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jason
07-01-2006, 05:45 AM
Just wondering who everybody thinks is the best over all cueist of all time.

Including all of the major games: 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, one pocket, 3 cushion, snooker, banks.

Am I leaving any games out?

If you want, list the best at individual games as well.

Its a toss up for me between Efren and Mosconi.

ironman
07-01-2006, 06:47 AM
Just wondering who everybody thinks is the best over all cueist of all time.

Including all of the major games: 8-ball, 9-ball, straight pool, one pocket, 3 cushion, snooker, banks.

Am I leaving any games out?

If you want, list the best at individual games as well.

Its a toss up for me between Efren and Mosconi.

Playing all games? I would have to take Mizerak

chuchu1604
07-01-2006, 06:55 AM
Efrens is my choice. He's a living legend that everybody respects.

gulfportdoc
07-01-2006, 10:30 AM
Just wondering who everybody thinks is the best over all cueist of all time.


Harold Worst has been regarded as the most feared player in all cue games, although I'm not sure about snooker. He won world titles in 3 cushion as well as pocket billiards, and was a fearsome back room player. His untimely death came in 1966 at only 37 years old. There is no one playing today of Worst's caliber all-around.

Doc

StevenPWaldon
07-01-2006, 10:54 AM
Blohmdal, Reyes, O'Sullivan and Worst are probably the top 4. I don't think anyone can conclusively say either of the 4 are any better than the others because there are just too many disciplines to factor here. They're all amazingly talented, yet each have their weaknesses -- and their weaknesses are still better than 99% of most cuists anyway.

RiverCity
07-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Mizerak, Reyes, Dalton, Sigel, Varner..... these are some of the tops in more than one game. Mizerak is the only one who could play really competative snooker, Efren is a good choice, but The Miz I think had him.
Chuck

branpureza
07-01-2006, 03:35 PM
Harold Worst has been regarded as the most feared player in all cue games, although I'm not sure about snooker. He won world titles in 3 cushion as well as pocket billiards, and was a fearsome back room player. His untimely death came in 1966 at only 37 years old. There is no one playing today of Worst's caliber all-around.

Doc

harold worst was great no doubt... but nowhere close to efrens speed

sjm
07-01-2006, 07:24 PM
My top five of all time are:

1. Efren Reyes
2. Efren Reyes
3. Efren Reyes
4. Efren reyes
5. Raymond Ceulemans

PS Though he was a great player, I don't see how one can rate Harold Worst above his more successful contemporary Luther Lassiter.

gulfportdoc
07-02-2006, 10:18 AM
harold worst was great no doubt... but nowhere close to efrens speed
Apart from your reverence of Efren, what are you basing your opinion on? Efren's pool-playing prowess is legendary, and understood by everyone; but which 3C, carom, or snooker titles has he won?

Doc

Voodoo Daddy
07-02-2006, 11:19 AM
Apart from your reverence of Efren, what are you basing your opinion on? Efren's pool-playing prowess is legendary, and understood by everyone; but which 3C, carom, or snooker titles has he won?

Doc

At one time Efren was regarded a monster 3-C player winning tournaments for years in Asia and the U.S....but I know from good reference that he hates snooker. Fred, wanna bail me out here?

Best all-around...could be Efren, could be Worst, Crane or Hoppe. We'll simply never know due to the time difference.

Ali or Tyson?
Bobby Jones or Woods?
Borg or Federer?
Hendrix or the WORLD? :D

Fast Lenny
07-02-2006, 03:28 PM
Hoppe couldnt play pocket billiards.
1.Mosconi
2.Greenleaf
3.Reyes
4.Mizerak
5.Lassiter
I know 4 out of the 5 were straight pool terrors but they could play all games well when it came to pocket billiards,let them play 9 ball or 1 pocket,8 and outs along with runouts all day and all night.

bruin70
07-02-2006, 03:46 PM
of today's players, i can only think of reyes and blomdahl.

Cornerman
07-02-2006, 03:58 PM
Just wondering who everybody thinks is the best over all cueist of all time.
.Walter Lindrum


Fred <~~~ not Walter's brother

Cornerman
07-02-2006, 04:03 PM
Hoppe couldnt play pocket billiards.

.I've heard reports that Hoppe "didn't like to" play pool, but actually could play pool and was quite exceptional at 14.1.

Maybe some of the old-timers can weigh in.

Fred

Fast Lenny
07-02-2006, 04:27 PM
Well it was said Mosconi could play 3 cushion at a high level but Hoppe couldnt play pockets at a high level,Mosconi said this.

StraightPoolIU
07-02-2006, 05:18 PM
I have a book by Mike Shamos and I do believe it says that both Mosconi and Crane played very high level 3C along with being pocket world champions. Neither of them won a 3C world title, but from what I understand they could hang with the best in the world.

Mike_Mason
07-02-2006, 06:03 PM
Anytime you throw in 3-cushion I have to consider Larry (Boston Shorty) Johnson...Shorty doesn't have the record of a Mosconi but I'd put him up against pool player in 3-cushion...or straight rails for that matter. And if you could have a tournament with all those players and all those games...well it wouldn't be the first time that Shorty would be Best All-Around...

Cameron Smith
07-02-2006, 06:15 PM
You can't forget Steve Davis. He is the Willie Mosconi of Snooker. One of the greatest snooker players ever and has done very well against the best 9 ball has to offer, especially considering he only plays three tournaments a year.

Then there is Stephen Hendry, arguably THE greatest snooker player of all time. People often forget about Hendry and look toward Ronnie, partially because Ronnie is quicker and more exciting. But Ronnie as incredible as he is, doesn't have the mental game that Stephen Hendry had.

I can't say who is the greatest cueist ever because I haven't watched them all play, so I can't make an informed decision. Each player that is mentioned generally played in a different era with different players. Efren never had to play Greenleaf on a 5 by 10, in 14.1.

RoblinRebel
07-02-2006, 07:00 PM
You can't forget Steve Davis. He is the Willie Mosconi of Snooker. One of the greatest snooker players ever and has done very well against the best 9 ball has to offer, especially considering he only plays three tournaments a year.

Then there is Stephen Hendry, arguably THE greatest snooker player of all time. People often forget about Hendry and look toward Ronnie, partially because Ronnie is quicker and more exciting. But Ronnie as incredible as he is, doesn't have the mental game that Stephen Hendry had.

I can't say who is the greatest cueist ever because I haven't watched them all play, so I can't make an informed decision. Each player that is mentioned generally played in a different era with different players. Efren never had to play Greenleaf on a 5 by 10, in 14.1.
I agree about Hendry.............but my pick for the all round game is George Chenier.........North american snooker champ. for 22 yrs (1948-70) I beleive..........nobody could beat him....many tried.........played all games very strong....deadly 14:1 player, and 3c............First pool player in the canadian sports hall of fame.

Cameron Smith
07-02-2006, 07:17 PM
I agree about Hendry.............but my pick for the all round game is George Chenier.........North american snooker champ. for 22 yrs (1948-70) I beleive..........nobody could beat him....many tried.........played all games very strong....deadly 14:1 player, and 3c............First pool player in the canadian sports hall of fame.

I've never heard of him. Snooker! 14.1 !! Canadian!!! I'm changing my vote :D

Speaking of Canadians, Cyrille Dion should be mentioned. He was the first world champion (1878). Also a world billiards champ too I think.

huckster
07-02-2006, 07:40 PM
My top five of all time are:

1. Efren Reyes
2. Efren Reyes
3. Efren Reyes
4. Efren reyes
5. Raymond Ceulemans

PS Though he was a great player, I don't see how one can rate Harold Worst above his more successful contemporary Luther Lassiter.

All around Harold Worst would have owned Wimpy.

14.1 Wimpy but harold might just run 200 and out at anytime]

9 ball Toss up wimpy was the best but nobody ever played Worst even one time Wimpy and Worst were supposed to play 200 a game and id didn't happen Wimpy did not want the super hard action Worst thrived on it

onepocket Worst by a slim margin

Billiards Worst was a world champion

Banks Worst was underated in this discipline it took a strong specialist to beat him

Snooker Worst was the best snooker player in the US he beat Cowboy Jimmy Moore after Jimmy won the US championship

jay helfert
07-02-2006, 09:48 PM
My top five of all time are:

1. Efren Reyes
2. Efren Reyes
3. Efren Reyes
4. Efren reyes
5. Raymond Ceulemans

PS Though he was a great player, I don't see how one can rate Harold Worst above his more successful contemporary Luther Lassiter.

Unfortunately, Harold died at age 37. He had already won major events in 9-Ball and Snooker and a Three cushion World Championship. No telling what he could have accomplished. Lassiter and Worst were equals in my opinion.

jay helfert
07-02-2006, 10:35 PM
I've seen many great ones in my day, and I was most impressed with Harold Worst and his willingness to play anyone at any game. Lassiter was simply amazing at 9-Ball and 14.1, but only average at One Hole. He was quite the gambler also, but a little reluctant to tangle with this relative newcomer to pool named Worst.

