Top Pool Players In The History: A Look at the Legends of the Game

Pool Players

cocktail bar bangkok Pool is one of the most popular games around the world. It's a game that requires skill, strategy and finesse, making it a great challenge for all levels of players.

Throughout history, there have been some incredibly talented pool players who have made their mark on the sport, becoming legendary figures in their own right. In this article, we will look at some of the top pool players in history and how they achieved such greatness.

From “Fast” Eddie Felson to “The Duchess of Doom” Jean Balukas, these world-renowned champions have all left an indelible mark on the game of pool. We'll dive into their backgrounds and discuss their achievements in detail as we uncover what makes them stand out from other players.

So grab your cue stick and get ready to explore the greatest pool players ever! Q Pool Hall has listed these players for your information.

"Fast" Eddie Felson

Fast Eddie Felson is widely regarded as one of the greatest pool players in history. He was born in 1913 in New York and developed an interest in the game at a young age. As he grew up, he became known for his hustling skills and his ability to expertly shoot difficult shots.

His career took off in the 1940s when he began competing with some of the best pool players of the time. He was also known for his flashy style, which included wearing fancy suits and making intimidating remarks before shots. Felson's ability to read opponents' games and outplay them earned him a reputation as being unbeatable.

He even won several tournaments, including the World Straight Pool Championship held in 1952. He was also known for taking on side bets with other players and often winning large sums of money despite being heavily outnumbered by opponents. Despite not having a 'formal' education when it came to pool, Felson had an innate ability to read angles, make smart decisions, and stay calm under pressure - all qualities that have made him a legend among pool players across the world.

While he may no longer be around to challenge today's greats, Fast Eddie Felson will always remain an important figure in the history of pool - a testament to what can be achieved with skill and dedication to one's craft.

Jean Balukas - "The Duchess Of Doom"

Jean Balukas is widely regarded as one of the greatest pool players in the history of the sport. Nicknamed 'The Duchess of Doom', Balukas was a force to be reckoned with on the professional circuit.

She began playing when she was just nine years old and quickly earned a reputation as a masterful player. Balukas won her first major tournament at the tender age of 13, beating fellow hall-of-famer Willie Mosconi in the finals Famous Pool Players

Her impressive list of accomplishments include:

  • Eight World Championships
  • Seventeen U.S Open titles
  • Nine World Straight Pool Championships
  • Twenty two National titles

Balukas was also inducted into the Billiard Congress Hall of Fame in 1984, becoming one of only two women to receive such an honor at that time. She retired from professional play in 2003 but continues to be held up as an example for aspiring pool players today, thanks to her incredible skills and determination.

Overall, Jean Balukas remains an exemplary figurehead for professional billiards and a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.

Willie Mosconi

Jean Balukas was known for her skill and precision when it came to pool, earning the nickname 'The Duchess of Doom.' Her talent and expertise with a cue earned her recognition as one of the top pool players in history.

It's no surprise that her legacy is part of a long line of greats who have mastered the game.

One such individual is Willie Mosconi. He achieved an astounding 15 world championships throughout his career, a feat unrivaled by any other player in the sport's history. Despite never having had formal training until he was in his 20s, he quickly rose to become one of the most renowned billiard players ever.

Mosconi also set a world record by running 526 consecutive balls without a miss during an exhibition match in 1954.

His prowess and mastery of the game earned him immense respect from his peers and fans alike, cementing him as one of the all-time greatest pool players to have ever lived.

Minnesota Fats

Minnesota Fats was one of the greatest pool players in the history of the game. He had an incomparable talent for the sport, as well as a great sense of showmanship that made him a fan favorite.

His real name was Rudolf Wanderone Jr., but he went by Minnesota Fats after being featured in the 1961 movie 'The Hustler' starring Paul Newman.

Fats was known for his flamboyant personality and skillful antics on the pool table. He could often be seen playing with multiple cues and banking shots off rails, making it look effortless. His style and attitude earned him many admirers and opponents over the years, including 'Fast' Eddie Felson from The Hustler.

He always seemed to attract attention wherever he went; whether it was his colorful wardrobe or loud laughter, everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of Minnesota Fats. His presence alone was enough to bring crowds of spectators to any tournament where he competed.

Even today, he is still remembered fondly by those who knew him or were lucky enough to witness his incredible talent firsthand.

Jeanette Lee - "The Black Widow"

Ewa Laurance

Minnesota Fats was a legendary figure in the world of pool. He was known for his sharp wit and skillful play, as well as his larger-than-life presence. From the 1930s to the 1950s, he dominated tournaments and became an icon in the game.

Ewa Laurance is another great name in pool history. She has been dubbed “The Striking Viking” because of her Scandinavian heritage and powerful style of play. With ten world titles and forty national titles to her name, Ewa is one of the most successful players ever.

Her achievements include seven consecutive wins at the U.S Open Nine-Ball Championships, setting a Guinness World Record for winning four consecutive Women's World Nine-Ball Championship titles, and becoming a member of both the Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA) Hall of Fame and International Pool Tour Hall of Fame.

