One of the most fashionable and sophisticated indoor games in the world is pool, sometimes known as pocket billiards in North America and even pool billiards in Australia and Europe. It is a member of the family of cue games and sports. Additionally, some of the top pool players gain not only notoriety but also substantial wealth.
This game, which can be played with eight or nine balls, is played on a pool table with six pockets along the rails.
Best Pool Players of All Time – 2023 Ranking
10. Ronnie Allen | Greatest One-Pocket Player
Ronnie Monroe, an American professional pool player When “Fast Eddie” Allen was at the height of his pool-shooting prowess, he was hailed as a “superstar.” He is ranked tenth on our list of the top 10 pool players of all time and is known as a “one pocket specialist.”
From the 1960s through the 1980s, he was the world’s best one-pocket player. Ronnie Allen was the best one-pocket player I ever played, according to Fast Eddie, who was quoted by Hall of Famer Eddie Kelly.
As for Ronnie Allen, the renowned Minnesota Fats stated, “Anybody that plays him for money ain’t got no chance at all.” Fast Eddie was elected into the One Pocket Hall of Fame in 2004 for his enormous contributions to the game of one pocket pocket billiards.
9. Buddy Hall | The Living Pool Legend
The International Pool Tour hailed American professional pool player Cecil P. “Buddy” Hall as a “living pool legend,” and he ranks ninth on our ranking of the greatest pool players ever. Because of his incredible accuracy, he earned the moniker “The Rifleman,” and for for three decades, he dominated the pool.
Buddy is also credited with developing the “clock system,” which, according to PoolVideo.com, is “a technique for where to strike the cue ball, utilizing the clock as a mechanism for where to aim.”
He is now a participant in the International Pool Tour and has three times been crowned Player of the Year by The National Billiard News and Pool & Billiards Magazine. In 2005, Buddy Hall was admitted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiards Congress of America.
8. Johnny Archer | New-Gen Great Pool Star
In 2007, the Pool & Billiard Magazine voted American professional pool player Johnny Archer third in its “Fans’ top 20 favorite pool players” poll. He currently holds the eighth spot on our list of the top pool players ever.
Because Scorpio is his astrological sign and one of his sponsors, he goes by the moniker “the Scorpion.” In the past two decades, he has been among the top nine-ball players.
In 1992 and 1997, Archer won the WPA World Nine-Ball Championship twice. In 2003, he won the Sudden Death Seven-ball and the inaugural World Pool Summit. Additionally, in 2006, he won the $50,000 winner-take-all International Challenge of Champions. On June 8, 2009, Archer was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
7. Mike Sigel | Greatest American Pool Player
In his active career, American professional pool player Mike Sigel has triumphed in over 102 major tournaments, placing him seventh on our list of the greatest pool players ever. Because of his skill in using safety plays to hook opponents, he was given the moniker “Captain Hook” by fans.
Sigel won the global pocket billiard championship five times, as well as the US Open Nine-ball Championship three times. He has three times received the title of “Player of the Year” from Billiards Digest and Pool and Billiards.
At the age of 35, he was the youngest player ever to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Sigel was ranked fifth on Billiards Digest’s list of the “50 greatest pool players of the Century.” In 2011, he was also granted admission to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
6. Earl Strickland | Greatest Nine-Ball Player
Earl Strickland, an American professional pool player known by his stage moniker “The Pearl,” is ranked sixth on our list of the greatest pool players ever and is regarded by many as one of the all-time greats at nine-ball. In addition to winning several championships, Earl rose to prominence as one of the most contentious players due to his strong opinions and unpredictable demeanor.
He was the only player to win consecutively the WPA World Nine-ball Championship twice and the U.S. Open Nine-Ball Championship five times. 2013’s Turning Stone XXI 9-Ball Championship was recently won by Strickland.
In 2006, he was granted admission to the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America. The 2007 “Fans’ Top 20 Pool Favorite Players” survey by Pool & Billiard Magazine places Earl Strickland sixth.
