Paul Gerni (USA)
Seen often on early ESPN “Trick Shot Magic” matches, pool trick shot legend Paul Gerni is one of the most recognized, respected, and accomplished professional pool players touring the world. Known as “The Ambassador of Pool” and as pool's “Grandmaster of Trick Shots”, Paul has won has won the Professional World Championships of Artistic Pool (Trick Shots) an astounding 22 consecutive times, which is the longest championship winning streak in all professional sports.
Gerni has also won trick shooting's International Challenge Cup 15 consecutive times. In addition, he has been named the World Trick Shot Artists Association's Player of the Year (equivalent to an MVP award) 11 times in 14 years. In his career, Gerni won 42 of the 50 professional trick shot championships in which he has participated, an astonishing 84% win percentage.
He started playing pool at age six in a church recreation room, and won his first tournament at age seven. Now Paul Gerni is regarded worldwide as the greatest pool trick shot artist of all time, and the godfather of this discipline of cue sports. With his beautiful Pechauer custom cues, he has promoted the sport constantly with a schedule of personal appearances around the U.S. and in 53 countries around the world.
Paul has written numberous articles for billiard magazines, made a “live show” videotape, and a popular DVD, and has performed his trick shots for a few television shows and commercials. He also created and designed the matrix format used for BCA team play (1976) and created the format (1999) for the ESPN television show “Trick Shot Magic”, seen on TV networks around the world. The popular ESPN show gave much-needed exposure to trick shots and trick shot artists around the world, who are now enjoying their greatest popularity, thanks to Paul.
Paul was selected as an original member of Team America, pool's Dream Team, for the first Mosconi Cup matches in London (1994), and was also the first pool player featured on a Wheaties box, an honor usually bestowed on Olympic athletes. In addition, Paul Gerni not only performed for the White House, he is the first player to perform a trick shot exhibition on a cruise ship on the high seas, which he does on a gyro table on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship, “The Radiance of the Seas”.
Everywhere pool is played, Paul Gerni is respected for his integrity, dedication, and his positive, upbeat promotion of the sport.