AMERICAN BILLIARD FACTS
A little history...
Although there is no concrete information concerning the origins of Billiard, we could trace its first steps back in the Roman de la Rose.
In that period the name “Billiard” referred to a curved stick used in order to push the balls on the floor. In fact, it was during the Middle Ages that the idea to play Billiard on a table was put in practice.
Billiard becomes one of the favourite entertainment activities in many European royal courts and most especially in Louis XIV’s Royal Court at Versailles.
In the 16th century, Spanish colonizers bring the game in Florida, and this when Billiard start its path of conquest in the American continent.
With the time, the game along with its rule change progressively, and at the same time, other forms of the game are under development and evolution, which issue a new element in the game: the opening in the table, the well-known wholes.
The Snooker or the English Billiard, is born in the end of the 19th century. It was developed and promoted in all British colonies of that time. But, it is primarilythe American Billiard or Pool that topples the French Billiard (a game without wholes) in the United States of America.
The first World Championship takes place in 1878. Practically unknown in Europe until recently, the American Pool is by far the most famous among the different versions of billiard games if we considered the great number of players throughout the world (only in the US we count almost 20 million)
In the American Billiard we have 3 disciplines which, despite their close relationship, have their own particular rules and regulations:
- the 8 ball game
- the 9 ball game
- the 14/1 game
An interesting particularity of Billiard is the fact that it is the only individual sport in which we can loose a game without even having the opportunity to play a single shoot.
Some Great Champions…
Billiard is one of the rare sports that we can practice at any age.
Willie HOPE wins his last title at the age of 65.
Steve MIZERAK has win 4 times in a raw the prestigious US OPEN tournament, and he has won 47 major titles between 1968 and 1981, among which the World Championship of 1982. He started playing when he was 4 years old.
Mike SIGEL the 2-time World Champion; he started playing when he was 22 years old. He was practicing 14 to 16 hours per day. His attentiveness and perseverance made him being one of the most important figures of Billiard.
Nick WARNER the 5-time World Champion; he started playing at the age of 5. He was practicing regularly for 4 hours per day.
Thomas ENGERT, ranked No. 1 in Europe, turned professional in 1995 at the age of 35.
Ralf SOUQUET, know as "The Kaiser", won more than two hundred fifty tournament titles, including 3-times world champion. He started to play at the age of six in his parent's pub.
Johnny ARCHER, aka "The Scorpion", began his pool career at the age of twelve and joined his first Pro Tour at 17. He won four World Championships.
Efren REYES was born on August 26, 1954. At the young age of five, Efren began working in his uncle's pool room in Manila. He could be even found sleeping on the table at times, so he could get to playing right when he woke up... His championship earnings in 2005 reaches 200'000$ in 2005. Efren remains the most lethal weapon in pool today.