Sigel was a great, great tournament player, but a little tight when it came to gambling. Earl is the single most amazing 9-Ball tournament player I ever saw. Meanwhile Parica robbed all of them when it came to getting down for the cash. He may have been the best for the money I've seen in my lifetime.

Like Worst, Efren is remarkable in his ability to learn and excell at all games. His reputation hinges somewhat on his great One Pocket game, which may be the toughest test on a pool table. That and the fact that he somehow finds a way to win in the biggest matches against the best players, at any game.

But for my money, the most impressive individual I ever saw with a cue in his hand was Raymond Ceulemans. He owned the balls when he played (and continues to play). To me, Three Cushion is a more difficult discipline than any pocket game. And Mr. C. did things with those three big balls that I didn't think were possible. And then he did it again and again.

I can't speak for Lindrum, didn't see him play. Or Chenier or Steve or Joe Davis for that matter. Same goes for Greenleaf, who the oldtimers worshipped over Mosconi.

But I have seen Ceulemans, Worst and Lassiter. And they are my top three picks. With Efren, Parica, Mizerak and Buddy next in line. Mizerak had a better stroke than anyone ever, and was unquestionably the best pool player on the planet for a number of years. He wasn't much for gambling though. Buddy, on the other hand could play all games and would gamble with anyone at 9-Ball, Banks or One Pocket.

I don't think Efren or Jose would have liked gambling with Buddy if they had to play all three games in the 70's, 80's or 90's. Same goes for Mizerak (circa 70's and 80's) if the games were 9-Ball, 14.1 and One Pocket, and it was a set match rather than gambling per se. And during the 60's and early 70's the mighty Miz would not have matched up well gambling (or match play) with Eddie Kelly at these three games. He is in the mix too.

IMHO

derekdisco
07-03-2006, 04:29 AM
of today's players, i can only think of reyes and blomdahl.

Don't forget about me and ronnie o'sullivan

hemicudas
07-03-2006, 05:38 AM
Apart from your reverence of Efren, what are you basing your opinion on? Efren's pool-playing prowess is legendary, and understood by everyone; but which 3C, carom, or snooker titles has he won?

Doc

I never saw Worst play, Doc. I know a lot of the old heads and many of them believe he would be the top all around player ever. I can't say. But, as you know, I went down fighting believeing Ronnie Allen was the greatest one pocket player ever until Efren convinced me Ronnie was second. I am sure you will agree, Efren is getting better the older he gets, at one pocket. No one can deny his 9 ball ability and he also just won the IPT 8 ball against the best in the world. As much as I respect the, older than me even, guys I find it impossible to believe anyone ever a better cuest than Efren. BTW, the Professor's No Tournament Weekend is still going strong. He is DA MAN.

jason
07-03-2006, 07:18 AM
Great comments everyone...I forgot one very, very important game...

Bumper Pool!

;)

Southpaw
07-03-2006, 07:56 AM
I have always heard that 3 cushion is Efren's best game, so all around I would have to say Efren. I have never seen him play snooker though....wonder if Allison would give him a run for the money on the 6x12?

Southpaw

Aaron_S
07-03-2006, 08:25 AM
I believe Joe Davis was the world champion at both 3c and snooker simultaneously. If so, then he would have few, if any, peers in that category.

StevenPWaldon
07-03-2006, 08:29 AM
You heard wrong about 3C and Efren.

I have always heard that 3 cushion is Efren's best game, so all around I would have to say Efren. I have never seen him play snooker though....wonder if Allison would give him a run for the money on the 6x12?

Southpaw

Rich93
07-03-2006, 08:32 AM
My top five of all time are:

1. Efren Reyes
2. Efren Reyes
3. Efren Reyes
4. Efren reyes
5. Raymond Ceulemans

PS Though he was a great player, I don't see how one can rate Harold Worst above his more successful contemporary Luther Lassiter.
On Worst vs. Lassiter, I think you underestimate the tremendous accomplishment of a world champion at 3-C billiards transforming himself into an all-around pool world champion (Johnston City, Stardust). Champion at both, not champion at one and good at the other. It's like Babe Ruth being both a great pitcher and hitter - not quite that extraordinary, perhaps. So I easily vote for Worst against Lassiter.

Now, about Efren, I would not argue against the proposition that he is the best "all-around" pool player ever, since he plays all games at a top level. But let's not dismiss Mosconi and Greenleaf so readily. We can't very well vote for them as "all-around" champs because in their prime they paid little or no attention to 9-ball or 1P. They were tournament players and the tournaments were straight pool. What put money in their pockets was being the best straight pool players they could be, not the best "all-around". They dominated their eras. If Efren were playing today in a similar straight pool era and focused exclusively on that game, maybe he would dominate similarly. If Mosconi or Greenleaf were playing in today's era, maybe they would equal or even exceed Efren's achievements. It's all hypothetical. My point is, let's not forget how good Mosconi and Greenleaf were.

Finally, if dominance during an era is a criteria for "greatest cueist of all time", and it should be, then Ceulemans belongs on your list as you have him, but higher than 5th. He should probably be first, with Willie Hoppe somewhere on there also. So here's my list: Ceulemans, Hoppe, and, tied for 3rd - Greenleaf, Mosconi, and Reyes. Special mention with an asterisk for Harold Worst, who simply died too young to make the list. I wish I could put Mizerak in there too, but he was not quite as dominant as the others.
Rich

Buckster_uk
07-03-2006, 08:58 AM
Talking from a Snooker perspective, Quinten Hann, although I do not have much time for him, has done well in Snooker, English 8-Ball and 9-Ball.

For me, it is probably Efren.

Ronnie could be up there, but as Snooker has been the main cuesport in the UK, you just do not get many Snooker players competing in Pool.


One thing I will say is, our UK 8-Ball players could cope well in other American Pool disciplines, I am looking forward to seeing how Mick Hill, Darren Appleton, Karl Boyes etc do on the IPT.

Southpaw
07-03-2006, 09:05 AM
You heard wrong about 3C and Efren.

Any kind of facts to back this up, or is it opinion?

Southpaw

Cameron Smith
07-03-2006, 09:43 AM
I believe Joe Davis was the world champion at both 3c and snooker simultaneously. If so, then he would have few, if any, peers in that category.

Not 3c, he played English Billiards. I don't know if he was a simultaneous champion though. I have heard that he couldn't beat Walter Lindrum in English Billiards.

Aaron_S
07-03-2006, 09:49 AM
Not 3c, he played English Billiards. I don't know if he was a simultaneous champion though. I have heard that he couldn't beat Walter Lindrum in English Billiards.

Ahh, thanks for the clarification on that. I knew he was dominant at snooker for a while, and I thought there was something else in there, just couldn't remember what.

Good luck!

Andrew Manning
07-03-2006, 10:20 AM
Any kind of facts to back this up, or is it opinion?

Southpaw

Efren has won major championships including full compliments of elite pro opponents in 8-ball, 9-ball, and 1-pocket, and possibly other games, too. He is a favorite to win any of these three games no matter who he's playing, in the opinion of many credible experts, including some of the pros themselves that post here.

He's never won a 3C tournament that included a full compliment of top pros, according to posters here who follow the 3C scene closely, including Bob Jewett, to name one very reputable source. He could get a substantial spot from second-tier pros. He's an extremely good 3C player, but he's not a top-tier 3C player.

I would say based on that information, none of which is quantitative or statistical, but all of which I consider to be very reliable, that 3C is his fourth-best game after the three I've mentioned, if not 5th or 6th (since I know he's one of the best at rotation, and I've heard he's very good at straight rail, 14.1, and even snooker).

-Andrew

jason
07-03-2006, 10:36 AM
I think we should petition to have a world bumper pool tournament at Derby City this year! Any takers?

CrownCityCorey
07-03-2006, 12:22 PM
Apart from your reverence of Efren, what are you basing your opinion on? Efren's pool-playing prowess is legendary, and understood by everyone; but which 3C, carom, or snooker titles has he won?

Doc

Admittedly so, by Efren, his "best game" is Balkline 18.2(?).

bruin70
07-03-2006, 12:24 PM
Any kind of facts to back this up, or is it opinion?

Southpaw

ditto to andrew manning's reply. any 3c player who HAS played or watched efren will tell you the same. efren is great,,,,,,for a pool player, but he plays 3c like a pool player, not a 3c player. he is a second tier 3c player with a 1 handicap. i'm not impuning his all-around skills, but to say 3c is his best game is ridiculous. someone also posted he plays balkline at a 40 average, which is again ridiculous.

freddy the beard
07-03-2006, 01:30 PM
ditto to andrew manning's reply. any 3c player who HAS played or watched efren will tell you the same. efren is great,,,,,,for a pool player, but he plays 3c like a pool player, not a 3c player. he is a second tier 3c player with a 1 handicap. i'm not impuning his all-around skills, but to say 3c is his best game is ridiculous. someone also posted he plays balkline at a 40 average, which is again ridiculous.

