Mark, much thanks for letting me repost this very interesting read on The Magician’s billiard cues, my friend! Maraming salamat talaga,kaibigan!
This is a very popular topic in billiards forums, pool halls, and well, probably every pool player I know at least once became curious as to what 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.
This cue was made by Jesus “Jessy” Bundalian as claimed by Linds, a popular local cue maker, in his about page. It was what Efren used when he won the 1999 World Pool Championship in
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.
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
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 the wrap area.
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, sometimes surprisingly he switches cues or shafts in the middle of racks. 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. And 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 but you can participate in English.