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Who was the best nine-ball player of all time?

Who was the best nine-ball player ever to pick up a cue? Perhaps it depends on the circumstances. In the famous (or infamous) Johnston City pool hustler tournaments, playing on regulation tables, Luther Lassiter was the nine-ball king. But playing on a bar table, it would be sheer folly to bet against Keith McCready, Louie Roberts or Dave Matlock. During his prime, gambling for cash, Buddy Hall was spotting top pros the seven and winning. But then a young Earl Strickland showed up with bobby pins holding back his flowing mane, and "the Pearl" gave "the Rifleman" some serious grief. Then a few years later, Efren "the Magician" Reyes arrived from the Philippines with a Merlin-like wand ...

complied by Mike Burch

Efren Reyes named Mike Sigel, Johnny Archer and Earl Strickland as his three toughest opponents. Buddy Hall said that he beat Reyes and his backers out of $10,000 despite being so hung over he had to drink three pots of coffee! Kreole Freddie confirmed this account on the website, saying that Reyes had beaten Sigel, Strickland and Wade Crane. But when Reyes played Hall, the Rifleman "crucified" him. When I saw Buddy Hall shoot in his prime, he was untouchable. So for nine-ball, for the cash, Buddy Hall is almost my number one player of all time. But there is one player that I think was better and still improving when he died in his prime ...

Here are my picks for the ten best nine-ball players of all time, with a few ties that make it a baker's dozen:

#10 Nick Varner: the "Kentucky Colonel" was small in stature but would "speak softly and carry a big stick"
#9 Jose Parica: the "Giant Killer" has won more than a hundred pool tournaments around the globe
#8 "Saint Louie" Louie Roberts: the charismatic Elvis of pool was a fearless shotmaker and run-out king
     Keith McCready: "Earthquake" was another great shotmaker and run-out king
     Richard "Richie" Florence: no one could beat Florence when he was in dead stroke, according to Ronnie Allen
#7 Efren Reyes: they don't call him the "Magician" for nothing, whether the game is nine-ball, rotation, billiards, etc.
#6 Johnny Archer: great form and ultra-precision pool were personified by the "Scorpion"
#5 Mike Sigel: "Captain Hook" was great defensively and Reyes complained that "He never misses!"
#4 Earl Strickland: Sigel said that an 8-2 lead wasn't safe when the "Pearl" was breaking!
#3 Luther Lassiter: "Wimpy" dominated the legendary Johnston City pool hustler tournaments, in his 50s!
     Don Willis: how good was the mysterious "Cincinnati Kid" (see the quote below by Luther Lassiter)
#2 Buddy Hall: the only player that Reyes said that he feared, the "Rifleman" ruled the tables in his prime
#1 Harold Worst: was Worst ironically "the Best" ever? He beat Willis and Lassiter dodged him. When Worst died of terminal brain cancer at age 37, none of his main competitors would play him even for money. Even with the "nuts" they couldn't always beat him. You can learn more about this amazing player by clicking the hyperlink at the end of the second paragraph below.

It's hard to say how the greatest American players of the past would stack up against the best present-day American, European and Asian players. Based on major tournaments won and WPA/BCA rankings, the leading international candidates appear to be Efren Reyes, Jose Parica, Francisco Bustamante, Shane Van Boening, Thorsten Hohmann, Mika Immonen, Oliver Ortmann, Darren Appleton, Ralf Souquet, Niels Feijen, Jayson Shaw, Fong-Pang Chao, Ko Pin-Yi, Dennis Orcollo, Alex Pagulayan, Ronato "Ronnie" Alcano, Dennis Orcollo, Evgeny Stalev, Albin Ouschan, Carlo Biado, Dennis Hatch, Billy Thorpe, Jung Lin Chang, Chris Melling, Eklent Kaci, Kuo Po-Cheng and Rodney Morris.

