With an estimated net worth of around $2 million, legendary Filipino pool player Efren "Bata" Reyes is regarded as the richest pool player globally. His six-decade career has cemented his status as arguably the greatest pool player of all time, yielding him fortune along with worldwide fame and glory.
The Magician‘s Origins and Rise in Pool
Before we dive into the specifics on Efren‘s wealth and achievements, let me first tell you the story of his phenomenal journey in the sport. Born in 1954 in Pampanga, Philippines, Reyes discovered pool halls early, frequenting them near his home by age 9. He played on makeshift tables with bottle caps as the balls and became enamored with the game.
Reyes started entering local tournaments in the 1960s as a teenager, establishing a reputation as one of the sharpest shooters in the Philippines. He turned professional in the late 1970s and began winning regional tournaments across Asia.
The 1980s marked Efren‘s transition from regional pro to worldwide phenomenon. He won his first World Open title in Taiwan in 1983. This launched his domination of pool tournaments all over the globe. Reyes has racked up over 120 titles, with 70 of them in major championships.
His list of accomplishments is truly staggering:
2 World 8-Ball Championships
5 World Cup of Pool titles
3 World Pool Masters wins
Numerous US Open 9-Ball Championships
Tournament of Champions victor multiple times
Only player to win world titles in 3 different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s)
And the list goes on and on. He has been called "The Magician" for his ability to pull off shots that seem impossible, snatching victory from impossible angles.
Total Career Prize Money and Earnings
With his endless list of championship wins spanning over 40 years as a pro, Reyes has amassed career tournament winnings estimated at over $3 million dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that‘s the equivalent of well over $5 million in 2022 figures. And this does not even include money earned from promotions, exhibitions, instructional content and other income sources.
To put things in perspective, Reyes was earning around $100,000 per major tournament win by the 1990s. The top prize money has only ballooned since then, with events like the US Open 9-Ball offering $100,000 just for first place now. So a conservative estimate of Reyes‘ total earnings from pool likely exceeds $10 million.
For dominating professional pool before many other Filipino players broke through, Reyes built tremendous personal wealth few can match. He earned it through a passion for the sport and a work ethic focused on continuous improvement.
Reyes‘ Influence On Pool – The Greatest Of All Time
While the cold hard numbers of titles and money help quantify his success, Efren Reyes‘ biggest impact is elevating the profile of pool worldwide. He has brought fame and prestige to the sport in a way no one else has.
Reyes was the first-ever pool player inducted into the prestigious Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. He has also received accolades like Philippine Legion of Honor, Order of Lakandula, for his achievements as an athlete.
But beyond the honors, Efren Reyes is revered globally for his exciting, crowd-pleasing style of play. His crisp stroke, impeccable position play, and shot-making creativity made him a joy to watch – the undisputed greatest of all time. Reyes has inspired generations of Filipino players after him. Any list ranking the most famous or influential pool stars of all time puts Reyes right at the very top without debate.
Other High Earning Pool Players
Now in his late 60s, Efren Reyes continues to play professionally, comparable to athletes in traditional sports. And while Reyes is well ahead at number one, there are a number of other top pro players who have built considerable wealth through pool:
|Estimated Career Earnings
|Shane Van Boening
|Nearly $1 million
American players like Shane Van Boening, Earl Strickland, and others have won multiple titles and purses over $700k or $800k. Filipino greats Dennis Orcollo, Ronato Alcano, and Francisco Bustamante have also had highly successful careers earning in the high six figures.
Some talented younger players like Ko Pin Yi, Albin Ouschan, and Jayson Shaw have burst onto the scene in the 2010s, rapidly rising up the ranks of top earners as well.
The Lucrative World of Pro Pool
The very best pool pros today compete for six and even seven-figure prizes, especially in tournaments like the US Open 9-Ball Championship. Top contenders earn at minimum low to mid six figures annually through competitions on the World Pool Tour and other circuits. Sponsorships with cue makers, halls, apparel brands, etc. provide a steady income too. Exhibition matches, promotions, and instructional content creation offer additional revenue streams for the top professionals.
While professional pool is not a path to riches for most, the handful of elite players can earn a very comfortable living pursuing the sport they love at the highest levels. And Efren Reyes stands alone at the top as the game‘s first true crossover superstar, his magical cue skills converting into career success, fame, and fortune.