
    • Billiard News Open Champion
    • New York City Metropolitan Champion
    • US Masters 9-Ball Champion
    • Michigan Open Champion (held for 3 consecutive years; 1971-1973)
  • 1972

    • United States Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Champion (defeated Danny DeLiberto)
    • Billiard News Open Champion
    • Norwick Union Challenge Cup Champion - London England
    • Michigan Open Champion
  • 1973

    • United States Open 14.1 Pocket Billiards Champion (defeated Luther Lassiter)
    • Billiard News Open Champion
    • Michigan Open Champion
    • Eastern States Classic Champion - New York
    • Kingston Invitational Champion
    • Norfolk Invitational Champion
    • Kentucky Classic Champion
  • 1974

    • US Masters Champion, Arlington, VA (held for 2 consecutive years; 1974-1975)
    • Billiard News Open Champion
    • Florida State University Champion
    • University of Tennessee Champion
    • Penn State University Champion
    • Ohio State University Champion
    • Pabst-Brunswick Classic Pro Tour Champion (held for 2 consecutive years; 1974-1975)
  • 1975

    • US Masters East Coast Classic Champion
    • Master's Classic Champion
    • High Q Masters Champion
    • 1975 BCA Empire State Open - Champion - Rack 'em Up, Inc., Richmond Hill, NY
    • Pabst-Brunswick Classic Pro Tour Champion
  • 1976

    • World Open - Champion - Asbury Park, NJ
    • US Masters Champion - Arlington, VA
  • 1977

    • St Louis Open Champion
    • New Jersey State 9-Ball Champion
    • World Series of Pool Champion - Asbury Park, NJ
    • New York 14.1 Continuous Champion
  • 1978

    • World Open - Champion - New York City, NY
    • Norfolk Invitational Champion
    • Trick & Tough Shot Champion - 1st Place - Waldorf Astoria, New York
    • Pool Consultant for Phoenix Theater's off-Broadway play "One Crack Out" with Terry Garr.
    • US Open 9-Ball Championship - 1st Place - Q-Master Billiards - Norfolk, VA
    • Actor - Miller Lite TV Commercials "Just Showing Off" and "The Greatest Lite Beer Pool Shoot-out"
  • 1979

    • Legendary Pool Players Showdown - ABC Wide World of Sports
  • 1980

    • Breaker Pool 14.1 Challenge Cup - Manchester, England
    • Inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame (as the youngest inductee ever at the time)
    • Special Achievement Award - New Jersey Sports Writers
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - Team Championship - 1st Place - Lake Tahoe
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - 8-Ball World Invitational - Lake Tahoe
    • Advisory Director for Adam Custom Cues (held position from 1980-1982)
    • 9-Ball - Eastern States - 1st Place
  • 1981

  • 1982

    • World Pocket Billiards Champion (PPPA World Open) - Roosevelt Hotel, New York (held for 3 consecutive years; 1982-1984)
    • Eastern States Straight Pool Tour - 1st Place - New London, CT
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - Legends vs Legends-to-Be - Atlantic City
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - Team Championship - Atlantic City
    • Florida Open 9-Ball Tour Championship - 1st Place - Melbourne, FL
    • M.C. of Miller Lite $200,000 World Series of Tavern Pool Tour
  • 1983

    • World Pocket Billiards Champion (PPPA World Open) - Roosevelt Hotel, New York
    • Billiard Shootout Champion on "That's Incredible"
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - World Pocket Billiard Champion - 7-ball, 8-ball, 9-ball - Atlantic City - World straight pool champion Steve Mizerak beat World 9-ball champions in 7-ball and 9-ball competition, and wont the 8-ball competition again, earning him the title of Undisputed Pocket Billiard World Champion.
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - Legends vs Legends-to-Be - Atlantic City - Legends-to-Be beat the Legends (Willie Mosconi, Minnesota Fats) at 7-Ball and 9-Ball.
    • Q-Masters Billiards 9-Ball Championship - Norfolk, VA
    • B.B.I.A. 1983 "Man of the Year" (Billiard and Bowling International Association) - St. Petersburg, FL
    • 9-Ball Open Championship - 1st Place - Houston, Texas
  • 1984

