Sportspeople argue about how the greats from past eras would compete against the best modern players.
Today’s players have better training and playing conditions, but they might not fare so well if they were to compete in past venues.
In billiards, Filipino native Efren Reyes is one of the world’s best pool players of all time. Some rank him over American pool legends like Ralph Greenleaf, Willie Mosconi, and Rudolf Wanderone, aka. Minnesota Fats. At one time, Reyes supposedly made about $80,000 a week hustling in the U.S. after gaining fame in the Philippines. For players of Reyes caliber, the pool tables must be in perfect condition for a game that requires skill, surgeon-like precision, focus, and patience. Reyes likely plays in climate-controlled pool rooms with HVAC systems to control humidity. Compare that to the smoky pool rooms of the past where those old greats played. With no HVAC to control humidity, the cloth on the table plays slower, there is less sidespin, the bank shots go shorter and even the pockets are said to play tighter. In humid conditions, chalk residue from the cue will cling to the balls and accumulate on the cloth. The effect of humidity may be slight but even a minuscule change in the cue ball’s trajectory will have consequences. Controlling humidity via an HVAC system is essential for a high stakes pool match. Homeowners with pool tables have the same concerns for their tables located in recreation rooms and basements. A qualified HVAC technician using the same precision, focus, and patience of a top pool player to service your HVAC unit will not make you the next Efren Reyes. But your friends will enjoy playing games in air conditioned comfort.