If you enjoy playing an 8-ball pool game online or on a physical board, plenty of names might already spring to your mind. But if you are new to this world, you probably have not heard of Ronnie Allen, Buddy Hall, or Ralph Greenleaf.
Ronnie Allen was the world’s most dominant one-pocket player from the 1960s to the 1980s. He was inducted into the One Pocket Hall of Fame in 2004 for his immense contribution to the pocket billiard game of one pocket. As for Buddy Hall, he is known for creating the clock system technique where the cue ball is hit using the clock mechanism to aim. Greenleaf dominated the tables during the 1920s and 1930s.
Here’s a list of the greatest pool players in the world. However, please note the rankings change according to the player’s performance in the events.
Joshua Filler is a German pool player who began competing at the national level at 10.
In 2017, Filler became the youngest pool player in history to represent Europe in the Mosconi Cup. He was adjudged MVP of the event, and his team claimed the first position. He also became the youngest champion in China’s Open the same year.
In 2018, Filler became the European Pool Champion and won the Leende Open and WPA World 9-ball Championship.
In 2019, he became WPA and Euro Tour world number 1. Also, he reached the final of the 2019 WPA World 10-ball Championship but lost to Ko Ping Chung.
In 2022, Filler beat Lo Ho Sum in the final to win the 2022 World Pool Masters at the Europa Point Sports Complex, Gibraltar.
Shane Van Boening
The American pool player, Shane Van Boening, is a winner of more than 100 professional titles. He is popularly called The South Dakota Kid.
In 2020, Boening was named the 2010 “Player of the Decade” by the Billiards Digest Magazine. Previously, in the year 2008, all the major pool publications, including Pool & Billiard Magazine, Billiards Digest, and Inside Pool Magazine, honoured him as the 2007 Male Player of the Year.
Boening is the holder of multiple US Open Championship titles, and he has seventeen titles under his name under various categories.
In 2008, he teamed up with Rodney Morris to win the World Cup of Pool. Furthermore, he has won the World Pool Masters two times and the Mosconi Cup three times.
He claimed the World Straight Pool Championship title in 2019.
Ko Ping Chung
Ko Ping Chung is a professional Taiwanese 10-ball and 9-ball pool player. He reached his significant finals in the All Japan Open in 2011 but lost to Thorsten Hohmann. Similarly, he reached the knockout stage in the WPA World 10-ball Championship in 2011.
In 2013, Ko Ping Chun won the World 9-ball Champion in the junior division and his first World Championship in 2019. He also won the World 10-ball Championship the same year and secured three positions in the 9-ball event.
Jayson Shaw is a Scottish pool player who has played in professional blackball, 10-ball, 9-ball, and 8-ball events. He has several titles and championships under his belt.
He won the US Open 9-ball Championship (2017), Kuwait Open 9-ball Championship (2016), Mosconi Cup (2016, 2017, 2020-22), Derby City Classic Bigfoot 10-ball Challenge (2016-17, 2020), Internal 9-ball Open (2019, 2022), etc.
The WPA recently congratulated Jayson Shaw as he was awarded the prestigious title of Athlete of the Month (December 2022) by the IWGA (International World Games Association).
Niels Feijen is a professional Dutch pool player nicknamed the Terminator. His latest victory was at the 2022 Austria Open.
In 2004, Niels got the honour of lifting the inaugural Skins Billiards Championship. Similarly, he won the European Straight Pool Championship seven times. Furthermore, he represented Europe at the Mosconi Cup several times and won titles (2001, 2004-05, 2007-09, and 2011-16). He has been named the MVP on four occasions in the Mosconi Cup.
Moreover, he has won the European 9-ball Championship on two occasions and the European Pool Championship on six occasions. In addition, he held the title at the World Pool Masters twice.
Alexander, or Alex Kazakis, is a Greek pool player, and he was ranked #1 in the WPA ranking in 2018. He clinched the Kremlin World Cup in 2016 and won all the games in the tournament.
Kazakis made it into the WPA World 9-ball Championship semi in 2018, but he lost to Joshua Filler. However, the same year, he became victorious in the Euro Tour event Austria Open and beat Estonian Deis Grabe in the final.
During the World Pool Masters in 2019, Kazakis claimed the 2nd position as he lost the title to David Alcaide. However, he redeemed his honour by winning the World Pool Masters title in 2021 and became the first player to win the finals with a clean sweep. In the final, he defeated Shane Van Boening.
The Bottom Line
These are some of the greatest pool players in the world who are currently active and working hard to win many more titles and championships. These players inspire the upcoming pool players to perform better, and you can learn different pool techniques by watching them play.
If you want to be part of the action but need more skills to be a professional, flex your knowledge by playing online pool games. Compete against real-life opponents and showcase your talent.