- This article is about the pool hall in Albany, New York, not to be confused with similarly named businesses in other places, nor the similarly named gaming option in Sega's World Snooker Championship 2007 video game.
The Golden Cue Billiard Lounge (also known as Golden Cue Billiards and Sports Pub) is the only extant billiard hall in Albany, New York, the state capital, and one of the oldest poolrooms in the Northeast. Bordering on Colonie in the state's Capital District, it was opened in 1963, "riding the wave" of the popularity of The Hustler (1961), and bought in 1973 by Rocco Spinelli, Sr., whose son Rocco, Jr. owns it today. The venue has hosted Joss Tour events for many years.
The formerly alcohol-free, 26-table venue, described as "retro", "classic" and "unadorned", was intentionally designed to be open and bright, to avoid the stereotypical dingy pool hall atmosphere. It has a beer and wine bar and food service as of 2010. The hall is equipped for pool (pocket billiards) games such as eight-ball, nine-ball and straight pool, with 19 classic 1960s Brunswick Gold Crown II tables among others, as well as for carom billiards games such as three-cushion. The hall hosts American Poolplayers Association member league play. The business has also long provided table soccer tables.
The billiard lounge was long the "home" hall of pro, road player and WPA World Nine-ball Championship contender Mike Zuglan (today a pool hall operator himself, owning Pro Billiard Lounge in nearby Schenectady). When he was only 10 years old, Zuglan was said to have held his own in an exhibition match against famed hustler and showman Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, who played a nine-ball exhibition on Golden Cue's table number 23 (described as "something of a shrine" today).
The hall is the host of the annual pro-am Joss Tour Northeast 9-Ball Open, (an event founded by Zuglan and originally hosted at his own hall). April 18–19, 2010, Dennis "the Hatchet Man" Hatch went undefeated against a field of 43 competitors, and was victorious, 9–4, over Matt Tetreault (while Hal Hughes won 3–2 over John Rich in the amateurs-only second-day tournament). The hall has been a location for Joss Tour events for many years, and is a sponsor of the tour (providing, for example, US$2,000 in added prize money for the 2010 event). Hatch has dominated the Golden Cue competition for several years running. In 2009, he won the event against 46 entrants, taking the final with a narrow 9–8, again versus Tetreault. November 15–16, 2008, the Golden Cue hosted the finals of that year's Joss Tour. Hatch was again the victor, 9–4 vs. Jeremy Sossei in a field of 53. April 19–20 of that year, in a regular Joss Tour stop at Golden Cue, Hatch won yet again, in a field of 49, beating Dan Heidrich in the final after defeating local hero Zuglan. April 14–15, 2007, Zuglan took the prize, with Dan Hewitt as runner-up (Hatch was tied for 7th/8th). The Color of Money supporting actor and real-life top road player Keith McCready took the Golden Cue Joss title, versus Hewitt in the 9–5 final, on April 16–17, 2005, defending his prior victory in the 2004 edition of the event.
The Golden Cue also hosted tour stop #13 of the Northeast Amateur 10-Ball Tour (sponsored by Dominiak Cues and InsidePool magazine), on March 14, 2010. The event culminated in a victory for Paul Rozonewski over Albany local Tom Acciavatti in the final.
- Maloney, Skip (April 20, 2009). "Hatch Continues Domination of Joss 9-Ball Tour". InsidePool. Kittanning, PA: Spheragon Publishing. "Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Albany, NY" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Directories confirm that the Golden Cue is the only pool hall in Albany: CitySearch, LocalSearch. The only thing close is a "complete dining and entertainment megaplex" called Jillian's  which has some pool tables among various other entertainments.
- "Paul Rozonewski Goes Wire to Wire on Dominiak Cues Tour". DominiakCuesTour.com: Come and Join the Fun!. Stafford, NY: Dominiak Cues. March 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
- "Golden Cue Billiard Lounge". Albany Times Union (Albany, NY: Hearst Corp). June 29, 2004. Special Reports: Hidden Gems – Best of Central Ave. Retrieved May 3, 2010.[dead link]
- Conway, Geoff (April 21, 2009). "Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour Visits the Golden Cue Billiard Lounge in Albany, New York: Dennis Hatch Triumphant". NYCGrind.com: Making Things Happen. New York, NY: NYC Grind. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Blackburn, Doug (June 6, 1999). "Right on Cue". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). "Life & Leisure" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Martineau, Kimberly (December 5, 1999). "Alcohol Returning to Pool Halls". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). "Capital Region" section. Retrieved May 11, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Virtanen, Mike (August 21, 1988). "Professional Pool Player Turns the Tables, Opens a Parlor". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). "Business" section. Retrieved May 11, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Sangha, Soni (July 2, 2002). "Right on Cue Women Are In, Hustling Is Out in New Era of Pro Pool". Albany Times Union ((op. cit.)). Columbia News Service. "Life & Leisure" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Zuglan, Mike (April 15, 2010). "Joss Event - April 17th & 18th - Golden Cue Billiards - Albany, NY". AZBilliards.com: The A to Z of Billiards and Pool. Scottsdale, AZ: AZBilliards. "Tournament Announcements" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010. N.b.: While webboards are usually not reliable sources, in this case the source (the founder of the Northeast 9-Ball Open) is clearly reliable with regard to the topic. Also, this announcement was posted to other forums, such as BilliardCommunity, in addition to the AZBilliards board.
- Cheslow, Steve (September 27, 1987). "Table Soccer Gaining Foothold in Area". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). "Sports" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Cheslow, Steve (January 17, 1988). "'Pool Shark' Swims in National Circles". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). "Sports" section. Retrieved May 11, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- "Taking a Cue from a Winner in Pool World, Albany Man's a Giant Stick Figure". Albany Times Union. (op. cit.). October 23, 1994. "Sports" section. Retrieved May 11, 2010. (Access to full article text is not free.)
- Andrews, Lea (April 18, 2010). "Hatch's Lucky Number 7". InsidePool. (op. cit.). "Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Albany, NY" section. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
- Michaud, Benoit (April 20, 2009). "Joss 9-Ball Tour – Victoire de Dennis Hatch". MonBillard: Le Portail branché sur l'actualité du billard au Québec et d'ailleurs (in French). Montreal, Quebec: MonBillard. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Maloney, Skip (November 17, 2008). "Hatch Scores Second Straight Joss Win". InsidePool. (op. cit.). "Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Albany, NY" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Skip, Maloney (April 20, 2008). "Hatch Hangs on for Win". InsidePool. (op. cit.). Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "Golden Cue Billiard Lounge » Albany, NY » 4/14/2007-4/15/2007". TotalPool.info: Tournament Information. Drums, PA: Michas, Inc. 2007. "Joss Northeast 9 Ball Tour" section. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Rosenberger, Bill (April 18, 2005). "McCready Defends Golden Cue Title". InsidePool. (op. cit.). Retrieved May 12, 2010.