17 Best Snooker Players in Canada : A Historical Perspective

Pink Hilliker

Canada has a long and proud history of producing some of the world’s greatest Snooker players. From world champions to professional tournament players, Canadian Snooker has been home to some of the sport’s most renowned competitors.

We take a look at some of the best Snooker players that Canada has to offer. We look at their successes, their ranking and their overall contribution to the sport of Snooker.

We also take a look at the impact they have had on the sport, and what they have done to promote the game of Snooker in Canada.

1. Bill Werbeniuk

William Alexander Werbeniuk was a well-known Canadian professional snooker and pool player. His physical stature earned him the nickname “Big Bill”. He had a successful career, reaching a career high world ranking of #8 during the 1983–84 season.

He was also a four-time World Championship quarter-finalist and a UK Championship semi-finalist. Werbeniuk was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and began playing in professional tournaments in 1972.

In the decades that followed, he earned a reputation as a formidable player, known for his strong mental game and relentless determination. He was able to compete with the best players in the world and often defeated them.

Werbeniuk was particularly successful in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He won the Canadian Open in 1979 and 1981 and was a quarter-finalist in the World Championships in 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983. He also reached the semi-finals of the UK Championships in 1980 and 1982.

His career peak was when he reached a world ranking of #8 for the 1983–84 season. Werbeniuk was also known for his colourful personality. He was a lively presence in the snooker world and was known for his humour and sharp wit.

He was also known to consume large amounts of alcohol before or during his matches. Despite this, he was able to remain successful and was admired for his ability to hold his own against the top players in the world.

William Alexander Werbeniuk was a unique and talented snooker and pool player. His success in the game was a testament to his skill and determination. He will be remembered for his ability to play at a high level despite his unorthodox lifestyle.

2. Frank Jonik

Francis “Frank” Jonik was a professional snooker player from Canada. He was one of the most talented players in the game, and his skill and technique were highly regarded by his peers.

He was a great shot-maker and had an impressive ability to read the table and make the right play. He was also known for his witty and jovial personality, which endeared him to many people. Frank was born in Canada and he began playing snooker at an early age.

He was passionate about the game and worked hard to perfect his technique. As he got older, he became increasingly successful in the game and was able to make a living playing snooker.

He was a regular on the Canadian snooker circuit, competing in many tournaments and consistently placing in the top 3. Frank was an ambassador for the game and he was actively involved in promoting snooker.

He was a regular commentator on Canadian TV and radio shows, offering his insights on the game.

He also wrote several books about snooker and was a regular guest on many snooker-related podcasts. Frank was highly respected in the snooker community and his influence was felt throughout the game.

His enthusiasm for the game and his dedication to promoting it earned him the admiration of many players. He was inducted into the Canadian Snooker Hall of Fame in 2020 in recognition of his significant contributions to the game.

Frank Jonik was a true snooker great and will be remembered for his skill, wit, and dedication to the game. He was an inspiration to many players and will be sorely missed.

3. George Chenier

George Chenier was a Canadian snooker player who achieved great success during his career. He is highly regarded as one of the greatest snooker players that Canada has ever produced, and he is remembered for his impressive record of achievements.

Chenier began playing snooker at a young age and was quickly recognized as a talented player. He went on to compete in numerous tournaments and championships and was successful in many of them. He won the Canadian Snooker Championship five times and was a runner-up twice.

He also competed in the World Snooker Championship and reached the quarterfinals in 1989. He was known for his strong determination and dedication to the sport, which helped him succeed in his career.

He was also admired for his skill and technique, as well as his ability to remain focused even under immense pressure.

His successes earned him a great deal of respect and admiration from fellow players and fans alike. Chenier’s accomplishments throughout his career are a testament to his talent and dedication.

He is remembered as a great Canadian snooker player and will likely remain one of the most respected players ever produced by Canada.

4. Maryann McConnell

Maryann McConnell is an accomplished Canadian snooker and pool player. She achieved international recognition in 1984 when she became the runner-up in the Professional World Women’s Snooker Championship.

Since then, Maryann has become a successful player in the Canadian pool circuit, winning a number of tournaments. Her successes have made her a well-known name in the snooker and pool world, and she continues to be an inspiration to aspiring players.

Maryann’s commitment to the sport of snooker has made her a valuable member of the Canadian snooker and pool community.

5. Bernie Mikkelsen

Bernie Mikkelsen is a well-known and respected name in the world of snooker. He is a Canadian former professional snooker player and is highly regarded in the sport.

He started his professional career in 1993 and since then he has gone on to become one of the top players in the game. He has had a lot of success in his career, winning the Canadian Open in 1995 and reaching the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship in 1997.

He has also won numerous other tournaments throughout his time as a professional snooker player. Mikkelsen is known for his aggressive style of play and his ability to read the table.

He is also known for his ability to adapt his game to the particular conditions of the tournament and the players he’s playing against.

This has earned him a lot of respect from his fellow players and fans alike. He has since retired from professional snooker but still participates in exhibitions and tournaments. He is also involved in snooker coaching and is a regular at the sport’s biggest events.

