The “Pool’s Power 15” list is a way of accurately gauging who the real movers and shakers of 2021 were.
Starting in 2020, a select group of people from across the pool industry have come together to vote on who they believe are the biggest influencers in pool. This annual list will no doubt be hotly debated and hopefully it will not only show who´s who, but also recognize the ones who make the list.
This year’s voting committee is comprised of pool media representatives, professional players, the people and other esteemed members of the community.
Matchroom was founded in 1982 and has since become one of the world’s largest suppliers of sports programming. Their portfolio includes everything from darts to golf, fishing to gymnastics. The pool division is headed by Emily Frazer under “Matchroom Multi Sport”. She is very much synonymous with the Matchroom brand in the pool industry. It’s only fitting to see Emily and Matchroom at the #1 spot! Hosting the Mosconi Cup, World Cup of Pool, World Pool Masters, US Open, and soon the World Pool Championship in such a flawless manner, and continuing to push to make each event better and better, is quite an accomplishment!
Founded in 1992, The Predator Group is truly committed to continuous improvement and innovation. Some of their groundbreaking innovations include the 314 and Revo shafts for low-deflection and BK technology for breaking. In addition to making their mark on the cue side of the game, Predator has now ventured in balls and pool table lights bearing the Predator name. The Predator Group has also gotten into tournament promotion, with the partnership with CSI on the World 10-Ball Championship. Predator has undoubtedly cemented their position as the #1 pool brand, and the second place position is rightfully earned!
In 1979, Terry Bell developed an idea for a centrally controlled nationwide amateur pool organization with Larry Hubbart and the American Poolplayers Association was born. Bell and Hubbart developed a unique handicapping system to level the playing field in the league, and that league has become a resounding success. Today, The APA is the World’s Largest Amateur Pool League. With nearly 250,000 members throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. The APA awards nearly $2 Million in guaranteed prize money every year during the APA Championships in Las Vegas! This concept has been instrumental for the growth of pool!
For over 30 years, Accu-Stats Video Productions has been the leader in professional pool videos. What started as a small attempt to track statistics, has grown into the largest archive of professional pool video in existence. They offer a vast archive of videos going back to the “early days”, and during the digital evolution, they quickly migrated to online videos both on-demand as well as pay-per-view productions. Chances are if you are looking for recordings from a particular player or event, they got them! Accu-Stats founder Pat Fleming is also a tournament promoter, running past US Open 9-Ball Championships and the current International 9-Ball Open.
CueSports International (CSI) is an international pool league and event leader. They are currently comprised of three divisions: CSI leagues, CSI events and CSI media. CSI Leagues manages the BCA Pool League and USA Pool League, CSI Events produces numerous amateur and professional events around the globe and CSI Media creates live streaming and digital content. Through its vision and strategic alliances, CSI is playing a big role in shaping the future of pool.
In 1987, a group of dedicated pool players in Louisville, Kentucky formed a small company based on a simple, but unique idea. Creating a pool table that would so surpass all others in quality and craftsmanship. Their tables would become the standard for national and international tournament play. In 2022 they are household name and the industry leader in their field.
CUE IT UP
A newcomer to the list, charging in straight at a solid 7th place! Cue It Up is a billiard and pool podcast that promote pool, billiards, and snooker worldwide. Their mission with the podcast is to inform the listener to all that is going on in the greater pool world with easy to listen to audio similar to that of any other sports talk show. The Cue It Up podcast is firmly cemented as the world’s #1 podcast in the sport of billiards. Neight Mindham is spearheading the podcast, but he has good help from both Mike Howerton, Jim Telfer, Molina Mike and others.
The BCA Pool League is a league membership organization that allows pool leagues around the world to “Be Part of Something Bigger.” An existing league can join the BCA Pool League and still maintain complete local control. There is no required format, fee structure, rules, etc. The League Operator is free to structure the league to suit the players and simply join the BCA Pool League.
