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h2o4170
09-22-2010, 11:34 AM
Ok who do you think was the best all around player ever?

real bartram
09-22-2010, 11:35 AM
Ok who do you think was the best all around player ever?

not even close


efren

Fatboy
09-22-2010, 11:38 AM
Efren for sure.

Mike Seigal might be the best all around American

poolcuemaster
09-22-2010, 11:43 AM
Earl has won more big events than Mike Eric, and when Mike won the US Open's he won there was only about 16 to 24 players. I know that is right cause I heard Earl tell Mike that to his face. LOL--Leonard

But Efren is the Man

greyghost
09-22-2010, 11:45 AM
not even close


efren

uhhhh NEGATIVE.......

that award would go to HAROLD WORST

real bartram
09-22-2010, 11:45 AM
Earl has won more big events than Mike Eric, and when Mike won the US Open's he won there was only about 16 to 24 players. I know that is right cause I heard Earl tell Mike that to his face. LOL--Leonard

But Efren is the Man

yes but earl really just played 1 game like a champ.

mikeyfrost
09-22-2010, 11:52 AM
Gotta be Efren. He plays top Amateur 3C speed, think about that. One pocket, debatable best ever. 9-Ball somehow wins with a below average break. 10-Ball wins with a below average break. Probably the best 8-Ball player I've ever seen and no one plays that game, don't make me youtube that kill shot he does on a thin cut to win an IPT event. Who knows how he plays straight pool, if I had to guess I'd say good enough to beat 99% of the 41 people who play it. Don't know how he plays on the bar table. but if I had to guess I'd guess good enough to make me throw up.

Earl is a phenomenol bar table player and big table 9-Baller. Plays everything good but there are a few Americans like Varner, Daulton, and Sigel who play multiple games at the highest level. Earl is probably 4 or 5 on best All around American players ever.

paksat
09-22-2010, 11:54 AM
mosconi perhaps?

Voodoo Daddy
09-22-2010, 11:55 AM
uhhhh NEGATIVE.......

that award would go to HAROLD WORST

Ever is a long time...

Harold Worst, probably!
Alfredo De Oro, maybe?
Boston Shorty, maybe?
Efren Reyes, maybe?

zy112
09-22-2010, 11:55 AM
not even close


efren

...ditto...

Fatboy
09-22-2010, 12:01 PM
Earl has won more big events than Mike Eric, and when Mike won the US Open's he won there was only about 16 to 24 players. I know that is right cause I heard Earl tell Mike that to his face. LOL--Leonard

But Efren is the Man


All around I like mike over Earl, in 9 ball I like Earl, but Mike can play 14.1, 1P, 8ball etc. Earls top gear in 9B Mike cant fade.

poolcuemaster
09-22-2010, 12:02 PM
Earl can play straight pool well and he won the carolina open one pocket last year and thats the only game he needed to play to make a good living in the last 30 years. Wimpy and Worst were great in all games and we will never know except what the old timers say and that was Don Willis.--Leonard

Lets not forget Jay Helfert

labatt ice rod
09-22-2010, 12:05 PM
one name .....cornbread red

labatt ice rod
09-22-2010, 12:06 PM
yes but earl really just played 1 game like a champ.

what about mr cornbread red?

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 12:09 PM
uhhhh NEGATIVE.......

that award would go to HAROLD WORST

Absolutley! He was from my hometowm Grand Rapids Mi and he was a champion at everything and had more heart than anyone alive.To bad he died so young

But lets not forget bartram

real bartram
09-22-2010, 12:10 PM
what about mr cornbread red?

i dont know how all the old time guys played.
i know he was a great player.
i feel efren is the best all around player.

i bet more of the top players pick him then anyone else.

Salamander
09-22-2010, 12:18 PM
I'd have a hard time betting against Varner. He was near head of the class in all disciplines....

1 pocket, banks, straight, rotation.

Blackball75
09-22-2010, 12:19 PM
Some ppl are making a case for Ronnie O'Sullivan here:

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=202496

Arguably the best snooker player ever and I bet he'd beat 99.5% of all challengers at any pool variant.

greyghost
09-22-2010, 12:24 PM
what about mr cornbread red?

no way jose......tho myself and just about everyone else loves the mans legend to death.....

the list can be argued

Harold Worst
Effren
Lassiter
Ed Kelly
Don Willis
Ralph Greenleaf
Willie Mosconi

Harold won the 3cushion world champs at 21 years of age.....he also busted up everyone in the whole world when he started playing pool....man even ran 40 balls into his one hole without a miss at johnston city while shorty was steering him (you think shorty was trying to help him lmfao).....Lassiter himself ducked the man as he had too much to lose and you can't blame him. Worst died of cancer WAY WAY TOO YOUNG.....but he struck fear into the heart of everyman that ever saw him play.

Lassiter....was a god among men only Don willis and Worst were ever a threat to his reign.

Ed Kelly was probably the best all around from the next generation, with its own players stating outright that Kelly was bar none all around the best.

Don Willis......his skills were so infamous its hard to really know how good the man really was....he was also a world class ping pong player

Effren....well he is undoubtably the best all around in the past 20 years

Mosconi.....tho just known for straight pool everyone can concur that he was world class at any game and if he didn't happen to know that game he clearly could have excelled at it.

Ralf Greenleaf.....the real deal original KING of billiards.....greenleaf ran hundreds while he was so drunk he could barely stand up....alcohol ruined his life, if he had been clean and sober i don't think we would be talking about mosconi nearly as much....Greenleaf also owns the 14.1 record for high run on the 10'. There has been only one other player with his natural born talent imop....KEITH McCREADY



IF THE DEVIL CAME DOWN AND WE HAD ONE PLAYER TO PICK TO PLAY HIM DEAD OR ALIVE FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY.....

I would hands down pick HAROLD WORST....... his reaction would be the same as everyone elses was....he would make the devils hands tremble like he had palsy.

-Grey Ghost

softshot
09-22-2010, 12:25 PM
Nick Varner won a world championship in every discipline...

Just Sayin..

KMRUNOUT
09-22-2010, 12:26 PM
yes but earl really just played 1 game like a champ.

