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Mike Sigel

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Mike Sigel
Sigel at the 2003 US Open
Born (1953-07-11) 11 July 1953 (age 70)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Sport country United States
Nickname"Captain Hook", "Mr. Finals"
Tournament wins
Other titles100
World ChampionStraight Pool (1979, 1981, 1988)

Michael Sigel (born July 11, 1953) is an American professional pool player[1][2] nicknamed "Captain Hook." He earned the nickname from his ability to hook his opponents with safety plays.[3] Sigel was dominant during the 1980s in 9-Ball and Straight Pool and has a high run of 339 balls in Straight Pool. Mike Sigel is widely considered one of the greatest pool players of all time. In the year 2000, Sigel was voted "Greatest Living Player of the Century" by Billiards Digest Magazine.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sigel is Jewish, and was born in Rochester, New York.[1][2][5] His mother Ruth was aggravated with him at times, because as she said "he wouldn't go to Hebrew school because he was too tired from playing pool nights."[6]

Professional career[edit]

Sigel has won over 100 professional pool tournaments in his career, making him one of the most successful players of all time, winning multiple major titles in Straight pool and Nine-ball. Including 3 World Straight Pool Championship titles, 3 U.S. Open Nine-ball Championship titles and the BCA U.S. Open Straight Pool Championship.

Sigel turned pro in 1973 at the age of 21 years old. A few years later, Sigel continued the reputation as one of the best 9-Ball players in the country.[7]

By 1986, Sigel had won 63 out of the 68 professional tournament finals he had reached, earning himself the infamous nickname, "Mr. Finals".

He played himself in the movie Baltimore Bullet in 1980. He was also the technical advisor, instructor, and sports choreographer for most of the shots made by Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in the Academy Award-winning film The Color of Money in 1986.[8] Sigel was a dominant player in the 1980s and has been on the cover of numerous trade magazines such as Billiards Digest, Pool and Billiards, InsidePOOL, Billiard News, and Bike Week. He has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Life, People, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Playboy, Parade, Baltimore Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Silver Screen, and Cigar Aficionado.[9]

Sigel was named "Player of the Year" three times in 1981, 1983 and 1986 by Billiards Digest and Pool and Billiards Magazine.

In 2005, Sigel won the IPT 8-ball Exhibition Match, between him and Loree Jon Jones. The victory earned him $150,000.[10] That same year, he was seeded in the final of the King of the Hill Eight-ball Shootout, the next event of the IPT. There he met Efren Reyes, who played his way through the tournament. In the match, Reyes defeated him and took home $200,000 and Sigel got $100,000 for second place.[11]

Sigel maintains an official website, www.mikesigel.com.


Sigel won the largest first place prize in a pool tournament at the time on three occasions, winning $25,000 in 1979, $30,000 in 1981 and $40,000 in 1986. The only player to superseded this feat since in the modern era is Efren Reyes.

In 1987, Sigel became the first player to earn over $100,000 in prize winnings in single year on the pro tour. In 1989, He became the youngest male to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame, at the age of 35. In 1994, Sigel became the first male pool player to win 100 professional tournaments in pocket billiards, at the age of 41.

Titles and achievements[edit]

  • 1974 U.S. Masters 9-Ball Championship
  • 1975 U.S. Masters 9-Ball Championship
  • 1976 Miami Open 9-Ball
  • 1976 Southeastern Open 9-Ball
  • 1976 Brunswick Open 9-Ball
  • 1976 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
  • 1976 Oregon Open 8-Ball
  • 1977 Miami Open 8-Ball
  • 1977 Dayton Open 9-Ball
  • 1978 Billiard News National Open 14.1
  • 1979 Maryland Open 9-ball
  • 1979 Norfolk Open One Pocket
  • 1979 PPPA World Straight Pool Championship
  • 1980 Piedmont Open 9-ball
  • 1980 Rocky Mountain Open 9-ball
  • 1980 World Series of Pool
  • 1980 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
  • 1981 Caesars Tahoe Billiard Classic
  • 1981 Southeastern Open 9-Ball
  • 1981 PPPA World Straight Pool Championship
  • 1981 Billiards Digest Player of the Year
  • 1982 Music City Open 9-ball
  • 1982 Denver Open 9-ball
  • 1982 Australian 8-Ball Invitational
  • 1983 Southeastern Open 9-ball
  • 1983 Caesars Boardwalk Billiard Classic
  • 1983 Rocky Mountain Open 9-ball
  • 1983 Buffalo All-Around Shoot Out
  • 1983 U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship
  • 1983 Clyde Childress Memorial 9-Ball Open
  • 1983 National Billiard News Player of the Year
  • 1984 Wolfpack Open 9-Ball
  • 1984 North Carolina Open 9-Ball
  • 1984 Tar Heel Open 9-Ball
  • 1985 Florida Open 9-Ball
  • 1985 Glass City Open 9-Ball
  • 1985 Spring Open 9-Ball



  1. ^ a b Dawn Meurin (1993). Billiards: Official Rules & Records Book. SP Books. p. 133. ISBN 9781561712106. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Michael Sigel". Jewishsports.net. July 11, 1952. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "Mike Sigel aka Captain Hook" Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, www.Billiards.About.com, Retrieved December 11, 2011.
  4. ^ BCA Hall of Fame Archived 2007-11-18 at the Wayback Machine, BCA-POOL.com. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  5. ^ "Mike Sigel". Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "The Poet of Pool | Celebrities". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Poet of Pool", by Kenneth Shouler, Cigar Aficionado Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  8. ^ "Sigel's web site". Mikesigelbilliards.com. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  9. ^ Player Bio Archived 2007-08-04 at the Wayback Machine, InternationalPoolTour.com. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  10. ^ "Sigel wins IPT 8-Ball Championship". AzBilliards.com. August 21, 2005. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  11. ^ "Reyes crowned King of the Hill". AzBilliards.com. December 4, 2005. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2008.

External links[edit]