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Blackjack
10-15-2007, 03:21 AM
The Luther Lassiter thread got me thinking of how subjective it is to compare players of different eras. We all view this game with our own eyes, from our own point of view. We all have different influences, experiences, and we have all witnessed different players do different things at different times. This is just my opinion from the way that I have seen things over the years. Your views may differ and I respect that. I thought it would be fun to break down the way I have seen things develop over the years and why I have chosen to put these people on my lists.

Shotmakers
I had the opportunity to see Luther Lassiter play 9 ball and straight pool. He was unbelievably good, although his patterns, routes, shot selection made you scratch your head. His shotmaking was something not from this world, so he could afford that in his game, and history speaks for itself, as do Wimpy's acomplishments. He was an awesome shotmaker.

Corey Deuel is another guy that can take a 8 foot long backward cut jump shot - make it - then draw the cue ball the length of the table on the same shot. It boggles the mind.

I never saw Louie Roberts face a shot or situation that he wouldn't figure out. He could bank, cut, kick, or spin any shot - and he was simply fearless. Nobody before or since has had the balls that Louie had when playing the game of pool.

My top 5 great shotmakers of all-time
Luther Lassiter
Corey Deuel
Louie Roberts
Efren Reyes
Earl Strickland

Straight Pool
I grew up in the era of Mizerak, Sigel, Rempe, and West. I idolized all of these guys long before they were ever considered Hall of Famers. All of them were special, and all of them could beat the other on any given day at any given game.

Straight pool was also a game that Lassiter played extremely well. He was without a doubt an exciting player to watch because of his shotmaking ability, and his ability to get himself out of trouble with it. Being a straight pool purist, I was drawn away from that by the perfection displayed by the other greats - such as Mizerak, Butera, Rempe, Margo, and Nagy.

I had the opportunity to see Irving Crane play many times. I never saw him make a bad shot or a bad decision. He was quite possibly the smartest player to ever play the game of pool. He was definitely one of the best I ever saw.

Sometimes, we must judge people not on how many trophies that they won, but by how many lives they affected by their pure love for the game. That is why Gene Nagy is on my list. He was one hell of a player, and quite possibly the best teacher in the game's history.

Anybody that never got the opportunity to watch Mike Eufemia run balls in 14.1 - you missed out on seeing quite possibly the best straight pool ever played (IMO). Mike didn't have a lot of trphies to show for it, nor will his run ever receive the proper recognition that it deserves, but Mike Eufemia is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of straight pool.

My top 5 Straight Pool players of all time
Willie Mosconi
Steve Mizerak
Irving Crane
Gene Nagy
Mike Eufemia

9 Ball
Louie Roberts was a 9 ball genius. Like I said earlier, nothing intimidated Louie - at the table he was 8 feet tall and bullet proof. He was probably the most perfect 9 ball player I ever saw, with the exception of 1 other player - Buddy Hall.

Buddy's position play, cue ball control, shot selection, and never say die attitude was an awesome sight to behold for those of us that were fortunate to see it when he was in his prime. Buddy Hall was my hero when I was learning the game. I would watch him play for hours on end, studying everything that he did, and I learned why he made the choices that he did.

Mike Sigel came along, and it seemed that in professional tournament pool, that he was virtually unstoppable. Then Earl came along. Mike and Earl were 1 & 2 consistently throughout the 1980's - that ended when Nick Varner went on a tear in 1989 and 1990.

Along came Johnny Archer, but in the distance was this guy named Efren - and I noticed the pool world changing. It started to have an international flair with players converging on the US tours from Europe and Asia. Guys like Souquet, Chao, Bustamante, Engert, and Ortmann... the fields grew tougher and tougher.

In this "new" pool world, 1 guy reigned as the king, and we call him "The Magician". I've seen every player from Carella to Deuel, from Lassiter to Van Boening, from Mosconi to Strickland, from Jimmy Moore to Keith McCready. In my opinion, Efren has this extra quality about him that will always separate him from his peers. Efren has not won a lot of World Championships. Efren has not won a handful of U.S. Opens. Efren has won our respect and our admiration, and he has won our hearts with his humility and his humanity. He is definitely, without a doubt the best that I have ever seen.

My top 5 Nine Ball Players of All time
Buddy Hall
Earl Strickland
Luther Lassiter
Efren Reyes
Nick Varner

Money Players
Here is another thing that is also very subjective, but when looking at history, nobody was better than Don Willis. A world class player that stayed under the radar for years - and is widely regarded as possibly the best pure hustler in the history of the game.

Keith McCready is a living legend among mere mortals in today's world of modern pool. Keith was bold and brash, loud and boisterous, but he also had the balls, the brains, and the ability to back it all up. The World did get the 8 when it came to playing Keith ANY game for money on ANY size table. A rare type of player with ugly mechanics - however I dare any instructor out there to use their text book mechanics and have the cue ball move as smoothly as it does for Keith. Sorry. There is a such thing as "God-given ability". That can't be taught, and you still get the 8.

I was sneaking around Memphis back in the days when Buddy Hall was ruling the land. I can never recall anyone taking Buddy down (somebody please correct me if I am wrong) but Buddy ruled the land for a very very long time.

UJ Puckett was great guy with a lot of great stories of the road. I wish I had written down a lot of the stories that he told me, he certainly lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every bit of it. He is one of the players of the past that I miss the most.

My top 5 Money Players
Don Willis
Keith McCready
UJ Puckett
Ronnie Allen
Jose Parica

When comparing eras, everything is subjective. Pool is a different game than it was back in the days of Lassiter, Balsis, and Moore. It takes nothing away from their accomplishments. I am sure that all of the greats from that era would be major forces to be dealt with on the tables of today. However, if I were to send Efren back in time to the era of Johnston City, I am positive that he would have still ruled as king. He is my favorite player of all-time.

Mike Carella was a great player that just had too many distractions away from the table. His life was cut short by those distractions, and God only knows how far he could have gone with his talent if he had made better decisions in his life. He was fun to watch, fun to hang out with, and he was definitely world class.

Most everything I have learned about pool has come directly from Cisero Murphy. He not only taught me how to play this game, he touched my life and sent me in a positive direction at a time when I was definitely not willing to do so. I was blessed by our friendship, and I have been blessed by everything he taught me about pool and about life. Not a day goes by where I don't thank the man upstairs for everything Cisero brought to my life.

My 5 favorite players of all-time
Efren Reyes
Buddy Hall
Cisero Murphy
Louie Roberts
Mike Carella

Those are my lists - and I won't change my mind about any of them because its how I see it - but I'm interested in seeing the lists of others and hearing why those people make your list.

Drawman623
10-15-2007, 03:51 AM
Shotmaker: Reyes
(Never saw Lassiter get into a jam)

Straight Pool: Johnny Ervolino
(Best patterns and knowledge IMO)

9-Ball: Sigel
(He made it look effortless. He is also Efren's pick!)

One Pocket: Danny DiLiberto

Gambler: Toby Sweet

Legends: Lassiter, Willis, Jimmy Moore

Overall favorites: Jim Rempe
Thorsten Hohmann

hemicudas
10-15-2007, 04:52 AM
The Luther Lassiter thread got me thinking of how subjective it is to compare players of different eras. We all view this game with our own eyes, from our own point of view. We all have different influences, experiences, and we have all witnessed different players do different things at different times. This is just my opinion from the way that I have seen things over the years. Your views may differ and I respect that. I thought it would be fun to break down the way I have seen things develop over the years and why I have chosen to put these people on my lists.

Shotmakers
I had the opportunity to see Luther Lassiter play 9 ball and straight pool. He was unbelievably good, although his patterns, routes, shot selection made you scratch your head. His shotmaking was something not from this world, so he could afford that in his game, and history speaks for itself, as do Wimpy's acomplishments. He was an awesome shotmaker.

Corey Deuel is another guy that can take a 8 foot long backward cut jump shot - make it - then draw the cue ball the length of the table on the same shot. It boggles the mind.

I never saw Louie Roberts face a shot or situation that he wouldn't figure out. He could bank, cut, kick, or spin any shot - and he was simply fearless. Nobody before or since has had the balls that Louie had when playing the game of pool.

My top 5 great shotmakers of all-time
Luther Lassiter
Corey Deuel
Louie Roberts
Efren Reyes
Earl Strickland

Straight Pool
I grew up in the era of Mizerak, Sigel, Rempe, and West. I idolized all of these guys long before they were ever considered Hall of Famers. All of them were special, and all of them could beat the other on any given day at any given game.

Straight pool was also a game that Lassiter played extremely well. He was without a doubt an exciting player to watch because of his shotmaking ability, and his ability to get himself out of trouble with it. Being a straight pool purist, I was drawn away from that by the perfection displayed by the other greats - such as Mizerak, Butera, Rempe, Margo, and Nagy.

I had the opportunity to see Irving Crane play many times. I never saw him make a bad shot or a bad decision. He was quite possibly the smartest player to ever play the game of pool. He was definitely one of the best I ever saw.

Sometimes, we must judge people not on how many trophies that they won, but by how many lives they affected by their pure love for the game. That is why Gene Nagy is on my list. He was one hell of a player, and quite possibly the best teacher in the game's history.

Anybody that never got the opportunity to watch Mike Eufemia run balls in 14.1 - you missed out on seeing quite possibly the best straight pool ever played (IMO). Mike didn't have a lot of trphies to show for it, nor will his run ever receive the proper recognition that it deserves, but Mike Eufemia is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of straight pool.

My top 5 Straight Pool players of all time
Willie Mosconi
Steve Mizerak
Irving Crane
Gene Nagy
Mike Eufemia

9 Ball
Louie Roberts was a 9 ball genius. Like I said earlier, nothing intimidated Louie - at the table he was 8 feet tall and bullet proof. He was probably the most perfect 9 ball player I ever saw, with the exception of 1 other player - Buddy Hall.

Buddy's position play, cue ball control, shot selection, and never say die attitude was an awesome sight to behold for those of us that were fortunate to see it when he was in his prime. Buddy Hall was my hero when I was learning the game. I would watch him play for hours on end, studying everything that he did, and I learned why he made the choices that he did.

Mike Sigel came along, and it seemed that in professional tournament pool, that he was virtually unstoppable. Then Earl came along. Mike and Earl were 1 & 2 consistently throughout the 1980's - that ended when Nick Varner went on a tear in 1989 and 1990.

Along came Johnny Archer, but in the distance was this guy named Efren - and I noticed the pool world changing. It started to have an international flair with players converging on the US tours from Europe and Asia. Guys like Souquet, Chao, Bustamante, Engert, and Ortmann... the fields grew tougher and tougher.

In this "new" pool world, 1 guy reigned as the king, and we call him "The Magician". I've seen every player from Carella to Deuel, from Lassiter to Van Boening, from Mosconi to Strickland, from Jimmy Moore to Keith McCready. In my opinion, Efren has this extra quality about him that will always separate him from his peers. Efren has not won a lot of World Championships. Efren has not won a handful of U.S. Opens. Efren has won our respect and our admiration, and he has won our hearts with his humility and his humanity. He is definitely, without a doubt the best that I have ever seen.

My top 5 Nine Ball Players of All time
Buddy Hall
Earl Strickland
Luther Lassiter
Efren Reyes
Nick Varner

Money Players
Here is another thing that is also very subjective, but when looking at history, nobody was better than Don Willis. A world class player that stayed under the radar for years - and is widely regarded as possibly the best pure hustler in the history of the game.

Keith McCready is a living legend among mere mortals in today's world of modern pool. Keith was bold and brash, loud and boisterous, but he also had the balls, the brains, and the ability to back it all up. The World did get the 8 when it came to playing Keith ANY game for money on ANY size table. A rare type of player with ugly mechanics - however I dare any instructor out there to use their text book mechanics and have the cue ball move as smoothly as it does for Keith. Sorry. There is a such thing as "God-given ability". That can't be taught, and you still get the 8.

I was sneaking around Memphis back in the days when Buddy Hall was ruling the land. I can never recall anyone taking Buddy down (somebody please correct me if I am wrong) but Buddy ruled the land for a very very long time.

