what are the all-time greatest pool matches?

Black-Balled

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I think it's interesting and potentially revealing about pool, considering what makes the sport at the highest level, "great."
!

What is 'interesting and potentially revealing'?

That's an incomplete thought.

You piqued interest...out with it!?
 

jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
Gold Member
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Best match I ever saw was one that somehow Pat Fleming missed recording while on his dinner break:

1998 U.S. Open Hot Seat match between Buddy Hall and Tang Hoa. At 9-9 Tang failed to hit a rail, but the ref didn't call it, leaving Buddy a fraction of an inch from the rail, jacked up with no easy shot and no way to play safe.

Buddy studied it for a good 2 or 3 minutes, then calmly jacked up and made a great short rail bank into the far corner pocket. He then finished off the rack and broke and ran the next game to close out the set.

They met again in the finals, but after Tang jumped out to an early lead, Buddy took control and won by something like 13 to 5. ACCU-STATS got that one, but they missed the far better match that had preceded it. I'm glad I was there to see it in person.

I was Tang's backer in that tourney and he played fantastic to reach the hot seat, beating some real strong players (Rempe, Alex) along the way. He put a scare into Buddy and when they played in the finals (one set) Buddy agreed to a "saver" for 4K. First became 21K and now second paid 16.5. Tang was spent and I knew it (he had to beat Mika to get back into the finals), so I quickly agreed to the deal. We also picked up another 2K in the calcutta (we got half of the 4K for second). The 18.5 payday was the biggest of Tang's tournament career, although he made a much bigger score (over 40K!) down South playing Flyboy One Pocket. Tang also finished second to Efren in the One Pocket at DCC the following year. Tang is still the only player who has won both events (One Pocket and 9-Ball) in the Hard Times Jamboree that was held annually for many years. That tournament attracted the top talent on the West Coast and all the Filipino champions played in it! The man could play!
 
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jay helfert

Shoot Pool, not people
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Mine would also include the HK Challenge (Color of Money, Earl vs Efren race to 120, etc...)

There is a Nick Varner vs Mike Sigel match that I think was nicknamed "the corner ball match". Don't remember the exact AccuStats video it's in. Nick made some great shots after Mike went ahead by a bunch of games.

Medina basically running out the set on Incordona (I think he set the tournament run out record then).

For a "modern" classic, the first TAR SVB vs Duel 10 ball is great, commentary with the people talking about SVB in his early breaking through to next level days was neat to listen to.

If the Sigel-Varner match was the final of the U.S. Open, then it had the craziest finish I ever saw. You'd have to watch the hill-hill game to believe what happened.

Danny ran eight racks on Billy! Every time he broke the cue ball went straight up in the air about two feet after hitting the one ball. Then it came down and just squatted right there. Yep, I was backing him too! :thumbup:
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
If the Sigel-Varner match was the final of the U.S. Open, then it had the craziest finish I ever saw. You'd have to watch the hill-hill game to believe what happened.

Danny ran eight racks on Billy! Every time he broke the cue ball went straight up in the air about two feet after hitting the one ball. Then it came down and just squatted right there. Yep, I was backing him too! :thumbup:

I think the Medina run was also a player review with Incardona doing the commentating with Grady. Always loved the Player Review tapes, some of the best instruction you can get, maybe even better than actual instruction videos when it comes to actual play and strategy.

I am not sure if that was the final or not, but my memory is telling me when Sigel was on the hill, and Varner needed 3 or so racks to go and was breaking, Sigel told Varner he'd make it hill hill now if he would let Sigel break LOL That was not the final game you were talking about though, but yes I remember the end of that match also (without giving away spoilers, hoping no-one just blurts it out LOL).

While I appreciate the current stream/video quality, the commentary was better 10-20-30 years ago. Grady, Buddy, Nick, Billy, you Jay, a few others in the booth as guests like Earl, just great listening to them all. A lot of times I get caught up in the commentary and realize I don't remember the last 3 racks the players played LOL
 
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terryhanna

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The Lion Alex Pagulayan vs The Freezer Scott Frost One Pocket match in Vegas few years back very well might be the best one pocket match ever caught on video.

This match took 5 days to finish and was a flat all out war.

