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View Full Version : When Did You First Hear of Efren Reyes?


Cornerman
01-14-2014, 10:45 AM
Stars have aligned for me in this sport as it has with many of us. My grandparents had moved in with us after their leaving the Philippines to spend the rest of their years in the U.S. They became regulars at the local senior center with Mama doing a lot of knitting/crocheting activities and my Papa participating in shuffleboard, chess, and ... pool.

He never played the game when he was younger, but decided to take it up to pass the time. He bought a book, the best book he could find on the subject: Robert Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards.

The book became my bible once I stole it from Papa in 1983. This is when realized that I really loved the game and that there were actually books on the sport. So, I sought other books. They had one at the local library: Billiards: Hustlers & Heroes, Legends & Lies and the Search for Higher Truth on the Green Felt - John Grissim. I found my own copy years later from Amazon and pull it out a few times a year!

http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?p=344196#post344196

In what seems today like just a passing three or four paragraphs about pool during his travels around the world, tucked between a trip to Borneo and bedroom romp with a pool-playing lesbian whom he thought he got pregnant was a quick story of his stop in the Philippines. His opponent in the PI was some shy kid that the locals goofed on by the name Efren Reyes. Grissim describes him as having the stroke that clearly made him a professional caliber player well above his own skill level. He also mentions that he heard that Reyes was the number 2 player in the Philippines. The two played a game or two of 1/15 8-ball (as this would have been the version to come over to the PI when it was an American Territory) and they played on 10 ft tables in tough conditions.

I didn't think much about the excerpt other than his description of playing pool in the Philippines. I tucked that little reading memory aside until a few years later ... something from Steve Mizerak (Winning Pocket Billiards possibly). In it, Mizerak went on to talk about the best 9-ball players. He mentions for some odd reason a non-American player: Efren Reyes from the Philippines. This is before I had heard of Efren coming to the States as Cesar Morales. Maybe that book told that story. I can't remember anymore. CRS.

That a country as tiny as the Philippines is mentioned for pool is one thing. For one to present Efren Reyes by name and then another to say he is one of, if not the best 9-ball player was just an outrageous discovery by a young Filipino-American just relatively starting out in this sport. And this discovery is as much a reason of why I continue to love this sport as anything. I never saw Efren play until the 1993 World Team Billiards Event. And, I am extremely fortunate to watch him play in person as often as I have, considering he was already getting past his prime at that time. Yet he never dropped much out of "prime" until just really couple of years ago.

So that's my story of when I first heard of Efren. And I've been following his story ever since.

Freddie <~~~ 10 ft tables, in case someone missed that

poolguy4u
01-14-2014, 10:59 AM
I first saw Efren Reyes at the Reds Tournament in Houston Texas in 1985.. Just a young little guy playing
around the clock...I believe he was playing Keith all night long.

And the Bob Byrnes Book of Pool and Billiards...I have the hard back edition from when it first come out.
I also called it my Bible. I was captain of a pool team, Airport Hotel in Limerick PA, and
whenever someone needed help with a shot I'd take the book to the table and say "It's in the book."
What good times we all had.

I always recommended that book to all players. And to the beginners, I'd recommend the Willie Mosconi blue cover book.

Cornerman
01-14-2014, 11:04 AM
And the Bob Byrnes Book of Pool and Billiards...I have the hard back edition from when it first come out.
I also called it my Bible. I was captain of a pool team, Airport Hotel in Limerick PA, and
whenever someone needed help with a shot I'd take the book to the table and say "It's in the book."
What good times we all had.

My paperback copy completely fell apart!

poolguy4u
01-14-2014, 11:13 AM
My paperback copy completely fell apart!

:D


When I used to teach people how to play back in the 1980's, I used to tell them they need to read the blue Willie Mosconi book and Bob Byrne's book. They were only allowed to read them at my house. I learned to never loan books or you might not ever get them back. And if you do get them back, it's only because you had to go hunt people down.

