Most Famous Pool Players In The World

One of the world’s most fashionable and sophisticated indoor games 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 best pool players achieve enormous fortune in addition to fame. This game, which can be played with eight or nine balls, is played on a pool table with six pockets along the rails.

On the other hand, the six-pocket is a dated design. There are actually countless variations of the pool, some of which are created by combining elements of pool and carom billiards. The top 10 Most Famous Pool Players in the World are listed here. Let’s explore their accomplishments.

Here Are the Best Pool Players Of All Time

Player Debut Year
Efren Reyes 1987
Ralph Greenleaf 1919
Willie Mosconi 1940
Rudolph Wanderone 1961
Earl Strickland 1980
Luther Lassiter 1960
Mike Sigel 1974
Allison Fisher 1985
Johnny Archer 1992
Kelly Fisher 2002

1. Kelly Fisher

Kelly Fisher

Full Name Kelly Fisher
Date of Birth August 25, 1978
Place of Birth South Elmsall, United Kingdom
Height 5 feet 9 inches
Weight 58 kg
Debut year 2002
Net Worth 12 million dollars

One of the finest pool players in history is Kelly Fisher. She ranks among the greatest pool players of all time as a result, of course. Snooker was Fisher’s first sport, and between 1998 and 2000, she won three consecutive Ladies World Snooker Championships. She switched from snooker to pool after winning consecutive titles in 2002 and 2003 and hasn’t looked back.

She joined the Women’s Professional Billiard Association after relocating to the US to seek a career in the pool. She rose to the top spot among women pool players worldwide and among the world’s top billiards players in 2008.

Fisher won the 2012 WPA Women’s World Nine-Ball Championship for the first time. She successfully defended the championship seven years later. You may infer everything about her tenacity from that. Fisher has to be regarded as one of the greatest pool players of all time because he has won other prestigious competitions like the US Open Nine-Ball Championship and the China Open 9-Ball Championship.

2. Johnny Archer

Johnny Archer

Full Name Johnny Archer
Date of Birth November 12, 1968
Place of Birth Waycross, Georgia, United States
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Debut year 1992
Net Worth 5 million dollars

There was a time when Johnny Archer was regarded as one of the top 9-ball pool players in the world.

“The Scorpion” made it to three WPA World Nine-Ball Championship finals between 1992 and 1998; he won two and lost one. The only other person to win the competition more often than Archer is Earl Strickland (more on him later).

Archer, a native of Waycross, Georgia, capped an incredible decade by taking home the 1999 US Open Pool Championship. As a result, Billiards Digest named him the Player of the Decade for the 1990s.

Archer has achieved great success on the international stage as well, having made a record 17 appearances for the US Mosconi Cup squad. Amazingly, between 1997 and 2009, he led his nation to victory nine times.

Few would contest that Archer is among the best pool players of all time, having won more than 60 professional tournaments.

3. Allison Fisher

Allison Fisher

Full Name Allison Fisher
Date of Birth February 24, 1968
Place of Birth Cheshunt, United Kingdom
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Debut year 1985
Net Worth 10 million dollars

Allison Fisher, like Kelly Fisher, was the best snooker player in the world before she became one of the greatest pool players in history.

Kelly and Allison share the same birthplace, and their career paths might lead one to believe they are sisters. Yet, they are not at all connected. Apart from the fact that they are the two greatest pool players ever!

Between 1985 and 1994, Fisher (Allison) won an incredible seven Women’s World Snooker Championships. She won her first WPA Women’s World Nine-Ball Championship just two years later.

Fisher didn’t simply stop with one World Nine-Ball Championship, as you can see. She won three consecutive championships between 1996 and 1998 before winning a fourth in 2001, solidifying her place among the world’s top pool players.

Fisher has the record for most World Nine-Ball Championship victories among women. As a result, “The Duchess of Doom” is regarded as one of the all-greatest time’s pool players.

4. Mike Sigel

Mike Sigel

Full Name Mike Sigel
Date of Birth July 11, 1952
Place of Birth Rochester, New York, United States
Height 6 feet 1 inch
Weight 73 kg
Debut year 1974
Net Worth 10 million dollars

Mike Sigel, known as “Captain Hook,” is unquestionably one of the best pool players of all time because of his unrivaled ability to hook his opponents with safety moves.