"If I ever had to have someone else shoot pool for my life, win, lose, live or die, the man I'd want shooting for me is Don Willis." Luther "Wimpy" Lassiter (who probably said this before Worst busted Willis)

Harold Worst was not just the best and most-feared nine-ball player of his era when he died prematurely in 1965. He was also the three-cushion billiards champion of the world, a combination the world has never seen before, or since. He had also recently won an English snooker tournament, according to Ronnie "Fast Eddie" Allen. Furthermore, Worst was one of the best one-pocket players, despite having only learned the game in his mid-thirties, by throwing money at Allen. Worst had also won the all-round championships at the two major pool tournaments he entered in 1965: the Johnston City and Stardust tournaments, against formidable competition. Worst has been called the best pool/billiards player of all time by knowledgeable insiders like Minnesota Fats, Fast Eddie, "Champagne" Ed Kelly, Jay "Toupee" Helfert and Freddy "the Beard" Bentivegna. But perhaps his greatest endorsements came from Luther Lassiter and Eddie Taylor, the champions of nine-ball and one-pocket, respectively, in the mid-1960s. They both dodged Worst at the games that made them famous. To learn more about this remarkable player, please click here: Harold Worst, the Best Billiards and Pool Player of All Time.

Blasts from the Past: Ronnie "Fast Eddie" Allen (better known for one-pocket), Joe "the Meatman" Balsis (better known for straight pool), Jean Balukas, George "the Flamethrower" Breedlove, Billy "Cornbread Red" Burge, "Machine Gun" Lou Butera, Jimmy Caras (better known for straight pool), Irving "Deacon" Crane, Wade "Boom Boom" Crane, Kim Davenport, Allen "Young Hoppe" Hopkins, "Little" David Howard, Larry "Boston Shorty" Johnson, "Handsome" Danny Jones, "Champagne" Eddie Kelly, Ray "Cool Cat" Martin, Jimmy "Pretty Boy Floyd" Mataya, Mike "Tennessee Tarzan" Massey (better known for trick shots and artistic pool, but he once ran eleven tables on a bar table), David Matlock, Steve "the Miz" Mizerak, Willie Mosconi (better known for straight pool), Utley Jim "U.J." Puckett, Andrew Ponzi (better known for straight pool), Jim "The King" Rempe, Leonard "Bugs" Rucker, Eddie "the Knoxville Bear" Taylor (better known for bank and one-pocket), Titanic Thompson (better known as a proposition gambler), Rudolph "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone (better know as a one-pocket player and proposition gambler)

Undercover "Monster" Players: "Frisco" Jack Cooney, Mike Carella, Vernon "Burnie" Elliot, Walter Glass, Dick Hunzicker, Bud Hype, Lotsapoppa, Weldon "Jr." Rogers (one-handed), Denny Searcy, Craig "Greg" Stevens aka "Big Train," Toby Sweet, Cecil Tugwell, Don "the Cincinnati Kid" Willis, Bobby Hunter, Dallas West, Jeff Carter, Tom Storm, Jeremy Jones, Tony Drago

According to "Toupee" Jay Helfert, Keith "Earthquake" McCready went looking for "monster" players!

Rankings based on WPA world championships (all disciplines) plus US Open nine-ball championships plus US Open straight pool championships, for players who won at least one US Open nine-ball championship:

HALL OF FAME: Earl Strickland (3+5+0) has the most combined world championships according to the formula above, followed by Shane Van Boening (0+5+0), Steve Mizerak (0+1+4), Mike Sigel (0+3+1), Johnny Archer (2+1+0), Efren Reyes (2+1+0), Buddy Hall (0+2+0), Louie Roberts (0+2+0), Allen Hopkins (0+2+0), Nick Varner (0+2+0), and Dave Howard (0+2+0)

Honorable Mention: Ronato "Ronnie" Alcano (2+0), Darren "Dynamite" Appleton (2+2), Karl Boyes (1+0), Francisco "Django" Bustamante (1+0), Fong-Pang Chao (2+0), Corey "Cash Money" Deuel (0+1), Niels "The Terminator" Feijen (2+0), Thorsten "The Hitman" Hohmann (4+0), Mika "The Ice Man" Immonen (2+2), Jeremy Jones (0+1), Tommy Kennedy (0+1), Mike Lebron (0+1), Rodney "The Rocket" Morris (0+1), Dennis Orcollo (1+0+1), Oliver Ortmann (4+0+2), Albin Ouschan (1+0), Gabe Owen (0+1), Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan (1+1), Daryl Peach (1+0), Reed Pierce (0+1), Ko Pin-Yi (2+0), Jimmy "Hippie" Reid (0+1), John Schmidt (0+1), Ralf "The Kaiser" Souquet (2+1+1), Evgeny Stalev (2+0)