While Earl is not a champion in other games, he has run over 400 in straight pool, and didn't he just win some bar table 8 ball tourney? I know this doesn't hold up at all next to what Efren does, but still want to give the Pearl some credit.

KMRUNOUT

real bartram
09-22-2010, 12:29 PM
While Earl is not a champion in other games, he has run over 400 in straight pool, and didn't he just win some bar table 8 ball tourney? I know this doesn't hold up at all next to what Efren does, but still want to give the Pearl some credit.

KMRUNOUT

im not knocking the guy.
he might be the best 9 ball tourney player of all time.
but not the best all around player of all time which is
what this thread is about.

greyghost
09-22-2010, 12:30 PM
While Earl is not a champion in other games, he has run over 400 in straight pool, and didn't he just win some bar table 8 ball tourney? I know this doesn't hold up at all next to what Efren does, but still want to give the Pearl some credit.

KMRUNOUT

I'll give you this.....Earl is probably the most all around under rated player in the world...most think he can just play 9 ball....but thats a load of crap.

he's excellent at everything.

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 12:32 PM
one name .....cornbread red

I knew Red well. A player and gambler but not in the league of greatest ever.But god youd pee yourself laughin when hed get to tellin stories.I think of and miss him everytime I walk in a poolroom.

paksat
09-22-2010, 12:38 PM
I'll give you this.....Earl is probably the most all around under rated player in the world...most think he can just play 9 ball....but thats a load of crap.

he's excellent at everything.

Now if the man could have just chilled out and been more laid back at the table he would have a much better going reputation.

It's sad that one of the most talented players in our sport has to walk around with the baggage that he has created for himself :(

1pocket
09-22-2010, 12:40 PM
Yet again, Jose Parica doesn't get the respect he deserves. Not that he is my pick for best, but I sure would include him on any short list -- like this:

Efren Reyes
Harold Worst (probably belongs up top, but I missed out on him)
'Rags' Fitzpatrick (missed out on him, too, but he gets the nod from Taylor)
Jose Parica
Nick Varner
Eddie Taylor

Mosconi clearly does not belong on this list at all. He had no interest in any game but 14.1. Greenleaf I don't know enough about. Alfredo d'Oro (sp?) probably belongs on the list but he was way to far before my time.

real bartram
09-22-2010, 12:40 PM
Now if the man could have just chilled out and been more laid back at the table he would have a much better going reputation.

It's sad that one of the most talented players in our sport has to walk around with the baggage that he has created for himself :(

so true good post.

Tim-n-NM
09-22-2010, 12:43 PM
Harold Worst and Don Willis in that order.

real bartram
09-22-2010, 12:47 PM
Nick Varner won a world championship in every discipline...

Just Sayin..

yes we always overlook him.
he is in the top 5 of all time for sure.

paksat
09-22-2010, 12:53 PM
yes we always overlook him.
he is in the top 5 of all time for sure.

and a class act

PoolBum
09-22-2010, 12:56 PM
Earls top gear in 9B Mike cant fade.

True, but then that's true of anybody who ever played 9 ball as well. Mike was the more consistent player though.

Let's not forget The Miz. More than capable in his prime of taking down any field at 9-ball, a very underrated one-pocket player, and right there with Mosconi, Crane, Sigel, and Varner in straight pool.

My choice for best all-around American player would be Sigel, slightly ahead of Worst (though if you include 3C I say Worst is best all-around American ever), Varner, and The Miz.

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 12:57 PM
and a class act

Abs. Yeah how does Nick always get left out?

PoolBum
09-22-2010, 12:58 PM
and a class act

And my all-time favorite player (Varner).

PoolBum
09-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Some ppl are making a case for Ronnie O'Sullivan here:

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=202496

Arguably the best snooker player ever and I bet he'd beat 99.5% of all challengers at any pool variant.

Yeah, but there are a lot of pool players in that top .5%.

real bartram
09-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Abs. Yeah how does Nick always get left out?

prolly cause he stays low key.

PoolBum
09-22-2010, 01:01 PM
I'll give you this.....Earl is probably the most all around under rated player in the world...most think he can just play 9 ball....but thats a load of crap.

he's excellent at everything.

Point taken. Anybody that can run 405 in straight pool is a monster.

Black-Balled
09-22-2010, 01:07 PM
some ppl are making a case for ronnie o'sullivan here:

...i bet he'd beat 99.5% of all challengers at any pool variant.
@#$* %$#*!

Tom In Cincy
09-22-2010, 01:07 PM
late 80s early 90s... Nick Varner was the first pro to win over $100,000 in tournament winnings.

Nick Varner was the 1st and only player win back to back US Open 9 Ball titles until some guy named Mika won two in a row, the second last year.

Voodoo Daddy
09-22-2010, 01:24 PM
Cant say I overlook Parica or Varner, I just dont know of either winning at the dicipline of 3C. When asked who is the best ever, I always add that to the list before making my choices...it dont make it right its just what I do.

cuesmith
09-22-2010, 01:28 PM
Efren, No Doubt about it!

greyghost
09-22-2010, 01:30 PM
Yet again, Jose Parica doesn't get the respect he deserves. Not that he is my pick for best, but I sure would include him on any short list -- like this:

Efren Reyes
Harold Worst (probably belongs up top, but I missed out on him)
'Rags' Fitzpatrick (missed out on him, too, but he gets the nod from Taylor)
Jose Parica
Nick Varner
Eddie Taylor

Mosconi clearly does not belong on this list at all. He had no interest in any game but 14.1. Greenleaf I don't know enough about. Alfredo d'Oro (sp?) probably belongs on the list but he was way to far before my time.

Steve you are absoluetly correct....I had forgotten Parica and Rags

both are well deserving to be on that list......so does Taylor

If i remember correctly they invited him to play the 14.1 championships and he got 4th? They said if he wanted to play 14.1 that everyone would have been running for the hills on the east coast.

-Grey GHost-

BelleBelle
09-22-2010, 01:43 PM
I agree cuesmith Efren. In an all around i would bet on Efren, against all the other players mentioned and sleep like a baby. Most of us have never seen Efren in his prime!!

Gmanpoke
09-22-2010, 02:13 PM
I agree cuesmith Efren. In an all around i would bet on Efren, against all the other players mentioned and sleep like a baby. Most of us have never seen Efren in his prime!!