Mikkelsen is a true legend of the game and an inspiration to all aspiring snooker players.

6. Paul Thornley

Paul Thornley is a former professional snooker player from Canada. He played the game at a professional level for several years before retiring from the sport. He was considered one of the top snooker players in the world, competing in prestigious tournaments across the globe.

He was known for his impressive tactical skills and precise shot-making, which helped him win several tournaments. Even after retiring, he still remains a fan favorite as he has been inducted in the Snooker Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding career.

Paul Thornley was a true master of the game, and his legacy will be remembered for years to come.

7. Natalie Stelmach

Natalie Stelmach was a highly successful Canadian snooker player who achieved a great deal of success in her career. She is best remembered for her performance at the 1984 Amateur World Women’s Snooker Championship, where she achieved the runner-up position.

This was an impressive accomplishment, as the tournament was one of the most prestigious snooker events in the world, and she was able to make it to the final. Natalie Stelmach had a long career in snooker that began in the late 1970s.

She was known for her precise shot-making and her ability to read the table. She was able to use these skills to great effect in the 1984 Amateur World Women’s Snooker Championship, where she reached the final.

Despite her best efforts, she was narrowly beaten by her opponent in the deciding frame. Natalie Stelmach’s performance at the tournament gained her a great deal of recognition in the snooker world, and she was widely praised for her skills and determination.

Even though she didn’t win the championship, her achievements at the tournament are still remembered fondly by her fans and fellow players. Her legacy in the sport lives on, and she is still remembered as one of the best female snooker players of her time.

8. Brady Gollan

Brady Gollan is a retired professional snooker player from Canada. He is known for his competitive spirit and skill, which allowed him to reach the top of the professional snooker world in his heyday.

Gollan began his snooker career in the mid-1980s, and quickly gained recognition as a talented player. In the early 1990s, he reached the peak of his career, winning multiple titles, such as the Canadian National Snooker Championship, and the Canadian Open Championship.

He also competed in several international tournaments, including the World Snooker Championship and the UK Championship. During his career, Gollan was a pioneer in the snooker world, pushing the limits of the game and pioneering a unique style of play.

After he retired from professional snooker in the late 1990s, Gollan remained active in the snooker world, providing commentary for tournaments and mentoring younger players.

He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2020, in recognition of his contributions to the sport.

9. Cliff Thorburn

Clifford Charles Devlin Thorburn is a Canadian retired professional snooker player who was born in 1950. His nickname, “The Grinder”, aptly describes his slow yet determined style of playing the game.

His breakthrough came in 1980 when he captured the World Snooker Championship by defeating the great Alex Higgins in the final 18-16. Thorburn’s victory over Higgins was a major upset as Higgins had been the favorite to win the tournament.

Thorburn’s victory was also significant as it marked the first time a player from outside the United Kingdom won the World Snooker Championship. This win secured his place in snooker history and cemented his legacy as one of Canada’s greatest snooker players.

Thorburn’s success as a professional snooker player not only earned him respect and admiration from fans and fellow players but also the title of Member of the Order of Canada, which was bestowed upon him in 1981.

10. Bob Chaperon

Robert Chaperon is a Canadian who has retired from the professional sport of snooker and billiards. He began his professional career in the early 1980s and quickly established himself as one of the top snooker players in Canada.

He won several tournaments throughout his career, including the Canadian Open Snooker Championship in 1985 and the Canadian Masters Billiards Championship in 1987.

During his professional career, Robert Chaperon also represented his native country at the World Snooker and World Billiards Championships. After retiring from professional snooker and billiards, Robert Chaperon continued to be involved in the sport.

He is currently a coach and mentor at the All-Canada Snooker and Billiards Academy, an organization dedicated to training and developing the next generation of Canadian snooker and billiards players.

He has also appeared as a commentator on various snooker and billiards programs and events, such as the World Snooker Championship. Robert Chaperon is an important figure in the Canadian snooker and billiards community and his legacy will live on for generations.

11. Alain Robidoux

Alain Robidoux is a former professional snooker player from Canada who has been active in the sport since 1987. In his seventeen years on the main tour, he has established himself as one of the most successful players in the sport.

Robidoux has won multiple tournaments and titles throughout his career and was even inducted into the Canadian Snooker Hall of Fame in 2017. Although he retired from the main tour in 2004, Robidoux still continues to play in snooker events in his native Canada.

He has also served as a coach and mentor to younger players, offering his experience and advice to the next generation.

His experience and accomplishments have earned him respect from both the snooker community and his peers, and he is a true ambassador for the sport of snooker.

12. Kirk Stevens

Kirk Stevens is a renowned Canadian former professional snooker player who has made a name for himself over the years. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Stevens began playing snooker at a young age before turning professional in the early 1980s.

He has enjoyed a successful career over the years, winning numerous tournaments and titles, including the 1985 Canadian Open. He is also remembered for his participation in the world rankings, where he reached a personal best of number 10 in 1989.

Stevens is remembered as one of the most entertaining players of the era, with his showmanship and flair at the table. He was known for his aggressive playing style, often making risky shots in order to win the frame.

He was also a fan favorite, with his charisma and charm making him a popular figure in the snooker world. Despite his success, Stevens was forced to retire from professional snooker in 1997 due to health reasons.

However, he continued to stay involved in the game, acting as a commentator, coach and mentor to younger players. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Snooker Hall of Fame in 2015, a testament to his impact and legacy in the sport.

13. Marcel Gauvreau

Marcel Gauvreau is a former professional snooker player from Canada. Gauvreau was born in Montreal and began playing snooker at the age of 15. By the age of 17, he had already won the Canadian Amateur Snooker Championship.

In the years to come, he would become one of the leading professional players in Canada. Gauvreau competed in numerous international tournaments, including the World Professional Snooker Championship, the British Open, and the World Masters.

He won the Canadian Professional Snooker Championship a total of four times between 1975 and 1981. He was also the Canadian representative in the World Professional Snooker Championship in 1981.

Throughout his career, Gauvreau was known for his aggressive playing style and precise shot selection. After retiring from professional snooker in the early 1990s, he remained involved in the sport as a coach and trainer.

He also founded the Quebec Snooker Academy, which focuses on teaching the skills necessary to compete at the highest levels of the sport. Marcel Gauvreau is one of the most successful Canadian snooker players of all time.

His achievements in the sport have earned him a place in the Canadian Snooker Hall of Fame. He is an inspiration to aspiring snooker players in Canada and around the world, and his legacy will continue to be celebrated for many years to come.

14. Alex Pagulayan

Alejandro Salvador “Alex” Pagulayan is a prominent figure in the world of professional pool. He is a Filipino-born Canadian and was given the nickname “the Lion” by former World Snooker champion Cliff Thorburn.Pagulayan was born in Cabagan, Isabela, Philippines.

He was raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and it was there he developed his skills and passion for pool.

He has since gone on to become a successful professional pool player, with a string of impressive tournament wins to his name. Pagulayan is widely recognized as one of the most talented pool players in the world. He is well-known for his sharp aim and unmatched technique.

He has a strong reputation for always giving it his all, and for pushing himself to the limit to try and gain success. The nickname “the Lion” was given to him in recognition of his tenaciousness and determination.

He is an inspiration to upcoming pool players all over the world, and his story is one of triumph and perseverance.

15. John Bear

John Norman Bear was a Canadian professional snooker player who had a successful career in the sport. Born in 1962 in Edmonton, Alberta, Bear began playing snooker at a young age. By the time he was 14 years old, he was already competing at an international level.

In the early 1980s, he had won a number of international tournaments and had become one of the top players in the world. By the late 1980s, he had become a professional snooker player, competing in major tournaments such as the World Snooker Championship.

Throughout his career, Bear consistently placed in the top 10 rankings of professional snooker players. He eventually retired from the sport in the early 2000s, having achieved great success as one of the top players in the world.

His legacy lives on to this day, with many aspiring snooker players looking to him for inspiration.

16. Jim Wych

Jim Wych is a highly accomplished athlete and sports commentator. He is a Canadian national who made his professional snooker and pocket billiards debut in 1979.

His initial success in the sport was remarkable, as he managed to reach the quarter-finals of the 1980 World Snooker Championship in his first year as a professional.

He continued to impress with his snooker and pocket billiards skills, eventually reaching the world championship quarter-finals once again in 1992. Jim Wych has had an impressive career as a professional snooker and pocket billiards player.

He has been able to maintain a high level of performance, consistently reaching the quarter-finals of the world championship for over a decade. His success in the sport has earned him an impressive reputation, and he has become a respected sports commentator.

His insights and expertise make him a valuable resource for sports fans and professionals alike.

17. Mario Morra

Mario Morra is an acclaimed Canadian professional pool player who has had a long and successful career. He first entered the professional pool scene in 1984 when he made it to the finals of the Canadian Professional Championship.

After taking a break from the sport, he returned to the pool table in 2008, making it to the finals of the Canadian Nine-ball Championship. He continued his successful run in the sport in 2010 when he reached the finals of the Canadian Ten-ball Championship.

His impressive track record shows his dedication to the sport and his commitment to excellence. He is an inspiration to other pool players and is respected in the pool community.


Canada has a great selection of snooker players who have achieved success both in the country and internationally.

Players such as Alex Pagulayan, John Morra, and Alain Robidoux have all achieved success in Canada and abroad, and they continue to be some of the best snooker players in the country.

With a growing number of snooker clubs and tournaments, Canada’s snooker scene is only getting better, and the level of competition is rising as a result. Canada’s best snooker players are sure to continue to make their mark in the sport.

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Pink Hilliker

I am a professional pool player and have been playing for over 20 years. I am passionate about the game, and I love helping people learn how to play both in person and online. I believe that everyone should be able to enjoy pool, no matter how old or young they are. It is my goal to teach people the basics of the game in a fun way so that they can start playing right away. LinkedIn