Efren Reyes, a Filipino man who has an extraordinary knack for pool, is undoubtedly the greatest pool player of all time. His greatness is evident, as he holds over 70 international pool titles. Watching him on action is almost like poetry in motion.
Who is Reyes?
Efren Manalang Reyes, born on 26th August 1954 in the Philippines is the best pool player to grace the face of the earth, no doubt. His exceptional skills have earned him the nickname of “The Magician” as his hands have said to have magic in them. Born in Pampanga in the Philippines, he moved to Manila at the age of 5. Later, in his growing years, he worked as a pool attendant for his uncle at his pool hall. This was when his interest in the sport sparked, and was later ignited when he held his first cue stick in his hands. Sleeping on the pool table was a regular routine for him, where he would often get pool related dreams. This young boy would later grow up to be the great pool legend!
Reyes’ Magical Pool Career
In the 1960s and 1070s, Efren played a lot of three cushion billiards, in which he was always announced the winner. His winning fame resulted in him being discovered by some promoters. These promoters gave Reyes the gateway ticket to compete in a series of huge professional pool tournaments. Soon, in the 1980s, Reyes was very popular in Philippines as a top class player. But one thing was missing from him gold laden star record – international recognition. This was when Reyes decided to travel to America, to prove his worth and gain worldwide appreciation.
International Accolades –
Soon after moving to the United States, Reyes was back in form, constantly competing and winning tournaments left, right and center. By the 1990s, he was a well recognised pool player and was counted in with the best players in the world. Jose Parica and Francisco Bustamante were his close competitors who did extremely well too. In 1994, the US Open Nine Ball Championship was the turning point in his career, when he defeated Nick Varner. This was a very big deal because he was the first non American to win this title in history. From then on, he became a household name in the field of pool all over the world. This further confirmed the fact that Reyes was , in fact, the greatest pool player of all time.
What set Reyes apart from the rest of the pool professionals was that he was the first to win world championships in two different disciplines of pool. He won the World Eight-Ball Championship 4 times, the US Open pool championship 3 times, and the World Pool League twice. Apart from that, he also won the Derby City Classic a whopping fourteen times! All these titles are proof that he is the greatest pool player that ever lived.
The Distinct Reyes-Style of Playing
Known for his peculiar and unique style of playing, Reyes in no way was a traditional man. He only used his forefinger and thumb to line up the cue stick to the ball. This kind of light grip isn’t very common, but it sure did work for him. Even though he had a light grip, his shots exhibited a lot of control and strength. Reyes was also the pioneer in “kicking”, a term used to describe a kind of shot where players escape from a snooker and land in the opponents’ with a counter-snooker. His use and knowledge of angles was exceptional, and no one has ever compared to his technique till date.
Efren Reyes is proof that when you have a knack for something, and you nurture that skill with care, no one can stop you from achieving greatness. Identifying the spark and igniting it with practice is the key to ultimate glory, and that is what Reyes did, making him the greatest pool player of all time.