    • CBS Sports Spectacular - Trick Shot Competition Winner - Mizerak vs Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats - Atlantic City
    • CBS Sports Spectacular - World Pocket Billiard Champion - 8-ball, 9-ball - Atlantic City
  • 1985

    • Grand Marshall, York, PA St. Patrick's Day Parade
    • Miller Lite Beer Alumni Golf Commercial
  • 1986

    • Cue Garden 9-Ball Open - 1st Place - West Palm Beach, FL
    • Actor in motion picture "The Color of Money"
  • 1987

    • Fiat Snooker-Pool Challenge - Steve Mizerak (US) vs. Steve Davis (UK) - 1st Place in 9-ball and straight pool (Davis took 1st in snooker) - St. Moritz, Switzerland
    • Major Contributor to Father Dales Sky Ranch for Boys - South Dakota
    • Scarlott Oaks Celebrity Golf Classic - 1st Place - West Virginia, VA
    • Honorary Founding Member - Bear Lakes Club - West Palm Beach, FL
    • George Plimpton Celebrity Classic Harness Race - 1st Place (beating out George Steinbrenner, Geroge Plimpton Kenny Stabler, Paul Maguire, and Oleg Cassini) - Lexington, KY
  • 1988

    • US Open Straight Pool Tournament - 1st Place - Cleveland, OH
    • 8 Ball Pool Challenge - Steve Mizerak (US) vs. Jimmy White (UK) - 1st Place in 8-ball and straight pool (White took 1st in snooker) - France
    • Hilton Head Island Celebrity Golf Tournament - 1st Place
  • 1989

    • 9-Ball Tournament - 1st Place - Boca Raton, FL
    • 9-Ball Tournament - 1st Place - Dowington, PA
    • Snooker-Pool Shootout - Steve Mizerak (US) vs. Joe Johnson (UK) - 1st Place in 8-ball and straight pool (Johnson took 1st in snooker) - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Introduced Steve Mizerak line of Cues in Kmart Stores Nationwide
  • 1990

    • 9-Ball Tournament - 1st Place - Daytona Beach, FL
    • Stephen Hendry (UK) vs. Steve Mizerak (US) - 1st Place in 8-ball and straight pool (Hendry took 1st in snooker) - England
  • 1991

    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Shriner's Tour - 1st Place - South Carolina
    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Hard Times Billiards - California
    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Cue Room - Lake Worth, FL
    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Sharkey's - Pompano, FL
    • Miller Academy Awards Commercial - Los Angeles, CA
    • Philadelphia Legends of One Pocket - Runner Up
    • Cue Sports Representative - Royce Hotel - Florida
  • 1992

    • Rak Um Up Classic - 2nd Place - 9-ball and one-pocket - South Carolina
    • Sands 9-Ball - 2nd Place - Reno, NV
    • Legends of One Pocket - Runner Up
    • 9-Ball Tournament - 1st Place - Naples, FL
  • 1993

    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Zi's Zi's Pool Room - Lake Worth, FL
    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion - Kiss Shot - Jupiter, FL
  • 1994

    • Launched "The Miz Collection" - Steve Mizerak's line of pool cues, pool cue cases, books, tapes, and billiard accessories
  • 1995

    • 9-Ball Tournament Champion New Wave - Miami, FL
    • Designed a "New York Yankee" pool cue to be sold exclusively at Yankee Stadium
  • 1996

    • Started the "Steve Mizerak Senior Tour"
    • Florida 9-Ball Tour - 1st Place - Sharp Shooters - Miami, FL
    • World 8-Ball Tour - 3rd Place
  • 1997

    • Florida 9-Ball Tournament - 1st Place - New Port Richie, FL
    • Steve Mizerak Senior Tour Grand Casino Classic - 1st Place - Grand Casino - Biloxi, MS
  • 1998

