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The best non-pro player ever?
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DarkPoseidon6
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The best non-pro player ever? - 03-30-2020, 07:44 AM

Just a diversion from everything, but thought it would be interesting to bring up.

Maybe it doesn't really mean much in the long run, but I've always thought it was an interesting question, especially for those who have been in the pool game for a long time.

I have for years heard that the best player ever was Don Willis, as far as someone that was great and never went professional. Is this true? Do you know or have heard or personally knew amazing players that could have gone pro or in general were just great and never made a name for themselves in the mainstream?
  
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03-30-2020, 07:48 AM

Pool is such an obscure sport, there really is no 'going pro'.

Tournament play as a career is only something that has become possible in the last few decades and even today, it is only a viable course for a VERY FEW.

Point being, a don Willis was pro for his day.


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03-30-2020, 07:52 AM

I would not have a clue as to best ever but brian parks comes to mind as a very stong non pro player. Fargo rating of 722 and has won 7 us amatuer championships i believe.
  
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03-30-2020, 07:56 AM

George Rood


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03-30-2020, 07:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Black-Balled View Post
Pool is such an obscure sport, there really is no 'going pro'.

Tournament play as a career is only something that has become possible in the last few decades and even today, it is only a viable course for a VERY FEW.

Point being, a don Willis was pro for his day.
I agree with this, but what I mean by non-pro player is someone who didn't make his name known through the ranks like Archer and those who were televised through the years. Someone who stayed under the radar and maybe made a living through pool (or somewhat) that was an amazing player that really didn't go "all the way"....
  
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03-30-2020, 08:07 AM

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Originally Posted by DarkPoseidon6 View Post
I agree with this, but what I mean by non-pro player is someone who didn't make his name known through the ranks like Archer and those who were televised through the years. Someone who stayed under the radar and maybe made a living through pool (or somewhat) that was an amazing player that really didn't go "all the way"....
That's gonna be a long and subjective list.

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03-30-2020, 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPoseidon6 View Post
Just a diversion from everything, but thought it would be interesting to bring up.

Maybe it doesn't really mean much in the long run, but I've always thought it was an interesting question, especially for those who have been in the pool game for a long time.

I have for years heard that the best player ever was Don Willis, as far as someone that was great and never went professional. Is this true? Do you know or have heard or personally knew amazing players that could have gone pro or in general were just great and never made a name for themselves in the mainstream?
If you played pool to eat you're were/are a pro. 'Pro' is a very ambiguous term that really means nothing in this game.
  
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03-30-2020, 08:26 AM

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Originally Posted by Black-Balled View Post
Pool is such an obscure sport, there really is no 'going pro'.

Tournament play as a career is only something that has become possible in the last few decades and even today, it is only a viable course for a VERY FEW.
These two sentences describe pro pool in the USA about as well as it can be.
  
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03-30-2020, 08:28 AM

harold worst
  
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03-30-2020, 08:30 AM

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harold worst
What did he do for a living? I thought pool was it. Didn't he have a room or two in Mich? He was only 37 when he passed. What a record for such a young man.

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03-30-2020, 08:48 AM

Bob Ogburn AKA Black Bart comes to mind of a player who stayed under the radar. He may of not been the best non pro, probably considered a pro by a few but he could shoot very strong at one time.
There were thousands like him, too many to remember.


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03-30-2020, 08:54 AM

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Originally Posted by Cuebuddy View Post
Bob Ogburn AKA Black Bart comes to mind of a player who stayed under the radar. He may of not been the best non pro, probably considered a pro by a few but he could shoot very strong at one time.
There were thousands like him, too many to remember.
"Thousands". I agree. Unlike other games/sports like golf and tennis there are no clear boundaries separating a "pro" from other money players. IMO if pool is how you pay bills and eat then you are a professional. Its a little clearer in today's game who would be considered a pro but that line is still a tad murky.
  
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03-30-2020, 09:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPoseidon6 View Post
Just a diversion from everything, but thought it would be interesting to bring up.

Maybe it doesn't really mean much in the long run, but I've always thought it was an interesting question, especially for those who have been in the pool game for a long time.

I have for years heard that the best player ever was Don Willis, as far as someone that was great and never went professional. Is this true? Do you know or have heard or personally knew amazing players that could have gone pro or in general were just great and never made a name for themselves in the mainstream?
A good choice here. Willis was a pure hustler and only much later in his life did he ever attend a pool tournament and only as a spectator. Willis was well known in the pool community though.


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03-30-2020, 09:04 AM

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Originally Posted by PRED View Post
George Rood
Maybe the number one choice I could think of as well. Lassiter rated him the best player in the nation at one time. George had a successful career outside of pool so he didn't need to travel around looking for games. He chose not to travel at all, just staying home and waiting for an unsuspecting player to come into his neighborhood.


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03-30-2020, 09:06 AM

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harold worst
Pro player! Once Worst set his sights on playing pool, he went to every tournament he could for the next five years until his untimely death in 1967.


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