UJ Puckett was great guy with a lot of great stories of the road. I wish I had written down a lot of the stories that he told me, he certainly lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every bit of it. He is one of the players of the past that I miss the most.

My top 5 Money Players
Don Willis
Keith McCready
UJ Puckett
Ronnie Allen
Jose Parica

When comparing eras, everything is subjective. Pool is a different game than it was back in the days of Lassiter, Balsis, and Moore. It takes nothing away from their accomplishments. I am sure that all of the greats from that era would be major forces to be dealt with on the tables of today. However, if I were to send Efren back in time to the era of Johnston City, I am positive that he would have still ruled as king. He is my favorite player of all-time.

Mike Carella was a great player that just had too many distractions away from the table. His life was cut short by those distractions, and God only knows how far he could have gone with his talent if he had made better decisions in his life. He was fun to watch, fun to hang out with, and he was definitely world class.

Most everything I have learned about pool has come directly from Cisero Murphy. He not only taught me how to play this game, he touched my life and sent me in a positive direction at a time when I was definitely not willing to do so. I was blessed by our friendship, and I have been blessed by everything he taught me about pool and about life. Not a day goes by where I don't thank the man upstairs for everything Cisero brought to my life.

My 5 favorite players of all-time
Efren Reyes
Buddy Hall
Cisero Murphy
Louie Roberts
Mike Carella

Those are my lists - and I won't change my mind about any of them because its how I see it - but I'm interested in seeing the lists of others and hearing why those people make your list.

The only reason you don't get rep. for this post, Dave,,,,, it says I gotta spread it around, LOL. My top two favorite players ever and yours are the same, Efren and Buddy. Wish you had included one pocket but I understand 95+% of us would have Efren at the top and Ronnie second.

I am also with you in the fact that, Parica, doesn't get his due as a top money player. I would suggest there was a reason ALL the champions bypassed Chattanooga, TN in their travels,,,,Vernon Elliot.

ShootingArts
10-15-2007, 05:27 AM
I have said this before but Willie Mosconi had more influence on my game than anyone. I was making pretty good money around south Louisiana and thought I played good shape. I caught Willie Mosconi on what was almost certainly Wide World of Sports because this was long before the Mosconi/Fats exhibitions. My conception of what was possible with the cue ball after the hit changed after watching him play. I can't even remember who he was playing other than that the other gentleman was tall, maybe Lassiter or Crane.

I hate to add one more "me too" to what is sure to be a long line of Efren selections but there are times when he is simply operating on a level nobody else can. DCC one-pocket 2006(I haven't seen 2007 yet) was almost ridiculous. Alex Pagulayan played amazingly and was destroyed in the semi. Jason Miller was defeated before he picked up a stick in the finals. His first shots were those of a desperate man trying not to be embarrassed. Efren was doing things with a cue ball over and over, almost routinely, that someone else might attempt once in a match when they had no other option. Like Willie Mosconi many years ago, Efren raised the bar for me by showing that things are possible that I previously would have considered little more than a fluke.

Next on my list are the nameless kids coming along today and tomorrow. Pool knowledge is more available than it has ever been and some talented youngsters are taking advantage of this. I truly believe that we will see new levels of pool being played in the next twenty years. I have watched youngsters in their late teens or early twenties controlling the cue ball in manners that a few decades ago I only saw old masters in their late fifties and sixties understand. It boggles my mind to think what that pool knowledge and young eyes and bodies may be able to do.

Hu

jsp
10-15-2007, 06:02 AM
...
Those are my lists - and I won't change my mind about any of them because its how I see it - but I'm interested in seeing the lists of others and hearing why those people make your list.
Great read Blackjack! I enjoyed it.

PoolSponge
10-15-2007, 07:44 AM
I am surprised that player of the decade Johnny Archer didn't make it into the 9 ball category. I am not nearly as knowledgeable as most on this site, however, given that part of the criteria for decision was what they brought to the game I haven't seen many players known the world over like Archer. He was called, by Efren Reyes, the greatest player in the finals he has ever seen. It definitely says great things about the list of players when someone like Archer is kept off the podium.

Just my 2 cents.

Blackjack
10-15-2007, 07:45 AM
Johnny E - Toby Sweet - Vernon Elliot - Eddie Taylor - Jimmy Reid - Larry Lisciotti -

All of those guys fit somewhere on my top 10 lists in each category...

Bill, For 1 pocket... I'm sure that you and I will agree on the top 2 and we'd probably fight like pigs in a puddle of $hit over 3-5, but that's what these discussion's are all about! lol ... here is my list

One Pocket
Efren Reyes
Ronnie Allen
Cliff Joyner
Grady Matthews
Danny DiLiberto

Southpaw
10-15-2007, 08:00 AM
Shotmaker: Earl "The Pearl" Strickland

Straight Pool: Mike Sigal

9-Ball: Johnny Archer

One Pocket: Ronnie Allen

Gambler: Keith McCready

Legends: The Miz....Enough said

Overall favorites: Mark Tadd, Ralph Soquet, Stevie Moore


Southpaw

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 08:33 AM
Here we go again.

STRAIGHT POOL
1. Mosconi
2. Mizerak
3. Crane and Caras

NINE BALL & TEN BALL
1. Parica
2. Efren, Worst and Lassiter
3. Sigel, Strickland and Hall

ROTATION
1. Efren
2. Parica

ONE POCKET
1. Ronnie
2. Efren
3. Ed Kelly, Jersey Red & Parica

BANKS
1. Eddie Taylor
2. Bugs
3. Vernon Elliott

EIGHT BALL
1. Efren


ALL AROUND
1. Efren
2. Kelly, Sigel and Mizerak
3. Buddy (if Banks is included)

jnav447
10-15-2007, 09:26 AM
One of the most well-presented threads/posts I've seen to date on AZB. Blackjack, I agree almost 100% with your selections and analysis. I would keep your lists and maybe add the following as runners-up or ties:
Shotmaker - Denny Searcy. He made impossible-looking shots on a tight-pocket 6x12 snooker table for the cash, then after the game we mere mortals tried to duplicate the shots repeatedly and couldn't make any of them. If you include banks as a shot, maybe Eddie Taylor has to be considered; great all-around player. Also Mike Massey, greatest trick-shot practioner ever and, in his prime, one straight shooting terror.
9Ball - Gotta add Archer, and maybe Jim Rempe for his remarkable string of tournement wins.
Money player - gotta have Buddy Hall in the mix.
Favorite - my favorite is Ronnie Allen, who is the most entertaining player I've ever seen, both for his banter and other-wordly imagination playing one-pocket.
One Pocket - I would put Steve Cook and Jersey Red in the mix. Charlie Justice told me Steve Cook was the best he ever played, and he played 'em all. Jersey Red beat Ronnie Allen consistently until the bet got too high for him and Ronnie would take him down, but Red was one of the best ever. Thanks for a great thread.

asbani
10-15-2007, 09:33 AM
My list of top 5 players of all times.

Earl Strickland
Efren Reyes
Mike Sigal
Johnny Archer
Mika Immonen

ginsu
10-15-2007, 10:13 AM
[QUOTE=jay helfert]Here we go again.

STRAIGHT POOL
1. Mosconi
2. Mizerak
3. Crane and Caras

NINE BALL & TEN BALL
1. Parica
2. Efren, Worst and Lassiter
3. Sigel, Strickland and Hall

ROTATION
1. Efren
2. Parica

ONE POCKET
1. Ronnie
2. Efren
3. Ed Kelly, Jersey Red & Parica

BANKS
1. Eddie Taylor
2. Bugs
3. Vernon Elliott

EIGHT BALL
1. Efren


ALL AROUND
1. Efren
2. Kelly, Sigel and Mizerak
3. Buddy (if Banks is included)[/QUOTE

Jay, I like your list but I think Harold Worst could be another good call in the all around list. All pool games and 3 cushion as well.

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 10:42 AM
One of the most well-presented threads/posts I've seen to date on AZB. Blackjack, I agree almost 100% with your selections and analysis. I would keep your lists and maybe add the following as runners-up or ties:
Shotmaker - Denny Searcy. He made impossible-looking shots on a tight-pocket 6x12 snooker table for the cash, then after the game we mere mortals tried to duplicate the shots repeatedly and couldn't make any of them. If you include banks as a shot, maybe Eddie Taylor has to be considered; great all-around player. Also Mike Massey, greatest trick-shot practioner ever and, in his prime, one straight shooting terror.
9Ball - Gotta add Archer, and maybe Jim Rempe for his remarkable string of tournement wins.
Money player - gotta have Buddy Hall in the mix.
Favorite - my favorite is Ronnie Allen, who is the most entertaining player I've ever seen, both for his banter and other-wordly imagination playing one-pocket.
One Pocket - I would put Steve Cook and Jersey Red in the mix. Charlie Justice told me Steve Cook was the best he ever played, and he played 'em all. Jersey Red beat Ronnie Allen consistently until the bet got too high for him and Ronnie would take him down, but Red was one of the best ever. Thanks for a great thread.

I saw what you saw when Denny got on the 6x12. Never saw anything like it before or since. Maybe the best pure shooting of all time.

Best money player is close between Parica and Buddy. Both had tons of heart. But Ronnie was the best at maximizing a win. He would squeeze the last drop out of his opponents. Cornbread belongs on here too. He made them bet so high, the champions couldn't draw their ball.

Yes, Steve Cook was a great One Pocket player, maybe the equal of Red and Kelly. But he would not play Ronnie in his prime for the cash. He knew where to draw the line. Ronnie played Red 9-8 and 8-7, and they broke even. At 9-8 Ronnie would win and at 8-7 Red would win. It was that close. Ronnie would never give Kelly 8-7 under any circumstances. He got 9-8 also, and this was Ronnies toughest game. Both Kelly and Jersey Red could outmove Taylor, and never let him see a bank.

ribdoner
10-15-2007, 11:16 AM
This thread is a great read, enjoy everyone's contribution!!:)

ceebee
10-15-2007, 11:30 AM
I put this post in another thread, but to make sure that it doesn't go unnoticed & hopefully is read, here's a story about George Rood, talking with a guy at OnePocket.org.

George Rood is still alive & teaching in Ohio. He is a most fantastic man & a very fine gentleman. He is 90 or more years old.

Lots of people never mention his name, but many of the best have come up against George & lost.

Here's the interview story;

GR: I played with a lot of all-time great players. I played well, but at other games. I played a lot of times with Mosconi; 11 exhibitions I can remember. I played with Irving Crane, Erwin Rudolph, Joe Procita, Andrew Ponzi, Ralph Greenleaf?

1P: Wow, Greenleaf!

GR: I played with all those top players. We played Straight Pool mostly. I also played Jimmy Caras, Arthur [?Babe?] Cranfield, Andrew St. Jean and Willie Hoppe. One achievement I am very proud of was during a Straight Pool money match. I was playing a weaker player and the spot was that he played regular Straight Pool, while I played ?fifty no count?. Any time I ran less than fifty balls I received credit for none. This particular day I had eleven runs of a hundred or more.

1P: Wow; most of us dream of doing that once in our lifetime! Is, or was, Straight Pool your main game?

GR: No, 9-Ball was. At one time I was considered the best 9-Ball player in the world; that included the guys that you hear about, like Luther Lassiter.

1P: And Eddie Taylor?

GR: I beat both Lassiter and Taylor.

1P: That is pretty heavyweight company.

NOTE; here's the link to the entire interview. I know you will enjoy some of this history.

http://www.onepocket.org/GeorgeRoodInterview.htm

buzzsaw
10-15-2007, 11:48 AM
Jay, I don't know if Segal or Strickland has ever played Vernon Elliot but I would have to question whether they were better than he was. I watched Vernon play a number of times and the guy always played good enough to win, no matter who he played. It seemed like he always had another speed he wasn't showing. It would have been a great match to have seen.

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 12:07 PM
Jay, I don't know if Segal or Strickland has ever played Vernon Elliot but I would have to question whether they were better than he was. I watched Vernon play a number of times and the guy always played good enough to win, no matter who he played. It seemed like he always had another speed he wasn't showing. It would have been a great match to have seen.


