Nick Varner

shooter_Hans

Well-known member
I think that with Nick it was simply a love of the game and a belief that he had enough talent to follow his number one passion rather than take a desk job somewhere after college. Mizerak eventually gave up an academically trained vocation for full time pool as well. Going to any high level pool events would have been a natural step for Nick once he made his decision.
Yea he won back to back collegiate titles so that was basically his calling. A lot of professional become professionals. We can say he went to college to become a pool player. LOL

Here are the winners on the collegiate level and I don't recognize any of the names except Nick and Max Eberle. I wonder if any of the winners went on to play professionally.

Looks like Lindenwood University breeds pool players. Got to watch out for those junior college players. We know they spent more of their time at poolhalls than the classroom. LOL

 
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kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
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I think that with Nick it was simply a love of the game and a belief that he had enough talent to follow his number one passion rather than take a desk job somewhere after college. Mizerak eventually gave up an academically trained vocation for full time pool as well. Going to any high level pool events would have been a natural step for Nick once he made his decision.

Thanks and that makes sense. Nick played well in some event, Warbucks spotted his talent and then hauled him to Johnson City.
 

white1

AzB Silver Member
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I can't say that Nick Varner is absolutely the greatest of all time. But he is MY favorite of all time. Every teenager needs a hero that inspires them daily and drives them to be their best. Nick did that for me. Happy Birthday Nick!
Can you say that he is the best all around player ever from America ? All around is the key phrase….if not, then who? Shane has never proven himself at straight pool…
 

AtLarge

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Can you say that he is the best all around player ever from America ? All around is the key phrase….if not, then who? Shane has never proven himself at straight pool…
Shane has at least a couple of 14.1 titles: U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship and "World" 14.1 Championship, both in 2019. But neither event was the premier 14.1 event of the year; that honor went to the American Straight Pool Championship, which Shane did not enter.
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
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Varner’s list of titles is way large than the worst list…way larger

Worst only played pool for a couple years before he died. His focus was largely 3C so it's hard to directly compare him with those who were around for decades. His playing was also interrupted by service in the Korean warn (digging graves).

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bbb

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Worst only played pool for a couple years before he died. His focus was largely 3C so it's hard to directly compare him with those who were around for decades. His playing was also interrupted by service in the Korean warn (digging graves).

View attachment 758453
from wikipedia
Harold John Worst (1929 – June 16, 1966) was an American three-cushion billiards champion. He won the World Three-Cushion Championship four times, his first in Argentina in 1954, the youngest player to ever win the tournament, at the age of 24. Also he was equally skilled at pocket billiards and Worst dominated play to win the All-Around titles in both the 1965 Johnston City Championship and the 1965 Stardust Open championships. Two months before Worst died he competed in the 1966 World Straight Pool Championship, although severely ill he finished 4th. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1970.[1]
He died in Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Lymphoma. He spent his life in Grand Rapids and he was 37 years old when he died.[2]
................................
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champion at 3 cushion
winner of the all around in johnston city and stardust open against the best in the country
and 4th in the world straight pool against the best right before he died
and most of the best ducked him to gamble
what more do you want?
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
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from wikipedia
Harold John Worst (1929 – June 16, 1966) was an American three-cushion billiards champion. He won the World Three-Cushion Championship four times, his first in Argentina in 1954, the youngest player to ever win the tournament, at the age of 24. Also he was equally skilled at pocket billiards and Worst dominated play to win the All-Around titles in both the 1965 Johnston City Championship and the 1965 Stardust Open championships. Two months before Worst died he competed in the 1966 World Straight Pool Championship, although severely ill he finished 4th. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1970.[1]
He died in Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Lymphoma. He spent his life in Grand Rapids and he was 37 years old when he died.[2]
................................
......................................
champion at 3 cushion
winner of the all around in johnston city and stardust open against the best in the country
and 4th in the world straight pool against the best right before he died
and most of the best ducked him to gamble
what more do you want?
here is ronnie allen's take on it
 

bbb

AzB Gold Member
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Can you say that he is the best all around player ever from America ? All around is the key phrase….if not, then who? Shane has never proven himself at straight pool…
i feel bad to hijack a thread on nick varner as he deserves all the accolades bestowed on him
but i answered post #23 as honestly as i could
 

white1

AzB Silver Member
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from wikipedia
Harold John Worst (1929 – June 16, 1966) was an American three-cushion billiards champion. He won the World Three-Cushion Championship four times, his first in Argentina in 1954, the youngest player to ever win the tournament, at the age of 24. Also he was equally skilled at pocket billiards and Worst dominated play to win the All-Around titles in both the 1965 Johnston City Championship and the 1965 Stardust Open championships. Two months before Worst died he competed in the 1966 World Straight Pool Championship, although severely ill he finished 4th. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1970.[1]
He died in Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Lymphoma. He spent his life in Grand Rapids and he was 37 years old when he died.[2]
................................
......................................
champion at 3 cushion
winner of the all around in johnston city and stardust open against the best in the country
and 4th in the world straight pool against the best right before he died
and most of the best ducked him to gamble
what more do you want?
My last reply. This thread is about Nick. It is impossible to declare someone the greatest ever American all around without the test of time to prove it. Unfortunately he passed too soon. Could have very well became the greatest all around, yet not worth arguing over. Peace.
 

BasementDweller

AzB Silver Member
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Nick's my all-time favorite player too. I still get enjoyment out of watching his old matches. Greatest all-around American of all time? Hard to argue with that.

Fun fact: Balls pocketed all time, Nick Varner vs BasementDweller

Nick Varner: 0
BasementDweller: 32

😀

Happy Birthday Mr. Varner.
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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here is ronnie allen's take on it
Ronnie got some of his facts confused but I whole heartedly agree with him. I like at the end where Ronnie, a hardcore hustler, calls Harold a man with style and class. All the hustlers respected Worst and you never heard a bad word about him. He was a true gentleman off the table and a monster on it. Ronnie got it wrong about Worst playing snooker though. I saw him play and beat Cornbread in the finals of the 1963 Michigan State Championships snooker division. It was a great match and they both played lights out. Cornbread did beat him in the One Pocket finals later. I think Harold won the 9-Ball division as well, also against Red. They wouldn't let him play in the Three Cushions, claiming he didn't have time to play in all four divisions. Some people told me if they had let him play no one else would even bother to enter!
 

jtompilot

AzB Silver Member
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View attachment 758352
For those unfamiliar with the man. Here is the man’s accomplishment. The longevity is amazing.

  • 1969 ACUI Collegiate National Championship
  • 1970 ACUI Collegiate National Championship
  • 1974 Midwest Open 9-Ball
  • 1975 Kentucky Open 14.1 Championship
  • 1975 Texas Open 14.1 Championship
  • 1976 Rockford 14.1 Championship
  • 1976 Midwest Open 9-Ball
  • 1979 Lexington All-Star Tournament
  • 1980 PPPA World Straight Pool Championship
  • 1980 Kentucky Open 9-Ball
  • 1980 BCA National 8-Ball Tournament
  • 1980 Illinois Open 9-Ball
  • 1980 Billiards Digest Players of the Year
  • 1981 Kentucky Open 9-Ball
  • 1982 ABC Sports9-Ball Invitational
  • 1982 Kentucky Open 9-Ball
  • 1982 Bowling Green Open Bank Pool
  • 1982 Prestonburg Open 9-Ball
  • 1982 Owensboro Open 9-Ball
  • 1982 National Billiard News Player of the Year
  • 1983 San Jose Open 9-Ball
  • 1983 Kentucky Open 9-Ball
  • 1983 National Open 9-Ball
  • 1983 Fresno Open 9-Ball
  • 1983 Midwest Open 9-Ball
  • 1983 McDermott Masters 9-Ball Championship
  • 1984 Kentucky Open 9-Ball
  • 1984 Tennessee State 9-Ball
  • 1985 Chattanooga Open 9-Ball
  • 1985 Tennessee State 9-Ball
  • 1985 Zurich Open 9-Ball
  • 1986 PPPA World Straight Pool Championship
  • 1986 Charlotte Open 9-Ball
  • 1986 Sacramento Open 9-Ball
  • 1986 Midwest Open 9-Ball
  • 1987 McDermott Masters 9-Ball Championship
  • 1988 Glass City Open 9-Ball
  • 1988 Scranton Invitational 9-Ball
  • 1988 Tennessee Open 9-Ball
  • 1988 Sands Regency 9-Ball Open
  • 1989 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
  • 1989 Rak'em Up 9-Ball Classic
  • 1989 Knoxville 9-Ball Open
  • 1989 PBA World 9-Ball Championship
  • 1989 Governors Cup 9-Ball
  • 1989 Glass City Open 9-Ball
  • 1989 Sands Regency 9-Ball Open
  • 1989 Golden 8-Ball Invitational
  • 1989 Scranton Open 9-Ball
  • 1989 Lexington All-Star 9-Ball
  • 1989 Akron Open 9-Ball
  • 1989 Billiards Digest Players of the Year
  • 1990 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
  • 1990 Al Romero Classic 9-Ball
  • 1990 West End All-Around Shoot Out
  • 1990 Challenge Match Race to 60 vs. (Efren Reyes)
  • 1990 Philippine 9-Ball Series
  • 1991 Rak'M Up Classic 9-Ball
  • 1991 Billiards Digest Best 9-Ball Player
  • 1991 Billiards Digest Best All-Around Player
  • 1991 PBA Sportsperson of the Year
  • 1992 International One Pocket Championship
  • 1992 Super Bowl 9-Ball Open
  • 1992 Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame
  • 1993 Lexington All-Star 9-Ball
  • 1994 International Challenge of Champions
  • 1994 PBT SeaGateEight-ball Championship
  • 1994 Lexington All-Star 9-Ball
  • 1994 Billiards Digest Players of the Year
  • 1996 Sands Regency 9-Ball Open
  • 1996 Roanoke One Pocket
  • 1997 Mosconi Cup
  • 1997 Music City 9-Ball Open
  • 1997 Sands Regency 9-Ball Open
  • 1998 Music City 9-Ball Open
  • 1998 Mosconi Cup
  • 1999 WPA World Nine-ball Championship
  • 1999 Derby City ClassicBank Pool
  • 1999 Senior Tour Tulsa 9-Ball
  • 1999 Senior Tour Player of the Year
  • 1999 Billiards Digest 6th Greatest Living Player of the Century
  • 2000 Derby City ClassicOne Pocket
  • 2000 Music City Classic
  • 2000 Senior Masters 9-Ball Championship
  • 2000 Legends of One-Pocket Championship
  • 2001 Superman Classic 9-Ball Tournament
  • 2001 Mosconi Cup
  • 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour CM's Place
  • 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour Kiss Shot Billiards
  • 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour Capone's Billiards
  • 2001 Sunshine State One Pocekt Tour Sharp Shooters
  • 2001 Hard Times One Pocket
  • 2002 Border Battle, Team USA Vs Team Canada
  • 2002 Jacksonville 9-Ball Open
  • 2002 Glass City Open 9-Ball
  • 2002 Music City Classic
  • 2003 Seminole Pro Tour
  • 2004 Border Battle, Team USA VS Team Canada
  • 2005 One Pocket Hall of Fame
  • 2007 Great Southern 9-Ball Tour
  • 2011 Bank Pool Hall of Fame
List is missing 2000 world one pocket championship
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
Nick is the best all-around player in US History, narrowly edging Sigel, Lassiter and SVB. Nick has won a world title in each of 9-ball, straight pool, banks, 8-ball and 1-pocket. He is also a perfect gentleman that brings positive attention to our sport.

Happy birthday Nick.
Nick is and was one of the all time great pool players in the USA. It's a close call between him and Sigel for the best all-around player though. Here's the way I saw it. At 9-Ball Sigel had a slight edge winning more tournaments overall. At Bank Pool it was probably a toss up, they both played great Banks. At One Pocket, as good as Nick was, Sigel had his number. At Straight Pool, again Nick was one of the best, but I rate him only top five, behind the Miz and Sigel and even with Hopkins and Rempe. JMHO as always. Respect!

Meanwhile I place Harold Worst on a pedestal all by himself, where he belongs. He was a champion at any and all pool games, snooker and billiards! You want to talk about great all-around players, you can go no further. Even Efren is no match for what Worst achieved in his short life. If he had lived he would have set records that could never be matched. He had just started beating everybody at every game!

P.S. Like Worst, Nick was always a high class individual and got nothing but respect from everyone! He was and is a gentle and kind soul off the table and a ferocious opponent on it. Nick never had any quit in him!
 
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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Stu, I’ve always liked how Nick went from a student a Purdue to running around with Daddy Warbucks and Johnson City. Do you know the story behind that switch?
There was no switch. Nick's dad was a long time friend of Daddy Warbucks. His father knew his way around the gambling world too, being a good mentor for his son.
 

wahcheck

AzB Silver Member
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Okay, I just thought I've throw in my 2 cents about Nick Varner. If I'm not mistaken, he once went to the Philppines and beat Efren in some head to head match. When Efren was asked why he couldn't beat Nick, he said, "He never missed." LOL Also, I remember him showing up at Executive Billiards in Redwood City, CA a couple times. I think he was friends with the owner, Dee Hulse, and also another acquaintance of mine, and he was always down to earth and unpretentious.
 
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