If you didn't seen Efren in his prime, then you diffently didn't see Mr. Worst or Willis either.

RichGambler
09-22-2010, 02:15 PM
Some ppl are making a case for Ronnie O'Sullivan here:

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=202496

Arguably the best snooker player ever and I bet he'd beat 99.5% of all challengers at any pool variant.
If you asked me this question a few days ago, I would say Efren without batting an eyelash. I have been watching a ton of Ronnie O'Sullivans performances though, and now I'm not so sure. I mean, WOW. Can we agree that snooker is the hardest of the cue games?

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 02:22 PM
I agree cuesmith Efren. In an all around i would bet on Efren, against all the other players mentioned and sleep like a baby. Most of us have never seen Efren in his prime!!

Efren is,Well hes efren what else can you say.Worst wouldve owned him for the money.Jose always played better for the cash than Efren did to. Now I know ill get some arguments outa that statement but whos ever seen Efren in a tough money game and grindg it out for hours or days.Nobody cause he wont,if he loses he quits. Grady says for big money in one hole Efren vs Cliff gradys bet Cliff.
Worst had more gamble than anyone! Parica and Kieth are right there.

greyghost
09-22-2010, 02:30 PM
If you asked me this question a few days ago, I would say Efren without batting an eyelash. I have been watching a ton of Ronnie O'Sullivans performances though, and now I'm not so sure. I mean, WOW. Can we agree that snooker is the hardest of the cue games?

NO! It has its own strengths and weaknesses But IMOP its right up there with 14.1 One Pocket and 3 Cushion Billiards....

Russian Pyramid is hard b/c of the super tiny pockets and big balls but just not a great game at all IMOP......if it were that great then Eugeny Stalev would be stomping all the great players in pool.

IMOP....ONE POCKET on the 10ft or 12ft snooker table would be the hardest of the cue sports.

But when speaking of regularly played games I think that 3 cushion beats them all for level of skill needed and difficulty of play.

But when it all boils down to it 14.1, one hole, 3cush, snooker are all tied for the lead in that race by leaps and bounds over any of the other games...respectfully.

-Grey Ghost-

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 02:37 PM
NO! It has its own strengths and weaknesses But IMOP its right up there with 14.1 One Pocket and 3 Cushion Billiards....

Russian Pyramid is hard b/c of the super tiny pockets and big balls but just not a great game at all IMOP......if it were that great then Eugeny Stalev would be stomping all the great players in pool.

IMOP....ONE POCKET on the 10ft or 12ft snooker table would be the hardest of the cue sports.

But when speaking of regularly played games I think that 3 cushion beats them all for level of skill needed and difficulty of play.

But when it all boils down to it 14.1, one hole, 3cush, snooker are all tied for the lead in that race by leaps and bounds over any of the other games...respectfully.

-Grey Ghost-

Snooker is snooker.The greats in that game dont dominate pool.Its a diff game and they master it. Parica used to play pretty good snooker.Wy do all the snooker fans always have to compare apples to oranges.Its an incredable game that takes a huge amount of skill,but so is pool.

Bobby
09-22-2010, 03:18 PM
It's hard to pick just one, but I guess I'd go with Harold Worst - a champion at both 3C and pool, and great at all pool games, universally feared, and he died at 36, who knows how good he would have gotten.

Some other considerations:

Mike Sigel - the man to beat from around 1976-1992. He was just so damned hard to beat.

Mosconi - Completely dominated 14.1, I'd have to think he could play the other games if he had to.

Greenleaf - Same as Mosconi.

Efren Reyes - plays all games great...BUT he didn't start winning majors until Sigel retired. Sigel's record against him was something like 10-3.

Nick Varner - probably the most underated all-around player. Only player to win a world championship in every pool discipline.

Luther Lassiter - won major titles in 9 ball, 14.1 and even one pocket, as feared as Harold Worst among his contemporaries. unflappable under pressure.

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 03:32 PM
Efren, No Doubt about it!

probably in the top 5 but maybe not. his record with segal sucked to say the least

rossaroni
09-22-2010, 03:40 PM
probably in the top 5 but maybe not. his record with segal sucked to say the least

If Efren is not in the top 5 all around players, then I have to reevaluate my life.:sorry:

Sigel did have a good record against Efren in 9-ball, but that might be Efren's worst game.

asbani
09-22-2010, 03:42 PM
Earl Strickland with no doubt, this guy has won so many major events that I think no one will beat in our lifetime, or probably even in the next generations to come, 5 US Opens, 6 times world champion? Thats huge.

beside he is excellent in other games, straight pool, 1 pocket.

but mainly because he's so good in 9ball, and I happen to love that game very much, thus I am leaning to Earl more.

close second is Efren reyes. very close, due to his ability in playing 3c , 1p, and 9b too.

DRW
09-22-2010, 03:44 PM
Ok who do you think was the best all around player ever?
Not gonna even look at the other 50 posts. Efren, hands down!

Mr441
09-22-2010, 03:50 PM
Either Lassiter or Mike Sigel, I can't decide between them. They impressed me more than any others as all around players. I've seen dominant plaers at ONE game (Buddy Hall- 9 ball....Mosconi - straight pool) but none that played all games great like Sigel and Lassiter.

For awhile there I really thought Alex Pagulayan was going to be the next truly great all around player but he doesn't seem interested anymore.

BelleBelle
09-22-2010, 04:24 PM
Quote de BelleBelle
I agree cuesmith Efren. In an all around i would bet on Efren, against all the other players mentioned and sleep like a baby. Most of us have never seen Efren in his prime!!
If you didn't seen Efren in his prime, then you diffently didn't see Mr. Worst or Willis either.
No i didn't see Mr. Worst or Willis, i would have loved to i hear they were great players! But did you see Efren in his prime?

greyghost
09-22-2010, 05:44 PM
Quote de BelleBelle
I agree cuesmith Efren. In an all around i would bet on Efren, against all the other players mentioned and sleep like a baby. Most of us have never seen Efren in his prime!!
If you didn't seen Efren in his prime, then you diffently didn't see Mr. Worst or Willis either.
No i didn't see Mr. Worst or Willis, i would have loved to i hear they were great players! But did you see Efren in his prime?

to save sherm the time.....yes he did see him in his prime

daniel
09-22-2010, 05:48 PM
EDDIE KELLY. Played all games at a high level & was a consensus among players of that generation.

sjm
09-22-2010, 05:57 PM
Efren Reyes, of course. If three cushion is thrown into the mix, a case can be made for Harold Worst. Best all around player ever among the Americans is Nick Varner, a world champion in virtually every pool discipline in existence. Sigel and Lassiter are also worthy of mention in this regard.

