filipino pecking order

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
For those in the know is pool on average more popular in the Philippines than in the US???

Let me put it this way. Where our home is in Pampanga, about 50 miles outside of Manila, you will see men walking around with pool cues quite frequently. The biggest difference may be that Pool is fully accepted as a career choice in the Philippines, thanks to the influence of Efren and Bustamante. Efren is a national sports icon over there. There is no negative stigma attached to playing pool in the PI.

That said a lot of the little neighborhood poolrooms have closed during the last ten years. But that may be more a factor of increasing rents and better use of the space than anything else. One other thing that may surprise you if you come to the PI is that you won't find any bar tables. It's ALL big tables over here! Even in the bars and bowling alleys.
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
Let me put it this way. Where our home is in Pampanga, about 50 miles outside of Manila, you will see men walking around with pool cues quite frequently. The biggest difference may be that Pool is fully accepted as a career choice in the Philippines, thanks to the influence of Efren and Bustamante. Efren is a national sports icon over there. There is no negative stigma attached to playing pool in the PI.

That said a lot of the little neighborhood poolrooms have closed during the last ten years. But that may be more a factor of increasing rents and better use of the space than anything else. One other thing that may surprise you if you come to the PI is that you won't find any bar tables. It's ALL big tables over here! Even in the bars and bowling alleys.

Interesting. I have noticed when watching videos from PI that there are gobs of spectators but that may also be because Efren was there but I think I saw some more local players who also drew a big crowd.

How common are home tables?
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Interesting. I have noticed when watching videos from PI that there are gobs of spectators but that may also be because Efren was there but I think I saw some more local players who also drew a big crowd.

How common are home tables?

8 foot home tables are common.
Local pros matching up draw big crowds.
They ( the rail birds ) bet per game.
I saw a match between Aranas and Pulpol back in 2018 at the current president's home city. It was like a cockfight .
Pro players are idolized there.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Let me put it this way. Where our home is in Pampanga, about 50 miles outside of Manila, you will see men walking around with pool cues quite frequently. The biggest difference may be that Pool is fully accepted as a career choice in the Philippines, thanks to the influence of Efren and Bustamante. Efren is a national sports icon over there. There is no negative stigma attached to playing pool in the PI.

That said a lot of the little neighborhood poolrooms have closed during the last ten years. But that may be more a factor of increasing rents and better use of the space than anything else. One other thing that may surprise you if you come to the PI is that you won't find any bar tables. It's ALL big tables over here! Even in the bars and bowling alleys.

aren't bar tables rarely seen anywhere outside USA (if you don't count english 8-ball)? go anywhere in continental europe and you're more likely to see 10' billiards tables or 12' snooker tables in the pool rooms than you are 7 footers.
 

jsp

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Efren is below segunda now ( 2nd tier ).
He is around the tersera ( third tier now ).
Even Takayama gives him weight.
Takayama is a third tier player.
Alcano is way below 2nd tier now.
Roland Garcia plays Raga even, so he's probably tier one too.
Where does Romeo Silvano fit in? Just browsing around youtube and there are videos of him playing and beating both Raga and Chua even.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Silver Member
Where does Romeo Silvano fit in? Just browsing around youtube and there are videos of him playing and beating both Raga and Chua even.

I think Romeo was from Cebu and stays in Quezon City now.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Silver Member
Interesting. I have noticed when watching videos from PI that there are gobs of spectators but that may also be because Efren was there but I think I saw some more local players who also drew a big crowd.

How common are home tables?

A crowd will gather any time there is a good pool game to watch and bet on. I used to play the owner of a four table poolroom at a mall in Pasay City. We played 1,000p (about $20) a game Rotation. There was a circle of people all around the table every time we played. Then one time I came back to the mall and the poolroom was gone.

