Consensus "Greatest of All Time" (GOAT) List

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Discussions about the "Greatest of All Time" (GOAT) Pool Players is a popular topic on AZB and Facebook, so I thought it would be fun and interesting to semi-scientifically identify a consensus opinion with input from as many AZB users as possible.

After two rounds of voting (see more info below), here are the final results:

Top 10 GOAT (in the modern era):

Rank - Name - Score

1 - Efren Reyes - 252
2 - Earl Strickland - 126
3 - Shane Van Boening - 119
4 - Alex Pagulayan - 118
5 - Nick Varner - 104
6 - Mike Sigel - 103
7 - Buddy Hall - 56
8 - Francisco Bustamante - 53
9 - Johnny Archer - 52
10 - Dennis Orcollo - 51

People who voted in the second round (total number: 74): 9 Ball Fan, 9andout, AtLarge, atlas333, beetle, Bic D, big_worm, Bob Jewett, bobprobst, Cameron Smith, CGM, charlietango7, Chili Palmer, Cornerman, CreeDo, couldnthinkof01, deanoc, Dimeball, dontscratch, dr_dave, eddieindetroit, evergruven, flyvirginiaguy, follownoone, Get_A_Grip, gordml, Grilled Cheese, harleydon1950, highkarate, icucybe, jay helfert, JazzyJeff87, K2Kraze, kkdanamatt, Luxury, maha, Maniac, Marc, Marcopolo, mark187, markjames, mattb, MattPoland, MississaugaFats, monsterdog, noMoreSchon, oldschool1478, parvus1202, Pete, phj_tc, PoolBum, Poolmanis, pt109, RailBanger, ricardo, Rimfirejunkie, Runnintable, Saint1500, SamShaddey, Scratch85, Sealegs50, SFC9ball, sjharr, sjm, skogstokig, Snooker Theory, Sunchaser, Taxi, Tennesseejoe, Tin Man, Tooler, TwinkleToes, TX Poolnut, West Point 1987.

For the first round of voting (through 6/15/209), I first did some research to come up with an initial Top 25 with grouped rating scores. This ranking was revised by votes from AZB users in the first round of voting. Not everybody agreed with my initial ranking and scores, but that's what the first-round voting was for. I kept a running total of scores for each player; and on 6/16/2019, we started a second round of voting to refine the final Top 10.

A vote consisted of 5 points that you could use however you wished. Here are some examples of how you could have voted:

Reyes 5 (indicating Efren should keep the top spot on the list)

Strickland 3, Rempe 2 (indicating Earl and Jim should both be higher on the list)

Hall 1, Varner 1, Sigel 1, Archer 1, Orcollo 1 (indicating all of these players should be just a little higher on the list)

You only got to vote once in each of two rounds of voting. I kept a list of voters to prevent multiple votes. All votes had to be public as posts in this thread, and you were not allowed to change your vote. The first round of voting (see below), which trimmed the list down from 25 to 10, ended on 6/15/2019, and the second round of voting ended at midnight (MDT) on 6/30/2019.


Initial Ranking with First-Round Voting Scores (first-round voting ended 6/15/2019)

Rank - Name - Score

1 - Efren Reyes - 166
2 - Shane Van Boening - 75
3 - Wu Chia-ching - 40
4 - Earl Strickland - 73
5 - Mike Sigel - 63
6 - Nick Varner - 73
7 - Buddy Hall - 42
8 - Johnny Archer - 43
9 - Mika Immonen - 35
10 - Jim Rempe - 35
11 - Steve Miserzak - 37
12 - Allen Hopkins - 36
13 - Alex Pagulayan - 66
14 - Dennis Orcollo - 44
15 - Niels Feijen - 35
16 - Darren Appleton - 39
17 - Francisco Bustamante - 42
18 - Jayson Shaw - 30
19 - Josh Filler - 30
20 - Ralph Souquet - 32
21 - Albin Ouschan - 30
22 - Pin Yi Ko - 30
23 - Thorsten Hohmann - 27
24 - Jose Parica - 26
25 - Carlo Biado - 25

Note that I did not include players from the "straight pool era." For example, arguments can be made that Mosconi, Greenleaf, Lassiter, Hoppe, Cranfield, Crane, Worst, DeOro, Lindrum, Caras (and others) deserved to be on the list, but I purposely excluded them since it is too difficult (or impossible) for most people to compare them to players in the modern "9-ball era" (since about 1970, or the last 50 years). I at least gave them honorable mention here. For those who still object to this, wherever you see "GOAT" in this thread, read it instead as "GITME" (Greatest In The Modern Era).