Ewa has also made a huge impact outside of pool by giving back to her community through charitable work such as helping to build schools in Africa and providing meals for homeless teens. She continues to be an inspiration for those who want to achieve greatness in any field they choose.

Through hard work and dedication, Ewa has become an example that anyone can rise above their circumstances and reach their goals if they strive for success.

Earl Strickland

Earl Strickland is one of the top pool players in the history of the game. He has won numerous titles, including five US Open Nine-Ball Championships, four World Nine-Ball Championships, and a record-setting 15 World Pool League championships. His skill and knowledge of the game have made him a legend among pool players:

He was inducted into the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2002.

He's renowned for his ability to score shots in tight spots and his trademark shots that often involve jumping or banking balls off several rails.

Strickland is also known for his teaching skills, having coached many professional pool players on their way to success.

His immense contribution to the sport has earned him a place in the pantheon of greats, making him an icon within both amateur and professional circles alike.

Steve Mizerak

When it comes to pool, there is one name that stands out from the rest: Steve Mizerak. He was a professional pool player who dominated the sport for decades, winning numerous championships and becoming one of the most successful players in history.

His career began in the early 1970s and he soon became known for his excellent skills and techniques. He won both world championship titles and many other tournaments throughout his career, earning him recognition as one of the top players of all time.

Mizerak’s success was due to his unique combination of skill and strategy. He used a variety of shots including draw shots, bank shots, jump shots, masse shots, and combo shots to outplay opponents. He also had an incredible feel for how to read a table and choose the right shot at any given moment. In addition to this, he developed his own style which allowed him to play consistent and powerful games.

His legacy continues today with aspiring pool players striving to emulate his playing style. There are now several instructional videos available which allow players to learn from Mizerak’s expertise and gain valuable insights into how he approached each game he played.

It's clear that Steve Mizerak will be remembered fondly as one of the greatest pool players in history.

Jeanette Lee - "The Black Widow"

Continuing the list of top pool players in history, Jeanette Lee - 'The Black Widow' is another name that stands out. She was a professional American player and one of the most popular billiard figures in the world. Her success was driven by her unique style of play which combined finesse and power.

She first became known when she won the Women's U.S Open 9-Ball Championship in 1992 and went on to win several other tournaments including The International Challenge of Champions, The Billiards World Cup Grand Final, and The China Open.

Here are some highlights from her career:

  • She was ranked number one in the world for four consecutive years (1999-2003)
  • She has won numerous titles representing Team USA in international competitions
  • She was inducted into the Women’s Professional Billiard Association Hall of Fame in 2003
  • She wrote a memoir titled “The Black Widow: How I Began Playing Pool For Profit” (2004)

Lee's success as a player and an ambassador for the sport were unparalleled. Throughout her career, she worked hard to promote pool and even participated in charity events to help raise awareness about the game. Her legacy continues to inspire many today who look up to her as a role model.

Luther Lassiter

Luther Lassiter, commonly known as 'Wimpy,' was one of the greatest pool players in the history of the game. Born in 1907 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, he began playing pool at a very young age.

By the time he was just twelve years old, people were already remarking on his incredible talent for billiards. He had an unparalleled ability to read table layouts and understand angles; it was said that if Wimpy looked at a table once, he could recreate its layout from memory afterwards.

Throughout his career, Lassiter won numerous titles and set many records that still stand today. In 1966, he became the first person ever to win both the World All-Around Championship and the World Straight Pool Championship in the same year.

He also won eight national pocket billiard titles and four international championships. His skill with a cue earned him ample respect among his peers; some called him 'the greatest pocket billiard player who ever lived.'

Lassiter's legacy lives on through his mentorship of younger generations of players, as well as through his influence on modern-day tournament rules. His name is synonymous with excellence in pool playing, and he will forever be remembered as one of the greatest players of all time.

Kirk Stevens

Luther Lassiter was a legendary figure in the world of pocket billiards. He was considered one of the greatest players ever to pick up a cue, and his mastery of the game earned him widespread recognition and respect.

But if Luther Lassiter is remembered as one of the greats, then Kirk Stevens may very well be remembered as one of the greatest.

Kirk Stevens' devotion to pool began at an early age, and he quickly developed into an exceptional player. He won numerous tournaments throughout his career, including two U.S Open Straight Pool Championships, two World Straight Pool Championships, and five World Nine-ball Championships. Here are just some of his most impressive achievements:

  1. Won two U.S Open Straight Pool Championships
  2. Won two World Straight Pool Championships
  3. Five-time winner of the World Nine-ball Championship
  4. Inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2009

Kirk Steven's skill with a cue has made him one of the most renowned players in pool history, and he continues to be an inspiration for aspiring players today. His dedication to the sport is undeniable, making him a true legend among professional billiards players around the world.

Mike Sigel

Mike Sigel is widely regarded as one of the greatest pool players to have ever lived. He has won numerous world championships and set many records in his illustrious career.

Sigel's dominance started when he was still a teenager, winning his first major tournament at the age of 17. His success continued throughout the years and he became one of the most feared pool players in the world.

Sigel was known for having an incredible skill set, with a combination of power shots and delicate touch shots that made him almost unbeatable. He also had a great ability to read the table and anticipate his opponent's next move, giving him an edge over other players. In addition to these skills, Sigel was also a very confident player who had tremendous poise under pressure.

