Who was the one pool player that you learned the most from watching them play?


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
When you watch a player play a great match and you learned a lot from watching the match. Who was the player that you learned the most from watching them play a match? Did I say that right? Thanks for your input. Which player do you like to watch the most?

“Who was the one pool player that you learned the most from watching them play?”

I can’t pinpoint the ‘one’ pool player that I learned the most from by watching them play. I feel like that I learned something from almost every match that I’ve watched…and still do. Now mind you that not everything observed have to be ‘positive’ for myself! For example: picking up flaws in individuals’ fundamentals and its effects on their game can be turned around in my mind as something not to do. This also applies to pattern and safety play.
I’ve been fortunate enough to watch players like Balsis, Lassiter, Murphy, etc through the current batch of SVB, Moore, and so on. And of course many local players from CA to MA (and yes, LA: where I met and hit some balls with Blackie). I’ve learned from them all.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For me it's a tie between Hall and Reyes in the overall category. Honorable mentions to Archer and Deuel for their rotation play, Brumback and Daulton for banks, and Varner for squeezing and grinding.



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Jeremy Jones, Gabby, David G, javier Franco

No particular order. That was then.

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Burn all jump cues
Silver Member
In the early years it was Chris McDonald. Later it was Buddy Hall and Steve Cook. Johnnyt


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
George Rood was a great player & a fine gentleman.

I spent several days with George Rood & Todd Rescher, at Airway Billiards in Dayton, OH.

I got a lifetime of learning in one week.


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Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
nameless old gentlemen of the game

The first people I learned from watching were the old gentlemen that cut their teeth playing straight pool on five by tens. Watching them and copying their style moved me from bar room banger to bar room winner and I played to a pretty decent level, C, maybe lower B.

Then while I rarely saw him play, a gentleman of the game offered me a few minutes advice most trips I made to his pool hall, a daily occurance. This definitely kicked my game up a notch or three.

Then I watched video of Willie Mosconi from probably the early sixties. He was playing well even for Willie that day and I don't think there was ever more than two feet between the cue ball and object ball or object ball and pocket. He never pocketed a ball any bar room banger couldn't have pocketed. He was nudging and bumping as needed and he had perfect control of the cue ball. He came into shooting lanes at a right angle when a half inch out of position would have meant no shot. I realized I was seeing pure magic and spent the next two or three years trying to attain that level of cue ball control. It wasn't until I had seen Mr. Mosconi play many more times that I realized that had been a pretty special day for him too.

Just knowing it was physically possible and chasing the goal of matching Mr. Mosconi's level of cue ball control brought my level of cue ball control far above that of almost anyone I played with. The competition mostly wasn't very good back in that day and a major use of cue ball control was to keep them losing a lot longer than they should have. I "accidentally" hooked myself at the end of a lot of runs and other times I got a lucky roll and "accidental" safety when I "missed".

Efren showed some magic on the 2006 Accu-Stat DVD's of the Derby one-pocket too. Too late for me to try to copy and in truth too far from my favored style. However he also brought me to a new understanding of what was possible on a pool table.

A bit off topic but I always thought it best to try to emulate the best in the form of competition I was pursuing. If you try to copy the local winner and fall short you haven't went very far. Try to copy the very best and fall short and you still may have achieved a great deal. I always try to learn from the very best even if it is just by watching. I never mind trying to help other people because then I am only raising them one small rung up the ladder at most! :grin:



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Wow, what a story, and what a grand ole grand dad you had