If you think Effy was not a great all-around billiard player, consider this: The great champion, Sang Lee could only beat Efren playing 3 cushion! He couldnt win playing straight rail, balkline, or 1 cushion or 2 cushion billiards. Sang Lee, a man with a lot of gamble, tried Efren these games unsuccessfully at Chris's Billiards in Chicago when they were both living there. My dream game is Efren playing 1pocket with Harold Worst.

the Beard

hemicudas
07-03-2006, 02:20 PM
I think we should petition to have a world bumper pool tournament at Derby City this year! Any takers?

Any Bumper Pool tournament would have to favor, Marcus Collier and Woppie.

StraightPoolIU
07-03-2006, 04:45 PM
Didn't Efren win the Maine Event straight pool tournament hosted by Grady, or am I mistaken?

gulfportdoc
07-03-2006, 06:34 PM
BTW, the Professor's No Tournament Weekend is still going strong. He is DA MAN.
Right on, Bill. I interpreted Jason's original question as wanting picks of which player was the best player who played several different cue games. Efren reportedly is a decent 3C player, but nowhere near great. Worst excelled and won major tournaments in all disciplines. However, if the proposition is who was the greatest player to pick up a cue in any cue game, then there is no answer.:cool:

Doc

bruin70
07-03-2006, 06:45 PM
If you think Effy was not a great all-around billiard player, consider this:
the Beard

just don't say he's a world class 3c player. he's not. as for balkline,,,,, maybe sang lee stunk in balkline/straight rail. i'll ask a friend who knew sang lee well. there must have been a handicap. i cannot believe they played straight up, especially 3c. that would have been just dumb on efren's part.

great story, though, and one i never heard. efren is amazing.

ironman
07-03-2006, 07:26 PM
Apart from your reverence of Efren, what are you basing your opinion on? Efren's pool-playing prowess is legendary, and understood by everyone; but which 3C, carom, or snooker titles has he won?

DocI was in Detroit a few weeks ago and John Henry talked about Worst as if he had super-natural powers.
I didn't realize he died so young.

sniper
07-03-2006, 08:50 PM
My pick is definitely Efren. If O' Sullivan took up pool seriously and learned the different disciplines there is no doubt in my mind he would surpass Efren, he is easily the most naturally talented cueist of all time.

freddy the beard
07-04-2006, 03:18 AM
just don't say he's a world class 3c player. he's not. as for balkline,,,,, maybe sang lee stunk in balkline/straight rail. i'll ask a friend who knew sang lee well. there must have been a handicap. i cannot believe they played straight up, especially 3c. that would have been just dumb on efren's part.

great story, though, and one i never heard. efren is amazing.

I never said Efren was a world class 3c player. I also never said Efren played Sang Lee 3c straight up. Sang Lee spotted him, I forgot how much. But there was no handicap when they played the other Billiard games. Incredibly, the games he really dominated Sang Lee was 1 cushion and 2 cushion billiards.

the Beard

bells
07-04-2006, 09:07 AM
If you think Effy was not a great all-around billiard player, consider this: The great champion, Sang Lee could only beat Efren playing 3 cushion! He couldnt win playing straight rail, balkline, or 1 cushion or 2 cushion billiards. Sang Lee, a man with a lot of gamble, tried Efren these games unsuccessfully at Chris's Billiards in Chicago when they were both living there. My dream game is Efren playing 1pocket with Harold Worst.

the Beard
Wow what a thought Harold Worst and Efren palying a onepocket match..................lol. When i think of Harold worst i think of a non safe playing run out artist. If only that game was possible.............

Cornerman
07-04-2006, 11:35 AM
You heard wrong about 3C and Efren.Any kind of facts to back this up, or is it opinion?

Southpaw

Only that what the truth is is close enough to what you're saying, but not quite.

Efren is a great billiards player. What you should have heard is that Efren is an 18.1 balkline champion, not a 3-Cushion Champion.

Fred

Cornerman
07-04-2006, 11:42 AM
someone also posted he plays balkline at a 40 average, which is again ridiculous.
Just in case you didnt' know, unlike 3C, Efren is an accomplished tournament winning 18.1 balkline champion in the Philippines. I think at one time, he was playing equal amounts of balkline and rotation.

Part of his mastery of the cueball patterns is as much from balkline play as anything.

Fred

JoeyInCali
07-04-2006, 12:22 PM
Just in case you didnt' know, unlike 3C, Efren is an accomplished tournament winning 18.1 balkline champion in the Philippines. I think at one time, he was playing equal amounts of balkline and rotation.

Part of his mastery of the cueball patterns is as much from balkline play as anything.

Fred
Efren was the Karambola King one time in the Philippines.
Straight-rail though, not Balkline.
Rodulfo Luat was also a Karambola King.

huckster
07-04-2006, 03:04 PM
I was in Detroit a few weeks ago and John Henry talked about Worst as if he had super-natural powers.
I didn't realize he died so young.

John Henry the older guy from Chicago? I backed a strong onepocket player against him 15 years ago and fired three barrels at him he broke ran out, combo banked a ball in and ran out, then broke and ran out

Bob Jewett
07-05-2006, 12:15 PM
...
Straight-rail though, not Balkline. ...
It would be nice to have an authoritative answer. Straight rail and 18.1 balkline are really very different games.

bruin70
07-05-2006, 12:26 PM
Efren was the Karambola King one time in the Philippines.
Straight-rail though, not Balkline.
Rodulfo Luat was also a Karambola King.

do you or cornerman know what their averages were? it's a good objective determination of skill level.

Cornerman
07-05-2006, 12:39 PM
It would be nice to have an authoritative answer. Straight rail and 18.1 balkline are really very different games.

The article that's floating around from the 80's says 18.1 balkline.

Fred

iralee
07-05-2006, 03:19 PM
I never said Efren was a world class 3c player. I also never said Efren played Sang Lee 3c straight up. Sang Lee spotted him, I forgot how much. But there was no handicap when they played the other Billiard games. Incredibly, the games he really dominated Sang Lee was 1 cushion and 2 cushion billiards.

the Beard

There isn't really a fair comparison between the two players at 3-cushion - since Efren wasn't in Sang's league. 3-cushion players that play at the blistering averages Sang used to shoot would just run circles around shooters with Efren's average. The right handicap for the "long-haul" between Efren and Sang would probably have been at least double the points, to be a fair game.

As for regular carom, Sang Lee grew up playing the Korean 4-ball straight rail game and was a champion for many years on a smaller, slower, unheated table with the restrictive corner balklines. In this game he used to run out easily and consistently off the break, manipulating the balls into a "nurse" and then nurse the balls around the table without end. On the heated 5x10 european tables, I saw him practice straight-rail once in a while, but he never played seriously since he was concentrating on competitive 3-cushion by the time he came to the US.

But Sang, like Efren, never competed at on a world level at the small carom games (like Ceulemans or Caudron). Not to say that Efren or Sang didn't both have the raw talent to hit with the best if they tried - but it would be a far cry for either of them to compete with specialists like Caudron (or even Ceulemans) at any balkline game without first getting many years of experience. Having played Sang Lee at all the carom games for many years, I personally believe that if he really applied himself to compete against the world-class balkline players - he would have a better chance at it than Efren would. That's just my personal opinion.

I heard about a 1-cushion match between Sang Lee and Efren in Chicago where Efren wins. Not to take anything away from Efren who plays fine caroms, but rumor has it that Sang was very sleep deprived during this encounter... Alas, I wasn't present to witness the game - I wish I was. I've played Sang Lee 1-cushion in practice in NY, and he was really, really good. Efren must have played very well. It's too bad we'll never see a rematch. :(

Regardless, based on one match or one day, I don't think anyone could fairly state that any player "dominates" another in any of the small carom disciplines (straight/balkline/1-cushion) until they have played thousands of points. These games are normally played to hundreds of points (300-400) for a reason and that still that isn't enough to see who is clearly better. You would have to look at the overall average and performance to know who dominates.

Accu-stats caught an impromptu exhibition (held at Sang Lee's old room back in the 90's) between Caudron and Peter DeBacker (european balkline champion) on tape. It was a short 150 pt "demonstration" game and DeBacker runs over 100+ and out. The fact, however, is that Caudron is a much better player than DeBacker ever will be. One could rightfully state that in straight, balkline (any version) and one-cushion, Caudron dominates all others. If you just watch him "nurse" the 18 inch line for hundreds of points during World Championship competition and you'll understand what I mean - IMO, no one (in any billiard game) has better millimeter-control over the cue ball than this guy does playing balkline.

In the 2003 World Championships of 18.2 (47.2 cm) balkline there was a player who was actually averaging better than Frederic Caudron (after the preliminary round robins and going into the finals). The games where 300 points (equal innings). This guy won the lag against Caudron, and made the break - but proceeded to miraculously miscue on the 3rd shot (I think the threat of Caudron running out was too great and made him nervous!) Then Caudron got up and ran 300 and out - setting a new world record (average of 126 pts/inning). His world-record performance was caught on DVD.

Did Sang and Efren actually play a game of "2-cushion"? I'm interested to know what rules they played under. As far as I know, "2-cushion" billiards is not a standard carom billiard game played anywhere in the world. Was it "2 or more cushions" or was it "2 and only 2"? Interesting saftey/position considerations in the latter...

I think that many pool/billiard players would do themselves a great service for their game - if they developed a background in straight-rail/balkline in order to obtain finer cue ball control. Efren has obviously has done a lot of billiard work which gives him a definitive edge while playing pool (nudging balls, opening clusters, kick-safeties, soft-masses, etc). Sang's touch and position play in 3-cushion game obviously developed from his straight-rail prowess accumulated during his early years. Their acute cue-ball experience is mostly foreign to pool players that may have been limited to 9-ball/bar-table-only beginnings. The same is true for American carom players that have jumped directly into 3-cushion - bypassing all of the nuances of the basic games.

-Ira

iralee
07-05-2006, 03:26 PM
The article that's floating around from the 80's says 18.1 balkline.

Fred

18.1 balkline is much harder than 18.2 balkline. I don't think anyone can really 18.1 well until they are very proficient at 18.2 since there is no room for a "corrective" shot - and you must get on the right side of the carom ball on each position shot.

If his game is 18.1, then he must be good at 18.2 - I would love to watch a tape (anyone have videos from Manilla?)

Bob Jewett
07-05-2006, 03:46 PM
Just wondering who everybody thinks is the best over all cueist of all time.
...
Also missing from the list are John Roberts Sr. and Jr. (No relation to the US Supreme, so far as I know.) Their game was English Billiards. And how about Alfredo de Oro? He surely has to be considered above Mosconi in any all-around retrospective. If you believe McGoorty, de Oro was also the sort who would do anything required to scratch out a win.

Unfortunately, billiard history is so poorly taught in American schools these days that you should probably restrict the list to living players. I'm waiting for someone to nominate Rudolph Wanderone.

gulfportdoc
07-05-2006, 05:04 PM
Accu-stats caught an impromptu exhibition (held at Sang Lee's old room back in the 90's) between Caudron and Peter DeBacker (european balkline champion) on tape. It was a short 150 pt "demonstration" game and DeBacker runs over 100+ and out. The fact, however, is that Caudron is a much better player than DeBacker ever will be.
-Ira
That is probably this tape: http://www.accu-stats.com/Qstore/Qstore.cgi?CMD=011&PROD=000482

iralee
07-06-2006, 10:28 AM
Efren was the Karambola King one time in the Philippines.
Straight-rail though, not Balkline.
Rodulfo Luat was also a Karambola King.

Very interesting. How many from the professional Philippine pool players list play caroms well?

smashmouth
08-14-2006, 07:43 PM
Some things to consider,

Alison Fisher and Karen Corr reached World Champion status in both pool and snooker, what males have ever done that?

During one mixed competition, Mizerak lost to Steve Davis in Snooker AND straight pool, beating him in nine ball. Around the same timeframe he also failed to qualify for the Snooker World Championship.

For all the talk about Efren and his greatness in snooker and 3 cushion, I've never heard of him entering a major tourney in either discilpine, having said that, in a long match, he dominates pool like nobody I've seen in any cuesport. I actually believe top pros literally fear him.

smashmouth
08-14-2006, 08:08 PM
It's easy to forget the ladies when discussing the best athletes of any given sport.

Fisher and Corr have recently accomplished what few males have ever even attempted, excellence in two disciplines at the highest level. One might argue that the talent pool in women's snooker is tiny, maybe so, but that's not their fault.

Male snooker events have offered millions in recent years to its champions, yet how many pool pros do you know who have attempted to cash in on any of them?

ajrack
08-14-2006, 11:21 PM
Irving Crane won pool and billliard titles for over 50 years.
He came in 7th in the 1941 worlds 3 C tourney playing against Cockran and Hoppe and won the World's straight pool title in the 70's.
Not bad for an old straight pool player.

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 06:36 AM
If you think Effy was not a great all-around billiard player, consider this: The great champion, Sang Lee could only beat Efren playing 3 cushion! He couldnt win playing straight rail, balkline, or 1 cushion or 2 cushion billiards. Sang Lee, a man with a lot of gamble, tried Efren these games unsuccessfully at Chris's Billiards in Chicago when they were both living there. My dream game is Efren playing 1pocket with Harold Worst.

the Beard


Freddie,

Were you there in Johnson City the year Worst (with Beenie coaching him) beat the "gaff" game with 21 balls? He had to run as many as 18 to 20 balls some games. And these balls are all jammed together. It gets pretty crowded with 21 balls all on one end of the table.

It was one of the most amazing things I ever saw, and is cemented in my memory. The only player I can conceive of doing this today would be Efren. And he wouldn't like this challenge. I would say that it is about ten times as hard as running a rack of Rotation. Ronnie, Lassiter, Jersey Red and many others had NO chance at this game.

I was there, sweating it all the way. I forgot the guys name who brought the game, but Vernon Elliott was assisting him and holding the money. They finally packed up and left, never to return, after Worst won for the third time. It was more than amazing, it was fantastic!

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 06:45 AM
I was in Detroit a few weeks ago and John Henry talked about Worst as if he had super-natural powers.
I didn't realize he died so young.


I agree with John Henry, whoever he is. Harold was the most feared player on the planet for about five years before he died. No one wanted a piece of him at ANY game!

He is the one American, who had he lived, might have been able to go over and win on the English Snooker Tour. Every game he tried, he mastered rather quickly. Kind of like Efren.

I saw him beat Cornbread in the Snooker Championships at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 1963. And he played great, running one century that I saw. Red beat him in the One Pocket finals I might add. And that was a new game for Worst at that time.

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 06:48 AM
Wow what a thought Harold Worst and Efren palying a onepocket match..................lol. When i think of Harold worst i think of a non safe playing run out artist. If only that game was possible.............

Believe me when I tell you, he could control Whitey every bit as good as Efren, and definitely had a more powerful stroke.

gromulan
08-15-2006, 07:19 AM
It's very hard to compare players from different eras because unlike so many sports pool keeps very few statistics. Plus, many of the stories about the greats, especially in pool, relate to how they matched up gambling, rather than in tournaments. I've said in another thread that, in my opinion, the players of today, at all sports, are better than the players of yesterday, mostly due to the fact that they had the older players to learn from.

However, the best manner of comparison, or at least the best we have access to, is in the records of the players. From that point of view you have to look at the ultra-dominance of guys like Mosconi and Joe Davis, and particularly Davis. Though I think Steve Davis or Stephen Hendry became better players, Joe Davis has the greatest record perhaps in the history of cue sports, winning the world snooker championships for 20 straight years! During that span he had a perfect 100% match record.

Now you can talk all you want about great players, but think about that. He never lost a MATCH, not once, for 20 YEARS!! For as great as anyone else may have played, or plays now, that is unparalelled. Even Mosconi's legendary talents at straight pool, or Efren's at one pocket, don't compare to that.

Another great accomplishment is Irving Crane winning world straight pool championships over (I think) five decades.

Williebetmore
08-15-2006, 07:29 AM
Freddie,

Were you there in Johnson City the year Worst (with Beenie coaching him) beat the "gaff" game with 21 balls? He had to run as many as 18 to 20 balls some games. And these balls are all jammed together. It gets pretty crowded with 21 balls all on one end of the table.


JH,
Could you describe the rules for the "gaff" game. I've played some straight pool drills with as many as 30 balls on the table; I think I'd like to try the "gaff" game. Thanks.

jwilliams
08-15-2006, 09:13 AM
I think in order to determine a more definitive answer, you have to take into consideration the level of competition...

It's one thing to dominate a game or two especially if the fields are weak, but it's another to dominate several fields consisting of a multitude of incredibly strong players.
Let's face it, if there's nobody any good playing the game, then holding the championship trophy just doesn't mean as much.

So I would start looking for the strongest player by looking for the strongest eras in pool, billiards and snooker and then find the player that dominated/dominates that era and compare and contrast appropriately.

Also let's keep in mind, that the question was "best all around!" Dominating only one game would pretty much leave you out of the running regardless of how much you dominated that discipline.

smashmouth
08-15-2006, 09:20 AM
Please explain something about Worst.

He was born in 1929 correct?

Mosconi was world champ im pocket billiards from 1941-1956.

Hoppe won 3c world titles from 1947-1952.

Did Worst bot compete in those tourneys? He would have been in his
prime no?

Boro Nut
08-15-2006, 09:24 AM
Now you can talk all you want about great players, but think about that. He never lost a MATCH, not once, for 20 YEARS!! For as great as anyone else may have played, or plays now, that is unparalelled. Even Mosconi's legendary talents at straight pool, or Efren's at one pocket, don't compare to that.