All these qualities helped him become one of the greatest pool players in history. Throughout his career, Mike Sigel has been inducted into multiple halls of fame and earned numerous titles and awards for his achievements on the pool table.

His legacy will continue to be remembered as one of the greatest champions in the game's history and an inspiration to aspiring young players everywhere.

Johnny Archer

Continuing on from Mike Sigel, Johnny Archer is another highly acclaimed pool player in the history of the game. He earned his nickname 'The Scorpion' for his notoriously aggressive playing style. He was a consistent winner throughout his career, having won eight U.S. Open Nine-ball Championships and four World Pool Championships among other titles.

His sharp and accurate playing has made him one of the greatest players to ever pick up a pool cue. In addition to his success as a professional player, Johnny Archer also made an impact as an instructor, teaching others how to play at the highest level with his signature aggressive style. He has coached and mentored some of the best players in the game today and his influence continues to be felt on the sport.

Through his skillfully calculated shots and effective guidance, Archer has cemented himself in pool's hall of fame for years to come. His legacy is one that will continue to inspire generations of current and future players alike, ensuring that he will never be forgotten in this great game's rich history.

Buddy Hall

Buddy Hall is widely regarded as one of the greatest pool players in history, and for good reason. He has been a dominant force in the sport since the 1970s, winning an impressive 17 world titles and over 115 major professional tournaments. He's also won numerous regional and local competitions, making him one of the most successful players ever.

Hall was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1982, two years after his first world title win. He went on to become a multiple-time champion in many different disciplines such as straight pool, nine ball, eight ball and one pocket.

He's widely credited with popularizing trick shots and is known for his entertaining pool exhibitions. His influence on the game is undeniable; here are three ways he has impacted the pool world:

  1. He's been a vocal advocate for improving professionalism among players
  2. He helped to bring mainstream attention to professional tournaments by appearing on television shows such as The Tonight Show and Good Morning America
  3. His trick shot demonstrations popularized many new techniques that are still used today

Hall's impact can be felt throughout the pool world and his legacy will live on for generations to come.

Shannon Daulton

Shannon Daulton is one of the top pool players in the history. His skill and success have helped him land the title of Pool Player of the Year three times and he's a ten-time champion at the Derby City Classic. He's also won two U.S. Open Nine Ball Championships, two World Pool League Championships and two Hard Times Nine Ball Tours.

Daulton began playing pool when he was just nine years old. His father taught him how to play, and by age 12, Shannon was winning tournaments throughout Georgia and Alabama. In his prime, Daulton had a run rate of nearly 12 balls per inning during practice, which is considered an incomparable feat for any competitive player during that time period.

Daulton’s legacy will continue to live on through his impressive resume as one of history's greatest pool players. He's been inducted into numerous Halls of Fame such as The United States Professional Pool Players Association (UPA) Hall of Fame and The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) Hall of Fame, among others.

He even received a Lifetime Achievement Award from InsidePOOL Magazine in 2007 for his immense contribution to the sport.

Earl "The Pearl" Strickland

Earl 'The Pearl' Strickland is universally considered one of the greatest pool players in history. He has won over 70 major titles, including five World Nine-ball Championships and five U.S Open Nine-ball Championships. He was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 2002.

His success has been attributed to a combination of skill, talent, and an unwavering focus on victory. His aggressive style of play has been emulated by many up-and-coming players and he is still active on the pro tour today.

Here are a few reasons why Earl Strickland is considered one of the best pool players ever:

  1. Exceptional shot making ability: Strickland could make any shot on the table with relative ease and accuracy, no matter how difficult or complex it was.
  2. Mental toughness: He had an unmatchable mental fortitude that allowed him to stay focused in high pressure situations and come out victorious more often than not.
  3. Mastery of strategy: He understood how to assess his opponents weaknesses and exploit them to gain an advantage throughout a match.
  4. Versatility: He was able to adjust his playing style depending on who he was competing against, which gave him a unique edge over other players who were unable to adapt their game as quickly as Strickland could.

He remains one of the most respected figures in professional pool today and his legacy will live on for many years to come - a testament to his greatness as both a player and ambassador for the sport itself.


In conclusion, my top ten pool players of all time are 'Fast' Eddie Felson, Jean Balukas - 'The Duchess of Doom', Willie Mosconi, Minnesota Fats, Ewa Laurance, Johnny Archer, Buddy Hall, Shannon Daulton, Earl 'The Pearl' Strickland.

These players have each made a huge impact and lasting impression on the world of pool. Each one was incredibly talented and had their own unique style that set them apart from their peers.

I have to say that I'm most impressed by the accomplishments and talent of 'Fast' Eddie Felson and Jean Balukas. They were both innovators who forever changed the way we play pool. Their skill level was unparalleled at the time and they both proved to be great assets to the sport.

Finally, these ten players have earned their place in history as some of the best pool players ever. No matter what era they are from or what style they used, they will remain icons in the sport for years to come. We owe it to them to remember what they accomplished in their respective careers and continue to celebrate their legacy! Read more