After they read the books, then I'd take them to a pool table. This way...when I explained something, they might remember what I'm saying from the books.:smile:


Oh...I'm off topic already....

gregcantrall
01-14-2014, 11:14 AM
At the 1984 Caesars Tahoe tournament I watched Jose Parica play. Everyone was raving about how he was beating all of the American players in money games. After one match, I overheard him tell someone that he was not the best player in the Phillipines. That was the first time I heard of Efren. In 1985 at the Sands Reno tournament I watched him play like ...... well the Magician. He destroyed Earl in the finals.

swirly
01-14-2014, 11:16 AM
I first picked up a cue when i was in college in the late 90's. Then I started watching espn pool whenever it was on. Efren had the biggest impression on me, something about the hair/furled eyebrow combo focus, cheap shirts, and the stroke.

FairladyZ
01-14-2014, 11:17 AM
when I joined this site. His name was part of the anti-spam text field....I had no idea who he was and had to google it real quick to get the answer....

DAVE_M
01-14-2014, 11:30 AM
Youtube.

I'm a younger kid, so I first learned about Efren Reyes through searching youtube videos about how to get better at pool. I came across some of the "Efren's best shots" videos and then found the match between Efren and Jim Rempe.

jay helfert
01-14-2014, 11:47 AM
Like many others I first saw Efren at Red's in Houston in 1985, when he was using the name Cesar Morales. Believe it or not, after he won the tournament I asked him to autograph a program for me and he signed it Efren Reyes. I thought that was strange but the name meant nothing to me at the time. All I knew was that Cesar Morales was just an alias.

Prior to this I spoke with John Grissim at Caesars Tahoe in 1982 and I was bragging about how strong our field was. He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't.

prad
01-14-2014, 11:58 AM
I remember watching pool on ESPN and this guy Efren was just different. I didn't know what pool was or how to play it but I figured out that you have to make the balls in order (9 ball on tv).
I watched him and I thought this is really a simple game all you gotta do is make 'em balls with a stick. Efren made it look easy there was something different about him. I don't know what it is but we all can see it. This guy was born to play pool, like it's part of his DNA. It's like he is hard wired for this game, for coming pool playing generation it's going to be hard to believe that such a man ever walked on this earth. He is truly the "magician".

gregcantrall
01-14-2014, 12:00 PM
He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't.

The way I heard it in 1985 he was giving the 8 and the breaks. Nine ball was a new game for him and he did not have a break ........yet.:cool:

macguy
01-14-2014, 12:06 PM
Like many others I first saw Efren at Red's in Houston in 1985, when he was using the name Cesar Morales. Believe it or not, after he won the tournament I asked him to autograph a program for me and he signed it Efren Reyes. I thought that was strange but the name meant nothing to me at the time. All I knew was that Cesar Morales was just an alias.

Prior to this I spoke with John Grissim at Caesars Tahoe in 1982 and I was bragging about how strong our field was. He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't.

I was there also but he was not unknown. He was no where to be found till the tournament started. If you remember he went for like $100 in the calcutta and was bought by one of his entourage. When he showed up though there were players who knew who he was and how good he played.

Although at that time he actually was a nobody and even under his real name it would not have meant anything to anybody. His face would have been the possible problem. I actually doubt he was using his real name anywhere he went anyway. It is just not a good idea many times. I guess they were not taking any chances since those Red's calcutta's were topping like $30,000.00 so he stayed out of site. The calcutta was the only reason for the alias just in case. Didn't he already play Mike Sigel some months earlier?

HawaiianEye
01-14-2014, 12:19 PM
I FIRST heard of Efren when I lived and played in the same town as him for 3 years in the Philippines. I lived in the Philippines from 1979-82 and the Philippine champion was "Amang"..Jose Parica. As a matter of fact, I can remember a San Miguel beer ad on TV that had Jose doing a similar shot as the Mizarak Miller Lite commercial. This was BEFORE Efren ever came to the USA.

Joel, the "rack boy" at one of the clubs on Clark AB, was his friend and used to always tell me that I should go play his friend Efren. Was he steering me into a trap....will never know. He must have been robbing people in Manila and elsewhere for the money because I NEVER saw him down in the bars and clubs where you could win tons of money off the American GIs at the time.

Thinking back, I would have loved to have played him back them. He may have gotten all my cash, but it would have been fun losing it. I think I could have hung with him at the time on a bar table. My best 9-ball record of my life was playing on a bar table during those years.