I'm trying to remember the name of that mall on Mabini St. in lower Pasay. Ten years ago there were little poolrooms everywhere. Not nearly as many now. The trend these days is small pool bars, with food and drinks and maybe three or four tables.
 

otrebor22

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That was Harrison Plaza Jay. Soon they will tear it down and Shoe Mart (SM) will build a new mall on that site.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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That was Harrison Plaza Jay. Soon they will tear it down and Shoe Mart (SM) will build a new mall on that site.

There you go! I played pool in there maybe a ten times over the years. It was a fairly large poolroom in the back of the mall (not the same place where I played the poolroom owner. That was in another mall). As soon as they saw me coming guys would line up to ask me to play. One time I had my three year old daughter with me and no cue. I told them I would only play an older guy like me and they brought some older looking Pinoy guy to play me. I said I had no cue and he loaned me his cue, so we switched it back and forth during the game. I agreed to play this guy one Race to Nine 9-Ball for 2000p. No practice, no nothing. Right away I could see this guy could play and I felt like I had no chance. But he kept dogging balls and I found myself ahead. I started getting out toward the end and won something like 9-6 or 9-7.

My daughter had been sitting on the sidelines and some girl was holding her while we played. I said that's it, I gotta go. I had told them one set only. I said I would be back soon but the next time I came there it was closed.
 
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Brookeland Bill

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
EDIT: seeking opinions on *current* pecking order, not all-time (altho now that got me thinking..)

filipinos ever(simonis?)green as a group
6 out of the top 20 fargo, 13/50..whew
I'd love to see them rock as a group vs. usa, europe
but in the meantime
how would y'all would rate them individually? top 5?

9-ball
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

10-ball
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

one pocket
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

straights
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Sorry bud. I’m busy rearranging my sock drawer and after that I’ve got to take out the garbage and clean the litter box.
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
In the Philippines they use a Tier system to rank their players. The elite players are Tier One (the champions). The next level is Tier Two (all very good players as well). Then there are the Tier Three players who all can play as well but might need weight from the upper level players. Over there giving weight is usually games on the wire. For example a Tier One player might have to give a Tier Two player three games on the wire racing to 25 in Ten Ball.

Here is good idea of what Tier One looks like now - Dennis, Carlo, LeeVan, Chua, Aranas, DeLuna, Gomez and Raga. Bustie is Tier Two and so is Efren. Others in Tier Two are Kiamco, Edgie, Alcano, Ignazio, Joven Bustamante, Lining, Gabica and Gallego. There's a few others who I've left out. Alex is usually not in the mix because he's spent most of his life overseas. He would definitely be Tier One though. Tier Three is full of killers who have yet to make a name for themselves outside of the Philippines, but they are there waiting for you. :smile:

How would a good American pro pool player, like say- Corey Deuel rank in such a tier system- would he be 2nd tier?
 

RabbiHippie

"Look! A real hippie!"
Silver Member
Personal Space

Interesting. I have noticed when watching videos from PI that there are gobs of spectators but that may also be because Efren was there but I think I saw some more local players who also drew a big crowd.

How common are home tables?

Different cultures have varying concepts of "personal space." Could be relevant to explaining the larger crowds you see in the Philippines than in American pool rooms.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...close-is-too-close-depends-on-where-you-live/

There's a moment in this old one pocket match between Efren Reyes and Grady Matthews where Grady chides Efren for standing in his line of vision. I don't think Efren was "sharking" - he seems to have not realized anyone would be bothered by where he stood. I'd guess this match took place not long after Efren came to the U.S. for the first time as "Cesar Morales" and that it's one of his first one pocket games after just learning the game.

I asked someone from another culture (not Filipino but perhaps similar) and this was what he thought as well. Hopefully someone like Jay who knows first-hand can give his interpretation.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Different cultures have varying concepts of "personal space." Could be relevant to explaining the larger crowds you see in the Philippines than in American pool rooms.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...close-is-too-close-depends-on-where-you-live/

There's a moment in this old one pocket match between Efren Reyes and Grady Matthews where Grady chides Efren for standing in his line of vision. I don't think Efren was "sharking" - he seems to have not realized anyone would be bothered by where he stood. I'd guess this match took place not long after Efren came to the U.S. for the first time as "Cesar Morales" and that it's one of his first one pocket games after just learning the game.

