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Pool and Billiards: Record High Runs and Averages

This is a collection of pool and billiards record high runs (consecutive successful shots made). Some of these records are official, others are unverified and probably unverifiable, such as magnificent runs during practice sessions. Please note that some of the ultra-high numbers were achieved via billiard "nursing" techniques in which balls were barely moved while the same, or very similar, shots were performed over and over again. How boring! Rules changes such as balklines were enacted to prevent nursing, only to inspire even more inventive (and sometimes even more boring) nursing techniques. I have bolded the more legitimate high runs to make them easier to find. Also, it is important to note that some games are easier than others. Efren Reyes running five racks of 15-ball rotation, with each shot requiring him to hit the lowest-numbered ball and pocket at least one ball, may be a more impressive feat than a thousand-ball run in English billiards. Perhaps the most impressive run of all may have been one of the lowest numbers on this list: Willie "The King" Hoppe's 25 consecutive three-cushion billiards in 1918 on an unheated (i.e., slow) table. This remarkable record stood for fifty years and still has only marginally been bested despite vastly superior modern equipment and nearly a hundred years of concerted efforts by the finest billiards players and artists on the planet! And perhaps the most impressive feat in modern times is Ronnie O'Sullivan's fourteen perfect breaks of 147 on twelve-foot snooker tables with ultra-tight pockets. So please don't let the high numbers fool you, because in pool and billiards the "degree of difficulty" really does matter. I have ranked the feats I find most impressive #1, #2, etc.

Tom Reece, English billiards all-in, 499,135 consecutive billiards (unfinished) in 1907 using the "cradle cannon" or "anchor cannon" nursing technique
(#1) Ronnie "The Rocket" O'Sullivan, snooker, has 1,000 century breaks of 100 or higher, or more than 100,000 points with no nursing! Also 15 perfect breaks of 147.
Stephen Hendry, snooker, has 775 century breaks of 100 or higher; that's more than 77,500 points. But the combined points are not consecutive.
John Higgins, snooker, has 745 century breaks of 100 or higher, or more than 74,500 points. But the combined points are not consecutive.
Neil Robertson, snooker, has 621 century breaks of 100 or higher, or more than 62,100 points. He is also the first snooker player to have more than 100 centuries in a single season.
Mark Selby, snooker, has 570 century breaks of 100 or higher, or more than 57,000 points. But the combined points are not consecutive.
(#3) I have not been able to find a combined statistic for Willie Mosconi in straight pool, but he had runs of 526, 365, 355, 322, 309 and regularly ran 150 and out.
William Cook, English billiards all-in, 42,746 consecutive billiards using the "cradle cannon" or "anchor cannon" nursing technique
Charles Dawson, English billiards all-in, 23,769 consecutive billiards (unfinished) in 1907 using the "cradle cannon" or "anchor cannon" nursing technique
Mike Massey, pocket billiards, 11,230 balls pocketed in 24 hours (albeit not without misses)
Charlie Peterson, straight rail billiards, 10,232 consecutive balls in 1931 via nursing
George Spears, straight rail billiards, 5,041 consecutive balls via nursing in 1895
William "Billy" Mitchell, English billiards all-in, runs 4,427 balls against W. J. Peall
Walter Lindrum, English billiards, 4,137 consecutive balls via nursing on Jan. 19, 1932, in a match against Joe Davis, resulting in the institution of balkline rules
William Peall, English billiards all-in, 3,304 consecutive balls in 1890 against Charles Dawson under obsolete rules (i.e., potting the same ball repeatedly)
Walter Lindrum runs 3,262 balls against Willie Smith at the Memorial Hall, Farrington Street, London, in Dec. 1929, becoming the first person to pass 3,000 since William Peall in 1890
Jacob Schaefer Sr., straight rail billiards, 2,996 consecutive balls via reverse rail nursing in 1890
Harvey McKenna, straight rail, 2,572 balls on Dec. 21, 1887, on a 5x10 table in Boston, MA
William J. Peall, English billiards all-in, 2,413 balls, the first player to exceed two thousand, on November 5, 1886
George Gray, English billiards all-in, 2,196 balls (unfinished) in a 1911 match against Cecil Harveson at the Holborn Town Hall, London
Maurice Vignaux, straight rail billiards, 1,531 balls, April 10-14, 1880, in Paris against George F. Slosson on a 5x10 table. Slosson did not shoot at all the last night.