5. Luther Lassiter | The Wizard Of Nine-Ball
Fans of the game of pool still remember the legendary American nine-ball wizard Luther Lassiter, also known by his stage moniker Wimpy. He is currently ranked fifth among all-time great pool players.
He is still regarded by fans as one of the best pool players ever. He won countless additional trophies in addition to six world titles. In 1983, he was also given a spot in the Hall of Fame of the Billiards Congress of America. The following year, Lassiter was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
On Billiards Digest’s list of the “50 Greatest Players of the Century,” Luther Lassiter was ranked ninth. In his prime, he was regarded as the unquestioned king of the pool hustlers and amassed over $300,000 in winnings from playing pool between 1942 and 1948. Luther Lassiter became a national hero in his own country after winning $15,000 in a single week.
4. Rudolf Wanderone | Greatest USA Pool Player
The most well-known pool player in the United States during his prime was American professional pocket billiards player Rudolf Walter Wanderone, a.k.a. “Minnesota Fats.” He became well-known for being a fantastic pool player as well as an all-around performer.
He currently occupies the fourth spot on our ranking of the greatest pool players ever. He began playing pool at a very young age and in his adolescence turned into a traveling pool hustler. During World War II, Minnesota Fats conned servicemen in Norfolk and went on to become a folk legend.
Minnesota Fats is the moniker Rudolf adopted after a character in the 1961 movie The Hustler. Film critics, however, assert that he served as the sole inspiration for the character. In 1984, he was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Rudolf has earned recognition for spreading the game of pool across America.
3. Willie Mosconi | Legend Of Pocket Billiard
William Joseph Mosconi, an American professional pool and pocket billiards player, is ranked third on our list of the greatest pool players ever. Between 1941 and 1957, he won the World Straight Pool Championship a record fifteen times.
He invented and used many trick shots, earning the moniker “Mr. Pocket Billiards.” In North America, his name practically became synonymous with pool. Additionally, he contributed to the pool’s acceptance as a popular national pastime.
Mosconi currently holds the record for the longest straight pool run with 526 balls, according to official records. In 1966, he was one of the first three individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America. Additionally, Mosconi served as the movie’s technical adviser in 1961’s The Hustler, which starred Paul Newman. The surge in popularity of the pool was largely attributed to the movie.
2. Ralph Greenleaf | Greatest Carrom Billiard Player
Ralph Greenleaf, an American professional pool and carom billiards player, has been hailed as the game’s most dominant player during his prime. And his talent and charisma allowed him to achieve that fame. He is currently ranked second among all-time great pool players.
“What Babe Ruth achieved for baseball, Dempsey did for fighting, Tilden did for tennis…Greenleaf did for pocket billiards,” the New York Times wrote in his obituary in March 1950.
Twenty times is a record for Greenleaf in the World Pocket Billiards Championship. He mostly competed in straight pool, which had different rules from contest to contest back in the day.
In 1966, he was one of the first three individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America. He came in third on Billiards Digest Magazine’s ranking of the “50 Greatest Players of the Century.”
1. Efren Reyes | Greatest Pool Player Of All Time
Most pool experts, fans, and former players agree that Efren Manalang Reyes is the best pool player to have ever lived. On our list of the greatest pool players in history, this Filipino also takes the top spot. He still maintains the distinction of being the only player of pool to claim victories at two different World Championships.
Efren has won more than 70 international titles to date. He twice won the World Pool League championship and fourteen times won the Derby City Classic. In addition, he twice won the World Cup championship throughout his professional career.
In his native nation, he became well-known as a great player in the 1980s. Efren then relocated to the US to hustle, where he earned $80,000 in a single week. In 2003, Efren became the first Asian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America. He was ranked second in the “Fans’ Top 20 Favorite Players” survey conducted by Pool & Billiard Magazine in 2007.
Because of their talent, accuracy, attention, and patience—all traits that are essential for a person to possess in order to become a competent pool player—pool players are held in the highest regard. However, pool players have additional characteristics in addition to their positive traits. They exude the refinement and composure that are attributes of the port itself, as well as elegance and finesse.
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