14/06/2024

Young Runs

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Top Pool Players – The Legends

Top Pool Players – The Legends

Ralph Greenleaf won a total of 20 World Pocket Billiards Championship titles from 1919 to 1937 and amazed audiences with his exhibition trick shots. A combination of alcohol and wild living led this pool legend to an early grave at the age of 50.

Willie Mosconi, known as “Mr. Pocket Billiards,” held 15 world titles during his era, setting a single game record of 127 balls in 1945, along with potting 546 balls consecutively in 1954.

Luther Lassiter, nicknamed “Wimpy,” was a famous player from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The winner of multiple world Championships and numerous other titles, Lassiter is most renowned for his mastery of the game of 9-ball at which he is widely considered one of the greatest players in history.

Efren Reyes, nicknamed “Bata” and “the Magician,” is a dual world champion Filipino pool player, regarded as one of the all-time greats at 9-ball and one-pocket pool. He became the first ever non-American to win the US Open 9-Ball Championship when defeating Nick Varner in 1994. Reyes has won World Championships at both 8-ball and 9-ball pool, collecting the WPA Men’s World 9-ball Championship in 1999, along with the inaugural WPA Men’s World 8-ball Championship in 2004.

Eddie Taylor, the “Knoxville Bear,” defeated Luther Lassiter in 1964 in Johnston City and is a dual world all-around tournament champion, although losing to Lassiter in the 1967 Johnston all-around finals. He is widely held to be one of the greats in one-pocket and bank pool.

John Layton is regarded as the most scientific pool player in billiards. A 12-times World 3-Cushion Champion, “The Diamond King” became famous for his “diamond system,” using table marks to determine angles.

Steve Mizerak, a world champion pool player reigned during the 1970s and early 1980s in the game of 14.1 continuous. He won the US Open 14.1 pocket Billiards Championship in four consecutive years, from 1970 to 1973 inclusive, defeating Luther Lassiter (see above) in 1970 and 1973, Joe Balsis in 1971 and Danny DeLiberto in 1972. He was also successful in the PPPA World Pocket Billiard Championship (14.1) events of 1982 and 1983.

Left-hander, Mike “Captain Hook” Sigel is one of the best 9-ball players ever, illustrated by the most tournament wins in the 1980s and 1990s. Renowned for his defensive play, as with other top 9-ball players, he is also a “straight” pool champion with a high “run” of 346.

Earl Strickland is also believed to be one of the best all-time 9-ball players with numerous championship titles over 25 years, including the WPA Men’s World 9-ball Championship in 1990, 1991 (the only player to successfully defend the title) and 2000 and the US Open 9-Ball championship in 1984, 1987 and 1997. He is also one of the most controversial characters with outspoken views and sometimes volatile behaviour at tournaments.

Ray Martin is one of the only 7 players to win at least three 14.1 titles, collecting “straight” pool world titles in 1971, 1974 and 1978. His “Cool Cat” nickname originates from the 1971 event, which he won during an earthquake. Martin has also won many 9-ball tournaments.