I maybe could have bought Efren's $15 stick before he ever bought it. There used to be a young kid who shot pretty good who went up and down the strip trying to rob GI's playing pool and selling those cues on the side and I never bought one. Maybe I should have. I was using a RIchard Black cue at the time and Joel broke the ivory ferrule on one of my shafts banging balls around with it when I laid it on the table after everyone had quit playing because I had their money and I laid my cue on the table.

Maybe Efren and I were robbing the same people and didn't know it. LOL.

Anyway, I am GLAD to hear that he went FAR in the pool world. :) :)

I would LOVE to meet Efren. I can't believe we never met while I was there. Maybe he was using a different name then too. Maybe I knew Efren before he became "Ceasar Morales" before he became Efren again. LMAO.

macguy
01-14-2014, 12:34 PM
I just had another memory of Efren. He was at my pool room early 80's matching up with a guy, he was with Mike Labron who was taking him around. I say this because Mike was the one making the games and seemed to have the final say. I went home and got my copy of the John Grissim book and wanted him to sign it. When I showed him the book he acted like he had never seen it. He was taking it around showing it to the guys he was with and they were all laughing. He did sign it for me.

When I was doing some cleaning out a few years ago I was getting rid of stuff and sold the book on ebay. I got a big price for it. I would bet that who ever bought the book from me reads this forum. I know most will be thinking "I would never sell something like that." You get tired of all your stuff after a while. Maybe if I had kids I would keep stuff.

mbvl
01-14-2014, 01:02 PM
I was in the Navy 1968-1972 and spent a good amount of time at Subic Bay Naval Base in the PI. The was a pool hall on the base and I used to play cheap nine-ball with one of the locals. One day after I had beat him pretty badly he said, "If you want a real game go play the kid in Angeles City." I never made it to Angeles City.

It was probably almost twenty years later that I found out that Efren was from Angeles City and that his nickname, Bata, means the kid in Tagalog. I told this story to Efren not long ago, and he smiled and said, "That's me."

POVPOOL
01-14-2014, 03:45 PM
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be Efren Reyes!”

Banks
01-14-2014, 04:20 PM
And God said, “Let there be Efren Reyes!”

And it was good.

When I started playing(joining APA), people would toss out names here and there. The bar I started in had hosted some big tournaments and had plaques with local names such as Bill Cress, Schumacher and some others. Some of the bar people knew things, just not experts. Looking up Efren after hearing about him both from other players and from here, simply watching him was fun.. he really is a kid when he's playing. Having the pleasure of seeing him play in person last year only confirmed it. He got a little frustrated on a few shots, iirc, but that tended to last only a few seconds before he was just watching the table intently and then seemed almost giddy when he'd get back to the table and lay down a nice run.

crabbcatjohn
01-14-2014, 04:50 PM
Lets see:) Mid to late 80's in Colorado springs. Now my memory is quite fuzzy from those days....lol If i remember right he was putting on a some kind of charity exhibition and i think he played a set against Laura Smith for the show. I seem to remember he was also with Parica or maybe just the guy he traveled with. I remember at the time when he and the guy he was with walked by me that he didn't look like nothing special! I don't know if Island Drive was there. Maybe he will chime in if he was.

bdorman
01-14-2014, 05:09 PM
I just took up pool three years ago. One of my first actions was to watch tournament videos on youtube. Luckily, I chose one with Efren Reyes. I think it was the Reyes-Rempe match. I continued to watch more Reyes matches because he seemed like a good player to emmulate and he was fun to watch. At the time I didn't know he was one of the best that ever played the game.

Dave714
01-14-2014, 05:26 PM
Remember watching
him in a tour. finals on TV. They keep talking about his cheap pool stick.

Dave714
01-14-2014, 05:27 PM
Remember watching him in a tour. finals on TV. They keep talking about his cheap pool stick.

Island Drive
01-14-2014, 06:16 PM
Lets see:) Mid to late 80's in Colorado springs. Now my memory is quite fuzzy from those days....lol If i remember right he was putting on a some kind of charity exhibition and i think he played a set against Laura Smith for the show. I seem to remember he was also with Parica or maybe just the guy he traveled with. I remember at the time when he and the guy he was with walked by me that he didn't look like nothing special! I don't know if Island Drive was there. Maybe he will chime in if he was.