LA toolman
09-22-2010, 06:02 PM
This one is Easy.and he may still be the best all around player.
Efren.

swerte ako

Rich93
09-22-2010, 06:13 PM
I love to see Harold Worst getting some votes, but his very short period on top of the pool world - really just 1965, the year before he died - makes a vote for him more of a wish than a fact.

Efren gets my vote. No hesitation.

BelleBelle
09-22-2010, 06:28 PM
Ok Sherm's been around! How about Efren's the best I've ever seen.

iusedtoberich
09-22-2010, 07:04 PM
http://www.tropicanabowlingalley.com/ronnie.html

Above is link to Ronnie Allen describing who is best all time.

According to Ronnie Allen, the best ever all around player was Harold Worst. Ronnies opinion should carry more weight than every poster in this thread because:

1. He saw both Worst and Efren in their primes and played against both of them.
2. He is by far a better player than all the posters in this thread, and thus should be more qualified to distinguish the talent difference between two TOP TOP TOP players.

iusedtoberich
09-22-2010, 07:22 PM
Duplicate post.

h2o4170
09-22-2010, 07:30 PM
http://www.tropicanabowlingalley.com/ronnie.html

Above is link to Ronnie Allen describing who is best all time.

According to Ronnie Allen, the best ever all around player was Harold Worst. Ronnies opinion should carry more weight than every poster in this thread because:

1. He saw both Worst and Efren in their primes and played against both of them.
2. He is by far a better player than all the posters in this thread, and thus should be more qualified to distinguish the talent difference between two TOP TOP TOP players.

Efren is great no doubt but we also get to see him all the time with video and tv.If all the matches from back when had been recorded I wonder what we wouldve seen

Mike in MN
09-22-2010, 07:40 PM
How about we agree that it's very subjective and basically impossible to determine a true answer to the OP's question? Now we can all get back to the important things in life, like Oreos and marathons of Law and Order SVU on USA all weekend.

westcoast
09-22-2010, 07:45 PM
Earl Strickland with no doubt, this guy has won so many major events that I think no one will beat in our lifetime, or probably even in the next generations to come, 5 US Opens, 6 times world champion? Thats huge.

beside he is excellent in other games, straight pool, 1 pocket.

but mainly because he's so good in 9ball, and I happen to love that game very much, thus I am leaning to Earl more.

close second is Efren reyes. very close, due to his ability in playing 3c , 1p, and 9b too.

I think Earl is a great, great player. However, I think the slight edge has to go to Efren due to his superior mental outlook. Also, he did barely beat Earl in the race to 120 in 1996.

iralee
09-22-2010, 08:32 PM
Ok who do you think was the best all around player ever?

I assume all-around includes all cue games, not just pool. I vote for Torbjorn Blomdahl. I think a lot of guys may underestimate how well he plays a whole lot of cue games. He's arguably the best 3-cushion player with countless world titles, he can match up against any pro in 8-ball, 9-ball or 10-ball, and he plays pretty sporty snooker. Super competitor.

-Ira

Snake Plisken
09-22-2010, 08:56 PM
I assume all-around includes all cue games, not just pool. I vote for Torbjorn Blomdahl. I think a lot of guys may underestimate how well he plays a whole lot of cue games. He's arguably the best 3-cushion player with countless world titles, he can match up against any pro in 8-ball, 9-ball or 10-ball, and he plays pretty sporty snooker. Super competitor.

-Ira

You're not supposed to drink the bongwater..

RFisher
09-22-2010, 08:57 PM
I think the op had pocket billiards in mind when posting this thread, Not including snooker or 3cush. Who's the best all around. 9ball,8ball,14.1,1-pocket,Banks, (10ball kind of new to the mainstream public),(7ball PLEASE),

Efren
Sigel
Varner
Hopkins(agree or not he won titles in 9ball, 1pocket,14.1, and was voted an all around champ)
Miz
Dalton
Parica

we could put quit a few player in the honorable mention catagory. Like: Buddy hall, Grady Mathews, Danny Harriman, Matlock, Archer, ext...and then of course the legends fron the 50's & 60's.

New breed? SChmit, Owens,?

It's hard to come up with many foreign players because 9ball (rotation pool), and 14.1 has been the dominate games over seas. Exept for Schmit, I can't think of any US players that can beat the Euroupeans at 14.1. 9 ball is dominated by filio's, and taiwan/chinese players.

cwilmeth
09-22-2010, 09:55 PM
May be a gentleman a lot of players never heard of. JR Norris from Witchita Falls Tx. He's in the Texas pool player hall of fame. He's still alive and in his mid to upper 70's. Stories told to me was he used to beat up on all the old pros. U.J. Puckett, Misconi, Cornbread Red. He even beat fats out of a few thousand.
I think if you were to google junior Norris you would see where I'm coming from. Next time you see Buddy Hall, ask him.

cwilmeth
09-22-2010, 09:58 PM
You could almost put Allison fisher in this catagory too

greyghost
09-22-2010, 10:08 PM
Efren is great no doubt but we also get to see him all the time with video and tv.If all the matches from back when had been recorded I wonder what we wouldve seen

well as i've said a number of times.....

you would have seen this:

Place: Johnston City Hustlers Jamboree

Harold worst is given a bet if he can run out 40 balls into 1 hole without a miss....and he beats it. They spaced them out evenly around the table i believe and he ran all 40 without hitting another ball.

He was the king of pushout.....so long as he could see it he knew he could make it...he would push out to unbelievable spots and RIP it in the hole.

Winner winner chicken dinner.....by a frigging mile and then some.

One of those people that are so great they dam near have to die young....and thats exactly what happened.

Other sportsman that come to mind are Walter Peyton, Lou Gherig, Rocky Marciano, Earl Munson....Worst is that kind of guy, he's is in the same air, and maybe even a step above a few of those legendary athletes and how they DOMINATED their sports.