Sigel is one of the most successful athletes in the history of the sport and has won over 100 professional competitions. He won his first championship back in 1974, and he carried that momentum into the 2010s.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the sport was dominated by New Yorkers. He won the World Straight Pool Championship four times between 1979 and 1988 in addition to winning the Nine-Ball World Championship in 1977 and 1986!

Sigel also has a lot of records. He was the first professional to win a century of pocket billiards championships after becoming the first player to pocket $100,000 in a single Pro Tour season.

He also holds the record for being the earliest male to ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Billiard Congress of America. When the sniper got the award in 1989, he was only 35 years old.

Sigel’s name must be brought up when talking about the greatest 8-ball pool players of all time, the greatest 9-ball pool players ever, or simply the greatest American pool players.

5. Luther Lassiter

Luther Lassiter

Full Name Luther Lassiter
Date of Birth November 5, 1918
Place of Birth Elizabeth City, North Carolina, United States
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Debut year 1960
Net Worth 3 million dollars

The world’s greatest pool player before Sigel’s reign was Luther Lassiter.

Throughout the 1960s, Lassiter won a whopping seven World Straight Pool Championships in addition to numerous other titles. As a result, he solidified his place among the greatest pool players in history.

Funny enough, “Wimpy” gambled on the pool before he ever played the game professionally. Between 1942 and 1948, he is said to have made more than $300,000 betting on pool games, including $15,000 in a single week.

The top American sportsbooks would not have supported Lassiter if they had been available back then!

Lassiter tragically passed away in 1988. He had been practicing on his pool table when his nephew discovered him there. You can infer everything you need to know about Lassiter’s connection to the game from that.

6. Earl Strickland

Earl Strickland

Full Name Earl Strickland
Date of Birth June 8, 1961
Place of Birth Roseboro, North Carolina, United States
Height 6 feet 1 inch
Weight 80 kg
Debut year 1980
Net Worth 6 million dollars

Earl Strickland is frequently recognized less for his skill at the table and more for his explosive anger during competitions. But I want to remember him as one of the greatest pool players ever in my rankings.

Strickland received recognition as the Billiards Digest Player of the Decade after winning the award in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988. His prime years, nevertheless, were after the 1980s.

The first of “The Pearl’s” five US Open Pool Championship victories came in 1984, and the last came in 2000. Strickland has won the most US Open championships of any player to date.

The North Carolinian has also won the most World Nine-Ball Championships, as shown in the table above. He won consecutive titles in 1990 and 1991 before reclaiming the top spot in the 9-ball world in 2002.

At the Mosconi Cup, Strickland has also achieved great success, taking home a staggering nine championships between 1996 and 2005. He was even scheduled to play in the tournament in 2021 at the oldest-ever age, but COVID-19 forced him to withdraw.

The 61-year-old still hasn’t put down his cue despite having won his last title in 2018! He is therefore still considered to be among the top pool players in the world today.

7. Rudolph Wanderone

Rudolph Wanderone

Full Name Rudolph Wanderone
Date of Birth January 19, 1913
Place of Birth New York, United States
Height 5 feet 9 inches
Weight 136 kg
Debut year 1961
Net Worth 1 million dollars

You might be shocked to find that the person who is placed #4 on my ranking of the greatest pool players ever has never really taken first place in a major competition.

Rudolph Wanderone, who gained notoriety as “Minnesota Fats” with the release of the 1961 film The Huster, didn’t commit to the regular tournament circuit. Instead, as a youngster, he started working as a traveling pool hustler.

For those who are unaware, pool hustlers trick and mislead opponents to steal money from them. Wanderone is recognized as one of the greatest pool players of all time and is possibly the greatest pool hustler in history.

In the past, Wanderone held the title of the most well-known pool player in the country. He was honored into the Billard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1984 after decades of dedication to the sport.

Wanderone, one of the greatest pool players to ever live, competed against Willie Mosconi in a number of well-known encounters. As luck would have it, Mosconi ranks third on my list of the best pool players.

8. Willie Mosconi

Willie Mosconi

Full Name Willie Mosconi
Date of Birth June 27, 1913,
Place of Birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Height 5 feet 8 inches
Weight 63 kg
Debut year 1940
Net Worth 5 million dollars

Mosconi was likewise born in 1913. Mosconi, however, took part in tournament competition, unlike his well-known adversary. He didn’t just participate in competitions, though; over the course of his illustrious career, he won numerous events.

The Philadelphian won an unbelievable 19 World Straight Pool Championships between the 1940s and 1950s. Back ago, the event was frequently held more than once a year, providing Mosconi additional chances to win prizes.

Many of the trick shots that current players use today were invented by the inventive performer. Due to his inventiveness, playing pool became a well-liked pastime across the United States, prompting some of the top pool players to go pro.

Mosconi even broke the record for the longest continuous pool high run when, during a performance in Springfield, Ohio, he pocketed 526 consecutive balls without missing a shot. Interestingly, that record was valid until 2019!

Despite being a legend, Willie Mosconi has only lost to one opponent. That is Ralph Greenleaf.

9. Ralph Greenleaf

Ralph Greenleaf

Full Name Ralph Greenleaf
Date of Birth November 3, 1899,
Place of Birth Monmouth, Illinois, United States
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Debut year 1919
Net Worth 4 million dollars

Greenleaf is still recognized as one of the finest pool players in history despite being born in 1899.

As I said, Greenleaf is currently ranked first all-time in the World Straight Pool Championship, surpassing the legendary Mosconi. He absurdly asserted 20 titles between 1919 and 1937, believe it or not.

Given that Greenleaf was born in the 1800s, there isn’t a lot of conclusive information available on him. Having said that, we do know that he was one of the original three BCA Hall of Fame honorees in 1966.

At the age of 50, the incredibly brilliant billiards legend passed away abruptly. The New York Times wrote in Greenleaf’s obituary from March 1950, “What Babe Ruth did for baseball, Dempsey did for boxing, Tilden did for tennis…Greenleaf did for pocket billiards.”

10. Efren Reyes

Efren Reyes

Full Name Efren Reyes
Date of Birth August 26, 1954
Place of Birth Angeles, Philippines
Height 5 feet, 9 inches
Weight 73 kg
Debut year 1987
Net Worth 2 million dollars

Efren Reyes is the greatest pool player of all time in my opinion, and many others across the globe.

It is simple to see why Reyes is known as “The Magician.” The Filipino great has won more than 100 international championships after dominating the sport for many years.

Reyes is not just one of the greatest 8-ball players in history, but he is also among the greatest 9-ball players. He became the only player in history to win the WPA titles in two different sports after winning four World Eight-Ball Championships and one World Nine-Ball Championship.

Also, the genuine pool legend has had enormous success over the years on the global stage. At the 1987 Southeast Asian Games, he led the Philippines to two gold medals before winning more bronze medals in future competitions.

In 1997, Reyes defeated Strickland (remember him?) in the first Color of Money competition and earned the greatest single-match payout in pool history: a cool $100,000.

I could go on for hours listing all of Reyes’ accomplishments, accolades, and records. Yet, we don’t have all day to spare. Efren Reyes is the greatest pool player in history, so take my word for it.

Honorable Mention

Here is a few honorable mentions who were talented enough to win numerous tournaments but didn’t make the cut but are still appreciated by pool fans.

Ronnie Allen Buddy Hall
Chen Siming Rubilen Amit
Nick Varner Steve Mizerak
Kim Ga-young Cisero Murphy
Irving Crane Karen Corr

Frequently Asked Question

What is the greatest pool shot ever made?

On June 11th, 1995, Efren Reyes and Earl Strickland competed in a race to 13. Reyes produced one of the most incredible shots in history after the two teams were knotted at 12-all (or “hill-hill,” if you prefer pool slang). One of the finest shots ever made will always be remembered as being this one.

How do you recognize a pool hustler?

Hustlers purposefully make mistakes to direct the ball in the direction they desire and prevent their opponents from getting a shot. It is usual for hustlers to come across as unduly ignorant, incompetent, or drunk, but it is all a veneer. Hustlers may attempt to irritate, threaten, or distract you in order to disrupt your game.

Who is superior, Reyes or Strickland?

Reyes is superior to Lassiter and Strickland in general but not at 9 Ball. Six World 9 Ball Championships were won by Lassiter between the ages of 44 and 53. If 9-ball competitions had been held in the preceding 20 years, how many more victories would he have had?


Because they possess the talent, accuracy, attention, and patience that are essential for someone to develop into a competent player, pool players are held in the highest regard. Yet these players also possess something else that is distinct from their qualities.

They exude the refinement and composure that are attributes of the port itself, as well as elegance and finesse. This concludes on Top 10 Most Famous Pool Players In The World, hopefully, this came to your help.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.