I'm not sure it wasn't 27 years. But to keep things in perspective, like it's billiards forerunner, I think the world snooker championship that Davis contested was generally against a single named challenger, and usually a billards specialist at that. It wasn't necessarilly held every year either. His greatness was in setting the standard and defining what could be achieved, and he certainly stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries. But if he walked into a modern day tournament he would get slaughtered.

We probably owe the basic snooker stance to Joe Davis though. Even as reigning world (English) billiards champion the magazines of the day extolled amateurs not to copy his trademark crouch, with chin tucked to cue.

Boro Nut

smashmouth
08-15-2006, 09:49 AM
In the modern era, Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan have attempted a second discipline at the highest level, to me, that speaks volumes about their overall cue capabilities.

The stories of Reyes beating Sang Lee and Blohmdal running 100 balls in straight pool are all wonderfull, but I've always wondered why such players have never chosen to enter the big tourneys in the other disciplines.

Take Reyes for example, in the past 5 years alone he's made close to a million bucks from tournaments, plus he reportedly has big sponsorships/endorsement deals in the Phillipines. Surely he could
afford to take some time to work on his snooker game and try his hand at the miliions available in the UK, no? Or how bout a major 3C tourney just for fun, I mean if he can beat Sang Lee....

Blohmdal is another guy whose name gets tossed around as the best cueman ever, I don't know for certain, but I'd imagine he's made a few bucks, and he's in Europe, why not take a chance on the snooker tour, or any of the major pool events now in Europe? Same with Ceulemans.

That's why I respect Sullivan and Davis so much, they are millionaires who dominated their sport and are now trying to prove themselves all over again. Former world champ Mark Williams also has tried his hand at pool.

gromulan
08-15-2006, 11:11 AM
I'm not sure it wasn't 27 years. But to keep things in perspective, like it's billiards forerunner, I think the world snooker championship that Davis contested was generally against a single named challenger, and usually a billards specialist at that. It wasn't necessarilly held every year either. His greatness was in setting the standard and defining what could be achieved, and he certainly stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries. But if he walked into a modern day tournament he would get slaughtered.

We probably owe the basic snooker stance to Joe Davis though. Even as reigning world (English) billiards champion the magazines of the day extolled amateurs not to copy his trademark crouch, with chin tucked to cue.

Boro Nut

I'm pretty sure it was 20 years - 1927-1947, though there were no championships during the war years. I agree that some of the 'tournaments' were really challenge matches, with players competing to face Joe, but a lot of them weren't.

Here's an excerpt from his wikipedia page...

He helped to organise the first snooker world championship in 1927 and won the tournament by beating Tom Dennis 20-10, for which he won £6 10s. He went on to win every world championship until 1946, when he retired from the event, but continued to play professionally until 1964.

Joe was also the World Professional Billiards Champion from 1928 until 1932.

He achieved the first officially recognised maximum break of 147 in 1955 in an exhibition match at Leicester Square and was officially beaten on level terms just four times in his career.

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 03:04 PM
Please explain something about Worst.

He was born in 1929 correct?

Mosconi was world champ im pocket billiards from 1941-1956.

Hoppe won 3c world titles from 1947-1952.

Did Worst bot compete in those tourneys? He would have been in his
prime no?

Ok, i'll try. Harold was a Three Cushion player in the 50's. And at age 24 in 1954, he traveled south to Argentina and won the world title, beating Enrique Navaro I believe. Hoppe may or may not have been in that event. Byrne or Shamos could answer that. All I remember hearing was that the young Worst won in front of a hostile crowd and had to be escorted out of Argentina the next day. I told you the guy was fearless.

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 03:31 PM
JH,
Could you describe the rules for the "gaff" game. I've played some straight pool drills with as many as 30 balls on the table; I think I'd like to try the "gaff" game. Thanks.


Here you go. 21 balls numbered 1 thru 21. They are racked on the spot with a sixth row of six balls. All the low number balls are put closest to the players corner pocket. All the high number balls are on the opposite side of the rack. A player is given a designated number to shoot at. In Worst's case it was the highest possible, 200. Even players like Ronnie or Kelly got to shoot at 180.

Then three pills are drawn from a large jar containing 50 pills numbered 1 thru 50. You then add up the total of the three pills and subtract that from 200, and you have the total number Worst must make. These totals are based on the actual number on each ball. Let's say he draws the 15, the 22 and the 27. That's a total of 64. Subtract 64 from 200 and you have 136. Now he must make a total of 136 points to win the game. There is a total of 232 points in play. To make 136 he must make all the balls from 1 to 16 or any combination of balls that add up to 136. The shooter got from 5-1 to 8-1 on the money, depending on how strong they played. That's how tough it was. And no one did it once until Harold and Beenie came along. And in the end he did it three in a row for 5K a pop (5-1 on a thousand).

So in every game Harold was shooting at a different number, depending on what piils he drew out of the jar. Needless to say he must run most of the balls in one pocket without missing. If he scratched on the break it was a loss and there was no cue ball in hand after the break. You played them where they lied. I'd like to let Efren play this game all day and night and bet whatever he wants. I will promise to bring 100K! And that's no joke if someone wants to call him. He gets 5-1 and shoots at 200. Simple! He can bust me at that game.

So now everyone can tell me about comparing players from different eras. I know what I saw and to this day it was the greatest exhibition of pool I've ever seen. Several games Harold had to run as many as 18 or 19 balls to win. And he did! This is one reason why I call him the best I ever saw.

Cuaba
08-15-2006, 03:56 PM
Jay,
I know you've seen far more players over a longer period of time than I have, so I believe you about Harold Worst. Unfortunately, he was before my time.

I've seen most of the top current players and I think Efren is the best all around (I've even seen him play 3C, and he was fantastic.)

The most raw talent I've ever seen from anyone holding a cue was that of Ronnie O'Sullivan. I was at one of his snooker matches in the 90's. If he concentrates more on pool, I think he's capable of beating anyone.

jay helfert
08-15-2006, 04:06 PM
Jay,
I know you've seen far more players over a longer period of time than I have, so I believe you about Harold Worst. Unfortunately, he was before my time.

I've seen most of the top current players and I think Efren is the best all around (I've even seen him play 3C, and he was fantastic.)

The most raw talent I've ever seen from anyone holding a cue was that of Ronnie O'Sullivan. I was at one of his snooker matches in the 90's. If he concentrates more on pool, I think he's capable of beating anyone.


I've heard this from a lot of people. That is one reason I may go to Sheffield this year for the World Snooker Championships. The best new talent I've seen out there is Dennis Orcullo. He looks like the real deal to me.

Boro Nut
08-16-2006, 04:27 AM
The best new talent I've seen out there is Dennis Orcullo. He looks like the real deal to me.

You need a new HD television then. Failing that, Holyfield is the bare chested one in the baggy shorts.

Boro Nut

Hambone
08-16-2006, 04:57 AM
Freddy has a chapter on this game in his book "Banking With The Beard". According to him a man named Brier Spivey was offering the proposition game to all the players. No one beat the game at first, until Marshall Carpenter
ran all 21 balls ,then followed that up by running 20.

Carpenter was the only player to beat Spivey's proposition until Harold Worst and Eddie Taylor came along. Also according to the book bets paid 10 to 1 .

jay helfert
08-16-2006, 06:27 AM
Freddy has a chapter on this game in his book "Banking With The Beard". According to him a man named Brier Spivey was offering the proposition game to all the players. No one beat the game at first, until Marshall Carpenter
ran all 21 balls ,then followed that up by running 20.

Carpenter was the only player to beat Spivey's proposition until Harold Worst and Eddie Taylor came along. Also according to the book bets paid 10 to 1 .

You are right. Spivey was the guy with the game. And Vernon was assisting him. I only saw Worst do it. Taylor was unsuccesfull when I was watching.

freddy the beard
08-16-2006, 08:17 AM
In the 70s, Eddie Kelly stated (to me and others)that Harold Worst was the only guy he knew that he couldnt beat playing Nineball. Consider, Kelly had already gone to Elizabeth City, NC with Ronnie and played Wimpy for a week to a draw in Wimpy's home pool room.
In the Spivey proposition, Worst, Squirrel and Taylor were eventually all barred from the game. However to encourage action from the weaker players, Spivey would allow the man shooting to call in anybody he wished to shoot 1 shot in the run as a pinch-hitter. The point total for the average good player was 160. Naturally, everybody used Worst to shoot the impossible straight-in and Eddie Taylor to shoot the impossible bank that would keep the run going. Worst and Taylor made so many ridiculous shots that this practice too was soon discontinued by Spivey.

(Jay, I dont think there were that many pills (1 to 50) in the bottle. I think there were only 21. )

the Beard

bengus
08-21-2006, 09:34 PM
Filipino here, some food for thought on some of the comments:

Balkline Billiards (according to accounts of people - I don't think it's Straight Rail as one of the Filipino posters here said) was popular from the seventies till the early eighties in the Philippines. Mid-eighties, they all but disappeared. So the people who played it were of that generation - Luat, Reyes. I think you can see much of that in their cue ball control precision, which is what's needed when navigating a Rotation billiards (popular then) spread.

The current crop learn other games by necessity. Marlon Manalo and Andam learned snooker to get better opportunities to be on the National Team during the South East Asian Games.

***********

Other notes on Reyes:

Reyes won a South East Asian Games gold medal in English Billiards in 1988. He first learned the game a week before the competition occured, and then learned the game further on the fly during the competition observing the other players.

Just to give you guys an idea how much raw talent the man has... ;)

cueball1950
08-21-2006, 10:32 PM
Frank Taberski...who is also known as the father of the shot clock. played so slow that at 1 time his opponent fell asleep in a chair.

Johnny Layton......who also was the catcher for the 1916 chicago white sox along with tinker,evers and chance. he quit playing baseball when he won the 1916 3 cushion billiards championship and i read in the record book that he also won pocket billiard titles. and to think, he quit 3 years before the black sox scandle......well anyway. those are my picks........mike

jay helfert
08-22-2006, 12:02 AM
In the 70s, Eddie Kelly stated (to me and others)that Harold Worst was the only guy he knew that he couldnt beat playing Nineball. Consider, Kelly had already gone to Elizabeth City, NC with Ronnie and played Wimpy for a week to a draw in Wimpy's home pool room.
In the Spivey proposition, Worst, Squirrel and Taylor were eventually all barred from the game. However to encourage action from the weaker players, Spivey would allow the man shooting to call in anybody he wished to shoot 1 shot in the run as a pinch-hitter. The point total for the average good player was 160. Naturally, everybody used Worst to shoot the impossible straight-in and Eddie Taylor to shoot the impossible bank that would keep the run going. Worst and Taylor made so many ridiculous shots that this practice too was soon discontinued by Spivey.

(Jay, I dont think there were that many pills (1 to 50) in the bottle. I think there were only 21. )

the Beard

I was working at The Cue And Bridge in Dayton, Ohio in the early 60's, where George Rood would come in to practice almost every day. He would set up a break shot and run 100 or more balls and quit. Then he would throw the balls on the table and run rack after rack of Nine Ball.

Most of the good players would only sit and watch him practice, he was so far above anyone else in Dayton. One day a sharply dressed young man came in carrying a custom cue and walked up to the counter and inquired about a game. I told him that there was an older gentleman that comes in every day, that would probably acommodate him.

So I gave him the balls to Table 1 and he began to loosen up. Sure enough, less than an hour later, George came in. George asked me who the fellow on the first table was. And I told him he was looking for a game. George walked over and asked the guy if he wanted a game. Pretty quickly they were playing $10 9-Ball. After a time, George got him stuck five or six games. The fellow asked to raise the bet to $20. George shook his head no.

When George got up maybe $80 or $90, the young fellow asked him again to raise the bet. George looked at him and said, "Son, you're gonna have to win it back the same way you lost it". This seemed to frustrate the young man and he lost a few more games and quit.

Several months later I made my first trek to Johnson City and saw the young man again. That was when I learned he was Eddie Kelly.

bengus
08-22-2006, 12:12 AM
I've heard this from a lot of people. That is one reason I may go to Sheffield this year for the World Snooker Championships. The best new talent I've seen out there is Dennis Orcullo. He looks like the real deal to me.

The Billiards people in the Philippines consider Dennis to be the best among the Filipinos - period. He isn't called "King of the Money Game" for nothing. :)

i_maycotte
08-22-2006, 02:37 AM
Not sure if this name has been mentioned...but Don Wilson from Ohio comes to mind...very strong player at just about any game...on or off the table from what I understand.

TheOne
08-22-2006, 03:07 AM
You need a new HD television then. Failing that, Holyfield is the bare chested one in the baggy shorts.

Boro Nut

LMAO, one of your funniest in a while boro, for that alone I hope the boro, don't finish bottom, 3rd from bottom would be nice! :)

Jay, go to the crucible if you can, it might only be there fro a few more years. Its tough to get tickets though and you really need to see the semi or final when they move from a 2 table to single table layout. If the snooker is anything like the way Ronnie and Ding played in the recent tournament I'm sure you'll enjoy it. There won't be any high fives, mexican waves, or punchups but I'm sure you'll enjoy it, hey atleast you won't get askwed to leave! :rolleyes:

ironman
08-22-2006, 04:45 AM
Any Bumper Pool tournament would have to favor, Marcus Collier and Woppie.

Dang $Bill, you forgot about Stan Mercer, the one armed guy from Waldo Ark.

ironman
08-22-2006, 04:48 AM
Right on, Bill. I interpreted Jason's original question as wanting picks of which player was the best player who played several different cue games. Efren reportedly is a decent 3C player, but nowhere near great. Worst excelled and won major tournaments in all disciplines. However, if the proposition is who was the greatest player to pick up a cue in any cue game, then there is no answer.:cool:

Doc

You know, Ed Kelly might have something to say about all this too.

ironman
08-22-2006, 04:52 AM
John Henry the older guy from Chicago? I backed a strong onepocket player against him 15 years ago and fired three barrels at him he broke ran out, combo banked a ball in and ran out, then broke and ran out

He has had some health problems and is getting up there, but, still plays pretty good one pocket. Just mention Rags name and his eyes twinkle like a teenager.

smashmouth
08-22-2006, 04:54 AM
So Dennis beats Efren for the dough, and the guys over there say he's
the best?

I'm not saying that isn't true but it's a tough pill to swallow.

jay helfert
08-22-2006, 10:53 AM
Not sure if this name has been mentioned...but Don Wilson from Ohio comes to mind...very strong player at just about any game...on or off the table from what I understand.


You mean Don Willis, one of the all time great hustlers. He was right there with Lassiter in his prime. In fact they were even road partners for a time. Both were friendly with George Rood, and when they came thru Dayton would stop and visit with him. Lassiter came thru quite often.

I never saw any of these three play each other, probably because they were old friends and roadies. By the way, when Lassiter was asked who was the best 9-Ball player he ever played, his response was George Rood. George is still alive and was in Derby City this year and played in the Three Cushion at the tender age of 94.

When Lassiter came thru town he never got a game, he was so well known. But Willis could still hustle pool in the 60's, people knew his name but not what he looked like, ala Jack Cooney.

jay helfert
08-22-2006, 11:16 AM
So Dennis beats Efren for the dough, and the guys over there say he's
the best?

I'm not saying that isn't true but it's a tough pill to swallow.

Better get a big glass of water.

huckster
08-22-2006, 11:19 AM
You mean Don Willis, one of the all time great hustlers. He was right there with Lassiter in his prime. In fact they were even road partners for a time. Both were friendly with George Rood, and when they came thru Dayton would stop and visit with him. Lassiter came thru quite often.

I never saw any of these three play each other, probably because they were old friends and roadies. By the way, when Lassiter was asked who was the best 9-Ball player he ever played, his response was George Rood. George is still alive and was in Derby City this year and played in the Three Cushion at the tender age of 94.

When Lassiter came thru town he never got a game, he was so well known. But Willis could still hustle pool in the 60's, people knew his name but not what he looked like, ala Jack Cooney.

Jay,
Did you ever meet my garandfather when you were younger?I think his last serious road trip was in the early seventies. His prime was before your time he told me he played his best pool from 1942-1964. He told me some unbelievable stories about guys he beat playing nineball. It was like a who's who of pool. The only guy who he told me he had a losing record against was Harold Worst. He told me Mr. Worst beat him twice (the first time he was down with the flu) and he beat him once. He did tell me that they played to 200 straights and grandpa won after running about 100 and out. He told me that wimpy was the greatest ever in his mind. He did not hold Mr. Mosconi in very high opinon in any game ecept straight pool, and he told me that he would have played Willie for 10,000 straights to a thousand balls if he would have remained anyomous. He told me Willie was the greatest at exhibitions, but he was the greatest at getting the money.

jay helfert
08-23-2006, 11:59 PM
Jay,
Did you ever meet my garandfather when you were younger?I think his last serious road trip was in the early seventies. His prime was before your time he told me he played his best pool from 1942-1964. He told me some unbelievable stories about guys he beat playing nineball. It was like a who's who of pool. The only guy who he told me he had a losing record against was Harold Worst. He told me Mr. Worst beat him twice (the first time he was down with the flu) and he beat him once. He did tell me that they played to 200 straights and grandpa won after running about 100 and out. He told me that wimpy was the greatest ever in his mind. He did not hold Mr. Mosconi in very high opinon in any game ecept straight pool, and he told me that he would have played Willie for 10,000 straights to a thousand balls if he would have remained anyomous. He told me Willie was the greatest at exhibitions, but he was the greatest at getting the money.

Who's your grandfather? I started out in '61 as a teenager.

freddy the beard
08-24-2006, 03:50 AM
Who's your grandfather? I started out in '61 as a teenager.

He was called the Cinncinnati Kid, Don Willis, but he was really from Canton, Ohio. I met him a few times. Super nice guy. I would have given anything to have hung out with him when he was on the road. Amazingly, he lost about 100$ playing nineball with Eddie Robin (Yes, the 1 pkt book writer) in Chicago. He was playing on the old Harold Worst brand, 4x8 tables. They didnt even have real slate. Super freak equipment. They were like toy tables and Robin could run hundreds on them. Willis started out stalling, and Robin, being from New York, once he got winner would not raise the bet. I talked to Willis about it when he stopped in Bensingers later that day. He said he well aware of the "7/11, Ames" gamble and knew he could never get even and he would have to show too much speed to even come close, so he quit and took the small loss. Robin lives in Vegas today and is now helpless playing pool. Eddie has to treat me very well because I am one of the few humans, if only human, who can verify that he beat Don Willis.

the Beard

Big Bad Bern
08-24-2006, 10:58 AM
I have heard alot about Johnny Irish, just wondering where Freddie, Jay or anybody else might rank him.

I heard that he really didn't like to gamble, but if you got him to, you were just dead.

Thanks

Bern

jay helfert
08-24-2006, 01:18 PM
He was called the Cinncinnati Kid, Don Willis, but he was really from Canton, Ohio. I met him a few times. Super nice guy. I would have given anything to have hung out with him when he was on the road. Amazingly, he lost about 100$ playing nineball with Eddie Robin (Yes, the 1 pkt book writer) in Chicago. He was playing on the old Harold Worst brand, 4x8 tables. They didnt even have real slate. Super freak equipment. They were like toy tables and Robin could run hundreds on them. Willis started out stalling, and Robin, being from New York, once he got winner would not raise the bet. I talked to Willis about it when he stopped in Bensingers later that day. He said he well aware of the "7/11, Ames" gamble and knew he could never get even and he would have to show too much speed to even come close, so he quit and took the small loss. Robin lives in Vegas today and is now helpless playing pool. Eddie has to treat me very well because I am one of the few humans, if only human, who can verify that he beat Don Willis.

the Beard

I saw Eddie chase Fats around the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 1963, trying to get him into a Three Cushion game. That was Eddie's best game by far, as you know. Well Eddie finally trapped Fats in a 50 point game for $500. Eddie led all the way, until Fats ran nine and out from being down 46-41. To this day, Eddie denies it happened. I was an eye witness!

There was a bigger crowd watching this game than Cornbread and Worst who were playing in the tournament.

freddy the beard
08-24-2006, 03:18 PM
I have heard alot about Johnny Irish, just wondering where Freddie, Jay or anybody else might rank him.

I heard that he really didn't like to gamble, but if you got him to, you were just dead.

Thanks

Bern

His name was Johnny "Irish" Lineen. He was as good with the bottle as he was with the cue. With the cue he was one of the greatest that ever lived. He also played all games, save bank pool, including 3 cushion. I never got to see him play. He used to go to Miami every winter but he died the winter I got down there (61 or 62). He had to spot just about everybody playing everything all up and down the East Coast. He wasnt a very good hustler, however, as he was usually broke.

the Beard

jay helfert
08-24-2006, 05:22 PM
His name was Johnny "Irish" Lineen. He was as good with the bottle as he was with the cue. With the cue he was one of the greatest that ever lived. He also played all games, save bank pool, including 3 cushion. I never got to see him play. He used to go to Miami every winter but he died the winter I got down there (61 or 62). He had to spot just about everybody playing everything all up and down the East Coast. He wasnt a very good hustler, however, as he was usually broke.

the Beard


I first went into 7-11 in 1964 and got hustled by everybody. Brooklyn Butch was there and told me later Irish was one of the guys that hustled me. Maybe he is mistaken. Butch liked me because I would get up and play anyone. Only one small problem. They ALL beat me.

jay helfert
08-24-2006, 05:27 PM
I first went into 7-11 in 1964 and got hustled by everybody. Brooklyn Butch was there and told me later Irish was one of the guys that hustled me. Maybe he is mistaken. Butch liked me because I would get up and play anyone. Only one small problem. They ALL beat me.


I heard the same thing, that Irish was the best player in 7-11 and in New York. Some claim he is the all time best. He is right there with Greenleaf, Hayden Van Lingo, Rags, Efren and Worst for the best player of all time. And maybe James Evans too.

Mosconi just doen't cut it with this crowd. Sorry. I'd like to hear more about Youngblood Washington. and you knew him Freddie. I never saw him play. At least not that I know of.

Tiddler
08-25-2006, 12:25 AM
Hoppe couldnt play pocket billiards.
1.Mosconi
2.Greenleaf
3.Reyes
4.Mizerak
5.Lassiter
I know 4 out of the 5 were straight pool terrors but they could play all games well when it came to pocket billiards,let them play 9 ball or 1 pocket,8 and outs along with runouts all day and all night.

I asked Luther Lassiter his pick of all time pool players and he said he had never seen a better player than Ralph Greenleaf. He said Ralph would shoot wing shots (moving object ball about 6 inches from the rail into the opposite corner) on a tight 5x10 table and never miss. He also said Mosconi couldn't have touched Ralph before the bottle took him.

cuetechasaurus
08-25-2006, 12:43 AM
If you think Effy was not a great all-around billiard player, consider this: The great champion, Sang Lee could only beat Efren playing 3 cushion! He couldnt win playing straight rail, balkline, or 1 cushion or 2 cushion billiards. Sang Lee, a man with a lot of gamble, tried Efren these games unsuccessfully at Chris's Billiards in Chicago when they were both living there. My dream game is Efren playing 1pocket with Harold Worst.

the Beard

I am very glad you brought this up. I have heard Incardona, DiLiberto, and a few other commentators on Accustats mention that Efren is -and I quote- "undoubtedly the best balkline player in the world". I mentioned this a while back and a few people told me the name of someone else, and that Efren isn't even close to being one of the best. I took their word, but now after what you said, I guess Cardone etc. are right.

freddy the beard
08-25-2006, 02:40 AM
I'd like to hear more about Youngblood Washington. and you knew him Freddie. I never saw him play. At least not that I know of.

Javenly "Youngblood" Washington from Chicago's South Side, the original Youngblood. He was one of the all-time great bank-pool players. Besides his fabulous pool skills, 'Blood had some mental problems. He was periodically institutionalized at a mental center in Chicago. His backers used to help him get over the wall at Manteno's mental institution to escape and go to the West Side to play John "Cannonball Lefty" Chapman bank pool. 'Blood would still have the hospital bracelet on his wrist. Those sessions would bring sweators in from everywhere. The poolroom would be packed wall-to-wall. When the session was over, the backers would take him back to the hospital and hoist him back over the wall to be recommitted.

Blood is still alive today in a nursing home. He got 9 to 8 playing Eddie Taylor bank pool in Tenn. and won. The only man to ever spot him. Taylor also spotted Cannonball 8 to 7 in those days. Even with the disparity of the spot,
Taylor rated Chapman as a hair better banker. I rate them dead even. Lefty banked with english but Blood used dead-center ball. I was deathly afraid of Blood but somehow had great success with Cannonball.
Blood spotted Bugs 10 to 8 up until Bugs was nearly 30 yrs old.

the Beard

iralee
08-25-2006, 08:41 AM
I am very glad you brought this up. I have heard Incardona, DiLiberto, and a few other commentators on Accustats mention that Efren is -and I quote- "undoubtedly the best balkline player in the world". I mentioned this a while back and a few people told me the name of someone else, and that Efren isn't even close to being one of the best. I took their word, but now after what you said, I guess Cardone etc. are right.

Incardona and DiLiberto don't know that much about the carom players so you could interpret their comments to be "best balkline-playing pool player in the world". Basically Efren would have no chance in the long run against carom experts like Frederic Caudron in any balkline, straight or 1-cushion game. Also, Efren doesn't have the tournament experience in these games that Caudron has (or Martin Horn, Peter DeBacker, etc).

Boro Nut
08-25-2006, 08:57 AM
Who's your grandfather? I started out in '61 as a teenager.

Jay. A word from the wise. Don't believe everything your parents tell you. On the plus side it means you're probably much younger than you think.

Boro Nut

CrossSideLarry
08-25-2006, 09:15 AM
[QUOTE=Fast Lenny]Hoppe couldnt play pocket billiards.


In Wilie Hoppe's first book published in 1941, he mentions having run 246 balls in an exhibition match with another Brunswick sponsored pro. The article recaps when a local Indian Chief offered Willie a bet to play his son for $10,000.00. Willie Hoppe never bet on his own game, but ran the 246 balls in an exhibition match. After his run out, the Indians were no where to be found. They slyly slipped out while Willie was in the midst of his 200 + run out. My point, I think Willie knew how to play pocket billiards!