John McDevitt, four-ball, 1,483 billiards (unfinished) in 1868; push shots and crotching allowed; McDevitt continued to 1,500 unofficially at the request of the audience
John McDevitt, four-ball, 1,458 billiards in 1868; this run led to the barring of the push stroke
Walter Lindrum, English billiards, 1,417 consecutive balls under new rules, in 1922
(#4) Peter Gilchrist, English billiards (three pot rule), 1,346 balls during the 2007 New Zealand Open Billiards Championships
Geet Sethi, English billiards, 1,276 balls during the 1992 World Professional Billiards Championship (three pot rule)
Roger Conti, 45.2 balkline billiards, 1,214 balls
Mike Russell, English billiards, 1,137 balls during the 2010 IBSF World Billiards Championship (three pot rule)
William A. Spinks or W. W. Spink, 18.2 balkline billiards, 1,009 balls (unfinished) in a single inning at Los Angeles, in 1912, using the "chuck nurse" or "rocking cannon" technique
William "Billy" Mitchell, English billiards all-in, 1,055 balls, the first 1,000 break, against W. J. Peall at the Black Horse Hotel, Rathbone Place, Oct. 5, 1882
Melvin Foster, four-ball, 1000 balls by "crotching out" in one inning versus George T. Stone in Breed's Hall, Norwich, CT on Aug. 4, 1869
Roger Conti, 18.2 balkline billiards, 837 balls on Oct. 19, 1929
Edouard Horemans, 18-inch balkline (two shots in), 818 balls in 1922
Arthur "Babe" Cranfield, straight pool, 768 balls, unofficial, during a practice session (for legitimacy issues, see his witnessed 450 and 420 runs below)
Edouard Horemans, 18.2 balkline billiards, 701 balls on January 15, 1922, at Thum's room in New York
Jacob Schaefer Sr., straight rail billiards, 690 consecutive balls via the "rail nurse" in 1879; this led to the introduction of the "Champion's Game"
Welker Cochran, 18.2 balkline billiards, 684 balls
Tom Parker, straight pool, 642 balls, unofficial, as told to Dick Leonard; may not have be witnessed by other individuals from beginning to end
Michael Eufemia, straight pool, 626 balls, unofficial, may not have be witnessed by other individuals from beginning to end (but he was said to run 200 balls nearly every night!)
Willie Hoppe, 18.2 balkline billiards, 622 balls in a 1912 exhibition
Willie Mosconi, straight pool, 608 balls (Mosconi has said his highest practice runs on a 9' table are 608 and 589)
Jacob Schaefer Sr., 14.2 balkline billiards, 566 balls in 1893 via the "anchor nurse" in New York on Dec. 16, 1893
Louis Cure, 18.2 balkline billiards, 531 balls in 1912
Willie Mosconi, straight pool, 526 balls on an 8-foot table on March 20, 1954 in Springfield, OH (the official record, with 35 witness signatures)
Min-Wai Chin, straight pool, 500+ balls (but why is the exact number of balls not known?)
Frank C. Ives, 14.2 balkline billiards, 487 balls using the "anchor nurse" in 1894; this led to the "Parker's Box"
Jack Schaefer Jr., 18.2 balkline billiards, 480 balls in a match with Dave McAndless at Chicago, Oct. 19, 1921
Jack Schaefer Jr., 18.2 balkline billiards, 480 balls in an exhibition against Welker Cochran at Chicago, Jan. 22, 1922
Thomas Engert, straight pool, 491 balls (the number has been reported as 492 elsewhere, but Engert himself signs autographs with the number 491)
Dallas West, straight pool, 468 balls (according to Mark Wilson, Dallas West had three runs of 400 or more balls on 5x10 tables)
Babe Cranfield, straight pool, 32 racks (approx. 450 balls), witnessed by Dave Capone, who racked for Cranfield
Jack Schaefer Jr., 18.2 balkline billiards, 432 balls in title match
Gene Nagy, straight pool, 430 balls (Nagy was an "underground" shark who reportedly had 20 or more runs of 200 balls)
Dallas West, straight pool, 429 balls
Ray "Cool Cat" Martin, straight pool, 426 balls