I'm thinking 1982 this pic was taken, I also heard (I was in action all the time at this event) about some guy drilled Medina, and after beatin' everyone he tried to play Buddy well worn, didn't work out very well for the tired player.

Lesh
01-14-2014, 06:22 PM
I didnt hear of Efren till I came back to pool in 2012. I'd been away for quite some time and look what happens. I guess I better fix what YOU GUYS did to pool all these years. ::::grumbles::::

Well at least we still have Efren :)

Lesh

crabbcatjohn
01-14-2014, 06:28 PM
I'm thinking 1982 this pic was taken, I also heard (I was in action all the time at this event) about some guy drilled Medina, and after beatin' everyone he tried to play Buddy well worn, didn't work out very well for the tired player.

I can see why you were in action, looks like you were even woofing in the picture...lol

ctyhntr
01-14-2014, 07:30 PM
Back in 1984, I first read about Efren Reyes from John Grissim's book "Billiards". At that time, my pool book library consisted of four books; Grissim's Billiards, Byrne's and two of Mosconi's books (red cover Mosconi on Pocket Billiards and Winning Pocket Billiards).

I used to live across the street from a gaming supply store, V. Loria & sons, and used to go there once a month for my pool fix (billiard supplies and magazine).

Don't laugh, up until a few years ago I thought you when you put english on the ball, it would curve the cueball path just like the pictures in Mosconi's book. So for years I stuck to top/follow or center ball.

Back I was so addicted to pool, I got kicked out of college twice. My GPA was so low, people assumed it was my zip code. Once I quit pool, I found the time to have a girlfriend and graduate from college.

I first saw Efren Reyes at the Reds Tournament in Houston Texas in 1985.. Just a young little guy playing
around the clock...I believe he was playing Keith all night long.

And the Bob Byrnes Book of Pool and Billiards...I have the hard back edition from when it first come out.
I also called it my Bible. I was captain of a pool team, Airport Hotel in Limerick PA, and
whenever someone needed help with a shot I'd take the book to the table and say "It's in the book."
What good times we all had.

I always recommended that book to all players. And to the beginners, I'd recommend the Willie Mosconi blue cover book.

jazznpool
01-14-2014, 08:00 PM
Anyone ever hear of Efren playing one handed 9 ball with "Little Sergio" in Anaheim, CA (Orange County Sports Arena, Ronnie Allen resident "house pro.") in early 1985? JAM should ask Keith about it as I think he'd know. Had you ever heard of this Jay?

Martin

1971
01-15-2014, 04:10 AM
Like many others I first saw Efren at Red's in Houston in 1985, when he was using the name Cesar Morales. Believe it or not, after he won the tournament I asked him to autograph a program for me and he signed it Efren Reyes. I thought that was strange but the name meant nothing to me at the time. All I knew was that Cesar Morales was just an alias.

Prior to this I spoke with John Grissim at Caesars Tahoe in 1982 and I was bragging about how strong our field was. He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't. In 1977, while I was working as a cashier in a casino, there was a Filipino employee that claimed there was a player in his country that could beat anyone in the states. I refused to believe him. Two years later I bought a copy of John Grissim's book, "Billiards". John writes about getting beat by a kid named Efren Reyes while visiting the Philippines. The book was published in 1979......

I Got Lucky
01-15-2014, 04:42 AM
I was in the Navy 1968-1972 and spent a good amount of time at Subic Bay Naval Base in the PI. The was a pool hall on the base and I used to play cheap nine-ball with one of the locals. One day after I had beat him pretty badly he said, "If you want a real game go play the kid in Angeles City." I never made it to Angeles City.

It was probably almost twenty years later that I found out that Efren was from Angeles City and that his nickname, Bata, means the kid in Tagalog. I told this story to Efren not long ago, and he smiled and said, "That's me."


I'm sitting on the base now(well I'm actually at Starbucks near the main gate.) Where was the pool hall back when the base was here?

Even before I moved here I knew the name Efren Reyes. I guess his name is just associated with pool like Michael Jordan is with basketball.

