Efren Reyes is a Filipino dual world champion, widely considered one of the all-time greats in 9-ball and one-pocket pool. Reyes has won numerous worldwide tournaments, setting a record by earning $646,000 in 2006. His total career earnings are in the region of $1.7 million. Greatly vexing wife Susan, Reyes habitually gives his money away to good causes and it was she who encouraged him to open his first bank account, with a deposit of 40,000 Philippine pesos (less than £600).
Johnny “The Scorpion” Archer is a Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame inductee. One of the most successful 9-ball competitors of the past 2 decades, he has won most major tournaments at least once. 2003 was prosperous, with Archer collecting the Sudden Death 7-Ball tournament and Inaugural World Summit of Pool. He was also successful in the winner-takes-all 2006 International Challenge of Champions, pocketing $50,000 for his efforts and also won the Texas Hold ‘Em Billiards Championship in 2007.
Amongst the ladies, Allison “Duchess of Doom” Fisher an English professional pool (and former professional snooker) player, has been extremely successful since her transition, with 50 WPBA titles, including 4 wins in the World 9-Ball Championships, 8 consecutive major tournament victories in 2000-01 and prize money of £110,000 in 2005, with earning to date in excess of $600,000.
Tony “The Maltese Whippet” Drago is a professional pool and former snooker player, renowned for his quick play. He won the 2003 World Pool Masters Tournament and reached the quarter finals of the World Snooker Championship in the same year. Drago was a member of the victorious European team at the 2007 and 2008 Mosconi Cups. In the former event he won all his single matches, collecting the “Most Valuable Player” award. In 2008, Drago won the Predator International 10-ball Championship, beating Francisco Bustamante. His total career earnings amount to £1 million from snooker and €133,000 from pool. Drago is heavily involved in charity exhibitions, raising money for “Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.”
German Oliver Ortmann has been Europe’s most successful pool player since the early 1990s, with 250+ tournament wins. Having turned professional in 1989, he won his first US Open later the same year and again in 1993. He became the first European World 9-Ball Champion in 1995 and collected the WPA Straight Pool title in 2007.
Another multiple- winning German is Ralf “The Kaiser” Souquet, including the 1996 WPA World 9-Ball Championship (runner-up in 2001 and 2006), 2002 US Open 9-Ball Championship and a particularly lucrative 2008 WPA World 8-Ball Championship worth $60,000.
Finn Mika “Ice Man” Immonen is the current, dual (2008 & 2009) US Open 9-Ball Champion, collecting $40,000 on each occasion. Runner-up in the 2009 World Straight Pool Championship, Immonen was successful in the International Challenge of Champions and the World 10-Ball Championship.
Daryl “The Dazzler” Peach from Castleford, West Yorkshire became the first British male to succeed in the WPA World 9-Ball Championship when defeating Filipino Roberto Gomez in 2007, landing a prize of $100,000.
The weekend of 24th-25th April 2010 sees the second GB 9-Ball Paul Medati Trophy, with UK and European players seeking to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Care, at the request of Medati’s widow, Cheryl.