Top Billiard Players in 2021

Ko Ping Chung

Billiards is a highly competitive sport where the top rankings are constantly changing based on how each player performs in the biggest tournaments. The World Pool-Billiard Association is responsible for handling the rankings of the sport, assigning each player a number of points for how they performed in major tournaments. Currently, the top three players in the world consist of Ko Ping-Chung, Joshua Filler and Shane Van Boening. These are some of the best players in the world and their places in the rankings are no accident. Each of these players has shown a tremendous amount of skill and ability when at the table.

2020 saw a lot of disruption to the billiards circuit, with a lot of major tournaments being unfortunately cancelled and some players were unable to travel. 2021, however, should be a little different. Most major billiard tournaments are now going ahead, and we should see some excellent matches in the coming months. We’ve assessed the upcoming year and looked at the chances for each of the top three current players. Find out below which tournaments to watch out for and their odds in upcoming billiards tournaments.

Ko Ping-Chung
Ko Ping-Chung is a 25 year old Taiwanese 10-ball and 9-ball billiards player. Having won the 2019 WPA World 10-ball Championship, Ko currently occupies the top spot in the rankings. He also reached the 2019 finals of the 9-ball championships but was beaten by Fedor Gorst, the eventual champion. Despite his young age, Ko Ping-Chung has shown he can compete with the best players in the world, putting in thrilling performances at some of the world’s biggest tournaments.

In 2021, Ko will be looking to build on his success of 2019 and take home some big prizes. He’ll almost certainly be competing in the World Pool Masters 2021 which is being held in Gibraltar. This is a 9-ball tournament which is Ko’s preferred format and should help to give him an edge. The tournament isn’t until April, so no odds have been released as of yet. Closer to the event, however, most major sportsbooks should have odds available on the World Pool Masters as it’s one of the biggest events on the calendar.

Joshua Filler
Joshua Filler is a German pool player currently ranked second. While he’s ranked number one in the Euro rankings, he lost to Ko Ping-Chung in the final of the 2019 WPA 10-ball Championship, losing his world number one ranking to this rival. Filler is actually two years younger than Ping-Chung, making his achievements even more impressive. The 23 year old has been a professional since 2014 and was the youngest player to win the China Open and the European Pool Championships when he won both tournaments in 2018.

Filler is expected to compete in the World Pool Masters this year alongside all of the best billiards players. Filler will no doubt be hoping to take home the $100,000 prize as well as his top spot in the rankings. As well as the World Pool Masters, it’s expected that Filler will be competing in several European pool competitions this year. The WPA World Championships 9-ball has been rescheduled to take place in the middle of April, although the event location has yet to be confirmed. Odds for this event will be available close to the time, with Joshua Filler likely one of the heavy favourites.

Shane Van Boening
Shane Van Boening is an American billiards player from Rapid City, South Dakota. At 37 years old, he’s the oldest of the top three players in the world but has managed to build an impressive career over the years. Van Boening has won multiple world championships including most recently winning the 8-ball and 10-ball championships in 2018. His highest world ranking was reaching number 2, but he’s always been considered one of the top players thanks to his strong consistency.

Shane Van Boening is scheduled to play in multiple tournaments across the US including the Diamond Las Vegas Open and the WPA World 10-ball Championship which are both in September. On top of this, we can expect to see Shane taking part in the Mosconi Cup once again. Here, the best players from the US and Europe compete in teams in a 9-ball tournament. Van Boening was on the winning team in 2018 and 2019 and will be hoping to help the US win the cup back from the Europeans this year.