That would be my Grandfather, Hezekiah Steamer.
On Saturday afternoons he'd tell my mom he was taking me to the zoo. Just as soon as we were out of sight, however, we'd head straight for Big Bob's Bar and Billiards, down on fourteenth street. Grandpa called it Big Bob's.
What a great way to spend a day. I'd sit there for hours watching Gramps play One Pocket, while sipping on a Pepsi and eating peanuts.
One time Grampa was playing a fellow from out of town. While attempting a tight shot out of the stack the guy double hits the cue ball, and doesn't say anything. Well, my Grandfather, being the stickler about the rules of One Pocket that he was, called him on it. The guy immediately takes offense at being called a cheat, draws his gun, and shoots Gramps in the foot. He then beats a hasty retreat out to his car and speeds off.
We wrap a bandage around Grandpa's injured foot, and limp off for home.
As we're walking up the sidewalk to my house my mom is standing on the porch waiting for us. She sees the blood soaked bandage on his foot and asks what happened.
My Grandfather says, "Well, it's like this. We were at the zoo watching this animal trainer give an enema to an elephant when all of a sudden the great beast shit's down the man's arm and stampedes through the crowd, stepping on my foot as it runs by."
"Do you want me to take you to the hospital?" Asks my mom.
"No," says Grandpa, "but you might keep an eye for that elephant. It'll be the one with a garden hose coming out it's ass."
I sure miss those trips to the zoo. :smile:

Tramp Steamer

One Pocket enthusiast.
Silver Member
Wow, what a story, and what a grand ole grand dad you had

Indeed he was, Hungarian, my friend.
Sadly, he died only a few weeks after this incident occurred. His foot became infected, gangrene set in and he passed away.
I'll never forget the last thing he said to me just before he died. He said, "Son, even if it takes the rest of your life, get that f...ing elephant." :smile:


A few years ago, a player from out of town was here for our regional BCA tournament. I played in a mini and drew him. He was an excellent shot and just when I thought he was going to run the rack, he played a lock-up safe. The only ball I could see was what I was locked to and his 2 or 3 remaining balls weren't likely to be left hard to make even if I had a chance.. that was a brutally effective safety and I've used it myself since with similar results. Somebody said he had just won a decent Wisconsin tournament or something back then, can't quite remember. Trying to think of the name.. Arlo? Think I saw him a couple years after that and he said he hadn't been playing much and his game had suffered a little.

Not too much that stands out otherwise when you play in a bar without high competition.


Silver Member
I learned a lot about pool by playing and watching these two snooker champions - Steve Davis and Ronnie O'Sullivan - I like their technique for shot making better than the conventional pool stance and head position. I've incorporated this into my own personal game and so is Earl Stickland now. CLICK PICTURE FOR EXAMPLE:

Thought I'd bump this to the bottom. I have been playing pool with a snooker type stance & head position for more than forty(4) years. IMHO It is better for accuarcy. Snooker has small balls & rounded pockets on an BIG table. Why do they use that stance & that head position?


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Nick Varner, Buddy Hall and Max Eberle. These players are all very deliberate and their mechanics are flawless.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Landon Shuffett (vs Earl) on the 10ft in Tunica. I don't recall him once have to reach across the table.

I prefer to watch older matches online (late 80's/early 90's) to watch the pros playing simple patterns. None of the fancy stuff, like today.


AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Johnny Archer. he never seems to shoot a hard shot when he's on his game. simple shots with simple cue control to the next simple shot...


Silver Member
In my early years, Willie Mosconi, Irvine Crane and Luther Lassiter.

Mid years, Buddy Hall, Mike Segal and Nick Varner.



AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Neptune Joe Frady from New Jersey. I played a lot of pool with him and watched him a lot. This guy could play.


"Lock Doctor"
Silver Member
When you watch a player play a great match and you learned a lot from watching the match. Who was the player that you learned the most from watching them play a match? Did I say that right? Thanks for your input. Which player do you like to watch the most?
Many Regards,
Lock N Load.

Howard Barrett. I watched that old man play in the Weekly $5 9-ball event in his 80's sometimes wheeling around oxygen. What I learned from him was his never give up attitude. 80+ years young and still cashing in the tourneys and they weren't handicapped tourneys either.

Howard would also sweat one hole matches with me and tell me what moves and shots the players would take before they took them. He taught me a lot about the game and myself and I miss him dearly.