-Grey Ghost-

Tommy-D
09-22-2010, 11:29 PM
> The story about Worst that intrigues me the most,is that his presence at the table was so intimidating that within a week of each other,2 different guys had a heart attack while fading his gear.

Anyone that was around Johnston City that I've asked said they eventually barred him from the ring games there,or everyone just quit.

He used to bust people giving 10-1 on him running 100 with a setup break shot.

He went to Argentina? and won a World 3-c title too. That's like going to Brazil to get your black belt in Ju-Jitsu,nearly impossible.

Other than Mosconi in the 50's,if I could time warp backwards and see the all time greats,Worst back then would be my first stop.

If we're strictly talking about the classic American pool games like 8,9,14.1,and one pocket,then the best all-around player in my lifetime has been Mike Sigel. I will say that Mike's 1-p cred is suspect. At his best,he just flat missed less than anyone else.

If we add 3-c and games like 15 ball rotation,and billiard games like balkline,I gotta say Efren.

I've said it before,I think these days the best all-around player is Thorsten,with John Schmidt very close. Tommy D.

jay helfert
09-23-2010, 01:17 AM
It we are including all games on a pool table (9-Ball, One Pocket, 14.1, Banks and Rotation) I would have to put Harold Worst on top of my list. The man had no weaknesses and no fear of playing anyone at any game. If he was a little unfamiliar with the game (i.e. One Pocket), he could watch and practice for one week and beat the best players. He was coming after Ronnie before he died. Too bad, that would have been a classic. Like young Shane, Harold was not afraid of a bet either. He'd gamble with the best of them. That's why the hustlers respected him too.

Next on my list is close between Sigel and Mizerak. They both played all games at top speed but Mike banked better, so I give him the nod. Parica was another all around champion. Mizerak once tried to spot him forty (then thirty) going to 125. Disaster! And Jose played better Rotation than anyone else, besides Efren.

Efren is also in my top five all time. 1. Worst 2. Sigel 3. Mizerak 4. Parica 5. Efren
Buddy, Hopkins, Ed Kelly, Jersey Red, and Varner are the second team. That's a pretty strong top ten. Jimmy Fusco, Jim Rempe, Johnny Ervolino, Jimmy Moore, Danny Diliberto and Ray Martin are all honorable mention.

Ed Wiggins
09-23-2010, 03:38 AM
May be a gentleman a lot of players never heard of. JR Norris from Witchita Falls Tx. He's in the Texas pool player hall of fame. He's still alive and in his mid to upper 70's. Stories told to me was he used to beat up on all the old pros. U.J. Puckett, Misconi, Cornbread Red. He even beat fats out of a few thousand.
I think if you were to google junior Norris you would see where I'm coming from. Next time you see Buddy Hall, ask him.


This was Junior in 1997.
I believe he would be 85 this year.


Ed

snarzberry
09-23-2010, 03:54 AM
I think the best all-around cue sport player ever is Walter Lindrum.

Many of you probably haven't heard of him before but he was the greatest billiards player ever. He has the highest ever break, over 4000, which consisted of approx. 1900 consecutive scoring shots.

I started out playing snooker - the same type of table used in billiards - but now play 9 ball pretty much exclusively. But I've played a bit of billiards in my time and know how difficult it is.

Check out this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXEW4Wzh5Ps it's from the 30's so it's black and white, but from 0:40 to 2:20 is a display of some the most brilliant cuemanship you will ever see.

The nursery cannon sequence is nothing short of genius, and if you think it looks easy then give it a try some time! ;) In this clip he takes a nursery cannon sequence around a corner pocket, something I've never seen done live although I knew he was able to do it from his incredibly high breaks. To call doing that difficult would be the understatement of the century! :wink:

iralee
09-23-2010, 06:23 AM
You're not supposed to drink the bongwater..

I assume you're one of the people who don't know who Blomdahl is.

yiyilance
09-23-2010, 06:38 AM
Efran "BATA" Reyes! haha

Black-Balled
09-23-2010, 06:49 AM
I N I vote for Torbjorn Blomdahl. ...he can match up against any pro in 8-ball, 9-ball or 10-ball,
-Ira

You're not supposed to drink the bongwater..

With all due respect, Ira...

It is true. You are NOT supposed to drink the bong water!;) If Blomdahl wanted to put his bucks in action then there would be a long line of pool players wanting to play him. He might win a few sets to 11, but he doesn't like it in the long run.

BUt you did say one thing: super competitor. Very true. Who knows what the Man can do?!

parvus1202
09-23-2010, 09:17 AM
Are there any other player on the planet living or dead still winning international tournament at the age of 56? Yes, there are lot of great players past and not so present, have show great skills, winning world championships, but when they reach their forties they slow down. They can't cope with younger generation's onslaught. But one 56 year old still spanking these youngster's behind.

Bank2Win
09-23-2010, 09:19 AM
How about "The Lion" Alex Pagulayan. He has won every rotation major championship out there, One Pocket who wants to play him even?, straight pool didn't he crush Mr.400 once. If he only played with the same passion he has for his other interests..

Winston846
09-23-2010, 09:42 AM
It's not surprising to see most on here go with the consensus contemporary pick... Efren. But the original question asked for the best all around player ever. That said, you would have to think how Efren would have matched up against the likes of a Harold Worst, Don Willis, or Luther Lassiter.

And Jay, how could you omit Lassiter? :confused: You didn't even give him an honorable mention.

Mr441
09-23-2010, 11:22 AM
I assume all-around includes all cue games, not just pool. I vote for Torbjorn Blomdahl. I think a lot of guys may underestimate how well he plays a whole lot of cue games. He's arguably the best 3-cushion player with countless world titles, he can match up against any pro in 8-ball, 9-ball or 10-ball, and he plays pretty sporty snooker. Super competitor.

-Ira

I think the OP just meant pool.....but if he meant all cue games then yeah, I'd have to agree with you on Blomdahl. I can't think of anyone that could come close to challenging him in an all-around cue sport contest.

jay helfert
09-23-2010, 12:25 PM
It's not surprising to see most on here go with the consensus contemporary pick... Efren. But the original question asked for the best all around player ever. That said, you would have to think how Efren would have matched up against the likes of a Harold Worst, Don Willis, or Luther Lassiter.

