Kelly Fisher – A New Standard In Women's Professional Pool ~ By Patrick Sampey

Monday, July 25th, 2022 (11:32am) – Good morning, fellow Billiards Aficionados! Patrick Sampey here, writing for SPM (Sneaky Pete Mafia) magazine. What a treat we have for you today, or tonight, wherever you are in the world. We at SPM have had the pleasure to be able to interview none other than world #1 ranked Kelly Fisher.

Some quick facts and stats on Fisher before we begin: Fisher was born on August 25th, 1978, in South Elmsall, England, is 43 years young, began playing snooker at age 12, is a five-time world snooker champion (1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003), came to the USA to pursue a career in professional pool in 2003, has accumulated 5 back-to-back major tournament wins in 2022 alone, and just recently won the Gold medal for women's 9-ball in the World Games on July 16th, Saturday night; the World Games is an offshoot of the Olympic games, held every 4 years, featuring games not included in the Olympics, pool being one of their events.

Fisher's 5 major women's world pool events were the 2022 WPBA Ashton Twins Classic, the Predator Germany Women's Open, the 2022 Women's NineBall Pro Players Championship, the WPBA Predator Event, and the WPBA Northern Lights Classic. She won those events in succession this year, which is an incredible run.

Kelly Fisher currently stands atop women's professional pool worldwide, and at 43, highlights the fact that age is just a number. Pool can be played at the highest level well beyond other sports that require excellent athletic training, like basketball or football. However, we still have Tom Brady, slightly over 40 and still doing it, arguably the world's greatest quarterback to ever live. It is debatable. But suffice it to say, Fisher has strived for excellence her entire career in billiards, both in snooker and now in pool, and has shown to be a rare breed indeed, having mastered snooker, Kung Fu, and pool.

How does her mastery of martial art such as Kung Fu come into play with her snooker and pool games and her success in each? Glad you asked. Fisher concludes that it was her success in Kung Fu, precisely the mental toughness it gave her, that gives her such a strong mental edge against her opponents now; Fisher, having received a black belt by the time she was 15 years old, but due to injuries to her right arm, and the fact that she chose to pursue snooker full time at about the age of 15; once she had achieved her black belt ranking, she made the hard decision at that time to pursue snooker professionally. And Fisher told me in our interview that she had about 50 snooker titles over her snooker career.

Fisher told us at SPM, “I think that I've been fortunate with my dad being a professional boxer and wrestler. He taught me very well when I was young that you win your fights in the gym, making me practice very hard. I also did martial arts and Kung Fu and went all the way to black belt. I think that helped me mentally and disciplined me throughout the years for different aspects of the game, and then my coach Lionel Payne was right there at the beginning with my dad. Lionel Payne is still my coach today and my mentor. I just spoke to Lionel in preparation for this, right so you know, I think I've been very fortunate to have great parents, a great coach, and even now, great family and partner around me to really have their support, but as far as mental preparation I think a lot of that comes with experience and there's no magic trick.”

Fisher seeks excellence in all she does: excellence in martial arts, excellence in snooker, excellence in pool. And she has achieved excellence and beyond, but she's not nearly done yet, and continues to push, every single tournament, match, rack, ball potted. She keeps grinding, logging many hours on the table green.

Kelly Fisher is humble, thankful, very approachable, and easy to talk to. She thanks all her sponsors and appears to know how to promote herself and pocket billiards, leading the way not just on the table but off as well. She is an asset to the game and a sensation to witness play. She maintains the highest caliber pool play worldwide, showing players an exemplary role model for younger female players to look up to and emulate. She doesn't brag or boast about how great she is, just lets her game do the talking.

Fisher concludes from her dorm at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, "So, not taking anything away from anybody, but we have other players missing as well (Asian players). But, I'll take it. I'm playing well. I don't care who I play, to be honest. If I play well, they've got to play well to beat me, and that's the way I look at it. If I don't play well, then I don't deserve to win. So it's just a matter of keeping my game to the best I can keep it, and if anybody plays better than me, I'll shake their hand, and fair play...all I can do is play my best, and pray and hope to keep a high standard, and hopefully keep winning. That's the goal." – Fisher.

Fisher appears to be very humble, considering her world #1 ranking, but she also has a lot of positive things to say about her peers in pool. Though she had won 5 major titles in a row this year, including taking the Gold medal for women's 9-ball at the World Games a little over a week ago, she talks highly of all the women's professional female players.

The story of how Fisher won the Gold, with tenacious grit and a solid mental game, built upon a black belt Kung Fu status from her youth – that's an incredible account in and of itself: