Cliff Joyner

  • The One Pocket Hall of Fame

    Is pleased to honor

    Cliff Joyner

    For his Outstanding Contribution to the Legacy of The Game of One Pocket
  • Name: Cliff Joyner
    From: Rocky Mount, NC
    Born: ?
    Elected Year: 2013

One Pocket champion Cliff Joyner originally haled from Rocky Mount, NC. He started as a teenager, and in Cliff’s words, “Pool just came naturally to me. I never had anyone teach me.” However, after a while he began to range in search of more competition and it was then that he discovered One Pocket. Mother’s Billiards in Charlotte, NC was about a two hour drive, and Cliff began to make regular trips there. It was at Mother’s that Cliff began to play a lot of One Pocket with ‘Patch Eye’. As Cliff recalls, he lost about the first 15 or so times they played, but he was learning and improving all the while. Finally Cliff had absorbed enough that he began to turn the tables. It was a bitter sweet moment when Cliff knew he had officially graduated, when ‘Patch’ told him, “I’m going to have to cut you loose, young fella.”

Cliff began to compete with the very best at the game, and with his continuing thirst for improvement, time spent around John Schmidt and other great ball-running players elevated his own game. Cliff got particularly good at running balls from up at the kitchen end of the table, whereas many players are unable to take advantage of opportunities up there. This enabled Cliff to run a lot of balls, and he learned that he could offer people much higher spots at One Pocket than he could at games like 9-ball, so it became a signature method of operation. Eventually, Cliff got tagged with the nickname ‘Spotmaster’ because of these large spots.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Cliff’s game seemed to peak around the same time that the great Efren Reyes One Pocket game did too. This led to some of the most fantastic after hours exhibitions of One Pocket ever witnessed, in several legendary head-to-head sessions. “Efren does to you, what you do to everybody else.” In Cliff’s words, “I loved playing Efren – he was always a gentleman. He was the only player that made me second guess where I was going to leave him.”

Trouble with his shoulder has dogged Cliff for the last few years, but he is working at overcoming that, and he still has a strong passion for One Pocket. “I really enjoy playing the game and I still feel even today that I am still learning.”

Cliff has many top finishes in major One Pocket tournaments, including:

1994 US Open One Pocket
1999 US Open One Pocket
2002 Derby City Classic One Pocket
2004 US Open One Pocket
2006 Derby City Classic
Louie Roberts Award for entertainment/action