When asked where he wanted to be in ten years, Greg Hogue chuckled then said “Hopefully still above ground.”
At 38, this divorced father of three (two daughters and a black pit bull named Max, none of whom play pool) has many great accomplishments in the pool and billiard world. His first experience with pool was when his granddad Frank, or “Pops,” put him on a milk carton to play at Self’s Coney Island at the tender age of five. He then ran six balls, which was greater than his age in years!
Little did he know, and surely nobody could have predicted, that there was more to come. Much more. At 14 and 15 years of age Greg had back-to-back 1st place wins at the Oklahoma State Junior National Tournaments held at The Billiard Palace, a well-known pool hotspot which has hosted many Junior Pool Tournaments.
When he was 15, too, he played Willie Mosconi in a nine 9-Ball challenge match (also at the Billiard Palace,) race to 5. He won. Yes, the Willie Mosconi. There only is one. Though “no Efren Reyes, [he is] as capable as anybody walking.” Winning against Mosconi demonstrated just that capability. It really was a huge accomplishment!
Greg’s mother plays a bit of pool. Moreover, she owns and operates Tulsa Billiard Association Pool Leagues. Not only were his mother and granddad instrumental in helping to form his love of pool, Greg also credits several local male players who took him under their wings and helped with instruction. Marc Coats, Randy Jones, Roger Estel, Mike Bets, and Jim McDermott to name a few.
Much time was spent in the room with these men, and that is where Greg perfected “sound fundamentals” as well as his niche in the local and national pool worlds. It would be remiss not to credit his girlfriend, Debra, as he receives continued support from her.
Greg owns a Brunswick eight foot, Century pool table (covered, of course, in tournament blue.) His cue stick of choice is a Farris, made by a local custom cue maker of the same name. Not one particular game is his favorite as he loves “everything from 9 Ball to Billiards,” and is adept in all.
During his leisure time (when not out winning tournaments and challenge matches) he can be found writing short pieces for the Sneaky Pete Mafia blog, at home practicing on his table, or at the local lake fishing — fishing is his other “passion.” Not surprising then is that fish is his favorite food, and it’s undoubtedly a good source of protein to help maintain stamina to play and practice pool for hours.
Regardless of where Greg practices, he puts in four to six hours a day, more if he’s gearing up for an event. Also, he likes to “eat right and exercise.” To work on his mental game, he will “’breathe, take it one ball at a time, and look three to four balls ahead.”
His advice to youth is “Practice makes perfect,” and this is the “truest statement [they’ll] ever hear.” Also, “Be careful at the pool room. Don’t go down the wrong road.” By trade, Greg works for oil refineries, doing “turnarounds” when the plant shuts down for required maintenance. He says, “[oil refineries] all have something in common. They all smell like money!”
Now to take a look at a few of Greg’s accomplishments over the past eight years, four of those being years when he was on hiatus from pool: 2006, 1st place Tulsa Bar Table Challenge; 1st place International Pool Tournament Pre Qualifier; 1st place International Pool Tournament Qualifier, and also 151st place International Pool Tournament North America 8-Ball Championships; 2007, 7th US Bar Table Championships; 2008, 1st place McDermott All America Tournament Stop; 1st place Oklahoma ACS State 84 Championships.
Greg then took a hiatus from 2008 into part of 2012. Back at play in 2012, he got 9th place United States Bar Table Championships, 8-Ball; 17th-24th 9-Ball US Bar Table Championships; BCA Straight Pool Challenge with a run of 80 balls; 2013, 1st place BCA Straight Pool Challenge 2013 of 100 balls; 2013, 30th place Derby City Classic 9-Ball.
While currently searching for a sponsor, a few of Greg’s goals while he is “still above ground” include winning the Derby City championship, the US Open, or any other major tournament. He surely is capable of winning any of these. Remember his name, Greg Hogue, and where first you heard it — Sneaky Pete Mafia Magazine. We have not seen the last of him. Thank you for a great interview, Greg.