The Greatest Pool Sharks Ever

You know that quintessential movie scene? The one where the unassuming guy walks into a bar in a strange town, loses a couple of quick games to a local pool player, then pretends to get angry and demands he play the guy for everything he's got? Of course he turns out to be the best player in the city, and cleans the guy out - then hurries out to save his life.

The pool shark is one of the more exciting characters in Hollywood. They aren't just fiction, though. Many people make their living hustling pool, either in bars or in professional tournaments. Here are just a few of the greatest pool sharks ever.


Mike "Captain Hook" Sigel

A pool hustler from the USA, "Captain Hook", or so he was named for being able to hook his opponents, claimed victory in over 100 major tournaments. Winner of the World Pocket Billiards Championship 5 times, he was named player of the year 3 times.


Earl "The Pearl" Strickland

Another hustler out of America, "The Pearl" is widely regarded as the best nine-ball player ever to grace a pool table. He is the only player to ever win the WPA World Nine-Ball Championship twice in a row, and also claimed victory in the U.S Open Nine-Ball Championships as well. Known not only for his table play, but also his table talk, Strickland is still a fan favorite and member of the Billiards Hall of Fame.


Rudolf Wanderone - "Minnesota Fats"

Perhaps the most visible and famous hustler of his day, Minnesota Fats was the complete package. Not only a shark, but also a complete entertainer, he was someone that people loved losing to for some reason. He was the embodiment of the stereotype road hustler. He started at a young age, and became a traveling pool hustler as teenager, then took his trade to Norfolk, Virginia during the war to play servicemen. Many believe that the character of the same name from the 1961 film "The Hustler" was based off of him. He is perhaps the most important figure in the popularization of pool in the USA.


Efren Reyes

Players don't get better than this. Hailing from the Philippines, Reyes is considered the greatest pool player of all time by just about everybody in the know. He won the world championship in two different disciplines, and claimed ownership of at least 70 international titles. Victor in the World Pool League Championship twice, and World Cup Championship twice, he is without a doubt the best around. The first Asian inductee into the Billiards Hall of Fame, he was voted second by the fans in a favorite players' poll.


Having a pool table isn't only a lot of fun, but it's a game that you can make money at if you really hone your skills. We don't recommend going off on your own and hustling for money. It isn't stable, and probably not safe. But there isn't anything wrong with looking up to the greatest sharks in the game. If you are in the market for a pool table to try to get your name up on one of these lists (or maybe just beat your friends once in a while), then contact Jessy James Tubs & Games - we are Calgary's go-to pool table provider.

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