Women's Rankings: Allison Fischer aka "the Duchess of Doom" (4+6), Kim Ga-Young (2+3), Kelly Fisher (2+0), Robin "Bankroll" Bell (2+1), Ewa Laurance aka "The Striking Viking" (0+2), Liu Sha Sha (2+0), Jeanette Lee aka "The Black Widow" (0+1), Karen Corr (0+1), Jasmin Ouschan, Pan Xiaoting, Cha Yu-Ram, Gerda Hofstatter

Please note that the formula used above is not completely fair to players to players who were at their best before the WPA and US Open championships began. But the formula does help us compare the best of the more modern players, at least to some degree. But some of the best players of yore have been excluded because nine-ball either did not exist or was not considered a championship game in their day. Such players include Jake "the Wizard" Schaefer, Alfred "Peter Pan" Frey, Alfredo de Oro, Willie "The King" Hoppe, Ralph "the Aristocrat" Greenleaf, John "Rags" Fitzpatrick, Eddie "the Knoxville Bear" Taylor, Irving "Deacon" Crane and Willie "Mr. Pocket Billiards" Mosconi.

Current and Rising Stars per the 2018 WPA Rankings: (1) Carlo Biado, (2) Jung Lin Chang, (3) Eklent Kaci, (4) Joshua Filler, (5) Yu Hsuan Cheng, (6) Albin Ouschan, (7) Thorsten Hohmann, (8) Ping Chung Ko, (9) Kun Lin Wu, (10) Roland Garcia, (11) Haitao Liu, (12) Jeffrey De Luna, (13) Johann Gonzales Chua, (14) Naoyuki Oi, (15) Jayson Shaw, (16) Ko Pin-Yi, (17) Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, (18) Jin Hu Dang, (19) Chia Chen Hsieh, (20) Jeffrey Ignacio

Current and Rising Stars per the 2017 WPA Rankings: (1) Jung Lin Chang, (2) Jayson Shaw, (3) Ko Pin-Yi, (4) Albin Ouschan, (5) Yu Hsuan Cheng, (6) Shane Van Boening, (7) Ping Chung Ko, (8) Thorsten Hohmann, (9) Carlo Biado, (10) Jin Hu Dang, (11) Alexander Kazakis, (12) Alex Pagulayan, (13) Ralf Souquet, (14) Hao Xiang Han, (15) Jeffrey De Luna, (16) Warren Kiamco, (17) Jiaqing Wu, (18) Mika Immonen, (19) Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz, (20) Dennis Orcullo

Other notable names in the 2017 WPA Rankings not already mentioned on this page: David Alcaide, Radoslaw Babica, Mike Dechaine, Dennis Hatch, Raj Hundal, Steve Lillis, Imran Majid, Robb Saez, Brandon Shuff, Nick Van Den Berg, Skyler Woodward

Current and Rising Stars per the 2016 WPA Rankings: (1) Jung Lin Chang, (2) Ko Pin-Yi (3) Yu Hsuan Cheng, (4) Jiaqing Wu, (5) Albin Ouschan, (6) Jayson Shaw, (7) Alex Pagulayan, (8) Shane Van Boening, (9) Jin Hu Dang, (10) Alexander Kazakis

The best brother-sister pool team? Don't even think about taking on Albin Ouschan and his older sister Jasmin Ouschan! Their parents owned a pool hall in Klagenfurt, Austria and raised two sharks. Albin was the youngest European champion ever, at age eleven; he won the WPA world championship in 2016. Jasmin not only has been ranked number one among the women players, but she has played against male players in major championships and more than held her own. In 2008 she reached the Men's World Straight Pool Championship semifinal by beating Mika Immonen and defending champion Oliver Ortmann, before losing to Francisco Bustamante. Her third-place finish resulted in the first medal won by any woman in an open world pool championship. Jasmin Ouschan's high run in straight pool is 120.

Who were the best one-shot-roll-out nine-ball players? Perhaps Eddie Taylor (because of his superior banking ability) and Harold Worst (because of his superior cutting ability).