And Jay, how could you omit Lassiter? :confused: You didn't even give him an honorable mention.

My error, thanks! I would put him in my second ten, because his One Pocket game was suspect and many players banked better than him. Cutting the balls was another matter entirely. No one ever sliced balls in better than Luther! If you limited the games to 9-Ball and Straight Pool, Lassiter may have been the best of all time. I don't know why he never learned to play high speed One Pocket. It was the second most popular gambling game, even during his era. Today even a player with the skills of Johnny Archer may refuse to play One Pocket. Some players just don't like the game. My suspicion is there is too much thinking and creativity that goes into it. It can be baffling, even for a good player.

Black-Balled
09-23-2010, 12:34 PM
I think the OP just meant pool.....but if he meant all cue games then yeah, I'd have to agree with you on Blomdahl. I can't think of anyone that could come close to challenging him in an all-around cue sport contest.


I give you Efren.

But not literally...Blomdahl is the fave in only 3c vs. Reyes.

book collector
09-23-2010, 12:38 PM
It's not surprising to see most on here go with the consensus contemporary pick... Efren. But the original question asked for the best all around player ever. That said, you would have to think how Efren would have matched up against the likes of a Harold Worst, Don Willis, or Luther Lassiter.

And Jay, how could you omit Lassiter? :confused: You didn't even give him an honorable mention.

There is a video of Lassiter and Boston Shorty playing the final of a One Pocket World Championship, poor play compared to todays standards.

greyghost
09-23-2010, 12:44 PM
My error, thanks! I would put him in my second ten, because his One Pocket game was suspect and many players banked better than him. Cutting the balls was another matter entirely. No one ever sliced balls in better than Luther! If you limited the games to 9-Ball and Straight Pool, Lassiter may have been the best of all time. I don't know why he never learned to play high speed One Pocket. It was the second most popular gambling game, even during his era. Today even a player with the skills of Johnny Archer may refuse to play One Pocket. Some players just don't like the game. My suspicion is there is too much thinking and creativity that goes into it. It can be baffling, even for a good player.

very very true Jay......all you have to do is look at Eddie Robins one pocket books....something like that could never be done in 9 ball....there just are not as many options and situations.

Look at Artie.....everyone says he was far from a good straight shooter but yet by using his mind and imagination to the utmost degree he had one of the highest if not the highest batting averages against the best players in the world in One hole.

Its the chess of pool, and as well all know some rather stick to checkers.

-Grey Ghost-

Winston846
09-23-2010, 12:50 PM
There is a video of Lassiter and Boston Shorty playing the final of a One Pocket World Championship, poor play compared to todays standards.

You hit the nail on the head... TODAY'S STANDARDS. It was a different game then (80/20 napped cloth, no hi-tech cues or low deflection shafts, etc.). Think of how good Jack Nicklaus would be if he were 30 years old today and playing with today's equipment. Tiger who? I think the same applies here.

And as Jay said, 1P wasn't Lassiter's best game, but he certainly didn't stink at it.

brandonspitler
09-23-2010, 12:53 PM
Well, I cannot disagree with Efren as the very best all-around. However, Bugs Rucker, during his playing years was THE best one-pocket player, and THE best bank-pool player, and he shot very straight as well, so I assume he could really play some 9-ball too.
And what about Gary Spaeth? World-Class at EVERY game.
With all that said, still have to pick Efren.

Brandon Lee Spitler.

brandonspitler
09-23-2010, 12:56 PM
Kinda surprising that no one has mentioned Eddie Taylor as well.

Blackball75
09-23-2010, 01:36 PM
I think the best all-around cue sport player ever is Walter Lindrum.



Yup, he came to my mind, too. But few people under 60 will have heard about English Billiards, sadly. Wonder how he played pool.

Blackball75
09-23-2010, 01:49 PM
Can we agree that snooker is the hardest of the cue games?


I'm gonna cop a load of flak for this, but just my 2 cents.

I don't know if its the hardest cue sport there is, as I've not played every cuesport known to man. But I've played a lot of snooker (12ft tables) and a lot of pool (all table sizes) and one thing I can say for sure is that snooker is MUCH harder than 8-ball, 9-ball, 10-ball, straight, and any other pool variant I've played. Even on same-sized tables, snooker is a lot harder. I'm not saying pool is easy, just snooker is a lot harder.

I'm generally considered a fairly solid casual pool player. But at snooker a break of 20+ counts as a very good break for me. I've seen lots of talented pool players totally at sea when faced with a 12ft snooker table. I've never seen a good snooker player who wasn't also at least a respectable pool player, though.

There are a number of top snooker players who can also make the best pool players sweat a bit. But was there ever a top pool player who'd worry the best snooker players?

h2o4170
09-23-2010, 01:50 PM
Worst won the world 3c title,he beat everyone playing 9 ball and straight poolhe got invited to England to play in a national snooker championship and won it,a game hed never played and was almost dead from brain cancer at the time.Wimmpy steered him into a bad one pocket game in JC i think he was givin eddie 8 to 6 and down 7 or 8 games.He figured out they trapped him so he tripples the bet runs a couple 8 and outs and quits.If it had been televised back the he would have been the majician the guy made everything he shot at.And he never slow rolled a 9 ball they hit the back of the pocket with a crack!! Efren is no doubt the greatest modern player but Worst wouldve beat him at everything except maybe one pocket.

dr9ball
09-23-2010, 01:57 PM
Ok here's my list for consideration.
Irving Crane
Nick Varner
Eddie Taylor
Johnny Irish
Luther Lassiter
Harold Worst
Alfredo DeOro

h2o4170
09-23-2010, 02:01 PM
Well, I cannot disagree with Efren as the very best all-around. However, Bugs Rucker, during his playing years was THE best one-pocket player, and THE best bank-pool player, and he shot very straight as well, so I assume he could really play some 9-ball too.
And what about Gary Spaeth? World-Class at EVERY game.
With all that said, still have to pick Efren.

Brandon Lee Spitler.

Bugs was a great banker and onepocket player.I used to watch him as a teenager and was always in awe.His 9 ball game wasnt world class and I dont think I ever saw him play staight pool. But him,Gary, and youngblood are deff the top 3 bankers.

