The Ten Greatest Players Of All Time

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love Ronnie but the only top ten he belongs in is One Pocket. I like how the author spelled his name Ronnie Ellen. ;)

Fats may have been the most famous pool player of his era but he was certainly not the best. He was only the best talker!

Here's my top eleven of all time in no particular order. Expanded to twelve now.

Efren Reyes
Willie Mosconi
Ralph Greenleaf
Harold Worst
Luther Lassiter
Jose Parica
Rags Fitzpatrick
Mike Sigel
Earl Strickland
Steve Mizerak
Buddy Hall
Nick Varner
 
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dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
FYI, what AZB thinks about this was explored fairly well in this thread:

Consensus "Greatest of All Time" (GOAT) List

Enjoy,
Dave
FYI, here is what we came up with after much voting:

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
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love Ronnie but the only top ten he belongs in is One Pocket. I like how the author spelled his name Ronnie Ellen. ;)

Fats may have been the most famous pool player of his era but he was certainly not the best. He was only the best talker!

Here's my top eleven of all time in no particular order. Expanded to twelve now.

Efren Reyes
Willie Mosconi
Ralph Greenleaf
Harold Worst
Luther Lassiter
Jose Parica
Rags Fitzpatrick
Mike Sigel
Earl Strickland
Steve Mizerak
Buddy Hall
Nick Varner

Your list looks good.
Didn't see my name on the list but I've always been under the radar. Way under.
But Rags Fitzpatrick?
Can you explain why?
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
I love Ronnie but the only top ten he belongs in is One Pocket. I like how the author spelled his name Ronnie Ellen. ;)

Fats may have been the most famous pool player of his era but he was certainly not the best. He was only the best talker!

Here's my top eleven of all time in no particular order. Expanded to twelve now.

Efren Reyes
Willie Mosconi
Ralph Greenleaf
Harold Worst
Luther Lassiter
Jose Parica
Rags Fitzpatrick
Mike Sigel
Earl Strickland
Steve Mizerak
Buddy Hall
Nick Varner

Aren't you one of the people who say today's players are better than yesteryears? But your newest player's prime ended in the 1990's...
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
I love Ronnie but the only top ten he belongs in is One Pocket. I like how the author spelled his name Ronnie Ellen. ;)

Fats may have been the most famous pool player of his era but he was certainly not the best. He was only the best talker!

Here's my top eleven of all time in no particular order. Expanded to twelve now.

Efren Reyes
Willie Mosconi
Ralph Greenleaf
Harold Worst
Luther Lassiter
Jose Parica
Rags Fitzpatrick
Mike Sigel
Earl Strickland
Steve Mizerak
Buddy Hall
Nick Varner

Pretty close to my list, Jay.

1. Efren Reyes
2. Willie Mosconi
3. Ralph Greenleaf
4. Mike Sigel
5. Luther Lassiter
6. Nick Varner
7. Irving Crane
8. Steve Mizerak
9. Earl Strickland
10. Ralf Souquet

I just don't know enough about guys like Harold Worst and Eddie Kelly, but I know they merit consideration. Also, so many old timers, including the great Eddie Taylor, said that Rags Fitzpatrick was the best they ever saw.
 
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Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
And, as always, it's important to note that this list has only slight consideration of history by including Greenleaf. (Did anyone here see Greenleaf play?) Why is Alfredo de Oro not on the list? Simple -- few people here have ever heard of him. Going by his dominance during his long career, he deserves to be here.

Maybe "Of All Time" needs an asterisk with the note: * last 80 years
 

wrldpro

H.RUN 311/Diamond W.R.
Silver Member
Once again someone creates a list that not only makes no sense and is completely stupid. If anyone else wants to make a list they should post a more detailed list. What does greatest actually mean?
Greatest to me would have to mean all around players not just 1 or 2 games and also could include money games as well. Combine all of these games together then list your top ten. This makes the most sense to me and anybody with a brain. Lol
9 ball
8 ball
Straight pool
1 pocket
Action games
Banks, 3 cushion and snooker probably don’t need to be included
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Once again someone creates a list that not only makes no sense and is completely stupid. If anyone else wants to make a list they should post a more detailed list. What does greatest actually mean?
Greatest to me would have to mean all around players not just 1 or 2 games and also could include money games as well. Combine all of these games together then list your top ten. This makes the most sense to me and anybody with a brain. Lol
9 ball
8 ball
Straight pool
1 pocket
Action games
Banks, 3 cushion and snooker probably don’t need to be included

I don't think all around needs to be a criteria for greatest. What if for example there were a period of 30 years where the top players only competed in one game? Then for that era, only that game should be considered. I'd say whatever the main game (or two) per generation was, should be the one considered to determine who is the best. In the straight pool era for example, who cares who the best 1 pocket player was. The best was determined by straight pool.
 

