Frank Taberski

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Frank Taberski 1920 circa.jpg

Frank Taberski (1889–1941) was a professional pocket billiards player from Schenectady, New York. Nicknamed "The Gray Fox,"[1] he won 10 world title challenge matches in a row.[2] He was ranked number 7 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.[3]


Taberski was born in 1889, and first made a living by selling milk door to door. He began practicing pool at 13 years of age,[4] playing 30 minutes a day when his working hours were over.

In 1915, at age 26, he turned pro after attending the New York City pocket billiards championship.[2]

In 1916 he became world champion by defeating Johnny Layton.[5]

Also in 1916 he retained his title by defeating Ralph Greenleaf.[6]

In 1917 he retained his title again by defeating James Maturo.[7][8]

By 1918 he had won 10 consecutive challenge matches.[2] Following those victories, Taberski temporarily retired that same year.

He returned to pocket billiards in 1925 and regained the world title from Greenleaf who held it over 10 challenge matches in a row.

His highest straight pool run is 238.[9]

Taberski died in 1941. He was 52.

His son Harold Taberski was also a pool player.[10]

Taberski was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1975.[2]

World Pocket Billiards Championship titles[edit]

He won 10 consecutive challenge matches.[2] There can be multiples matches in a single year.


  1. ^ "Frank Taberski Wins In Exhibition Game". The Daily Illini. February 14, 1934. p. 6. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Frank Taberski". Billiard Congress of America. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-12. In those days, 450 point challenge matches were the means of competition; the prize a ruby and diamond studded gold medal with the proviso that any one who won 10 consecutive challenge matches could keep it. Alfredo DeOro had come closest with five straight defenses. By 1918 Taberski had accomplished the impossible and the medal was his. 
  3. ^ "Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century". 
  4. ^ R.A. Dyer. "The Snail's Tale". Billiards Digest. p. 1. Retrieved 2014-11-08. 
  5. ^ Billiards: The Official Rules and Records Book. 2005. p. 178. ISBN 1-59228-744-1. 
  6. ^ a b "Taberski Retains Cue Championship. Sixteen-Year-Old Ralph Greenleaf Weakens in Final Block of Points.". New York Times. October 21, 1916. Retrieved 2011-11-25. The pocket Billiard championship of America remains in the secure possession of Frank Taberski of Schenectady, for last night he cut short the aspirations of Ralph Greenleaf of Monmouth, Ill., by coming from behind and defeating the sixteen-year-old boy in a thrilling match at Doyle's Academy by a score of 450 to 407 for the three nights' play. 
  7. ^ a b "Taberski Keeps His Title. Defeats Maturo, 450 to 420, in Pocket Billiard Match". New York Times. January 13, 1917. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  8. ^ "Maturo Seeking Taberski's Title. Pocket Billiard Title Match Will Be Played Early in January". New York Times. December 24, 1916. Retrieved 2011-04-12. Early next month Frank Taberski of Schenectady will again be called upon to defend his right to the professional pocket billiard championship. His match against the challenger, James Maturo of Kansas City, must take place some time between Jan. 2 and Jan. 12 and will probably be scheduled in Schenectady, although as yet the exact date and place of the encounter have not been announced by the champion. 
  9. ^ "Taberski Sets Up New Local High-Run Record". The Reading Eagle. February 8, 1918. p. 14. 
  10. ^ "Andrew Ponzi, Cue Champion". Schenectady Gazette. November 30, 1943. p. 14. 
Preceded by
Johnny Layton
World Straight Pool Champion (Pre-WPA)
Title next held by
Ralph Greenleaf