For the cash, they couldn't have beaten him. That's about it. He was way before their time anyway. He never played in tournaments. No money, and it would have knocked his action.

mark8950
10-15-2007, 12:19 PM
what about dick lane? he had the highest per inning average than any living human in tourney play! 79 balls average! lost to tommy kennedy by 1 ball and had him 149 to 0? thats the last time they played to 150 instead of 125! i broke even with st. louie louie at micky finns in dallas 1971 and beat strickland in houston same year! im the only living human ever played one pocket tourney that i broke and ran out 2 racks in a row! does this mean i am on the best "unknown" pool players list? also i had buddy 7 to 4 in dallas and missed the 3 ball and he ran 5 and out does that mean anything? sparky webb

Koop
10-15-2007, 12:21 PM
Here we go again.

STRAIGHT POOL
1. Mosconi
2. Mizerak
3. Crane and Caras

NINE BALL & TEN BALL
1. Parica
2. Efren, Worst and Lassiter
3. Sigel, Strickland and Hall

ROTATION
1. Efren
2. Parica

ONE POCKET
1. Ronnie
2. Efren
3. Ed Kelly, Jersey Red & Parica

BANKS
1. Eddie Taylor
2. Bugs
3. Vernon Elliott

EIGHT BALL
1. Efren


ALL AROUND
1. Efren
2. Kelly, Sigel and Mizerak
3. Buddy (if Banks is included)

Judging by your list I am surprised you didn't include Jose in your All-Around. Not saying I disagree, just curious as to why he is in 3 of your lists but wouldn't be considered top 3 in your all-around.

Btw, a local pro in my area once told me that if his life was on the line and needed a shot made to save it he would choose Parica to shoot it.

mark8950
10-15-2007, 12:22 PM
reply to jay helfert about hustling in louisana? i was in deritter la. and ft. polk the same time u were in the 70's . sparky

rayjay
10-15-2007, 01:22 PM
Shotmaker: Efren, Earl

Straight Pool: Mosconi, Moore

9-Ball: Efren, Earl, Buddy Hall

One Pocket: Efren

Gambler: Keith McCready

Legends: Wimpy Lassiter

All Around: Efren, Buddy Hall, Jimmy Moore
:p

sjm
10-15-2007, 04:12 PM
My top 5 great shotmakers of all-time
Luther Lassiter
Corey Deuel
Louie Roberts
Efren Reyes
Earl Strickland

I'll go with Luther Lassiter, Cole Dickson, Fong Pang Chao, Earl Strckland, and Louie Roberts

Straight Pool

My top 5 Straight Pool players of all time
Willie Mosconi
Steve Mizerak
Irving Crane
Gene Nagy
Mike Eufemia

Not having seen Greenleaf or Mosconi compete, I'll go with Irving Crane, Mike Sigel, Steve Mizerak, Joe Balsis and Ray Martin

Straight Pool

My top 5 Nine Ball Players of All time
Buddy Hall
Earl Strickland
Luther Lassiter
Efren Reyes
Nick Varner

My picks are Mike Sigel, Earl Strickland, Ralf Souquet, Johnny Archer and Buddy Hall.

My 5 favorite players of all-time
Efren Reyes
Buddy Hall
Cisero Murphy
Louie Roberts
Mike Carella

My favorities are Irving Crane, Efren Reyes, Ralf Souquet, Mike Sigel, and Nick Varner.



My slant on this in red above.

Drawman623
10-15-2007, 04:39 PM
I would enjoy hearing Grady Mathews speak on this thread. He came to Gold Crown Billiards in Groton, CT last year and was asked who the best money player was. Though he qualified his answer a bit, he named Larry Lisciotti as having an uncanny ability to always make a game he could win.

I also want to mention onepocket.org and their annual hall of fame banquet held at the Derby City Classic every year. I met Geroge Rood at that event this year and heard first hand the stories that CeeBee relates in his post. George did beat them all for the cash. What a great opportunity to hear stories about who was who from the people who were there.

Terry Ardeno
10-15-2007, 05:06 PM
Here we go again.

STRAIGHT POOL
1. Mosconi
2. Mizerak
3. Crane and Caras

NINE BALL & TEN BALL
1. Parica
2. Efren, Worst and Lassiter
3. Sigel, Strickland and Hall

ROTATION
1. Efren
2. Parica

ONE POCKET
1. Ronnie
2. Efren
3. Ed Kelly, Jersey Red & Parica

BANKS
1. Eddie Taylor
2. Bugs
3. Vernon Elliott

EIGHT BALL
1. Efren


ALL AROUND
1. Efren
2. Kelly, Sigel and Mizerak
3. Buddy (if Banks is included)

Jay,

I'm amazed at how different those of us in pooldom can view players. Your lists are interesting.

I have two questions if you care to respond. Where would you rank Varner on the all around list, seeing how he's won 5 World Championships in 5 different disciplines?

I also have one comment that leads to question #2. You list Buddy at a tie for 3rd in 9 ball, but rate him 3rd on your all around list. That confuses me because Buddy really doesn't play much 14.1, he does bank great, however, he's never won a bank title and he's not really known for knocking down 8 ball titles. He is a very under-rated one pocket player. Are you basing his all around greatness on just 9 ball and one pocket?

Thanks Jay,
Terry

Neil
10-15-2007, 05:31 PM
...............

Danny Kuykendal
10-15-2007, 05:32 PM
Actually, regarding Dick Lane and straight pool, that was Tom Jennings who he had stuck 149 to-1 and Jennings came back and won. Lane was a tremendous 14.1 player. I practiced some with him in Austin in the late 70s. He would run a hundred or two every night.
Danny

mjantti
10-15-2007, 05:46 PM
Blackjack, magnificent post that left me speechless to nominate my own favourites... Thanks for sharing your thoughts ! :cool:

Gerry
10-15-2007, 06:07 PM
Since you all covered most of the standards, I'm gonna stray a little with my list.

> Player I would call if I needed info on ANYTHING pertaining to the game..
Allen Hopkins....he knows everything.

> Player I would most like to hit the bar with for some beers and stories...
hands down tie Kieth McCready/Scott Frost.

> Players that I would want in my corner when I'm in action...
Grady, Buddy, Freddie.

> Player I would like to trade my tinman heart with...
Alex Pagulayan....I just watched him win the 10ball ring game on BCTV.

> I would like to see the table through this players eyes...
Efren

> Who would I trade strokes with?...
Cory Deuel

> Player whos 14.1 patterns I woud like to steal...
Dallas West...no question the sweetest stroke ever IMO.

> Player that has to teach me to bank...
tie again Freddie/Nick Varner.

thats all I got for now...

Gerry

bud green
10-15-2007, 08:30 PM
Boston Shorty seems to have been left out. He had an incredible record. If Johnson City was the zenith of hustling, Shorty holds his own with anyone.

I'm going to have to strongly disagree that Mika has done enough to put himself on the top five of any list.

Hopkins seemed to be king of one pocket for a while in the early 90's and was one hell of a rotation and 14.1 player too. Might deserve some consideration along with Varner who has won major championships in just about very pool discipline.

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 08:57 PM
Judging by your list I am surprised you didn't include Jose in your All-Around. Not saying I disagree, just curious as to why he is in 3 of your lists but wouldn't be considered top 3 in your all-around.

Btw, a local pro in my area once told me that if his life was on the line and needed a shot made to save it he would choose Parica to shoot it.

Just an oversight. he belongs on the All Around list under Efren. If I had to have someone shoot one ball for my life, it would be Worst, Lassiter or Sigel!

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 09:00 PM
reply to jay helfert about hustling in louisana? i was in deritter la. and ft. polk the same time u were in the 70's . sparky


I was there in the 60's. Came back thru in the 70's for a day or so in each place. Just for old times sake. I did play a couple of guys in Baton Rouge that trip and spent several days at the Sports Palace in New Orleans.

jay helfert
10-15-2007, 09:11 PM
Jay,

I'm amazed at how different those of us in pooldom can view players. Your lists are interesting.

I have two questions if you care to respond. Where would you rank Varner on the all around list, seeing how he's won 5 World Championships in 5 different disciplines?

I also have one comment that leads to question #2. You list Buddy at a tie for 3rd in 9 ball, but rate him 3rd on your all around list. That confuses me because Buddy really doesn't play much 14.1, he does bank great, however, he's never won a bank title and he's not really known for knocking down 8 ball titles. He is a very under-rated one pocket player. Are you basing his all around greatness on just 9 ball and one pocket?

Thanks Jay,
Terry

Guys like Varner and Rempe were great All Around players. They both played high speed 9-Ball, One Pocket and 14.1. If I were to go a few names further it would include them and Jersey Red and Shorty, with Ervolino not far behind.

I included Buddy in the All Around based on his great skills at 9-Ball, Banks and One Pocket. I don't care if he won any Banks tourneys. He beat all the guys that did! Only Truman and Tony Fargo could beat him (sometimes) among the modern players. Varner and Sigel also played about the same speed of Banks as Buddy. Not many people know this.

By the way, it wasn't common knowledge but Buddy could run 100 balls if he cared too. A couple of Straight Pool champions got out of line with Buddy and paid dearly for the lesson. He can tell you about it. Parica could run hundreds as well. Did you know that? Mizerak tried to spot him 50 to 150. Nice try!

eaglesfan44
10-15-2007, 09:12 PM
Jay how would Efren and Ronnie play one pocket in there prime in your opinion? Would there be a spot and if so who would give it? I can't see how anyone could play Efren even but then again I wasn't even alive when Ronnie was in his prime so I wouldn't know.

kildegirl
10-15-2007, 09:53 PM
Shotmaker: Reyes
(Never saw Lassiter get into a jam)

Straight Pool: Johnny Ervolino
(Best patterns and knowledge IMO)

9-Ball: Sigel
(He made it look effortless. He is also Efren's pick!)

One Pocket: Danny DiLiberto

Gambler: Toby Sweet

Legends: Lassiter, Willis, Jimmy Moore

Overall favorites: Jim Rempe
Thorsten Hohmann
how can you miss ralph greenleaf? he has all the records

kildegirl
10-15-2007, 10:00 PM
Jay how would Efren and Ronnie play one pocket in there prime in your opinion? Would there be a spot and if so who would give it? I can't see how anyone could play Efren even but then again I wasn't even alive when Ronnie was in his prime so I wouldn't know. efren, and i was there, charlie.

Danny Kuykendal
10-15-2007, 10:16 PM
I personally don't think Ronnie Allen on his best day could have beaten Efren on a good day. Nothing against Ronnie's skills even when he was in his prime I don't think he had the cue ball control Efren has, or the shot making ability.

I watched a match fifteen years ago that pitted Grady against Efren in a $20,000 winner take all at Hard Times, race to 14. I sat inside the rail and was in heaven for two nights. Grady broke the first ball in and ran the first rack. That was the last game he won that night, Efren won the next nine, and followed up with a 5-3 win the following night. I felt bad for Grady, but quite honestly Efren made so few mistakes, it was incredible. I can't remember him missing an open shot on either night and I believe he took it easy on Grady the second night, respecting his reputation as a one pocket player.
When Ronnie and Efren have played in the past, I'm sure Ronnie was past his prime. Still at his Ronnie's best I would pick Efren.

Danny

Terry Ardeno
10-15-2007, 11:13 PM
I really, really enjoyed reading all these lists. In fact, my favorite posts are always relating to the pro players. Thanks Blackjack for starting this neat thread!

