Mike Sigel

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Mike 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 has won over 107 professional pool tournaments, including 6 US Open Nine-ball Championship tournaments and 10 world pocket billiard championship titles. Sigel was named "Player of the Year" three times by Billiards Digest and Pool and Billiards, pool industry trade magazines, and in 1989, at the age of 35, was the youngest ever to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.[4] He was also voted the greatest living player of the 20th century.

Early life[edit]

Sigel is Jewish, and was born in Rochester, New York.[1][2][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 turned pro in the early 1970s at the Johnson City, Illinois, All-Around Tournament, under the auspices of pool players like Joe Balsis, Steve Mizerak, Ray Martin, and Irving Crane.[7] Sigel has the ability to shoot pool both left-handed and right-handed.

In 2005, Sigel won the IPT World Eight-ball Championship, a challenge match between him and Loree Jon Jones. The victory earned him $150,000.[8] 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 bested him with little trouble. Reyes took home $200,000 and Sigel got $100,000 for second place.[9]

He played himself in the movie Baltimore Bullet. He was also the technical advisor, instructor, and sports choreographer for the shots made by Paul Newman and Tom Cruise in the Academy Award-winning film The Color of Money.[10]

Today, he lives near Orlando, Florida, and his focus is to play pool and instruct.

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.[11]

In December 2015 Sigel launched his official website, www.mikesigelpool.com, dedicated to offering private lessons, Mike Sigel branded cues and new instructional videos to the public.


  • Mike Sigel's Winning Edge on Pocket Billiards (1987)

Halls of Fame[edit]

Sigel was inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame at age 35 as the youngest male member, as well as the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ a b Dawn Meurin. Billiards: Official Rules & Records Book. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b c "Michael Sigel". Jewishsports.net. 1952-07-11. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  3. ^ "Mike Sigel aka Captain Hook", www.Billiards.About.com, Retrieved 11 December 2011
  4. ^ BCA Hall of Fame, BCA-POOL.com. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  5. ^ "Mike Sigel". Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  6. ^ "The Poet of Pool | Celebrities". Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  7. ^ "The Poet of Pool", by Kenneth Shouler, Cigar Aficionado Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2007
  8. ^ "Sigel wins IPT 8-Ball Championship". AzBilliards.com. August 21, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Reyes crowned King of the Hill". AzBilliards.com. December 4, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Sigel's web site". Mikesigelbilliards.com. Retrieved 2013-01-07. 
  11. ^ Player Bio, InternationalPoolTour.com. Retrieved June 17, 2007
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Inaugural champion
US Open Nine-ball Champion
Succeeded by
Allen Hopkins
Preceded by
Louie Roberts
US Open Nine-ball Champion
Preceded by
David Howard
US Open Nine-ball Champion
Succeeded by
Earl Strickland