Eagle Point firm designs pool cue for The Sopranos actor

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Poolcue.jpgA pool cue you can’t refuse

Jake Rockwell needed some convincing when an actor from The Sopranos phoned him earlier this year to propose a business partnership. The actor was Joe Gannascoli, who played Vito Spatafore on the HBO mob drama from 1999-2006. He wanted Rockwell Billiards in Eagle Point to design a pool stick based on his character, who was “whacked” last season by a gang of mobsters wielding pool cues.

Rockwell had never seen the show, but he agreed to meet Gannascoli in Baltimore, where the two talked shop at a pro-football game. Rockwell realized he had an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Rockwell Billiards is now taking orders for A Cue to Die For: a blood-red cue with gun graphics and Gannascoli’s signature. His initial order from the manufacturer is for 250 cues but, with recent national attention, Rockwell thinks he’ll have to increase that order.

Whether or not The Sopranos cues are hot items, Rockwell is already a made man. The avid pool player sold his Southern Oregon brewpub in 2004 to open a Web-based catalog of pool cues and accessories. Last year, Rockwell Billiards made $2.5 million.

— Anna Johns


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