    • One Pocket - 1st Place - Playboy Billiards - Lake Worth, FL
    • Continental Airlines Golf Tour - 2nd Place - Amelia Island, FL
    • Biketoberfest 9-Ball Shoot Out - Steve Mizerak and Jeanette Lee defeated Mike Sigel and Ewa Laurance - Daytona Beach, FL
    • Steve Mizerak, Inc. introduced a new line of pool cues for the WWF including Sable and Stone Cold.
  • 1999

    • Camel $10,000 9-Ball Shoot Out - Steve Mizerak and Ming Ng defeated Mike Sigel and Vivian Villarreal - Laconia, NH
    • Ranked 5th on Peoples Choice "50 Greatest Players Of The Century"
    • Added cues to the Mizerak WWF pool cue line for Undertaker, Mankind, the Rock, and Chyna
    • Introduced a line of Nascar pool cues
    • Introduced a line of Heavy Metal pool cues
  • 2000

    • Florida One Pocket Tour - 1st Place - Playboy Billiards
    • Hosted the Seminole Senior Tour in Tampa, FL

Steve Mizerak himself said in an interview with AZBilliards that he is the most proud of winning the four US Opens in a row, from 1970 thru 1973.

Some of his other notable accomplishments include:

  • Won over 100 first place championships all over the world
  • Has a present high run of 421 balls.
  • Is known as a world class straight pool and 9-ball player.
  • Was named 6th in Billiards Digest's 50 Greatest Players of the Century.
  • Was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's hall of fame in 1980.

Steve Mizerak is connected with these businesses

Forum questions and answers about Steve Mizerak:

Recent news on Steve Mizerak:

  • Title: Steve Mizerak
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 11/23/2006 9:59:25 AM
  • Last Updated: 1/18/2017 5:52:15 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

Steve Mizerak Comments

  1. Gary PooleGary Poole from Athens, AL on 9/22/2009 7:50:55 AM

    I went to school with Steve Mizerak.

    He graduated from Athens College in Athens, Alabama in 1968, and Willie Mosconi attended the graduation. The college had a pool table in the student union and Steve played there a lot.

    To this day, I have never seen anyone who could come close to him with a pool cue.

  2. John BarthJohn Barth from Denmark, WI on 2/28/2010 10:05:23 AM

    I am looking for an advertisement that Miller light put out with the MIZ. It was a giveaway with Miller beer. It showed some trick shots. Anyone seen one?

  3. billiardsforumbilliardsforum from Halifax, NS on 2/28/2010 11:19:59 AM

    I found two versions of the Miller Lite Beer TV commercial with Steve Mizerak, and posted them in the pool players forum. Let me know if those are the ones you were thinking of.

  4. Pete PetersenPete Petersen from Bradenton, FL on 5/8/2012 6:38:10 AM

    I remember the days I played pool in Mizerak's pool hall in Perth Amboy, NJ. I remember seeing his father play in the back room championship games.

    Steve would come to the local bars and do trick shots, and all night long we would try to do them correctly. He made it look so easy!

    He taught at Shell #9 school in Perth Amboy, NJ.

    Steve Mizerak was a great guy and always will be remembered. God bless you Steve.

  5. Jerry BertekapJerry Bertekap from Melbourne, FL on 2/10/2024 11:43:48 PM

    I played against Steve Mizerak Jr. many, many times in his father's pool room in Perth Amboy, NJ.

    I was 4 years older than him, was born in Perth Amboy and went to grammer and high school in Perth Amboy but spent more time in his fathers pool hall.

    His rules were that I had to make 15 balls before he rolled 15 balls. He said to me that I could make the shots but need to improve playing position for the next shot.

    His father had a picture of young Steve on the wall shooting pool at the age of 5. He could reached the pool table because as the picture showed he had picnic table benches completely around the pool table that young Steve could walk on.

    Also when Steve Sr. had Willie Mosconi come to his pool room and give an exhibition, he observed young Steve playing and said he had the makings of a world champ.

    The way young Steve would practice position was that he would take the same shot over and over but try after making the shot to have the cue ball end up on top of a small square piece of white hankerchief cloth that he would reposition. So he became great at playing position just like Mosconi (and what he said I was lacking).

    I am still working on position 68 years later.

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