Best on a bar table: Jesse Bowman, Corey Duel, "Surfer" Rod Curry, Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall, "Little" David Howard, "Boston" Joey Kiley, Keith "Earthquake" McCready, "St. Louie" Louie Roberts, "Omaha" John Shuput, Three-Fingered Ronnie Sypher, Shane Van Boening, Keith McCready, Dave Matlock

Other nine-ball players of note: The Bus Driver, Marcus Chamat, Wu Chia Ching, Yang Ching-Shun "The Son of Pool", Tony Chohan, Steve Davis, "Kid" Cole Dickson, Ron Dooley, Tony Drago, Thomas Engert, Norman Hitchcock, Wu Jia-Qing, Loree Jon Jones, Markus Juva, Yi-Che Kuo, Derek "Chew" Leonard, Dan Louie, Jimmy Matz, Danny Medina, John Morra, Fabio Patroni, Wu Jia Qing, Greg Stevens, Mark Tadd, Tony Watson, C.J. Wiley, Rob "Roadplayer" Wolfe, Zion Zvi (the absolute last word in pool names!)

The Best Players in other Pool Disciplines and Genres

The best road players and hustlers: Ronnie Allen, Billy "Cornbread Red" Burge, Vernon Elliot, Minnesota Fats, Richie Florence, Keith McCready, "St. Louie" Louie Roberts, Efren Reyes

The best straight pool players: Willie Mosconi, Irving Crane, Joe Balsis, Lou Butera, Jimmy Caras, Ralph Greenleaf, Peter Margo, Ray Martin, Steve Mizerak, Frank Taberski, Dallas West

The best one-pocket players: Eddie Taylor, Ronnie Allen, John "Rags" Fitzpatrick, Jack "Jersey Red" Breit, Larry "Boston Shorty" Johnson, Harold Worst, Dennis Orcullo, Scott "Freezer" Frost, Efren Reyes

The best bank players: Eddie Taylor, Johnny "Cannonball" Chapman, Wade "Boom Boom" Crane, Tony "Banks" Coleman, Shannon "The Cannon" Daulton, Jimmy Fusco, Truman Hogue, Kenny "Romburg" Remus, Leonard "Bugs" Rucker, Gary Spaeth, Nick Varner, Javenly "Youngblood" Washington

The best ten-ball players: Dennis Orcullo, Shane Van Boening, Johnny Archer, Tony Drago, Buddy Hall, Allen Hopkins, Mika Immonen, Jimmy Reid, Efren Reyes, Alex Pagulayan

The best snooker players: Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Steve Davis

The best eight-ball players: Ronnie Alcano, Darren Appleton, Johnny Archer, Shane Van Boening, Rodney Morris, Alex Pagulayan, Efren Reyes, Ralf Souquet

The best rotation players: Efren Reyes, Ronnie Alcano, George "Rotation Slim" Hairston, Dennis Orcollo, Alex Pagulayan, Francisco Bustamante, Gandy Valle, Rodolfo Luat, Lee Van Corteza, Warren Kiamco, Ramil Gallego, Antonio Lining

Mike Burch:

These are my observations about the best nine-ballers that I saw play myself:

(10) Michael Coltrain had the best stroke I ever saw: pure pool precision, although he sometimes struggled with shape
        I saw Alex Pagulayan "play the ghost" at ten ball, and hold his own
        David Howard was called "Little" but he was a giant-killer at nine-ball
        Mike Massey, known as "Tennessee Tarzan," was a gentleman, an entertainer, a trick shot artist with a touch of magic, and a helluva shot in "real pool"
        Dave Matlock was a bar box champion
(9) Nick Varner was a great nine-baller, although I missed seeing him play at his best
(8) Allen Hopkins had a quirky stroke, but he was a hard man to beat with money or a championship on the line
(7) Keith McCready was a fabulous shotmaker, and an even better talker and intimidator; he wasn't acting in The Color of Money, just playing himself
(6) Efren Reyes really is a magician with a pool cue, although I have seen him miss shots that Buddy Hall never missed in his prime
(5) Johnny Archer has perfect form, and when he is in stroke, it is a wonder to behold
(4) Mike Sigel never missed a shot when he was in stroke, and yet his nickname "Captain Hook" suggests that his defense was even better
(3) Buddy Hall was able to spot top pros the seven ball; what else do we need to know about the "Rifleman"?
(2) Earl Strickland gave the "Rifleman" serious grief when I saw them play; Hall may have been more consistent, but then Strickland would get out out his jump cue and pull off the impossible ...
(1) Louis Roberts was the best nine-ball player I ever saw, when he was on, because he was fearless and unpredictable; he was also charismatic and a great entertainer

Who was the best nine-ball player of all time? According to history it was Harold Worst, because Louie Lassiter, Don Willis, Eddie Taylor and Ronnie Allen ended up refusing to play him, or demanding outrageous spots. Since Worst died, Buddy Hall has been the most consistent shotmaker, but Efren Reyes and Earl Strickland have been more spectacular when firing on all cylinders. Still, give me Saint Louie Louie Roberts when there is an impossible shot to be made. Louie could get out from anywhere, disdaining defense in pursuit of offensive perfection. I still remember that magical night in Chatanooga, in 1981, when he came through the losers' bracket to defeat his idol, Buddy Hall, and win his second U.S. Open nine-ball championship. I have never seen such brazen courage with so much on the line. I have never heard a crowd cheer so loudly and uproariously for a pool player. For me, Louie is the best because he would fling caution to the winds and no one could beat him when he was really "on." If you doubt me, ask Buddy Hall about that night in Chatanooga, when he was shaking his head at the sheer audacity of Louie Roberts, and his otherworldly shotmaking. For me, Louie Roberts is the greatest shotmaker ever, and isn't that really what nine-ball is all about: making the impossible shot and running out? No one ever played better run-out pool on a bigger stage than Louie Roberts did, that magical night at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with Mike Massey playing host and the rest of us watching in wonder, wishing we could shoot like that. But only Louie could summon such magic.

Terry "Loop-Lock" Ardeno, PHD (Pool Hall Degree):

Now, in my opinion, three things make a GREAT player:

1. Tournaments won
2. Gambling prowess
3. Longevity
In my opinion, Luther Lassiter was the greatest nine-baller to ever play. Earl [Strickland] was the the best tournament nine-baller, but Luther beats him in gambling ability as well as longevity.
As for background on Luther Lassiter, he was born on Nov 5, 1918 and died at age 69 on Oct 25, 1988. He was a great player by the time he was in his 20s, but, in the 1940's and 1950's, there were hardly any major 9 ball tournaments being held. By the time the Johnson City tournaments came into being starting in 1961, Lassiter was already a legendary road player. Starting in 1962 (the 1st Johnson City 9 ball tournament) Lassiter dominated the field and won the first of his 6 World 9 ball championships. These Johnson City and Stardust tournaments were the de facto World Championships and they had fields that included Harold Worst, Ed Kelly, Irving Crane, Joe Balsis, Ronnie Allen, Danny Jones, Eddie Taylor, Larry Johnson, Jim Marino, Buddy Hall and many other great players. Lassiter won titles in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1969 and 1971. Keep in mind that at this time, he was 44 in 1962 and 53 in 1971....His peak as a player was arguably past, yet he still beat very, very talented players.
Now, not only was he a great TOURNAMENT player, he was also one of the greatest MONEY players that ever lived. His favorite game was "money pool", any game he could bet on. Believe me when I tell you this, his game went UP several notches for the cash. Some players play better in tournaments than they do when they gamble, and others, visa-versa. Lassiter was a better money player than a tournament player.

So, put those two facts together, add in his longevity at the top (30+ years) and I can make a very strong case for him. This of course does not take into consideration his 4 outright World Straight pool Championships, PLUS 5 Straight pool Championships at Johnson City, 5 World All-Around Championships and 1 World 1 Pocket Championship and you have a very gifted player indeed.
As for Strickland, I call him the greatest tournament 9 baller since Lassiter and he may in fact be Lassiter's equal at TOURNAMENT 9 ball. His 6 World Championships and 5 U.S. Open 9 Ball Championships is a record that I believe we will not see broken, ever. Look how hard it is for anyone to repeat or win those majors more than once. But Strickland, even though early in his career he did gamble at pool, at GAMBLING he was no match for Lassiter. So, you have two very special tournament players and one of them (Lassiter) also excelled at gambling 9 ball, so the edge, I believe, has to go to Lassiter.
As for Efren Reyes, he also has a special title. The greatest All-around player to have ever played pocket billiards. He was a great 9 baller, but not "the GREATEST" and here is what I base that opinion on. In the two major championships at 9 Ball, Efren has 1 World 9 Ball Championship in 1999 and 1 U.S. Open 9 Ball Championship in 1994. Sigel has 5 WC and 3 US Open's, Varner has 3 WC and back-to-back US Open titles. Archer, Hall, Souquet and Allen Hopkins have combined major 9 ball titles greater than Reyes' 2. BUT, Reyes also has 6 World 8 Ball Championships, he is the greatest Rotation player ever, in my opinion the greatest 1 pocket player ever and he is super at Straight pool. Overall, Reyes is better than Lassiter and Strickland, but not at 9 ball.
Consider this....Lassiter won 6 World 9 Ball Championships from the age of 44 till he was 53. He would have won how many more had there been 9 ball tournaments in the 2 previous decades. But there weren't any. So, if he won 6 World Championships 20 years after his prime, what would he have been like from the 1940's to 1960's?
Compare that to Reyes, who has one (1) World 9 Ball Championship, in an era where for 10 plus years, there were 2 "World 9 Ball Championships" available every year! And Reyes has a total of 1. Lassiter, who didn't have tournaments to compete in until he was 44, still won 6 of them.
These are just MY opinions and many other fans and historians who love and study the game as much as I do may have differing opinions. But, once I collected & reviewed all the info that I have on these great players, I feel very confident in my selections of who was better at what.