Black-Balled
01-15-2014, 05:34 AM
In 92 or so, a friend told me there was to be a big matchup between efren and one of the Boggs brothers in glen burnie, md.
We went up and I got to see 1p played by pros for the first time.

iirc, efren was giving up 11/7- 12/7 and he ran so many 8, 9...+, I then realized pool was easy :eek:

I still recall with amazement that he shot a shot over and over again that I have only been able to execute a few times to date: he would shoot a ball into his hole, cb to bottom rail an then to opponent's side rail, bumping a ball from that rail toward the center of the table, to shoot next.

Pretty sure he knows what he's doing.

jay helfert
01-15-2014, 08:33 AM
I'm thinking 1982 this pic was taken, I also heard (I was in action all the time at this event) about some guy drilled Medina, and after beatin' everyone he tried to play Buddy well worn, didn't work out very well for the tired player.

Big Bill, always talking! :)
With him is Country Calvin, Mike Massey and that looks like Jerry Brunstetter. Howard Vickery is in back.

Cornerman
01-15-2014, 08:39 AM
I used to live across the street from a gaming supply store, V. Loria & sons,
I bought my first personal cue stick at V. Lorio & Sons. A plain Mali from the Trophy Series. And supposedly, it was still made in Massachusetts.

Freddie <~~~ misses that cue

jay helfert
01-15-2014, 08:40 AM
Anyone ever hear of Efren playing one handed 9 ball with "Little Sergio" in Anaheim, CA (Orange County Sports Arena, Ronnie Allen resident "house pro.") in early 1985? JAM should ask Keith about it as I think he'd know. Had you ever heard of this Jay?

Martin

Sergio won that match up! No one could beat Little Sergio one handed up in the air back then except Ronnie at One Pocket. Keith tried to give Efren the eight ball the first time he saw him at the Sports Arena. Keith gave all Mexican players the eight ball and he thought Efren was from Mexico.

Nostroke
01-15-2014, 10:35 AM
I bought my first personal cue stick at V. Lorio & Sons. A plain Mali from the Trophy Series. And supposedly, it was still made in Massachusetts.

Freddie <~~~ misses that cue

Hey Fred- 'Loria' i think-we had one in Yonkers

Island Drive
01-15-2014, 11:17 AM
Big Bill, always talking! :)
With him is Country Calvin, Mike Massey and that looks like Jerry Brunstetter. Howard Vickery is in back.

Tell bustie and the boys Hi. Last time ''the shot'' was running those guyz around 20 yrs ago, they woke me up, I played Busty four sets astarting at 10pm, I woke up by the third set and broke even.....''you play good, you should play on Pro tour'' commented Busty....I've heard that before., Also played Luat 1am/Split, and Effie drilled me in the exhibition the following day. 11-6, I know I dogged two balls:grin-square:

This above statement probably sounds familiar eh :rolleyes:

jay helfert
01-15-2014, 11:21 AM
Tell bustie and the boys Hi. Last time ''the shot'' was running those guyz around 20 yrs ago, they woke me up, I played Busty four sets astarting at 10pm, I woke up by the third set and broke even.....''you play good, you should play on Pro tour'' commented Busty....I've heard that before., Also played Luat 1am/Split, and Effie drilled me in the exhibition the following day. 11-6, I know I dogged two balls:grin-square:

This above statement probably sounds familiar eh :rolleyes:

You were super tough action playing five ahead for 50 or a 100. Remember I ducked you in Long Beach when I was the house pro there. I was playing good then and beating just about everybody around. I only turned down a couple of guys and you were one of them. I knew the best I could hope for was to split a couple of sets and I didn't want to torture myself that way. :)

Cornerman
01-15-2014, 11:27 AM
Hey Fred- 'Loria' i think-we had one in Yonkers

You're right Dave. It's definitely V. Loria. My fingers have a mind of their own.

Nostroke
01-15-2014, 01:34 PM
You're right Dave. It's definitely V. Loria. My fingers have a mind of their own.



In my job i use to have to buy Trophies among 600 other things. Loria won the bid many times.

