How special Efren is

TrumanHW

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Most of us agree that he was, at times, even beyond description. Of course he's had some highlight moments--big stroke shots, the Sands kick-win, the color of money come back. But I suspect we've all shared a sublime and delicious 20+ years of witnessing the greatest pool genius of all.

Even today, when there are more people then even immediately after the Color of Money up-tick; there's just hundreds of good players. But that's the thing that makes me a little disheartened. None move the balls like he did. And none systematically or more consistently showed me that they saw a more simple means of accomplishing a more efficient/high percentage solution.

Mark Wilson calls him a great man--and I agree. He fights like pacquiao within the match but is modesty enough to show how sever the pressure he imposes on himself to perform and perform he's done.

It actually pains me to say that he's undeniably not the certainty he was. He doesn't have the endurance he did. Father time has taken his toll. There are players whom I still like watching, but it's not the same. Shannon is smart, heady, moves the cue ball beautifully. Shane, Deuel, Schmidt, Alex...versatile players...ALL GAMES. Intelligent.

Alex has his composure, but not his pace.
Shane has his former execution, but not his pool IQ (though it's pretty close.)
Deuel is close, but I don't think he has his fortitude (but I may be ignorant).
Schmidt is great but won't fight till the last ball sometimes if he gets down on himself.

But in the end-all-be-all game of one pocket, managing multiple balls, covering balls, taking scratches, thinning off things, billiarding for safeties, playing the count, getting behind balls in close proximity--Efren was especially entertaining to watch. And his attitude was icing on the cake.

Does anyone have players they'd suggest I watch who'd be remotely as entertaining as him?

And more importantly, does anyone have any old time videos of early Efren (1995, etc).../
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
Does anyone have players they'd suggest I watch who'd be remotely as entertaining as him?

The most logical, clearest thinking, American superstar player of the last thirty years was Nick Varner. He won major titles in virtually every discipline (rotation games, one pocket, banks, eight ball and 14.1) and played with a base of knowledge that I'd call the most impressive I've ever seen by a guy not named Efren.

Still, for entertainment value, nobody is mentionable with Efren.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
One of my favorite extend ecchanges was when he was in a 1p game and opponent had a ball in his hole...

Efren thinned a ball uptable and it came off the rail to block a return shot to the other guys hole...and Effie did it like 3x in a row!

We are lucky to have been witness.
 

West Point 1987

On the Hill, Out of Gas
Silver Member
Unfortunately, not much on YouTube...you'd need to order from Accustat. Mizerak and Hall moved the ball awesome and had near perfect technique/stroke. Toby Sweet had the prettiest stroke. I loved watching CJ Wiley play those few years he was near the top, a totally dominating 9 ball game. And of course there's Earl. I wish there was more footage of Harold Worst. Jose Parica was more feared than Efren when Efren first came over, but that didn't last long. I think you probably know more Filipino players than anyone on this board, you tell us...:p

But if we're looking for someone who plays the game as well as Efren did in his prime, we'll quickly run out of options. I wish there was footage of Alfred d'Oro...those great players we have seen early footage of supposedly couldn't carry his stick, he was allegedly the most gifted player in history...kind of a Cuban Efren, but maybe better...?
 

Sloppy Pockets

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member

One of my favorites matches. Keith was on fire, and dashing looking in formal wear, dancing around the table like Fred Astaire.

I love that last line, "How do you like shooting this ball left-handed for your money?"
 
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nobcitypool

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The difference with Efren is he combines all that skill with great natural charisma. You can't teach that.
 

Donny Lutz

Ferrule Cat
Silver Member
Nicky

The most logical, clearest thinking, American superstar player of the last thirty years was Nick Varner. He won major titles in virtually every discipline (rotation games, one pocket, banks, eight ball and 14.1) and played with a base of knowledge that I'd call the most impressive I've ever seen by a guy not named Efren.

Still, for entertainment value, nobody is mentionable with Efren.

Varner already held a number of US and world titles MORE than thirty years ago!

Seems he's often forgotten because he's never been a loudmouth like some other legends.

Another great who is typically overlooked is Harold Worst.

And yes, Efren was, and is still fairly close to, the very best of all.
 

overlord

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The Pinoy players of Parica's and Efren's era have the big strokes. Efren hits the ball with elongated brush strokes moving the cue ball around artfully with spin. Bustamante has this giant colorful stroke that the new Pinoys don't do. Orcollo, Lee Van and Biado have surgical minimalist strokes that are very precise.

Efren's one pocket game is still unparalleled in my opinion. At DC he just out played everybody. Father time has caught up to him like it will with all of us until we inhabit that great tax shelter in the sky.
 

book collector

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Unfortunately, not much on YouTube...you'd need to order from Accustat. Mizerak and Hall moved the ball awesome and had near perfect technique/stroke. Toby Sweet had the prettiest stroke. I loved watching CJ Wiley play those few years he was near the top, a totally dominating 9 ball game. And of course there's Earl. I wish there was more footage of Harold Worst. Jose Parica was more feared than Efren when Efren first came over, but that didn't last long. I think you probably know more Filipino players than anyone on this board, you tell us...:p

But if we're looking for someone who plays the game as well as Efren did in his prime, we'll quickly run out of options. I wish there was footage of Alfred d'Oro...those great players we have seen early footage of supposedly couldn't carry his stick, he was allegedly the most gifted player in history...kind of a Cuban Efren, but maybe better...?

De Oro was the real deal ! He beat everybody that played at every game for over 20 years
Includuding the "unbeatable " John Roberts at his game "English Billiards" 12 foot table with small balls and round cushions. {a snooker table}
Only De Oro Thomas Hueston, and Johnny Layton won championships on tables with and without pockets.
And De Oro was the only person ever to be a champion at all three.
All you need to do is look in any BCA rulebook and you will see that De Oro ruled for a long time, also, whenever it shows someone else's name as champion , right after his , almost none of them beat him for the title .
Whenever he became champion of one game , his title in the other game was forfeited and up for grabs , someone would win it and he would take it back for 20 straight years!
Varner, Sigel, Strickland, Hall ,are great players but they could never do that to the rest of the field over an extended period..
Mosconi and Greenleaf did something close in straight pool and Hoppe at 3 cushion had a great run but at only one game.
Efren is one of my heroes at the game, especially one pocket,
Watching his genius over the years has been a real
privilege.
 
Last edited:

galipeau

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The rempe/efren match is fun to watch, shows just how much little mistakes can influence the course of a match. Looking forward to watching the mcready match at lunch! Buddy Hall was also a great player to watch. He had this stupid long backstroke and was graceful in moving the balls around. I think Efren was so well liked because he had such a variety of talents. I admire him mostly because of his composure under pressure. I met him once, asked him for his autograph. How unoriginal. :rolleyes:
 

ginsu

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Most of us agree that he was, at times, even beyond description. Of course he's had some highlight moments--big stroke shots, the Sands kick-win, the color of money come back. But I suspect we've all shared a sublime and delicious 20+ years of witnessing the greatest pool genius of all.

Even today, when there are more people then even immediately after the Color of Money up-tick; there's just hundreds of good players. But that's the thing that makes me a little disheartened. None move the balls like he did. And none systematically or more consistently showed me that they saw a more simple means of accomplishing a more efficient/high percentage solution.

Mark Wilson calls him a great man--and I agree. He fights like pacquiao within the match but is modesty enough to show how sever the pressure he imposes on himself to perform and perform he's done.

It actually pains me to say that he's undeniably not the certainty he was. He doesn't have the endurance he did. Father time has taken his toll. There are players whom I still like watching, but it's not the same. Shannon is smart, heady, moves the cue ball beautifully. Shane, Deuel, Schmidt, Alex...versatile players...ALL GAMES. Intelligent.

Alex has his composure, but not his pace.
Shane has his former execution, but not his pool IQ (though it's pretty close.)
Deuel is close, but I don't think he has his fortitude (but I may be ignorant).
Schmidt is great but won't fight till the last ball sometimes if he gets down on himself.

But in the end-all-be-all game of one pocket, managing multiple balls, covering balls, taking scratches, thinning off things, billiarding for safeties, playing the count, getting behind balls in close proximity--Efren was especially entertaining to watch. And his attitude was icing on the cake.

Does anyone have players they'd suggest I watch who'd be remotely as entertaining as him?

And more importantly, does anyone have any old time videos of early Efren (1995, etc).../

Early Efren is way before 1995. He started playing in USA more then 10 years earlier and might of been even more impressive in rotation games. One pocket came later.
 

ginsu

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The most logical, clearest thinking, American superstar player of the last thirty years was Nick Varner. He won major titles in virtually every discipline (rotation games, one pocket, banks, eight ball and 14.1) and played with a base of knowledge that I'd call the most impressive I've ever seen by a guy not named Efren.

Still, for entertainment value, nobody is mentionable with Efren.

and don't forget Nick did beat Reyes in Efren's own Country in a money match.
 
Last edited:

itsfroze

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The most logical, clearest thinking, American superstar player of the last thirty years was Nick Varner. He won major titles in virtually every discipline (rotation games, one pocket, banks, eight ball and 14.1) and played with a base of knowledge that I'd call the most impressive I've ever seen by a guy not named Efren.

Still, for entertainment value, nobody is mentionable with Efren.

Efren was asked, who is the smartest player you've ever seen besides yourself,

without hesitation Efren said Nick Varner, that's some compliment coming from Efren Reyes, I'd say !
 

Ken_4fun

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Efren is the best player I have ever seen.

Watching Efren play Jason Miller in the One Pocket finals of the DCC and beat him 3-0 in less than 45 minutes.

It was like watching Secretariat at Belmont, IMO.

It was by far the most amazing exhibition in pool, I have ever seen and nothing is even close.

If you haven't seen it, you really need to rent, buy or beg for a copy of it.

Best of rolls,

Ken
 

TrumanHW

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The Pinoy players of Parica's and Efren's era have the big strokes. Efren hits the ball with elongated brush strokes moving the cue ball around artfully with spin. Bustamante has this giant colorful stroke that the new Pinoys don't do. Orcollo, Lee Van and Biado have surgical minimalist strokes that are very precise.

Efren's one pocket game is still unparalleled in my opinion. At DC he just out played everybody. Father time has caught up to him like it will with all of us until we inhabit that great tax shelter in the sky.


Semi-agreed. I wonder what accounts for this sweeping change in mechanics. Parica has a economic stroke. In his prime, watching him pick balls off in one pocket was a thing of beauty.

I believe I'm going to steal your remark about that great tax shelter, thank you. lol
 

TrumanHW

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
De Oro was the real deal ! He beat everybody that played at every game for over 20 years
Includuding the "unbeatable " John Roberts at his game "English Billiards" 12 foot table with small balls and round cushions. {a snooker table}
Only De Oro Thomas Hueston, and Johnny Layton won championships on tables with and without pockets.
And De Oro was the only person ever to be a champion at all three.
All you need to do is look in any BCA rulebook and you will see that De Oro ruled for a long time, also, whenever it shows someone else's name as champion , right after his , almost none of them beat him for the title .
Whenever he became champion of one game , his title in the other game was forfeited and up for grabs , someone would win it and he would take it back for 20 straight years!
Varner, Sigel, Strickland, Hall ,are great players but they could never do that to the rest of the field over an extended period..
Mosconi and Greenleaf did something close in straight pool and Hoppe at 3 cushion had a great run but at only one game.
Efren is one of my heroes at the game, especially one pocket,
Watching his genius over the years has been a real
privilege.

Strickland is an animal at rotation, as is Shane. Deuel is super crafty at one pocket (have you seen the efren/deuel match DCC 2005...? Deuel played brilliantly (and lost).

There could be a legitimate 50 players as good as efren throughout the history of time humans existed. If they did so before video cameras (let alone, pool tables), it's irrelevant to our lives.

On top however, of all his executional skill and genius -- he's a very fast player who might be the most gracious loser and winner I've ever seen. The part that's amazing is that it isn't PR, it's his character. And he plays for the pride of his country, not himself (if I may be so bold as to throw that opinion in).
 

JoeyInCali

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Efren is the best player I have ever seen.

Watching Efren play Jason Miller in the One Pocket finals of the DCC and beat him 3-0 in less than 45 minutes.

It was like watching Secretariat at Belmont, IMO.

It was by far the most amazing exhibition in pool, I have ever seen and nothing is even close.

If you haven't seen it, you really need to rent, buy or beg for a copy of it.

Best of rolls,

Ken

I wish that's on video.
The best of Efren that I saw was back in '95 at Hard Times.
He was giving a local player , Jerry Brunsetter, the 5 and the breaks ( 9 ball ).
They went hill-hill the first set.
Doubled up on the second set.
Jerry got on the hill the next set with Efren needing 3 racks.
3 dry breaks in a row for Jerry, and Efren won all three games.
The crowd applauded after Efren mythodically ran the last rack.

There's a video of Efren beating the Professor at HT.
Great 1-hole money match. That's where you probably would see Efren at his best 1-hole game. I had the video one time but returned it.
 
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