Billiards is not Just a Game
When most people think of pool they think of drunks playing in bars, or hustlers gambling in pool halls. In reality pool and billiards takes extreme concentration, hand eye coordination and critical thinking skills. Billiards has been played for many centuries but only recently has it changed from a parlor game into a sport and art form. Through the years that this game has been played, three players in particular have excelled because of their overall skill, and achievements. The three most influential players in cue sports history are Wille Hoppe for his amazing skills and knowledge of billiards, Ralph Greenleaf for his incredible ability to win pocket billiards and knowledge of spin, and finally Willie Mosconi for his talent in straight pool and unrelenting work ethic.
First, Willie Hoppe controlled the billiard scene from the early 1900’s-1950. Willie Hoppe beat the best player in France named Maurice Vignaux for the world championship when he was only 13 years old (Hoppe 73). Willie won this tournament with his amazing hand eye coordination and early knowledge of shot selection. Willie Hoppe won his first world championship in 1906 and his last national championship in 1952 when he was 61 years old (Hoppe 83). This shows that billiards isn’t a game made for Braun but for brains. Furthermore Willie Hoppe brought new techniques and skills to billiards and pocket billiards alike. Willie Hoppe was one of the first players in the world to master and use the diamond systems (Hoppe 36). The diamond system is a mathematical system used to calculate where to hit the ball on the rail to make contact in a designated area. Hoppe was one of the first three players to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Hoppe revolutionized billiards from a parlor game into an art form and sport where purists can compete.
Another greatly influential player, Ralph...