I asked someone from another culture (not Filipino but perhaps similar) and this was what he thought as well. Hopefully someone like Jay who knows first-hand can give his interpretation.

Over there the players and fans pretty much stand wherever they want! And they may be moving around when you're shooting. It's not unusual to have your opponent stand right next to you when you're shooting, and no one ever complains! I think that's why most Pinoy players are pretty much shark proof. I've seen people try all kinds of things with Dennis and he just totally ignores them and keeps on making balls. :wink:
You will often see a player in a big money game have to ask a spectator to move over a little so he can shoot. It's no big deal either, just part of the game.
 
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RabbiHippie

"Look! A real hippie!"
Silver Member
In the Philippines they use a Tier system to rank their players. The elite players are Tier One (the champions). The next level is Tier Two (all very good players as well). Then there are the Tier Three players who all can play as well but might need weight from the upper level players. Over there giving weight is usually games on the wire. For example a Tier One player might have to give a Tier Two player three games on the wire racing to 25 in Ten Ball.

Here is good idea of what Tier One looks like now - Dennis, Carlo, LeeVan, Chua, Aranas, DeLuna, Gomez and Raga. Bustie is Tier Two and so is Efren. Others in Tier Two are Kiamco, Edgie, Alcano, Ignazio, Joven Bustamante, Lining, Gabica and Gallego. There's a few others who I've left out. Alex is usually not in the mix because he's spent most of his life overseas. He would definitely be Tier One though. Tier Three is full of killers who have yet to make a name for themselves outside of the Philippines, but they are there waiting for you. :smile:

This says a lot. Any system where Efren and Bustamante are considered "second tier" (no matter their age) is indeed rarefied air.

I wonder how these tiers correspond to Fargo ratings. Typically 720 is the threshold for Top 100 players in the U.S. It's starting to look only a few Americans could break into the third tier in the Philippines.

I'm really curious about the unknown Filipinos who are in the (hypothetical?) fifth or sixth tiers. How well do they play? Are they comparable to 720+ type players but not considered "good enough" for anyone to ever notice them? Guys like me, basically, ;-) except they're better than the top player in some states? If so, these are the kind of guys I'd benefit from sparring with and I'd cheerfully make a donation for the privilege.

Someone asked earlier which tier Corey Deuel belongs in.

I combined Jay's tier assignments with Fargo's Top 100 so I could get an idea of how Americans would fit in. Corey seems a bit "on the bubble" for making Tier #1. How are these things decided? Is it a forrmal process or is it just a general consensus among pool players about who's the best in the Philippines?

More food for thought ...

Filipinos rated 800+ in Fargo: 11.
Americans: 2 (SVB and Mike Dechaine).

Code:
[FONT="Courier New"]## Tier #1 

Threshold: 800+ (?)
Actual Range: 785-826

| Tier | Fargo | Country | Player Name       |
| ---- | ----- | ------- | ----------------- |
| 1    | 826   | USA     | Shane Van Boening |
| 1    | 821   | PHI     | Anton Raga        |
| 1    | 815   | PHI     | Dennis Orcollo    |
| 1    | 812   | PHI     | Lee Van Corteza   |
| 1    | 811   | PHI     | Carlo Biado       |
| 1    | 808   | PHI     | James Aranas      |
| 1    | 803   | USA     | Mike Dechaine     |
| 1    | 799   | PHI     | Johann Chua       |
| 1    | 796   | USA     | Sky Woodward      |
| 1    | 796   | PHI     | Jeffrey De Luna   |
| 1    | 793   | USA     | Justin Bergman    |
| 1    | 785   | PHI     | Roberto Gomez     |