When searching for an online pool coach there is no way to miss “Sharivari” and his YouTube channel, where his subscriber count has grown by a whopping 130,000 new subscribers in just the last year (!), and he currently has 233,000 subscribers. In just two years, the young instructor from Germany has become the most well-known pool coach in the world and his instructional pool videos have amassed more than 31 million views worldwide (20 million views in 2021 alone). What stands out in the Sharivari videos is his ability to communicate rather complicated concepts in a simple comprehensive manner. Combined with outstanding video quality and remarkable skills on the table, it’s no wonder this online pool coach is so popular!
Niels Feijen (born 3 February 1977, The Hague) is a Dutch professional pool player, from the Hague. His nickname is “the Terminator”. In 2014 he won the WPA World 9-ball championship. Niels has naturally also numerous other titles to his name. Over the last year, Niels has focused a lot on his YouTube channel which now already has over 31,000 subscribers and almost 2 million views. His hard work on his channel is probably what landed him a spot on this list. Niels was also doing expert commentary during the 2021 Mosconi Cup, although, he would probably have preferred to have been on the other side of the camera.
The WPA (World Pool-Billiard Association) is the international governing body for pocket billiards. The group was formed in Germany in November of 1987, as a result of the efforts of the European Pocket Billiard Federation. The WPA is also one of the three member organizations of the World Confederation of Billiards Sports (WCBS), representing the billiard disciplines of pool, snooker and carom. The WCBS is the international umbrella organization that is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
FLORIAN “VENOM” KOHLER
Florian “Venom” Kohler (sponsored by Cuetec) not only speaks 3 languages fluidly, holds a black belt in Judo, but he is also the world’s most recognized person with a cue stick! Florian is listed in the “Guinness Book of Records” for numerous feats. He has an extraordinary blend of unique billiard talent and spectacular shot execution. Venom is no doubt trick shot pool at its best. In terms of followers, he is miles ahead of the curve. With almost 1,1 million subscribers on YouTube, accumulating a total of a massive 229 million views (20 million views in 2021 alone), his spot on our list is well deserved!
Founded in 1998 by Mike Howerton, AzBilliards (AzB) was originally intended to be an online news source for Arizona pool players. It quickly spread, however, to national and then international coverage of all the cue sports. With tournament reports, results, photo galleries, and brackets from the last twenty years (and growing), AzBilliards has become a historical snapshot of the game of professional pool. The AZB forum is by far the most visited in the pool world. With hundreds of thousands of threads, millions of posts, and approaching 100K members, it’s no wonder they claimed their place on this list.
SHANE VAN BOENING
Shane Van Boening (sponsored by Cuetec) is a player who does not need any introduction. Van Boening, known as The South Dakota Kid, is currently one of the most recognized and respected players in the world. With no less than 5 U.S. Open 9-ball titles to his name, as well as over $2,000,000 in career earnings, he is without a shadow of a doubt a candidate for the “G.O.A.T” title. Shane has competed on 14 straight US Mosconi Cup teams and is a favorite to win any event he competes in. The titles under Van Boening’s belt are too many to list in this short space. A true gentleman and sportsman on and off the tables.
Your average guy with a hobby and passion to teach. A passion that helps you become a better pool player. Lil’Chris is considering as one of the top online pool coaches in the world. His YouTube channel has almost 75,000 subscribers and over 7 million views as of January 2022, thus making him one of the biggest influencers in pool.
VOTERS COMMITTEE & PEOPLE'S VOTE
Voters were given the following instructions; Vote for who you believe has had the most influence on pool in 2021, and rank them from 1 to 15.
They could not vote for themself if they were nominated.
The ballots were then run through a scoring system that takes into account the total number of votes, average placement, and frequency of votes.
Founder and general manager of AZBilliards.
Ariel Roy Francisco
Founder and the big boss of Roy’s Basement.
Managing director at Matchroom Multi Sport.
YouTuber and pool coach.
Owner of Sandcastle Billiards. Founder of the NBL. BCA board member.
Multiple times world champion. US Open winner. Living legend.
Founder and spearhead of the Cue It Up podcast.
Founder and general manager of the Supr Charged Agency.
Founder and publisher of the Sneaky Pete Mafia magazine.
Billiard Congress of America Communications and Membership Manager.
Founder and President of the Ride the 9 Tour.
The votes casted from people outside the industry.