Allen "Young Hoppe" Hopkins, 421 balls
Arthur "Babe" Cranfield, straight pool, 420 balls, in Syracuse on a 10' table, before a sizeable audience, per George Fels
Roger Conti, 18.2 balkline billiards, 416 balls
John McDevitt, four-ball, 409 balls against William Goldthwait in a match in Bumstead Hall, Boston, MA, on Oct. 30, 1866
Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann, straight pool, 408 balls
Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, straight pool, 408 balls
Alain Martel, straight pool, 408 balls
Jean Reverchon, artistic billiards, 404 balls, record competitive score
John Schmidt, straight pool, 403 balls (he also has runs of 400, 366, 294 and 245 balls)
Jack Schaeffer Jr., 18.2 balkline billiards, 400 balls (unfinished) at the 1925 balkline championships against Eric Hagenlocher, Feb. 26, 1925
George F. Slosson, champions' game, 398 balls, Jan. 30-Feb 3, 1882, in Paris against Maurice Vignaux
Jose Garcia, straight pool, 396 balls
Wendell Weir, straight pool, 389 balls
Claude Falkiner, English billiards (closed cannon play), 388 balls, at London in 1918
Jack Colavita, straight pool, 385 balls
Welker Cochran, 18.2 balkline billiards, 384 balls in a single inning during a championship match, at Chicago, in 1921
Joe "the Meatman" Basis, straight pool, had a run of 375 balls, and several others of 300 or more, according to Larry Guninger
John Schmidt, straight pool, 366 balls (on YouTube)
Willie Mosconi, straight pool, runs of 365, 355, 322 and 309 balls from 1945-1953 (according to Larry Guninger, he saw Mosconi run 200 or more balls at least 20 times!)
Johnny Ervolino, straight pool, 361 balls
Dennis Hatch, straight pool, 360 balls
Klaus Zobreskis, straight pool, 356 balls
Sailor Barge, straight pool, 356 balls
Welker Cochran, 18.1 balkline, 353 balls in an exhibition
Stanley Robison, straight pool, around 350 balls (Robison ran 200 balls against Mosconi in exhibition in Boise, until Willie grabbed the mike and said "I am the one putting on the exhibition!")
Werner Duregger, straight pool, 349 balls
George "Ginky" SanSouci, straight pool, 344 balls (with another reported run of 252 balls)
George Mecula, straight pool, 336 balls ("He would run 100 once or twice a day for years.")
Peter Margo, straight pool, has a high run of 330 balls in the World Series of Pool, held in Arlington, Virginia, in 1978
Maurice Vignaux, 8.2 balkline billiards, 329 balls in Paris on a 5x10 table, in January 1884
Grady Matthews, straight pool, 327 balls
Oliver Ortmann, straight pool, 326 balls
Werner Duregger, straight pool, 326 balls
Dick Leonard, straight pool, 326 balls
Davy Daya, straight pool, 323 balls (Daya also has a run of 309 balls, and several others of 200 or more)
Steve Mizerak, straight pool, 321 balls
Pete Fusco, straight pool, 321 balls
Alexander Wanner, straight pool, 320 balls
Mike Sigel, straight pool, 319 balls
Bob Maidhof, straight pool, 316 balls
(#4) Irving Crane, straight pool, 309 balls in 1939 (this remains the record for a 10-foot table)
Danny DiLiberto, straight pool, 308 balls
Alex Lely, straight pool, 308 balls (on YouTube)
Frank "the Inexorable Snail" Taberski, 14.1 continuous "straight pool," 307 consecutive balls in multiple matches, in 1927
Pan Andre, straight pool, 306 balls
Shane Van Boening, straight pool, 305 balls
Roger Griffis, straight pool, 304 balls
Niels Feijen, straight pool, 304 balls (on YouTube)
Willie "The King" Hoppe, 14.1 balkline, 303 balls world record high run in 1914
Shaun Murphy, snooker, two perfect 147 breaks in three frames, or 294 balls, on May 19, 2018, in Budapest
(#5) Ralph Greenleaf, straight pool, 287 balls (he also had runs of 272, 267, 263, 206, 169, 155, 137 and 101 from 1918-1935; some of these were records at the time and on 5x10 tables, no less!)

