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Ever wondered who rules the realm of the green felt?

From masterful strokes to unmatched tactical play, these 15 titans of billiards have pocketed their way to eternal fame.

Buckle up as we chalk up the cues to reveal the virtuosos of the baize, one legendary shot at a time.

Best Billiards Players:

  1. Stephen Hendry
  2. Ronnie O’Sullivan
  3. Efren Reyes
  4. Steve Davis
  5. Willie Mosconi
  6. Earl Strickland
  7. Joe Davis
  8. John Higgins
  9. Shane Van Boening
  10. Mark Selby
  11. Francisco Bustamante
  12. Ray Reardon
  13. Ralph Greenleaf
  14. Judd Trump
  15. Buddy Hall

#1 Stephen Hendry

  • 🌍 Nationality: Scottish
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: January 13, 1969
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Snooker Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 7Γ— World Snooker Champion, 36 ranking titles, 18 Triple Crown titles

Stephen Hendry, known as “The Golden Boy” of snooker, is often credited with raising the sport to new heights. His long potting and break-building abilities are legendary, and he has a reputation for being exceedingly clinical on the table, particularly in the 1990s.

Hendry’s dominance in snooker is reflected in his record seven World Championships, making him one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Off the table, Hendry has also been involved in snooker commentary and analysis, sharing his expertise of the game with fans globally.

#2 Ronnie O’Sullivan

  • 🌍 Nationality: English
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: December 5, 1975
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Snooker Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 7Γ— World Snooker Champion, 39 ranking titles, 7 Masters titles, fastest 147 break in history

Ronnie O’Sullivan, often referred to as “The Rocket” for his rapid playing style, is renowned for his exceptional talent and natural ability in snooker. His ambidextrous cueing, tactical intelligence, and break-building have set him apart as one of the sport’s most gifted players.

The controversies in O’Sullivan’s career, including disciplinary issues and candid interviews, have not overshadowed his achievements on the snooker table. His influence extends beyond snooker, having authored books and taken part in documentaries about running and psychology, demonstrating a multifaceted personality.

#3 Efren Reyes

  • 🌍 Nationality: Filipino
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: August 26, 1954
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Pool Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: Multiple-time World Champion in 9-ball, 8-ball, and other disciplines, over 70 international titles

Efren “Bata” Reyes, nicknamed “The Magician,” mesmerized the pool world with his innovative shots and creative playstyle. His use of kick shots, caroms, and unmatched ability in reading the table have made him a legend in cue sports.

Despite his humble beginnings, Reyes rose to the top of the pool world, amassing numerous titles and popularizing the game in the Philippines and internationally. Besides his pool achievements, he is admired for his unassuming demeanor and has become an inspirational figure in his home country.

#4 Steve Davis

  • 🌍 Nationality: English
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: August 22, 1957
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Snooker Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 6Γ— World Snooker Champion, 28 ranking titles, 11 Triple Crown titles

Steve Davis, known by the nickname “The Nugget,” has been a defining figure in snooker from the 1980s into the early 1990s. Recognized for his methodical approach to the game and precise tactical play, Davis has been a prime example of consistent excellence on the snooker table.

Aside from his decorated career in snooker, Steve has made significant contributions to promoting the game, has enjoyed a successful career as a snooker commentator and analyst, and is also known for his passion for music, particularly electronic music.

#5 Willie Mosconi

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: June 27, 1913
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Pool Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 15-time World Straight Pool Champion

Willie Mosconi, also known as “Mr. Pocket Billiards,” became one of the most recognizable and dominant players in the world of pocket billiards. His precision in straight pool and consistent performance set records that stood for decades.

Mosconi’s impact on billiards is wide-reaching; he played a significant role in popularizing the sport in the United States. His post-competition years were dedicated to teaching and promoting pool, ensuring his legacy would resonate with future players. His life was also immortalized in the film “The Hustler” in which he was a technical advisor.

#6 Earl Strickland

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: June 8, 1961
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Pool Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 5-time US Open Nine-ball Champion, multiple World Championships

Known as “The Pearl,” Earl Strickland is recognized for his powerful break and fast play. His fiery personality and confrontational style often polarize opinion, but his skill and competitive nature are undisputed in the world of pool.

Strickland’s career has seen both high victories and public controversies, and his outspoken nature has contributed to a contentious reputation within the sport. Despite any disputes, Earl’s dedication to the game and his influential skill level have made him a lasting figure in professional pool.

#7 Joe Davis

  • 🌍 Nationality: English
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: April 15, 1901
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Snooker and Billiards Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 15-time World Snooker Champion, numerous English Billiards titles

Joe Davis, the original snooker champion, is often credited as the father of modern snooker. His complete dominance from the inception of the World Championships in the 1920s until his retirement from competition in 1946 set a benchmark for excellence.

Davis’s impact extended well beyond his competitive years as he continued to promote snooker and develop it as a professional sport. Beyond his cue sports influence, Joe was also proficient at English billiards, demonstrating his versatility and overall mastery of cue sports.

#8 John Higgins

  • 🌍 Nationality: Scottish
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: May 18, 1975
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional Snooker Player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 4-time World Snooker Champion, 31 ranking titles, 9 Triple Crown titles

John Higgins, known as “The Wizard of Wishaw,” is celebrated for his strategic thinking and all-around ability at snooker. His strong safety play, coupled with tactical acumen and proficiency in break-building, makes him one of the sport’s most complete players.

Higgins has faced challenges, including a suspension for breaking betting rules, but he returned to achieve further success. Off the baize, his influence has been felt through various initiatives and his contribution to Scottish snooker, enhancing the sport’s profile and accessibility for budding players.

#9 Shane Van Boening

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: July 14, 1983
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional pool player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 5-time US Open 9-Ball Champion, 2-time World Masters Champion, 4-time World Cup of Pool Champion

Shane Van Boening, known as “The South Dakota Kid,” has firmly established himself as one of the most formidable American pool players on the international circuit. His precise shot-making abilities and strong break shots are key aspects of his game. As a hearing-impaired athlete, Van Boening’s rise to the top of the billiards world showcases his remarkable determination and focus.

While Van Boening’s career has generally been controversy-free, his steady ascendancy in the sport has not gone unnoticed. His dedication to mastering the game has inspired many aspiring pool players, and his achievements have significantly impacted the billiards community as a symbol of perseverance.

#10 Mark Selby

  • 🌍 Nationality: English
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: June 19, 1983
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional snooker player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 4-time World Snooker Champion, 3-time Masters Champion, 2-time UK Championship winner

Mark Selby, “The Jester from Leicester,” is esteemed for his tactical prowess and resilience under pressure. His defensive play, often described as one of the best in the game, often forces opponents into errors. Selby has faced personal challenges, including a struggle with depression, yet his triumphs in the sport have encouraged open conversations about mental health among athletes.

Selby’s meticulous practice regimen and strategic approach have left a mark on snooker tactics. Off the table, he is known for his charitable work, especially regarding mental health awareness. His personal life, coupled with his career achievements, contributes to Selby’s respected status within the snooker community.

#11 Francisco Bustamante

  • 🌍 Nationality: Filipino
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: December 29, 1963
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional pool player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: World 9-Ball Champion, Multiple-time winner of the Derby City Classic, World Cup of Pool Champion

Francisco β€œDjango” Bustamante is celebrated for his powerful break and creative shot-making. His flamboyant playing style and friendly demeanor have made him a fan favorite. Bustamante overcame adversity early in his career when he was wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit, a challenge that tested his resolve and dedication to the sport.

As an elder statesman in the world of billiards, Bustamante is admired for his mentorship of younger players and his commitment to promoting the sport in the Philippines and abroad. His contributions have made a meaningful impact, enhancing the global profile of billiards.

#12 Ray Reardon

  • 🌍 Nationality: Welsh
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: October 8, 1932
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Retired professional snooker player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: 6-time World Snooker Champion, 1970 World Champion in Billiards, Ranked world number one for several seasons in the 1970s

Ray β€œDracula” Reardon is an iconic figure in snooker, known for his supreme tactical intelligence and matchplay skills that dominated snooker during the 1970s. Despite his nickname, Reardon’s gentlemanly conduct endeared him to both fans and fellow players. His consistency at the highest level set benchmarks for future professionals.

After retiring from competitive play, Reardon’s legacy continued as he became a coach and mentor to younger generations, sharing his vast knowledge of the game. His influence in the development of snooker and his status as one of the sport’s greatest personalities remain undisputed.

#13 Ralph Greenleaf

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: November 3, 1899
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional pocket billiards player (historical figure)
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: World Pocket Billiards Champion multiple times (1920s-30s), Considered one of pocket billiards’ all-time greats

Ralph Greenleaf, revered as one of the original superstars of pocket billiards, was synonymous with the golden age of billiards in the early 20th century. His precision play and charismatic showmanship attracted large audiences, helping to elevate the status of billiards as a professional sport. Greenleaf’s life was not without its struggles, including publicized bouts with alcoholism that often affected his career.

Despite personal challenges, Greenleaf’s impact on the game was profound, with numerous titles and performances that set the standard for excellence. Even decades after his prime, his contributions to the artistry and popularity of the game remain a key part of billiards history.

#14 Judd Trump

  • 🌍 Nationality: English
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: August 20, 1989
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Professional snooker player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: World Snooker Champion, multiple Triple Crown event winner, Ranked world number one

Judd Trump, often referred to as “The Ace,” is known for his aggressive playing style and proficiency in long potting. His flamboyance at the table and confidence in playing high-risk shots have distinguished him from many of his contemporaries. Trump’s early years were marked by high expectations, and he has faced the challenge of living up to his potential as one of snooker’s most talented players.

Trump’s influence extends to bringing a younger demographic to the viewership of snooker with his attractive playing style and social media presence. His dedication to evolving his game and staying at the pinnacle of the sport emphasizes his role in modernizing snooker.

#15 Buddy Hall

  • 🌍 Nationality: American
  • πŸŽ‚Β Date of Birth: May 29, 1945
  • 🎱 Position/Role: Retired professional pool player
  • πŸ†Β Career Highlights: US Open Nine-ball Champion, Inductee into Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame

Buddy “The Rifleman” Hall is esteemed for his precise cue ball control, earning him the moniker that suggests a sharpshooter’s accuracy with the pool cue. Hall faced challenges, including health-related issues, but his commitment to the sport and ability to perform at a high level remained unwavering throughout his career.

With a smooth, methodical approach to the game, Hall was a frequent and formidable competitor for decades. His achievements and style of play have been inspirational for both peers and aspiring pool players. Off the table, his mentoring of younger talents has ensured a lasting legacy in the pool community.

FAQ

Who is the best Billiards player of all time?

Efren Reyes is considered by many the best Billiards player of all time. Here’s a link to our article on why we think Efren Reyes is the best basketball player of all time. His unparalleled skill and creativity on the table have earned him global recognition and respect.

Who are the top 10 greatest Billiards players of all time?

Stephen Hendry, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Efren Reyes, Steve Davis, Willie Mosconi, Earl Strickland, Joe Davis, John Higgins, Shane Van Boening, and Mark Selby are the top 10 greatest Billiards players of all time. These players are esteemed for their exceptional talent and contributions to the sport.

Who is the most famous female Billiards player?

Allison Fisher is the most famous female Billiards player. Her dominance in the women’s game, including multiple world championships, has made her an iconic figure in the sport.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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