Tin Man

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
When Jay and Stu agree I am prepared to be educated, but I was surprised to see this.

Both lists above have a lot of players from '75-'95 (Efren, Earl, Buddy, Miz, Parica, Varner, Sigel). And they include none of the greats after 2000. Were those years really so tough that the 7th best player from then could beat the best from the last 20 years? Has pool gotten worse in the last 25 years?

I'm skeptical. If we go by dominance over peers then certainly, there is no way anyone can dominate today given the depth of talent internationally. But I just struggle to see how the Miz beats out SVB for example, both in play and in resume.

No worries. Many ways to keep score. I'd really love to hear more about the Miz and why he's on the list. I have his book and know his resume. But for those who saw him play I'd love to hear more about him. I've seen his youtube videos and some of his accu-stats but wasn't around at tournaments to really be in the know.
 

pwd72s

recreational banger
Silver Member
I think lists are fun. Great way to assure a thread will go on for page after page. :thumbup:
 

westcoast

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I'm not the biggest SVB fan but I think he has to be on any top 10 list. He may be the greatest 9 and 10 ball player ever. He has an argument that's for sure.
 

sjm

Sweating it at Derby City
Silver Member
When Jay and Stu agree I am prepared to be educated, but I was surprised to see this.

Both lists above have a lot of players from '75-'95 (Efren, Earl, Buddy, Miz, Parica, Varner, Sigel). And they include none of the greats after 2000. Were those years really so tough that the 7th best player from then could beat the best from the last 20 years? Has pool gotten worse in the last 25 years?

I'm skeptical. If we go by dominance over peers then certainly, there is no way anyone can dominate today given the depth of talent internationally. But I just struggle to see how the Miz beats out SVB for example, both in play and in resume.

No worries. Many ways to keep score. I'd really love to hear more about the Miz and why he's on the list. I have his book and know his resume. But for those who saw him play I'd love to hear more about him. I've seen his youtube videos and some of his accu-stats but wasn't around at tournaments to really be in the know.

Shane was my #11 and Alex Pagulayan my #12. I think the players of the recent past are still putting their career resumes together and some of them may qualify for this list very soon. Shane may crack the top 5 before he's hung up his cue.

Agreed that comparing someone like Mizerak to Shane is a difficult task, but Mizerak was about the scariest opponent you could draw in the straight pool era (post Mosconi/Greenleaf/Crane, of course), and that's including Sigel. Steve owned Sigel early in their careers, but Mike's game eventually passed Steve's. That said, Steve won four consecutive US Open 14.1 events, each of which probably had almost twenty future hall of famers in the field, and that's among the greatest accomplishments in the history of our sport.

Of course, how you size it all up is arguable. It's no secret in my case that I don't weigh action matches in evidence when it comes to polls like these, otherwise, like Jay, I put Jose Parica on my list. Jose, at his best, was, in my opinion, even more feared than Shane as an action player, but if action counts, they both belong in the top 10. To me, however, greatness is measured in titles.

The difficulty of comparing players across eras is something we often touch upon on the forum, and this kind of thread highlights the difficulty. Finally, I don't think the matter of whether players as a group have improved is relevant here. A player's greatness can only be measured by his performance against his peers/contemporaries.
 
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ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
hard to judge someone on five or even ten years

Until a person's peak years are behind them it is pretty hard to rate them fairly. Some people win one big event or even set the world on fire for a year or two and they are done. To be on the greatest of all time list requires durability along with other things.

Newer players are missing but so are those that were before the times of the forum members. Greatest lists end up being the best known and popular lists.

I have never seen Captain François Mingaud on any of these lists.

Hu
 

ChrisinNC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I love Ronnie but the only top ten he belongs in is One Pocket. I like how the author spelled his name Ronnie Ellen. ;)

Fats may have been the most famous pool player of his era but he was certainly not the best. He was only the best talker!

Here's my top eleven of all time in no particular order. Expanded to twelve now.

Efren Reyes
Willie Mosconi
Ralph Greenleaf
Harold Worst
Luther Lassiter
Jose Parica
Rags Fitzpatrick
Mike Sigel
Earl Strickland
Steve Mizerak
Buddy Hall
Nick Varner
Jay, no current players under 59 (Strickland) on that list?
 
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