Abner Finn, line-up, 284 balls, unofficial record, 1930
Erwin Rudolph, straight pool, 277 balls in 1935. (Chicago Tribune, March 12, 1935. p. 25)
Roger Conti, 71.2 balkline billiards, 272 balls in 1938
Alex Pagulayan, straight pool, 270 balls, at Amsterdam Billiards and Bar on Oct. 9, 2017 (on YouTube)
Ralph Greenleaf, continuous pool, 263 balls in an exhibition at Sacramento, CA, in 1923
Niels Feijen, straight pool, 259 balls
Willie "The King" Hoppe, 71.2 balkline billiards, 248 balls in 1937
John Schmidt, straight pool, 245 balls
Corey Deuel, straight pool, 229 balls (on YouTube)
Jayson Shaw, straight pool, 227 balls (on YouTube)
Evgeny Stalev, straight pool, 226 balls (on YouTube)
Chris Melling, straight pool, 225 balls (on YouTube)
Lee Vann Corteza, straight pool, 225 balls, at the 2016 George Fels Memorial Derby City Classic (on YouTube)
Mika Immonen, straight pool, 224 balls, at the 2015 George Fels Memorial Derby City Classic (on YouTube)
(#6) Ralf Souquet, 8-ball, 27 racks while preparing for the IPT, confirmed on his website, approximately 216 consecutive balls with a very high degree of difficulty
Jack Schaeffer Jr., 18.1 balkline billiards, tournament record 212 balls in 1926
Dennis Orcullo, straight pool, 210 balls (on YouTube)
(#7) Darren Appleton, straight pool, 200 balls in a single inning (unfinished) on his first shot, in a match against Francisco Bustamante at New York in 2013 (the straight pool equivalent of a "perfect game")
Francis Conneson, cushion caroms, 199 balls
Alex Pagulayan, straight pool, 197 balls, at the 2017 George Fels Memorial Derby City Classic (on YouTube)
(#8) Keith McCready, 9-ball, 21 racks on a bar table at Hard Times, Costa Mesa, CA, allegedly confirmed by KM during a podcast, approximately 189 balls with a super-high degree of difficulty
(#9) "Iron" Joe Procita, straight pool, 182 balls, the still-standing tournament record for a 5x10 table (he set the tournament record against the official world record holder, Willie Mosconi, in 1954)
Johnny Archer, straight pool, 182 balls (on YouTube)
Calvin Demarest, 14.2 balkline billiards, 170 balls at Chicago in 1908
Ralph Greenleaf, continuous pool, 169 balls in an exhibition at York, PA, in 1921
(#10) Jennifer Chen, straight pool, 158 balls, the women's record
Willie Hoppe, 18-inch balkline (one shot in), 157 balls in 1908
Emmet Blankenship, line-up, official high run 154 balls in 1916
Jeanette Lee, straight pool, 152 balls
Kirk Stevens, snooker, high record break 152 in 1954
Thorsten Hohman, straight pool, 151 balls (on YouTube)
Irving Crane, straight pool, ran 150 balls and out against Joe Balsis in the finals of the 1966 US Open championship
Welker Cochran, 18.1 balkline, 150 exhibition high average in 1927
Pulman, snooker, 147 maximum break in 1965
Ralph Greenleaf, continuous pool, 137 balls (unfinished) at Camden, NJ, in 1918
Jean Balukas, straight pool, 134 balls
Jack Schaeffer Jr., 28.2 balkline billiards, 132 balls record high run in 1937
Ruth McGinnis, straight pool, 128 balls (she also had runs of 125 and 85)
Tkach Kristina, straight pool, 123 balls (her run can be viewed on YouTube)
Jasmin Ouschan, straight pool, 120 balls (her brother Albin is also a world champion pool player; in 2008 Jasmin finished third in a major men's tournament, defeating Mikka Immonen and Oliver Ortmann)
William Clearwater, straight pool, 118 balls in an early straight pool exhibition
Line "Eye Chart" Kvoersvik, straight pool, 116 balls
Con Stanbury, snooker, 113 balls, first century in 1922
Jake Schaefer, 18-inch balkline (no shot in), 111 balls 
Ralph Greenleaf, continuous pool, 101 balls in a then-record championship tournament high run against Joseph Keough (the inventor of continuous or "straight" pool), in 1924
William Clearwater, continuous pool, 97 balls on a 10-foot table
Alfredo de Oro, continuous pool, 91 balls against Joseph Keough, in 1910
Niels Feijen, 9-ball, 15 racks or approximately 135 balls, with a super-high degree of difficulty, while preparing for the 4th Open Weert 9-Ball Championship against Donald Du Bois on a 9' table
Mike Massey, 9-ball, 13 racks when McDermott cues was sponsoring him in the 80's (I remember players discussing this when it happened)