Top 5 Shotmakers
1. Luther Lassiter
2. Corey Deuel
3. Earl Strickland
4. Mike Sigel
5. Oliver Ortmann

Top Bankers
1. Eddie Taylor
2. Leonard Rucker
3. Truman Hogue
4. Gary Spaeth
5. Vernon Elliot
6. Billy Burge

Top One Pocket
1. Efren Reyes
2. Ronnie Allen
3. John Fitzpatrick
4. Grady Mathews
5. Shannon Daulton
6. Larry Johnson

Top 14.1
1. Willie Mosconi
2. Ralph Greenleaf
3. Frank Taberski
4. Irving Crane
5. Steve Mizerak
6. Alfredo DeOro
7. Jimmy Caras
8. Erwin Rudolph
9. Mike Sigel
10.Andrew Ponzi
11.Luther Lassiter
12. Oliver Ortman

Top 9 Ball
1. Luther Lassiter
2. Earl Strickland
3. Mike Sigel
4. Buddy Hall
5. Nick Varner

Top All-Around
1. Efren Reyes
2. Nick Varner
3. Alfredo DeOro
4. Allen Hopkins
5. Ed Kelly
6. Harold Worst
7. Larry Johnson
8. Mike Sigel
9. Jose Parica
10.Eddie Taylor

Top Commentators
1. Grady Mathews
2. Billy Incardona
3. Nick Varner
4. Buddy Hall
5. Danny DiLiberto
6. Freddie Bentivegna
7. Johnny Ervolino (R.I.P.)
8. Bill Staton (R.I.P.)
9. Jim Rempe
10.Jerry Forsyth

Most Creative
1. Efren Reyes
2. Corey Deuel
3. Ronnie Allen
4. Grady Mathews
5. Cliff Joyner

Favorite Players All-Time
1. Luther Lassiter
2. Earl Strickland
3. Fong Pang Chao
4. Irving Crane
5. Ralph Greenleaf
6. Shannon Daulton
7. Nick Varner
8. Willie Mosconi
9. Oliver Ortmann
10.Grady Mathews
11.Eddie Taylor
12.Mike Sigel
13. Buddy Hall
14. Dallas West
15. Joe Balsis

Favorite Active Players
1. Earl Strickland
2. Fong Pang Chao
3. Shannon Daulton
4. Oliver Ortmann
5. Evgeny Stalev
6. Efren Reys
7. Ralf Souquet
8. Allen Hopkins
9. Billy Incardona
10.Leonardo Andam
11.Howard Vickery
12. Thomas Engert
13. Kunihiko Takahashi
14. Rudolpho Luat
15. Corey Deuel

Favorite Personalities / Charactors
1. Grady Mathews
2. Billy Incardona
3. Freddie Bentivegna
4. Efren Reyes
5. Hubert Cokes (R.I.P.)

rossaroni
10-15-2007, 11:35 PM
how can you miss ralph greenleaf? he has all the records

It also surprised me to hardly see Greenleaf's name mentioned in this thread. He was clearly the best player of his era, and his era may have seen the peak of pool in America. I think many people's list may be of players they have seen play though.

P.S. I don't know if he has all the records, or any for that matter.

Marvel
10-16-2007, 12:01 AM
Those are my lists -



WOW!


This is the greatest post I've ever read on this forum!

Thank's Blackjack!


BTW, were your names listed in an order, or was it just 5 names in no particular order?
Just curious, as you say about Efren's 9-ball: "He is definitely, without a doubt the best that I have ever seen."
Did you mean from the 'modern era', or all time? Efren is at fourth place if listed in order..


I'm too tired to give my (correct) lists now, but if my life was on the line and I had to choose a guy to shoot a shot to save my life, I would definitely choose Mikko Jantti for that task ;) :p :D
No! Seriously, it would be Mikko Jantti..

Blackjack
10-16-2007, 04:32 AM
WOW!


This is the greatest post I've ever read on this forum!

Thank's Blackjack!


BTW, were your names listed in an order, or was it just 5 names in no particular order?
Just curious, as you say about Efren's 9-ball: "He is definitely, without a doubt the best that I have ever seen."
Did you mean from the 'modern era', or all time? Efren is at fourth place if listed in order..


I'm too tired to give my (correct) lists now, but if my life was on the line and I had to choose a guy to shoot a shot to save my life, I would definitely choose Mikko Jantti for that task ;) :p :D
No! Seriously, it would be Mikko Jantti..

Marcus,

This is how I made my 9 ball list.

IMO, Buddy Hall was the best 9 ball player I have ever seen, ever played, ever learned from. He owned every table he played on during the 1970's and 1980's, and I have modeled so much of my game after him and he has been such an influence to me and so many other players, I had no choice but to put Buddy first on my list.

Then I had Earl second. Quite possibly the player with the most natural ability to play the game. 5 U.S. Opens, 5 World Championships. Countless pro tour titles. I've been watching Earl for almost 25 years - he was a threat to win the 1984 US Open, and he's still a threat at the Open this year. I had to bow to the master (don't you ever tell him I said that) but I had to put Earl as #2 on my list.

Luther Lassiter was such a great 9 ball player in his day that nobody would get on the table with him at Johnson City. Nobody includes everybody you can name form that era on everybody's other lists. Luther was the man, so he gets my nod at #3, it was because I put Luther in that spot that Louie Roberts does not appear in my top 5 in 9 ball.

Efren comes in at #4 - which is in no way disrespectful, because IMO, he is the best all around player the world has ever seen. His championship record does not compare to the people listed above him, but I do believe that he is the best out of all of them. (If that makes any sense).

#5 was easy... Nick Varner is the only player to ever win the US Open back to back. He either won or finished second in the World Championships several times, and he rounds out my list and I notice that all of my top 5 is from the south... hmmmm. I believe it was 1989, Nick Varner won 9 of 13 events on the Pro Tour. That's unbelievable to explain to the younger players of today, but many of us watched that in awe as it unfolded.

Sorry Markus, Mikko didn't make any of my lists. Maybe someday!
:p
I hope you play well this week at the US Open! Congratulations on your nice 11-5 win over Ramil Gallego yesterday!

mjantti
10-16-2007, 05:06 AM
WOW!


This is the greatest post I've ever read on this forum!

Thank's Blackjack!


BTW, were your names listed in an order, or was it just 5 names in no particular order?
Just curious, as you say about Efren's 9-ball: "He is definitely, without a doubt the best that I have ever seen."
Did you mean from the 'modern era', or all time? Efren is at fourth place if listed in order..


I'm too tired to give my (correct) lists now, but if my life was on the line and I had to choose a guy to shoot a shot to save my life, I would definitely choose Mikko Jantti for that task ;) :p :D
No! Seriously, it would be Mikko Jantti..

Thank you for your kind words, but counting on me on this issue makes Marvel look purely suicidal. No, seriously, you should pick Kalenius (local hero) instead of me. I truly appreciate Marvel standing up for me, but I am somehow reluctant to place myself on any of Blackjack's lists. Probably I'll be elected posthumously by Blackjack's grandchildren, but until then I prefer remaining unranked. :rolleyes: :D

Go get 'em at the Open Marvel !!

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 05:15 AM
Jay how would Efren and Ronnie play one pocket in there prime in your opinion? Would there be a spot and if so who would give it? I can't see how anyone could play Efren even but then again I wasn't even alive when Ronnie was in his prime so I wouldn't know.

PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ME!

I think Ronnie would have won. He knew too much, moved too good and played great for the cash. And Efren would have had trouble getting out of Ronnie's break. In his prime, Ronnie banked better than Efren, shot as straight and had as much heart (or more). Efren does one thing better than Ronnie, control the cue ball. But Ronnie understood kicking in One Pocket better than anyone who ever lived, especially kicking into the pack.

Please don't shoot me! I know this is a sacrilege on here, to claim that anyone could ever beat Efren. I've seen them both play many times and this is my opinion based on all what I saw. Ronnie ran ten and out a zillion times from nowhere! I saw it! He always had to get to ten, because he spotted all the good players games like 10-6 or 10-7. The great players got 10-8. Often he gave up games like 12-8 and had to spot his first four balls. No matter, he could run 12 and out too! And did many times. I saw that also!

Ronnie would play very good players and give them 10-6 and take the break. They had NO chance! He would play top players even and take the break, his one hand to their two, and they would have NO chance! Again, I saw it! He did it!

I practiced sometimes with Ronnie and he gave me 8-4 for ten a game, when we had nothing to do. I played good then, shot real straight and banked very good. Once in a while, I could break even at that game. Oh well! I just couldn't overcome his break. So that accounts for half the games. You figure it out.

By the way, no one ever shot combinations in One Pocket close to Ronnie's speed either. Sometimes with three or more balls too. He could shoot shots like this and leave a couple of balls near his pocket and the cue ball buried in the pack. Even a "magician" couldn't get out of these traps.

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 05:16 AM
efren, and i was there, charlie.

Charlie, I know about this game. It was way past Ronnie's prime.

By the way, Ronnie was getting 8-7 and the break in this game. Ronnie would start out ahead every game like 5-0 or 6-1, and he couldn't finish the game out and get the last ball or two he needed. This happened game after game, Ronnie would beat Efren to the shot and get a big lead, but couldn't close the deal. The Ronnie of old would have completed the run out and won ALL those games.

Efren could never have given vintage Ronnie Allen the break. That would have been suicidal. Now if Efren could not have beaten Ronnie on his break and that accounts for half the games, tell me how Efren could have beaten Ronnie. I just don't see it. Sorry!

Snapshot9
10-16-2007, 05:45 AM
Blackjack .... Not too diminuish Efren's standing, but I think Sigel in his prime was a better 9 baller. I know Mike won mostly 8 ball titles, but he could play 9 ball real good too. Efren gets a little weak in the Break department sometimes, but is strong in all other aspects, certainly the most creative, and what is truly amazing is his accuracy on creative shots.

Varner is one of the most 'overlooked' great players of his time. Everytime I mention his name, a picture of him pops in my head of him chewing that gum..... LOL

Terry ... Glad to see you mention Jimmy Caras, he is often overlooked too.

Danny Kuykendal
10-16-2007, 06:27 AM
Jay, I guess we'll never know who would have won, but I would have put a ton of money on Efren. In the book Hustler Days Ronnie is mentioned playing the same level as Jack Breitt , or Jersey Red.
Part of Ronnie's game was his gab, as well. I've seen players try this with Efren and believe me, it doesn't work. I played Ronnie in a one pocket tournament 15 years ago at Hard Times, and I wouldn't shoot until he shut up. He finally remarked "Am I bothering you sir?" I replied "Yes, you are."
I won the match. He tried barking again with the next match and the player used the same tactic as me, which really pissed Ronnie off, to the point of him saying "I just want to get out of here." He lost and he did get out of there.
U.J. Puckett's hustling theme was "conversation and concentration". I saw Ronnie use the conversation thing almost every chance he had.
Anyway, just my opinion. We'll never know who would have won.

Danny

hemicudas
10-16-2007, 06:28 AM
PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ME!

I think Ronnie would have won. He knew too much, moved too good and played great for the cash. And Efren would have had trouble getting out of Ronnie's break. In his prime, Ronnie banked better than Efren, shot as straight and had as much heart (or more). Efren does one thing better than Ronnie, control the cue ball. But Ronnie understood kicking in One Pocket better than anyone who ever lived, especially kicking into the pack.

Please don't shoot me! I know this is a sacrilege on here, to claim that anyone could ever beat Efren. I've seen them both play many times and this is my opinion based on all what I saw. Ronnie ran ten and out a zillion times from nowhere! I saw it! He always had to get to ten, because he spotted all the good players games like 10-6 or 10-7. The great players got 10-8. Often he gave up games like 12-8 and had to spot his first four balls. No matter, he could run 12 and out too! And did many times. I saw that also!

Ronnie would play very good players and give them 10-6 and take the break. They had NO chance! He would play top players even and take the break, his one hand to their two, and they would have NO chance! Again, I saw it! He did it!

I practiced sometimes with Ronnie and he gave me 8-4 for ten a game, when we had nothing to do. I played good then, shot real straight and banked very good. Once in a while, I could break even at that game. Oh well! I just couldn't overcome his break. So that accounts for half the games. You figure it out.

By the way, no one ever shot combinations in One Pocket close to Ronnie's speed either. Sometimes with three or more balls too. He could shoot shots like this and leave a couple of balls near his pocket and the cue ball buried in the pack. Even a "magician" couldn't get out of these traps.

I agreed with every word of your statement until DCC 2006, Jay. That's when Efren, in my mind, moved to 10-9 over Ronnie in their prime. Ronnie Allen was my favorite player to watch ever. He did all the things you say he did and then some. Not just me but good one pocket players would see Ronnie do something every couple of hours that they had never seen before. It seems to me that Efren does the same thing every hour on the hour today. Efren seems to be getting better with age where Ronnie's game went down.