There are also many great female players who were not considered in this list. They probably deserve a separate GOAT list that would include players such as Allison Fisher, Karen Corr, Siming Chen, Jean Balukas, Ruth McGinnis, Ewa Mataya Lawrence, Lori Jon Jones, Robin Dodson, Jeanette Lee, Ga Young Kim, Gerda Hofstatter, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, Vivian Villarreal, Pan Xiaoting, etc. These players are certainly among the GOAT female players, but not the GOAT of all players.

People who voted in the first round (total number: 59): 9 Ball Fan, AtLarge, atlas333, beetle, Bic D, Bob Jewett, CGM, Chili Palmer, Cornerman, Creedo, CrownCityCorey, deanoc, Dimeball, dontscratch, dr_dave, evergruven, follownoone, Get_A_Grip, gordml, highkarate, icucybe, JazzyJeff87, JC, jeephawk, Johnny Rosato, justadub, kkdanamatt, LeftyIke, Luxury, Magyar19, Maniac, Marc, mark187, markjames, mattb, MattPoland, megatron69, Mich, Mick, monsterdog, noMoreSchon, oldschool1478, Pete, PoloBob, PoolBum, Poolmanis, ricardo, Rico, Rimfirejunkie, SamShaddey, Scratch85, Sealegs50, sjm, Snooker Theory, spliced, Tennesseejoe, Tin Man, Tooler, TX Poolnut.
 
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JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
Alex 3 / Dennis o 2

It’s hard to spread the love with 5 points but I feel good enough, no buyer’s remorse.

I love the game of Alex the L P and as an All Around he’s a monster. Great at all pool games and decent at snooker.
 
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dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Alex 3 / Dennis o 2
Thank you for being the first to vote. I've added your scores to the original post. Let's keep this going, and if anybody has any suggestions for how to improve the process, please share them.

Thanks,
Dave
 

Bic D

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Efren 2
Sigel 1
Varner 1
Strickland 1

Once SVB retires...I'll vote again
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
hi dave, fun idea-

reyes 4
pagulayan 1

to me, a player must be well-rounded to be considered GOAT.
I've heard nick varner was right up there in all games, but I just haven't seen him play enough.
and a lot of players on your list are still active, and aren't close to retiring..
so over time my list could change, but having efren at the top probably won't :)

cheers-
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
hi dave, fun idea-

reyes 4
pagulayan 1
Thanks. I added your scores to the first post.


to me, a player must be well-rounded to be considered GOAT.
I've heard nick varner was right up there in all games, but I just haven't seen him play enough.
and a lot of players on your list are still active, and aren't close to retiring..
so over time my list could change, but having efren at the top probably won't :)
Good points.

We can't predict the future, so all we can do is judge and vote based on the past and the present.

I agree about Efren. It is tough to visualize him being surpassed by anybody anytime in the foreseeable future.

Regards,
Dave
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Can I vote for john Schmidt
Sorry, but he's not on the list so please vote again.

John's 626 is impressive, but he doesn't have world championships, and he doesn't have the same level of versatility and excellence (in all pool games) as those in the Top 25.

Thanks,
Dave
 
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WildWing

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Not even close, as long as it's all round, meaning all games.

1. Mike Sigel
2. Luther Lassiter
3. Harold Worst

All the best,
WW
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Not even close, as long as it's all round, meaning all games.
It is the "Greatest Pool Player of All Time" list. I would think most people today would interpret that to imply excellence at mostly 9/10-ball, but also being well-rounded in all pool games (e.g., one-pocket, banks, straight pool).

1. Mike Sigel
2. Luther Lassiter
3. Harold Worst
Sorry, but Lassiter and Worst are not on the current Top 25 list. Please submit your vote with a total score of 5, choosing only players on the list in the first post.

Thanks,
Dave
 
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dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Greenleaf & Mosconi.....???? How could they NOT be on almost everyone's list...????
From the first post:

Note that I have not included players from the too-distant past. For example, arguments can be made that Mosconi, Greenleaf, Lassiter, Hoppe, Cranfield, Crane, DeOro, Lindrum, Caras (and others) deserve to be on the list, but I purposely excluded them since it is too difficult for most people to compare them to players in the modern era. I at least give them honorable mention here.

Please vote for the players on the current list if you want to participate.

Thanks,
Dave
 
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