"Hurricane" Tony Ellin
Tony Ellin in competition
|Born||July 19, 1965|
|Died||June 14, 2000 34) (aged|
Tony Ellin (July 19, 1965 – June 14, 2000 ) was a top-ranked American professional pool player nicknamed "Hurricane," who specialized in the game of nine-ball. Born in New Jersey, Ellin resided in Ladson, South Carolina, near Charleston, and was a touring professional player in the 1990s. He was killed on June 14, 2000, at age 34, when his 1999 Cadillac collided with a locomotive less than a block from his home. Ellin was alone in his car when the accident occurred. Lt. Mike Benton, a Charleston County sheriff, said Ellin was "apparently trying to beat the train to the crossing." Ellin had played in the Sand Regency Open just days before his death. He was survived by wife Shelby, and daughter Ashley Annette who was just 3 years old at the time of his death. Later that year a Tony Ellin memorial tournament was held at Brass Tap and Billiards in Raleigh, North Carolina, with receipts to benefit the Ashley Ellin Scholarship Fund, which was formed to benefit Ellin's daughter after his death.
Ellin was well known for his powerhouseand, according to Ellin, that earned him his nickname: "My strength is my break. The guys on tour call me "Hurricane Tony" after Hugo, because of the powerful breaks I have." A competitor stated in a 1998 interview that "Tony has one of the best breaks in the world... he's got so much power it just explodes the balls." At the tournament where the interview was conducted, Ellin pocketed six balls on the break at the beginning of one game, proving the point.
When asked what the secret was to aiming, Ellin responded: "I would say that aim is basically trial and error and instinct, using your judgment. I may look at the path from the pocket through the object ball, but I hardly do that anymore. You develop an instinct for aiming from playing all the time".
Ellin was the U.S.'s Professional Billiard Tour's (PBT) 4th ranked player as of 1993, and had made several appearances on ESPN in climbing to that spot.That year Ellin came in second at the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship, losing to Earl "the Pearl" Strickland in the final.
By 1994 Ellin was ranked third on the PBT and had won the 1994 Sand Regency XIX tournament in Reno, Nevada, and the Joblin Open, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He placed second in the Bay State Shootout in Worcester, and the Dallas Open, and had come in third in the U.S. Open, just shy of his performance the year prior.
He had many third-place finishes as well, including at the Sands Regency XXII, at the Legends of 9-Ball in June, 1996, at the Sands Regency XXV in 1997, and at Chalker’s San Francisco 9-Ball Classic in June, 1995.
He was ranked 21st on the Camel Pro Billiard Series as of 1999 and 51st the year of his death.
Nine-ball is a discipline of the cue sport pool. The game's origins are traceable the 1920s in the United States. It is played on a rectangular billiard table with at each of the four corners and in the middle of each long side. Using a cue stick, players must strike the white cue ball to nine colored billiard balls in ascending numerical order. An individual game is won by the player pocketing the . Matches are usually played as a to a set number of racks, with the player who reaches the set number winning the match.
Efren "Bata" Manalang Reyes is a Filipino professional pool player. A winner of over 70 international titles, Reyes was the first player to win world championships in two different pool disciplines. Among his numerous titles, Reyes is a four-time World Eight-ball champion, the 1999 WPA World Nine-ball Championship winner, a three-time U.S. Open winner, a two-time World Pool League winner and a 13-time Derby City Classic winner. Reyes also represented the Philippines at the World Cup of Pool, winning the event with partner Francisco Bustamante in 2006 and 2009. By defeating American player Earl Strickland in the inaugural Color of Money event in 1997, Reyes took home the largest single match purse in pool history of $100K. Many analysts, fans and players consider Reyes to be the greatest pool player of all time.
The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) is a governing body for cue sports in North America, the regional member organization of the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA). It was established under this name in 1948 as a non-profit trade organization in order to promote the sport and organize its players via tournaments at various levels. The BCA is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado. The voting members of the organization are mostly equipment manufacturers.
Pool is a classification of cue sports played on a table with six pockets along the , into which balls are deposited. Each specific pool game has its own name; some of the better-known include eight-ball, blackball, nine-ball, ten-ball, seven-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, and bank pool.
Jeanette Lee is an American professional pool player. She was nicknamed the Black Widow by her friends because, in spite of her sweet demeanor, she would "eat people alive" when she got to a pool table. Jeanette is an American of Korean descent.
Francisco Bustamante is a Filipino professional pool player from Tarlac, Central Luzon and the 2010 World Nine-ball Champion, nicknamed "Django", after the lead character of the film of the same name, and sometimes also called "Bustie", especially in the United States. A winner of over 50 International titles, Bustamante is considered one of the greatest professional pool players of all time.
Stephen Mizerak Jr., better known as Steve Mizerak, was an American pool player dominant during the 1970s and early 1980s, especially in the game of 14.1 continuous and nine-ball. Nicknamed "the Miz", he also had a brief turn as professional snooker player. He was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Corey Deuel is an American professional pocket billiards (pool) player from West Jefferson, Ohio. Nicknamed "Cash Money", he is an accomplished tournament competitor, having won the US Open Nine-ball Championship in 2001, as well as many other major titles. As of January 2008, Deuel is the second highest ranked pool player in the US by the United States Professional Poolplayers Association. He regularly represents the US in the Mosconi Cup. In 2010 he again was selected for the US team in the Mosconi Cup and was responsible for winning 2 of the 8 points that the US team won during that event.
Earl "the Pearl" Strickland is an American professional pool player who is considered one of the best nine-ball players of all time. He has won numerous championship titles and, in 2006, was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America's Hall of Fame. He is also known as one of the sport's most controversial players for his outspoken views and his sometimes volatile behavior at tournaments.
Jose Parica is a Filipino professional pool player from Manila, nicknamed "Amang" and "the Giant Killer." As a Philippine Hall of Famer, he was a part of the "Filipino invasion" in the United States, especially in the game of nine-ball.
Johnny Archer is an American professional pool player. He is nicknamed "the Scorpion". On June 8, 2009, Johnny Archer was nominated to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.
Mika Immonen is a Finnish professional Hall of Fame pool player, nicknamed "The Iceman."
The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships is an annual professional men's nine-ball pool tournament that began in its current form in 1976, although previous versions of a "U.S. Open Nine-ball Tournament" had been held as early as 1970. The U.S. Open is one of the most sought-after titles in nine-ball and in pool generally. Traditionally, winners of the U.S. Open are given a green blazer and are awarded free entry fees to all future U.S. Open tournaments.
Keith McCready is an American professional pool player, nicknamed Earthquake.
Nick Varner is an American pool player who was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1992. Varner was the winner of the 1999 WPA World Nine-ball Championship.
Shane Van Boening is an American professional pool player from Rapid City, South Dakota, a former number 1 in the US rankings published by the UPA Tour.
Jonathan (Jonni) Fulcher is a top-ranked British professional contender in a variety of pocket billiard disciplines who currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland and competes throughout the world.
Kim Ga-young is a South Korean female professional pool player who plays on the Women's Professional Billiard Association Tour. Her father began teaching her to play three-cushion billiards when she was about twelve years old. After playing three-cushion for about three years, she started playing nine-ball pool and turned pro at the 2003 BCA Open.
Kim Davenport is an American professional pocket billiards (pool) player, nicknamed "Kimmer".
Wade Arlyn Crane was an American professional pool player, nicknamed "Boom-Boom" because of the cannonball sound that emanated from his powerful break. Crane also played under the alias of "Billy Johnson."