I, like Jay, have been lucky enough to have seen Ronnie and Efren in their prime. It is very close. Anyone who loves one pocket should watch Efren play any time they can. There will never be another.

Danny Kuykendal
10-16-2007, 06:36 AM
Speaking of Nick Varner being overlooked, in about 1988 or so, when he won numerous major titles and was player of the year, he was invited to the Philipines to play Efren a race to 45, or some long total of games, for a significant amount of cash. Varner won by 15 games or so.

When asked afterwards why he lost, Efren stated "he played too good".
Varner had a pretty good break back then, and that might have made a slight difference, but he was extremely hot for about a year. I believe that was the year he was travelling with Hal Mix, and I think Hal had a positive effect on Nick's game.

Oh, and actually, for the record, Sigel's wins were mostly in nine-ball.

Danny

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 06:46 AM
Speaking of Nick Varner being overlooked, in about 1988 or so, when he won numerous major titles and was player of the year, he was invited to the Philipines to play Efren a race to 45, or some long total of games, for a significant amount of cash. Varner won by 15 games or so.

When asked afterwards why he lost, Efren stated "he played too good".
Varner had a pretty good break back then, and that might have made a slight difference, but he was extremely hot for about a year. I believe that was the year he was travelling with Hal Mix, and I think Hal had a positive effect on Nick's game.

Oh, and actually, for the record, Sigel's wins were mostly in nine-ball.

Danny

You're right Danny. In 9-Ball tournament play, Efren has a losing record against both Varner and Sigel. Winning record against Earl and about even with Buddy.

Nick had a little more than "one good year" though. He was a consistent winner for over 20 years. Winning or contending in most every tournament he played in, whether it was 9-Ball, One Pocket, 14.1 or Banks.

Come to think of it, I better put him on my All Around list. :)

spadevil
10-16-2007, 06:50 AM
Fascinating read guys, thanks very much for sharing your views and personal experiences of these greats. :)

I truly wish I could have seen them all play (in their prime) for my own eyes.

You are all blessed with such memories one can only dream of.

Blackjack
10-16-2007, 06:53 AM
Speaking of Nick Varner being overlooked, in about 1988 or so, when he won numerous major titles and was player of the year, he was invited to the Philipines to play Efren a race to 45, or some long total of games, for a significant amount of cash. Varner won by 15 games or so.

When asked afterwards why he lost, Efren stated "he played too good".
Varner had a pretty good break back then, and that might have made a slight difference, but he was extremely hot for about a year. I believe that was the year he was travelling with Hal Mix, and I think Hal had a positive effect on Nick's game.

Oh, and actually, for the record, Sigel's wins were mostly in nine-ball.

Danny

Danny

I remember that. With Hal Mix at his side, Nick was unstoppable - playing even against Reyes in Manila! How strong is that?

FWIW, I have the utmost respect for Mike Sigel's and everything he has accomplished. He is a legendary figure in our game, and his over 100 pro tour wins can never be taken away from him. I just believe that at the end of the 1980's, Nick Varner sent a message to everybody. I will always regard Nick's 1989 as one of the most unbelievable achievements in pool history by any player. In 1988-1990, Nick showed up to win and drilled just about everybody else. He just kicked ass and took no prisoners. I've never seen anything like it before, after, or since. That was why I put Nick Varner in my top 5, and not Mike Sigel.

Mike Sigel is definitely in my top 10, I recall back in 1985 or 86 he won 7 straight titles in a row. Unbelieveable, and those of us that were around to watch that and be a part of it were graced by some of the best pool ever played.

Fast Lenny
10-16-2007, 06:53 AM
Didnt Lassiter fear Don Willis?

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 06:57 AM
Didnt Lassiter fear Don Willis?

They were road partners. And friends for life.

Fast Lenny
10-16-2007, 07:08 AM
They were road partners. And friends for life.
I heard that they became road partners because Lassiter wouldnt gamble with him,i heard if he wanted someone to shoot for his life it would have been Willis.

Drawman623
10-16-2007, 07:47 AM
i heard if he wanted someone to shoot for his life it would have been Willis.
That was written in The Lions and The Lambs by Thomas Fensch. Willis was described as a great gambler, a lion. Ronnie Allen was also among the lions and a name I haven't seen yet on this list...Pete Margo.

Eddie Robin told me that Luther was just speaking up for a friend and was the stronger of the two players, but I suspect much of what has been said about Willis as a great gambler is true. Caras admitted he couldn't beat Willis to a buddy of mine from the Canton area. That speaks volumes as far as I am concerned.

Blackjack
10-16-2007, 07:54 AM
Ronnie Allen was also among the lions and a name I haven't seen yet on this list...Pete Margo.


Drawman,

I mentioned Pete Margo in the very first post. Although he did not make any of my top 5's, he is without a doubt one of the best players I have ever witnessed, and in straight pool he is definitely in my top 15, only because there are so many great players to choose from.

Here's a blast from the past - thanks to Grady Mathews and onepocket.org

http://www.onepocket.org/images/MargoBeenieMiz.jpg
Pete Margo counts the zeros as he accepts a check from Bill 'Weenie Beanie' Staton while 'The Miz' looks on.

Danny Kuykendal
10-16-2007, 07:57 AM
Sigel's all round game cannot be ignored either. He might have been a little weak in one pocket, compared to all mentioned, but he more than made up for it in nine ball and straight pool. He's had arguably the most tournament success of any nine ball player. And just look in the record books for straight pool.

But then, Efren didn't focus on straight pool either. His games were nine ball and one pocket.

Varner was successful in all games as well.

Danny

freddy the beard
10-16-2007, 08:15 AM
In the 70s, Eddie Kelly stated (to me, and others)that Harold Worst was the only guy he knew that he couldn't beat playing Nineball. Consider: Kelly had already gone with Ronnie, to Elizabeth City NC, Wimpy's home pool room, and he played Wimpy Nineball to a week long draw.

In 1964, at the Tampa All-Around Worst showed up and unveiled himself. He declared, "I am the greatest 9ball player in the world." Few players even knew who he was. The hustler's said, "Who is this bum?" then somebody said, "That's that billiard player from Michigan, he can't be nothing." Still, the boys didn't stall and send in any "boys" on him. They opened him with either Eddie Taylor or Jimmy Moore, I forgot which. He beat them both. That didn't last long, he next finished off Marshall Carpenter and Danny Jones. I forgot in what order. They were playing 1 shot shoot-out, Worst had never even played that way, he had always played to kick at the ball, and these guys were all masters of that form of the game. Worst's only response to implementing those rules was, "You mean if I get snookered, I can roll out and get another chance at a shot?" He couldn't believe the hustler's munificence. They would roll out for a ridiculous cut and Harold would accept it and whizz it in. As good as he shot, he was a hustling dunce, and the boys finally got to him. With the treacherous Weenie Beenie steering him into death traps, Worst finally succumbed to the inevitable. He started overspotting the players, games on the wire, 2 out of 3 breaks, etc.
Conclusion: I personally couldn't bet against Harold playing anybody 9 ball.

I keep seeing Bugs left off the Onepocket lists. In 30 years not one human ever came to Chicago to play Bugs Onepocket even! They could have won a trainload of money, if they would have won. On the other side of that, Bugs went everywhere and played everybody, and there were few people that played him even, even in their own joints.

the Beard
My DVD is coming. Better get it early and learn the shots before your opponent does.

Danny Kuykendal
10-16-2007, 09:29 AM
Beard, interesting story about Harold Worst. I think the game was called two shot shoot out though. Interesting he thought shoot to hit was a better game.

Danny

Blackjack
10-16-2007, 10:15 AM
In the 70s, Eddie Kelly stated (to me, and others)that Harold Worst was the only guy he knew that he couldn't beat playing Nineball. Consider: Kelly had already gone with Ronnie, to Elizabeth City NC, Wimpy's home pool room, and he played Wimpy Nineball to a week long draw.

In 1964, at the Tampa All-Around Worst showed up and unveiled himself. He declared, "I am the greatest 9ball player in the world." Few players even knew who he was. The hustler's said, "Who is this bum?" then somebody said, "That's that billiard player from Michigan, he can't be nothing." Still, the boys didn't stall and send in any "boys" on him. They opened him with either Eddie Taylor or Jimmy Moore, I forgot which. He beat them both. That didn't last long, he next finished off Marshall Carpenter and Danny Jones. I forgot in what order. They were playing 1 shot shoot-out, Worst had never even played that way, he had always played to kick at the ball, and these guys were all masters of that form of the game. Worst's only response to implementing those rules was, "You mean if I get snookered, I can roll out and get another chance at a shot?" He couldn't believe the hustler's munificence. They would roll out for a ridiculous cut and Harold would accept it and whizz it in. As good as he shot, he was a hustling dunce, and the boys finally got to him. With the treacherous Weenie Beenie steering him into death traps, Worst finally succumbed to the inevitable. He started overspotting the players, games on the wire, 2 out of 3 breaks, etc.
Conclusion: I personally couldn't bet against Harold playing anybody 9 ball.

I keep seeing Bugs left off the Onepocket lists. In 30 years not one human ever came to Chicago to play Bugs Onepocket even! They could have won a trainload of money, if they would have won. On the other side of that, Bugs went everywhere and played everybody, and there were few people that played him even, even in their own joints.

the Beard
My DVD is coming. Better get it early and learn the shots before your opponent does.

For years I have heard many stories about how well Harold Worst played. I never had the opportunity to see him play, but I am curious as to what his speed was in 14.1. How did he match up with guys like Butera, Caras, Balsis, Ervolino, and Murphy?

I agree with you about Bugs, Freddy. I know very little about the history of one pocket, and I only saw Bugs play one time - I wish I could have appreciated the game more when I was younger. Keeping Bugs in my prayers.

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 10:17 AM
I heard that they became road partners because Lassiter wouldnt gamble with him,i heard if he wanted someone to shoot for his life it would have been Willis.

Close, actually Willis said that about Lassiter.

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 10:19 AM
That was written in The Lions and The Lambs by Thomas Fensch. Willis was described as a great gambler, a lion. Ronnie Allen was also among the lions and a name I haven't seen yet on this list...Pete Margo.

Eddie Robin told me that Luther was just speaking up for a friend and was the stronger of the two players, but I suspect much of what has been said about Willis as a great gambler is true. Caras admitted he couldn't beat Willis to a buddy of mine from the Canton area. That speaks volumes as far as I am concerned.

Caras may have said that he couldn't beat Willis at 9-Ball. Straight Pool was a different story.

bigskyjake
10-16-2007, 10:49 AM
Drawman,

I mentioned Pete Margo in the very first post. Although he did not make any of my top 5's, he is without a doubt one of the best players I have ever witnessed, and in straight pool he is definitely in my top 15, only because there are so many great players to choose from.

Here's a blast from the past - thanks to Grady Mathews and onepocket.org

http://www.onepocket.org/images/MargoBeenieMiz.jpg
Pete Margo counts the zeros as he accepts a check from Bill 'Weenie Beanie' Staton while 'The Miz' looks on.


Way off topic but doesn't Weenie Beenie look exactly like Tom Snyder from the old late late show

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/images/070730host.jpg

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 10:49 AM
Best money player is close between Parica and Buddy. Both had tons of heart.


Jay,

If we could someday sick down over dinner, I would love to parse your rankings with you.

As for best money player, that was the one catagory that I left off my rankings. Here's why.

There are so many variables to consider in money games. As you well know, tournament play means everyone in that particular tournament plays under the exact same conditions, with the exception of "luck" or "Unlucky" draw, ie, who you gotta play. With money match ups, some players have home court advantage, spots are given or taken, results are not always remembered or recorded accurately, etc. To me, it's so much easier to base a players over all strength on his tournament record against his contemporaries.

Let me go on here. As an example, when I consider who's on the G.O.A.T. list, I strongly consider their major tournament wins and placings, the longevity of their career, how knowledgable pool historians view them, what their peers had to say about them, how they held up under pressure, THEIR GAMBLING PEDIGREE OR LACK THEROF, how well versed they were in other cue disciplines, what shots they had in their arsenal, the amount of fear they caused their opponants, etc. Gambling escapades are not as easily verified as tournament wins. To me , the best players are those who have done the best in major tournaments. I give lots more credibility to a players verified credentials than I do gambling lore. But, we all are different and each of us gauges greatness on what WE think is relative or important.