Rusty C
09-23-2010, 02:07 PM
I'm suprised no one mentioned, shannon daulton, david matlock or tony fargo.

dr9ball
09-23-2010, 02:08 PM
If we are asked to consider Snooker as the most difficult game then I think we should also consider 3 cushion and Pyramid

h2o4170
09-23-2010, 02:16 PM
If we are asked to consider Snooker as the most difficult game then I think we should also consider 3 cushion and Pyramid

We have a russian pyramid table where i play (ultimate-billiards.com) Im told theres only 3 in the country and I tell ya it make snooker seem like a bar box.I dont like the game but its IMO the hardest pocket game out there.

mikeyfrost
09-23-2010, 02:22 PM
This is a never ending debate. You probably need to be in your 50s to really have seen the legends play close to their top speed. All I know is Efren so Efren wins. If someone in their late 50s or higher says different it's impossible to argue that for me.

It's like me trying to figure out if Jerry West was better than John Stockton, can't do it.

hunger strike
09-23-2010, 02:35 PM
I have to say that I have no standing to even comment about who is the greatest all around. But as a reader, I can express what many who read this would like to find on this thread: Wouldn't it be appropriate to have the champions and contemporaries of champions decide WHO they believe was greatest and WHY? It would be more interesting commentary to the rest of us...

jay helfert
09-23-2010, 02:37 PM
Kinda surprising that no one has mentioned Eddie Taylor as well.


Taylor and Bugs were both world class at One Pocket and Banks. No question about that. In fact if you only consider those two games, they are probably the two best ever. Taylor's Straight Pool game was only average, but he did play jam-up 9-Ball as well. He probably belongs on my top ten list ahead of a few others. Another foul on me! As for Bugs, I'm sure he could play 9-Ball, but I never saw him play a game, so it is hard for me to rate his speed. I have a feeling he never played Straight Pool for money (or in a tournament) in his life. Freddie would know better than me.

P.S. Dallas West is another player who should be on my Honorable Mention list. He played all games at world class speed, except One Pocket (yes he was another very good player who didn't like the game). He also played high speed Three Cushions, right there with Shorty. By the way, I omitted Boston Shorty too, one more GREAT player I shouldn't have overlooked. His Straight Pool game also was only average, but he was right there with the best Three Cushion players in the USA.

whitewolf
09-23-2010, 03:28 PM
not even close


efren

Yeah, the man with the 'girly man break'. Yeah, that's the ticket.

btw, what does top players picking Efren have to do with anything?!!! Does that make you a top player too? Duh! The top players who post on this forum have never seen some of the old players shoot. And there are many old players on this forum who have seen the old timers shoot. I would put my faith in the old guys on this forum, certaintly not you. :grin-square:

PoolBum
09-23-2010, 05:33 PM
Are there any other player on the planet living or dead still winning international tournament at the age of 56? Yes, there are lot of great players past and not so present, have show great skills, winning world championships, but when they reach their forties they slow down. They can't cope with younger generation's onslaught. But one 56 year old still spanking these youngster's behind.

Irving Crane won world titles at ages 54, 55, 57, and 59.

PoolBum
09-23-2010, 05:34 PM
No one ever sliced balls in better than Luther! If you limited the games to 9-Ball and Straight Pool, Lassiter may have been the best of all time.

I think Sigel would be his only competitor then.

cuesmith
09-23-2010, 06:26 PM
Another player who deserves an "honorable mention" in this category is Danny DiLiberto! He won Titles in 4 consecutive decades and beat Efren out of a thousand playing one-pocket and beat him in a 9-ball tournament 11-1! He didn't consider himself a bank pool player, but he played all games at world class level and banked as good as anyone in one-pocket. He just never matched up playing bank pool.

BelleBelle
09-23-2010, 08:14 PM
If you watch the accu-stats match Alex vs Efren semi finals one pocket Derby city classic 2006, at the end of the march Billy Incardona says "no one has played there sport better than Efren" Freddy the beard says only Jordan comes close, followed by Billy saying "he's the best I've ever seen in my lifetime". How strong is that!

jay helfert
09-23-2010, 09:31 PM
I think Sigel would be his only competitor then.


Sigel and Mizerak. BUT, Luther could do it for the cash too! I'm not saying that Mike didn't gamble (Steve rarely did) but Lassiter was at his best with all the money on the line. Sorry but I can't say the same for Mike. At tournament play, it's too close to call. They were both WINNERS!

PoolBum
09-23-2010, 10:08 PM
Sigel and Mizerak. BUT, Luther could do it for the cash too! I'm not saying that Mike didn't gamble (Steve rarely did) but Lassiter was at his best with all the money on the line. Sorry but I can't say the same for Mike. At tournament play, it's too close to call. They were both WINNERS!

Jay, how would you rank those three players individually against each other in both 9-ball and straight pool? (tournament play only)

iba7467
10-16-2010, 05:20 PM
I can only answer for my lifetime. For that it is without a doubt:

EFREN

bobroberts
10-16-2010, 05:31 PM
Lassiter
Crane
Jersey red
Mosconi
Efren
Earl
Each and everyone of them could beat each other on any given day.

GetMeThere
10-16-2010, 06:36 PM
uhhhh NEGATIVE.......

that award would go to HAROLD WORST

I don't know. I'm almost thinking that Shorty looks better here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgAmdlfbh1Q)

[I'm assuming that "Shorty" is the short guy :D ]

I don't think either one would stand up well to today's 9-ball competition.

I have to say, in fitting with the phrase "all around," that Efren Reyes is definitely the best I'VE ever watched. The guy can do it all at (more or less) the pinnacle of perfection.

Although I will say, when his head is right, that Earl Strickland can pocket balls and get fine position over long distances better than anyone else I've ever seen play (9-ball). I couldn't, in good conscience, give Earl the "all around" title.

book collector
10-16-2010, 08:09 PM
I think the best all-around cue sport player ever is Walter Lindrum.

Many of you probably haven't heard of him before but he was the greatest billiards player ever. He has the highest ever break, over 4000, which consisted of approx. 1900 consecutive scoring shots.

I started out playing snooker - the same type of table used in billiards - but now play 9 ball pretty much exclusively. But I've played a bit of billiards in my time and know how difficult it is.

