YDNM: Pool is a game where you have to strike things in just the right place. How do you think you’ve been able to strike the right place in your professional career and as a rising celebrity?
JB: Well, it just takes a lot of work — a lot of practice, a lot of hours. Hours at the table, that’s what it’s all about.
In the Billiards Digest 2004 Holiday Gift Guide you pose as a very alluring Mrs. Claus to pool player Rodney Morris’ Santa, but in reality you are married to a former Mr. America bodybuilding champion. Does he supportively “pump you up” before a tournament?
He is my mental coach. He’s been at the highest level of his competition, and he knows what it takes physically and what it takes mentally, and he definitely helps me with that.
Is it hard to balance being the sex symbol of the female pool world and being in a committed relationship in your private life?
No, not at all, because the sex symbol thing is just a persona. Really, I just like staying home and ordering in and playing with my dog.
What type of dog?
He’s a pit-bull-border-collie mix that we rescued from one of the shelters.
That’s sort of a combination of very aggressive and very friendly.
He’s aggressively friendly, let’s put it that way.
On that topic, the author of your cover article in Billiards Digest October 2004 writes, “If you got in her way, violated her space, distracted her in any way, she could, and most definitely would, protect her turf — an assessment she won’t fight in the least.” Would you fight that assessment?
I won’t fight that in the least. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I’m playing someone or practicing, and someone starts talking to me. I have no problem just saying, “Look, not now. Shut up.”
On the other side of the work spectrum, the thongs available on your online store have “It’s your break” printed on the front. What do you do for a break?
I like to go snowboarding. My husband and I have a place in Killington, Vt., and we go there and snowboard a lot.
Do you do tricks?
I used to. I never did the pipe. I’m a free-rider, but I used to be a lot more aggressive, and I would go over jumps and do all that stuff. But now I’m pretty tame because I’m afraid of hurting my wrists. It would be a huge setback for my career, so I’m very careful.
From what I’ve read, you seem to have deep feelings for the P2 cue.
(Mouths, “I love that cue.”)
You said, “I never knew I could have such feelings for an 18 oz. piece of wood.” Would you care to explain why you feel it is the “shaft master?”
Well, I played with the same cue for the first five or six years, and eventually they came out with this one, the P2, and they gave me a cue. Within three months I had my highest finish ever, and I went on to continue having high finishes with this cue. Usually, when you start playing with a cue, your game goes down a little bit because you have to get used to it. But it was like, right away it just felt right.
Are there any other pieces of equipment or aspects of pool that have just felt right?
I guess the whole game feels right. I fell in love with it. It just fits my personality.
Billiard’s Digest named your Web site the best female site of 2005, and they liked the music in the background, Frankie Smith’s 1981 “Double Dutch Bus,” quite a bit. If you could ride the Double Dutch bus, where would you want it to take you?
To number one.