As for the part I quoted in your post, to me, and this is only my opinion, Buddy is by FAR the better of the two in tournament AND GAMBLING. Buddy had a streak there for about 10 years where he was all but unbeatable. Every major player who gambled has tales of matching up with Buddy, and they all regard him with a high level of respect in this area. Conversely, I am aware of Parica's reputation as a much feared money king also. The difference is, Parica played a bunch of guys from the (and to borrow a phrase from YOU :D , "don't shoot me"), west coast. Who, by the way, WE ALL KNOW ARE NOT AS STRONG AS THOSE ON THE EAST COAST.
Plus, and this is very important, at the level they both played on, there was no stalling, neither of them was on the lemon. My point is that Buddy played at that super strenght in tournament play as well. He brought the same speed to money games as he brought to tournament games. And visa-versa. Parica, if he was as great as you say he was in money games, was not able to bring that same dominance to tournament play. And that's the biggest difference. Parica does NOT have a very impressive list of major tournament wins. Lot's of top 2 and 3 finishes for a longer time than Buddy was able to stay at a peak. So I do give the longevity nod to Jose over Buddy. But that's all.

As for HEART, Nick Varner has as much heart as any player who has ever lived. He is the epitomy of "grinder" who never says die. There is no quit in him. For example, rather than lose a rack of one pocket, he would rather put "the wedge" on his opponant and tire them out than to surrender a single rack. Remember how young Nick was when Daddy Warbucks took him to J.City and "unleashed" him on the hustler's. Varner has longevity, certifiable credentials in multiple disciplines, and is feared no matter the game or venue. Plus, all the heart in the world.

I don't know if all that filabustering made sense or not, but I sure feel better getting that out of my head. :)

Bottom line is that when any of us make these very, very enjoyable lists up, we should all realize that we all have differing criteria on what makes a player eligible or not for inclusion into OUR lists.

All that being said, when considering all time greatest money players ever, we also have to consider Don Willis, Jack Cooney, Denny Searcy, Vernon Elliot, John Fitzpatrick, Johnny Lineen, etc. I could probably list dozens more (Ronnie Allen, Bugs Rucker, Eddie Taylor) who were primarily considered greatest in their chosen discipline, but for some strange reason, always get over looked when great money players are considered.
For example, if I had to bet one set of pool in any of the 5 major disciplines and my life depended on it, I would bet Eddie Taylor in a set of full rack banks, say race to 10, over anyone who ever lived. That, to me, is the stone cold lead pipe cinch bet that just can't lose. But Taylor, who played probably 80% of his matches in money games vs tournaments, is hardly ever considered when it comes to best money players.

Blackjack
10-16-2007, 02:07 PM
Terry,

This is where the subjectiveness comes in. I am unable to judge the skill of Eddie Taylor, Rags Fitzpatrick, or Harold Worst because I have never seen them play. Many of the players that Freddy mentioned are legends yet, because of geographics, personal interests, etc - I'd never seen them play. I think that is what makes "personal perspective" important when you are compiling these lists. I don't have a lot of teh resources that you possess on a lot of these players, and I wished I had some of the video footage that Dennis Walsh possesses on some of these lessons - but most of us just have our personal experiences and memories to go by.

I put Louie Roberts and Mike Carella in my Favorite Top 5 - mostly because I learned a lot from both of them - and I know a lot of people have no idea how well Carella played - but in my experience (through the eyes of a teenager) he played flawlessly - and the impression that his skill left upon my game is still strong to this day.

I really like this thread because it shows me that my personal views on Nick Varner are shared with many others - I really consider myself lucky to have watched him and to have played against him (ok ok ok ... Nick played - I mostly sat and watched - I had a great seat! :D ).

When I think back over the past 35-40 years I consider myself lucky...

I have been able to see

Willie Mosconi
Irving Crane
Jimmy Caras
Joe Balsis
Cowboy Jimmy Moore
Cisero Murphy
Steve Mizerak
Lou Butera
Pete Margo
Johnny Ervolino
Gene Nagy
Mike Eufemia
Jack Breit
Tom Jennings
Nick Varner
Mike Sigel
Buddy Hall
Louie Roberts
Mike Carella
Allen Hopkins
David Howard
Jim Rempe
Bugs Rucker
Grady Mathews
Strawberry Brooks
Dave Bollman
Rags Woods
Keith McCready
Earl Strickland
Jose Parica
Oliver Ortmann
Efren Reyes
Francisco Bustamante
Johnny Archer
Ralf Souquet
John Schmidt
Fong Pang Chao
Mark Tadd
Corey Deuel
Thorsten Hohmann


The future holds

Shane Van Boening
Justin Bergman
John Morra
Landon Shuffet
and about 4,000,000 other kids from Manila and Taipei City

Add to the fact that I also got to see Ali, Frazier, Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods, Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, The 1987 Mets, and that the Red Sox won a World Series in my lifetime (keep the faith Cubs fans) - think I've been a very blessed man.

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 03:02 PM
Terry,

This is where the subjectiveness comes in. I am unable to judge the skill of Eddie Taylor, Rags Fitzpatrick, or Harold Worst because I have never seen them play.
I think that is what makes "personal perspective" important when you are compiling these lists. I don't have a lot of teh resources that you possess on a lot of these players,

think I've been a very blessed man.

I totally agree with you that it's much easier to gauge a players speed by watching them or viewing video of them.

Obviously, no footage exists on Alfredo DeOro, for example. But, because none exists, does that mean we all forget about his great accomplishments? No, so what to do in a case like that? Well, I personally believe that we can get a players speed pretty accurately based on some other criteria as well.
1. Historical perspective- How does he fare or bode when compared with his contemporaries and then extrapolate that into how you imagine / guess / surmise he would do if some how, he could be placed in other eras and be in his prime?
2. Accomplishments- How many World and National championships has the player won? Who else was competing in those championships? How big or small was the field? Was the player you're focusing on in or near his prime when in whatever tournament you're researching. If he was past his prime, should that factor in in his results?
3. What do other pool historians think of the players career and credentials? Is he universally regarded as a great player (Mosconi, Greenleaf, Lassiter, Reyes, etc) or do all but the die hard fans and knowledgable pool people know of them (Bennie Allen, Jerome Keough, Earl Shriver, Mike Carella, etc).

Again, personally speaking, I have film of players as far back as Frank Taberski and Erwin Rudolph. I have lots of film of Eddie Taylor banking, plus approximately 40 pages of material and info on his career, shooting habits, preferences, toughest opponants, etc. I have seen lots of these players in person also, but in Taylor's case, I only have the film and the written material to analyze his career and I feel that plenty of evidence exists that I can make the case that he was, (in my opinion) the greatest banker ever.

In cases like savants, such as Carella, who you're fond of, it is a shame that so few people even knew of him. He was a great player, but had such a short career, ala Worst and to some extent, Louie, so the problem is, where do we insert a player who had a very high but short termed peak? So, I very much agree with you that this is very, very subjective. The OBJECTIVE parts that are much easier to compare is major championships won. If there has to be a standard in gauging players, I can think of no other better way than total championships won. The variables, of course, are longevity and size & quality of the fields in which those titles were won.

I based my rankings largely on my library of pool materials and the 400 or so different tapes in my collection. It was definitly easier being very familiar with these players than just brainstorming, so that's why I'm comfortable with my selections.

I loved seeing everybody else's list as well. I am still trying to learn more and more about the history of our great sport and I do very much appreciate this thread and all those who participated. I hope this thread goes on for a few more days!

hemicudas
10-16-2007, 03:39 PM
I find this thread very refreshing. None of the, "You're an idiot. X was obviously better than Y", like I have seen elsewhere. Respect for other's opinion is a wonderful thing.

My favorite player list would not have to include top players only. It would include players that I have made money with and who was a hell of a lot of fun being in with and the laughs were free-flowing. Most of you younger guys might not have even heard of some of these guys but here goes. In no particular order.

Bill Stack
Buster Merchant
Benny Conway
Steve Gumphrey
Buddy Hall
Ronnie Allen
Keith McCready
Louie Roberts
Boogee
Woppie
Andy Oguine
Erman Bullard
Jimmy King---Both of them
Jeff Sergent
Black Danny from Memphis
Round Man
Uttley J. Puckett
Sonny Springer
Goodtime Charlie Owens
Smokey Joe Bartlett AKA Jesse Justice
James Christopher

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 03:49 PM
I find this thread very refreshing. None of the, "You're an idiot. X was obviously better than Y", like I have seen elsewhere. Respect for other's opinion is a wonderful thing.

My favorite player list would not have to include top players only. It would include players that I have made money with and who was a hell of a lot of fun being in with and the laughs were free-flowing. Most of you younger guys might not have even heard of some of these guys but here goes. In no particular order.

Bill Stack
Buster Merchant
Benny Conway
Steve Gumphrey
Buddy Hall
Ronnie Allen
Keith McCready
Louie Roberts
Boogee
Woppie
Andy Oguine
Erman Bullard
Jimmy King---Both of them
Jeff Sergent
Black Danny from Memphis
Round Man
Uttley J. Puckett
Sonny Springer
Goodtime Charlie Owens
Smokey Joe Bartlett AKA Jesse Justice
James Christopher


Bill,

Did you ever play Norman Hitchcock or Seth "Buttermilk" Brown? If so, any stories? How about Alf Taylor?
Also, in your opinion, between Keith & Louie (at their peak) who would you bet on in a race to 100 on the big track, not barbox?
Thanks!

hemicudas
10-16-2007, 04:01 PM
Bill,

Did you ever play Norman Hitchcock or Seth "Buttermilk" Brown? If so, any stories? How about Alf Taylor?
Also, in your opinion, between Keith & Louie (at their peak) who would you bet on in a race to 100 on the big track, not barbox?
Thanks!

The only guy you mention that I knew was Buttermilk and I never played him. I walked in on him beating a guy that I couldn't beat so his action with me was knocked.

I loved, Louie but Louie couldn't beat Keith playing anything on any table including the 6X12 Big Bertha. Out of all the times they played I think Louie only won one time on the 9'er. Wish JAM would chime in on this thread. We could get it straight from the horse's mouth, or the other end depending what kinda mood Keith is in, LOL.

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 05:42 PM
Jay,

If we could someday sick down over dinner, I would love to parse your rankings with you.

As for best money player, that was the one catagory that I left off my rankings. Here's why.

There are so many variables to consider in money games. As you well know, tournament play means everyone in that particular tournament plays under the exact same conditions, with the exception of "luck" or "Unlucky" draw, ie, who you gotta play. With money match ups, some players have home court advantage, spots are given or taken, results are not always remembered or recorded accurately, etc. To me, it's so much easier to base a players over all strength on his tournament record against his contemporaries.

Let me go on here. As an example, when I consider who's on the G.O.A.T. list, I strongly consider their major tournament wins and placings, the longevity of their career, how knowledgable pool historians view them, what their peers had to say about them, how they held up under pressure, THEIR GAMBLING PEDIGREE OR LACK THEROF, how well versed they were in other cue disciplines, what shots they had in their arsenal, the amount of fear they caused their opponants, etc. Gambling escapades are not as easily verified as tournament wins. To me , the best players are those who have done the best in major tournaments. I give lots more credibility to a players verified credentials than I do gambling lore. But, we all are different and each of us gauges greatness on what WE think is relative or important.

As for the part I quoted in your post, to me, and this is only my opinion, Buddy is by FAR the better of the two in tournament AND GAMBLING. Buddy had a streak there for about 10 years where he was all but unbeatable. Every major player who gambled has tales of matching up with Buddy, and they all regard him with a high level of respect in this area. Conversely, I am aware of Parica's reputation as a much feared money king also. The difference is, Parica played a bunch of guys from the (and to borrow a phrase from YOU :D , "don't shoot me"), west coast. Who, by the way, WE ALL KNOW ARE NOT AS STRONG AS THOSE ON THE EAST COAST.
Plus, and this is very important, at the level they both played on, there was no stalling, neither of them was on the lemon. My point is that Buddy played at that super strenght in tournament play as well. He brought the same speed to money games as he brought to tournament games. And visa-versa. Parica, if he was as great as you say he was in money games, was not able to bring that same dominance to tournament play. And that's the biggest difference. Parica does NOT have a very impressive list of major tournament wins. Lot's of top 2 and 3 finishes for a longer time than Buddy was able to stay at a peak. So I do give the longevity nod to Jose over Buddy. But that's all.

