Who is Efren Reyes? Is he the greatest pool player of all time?

Who is Efren Reyes? Is he the greatest pool player of all time?

Kenneth Mwenda
updated at August 25, 2023 at 7:45 AM

Efren Reyes, often hailed as the Bata, has carved an indelible mark in the annals of pool history. From his humble beginnings in Pampanga to achieving global acclaim, the tale of this Filipino legend intertwines skill, passion, and an unparalleled journey to the pinnacle of billiards.

Efren Reyes age
Philippines’ Efren Reyes competes in men’s billiards 3-cushion event during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on May 19, 2022. Photo: Nhac NGUYEN
Source: Getty Images

In the pool community, the name Efren Reyes resonates deeply. This Filipino legend has been a dominant force, but the question remains: is he the greatest pool player ever?

Profile summary


Efren Manalang Reyes


Bata, The Magician



Date of birth

August 26, 1954

Place of birth

Pampanga, Philippines

Age as of August 2023

68 years

Zodiac sign



Pool player





Marital status






Notable Matches

Efren Reyes vs Earl Strickland

Pool Cue Series

Efren Reyes Pool Cue series

Efren Reyes’ biography

Born to a modest family in Pampanga, Efren Reyes moved to Manila at age five to live with his uncle, a billiards hall owner. Quickly fascinated by the game, Reyes learned by observing others, soon standing on Coca-Cola crates to play himself.

By age twelve, he had become one of Manila’s top players, winning a tournament with a $100 prize. Investing most of his winnings into his family, he would balance school with hours at the billiards hall, eventually dropping out to focus on the game. At 15, he was already the Philippines’ most renowned player.

Nicknamed “Bata,” not for his skill but due to another pool player named Efren, he soon found local competitors scarce. Venturing into Asian tournaments in his 20s, Reyes maintained a notebook listing top global players, marking off those he defeated. His unmatched prowess led many to avoid him, solidifying his legendary status in the global pool community by the mid-’80s.

How old is Efren Reyes?

Efren Reyes' nationality
Efren Reyes of the Philippines lines up a shot against Kenichi Uchigaki of Japan during the opening day of the nine-day tournament at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, suburban Manila 03 November 2007. Photo credit: JAY DIRECTO
Source: Getty Images

Born on August 26, 1954, Efren Reyes’ age is now a remarkable 68 years (as of August 2023). Hailing from Pampanga, Philippines, his Filipino nationality shines as he has represented the Philippines in numerous international contests.

Despite his age, the magic of his game remains undiminished. The pool world continually waits in anticipation to witness more from this legend.

Efren Reyes’ net worth

He has a net worth of $2 million. With a career boasting numerous international titles, Efren Reyes’ net worth is undoubtedly commendable.

His substantial earnings, including the whopping $500,000 from the IPT World Open Eight-ball Championship, showcase his impressive professional journey. His skills have not only garnered respect but also substantial wealth. Numerous sources and analysts highlight the impressive stature of his financial standing.

Efren Reyes’ pool cue and best shots

Regarded as “The Magician”, Efren’s pool cue has been instrumental in executing some mind-bending shots. His mastery over angles and precision has often left both audiences and opponents spellbound.

Recently, the Efren Reyes Pool Cue series has been introduced, a tribute to his impeccable skills and legacy. Crafted meticulously, these cues are sought after by aspiring players and professionals alike, wishing to emulate Reyes’ precision and flair.

Efren Reyes’ best shots are not just about skill; they are about a deep understanding of the game. Through the years, his shots have become references for budding players.

Is Efren Reyes still playing pool?

The magnetic pull of his game leads many to ask, “Is Efren Reyes still playing pool?”. Even today, at 68, he remains an active competitor, as evidenced by his recent third-place finish at the Derby City Classic One Pocket.

His enduring spirit and love for the game keep him in the competitive arena. It is evident that age has not dampened his passion or skill.

Efren Reyes’ house and family

Is Efren Reyes still playing pool?
Philippines’ Efren Reyes competes against Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chien in men’s billiards 3-cushion event during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on 19 May 2022. Photo: Nhac NGUYEN
Source: Getty Images

Nestled in Angeles City is Efren Reyes’ house, a symbol of his accomplishments. Within its walls, he resides with his beloved wife, Susan, and their three children.

Their home is more than bricks and mortar; it’s filled with memories of victories, challenges, and personal growth. It stands as a testament to Efren’s journey from humble beginnings to global stardom.

Where is Efren Reyes now?

As of 2023, Efren remains a significant figure in the pool community. His involvement in tournaments like the 2021 Southeast Asian Games and Derby City Classic One Pocket in 2023 ensures he is always in the limelight.

The question “Where is Efren Reyes now?” often arises among fans. The answer? He is still very much at the heart of the game he loves.

Efren Reyes’ pictures and media presence

The internet offers a rich tapestry of Efren Reyes’s pictures, capturing moments from his illustrious career. From intense gameplay shots to family moments, these images offer a glimpse into his life.

Beyond static images, his media presence expands to films like “Pakners” and “Nineball.” Each appearance, whether on screen or in photos, deepens the world’s appreciation of his journey.

Is Efren Reyes the greatest pool player?

Efren’s unmatched skills and accolades have led many to argue for his place as the greatest. His showdown with American legend Earl Strickland, particularly the 1996 “The Color of Money” challenge, stands out.

Emerging victorious with a score of 120-117, it further bolstered his claim to the title. Debates may persist, but Efren’s contributions to the game are irrefutable.

Does Efren Reyes have a wife?

Efren Reyes' net worth
Philippines’ Efren Reyes competes against Vietnam’s Tran Quyet Chien in men’s billiards 3-cushion event during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on 19 May 2022. Photo: Nhac NGUYEN
Source: Getty Images

Certainly, behind the great man is his wife, Susan. Their union has given birth to not just love but also three children. The couple’s bond is evident, providing Efren with a strong foundation outside the pool world. Together, they have weathered challenges and celebrated countless victories.

Efren Reyes’ journey, marked by dedication, skill, and an undying passion for pool, puts him in contention for the title of the greatest pool player of all time. Whether you are revisiting the famed Efren Reyes vs Earl Strickland duel or simply browsing through his pictures, “The Magician’s” legacy stands tall.

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Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.