After four days and close to 50 hours of play they were dead even :eek:

fight_night_14 -web 1.jpg
 

Runner

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Honorable mention:

Earl running 9 racks and out on Varner, Reno I think,

Kimmer coming back from 10-3, ran out the set 11-10
on Archer.
 

hang-the-9

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Almost forgot, the Wu match when he was 16, I think against Ko, in the World Championship finals. I remember Corey Deuel saying that it was the greatest thing in pool he has seen.
 

poolnoob

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Almost forgot, the Wu match when he was 16, I think against Ko, in the World Championship finals. I remember Corey Deuel saying that it was the greatest thing in pool he has seen.
His opponent was Kuo Po Cheng. Not related to Ko brothers.

Sent from my Hi9Air using Tapatalk
 

Ken_4fun

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Efren vs Jason Miller - One Pocket Finals at DCC.

Jason Miller was killing giants the entire tournament, I had not seen him play much before, but you could tell he was something special. Played all games well including 9 ball, banks and one pocket. He was definitely "on" or "instroke".

Efren absolutely dominated the match, Jason hardly got a shot, and Efren beat him 3 straight games in less than 45 minutes. It was the best one pocket I have ever seen, bar none (and I have seen years and years of playing).

Second, is the bank ring game won by Skyler Woodward.

Ken
 

Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Shannon v. Reyes @southern classic.

Did you mean Shannon vs Ryan Stone @Southern Classic 2012. That was a real nail-biter, with the Cannon needing one ball to win 3-0 and jamming a straight-in shot to go on to lose 3-2.

A couple of other great one pocket matches off the cuff:
- Shannon v Reyes 1998 Legends - one of the very few weakness moments on great Efren's part.
- J.Fusco v Nick Varner @ QF of 1991 Legends (the second one held in Philly) - this one is probably my favourite, with Jimmy doing an after-the-match commentary alongside Grady, trying to recall the shots and giving insights as to why he preferred to shoot a particular shot. I have this match on 2 VHS tapes but I think it was also released on DVD. You may need to ask around this forum and onepocket.org as Pat has taken it off sale years ago.
- any match with Steve Cook, really. His 1991 LOP match with Jose Parica (from the first LOP tourney held in Columbia SC) was a clear showcase of class and dominance. Steve held Jose to 6 balls in 5 racks! His 1991 LOP finals against Mizerak (Philly style) was also very good - some unusual but effective shot selections there. They man clearly saw the shots that others didn't. So sad he passed on way before his time at the age of 56.
- Hall/Dobrowolski from 1995 Roanoke also springs to mind for its great after-the-match player review commentary from Buddy and Steve.
- Reyes/Smith from 2015 Accu-Stats Invitational (the first one, not the finals) is an absolute belter. Billy called it the best one-pocket he has ever seen!
- I also agree with the other people recommending Reyes/Pagulayan and Reyes/Miller from 2006 DCC. This is a must see for any one-pocket fan.
 
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Ratamon

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It looks like no one mentioned Archer/Rempe from the 14th SRO so I will :). Buddy and Keith are in the booth. That match is clearly in top 5 (or even 3) 9-ball matches for me! Both guys shoot close to 950 and it goes all the way.
 

Keith Jawahir

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The first time Earl and SVB played race to 100 on 10 footer. The events leading up to Earl wearing earmuffs. The gear Earl caught the next day was unbelievable. He made that 10 footer look like a bar table.

To this day, this is still my favorite match of all time. Earl played like GOD on that table.
 

Cardigan Kid

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The first time Earl and SVB played race to 100 on 10 footer. The events leading up to Earl wearing earmuffs. The gear Earl caught the next day was unbelievable. He made that 10 footer look like a bar table.

Was this the one at Steinway billiards...where the crowd is going nuts over a safety battle that earl keeps kicking out of and he goes and gets his ear muffs....

https://youtu.be/ifh9eavcGmk

I just recently got this exact 10 foot table, rails are still at earl's specs and it is tough.
 

SCCues

< Searing Twins
Silver Member
Best 9 ball matches

Mine would also include the HK Challenge (Color of Money, Earl vs Efren race to 120, etc...)

There is a Nick Varner vs Mike Sigel match that I think was nicknamed "the corner ball match". Don't remember the exact AccuStats video it's in. Nick made some great shots after Mike went ahead by a bunch of games.

I was going to mention the Sigel vs Varner match at the US Open also. It’s an old video and I’m not sure it’s still available from AccuStats anymore.
Sigel was ahead 9-2 and Nick ended up corner hooked. Nick calmly kicked two balls in and proceeded to come back and beat Mike 11-10. The commentary was Mathews and Buddy Hall. This match is one of my all time favorites.
 
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