As for HEART, Nick Varner has as much heart as any player who has ever lived. He is the epitomy of "grinder" who never says die. There is no quit in him. For example, rather than lose a rack of one pocket, he would rather put "the wedge" on his opponant and tire them out than to surrender a single rack. Remember how young Nick was when Daddy Warbucks took him to J.City and "unleashed" him on the hustler's. Varner has longevity, certifiable credentials in multiple disciplines, and is feared no matter the game or venue. Plus, all the heart in the world.

I don't know if all that filabustering made sense or not, but I sure feel better getting that out of my head. :)

Bottom line is that when any of us make these very, very enjoyable lists up, we should all realize that we all have differing criteria on what makes a player eligible or not for inclusion into OUR lists.

All that being said, when considering all time greatest money players ever, we also have to consider Don Willis, Jack Cooney, Denny Searcy, Vernon Elliot, John Fitzpatrick, Johnny Lineen, etc. I could probably list dozens more (Ronnie Allen, Bugs Rucker, Eddie Taylor) who were primarily considered greatest in their chosen discipline, but for some strange reason, always get over looked when great money players are considered.
For example, if I had to bet one set of pool in any of the 5 major disciplines and my life depended on it, I would bet Eddie Taylor in a set of full rack banks, say race to 10, over anyone who ever lived. That, to me, is the stone cold lead pipe cinch bet that just can't lose. But Taylor, who played probably 80% of his matches in money games vs tournaments, is hardly ever considered when it comes to best money players.

I want to come look at your tapes, especially of Taylor banking. Just FYI, for many years at tournaments all over the country (including the East Coast) all players present had no interest in gambling with Parica. He was given a wide berth by the assembled masses. He had proved himself in Texas by beating all the best in the country and giving weight to the world.

And that's how it went for about 15 years. Jose was the Lassiter of the 80's and 90's. "Hello, how are you, no I don't want to play anything with you, but thanks for asking". No 9-Ball, no Ten Ball, no Rotation and no One Pocket either! Neither Johnny, Rodney or Corey was looking to play with this little fellow. Or anyone else! He was the most "left alone" pool player of this era.

Only Efren in One Pocket was held in the same regard. And that was One Pocket only! Rodney or Johnny or Buddy would have been glad to oblige him at 9-Ball if he was so inclined.

tommie1351
10-16-2007, 05:57 PM
I know there could be a very long list on this subject,but I can't see how you can talk of money players without Cole Dickson or Richie Florence. These are and were very good friends of mine and they could bring it for the cash in the sixties and seventies.:cool:

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 07:18 PM
I want to come look at your tapes, especially of Taylor banking. Just FYI, for many years at tournaments all over the country (including the East Coast) all players present had no interest in gambling with Parica. He was given a wide berth by the assembled masses. He had proved himself in Texas by beating all the best in the country and giving weight to the world.

And that's how it went for about 15 years. Jose was the Lassiter of the 80's and 90's. "Hello, how are you, no I don't want to play anything with you, but thanks for asking". No 9-Ball, no Ten Ball, no Rotation and no One Pocket either! Neither Johnny, Rodney or Corey was looking to play with this little fellow. Or anyone else! He was the most "left alone" pool player of this era.

Only Efren in One Pocket was held in the same regard. And that was One Pocket only! Rodney or Johnny or Buddy would have been glad to oblige him at 9-Ball if he was so inclined.

Geez, Jay. I always thought you didn't mind me asking so many questions. You have answered dozens of them from me in the past, including being so kind to share info via the PMs. If I upset you or got you angry, please forgive me. I get the strong impression that you think I'm knocking your info. For some reason, you seem very testy about this. Maybe I'm wrong....

As for the Taylor film. Here's some info for you if you're interested. A VHS tape entitled "Eddie Taylor & The Legends of Pool" was produced in 1996 by a company called Scenic Publishing. It's running time is 2hrs 5 min. Eddie's nephew and set up man on the road is Alf Taylor, one of the guys I just asked hemicuda's about. Alf is a very strong player in his own right and I enjoy hearing fresh stories of him as well. Anyway, back to the tape.
In addition to Eddie running banks, it also has his 1993 BCA HOF induction ceremony and testimonials from other great players. Since he was born in 1918 and this tape was made in 1996, that makes him 78 years old when the film was being produced. At one point in the video, at the age of 78 and almost blind, he is STILL running banks!

Next, my pun about the "west coast players" was meant as a joke, that's why I put the smiling figure. I'm east coast, you're west coast and usually, good natured woofing has been somewhat lauded. You are one of the biggest joksters on this forum, plus, I'm very confident that you know me well enough by my posts that I am never trying to hurt or embarrass anyone here, right?

Lastly, I BELIEVE YOU about Parica! I have posted several other times on AZB about how strong a player Parica was / is. I disagree that he was more feared than Buddy Hall in his prime. Just by what you posted just now, about how Parica could never get a game in anything. That's the part that confuses me. (And the post you referenced was just regarding Buddy vs Jose). If Buddy was beating all those players and Jose went about 15 years with very little or no gambling matches, then if Buddy was playing and WINNING, he would seem to be the better player. Heck, Efren, as great as he's playing one pocket these days, STILL gets to match up for the cash! If Jose was that good, and he could not get any significant action, then why wasn't he tearing up the majors? That is the only part I'm mixed up on. I am not trying to sound like I know more than you or anything like that. We have always been pals and I want to do everything I can to keep on good terms with you. If me asking these questions agitates you, again Jay, I'm very sorry. My intent was to learn why you feel that way, not to dispute with you.

I would be proud to explain to someone why I think so & so should be ranked where I have them. I would feel honored that someone thought highly enough of my post to even care to ask questions. And of all the many members here who I've traded insights and info with, it has always been that way.

If I pi$$ed you off by asking about Jose, I really am sorry. I sincerely meant no harm...:)

AND, if you are NOT upset or agitated by my questions....then it was me who mis-read the intent of your reply.

Still buds???:)

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 07:22 PM
I know there could be a very long list on this subject,but I can't see how you can talk of money players without Cole Dickson or Richie Florence. These are and were very good friends of mine and they could bring it for the cash in the sixties and seventies.:cool:

Tommie,
I agree with you. I would be hard pressed to keep those two off an all time best money player list. I know that Grady thinks awefully highly of both of them, especially Richie.

I really wish Freddy or Grady would join in this thread. Their insights are also very valued.

ginsu
10-16-2007, 07:33 PM
I want to come look at your tapes, especially of Taylor banking. Just FYI, for many years at tournaments all over the country (including the East Coast) all players present had no interest in gambling with Parica. He was given a wide berth by the assembled masses. He had proved himself in Texas by beating all the best in the country and giving weight to the world.

And that's how it went for about 15 years. Jose was the Lassiter of the 80's and 90's. "Hello, how are you, no I don't want to play anything with you, but thanks for asking". No 9-Ball, no Ten Ball, no Rotation and no One Pocket either! Neither Johnny, Rodney or Corey was looking to play with this little fellow. Or anyone else! He was the most "left alone" pool player of this era.

Only Efren in One Pocket was held in the same regard. And that was One Pocket only! Rodney or Johnny or Buddy would have been glad to oblige him at 9-Ball if he was so inclined.

I watched , in disbelief, when Jose backed down from Tad at the Cue Club in the early 90's. It was quite interesting because Mark was barking loud and long. Jose just said no and after some more verbal abuse left. Tad was in full punch at that time.

corvette1340
10-16-2007, 07:34 PM
:D Terry,

This is where the subjectiveness comes in. I am unable to judge the skill of Eddie Taylor, Rags Fitzpatrick, or Harold Worst because I have never seen them play. Many of the players that Freddy mentioned are legends yet, because of geographics, personal interests, etc - I'd never seen them play. I think that is what makes "personal perspective" important when you are compiling these lists. I don't have a lot of teh resources that you possess on a lot of these players, and I wished I had some of the video footage that Dennis Walsh possesses on some of these lessons - but most of us just have our personal experiences and memories to go by.

I put Louie Roberts and Mike Carella in my Favorite Top 5 - mostly because I learned a lot from both of them - and I know a lot of people have no idea how well Carella played - but in my experience (through the eyes of a teenager) he played flawlessly - and the impression that his skill left upon my game is still strong to this day.

I really like this thread because it shows me that my personal views on Nick Varner are shared with many others - I really consider myself lucky to have watched him and to have played against him (ok ok ok ... Nick played - I mostly sat and watched - I had a great seat! :D ).

When I think back over the past 35-40 years I consider myself lucky...

I have been able to see

Willie Mosconi
Irving Crane
Jimmy Caras
Joe Balsis
Cowboy Jimmy Moore
Cisero Murphy
Steve Mizerak
Lou Butera
Pete Margo
Johnny Ervolino
Gene Nagy
Mike Eufemia
Jack Breit
Tom Jennings
Nick Varner
Mike Sigel
Buddy Hall
Louie Roberts
Mike Carella
Allen Hopkins
David Howard
Jim Rempe
Bugs Rucker
Grady Mathews
Strawberry Brooks
Dave Bollman
Rags Woods
Keith McCready
Earl Strickland
Jose Parica
Oliver Ortmann
Efren Reyes
Francisco Bustamante
Johnny Archer
Ralf Souquet
John Schmidt
Fong Pang Chao
Mark Tadd
Corey Deuel
Thorsten Hohmann


The future holds

Shane Van Boening
Justin Bergman
John Morra
Landon Shuffet
and about 4,000,000 other kids from Manila and Taipei City

Add to the fact that I also got to see Ali, Frazier, Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods, Michael Jordan, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, The 1987 Mets, and that the Red Sox won a World Series in my lifetime (keep the faith Cubs fans) - think I've been a very blessed man.


Indeed you have witnessed a lot my friend. But, you have yet to meet me. :D

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 07:39 PM
Best money player is close between Parica and Buddy.


I forgot something else....Since they are that close then couldn't you make a case for either of them? :confused:

Fatboy
10-16-2007, 07:41 PM
Kim is a fearless gambler for 30 years now,

olauzon
10-16-2007, 07:45 PM
4,000,000 other kids from Manila and Taipei City.

holy smokes. that is, as duchess of doom puts it, a looot.

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 07:52 PM
Kim is a fearless gambler for 30 years now,


Yep. And also, how about Sigel & Hubbart in the 1970's. They too were a powerhouse to reckon with.

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 07:59 PM
I watched , in disbelief, when Jose backed down from Tad at the Cue Club in the early 90's. It was quite interesting because Mark was barking loud and long. Jose just said no and after some more verbal abuse left. Tad was in full punch at that time.

No question Mark was a great player in the early to mid 90's, but I'm sure there was a reason that Jose would not play at the time. It could be as simple as NO MONEY! Remember you are talking about Las Vegas,a place that has continually kept Jose broke.

That would have been some match back then. Two great players at their peak. I'll ask Jose when I see him.

SpiderWebComm
10-16-2007, 07:59 PM
In his prime, for the cash, Hopkins was the nuts at just about every game. Heads up against many of the pros listed here, betting with their own money, I'd take him over anyone as long as it was a long session. Just my opinion :)

If they played a round robin game like the fats vs mosconi video where there was 9ball, rotation, straight pool, and 1P.... I'd REALLY pick him.

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 08:05 PM
I had a great idea that I wish I would have thought of earlier.

In Buddy Hall's biography "Rags to Rifleman" by W.W.Woody, I checked the back index for references to Jose Parica. There are 7 references and 1 photo.

In each of the times Parica was mentioned (pages 202, 209, 234, 252,255,
276 & 278, it was him losing in a tournament or match.

