Top 10 Influencers of 2020 By Chris Renfro

Chris Renfro

Unofficial top 10 influencers for American pool in 2020 and why.. Plus honorable mentions.. This is my own personal list from how I see it.. No Snooker.. No Chinese 8Ball... No English Blackball.. Just Pool.. This is Outsville mister... You are welcome to create your own..... Or if you wish to point out people I have missed or debate my picks please feel welcome.. Just keep it civil...... 1) Matchroom Sports/ Emily Frazer - Matchroom's acquisition of the US Open and World 9ball in addition to their existing events has put them solidly in the catbirds seat for years to come.. Emily has a vision for where we need to be and honestly.. I like it... 2020 took the events down but when Matchroom speaks all of us listen... Who's ready for MOSCONI!!!! 2) Predator Group/ Karim Belhaj - Yes a cue company but wait.. It's not just about the cues anymore....Predator stepped out in 2019 and rescued the World 10ball which had died in 2015 and brought a world championship back to the US for the first time since 1997... COVID cancelled their 2020 10 ball world championship with the players in Vegas waiting to lag and their world tour plans will have towait until 2021... They have added more pros to their stable and have rolled on in 2020 with new industry changing products... 3) Diamond Billiards/ Greg Sullivan - 2020 had very few shining stars to light up the way but as always Derby City and the BIGFOOT did so.. Diamond will sell more tables this year than any prior year because of the lock downs.. Those tables will fuel the turn out when COVID is over... Those players are out there learning the game that otherwise never would have. We will be seeing them for years to come.. 4) APA/ Greg Fletcher - APA? sure.. remember to include Japan and Canada and soon to add 2 other markets that I can't mention as those are rumors. 2020 and COVID has crushed them but they have held the course and worked hard on region by region basis to keep their players safe while playing when possible and have opened and closed more times than can be imagined.. They likely have had to work as hard as anyone in the face of the pandemic on behalf of the LOs and players..



5) CSI/ Ozzy Reynolds - like APA it's all about the league... Well not ALL as CSI handles BCAPL and USAPL as well as a huge number of pro and state events.. They have done their very best to get players playing and were impacted by COVID more than anyone when Vegas shut down DURING their biggest events.. Good thing Ozzy had no hair to begin with... 6) Florian 'Venom' Kohler/ Iana Kohler - Florian has become a major force in the industry and his following continues to grow.. 2M subscribers and still going!! COVID has crimped his tail and he has slowed down some on new full production videos for 2020... If he puts out a Christmas video with Iana in the Ms Clause outfit again in December he may get moved up to number 1!!!!! 7) billiards.colostate.edu / Dr-Dave Alciatore - Yea yea... I may not always agree with him but his websites and the work he has done to put pool into the light of science is impressive.. While we have all been stuck at home thousands upon thousands have found and researched topics on his sites.. You have a question... He may have the answer and he has been allllll over social media during the lockdown answering them in person when someone types his name and tags him 3 times.. Beetlejuce... Errr Dr Dave... Dr Dave.. Dr Dave!!!!!! 8) Pool is Not Dead Facebook group/ Barbara Lee - 46,000 and growing... Likely the most active social media group devoted to our sport... Moderators will be key to the continued growth and in all honesty they might really be top 5 if that happens.. They just need the pros and industry people to get involved more and if they increase moderation when and as needed it WILL happen.. They could be number 1 next year... 9) Accu-Stats Video Productions/ Pat Fleming -While COVID has raged Pat and company have been bringing us match after match from the vaults to keep us sane... For free.. They have a paid subscription plan on VIMEO so they could have just sat back and let us find our way there to line their pockets but they did not.. I have met more players who credit Pat and Accu-Stats with being how they learned this game than I can count and I am betting that number has went wayyyy up in 2020.. Thanks to Pat you have not resorted to watching Bonus Ball matches on youtube..... 10) FARGORATE/ Mike Page - While COVID was crushing most of the country the midwest kept on keeping on.. As did other areas of the country... FARGORATE continues to show us the way forward.. 213k players 16million matches logged.. They have been working when most of us were sitting in the recliner bitching about the local pool room being shut down.. While they are a lightning rod for players they continue to be the missing link between the pros and league players once they are mature imho... Just an FYI US Mosconi team is avg 790... Europe is 815... On paper we have just under a 40% chance..... Honorable Mentions: Darren Appleton - Of the Euros Darren is by far the most active of the pro players on social media.. His drills have entertained us for years and during COVID he has been adding more.. His Ultimate Touch Drill from March 4th when the lock downs were looming now has almost 1.9M views... Bravo Darren!!!!! AZBilliards.com - according to the stats available the AZB forum is by far the most visited in the pool world. With 509,216 threads, 6,636,050 posts, and 70,364 members... but those numbers go all the way back. AZB started 22 years ago.. Many members are inactive and they have had only had 292k visits to the forums in the last 6 months per analytics and only 3163 of their 70k members posted in 2020.... However Their Money List is gold and their main web page stays updated with current info, events and press releases and they have tons of historical data you won't find anywhere else.. They should be bookmarked and a first stop for anyone looking for event coverage or looking for the latest news or the brackets for the 2012 US Open...... BilliardsDigest/ Michael Panozzo - BD has been a staple since 1978 and like most magazines the circulation has taken a hit from the digital media age... but every month you have new articles brought to you on their website... While you may not be there everyday it's a must to check out for the new issues when they release! EBPF - In a normal year they likely move into the top 10 but 2020 is not a normal year.. COVID stripped them of all their major events and put the on the sidelines... Make no mistake about it.. They WILL be back in 2021 churning out more and more 800+ fargorate players to stack the Euro Mosconi team with.... Ray Hansen.. In a normal year he would be in the running.. no one is logging more hours on the road or streaming and recording more hours of tournament pool every year and he assists every event in promoting and making sure the players show up... Without TV streaming matters more and more..... Jeremy Jones - Matchroom gave him the keys to the bus for Team USA.. Unlike Europe where they have it easy and 8 players over 800 Fargo the US has only 2 and 1 doesn't count because of his attitude... Not enough events so picks were a wildcard.. The biggest pool related debate in 2020 was possibly after his 5th pick... And one way or the other the explosion coming in December may be even bigger... Dennis Orcollo - Cash King of 2020.. Has there been a "big money"streamed match that kept us riveted to our seats that Dennis wasn't in this year... He plays SVB in October race to 120 9ball... I am already stocking up on popcorn and bourbon... Omega Billiards/ Mike Hoang - Mike had a reallllllly good year.. Tables are flying out the door but instead of just buying a villa on the redneck riviera in Florida he has stepped up and been behind many of the events that have entertained us in 2020... Roys Basement/ Ariel Roy Francisco - Money Match Maker extraordinaire... Imagine 2020 without Roy... We'd be left with almost nothing to have sweated.. I doubt we see a slow down in 2021 but I think I speak for all of us when I say we want to see more videos of who is having to do the yardwork at the casa..... Sharivari - I honestly slept this one.. I generally end up on youtube from links on other social media platforms so I had not heard of him. His numbers on youtube say lots of others have not and it will just be a matter of time before everyone knows the name... Jayson Shaw - Eagle EYE!!!!!.. Filler may have passed him on Fargorate and even be higher ranked but when people hear Euuuurope it's still Shaw that comes to mind... Not many events for him to shine.. He has been putting in the work though... Check his facebook page... I am not sure if he's had time to practice during COVID.. Peri and Rasson chose wisely........ Earl Strickland - I am afraid that if there is no Earl pool might cease to exist... In August Billiard Network had Earl commentate an older match between Shane and Corey.. If Earl commentated every match I think we ALLLL might be pro speed in short order... I was hooked the whole match as were several 100s of thousands apparently... They have had him do 5 more and are now up to episode #6 of "Earl Presents"... At this rate Billiard Network may make top 10 2021... Shane VanBoening - Captain America... More fishing posts than pool in 2020.. Welllll that's kind of his thing every year.. He does his talking on the tables and to the teller at his local bank when he goes to deposit checks from tournaments... With that said he is the premiere brand ambassador here in the US just being SVB.. Everyone wants to know what he is playing with. Rasson, How and Dynasphere are smart enough to see what he has done for Cuetec... We are 20 some odd days before he goes after ROBOCOP's cash... I am thinking we may see a few more pool posts from now until year end... Mosconi Mosconi Mosconi... USA!!!! USA!!! USA!!! WPA - They should be an influence every year... 2020 pretty much said nope Nope NOPE!!!! They have a hard road coming up though.. Everyone wants to schedule Spring 2021.... Someone has to decide who gets a yes and who gets to wait.. I am glad it's not me......


This was an article written and published on FaceBook by Chris Renfro that SPM Media had permission to republish. "I will go on to say that it's completely accurate."

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