My real point in replying is to let people know in case they dont, that if they are not getting at LEAST 50-60% off list price on trophies they are getting robbed. Trophies are just one of those items with the rip off list price a la some car parts, V-Belts, light bulbs and many more. Im pretty sure we got close to 80% off and we probably only bought $2k/yr on them

chevybob20
01-15-2014, 01:43 PM
Does anyone remember what the pool hall was called in Olongapo near the roundabout on Magsaysay Drive?


I apologize for jacking this thread but I just wanted to know.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

GaryB
01-15-2014, 10:24 PM
I played in a Bar League in the late 80's. To me it was just a night out to drink. One night I was sitting in the cocktail lounge when a few of the teams players came in. Turns out they had gone to either LA or Burbank to watch a tournament and all they could talk about was this guy Efren Reyes. The guys absolutely raved about Efrens cue ball control. This must have 86 or 87 because I don't think that Hard Times had opened yet. I didn't go to HT until 89 as I hadn't played but a few games on a 9 footer. What an absolutely wild experience that was! It was a "Wild West" show. Guys coming in with their cases followed by their stakehorse, usually with a bodyguard. Talk about a subterranean culture. Money seemed to be on every light. That discovery was topped only by my luck that Efren and the rest of the Filipinos had chosen Hard Times to be their home away from home. I have had the good fortune to watch Efren in more matches than I can count and when Keith was still in town that was just pure fun!!

People just don't know that when Efren comes over from the Philippines(16-18 hr flight) he is almost always in non stop action getting little rest, much less sleep, for days before flying or sometimes being driven to his prearranged match.

jazznpool
01-16-2014, 12:06 AM
Sergio won that match up! No one could beat Little Sergio one handed up in the air back then except Ronnie at One Pocket. Keith tried to give Efren the eight ball the first time he saw him at the Sports Arena. Keith gave all Mexican players the eight ball and he thought Efren was from Mexico.

Thanks. I sweated some of the match but got bored and did something else. The call had come into Bob's Billiards and a group of us including Keith went over there. This was before the Red's tournament, I believe, and I'm thinking Efren and his crew must have landed in the LA area to start with. I didn't realize this was Efren until many years later.

Martin

Island Drive
01-16-2014, 05:49 AM
You were super tough action playing five ahead for 50 or a 100. Remember I ducked you in Long Beach when I was the house pro there. I was playing good then and beating just about everybody around. I only turned down a couple of guys and you were one of them. I knew the best I could hope for was to split a couple of sets and I didn't want to torture myself that way. :)

The Trap :dance:table @ your house ain't no picnic, hot tub sounds better ;)....

sjm
01-16-2014, 08:14 AM
I like this thread because it's making me feel young.

I heard about Efren when he won the Sands Regency (?1986?) but didn't see him play until 1993 when he competed in the US Open 14.1 event in New York City.

dirtvictim
01-16-2014, 07:15 PM
met efren at chicago billiards in the early 80's when i bought my first southwest cue from john wright (passed) and was introduced to jerry franklin (passed) who made the cue. paid 275 for that cue and wish i still had it.

Pushout
01-17-2014, 07:28 AM
In the same book you did, Freddie. I first saw Efren at the first BC Open in Binghamton, NY in 1985. At The Pocket Billiard Lounge on West State Street I watched him give Allen Hopkins the 15 ball after the break every game playing Rotation for $200 a game. Allen never had a prayer.

1971
05-11-2014, 01:58 AM
Like many others I first saw Efren at Red's in Houston in 1985, when he was using the name Cesar Morales. Believe it or not, after he won the tournament I asked him to autograph a program for me and he signed it Efren Reyes. I thought that was strange but the name meant nothing to me at the time. All I knew was that Cesar Morales was just an alias.

Prior to this I spoke with John Grissim at Caesars Tahoe in 1982 and I was bragging about how strong our field was. He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't. I met John Grissim at Terry Stonier's 1979 9 ball tournament hosted by the Senator Hotel downtown Sacramento. I had by 1979 read about Efren in his book "Billiards". When I first worked in the casinos in Nevada there were a few Filipinos that told me there was a player in the Philippines that could beat any American player. That was in 1977 and I didn't believe them. It took John Grissim's book to make me a believer. It's a helluva good read if you get the chance.

Lucky_Lew66
05-11-2014, 03:26 AM
nice picture do you have any more,Mike massey,Howard Vickery and i think maybe Steve Oaks in the background,nobody knew Oaks and he was a killer at that time.

kkdanamatt
05-11-2014, 04:46 AM
Like many others I first saw Efren at Red's in Houston in 1985, when he was using the name Cesar Morales. Believe it or not, after he won the tournament I asked him to autograph a program for me and he signed it Efren Reyes. I thought that was strange but the name meant nothing to me at the time. All I knew was that Cesar Morales was just an alias.

Prior to this I spoke with John Grissim at Caesars Tahoe in 1982 and I was bragging about how strong our field was. He looked me in the eye and said there are players in the Philippines who can give any of these guys the eight ball. I truly thought he was crazy! I just chuckled at that absurd comment and said something like "Give the eight ball to Sigel or Buddy or Hopkins or Rempe? You MUST be kidding!"

I was to find out three years later he wasn't.

I first saw Efren at Last Call for 9-Ball in Atlantic City in 1986, right after the Red's Tournament. Weenie Beanie knew the guys at Resorts International and promoted a huge open 9-Ball Tournament. Pat Fleming was the tournament director and had to stand on a ladder to fill out the flow charts. There were between 400 and 500 players entered because the entry fee was cheap and the prize money was big. Resorts International had a huge room set up with 9 foot Brunswick Gold Crowns and everybody was there. It was the last time I saw Irving Crane, Luther Lassiter and Eddie Taylor play in a tournament.
I saw this skinny kid practicing before his match and he was playing with all 15 balls on the table, which puzzled me. So I asked Pat Fleming about this kid and he told me that the kid went by the name of Cesar Morales, but it was just an alias. I first thought he was Mexican, but Beanie told me the kid was from Manila. Then they called his match and this skinny kid went over to an even skinnier kid, Rudolpho Luat, who barely weighed 110 pounds, and borrowed Luat's cue for his upcoming match.

I don't remember his opponent or even the score, but Efren destroyed the guy and made several kicks that were spectacular. I think Mike Sigel won the event, but Efren to me was the star attraction. I spoke with Efren a few months ago and he remembered some of the details. He mentioned that he thought Mike Sigel was his toughest opponent at that time.

renard
05-11-2014, 05:19 AM
My paperback copy completely fell apart!

Two of my bindings fell apart. That book was just so amazing to me. It was like I had an edge that knowone else had!

terryhanna
05-11-2014, 05:39 AM
335458-------------

smashmouth
05-11-2014, 06:05 AM
awesome photo, the guy on the left could pass for dennis orcullo

TX Poolnut
05-11-2014, 06:18 AM
Friend let me borrow an Accu-Stats video. He was on it.

Island Drive
05-11-2014, 07:20 AM
Ironically there's Buddy Hall in the background. Action....:thumbup:

smashmouth
05-11-2014, 07:40 AM
first time for me would have been an espn broadcast of the old pro billiard tour, he may have been in a tuxedo

i remember not knowing the first thing about pool and thinking to myself "this guy is awesome" same thing with Earl, steve davis too in snooker

every other player, not so much

muddawg
05-11-2014, 08:34 AM
I was either 13 or 14 years old and just getting into pool. I was watching ESPN and they were showing an International Challenge of Champions match between Efren and Django. Efren got too straight in on a ball and drew the cue ball back 3 rails to get perfect shape on the next ball. It was the first time I'd ever seen someone draw the cue ball that much. I remember thinking that it was so cool, and he's been my favorite player ever since that moment.

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Pushout
05-11-2014, 08:49 AM
In Grissim's book, like some others. Then in Billiards Digest after he won the tournament a Red's. First saw him in 1985 at the first BC Open in Binghamton, NY. Watched him in the local room playing Allan Hopkins Rotation for $200 a rack. Allan got the 15 ball immediately after the break no matter who broke. Efren won about $1800-$2200 if memory serves. Then in the practice room after the tournament was over for the day playing, I think, George Brunt, giving up the 7,8,9 in 9 ball, then the 8,9,10 in 10 ball. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor before I went home.