On page 276, there is a story about an all-around 3 way challenge match between Buddy, Jose & Mizerak. The games were 1 pocket, 14.1 and 9 ball. It says on line 4 that Parica was the 1st one eliminated from all 3 divisions.

And on page 278, it quotes Louie Roberts telling Jose that you can beat all the Americans, just stay clear of Buddy Hall. The author says that Parica followed Roberts advice and avoided Hall.

Lastly, who was the only one to have beaten Efren "Ceasar Morales" Reyes when he first came to the USA? Buddy Hall! He won $10,000 off of Reyes when they played. Monroe Brock was Buddy's stakehorse.


The defence rests....;)

jay helfert
10-16-2007, 08:06 PM
Geez, Jay. I always thought you didn't mind me asking so many questions. You have answered dozens of them from me in the past, including being so kind to share info via the PMs. If I upset you or got you angry, please forgive me. I get the strong impression that you think I'm knocking your info. For some reason, you seem very testy about this. Maybe I'm wrong....

As for the Taylor film. Here's some info for you if you're interested. A VHS tape entitled "Eddie Taylor & The Legends of Pool" was produced in 1996 by a company called Scenic Publishing. It's running time is 2hrs 5 min. Eddie's nephew and set up man on the road is Alf Taylor, one of the guys I just asked hemicuda's about. Alf is a very strong player in his own right and I enjoy hearing fresh stories of him as well. Anyway, back to the tape.
In addition to Eddie running banks, it also has his 1993 BCA HOF induction ceremony and testimonials from other great players. Since he was born in 1918 and this tape was made in 1996, that makes him 78 years old when the film was being produced. At one point in the video, at the age of 78 and almost blind, he is STILL running banks!

Next, my pun about the "west coast players" was meant as a joke, that's why I put the smiling figure. I'm east coast, you're west coast and usually, good natured woofing has been somewhat lauded. You are one of the biggest joksters on this forum, plus, I'm very confident that you know me well enough by my posts that I am never trying to hurt or embarrass anyone here, right?

Lastly, I BELIEVE YOU about Parica! I have posted several other times on AZB about how strong a player Parica was / is. I disagree that he was more feared than Buddy Hall in his prime. Just by what you posted just now, about how Parica could never get a game in anything. That's the part that confuses me. (And the post you referenced was just regarding Buddy vs Jose). If Buddy was beating all those players and Jose went about 15 years with very little or no gambling matches, then if Buddy was playing and WINNING, he would seem to be the better player. Heck, Efren, as great as he's playing one pocket these days, STILL gets to match up for the cash! If Jose was that good, and he could not get any significant action, then why wasn't he tearing up the majors? That is the only part I'm mixed up on. I am not trying to sound like I know more than you or anything like that. We have always been pals and I want to do everything I can to keep on good terms with you. If me asking these questions agitates you, again Jay, I'm very sorry. My intent was to learn why you feel that way, not to dispute with you.

I would be proud to explain to someone why I think so & so should be ranked where I have them. I would feel honored that someone thought highly enough of my post to even care to ask questions. And of all the many members here who I've traded insights and info with, it has always been that way.

If I pi$$ed you off by asking about Jose, I really am sorry. I sincerely meant no harm...:)

AND, if you are NOT upset or agitated by my questions....then it was me who mis-read the intent of your reply.

Still buds???:)

Now I'm really mad! ha ha ha ha

Easy there T-dog, read my post again. I wasn't testy at all, just tying to explain why I thought Jose was a better gambler. This is not about tournament play at all. Any top player can win a tournament, but let them play ten ahead and you'll find out who the best player is.

Buddy definitely had more winning money sessions than anyone else of the last 30 years. But when it came to being the best and most feared gambler, Jose was the man for many years himself. Remember one important thing Terry, when no one will play you is the highest compliment a pool player can get. No one wanted to discuss a game with Jose for a long time. He was left out of the loop so to speak. Wonder why?

Even now, people aren't running up to Jose and asking him to play, are they? From 1986 to 2000 they ran away from him!

Terry Ardeno
10-16-2007, 08:12 PM
Now I'm really mad! ha ha ha ha

Easy there T-dog, read my post again. I wasn't testy at all, just tying to explain why I thought Jose was a better gambler. This is not about tournament play at all. Any top player can win a tournament, but let them play ten ahead and you'll find out who plays the best.

Buddy definitely had more winning money sessions than anyone else of the last 30 years. But when it came to being the best and most feared gambler, Jose was the man for many years himself. Remember one important thing Terry, when no one will play you is the highest compliment a pool player can get. No one wanted to discuss a game with Jose for a long time. He was left out of the loop so to speak. Wonder why?

Even now, people aren't running up to Jose and asking him to play, are they?

Thank you Jay!

I'm a pretty hard guy, but I really do care about our friendship and I thought (wrongly) that I upset the apple cart somehow. Sorry for mis-interpreting you and thanks for not being ticked. I really got worried and I'm glad all is still good between us.

Thanks again buddy! (not Buddy, you Jay!)

Edit-PS...
"T-dog" That's the first pool nickname I ever got from a famous guy. I'm going to go wake up my wife and tell her that Jay just gave me a nick-name. Or, better not. I don't want her upset with me either...:)

grandpapkusky
10-16-2007, 10:48 PM
In his prime, for the cash, Hopkins was the nuts at just about every game. Heads up against many of the pros listed here, betting with their own money, I'd take him over anyone as long as it was a long session. Just my opinion :)

If they played a round robin game like the fats vs mosconi video where there was 9ball, rotation, straight pool, and 1P.... I'd REALLY pick him.

Hopkins is a genious at pool. He can play all the games and is a very savy gambler as well. Often forgotten for some reason.

Danny Kuykendal
10-17-2007, 12:39 AM
In a tournament in Chicago about 1991, Buddy was playing very good pool and all of the three Philipinos that were there and Buddy offered to play all of them, even in succession if they wanted. They all declined, including Jose.
I was there with Joe Salazar on my only road trip.

Danny

ShootingArts
10-17-2007, 06:42 AM
In a tournament in Chicago about 1991, Buddy was playing very good pool and of the three Philipinos that were there and Buddy offered to play all of them, even in succession if they wanted. They all declined, including Jose.
I was there with Joe Salazar on my only road trip.

Danny

Danny,

Yours just happens to be the last post but in reply to all the posts of "so and so wouldn't play so and so" I'm not sure how much that means. There are a few road warriors out there that spend a career taking on the toughest competition they can find and there are a few youngsters trying to get seasoning. However the vast majority of road players are and were trying to make a living. Getting in tough battles that really boil down to who is playing better on a given day just isn't smart when you are there to make money.

When a player refuses to gamble with another player it doesn't mean the other player is better, just that there is an unacceptable level of risk involved.

Hu

corvette1340
10-17-2007, 07:09 AM
My list of greatest players would be the ones that I have personally seen play. Some of the greatest pool I've seen with my own eyes would have to include Johnny Archer, Corey Deuel, Shane Van Boening, Shannon Daulton, Stevie Moore, Rodney Morris, Thorsten Hohmann, Ralf Souquet, Tony Watson, and Bruce Berrong. Now that being said, that is only the people I have watched in person. I heard from several players that Mark Tadd was a beast back in the day, along with James Walden for the cabbage and CJ Wiley back in the 90's as well. I've also watched Scotty Townsend and Cliff Joyner torcher some poor guys as well. I guess it really is very subjective as to whom people consider the greatest because all the guys listed in this thread are great pool players in some capacity.
Gabe Owen has my vote for greatest partner. We were out in downtown Athens one time along with Corey, Tony Crosby, Bruce, Southpaw, and others. I barked at a couple of guys to play partners and they said they would play any of us except Bruce since he is the local Athens legend. Gabe stepped up and we played the two for $20 a game bar box 8 ball. Gabe asked if he should stall a little but Bruce knew the guys and said they would lose around $100 so just go ahead and play. He broke and ran the first 5 racks! The guys just stood there with smiles on their faces. They told him to go ahead and break again because they wanted to see if he would ever miss. He ran to the 8 and missed and I got to make the final ball.

Fast Lenny
10-17-2007, 07:10 AM
Danny,

Yours just happens to be the last post but in reply to all the posts of "so and so wouldn't play so and so" I'm not sure how much that means. There are a few road warriors out there that spend a career taking on the toughest competition they can find and there are a few youngsters trying to get seasoning. However the vast majority of road players are and were trying to make a living. Getting in tough battles that really boil down to who is playing better on a given day just isn't smart when you are there to make money.

When a player refuses to gamble with another player it doesn't mean the other player is better, just that there is an unacceptable level of risk involved.

Hu
I agree.There were times when i didnt have much money and a game came along that was even money or i was 60/40 winner but couldnt play because i needed my money for responsiblities and couldnt take a chance.I wasnt scared of these guys,i just wasnt in the right position to be gambling financially unless it was a lock.I have been there and bet with my last money in pool or in cards and won and then the flipside losing my last bit of money and its a horrible feeling.:o

Blackjack
10-17-2007, 07:31 AM
Just as a sidenote... I have received a couple of PM's from people that were upset because I left certain players off my list. I opened this thread with the statement that this is only from my perspective - and from the players I have witnessed -

This thread is not about my list - but YOURS. I don't expect anybody to agree with my lists, because its was made from my personal perspective.


Special note to kildegirl
Hal,
I know that you, Greenleaf, Ponzi, and Mosconi all sat together in the third grade :p , but being only half your age, I never had the opportunity to see Greenleaf play - at all. Not even once. As a matter of fact, Greenleaf died many years before I was born.

My list was made from my perspective and from watching the players that I chose. If I didn't see them play with my own eyes, they didn't go on my list. I'm sure Mingaud had a heck of a stroke and a heck of an aiming system, but he didn't make my list either.

I hope you take my message in good fun, and that you continue to assist players with your knowledge and expertise - and feel free to add your own list - I would be interested in reading your perspective of players over your many years of watching this game.

ironman
10-17-2007, 07:50 AM
Danny,

Yours just happens to be the last post but in reply to all the posts of "so and so wouldn't play so and so" I'm not sure how much that means. There are a few road warriors out there that spend a career taking on the toughest competition they can find and there are a few youngsters trying to get seasoning. However the vast majority of road players are and were trying to make a living. Getting in tough battles that really boil down to who is playing better on a given day just isn't smart when you are there to make money.

When a player refuses to gamble with another player it doesn't mean the other player is better, just that there is an unacceptable level of risk involved.

Hu

Just to add a little,today is so different than say 20-25 years ago. There was more of a Gunslinger Attitude among road players in those days. Players were not as well known. Now, when someone snaps it off, everyone in every corner of the world knows about it in just a matter of hours. Things have changed drasticly.
Years ago, for example, had Bill Incordona opened place in Dallas as he has now, there would have been 25 Roadies there just hanging around waiting for the right moment. Now, everyone has a clock on everyone around before they get there.
Just to make a point, there was a guy in Colorado Springs years ago named Dick Henry who was at times a very good 9-ball player and subject to beat a lot of people. So, when Buddy came to town and Dick not real familiar with him, handed Buddy all he wanted for a couple of days forcing Buddy to get on the phone and get money wired to him. Eventually Dick figured out who Buddy was, and Buddy ended up getting to him. Had this happened in this day, Dick would ave known within a couple of hours.
In the old days, if a stranger walkd into your room looking for action, someone got on the phone to get someone to take a shot at him. Now they have to hand over their resume to play for $20, or at least that's the way it is here.
Everything changes. Not always for the better.

Terry Ardeno
10-17-2007, 11:06 AM
Just to add a little,today is so different than say 20-25 years ago.
Now, everyone has a clock on everyone around before they get there.

Now they have to hand over their resume to play for $20, or at least that's the way it is here.
Everything changes. Not always for the better.


And I see this latest trend continuing, don't you? The internet and cell phone are great for a lot of things, one of which is drying up the action.

People think nothing of blowing all kinds of money in a casino. And anymore, there are almost as many casionos around as there are pool halls. But with pool, there are people who wouldn't bet that water is wet.

I have buddies who say they lost $1,200.00 in one night at a casino. But they won't play pool for $10.00 A SET, not rack! :confused: