About Nick

Career Summary

Eight-Time World Champion

Two-Time US Open Champion Four-Time Sands Regent Open Champion

Five-Time Player of the Year

 

Over 80 Professional Championships Two-Time National Collegiate Champion

14.1 Hi-Run 337

 

1992 Inducted BCA Hall of Fame 2005 Inducted One Pocket Hall of Fame

2012 Inducted Bank Pool Hall of Fame

 

BestAll-AroundPlayer1992 Best 9-Ball Player 1992

PBT

MPBA Sportsperson of the Year, 1991

 

#1 Ranked Player 1994 Professional Billiards TourSeniorTourPlayeroftheYear1999 Pool & Billiard Magazine

Player of the Year 1980, 1982, 1989 &1994

Billiards Digest

Player of the Year 1980, 1989 & 1994

 

Captain of TeamAmerica

~Two-Time Champion~

RAK’EM UP 9-Ball

McDermott Masters 9-Ball Tennessee State Open 9-Ball

Scranton 9-Ball Lexington All Star 9-Ball National Colligate Champion

 

~Three-Time Champion~

Glass City Open 9-Ball

 

~Player Representative~

Nick Varner Cues & Cases

 

~TVCommentator~

ESPN

FOX Sports Sky Sports

 

Nick Varner picked up his first pool cue at age five when his father, Nicholas, bought a small pool room in Grandview, Indiana. The young farm boy soon became a familiar sight in the pool room pulling a coke case around the table so that he could reach the shots on the table. By the time he graduated from high school, Varner had become a top local player. Despite his home-town reputation, Varner avoided pool rooms during his first semester at Purdue-figuring a farm boy would be outclassed. However, one day early in his second semester, Nick dropped into the billiard room and asked if anyone wanted to play. Richard Baumgarth, soon to be National Collegiate Champion, stepped forward, Even though he had not played in months, Varner trailed Baumgarth by only four games after two hours of play. During the next three years, Varner practiced daily and his game improved. In 1969 and in 1970, he won back-to-back National Collegiate Championships. In 1970, Nick received another boost to his confidence as a player when top pro Joe Balsis visited Purdue for an exhibition. Trailing Balsis 148-92, Nick ran 58 and out to beat Balsis 150-148. Later, Balsis remarked to the press, "Nick has a lot of potential."

After college, Nick took his "potential" on the road playing an aggressive schedule of tournaments and exhibitions. In August, 1980, his lifetime dream of winning the World Championship came true in New York City. Three months later, he also won the 1980 BCA National 8-Ball Championship, prompting Billiards Digest to name him Player of the Year. 1981 was a heart-breaker for Varner, when he narrowly missed repeating by finishing second in both tournaments. However, in 1982, Varner captured the World 9-Ball Championship in Atlantic City. ABC televised the tournament on Wide World of Sports with Howard Cosell as commentator. Howard Cosell tagged Nick with the nickname “Cool Hand” because of his ability to handle pressure with what looked like little effort. In 1986, Nick again won the World Championship in Philadelphia, which ESPN televised.

1989 was a dream year for Nick. He won everything in sight including 11 Pro Tour events out of 22. This record is one that may never be equaled. Two of his Championships in 1989 included the World Champi- onship and the US Open 9-Ball Championship. Throughout his amateur and professional career, Nick has established himself as one of the all-time greats of the game. His skill, strategy and cue ball control are legendary. Writer Ben Lucien Burman, probably summed it up best after watching Nick perform at the Players Club in New York, when he said "To watch Nick Varner at a pool table is like watching a portrait being painted by Rembrandt." Since 1980, Nick Varner has racked up over 80 tournament championships including 8 World Championships. In 1992, he was ranked #1 All-Around Player and #1 9-Ball Player by his peers on the Men's Pro Tour.  In July 1992, he was inducted in the Billiards Congress of America Hall of Fame.

In 1994, Nick finished the year as the number one player on the Pro Billiards Tour and captured Player of the Year honors for the fourth time. In route to player of the year honors, he won the World 8-ball Champi- onship and the Challenge of Champions.

In 1999, Nick won two World Titles. Early in the year, he won the World Bank Pool championship in Louis- ville, KY. Nick closed out the year by winning the WPA World 9-ball Championship in Alicante, Spain. Also in 1999, Nick started to compete on Steve Mizerak’s Senior Tour. He won Player of the Year Honors his first year on the tour. During 2000, he added his 8th World title by winning the World Title in One Pocket in Port- land, Maine. Nick is the only player of all time to win World Championships in 5 different games.

A major team event in 2002 was the Border Battle in Toronto, Canada at Dave and Buster’s. The event featured Team USA and Team Canada. TSN Television and Promoter Jimmy Wych put the event together and it was filmed by TSN Canada’s Total Sports Network. Nick was Captain of Team USA and was lucky enough to win a hill battle with Canada’s Team Captain Cliff Thorburn to help pocket the win for Team USA.

Another highlight of Nick’s career was when he traveled to the Philippines to play a challenge match with Efren Reyes on his home turf. It was a long race and Nick beat Efren 60-47. Lots of players are capable of beating Efren a race to 11 but not too many players are capable of beating Efren in a race to 60 on his home court. Nick was invited back to the Philippines a few times afterward but not to play anymore heads up Challenge matches.

In 1999, Nick started his own cue and case company, Nick Varner Cues and Cases. He designs the cues and they are manufactured to his specifications. In addition, he has added cases, cloth, balls and billiard accessories which he distributes wholesale to dealers in the United States as well as other countries around the World.

A living legend in pocket billiards, Nick Varner has become one of the sports most popular and sought after celebrities. Through his many television appearances, exhibitions, magazine articles, books instructional videos and TV commentary, Varner shares his remarkable expertise and enthusiasm with millions of pocket billiard players throughout the world. Nick’s passion for playing pool led to extensive travel in the United States as well as around the World.