Check out this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXEW4Wzh5Ps it's from the 30's so it's black and white, but from 0:40 to 2:20 is a display of some the most brilliant cuemanship you will ever see.

The nursery cannon sequence is nothing short of genius, and if you think it looks easy then give it a try some time! ;) In this clip he takes a nursery cannon sequence around a corner pocket, something I've never seen done live although I knew he was able to do it from his incredibly high breaks. To call doing that difficult would be the understatement of the century! :wink:

Walter was probably the best at 1 game there ever was...he single handedly destroyed the game of English Billiards because he was so much better than everyone there was no competition. He was the reason Joe Davis started playing snooker. When he was 12 years old HW Stevenson the reigning champion went on a worldwide tour and when he got to australia he played Walter and promptly got his brains beat in. Then the poor guy went to the Phillipines and played several people and lost to all of them . He went home and never played again.

book collector
10-16-2010, 08:48 PM
Yup, he came to my mind, too. But few people under 60 will have heard about English Billiards, sadly. Wonder how he played pool.

English Billiards consisted of many shots, billiards, cannons in offs etc.
On a 6x12 snooker table Walter shot the lights out pocketing balls. I don't remember him entering any other contests than English Billiards though.
I would say he was also a top player at snooker and 3 cushion only be cause those are the shots that make up the English Billiards game.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe9dH3wgU00 heres a video of Walter making in offs but he shot the balls in like a machine also.
He made straight rail billiards so fast in tournaments that it took 2 scorekeepers to keep score correctly for him.
His book "Billiards" by Walter Lindrum is one of the most interesting books about a pool player i ever read.

book collector
10-16-2010, 08:59 PM
My error, thanks! I would put him in my second ten, because his One Pocket game was suspect and many players banked better than him. Cutting the balls was another matter entirely. No one ever sliced balls in better than Luther! If you limited the games to 9-Ball and Straight Pool, Lassiter may have been the best of all time. I don't know why he never learned to play high speed One Pocket. It was the second most popular gambling game, even during his era. Today even a player with the skills of Johnny Archer may refuse to play One Pocket. Some players just don't like the game. My suspicion is there is too much thinking and creativity that goes into it. It can be baffling, even for a good player.

Funny story I heard of a conversation between 2 top players.
Nick is playing a young player that shoots the lights out cheap nine ball and a year later the kid beats Nick and Mike in several tournaments. Then Nick starts playing the same kid some cheap games of straight pool and a year later the kid is beating both of them at straight pool. One day Mike screams at Nick "I suppose now you will win $500.00 off him playing One Pocket and we won't be able to beat him at anything."
Mike Sigel talking to Nick Varner about Johnny Archer.

By the Way , I must be losing it, I just posted 3 times in a row in the same thread ....thats goofy.

mcmlb55
10-16-2010, 09:53 PM
Each and everyone of them could beat each other on any given day.

^^This. The only right answer.

whitewolf
10-17-2010, 06:58 AM
Sigel and Mizerak. BUT, Luther could do it for the cash too! I'm not saying that Mike didn't gamble (Steve rarely did) but Lassiter was at his best with all the money on the line. Sorry but I can't say the same for Mike. At tournament play, it's too close to call. They were both WINNERS!

As a teenager Sigel tool Mizerak to the cleaners in 9 ball for money. Back then, Sigel "was 85 pounds in soaking wet clothes".

smashmouth
10-17-2010, 07:25 AM
too many unqualified responses here, I'll speak for the 80's onwards

Ronnie O Sullivan is the man

nobody has ever tortured the best in the world at their sport like he has

if you had an all round championship today, carom, pool, snooker, a motivated Ronnie would win by a wide margin

it's not even close really, if you doubt that, you lack experience both playing and watching carom and snooker at the high levels

Efren on his best day loses bad and that's as good as it gets for pool players

Lazerrus
10-17-2010, 07:55 AM
When I consider skill in so many games I must also consider the player's attitude and class and what a player gives to the sport or has given. So like the thread says Best All Around. My vote must go to Nick Varner.

DeepBanks
10-17-2010, 08:06 AM
Sigel and Mizerak. BUT, Luther could do it for the cash too! I'm not saying that Mike didn't gamble (Steve rarely did) but Lassiter was at his best with all the money on the line. Sorry but I can't say the same for Mike. At tournament play, it's too close to call. They were both WINNERS!

The only other guy I'd consider throwing in the ring against Lassiter for cash would be Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall . . . he was tough when the chips were down.

PoolBum
10-17-2010, 09:28 AM
The only other guy I'd consider throwing in the ring against Lassiter for cash would be Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall . . . he was tough when the chips were down.

Did Buddy play straight pool for cash?

bstroud
10-17-2010, 11:01 AM
Well most of you are not old enought but I have seen them all.

The best player period was Eddy Taylor. He plaid 9 ball, banks, one pocket, one handed and did I mention straight pool. After a few days practice at straight he beat everyone.

I once watched him play Beenie 50-37. He robbed him. Miz had just won the world's straight pool championship and lost with the same game.

If Eddy tried to get in a ring game everyone groaned and quit.

I traveled with him on the road for a year and the only reason was that no one, and I mean no one would play him anything even. He just found a way to win at all games. Not always pretty but win he did.

Those of you that never got to see him in his prime really missed something.

Bill Stroud

dr9ball
10-17-2010, 11:23 AM
How about Alfredo DeOro.

Pocket billiards champion 16 out of 25 years and Three Cushion Champion 10 times out of 11 years.

Who can top that repeatable world class performance?

From the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame:

http://home.bca-pool.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=31

"The career of the distinguished Spanish champion ALFREDO DeORO encompassed both Three-Cushion and Pocket Billiards and spanned the closing decades of the 19th century and the opening decades of the 20th. DeOro, who served in his country's diplomatic corps, first gained the Pocket Billiard crown in 1887. He was to repeat the achievement 16 times in the next 25 years. DeOro held the Three-Cushion title 10 times from 1908 through 1919. In 1934, at the age of 71, DeOro came out of retirement for a Championship Tournament, winning two dramatic victories from defending champion Welker Cochran and the ultimate winner of the tournament, Johnny Layton."