What cue does Efren Reyes use?
This is a very popular topic in billiards forums, pool halls, and well, probably every pool player I know at least once became curiousÂ as to whatÂ type of cue the master uses. Maybe there’s something in his cue, or at least maybe, there’s something wrong in our cues that we can’t make the same shots he does. Nothing’s special with his cue for sure, and nothing’s wrong with ours either; “it’s him” is almost always the most popular end to this debate. But well, like most pool afficionados, especially equipment freaks, we can’t help but be curious.
I don’t personally know Efren. My closest encounter with him was “small talk” in Metropolis Mall some 4 years ago. Metropolis Mall is a popular tournament venue; the likes of Earl Strickland, Johnny Archer, Francisco Bustamante, have all participated in tournaments there. I did ask Efren something about his cue back then, but first let me just clear out that the answers to this post’s subject came from research – both online and offline. If there are discrepancies, feel free to comment at the end of the post.
Efren was under contract with MeucciÂ in the 90’s as seen in this interviewÂ from Billiards Digest done on October 3, 1997. He states that it was 21 oz. and 13 mm. But there are claims in AZBilliards Forums that he had his Meucci tapered down to 12.5 by Judd Fuller. He played withÂ the MeucciÂ in the Color of Money race to 120, which he won, against Earl Strickland. The only thing I could remember from that video was thatÂ the cueÂ had a white irish linen wrap. Also, in addition, the question I asked him in Metropolis Mall was “What happened to your Meucci?” He jokingly said, “I threw it away, it’s unlucky.”
This cue was made by Jesus “Jessy” Bundalian as claimed by Linds, a popular local cue maker, in his about page.Â ItÂ was whatÂ Efren used when he won the 1999 World Pool Championship in Cardiff, Wales. If you are from the Philippines, you’d probably remember Efren holdingÂ that cuestick in hisÂ lifesize San Miguel Beer posters. Apparently, there is another local cue that Efren used before the “Jessy” or “Jessie” cue; it was made by someone named “Boyet,”Â as said byÂ a man called JoeyInCali in biliards forums. This article claims thatÂ Efren’s cue is more than 20 years old, was bought for roughly $10, andÂ was offered $10,000 for it but he refused it; I’m just not sure if it’s the “Boyet” or the “Jessy.” JoeyInCali also said that the “Jessy” cue developed a rattle and was sold to a collector.
From the late 90’s to the present, Efren has been associated with Judd cues. Judd cues are made by Judd and Trudy Fuller. In the 1999 World Pool Championship this is what we could consider as his break cue. There were times that he used it to play as well. It was the JT1 model; birdseye forearm with cocobolo handle and decorative stitch rings. In Judd’s site, you could get a JT1 for roughly $700.00, but I think the wait time is around 12 months. He also switched shafts for this cue; in some pictures you could see that the shaft’s collar is darker but it is still a Judd shaft. I believe this cue is no longer with him.
He does have a new Judd. It features 4 high ivory points and 4 low ebony points with an ivory diamond in the middle, set on a birdseye maple forearm. There’s aÂ thread in AZBilliards that shows the Judd up close; he wrapped part of this cue with masking tape inÂ one tournament because it felt cold to his hands. They say he got this cue from someone named Alex. Here is a clear picture of Efren using the cue.
Efren “Bata” Reyes signature series
There are Japan-made Efren Reyes signature cue sticks made by Cosmo. I believe this is the same company that makes Mezz cues. They have a site, but it’s in Japanese. In Singapore, I was able to try one out. It sold for around $100.00 back then. They say that it is made in Efren’s exact specifications. Here is a picture of him using the EBR-501 model.
All of Efren’s cues are 60″ in length. This is probably the only sure common factor in his cues’ specifications that always surfaces around in discussions and interviews. Efren is surprisingly tall, for Filipinos at least. I would say he is around 5’10”. Definitely taller than 5’8″, my height, since I’ve stood beside him a couple of times, but not taller than 5’11”.
Most of his cues’ are wrapless. Meucci’s are notorious for having a protective varnish on top of the wrap. His “Jessy” cue also has varnish on the wrap. His Judd JT1 has cocobolo wood in theÂ wrap area.
For tips, this post claims that he used Elkmaster for several years and then recently switched to Tiger’s Sniper tips. His Elkmaster’s however, were pressed on a vice toÂ compress more.
Finally, a mop handle
The truth is, you can probably hand Efren a mop handle to shoot pool with and he would still beat us. There’s nothing special on Efren’s cues. There’s no one magic cue as well. He uses what feels right to him, sometimesÂ surprisingly he switchesÂ cues or shafts in the middle of racks.Â He could make a ton of money endorsing a particular brand but if it does not feel right for him it might just affect his game. In addition, Efren is also a very superstitious person, he will let go of a cue if he feels it has become unlucky.
I hope this post has been informative. AndÂ again, feel free to post a comment if there are discrepancies. My online sources are all linked from this entry. Also, there is a thread in my billiards forum that is all about Efren’s cue. Click here and feel free to join; it’s mostly in Filipino butÂ you can participateÂ in English.