Calling all pool players and fans! Are you ready to chalk up? It's time to clear the room and rack those balls because we want to know ... can you name these legends of pool from just a photo? Only time will tell ... will you keep the count on your side? Will you make a bunch of garbage shots? Or will you sink the 8 ball too soon?
You see, pool is all about timing. It's about combinations. It's about strategy. The greatest players, the ones we call legends, are to thank for these amazing tactics. From Ralph Greenleaf to Willie Mosconi, and Johnny Layton to Jean Balukas, billiards has been around in one form or another since the 15th century! It is a competition fit for a king, and loved by the commoners! So we want to know ... do you know the players who contributed to the fame of this game?
Whether you dabble in pool at your local pub, or you love a good stroll through the Billiard Congress of America, this quiz is sure to test your skills. If you can name all of these pool legends, we just might challenge you to a game yourself! Good luck, we hope you don't scratch!
Welker Cochran was a world class carom billiards and three-cushion billiards champion. He was inducted posthumously into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame in 1967!
Born in 1983, Shane Van Boening is the current number one ranked pocket billiards player in the United States. Did you know that he hails from a family of pool champions including his grandparents, mother and aunt?
Harold Worst was a three-cushion billiards champion. He won that championship in 1954, and died just 11 years later at the age of 37.
Nicknamed The Duchess of Doom, Allison Fisher was an English pool player who went pro in 1991 and retired in 1997. She did, however, win a gold medal at the World Games in 2009.
Born in Roseboro, North Carolina, Earl "the Pearl" Strickland is considered one of the best nine-ball players of all time. He is also considered one of the more outspoken and controversial players as well!
Born in 1979, Dennis Orcollo is a professional pool player from the Philippines. He is nicknamed Surigao and RoboCop. He has also been referred to as "the Philippines' Money-game King"!
Jean Balukas was born in Brooklyn, New York, and ranks among the best pool players in history. She was considered a prodigy, making a name for herself in pool at the young age of six!
Did you know that Nick Varner became only the second man to earn over $100,000 in prize winnings from playing pool? During his career he won 16 major nine-ball events and was "Player of the Year" in 1980 and 1989.
Nicknamed "The Iceman," Mika Immonen was inducted into the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame in 2014. Since 2000, he has earned more than 35 championship titles!
Born in 1894, Jake Shaefer Jr. was known as The Prodigy. Do you know how many balkline titles he won? Seven - in the years 1921, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929, and 1930.
Sang Lee was a Korean American three-cushions billiards player and world champion. He was often referred to as the "Michael Jordan of three-cushions billiards", but died sadly in 2004 from stomach cancer.
Jimmy Caras began playing pool at the age of 5. Later in his life he won four world championships in his career that spanned 60 years. He died at the age of 93 in 2002.
Luther Lassiter was a world-renowned pool player from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Did you know that his nickname was Wimpy? He is ranked number 9 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.
Known as the Deacon, Irving Crane is considered one of the all-time greats in the game of straight pool. During his career, he won many championships including six world billiards titles.
Frank Taberski was nicknamed "The Gray Fox"! Did you know that he won 10 world title challenge matches in a row? He is ranked at number 7 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.
Stephen Mizerak Jr. hailed from Perth Amboy, New Jersey and became a world champion pool player during the 1970s and 1980s. He was nicknamed "the Miz"... for obvious reasons!
Mike Sigel has won more than 107 professional pool tournaments in his career. He was even named "Player of the Year" three times by Billiards Digest and Pool and Billiards magazines. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the age of 35, the youngest ever!
Alfredo de Oro was born in Manzanillo, Cuba in 1863. Several times a world title holder, he is ranked number 4 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century!
Ralph Greenleaf was one of the first members inducted into the Hall of Fame. Did you know that in his 1950 obituary, the New York Times wrote of him, "What Babe Ruth did for baseball, Dempsey did for fighting, Tilden did for tennis...Greenleaf did for pocket billiards."?
Jasmin Ouschan became a member of the Women's Professional Billiards Association in 2007, though she competed professionally as early as 2002. She hails from Austria and is currently one of the top-ranked women in the sport!
What else would you nickname one of the best Nine-ball and Ten-ball pool players in the world? "Dynamite"! Darren "Dynamite" Appleton once completed all 200 balls in a major tournament without missing a shot!
Ray Martin held the World Champion title in straight pool in 1971, 1974 and 1978. He is nicknamed Cool Cat for his calm demeanor during his win in California during an earthquake.
Ruth McGinnis was born in 1910 and started playing pool at the age of seven. BY the end of her career, she had triumphed over many male competitors and became known as the Queen of Billiards!
Hailing from Waycross, Georgia, Johnny Archer was named Billiards Digest Player of the Decade at the end of the 1990s. He is a two-time WPA World Nine-ball Champion, winning in 1992 and 1997.
Alejandro Salvador Pagulayan is a Filipino Canadian pool and snooker player known for his calm demeanor during competitions. Nicknamed "The Lion", he has always enjoyed interacting with the audience, and they do too!
Did you know that Loree Jon Jones started playing billiards at the age of four? By 15, she became the youngest player ever to win the World Straight Pool Tournament!
Buddy Hall has been a professional pool player for three decades. She is nicknamed The Rifleman for his accuracy and is credited for creating the "clock system" technique.
Larry Johnson, known as Boston Shorty, was one of only a few players to ever win world titles at both pocket and three-cushion billiards. He was elected into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1999.
Eddie Taylor was commonly known as the Knoxville Bear. Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Taylor was a master of the game by the 1940s.
Jacob Schaefer Sr. was one of the world's top balkline players of the early 1900s. Nicknamed "the Wizard", he was posthumously inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1968.
Born in The Hague, Netherlands, Niels Feijen went professional in 2001 and became the WPA World 9-ball champion in 2014. He is nicknamed "The Terminator"!
Did you know that Andrew Ponzi won his first world pool title by defeating Erwin Rudolph in 1934? He died at the young age of 47 after suffering a heart attack while participating in a tournament.
Willie Mosconi was nicknamed Mr. Pocket Billiards. As one of the first inductees into the Hall of Fame, he led the way in billiards, pioneering trick shots and setting records!
Willie Hoppe was an internationally renowned American professional carom billiards champion of the early 1900s. He was posthumously inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1966.
Efren Reyes is a Filipino professional pool player born in 1954. He is nicknamed the Magician and Bata and has won more than 70 international titles during his career!
Allen Hopkins began playing pool at the age of 7. By 17, he went pro and took 5th place in the 1969 US Open Nine-ball Championship! Today he is a member of the Hall of Fame.
Nicknamed "the Black Widow", Jeanette Lee started playing pool in 1989. She went on to rank as the number one female pool player in the world during the 1990s, and received the Women's Professional Billiard Association Sportsperson of the Year Award in 1998.
Jim Rempe began playing pool at the age of six. By 22, he had turned pro and won more than 100 major championships including 11 world titles. He is known in the pool world as King James!
George Sutton was a handless billiard player of the early 1900s. He had no arms below the elbows but learned to play billiards during college. He would go on to set a world record in balkline competitions!
Charlie Peterson was called "Missionary of Billiards" for his lifelong efforts to promote pool throughout the United States. Did you know that he was the world's fancy-shot champion? He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.