Cross Side Larry

"Learn from the best, and beat the rest"

SphinxnihpS
08-25-2006, 11:33 AM
Dasher
Mikey the General
John the Greek
Joe the Grinder
Rocketman


Freddy, who are these guys!?!?!

Bob Jewett
08-25-2006, 01:36 PM
... In Wilie Hoppe's first book published in 1941, he mentions having run 246 balls in an exhibition match with another Brunswick sponsored pro. ...
He probably ran 246 points in balkline, not 246 balls in pocket billiards. He was almost certainly playing 18.2, not to be confused with 14.1 which is a pocket billiards game.

8-ball bernie
08-25-2006, 02:31 PM
well, torborjm bloomdahl who is the very best 3 cushion billiard player of all time, and plays a hell of a pool game as well, said "efren reyes is the greatest all around player that ever lived" now, when bloomdahl say's that, you gotta listen, i'll take efren reyes for the greatest all around player.

freddy the beard
08-25-2006, 03:06 PM
Dasher
Mikey the General
John the Greek
Joe the Grinder
Rocketman


Freddy, who are these guys!?!?!

Those are five real beauties.

the Beard

Gongmyo
08-25-2006, 05:05 PM
I never saw any of these three play each other, probably because they were old friends and roadies. By the way, when Lassiter was asked who was the best 9-Ball player he ever played, his response was George Rood. George is still alive and was in Derby City this year and played in the Three Cushion at the tender age of 94.

George Rood was in my bracket in the three cushion tournament in Derby City. He said he hadn't played three cushion in 50 years, and although he moved slowly he still had a beautiful, economical stroke. It was a pleasure to share the table with him.

jay helfert
08-25-2006, 05:41 PM
well, torborjm bloomdahl who is the very best 3 cushion billiard player of all time, and plays a hell of a pool game as well, said "efren reyes is the greatest all around player that ever lived" now, when bloomdahl say's that, you gotta listen, i'll take efren reyes for the greatest all around player.

What does Bloomdahl know about Worst, Lassiter, Greenleaf or Rags? Zero!

Blue_Suede
08-25-2006, 06:48 PM
This is a great discussion.

However...

1) Consider that Efren hasn't spent 20+ years playing 3-cushion. Or snooker.

2) Ronnie O' Sullivan hasn't spent 20+ years playing American pool (9-ball/8-ball/1-pocket etc...). Or 3-cushion billiards.

3) Torborjm Bloomdahl hasn't spent... etc, etc. You get the idea...

In my opinion, the 3 players above, are the greatest in their field. Of all time.

As was previously posted, in order to rate each player you also have to take into account the standard of current competition which leads us to rate our champions thus...

This is purely a theory and open to discussion:

Let's take the 2nd best (open to debate) of each era...

1) Earl Strickland vs Luther Lassiter (14.1)

2) Steven Hendry vs Walter Lindrum (snooker)

3) Semih Sayginer vs ??? (sorry, I don't know who this would be).

So who win win in each? I'll bet that the modern era player wouldn't have too much trouble.

The standard of competition (as well as the number of players) is hugely better than 50 years ago. Consider this discussion in 50 years time? If we're still here...

To discuss that Efren is better than Willie, or Ronnie is better than Joe is a fruitless discussion. Why not enjoy watching the best in the world right now? I've seen Efren Reyes play pool shots that prove, without question, he is a level above everybody else right now.

Ronnie O'Sullivan similarly, has a talent for snooker that will take years, if not decades to excel.

Can Ronnie play pool? Can Efren play snooker? Dunno. Can Bloomdahl play either? Dunno.

Who cares?

Not me. I'm a decent pool player, but a rotten guitarist!

Just my thoughts.

BS

stick8
08-25-2006, 08:27 PM
pool----reyes golf----tiger basketball---jorden baseball----ty cobb ping pong----forrest gump!!!!!!!!

huckster
08-26-2006, 04:32 AM
This is a great discussion.

However...

1) Consider that Efren hasn't spent 20+ years playing 3-cushion. Or snooker.

2) Ronnie O' Sullivan hasn't spent 20+ years playing American pool (9-ball/8-ball/1-pocket etc...). Or 3-cushion billiards.

3) Torborjm Bloomdahl hasn't spent... etc, etc. You get the idea...

In my opinion, the 3 players above, are the greatest in their field. Of all time.

As was previously posted, in order to rate each player you also have to take into account the standard of current competition which leads us to rate our champions thus...

This is purely a theory and open to discussion:

Let's take the 2nd best (open to debate) of each era...

1) Earl Strickland vs Luther Lassiter (14.1)

2) Steven Hendry vs Walter Lindrum (snooker)

3) Semih Sayginer vs ??? (sorry, I don't know who this would be).

So who win win in each? I'll bet that the modern era player wouldn't have too much trouble.

The standard of competition (as well as the number of players) is hugely better than 50 years ago. Consider this discussion in 50 years time? If we're still here...

To discuss that Efren is better than Willie, or Ronnie is better than Joe is a fruitless discussion. Why not enjoy watching the best in the world right now? I've seen Efren Reyes play pool shots that prove, without question, he is a level above everybody else right now.

Ronnie O'Sullivan similarly, has a talent for snooker that will take years, if not decades to excel.

Can Ronnie play pool? Can Efren play snooker? Dunno. Can Bloomdahl play either? Dunno.

Who cares?

Not me. I'm a decent pool player, but a rotten guitarist!

Just my thoughts.

BS


My opinon but if Earl played Wimpy straight pool in their prime Earl would have no shot unless he caught a gear. Grandpa told me Wimpy was a great 14.1 player his patterns were great. Worst and my grandfather shot there way out of trouble Wimpy did not get into trouble.

TheOne
08-26-2006, 04:37 AM
I think it is possible to gauge the best all round cueist/player if not coming up with a definative answer. So far this discussion hasn't really contained much structure or guidlines. There are a whole host of different disciplines, and I doubt any player has played them all to a high level, the following spring to mind:

Snooker
English Billiards
Russian Billiards
3 Cushion
UK 8 Ball
American 8 Ball
9 Ball
10 Ball
1 Pocket
Banks
Straight Pool
Rotation


Of course many of these games are not played globally, also some don't really have a tour or a history of large events.

Let's take a players BEST 5 EVENTS and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 on what they have acheived in each discipline. Lets say 10 = has acheived world Champion or equiv, and obviously 0 = no success at all.


I'll start with Efren

10 - 8 Ball

10 - 9 Ball

10 - 1 Pocketl

10 - Rotation

4 - Snooker (based on his relatively low level Asian games success)


I assume he's won an equiv world title at rotation even if its only played in the phillipines, he could prob post decent scores in straight pool and a few others too!

Other names that spring to mind would be Marlon, Ralf, Varner?, Hall?, Ortman?, but need help! Its clear to see that Quinten wouldnt get close to Efren but would still post a decent score. Hohmann of course is making a strong case with his straight pool and 9 ball world titles and his recent 8 ball performances but would still fall short of the magician!

smashmouth
08-26-2006, 05:58 AM
Alex Pagaulayan should get some props here also, he's one a world pool
title and Canadian National Snooker title.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of another player today who has
won a world title in one discipline and a national tite in another.

sjm
08-26-2006, 06:50 AM
Snooker
English Billiards
Russian Billiards
3 Cushion
UK 8 Ball
American 8 Ball
9 Ball
10 Ball
1 Pocket
Banks
Straight Pool
Rotation

names that spring to mind would be Marlon, Ralf, Varner?, Hall?, Ortman?, but need help!

Will help with Nick Varner

Straight Pool - World Champion
Eight Ball - World Champion
Nine Ball - World Champion
One Pocket - World Champion

Don't know if he's won a world championship in any other discipline, but Varner rates as one of the greatest all-around players ever......but, he's no Efren.

ironman
08-26-2006, 06:52 AM
pool----reyes golf----tiger basketball---jorden baseball----ty cobb ping pong----forrest gump!!!!!!!!

Ther only one I would argue about is Forrest Gump. Grady beat me out of $20 back in about 78 and I'm still mad about it.

bobson_215
09-20-2006, 10:20 PM
Ther only one I would argue about is Forrest Gump. Grady beat me out of $20 back in about 78 and I'm still mad about it.

LOL:D :D :D

bengus
09-21-2006, 04:46 PM
I'll start with Efren

10 - 8 Ball

10 - 9 Ball

10 - 1 Pocketl

10 - Rotation

4 - Snooker (based on his relatively low level Asian games success)


I assume he's won an equiv world title at rotation even if its only played in the phillipines, he could prob post decent scores in straight pool and a few others too!


Rotation: Efren currently stands shoulder to shoulder with Alcano and Orcollo - street cred wise. Before that, Efren was alone at the top for about 25 years.

Reyes has won an ASEAN games gold medal in English Billiards. He also has a mean balkline game. Efren has had some public matches playing cushion billiards, he averages about the same as a regular pro in the sport.