## Tier #2

Threshold: 775+ (?)
Actual Range: 773-802

| Tier | Fargo | Country | Player Name          |
| ---- | ----- | ------- | -------------------- |
| 2    | 802   | PHI     | Jeffrey Ignacio      |
| 2    | 792   | PHI     | Warren Kiamco        |
| 2    | 791   | PHI     | Francisco Bustamante |
| 2    | 788   | PHI     | Antonio Gabica       |
| 2    | 783   | USA     | Corey Deuel          |
| 2    | 779   | PHI     | Ronnie Alcano        |
| 2    | 779   | PHI     | Joven Alba           |
| 2    | 778   | USA     | Oscar Dominguez      |
| 2    | 777   | USA     | Rodney Morris        |
| 2    | 777   | USA     | Dennis Hatch         |
| 2    | 776   | PHI     | Efren Reyes          |
| 2    | 774   | PHI     | Edgie Geronomo       |
| 2    | 773   | USA     | Josh Roberts         |
| 2    | 773   | USA     | Billy Thorpe         |
| 2    | 773   | PHI     | Ramil Gallego        |
| 2    | 773   | PHI     | Antonio Lining       |

## Filipinos Not Mentioned But Potential Candidates for Tiers #1 or #2

Actual Range: 777-831

| Tier | Fargo | Country | Player Name                |
| ---- | ----- | ------- | -------------------------- |
| 1?   | 831   | PHI     | Oliver (Cocoy) Villafuerte |
| 1?   | 804   | PHI     | Jerico Banares             |
| 1?   | 800   | PHI     | Roland Garcia              |
| 1?   | 792   | PHI     | Jundel Mazon               |
| 1?   | 785   | PHI     | Demosthenes Pulpul         |
| 2?   | 777   | PHI     | Patrick Gonzales           |[/FONT]
 

highkarate

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
One name I haven't seen yet who is at the top of his game right now and has been playing even 10-ball with anyone and everyone in the PI for a solid decade is Jericho Banares. I believe he would be considered a tier 1 player. But my best guess is the current "pecking order" probably looks something like this:

1. Biado
2. Orcullo
3. Raga
4. Everybody else = Chua, Ignacio, De Luna, Aranas, Garcia, Banares, maybe a couple others

Then just below that there are some more great players who play even with these guys but don't get the international opportunities - Jusayan, Magpantay, Mazon, Boanan, etc.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
One name I haven't seen yet who is at the top of his game right now and has been playing even 10-ball with anyone and everyone in the PI for a solid decade is Jericho Banares. I believe he would be considered a tier 1 player. But my best guess is the current "pecking order" probably looks something like this:

1. Biado
2. Orcullo
3. Raga
4. Everybody else = Chua, Ignacio, De Luna, Aranas, Garcia, Banares, maybe a couple others

Then just below that there are some more great players who play even with these guys but don't get the international opportunities - Jusayan, Magpantay, Mazon, Boanan, etc.


100% right about Banares. I just forgot about him. There are so many good players over there (and more coming all the time) that I lose track. When Manny Paquiao has his tourneys and over 150 players showed up, there was about 50 I had never seen before, and they all played good. Manny brought them out of the woodwork to get some free money.
 

RabbiHippie

"Look! A real hippie!"
Silver Member
100% right about Banares. I just forgot about him. There are so many good players over there (and more coming all the time) that I lose track. When Manny Paquiao has his tourneys and over 150 players showed up, there was about 50 I had never seen before, and they all played good. Manny brought them out of the woodwork to get some free money.
How good was the guy who finished dead last in that tourney?

I'm getting the impression that he was nowhere near what we'd call a "shortstop" (say Fargo > 650) and A lot closer to one of our best. Maybe Fargo 750. Which would include guys like Hillbilly, Bertram, Robb Saez, Stevie Moore, McMinn, Compton ... that is, indisputable monster players here in the U.S.
 
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