Career Wins

1975
Midwest Open 9-Ball
Galesburg,IL

 

1977
Texas Open
14.1
Austin, Texas

 

1980
~World Open14.1~ (PPPA)
New YorkCity
BCA National8-Ball Championship Columbus,OH Kentucky DerbyOpen
9-Ball
Louisville,KY
Illinois 9-Ball Open
Decatur,IL
BCA 8-BallQualifier
Russellville,KY

1981
Kentucky Open9-Ball
Bowling Green,KY

1982
~World9-Ball Championship~ (PPPA)(ABCSports)
Wide World of Sports
Atlantic City,NJ Kentucky Open9-Ball Bowling Green,KY
Bowling Green Open, Bank
Bowling Green, KY

 

Prestonsburg Open 9-Ball Prestonsburg, KY
Bowling Green Open 9-Ball Bowling Green, KY
Owensboro Open 9-Ball
Owensboro, KY

1983
McDermott Masters Champion 9-Ball Milwaukee, WI
San Jose Open 9-Ball San Jose, CA
Kentucky Open 9-Ball Bowling Green, KY
National Open 9-Ball Indianapolis, IN
Fresno Open 9-Ball Fresno, CA

1984
Kentucky Open 9-Ball Bowling Green, KY
Tennessee State 9-Ball Chattanooga, TN

1985
Tennessee State 9-Ball Chattanooga, TN
Zurich Open 9-Ball Zurich, Switzerland

1986
~World Championship 14.1~
(PPPA)
Philadelphia, PA (ESPN)
Charlotte Open Charlotte, NC
Sacramento Open 9-Ball Sacramento, CA
Midwest Open 9-Ball Madison, WI


1987
McDermott Masters 9-Ball
Davenport, IA

1988
Glass City Open 9-Ball
Toledo, OH
Scranton Invitational 9-Ball
Scranton, PA
Tennessee State 9-Ball Chattanooga, TN
Sands Regent 9-Ball Reno, NV

1989
~MPBA Brunswick World Championship~
Las Vegas, NV (ESPN)
Rak’em up 9-Ball Classic Columbia, SC
Knoxville 9-Ball Open Knoxville, TN
Governors Cup 9-Ball Columbus, OH
Glass City Open 9-Ball
Toledo, OH
Sand Regent 9-Ball Open
Reno, NV
Golden 8-Ball Invitational
Phoenix, AZ 
Scranton Open 9-Ball Scranton, PA
Lexington All Star Open
Lexington, KY
Akron Open 9-Ball Akron, OH
US Open 9-Ball
Norfolk, VA

 
1990
World Series Championship
Manila, Philippines
Challenge Match 9-Ball
Nick Varner vs. Efren Reyes 9-Ball 60-47
Al Romero Classic 9-Ball
Los Angeles, CA
US Open 9-Ball Norfolk, VA
West End All Around Shoot Out Elizabeth, NJ

1991
Rak’em Up 9-Ball
Columbia, SC

1992
Super Bowl XXVI Billiard Championship (ESPN) Minneapolis, MN
Legends of One Pocket
International One Pocket Tour
Washington, DC

1993
Lexington All Star Open
Lexington, KY

1994
~World 8-Ball Championship~ Toledo, OH (ESPN)
Challenge of Champions Las Vegas, NV (ESPN)
Lexington All Star Open Lexington, KY

"In 1989, Nick Varner  set the standard by which all future champions will have to measure their success.
The little man from Owensboro, Kentucky, won everything in sight in
1989-including eight Men's Professional Billiard Association titles."
Steve Mizerak
1996
Sands Regent 9-Ball Camel Pro Billiards Series Reno, NV
J.O.B 1-Pocket
Nashville, TN
1-Pocket Open
Arlington, VA
9-Ball
Lexington, KY

1997
Mosconi Cup Team America London, England (Sky Sports)
J.O.B 9-Ball
Nashville, TN
Sands Regent 9-Ball Open
Reno, NV

1998
Mosconi Cup Team America
London, England (Sky Sports)


1999
~WPA World 9-Ball Champion~ Alicante, Spain (Spanish TV)
~World Championship 9-Ball Bank~ Louisville, KY
Steve Mizerak Tulsa Senior Open 9-Ball
Tulsa, OK

 
2000
~World 1-Pocket Championship~
Portland, Maine
Derby City Classic
1-Pocket
Louisville, KY
Steve Mizerak Senior
Masters Open 9-Ball
Tampa, FL
    
2001
Mosconi Cup
Team America
London, England
(Sky Sports)
Superman Open
Metropolis, IL
Sunshine State
1- Pocket Tour
Kiss Shot Billiards
Jupiter, FL
Sunshine State
1-Pocket Tour
Capone’s Billiards
Spring Hill, FL
Sunshine State
1-Pocket Tour
Sharp Shooters
Miami, FL
Hard Times 1-Pocket
Sacramento, CA

2002
Border Battle
Team America VS Team Canada
Toronto, Canada (TSN TV)
Patriot Cup
North VS South
Tampa, FL
Jacksonville 9-Ball Open
Jacksonville, FL
Glass City Open
Toledo, Ohio

2003
Pechauer 9-Ball Stop #7
Renton, WA
Mosconi Cup
Team America
Team Captain
Las Vegas, NV
Border Battle
Team America VS Team Canada
(TSN TV)

2004
Border Battle
Team America VS Team Canada
(TSN TV)

2007
Great Southern 9-Ball Tour
Big Orange Classic VI
Knoxville, TN

2014
Durbin Cup
Sullivan, IL