Johnny Archer, 9-ball, 13 racks against Francisco Bustamante, gambling for $5,000
Mika Immonen, 9-ball, 12 racks against Ray Doherty at Classic Billiards in Phoenixville, PA
Earl Strickland, 9-ball, 11 racks against Nick Mannino at a C. J. Wiley event, witnessed by Jay Helfert, who racked the last five games
(#10) Ronnie Allen, 1-pocket, 6 racks on a Brunswick Gold Crown table, spotting 10-8 (witnessed by Freddy "The Beard" Bentivegna)
(#2) Efren Reyes, 15-ball rotation, 5 full racks at Hard Times while practicing
Frank C. Ives, cushion caroms, 85 balls in a tournament in Boston in 1895
Bennie Allen, continuous pool, 81 balls in a then-record championship tournament high run, in Hightstown, NJ, in 1919
William Sexton, cushion caroms, 77 balls in a match against Jake Schaefer Sr. on Dec. 19, 1881 at Tammany Hall, NY, on a 5x10 table
Alfredo de Oro, continuous pool, 74 balls in a Tampa tournament, in 1914
Bennie Allen, continuous pool, 71 balls in a then-record championship tournament high run, in 1914
Ewa Mataya, straight pool, 68 balls, the official women's record in a U. S. Open
William Clearwater, continuous pool, set a world championship record with a 59 ball run in 1904, in a match against Alfredo de Oro, who ran 58 balls
Charles C. Peterson, red ball, 54 world record high run in an exhibition at St. Louis in 1915
Willie "The King" Hoppe, red ball, 53 run in Holland in 1905
Willie "The King" Hoppe, cushion caroms, 50 point run at Cleveland, OH, in 1917
Joe Carney, cushion caroms, 50 point run at Denver, CO, in 1912
Jake Schaefer Jr., cushion carom billiards, 39 balls vs. Willie Hoppe at the Morrison Hotel, Chicago, IL, on April 24, 1933
George F. Slosson, cushion carom billiards, 38 balls, in 1883, a high run that will stand for 50 years (see the entry immediately above)
Jacob Schaeffer Sr., 3-cushion billiards, 36 consecutive billiards using a "double the rail" nurse technique
Dick Jaspers, 3-cushion billiards, 34 consecutive billiards over three matches in the 2008 European Championship against Torbjorn Blomdahl
Raymond Ceulemans, 3-cushion billiards, runs 32 balls on March 14, 1998 for his Dutch club Crystal Kelly

Cho Myung Woo, 3-cushion billiards, 32 consecutive billiards during practice (unofficial)
Yoshio Yoshihara, 3-cushion billiards, 30 consecutive billiards in tournament play in 1988
Raymond Ceulemans, 3-cushion billiards, 28 consecutive billiards in Dutch league play in 1998 (tied with Sang Lee and others)
Raymond Ceulemans, 3-cushion billiards, breaks Willie Hoppe's 50-year-old record by one billiard, 50 years later, by running 26 balls in the Simonis Cup tournament in 1968
(#2) Willie "The King" Hoppe, 3-cushion billiards, 25 consecutive billiards in a 1918 exhibition against C. C. Peterson, on an unheated table (a record that stood for fifty years)
Pierre Maupome, 3-cushion billiards, 18 consecutive billiards in a 1914 match against C. C. Peterson, in St. Louis

High Winning Averages

John Seereiter, four-ball, 6.94 average with a high run of 53 vs. Bernard Crystal in the first match in which high runs and averages are recorded, in 1858
Dudley Kavanagh, four-ball, 8.47 average with a high run of 177 balls vs. Michael Foley in the first match where admission tickets are sold, at Fireman's Hall in Detroit, in 1859
Michael Phelan, four-ball, 12.20 average with a high run of 129 vs. John Seereiter in Fireman's Hall,  Detroit, playing for $5,000 per side, in 1859
John McDevitt, four-ball, 17.24 average with a high run of 148 vs. Frank Parker on Dec. 17, 1863 in Union Hall, Indianapolis, IN
The above was the last public four-ball match on a six-pocket table. McDevitt took the older game out in style with a new record average.
Joseph Dion, four-ball, 25.86 average with a high run of 258 vs. John McDevitt in a match in Mechanics' Hall, Montreal, on Oct. 5, 1866

Related pages: Mark Twain, Was Minnesota Fats Overrated?, A Brief History of Billiards, Pool/Billiards Record High Runs, The Sexiest Sharks, Johnston City Sharks, Nashville Sharks, Dick Hunzicker, "Saint Louie" Louie Roberts, Earl "The Pearl" Strickland, Who was the best nine-ball player?

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