Earl Strickland's top speed is sick! 5 U.S. Opens is an amazing feat. I was in the audience at the 2000 U.S Open (Earl's 5th title) and I watched the entire event from start to finish and Earl never lost more than 6 games in any match. He just plowed through the field like it was nothing. You know what it looked like? You ever see a pro player play in a regional event with a weak field of amateurs? that's what it was like, no one looked like they had a chance.

Let's not forget that Lassiter still played in 9 ball events now and then right up until 1987 or 1988 when he died and still played well even though he was WAY past his prime and nearly 70 years old. I believe in 1986 and 1987 Lassiter still managed to finish 7-8 or 9-12 in a couple of major 9 ball events in which ALL the top players played. He finished as well or better than some really big names in their primes! Names like Keith McCready, Efren Reyes, Danny Medina, etc.


If you had been around Shreveport in the 70'S and watched Buddy give everyone the 7 and take the cash and win so many tournaments and then in the early 80's. What about at the Reds tournament? In the early 80's Buddy took all the money. Efren said he plays better than anyone he had ever seen. I watched Buddy beat them all, give St Louis Louie the 7 three times in Shreveport and win them all. Give Siegel the last two and win. Buddy Hall was the best 9 ball player to ever live and he has proven it, on the juice and off the juice too. I watched Earl in the early 80's in Houston and he still could not get the cash from Buddy. At certain times there have been a lot of great players that lasted a little while but Buddy outlasted them all over a longer period of time playing 9 ball. He has also been one of the best to talk to and learn something from. He would tell you anything you needed to know to help your game, and never mind doing it. He was an all round great guy. Just my opinion and I watched Buddy's and Earl's game first hand for several years.

Jay Helfert:

No one made running a tough rack look easier than Keith [McCready] did. He scared his opponents with the ease at which he made difficult shots and difficult run-outs. And when he was right, everything went in, EVERYTHING! He may have been the scariest opponent for the top players to draw in the 80's. They knew he feared no one and felt like he could beat anyone. Keith would make a side bet on any match regardless of his opponent; Sigel, Hall, Mizerak, whoever. At his beat, he was a very tough opponent for Earl. He was for everyone else too. Keith could make a very good player look like an amateur! His weaknesses included; missing matches, being unprepared and not being in condition to play. Remember Earl would be in the practice room all day and go to his room after a match to rest. He would go through entire tournaments playing great in every match. Big difference! And despite Keith's many talents, he couldn't string racks like Earl (no one could) and didn't have Earl's cue ball control. Keith's game was a little more wild and he was forced to shoot many more tough shots because of it. And he lost his cue ball (scratched) more often as well. Kind of Like Arnold Palmer against Jack Nicklaus. Once Earl got in line, he never strayed out of line. Keith could get out of line on a hanger. He would just pop in the bank and continue his run. But shooting hard shots will eventually take its toll on you. One or two misses (or scratches) in a match was all it took to get beat by another top player. I saw Keith lose matches where he made the most spectacular run-outs and did the majority of the shooting. He just slipped up once or twice (or three times) at critical junctures, like on the six, seven, eight or nine.

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?, The Best NFL Players by Position

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