Player of the Year

Finnish-born Mika Immonen, who won his second consescutive U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship title, the world 10-ball crown and the International Challenge of Champions, was the unanimous choice for male Player of the Year in voting conducted by the United States Billiard Media Association, the USBMA announced today. Immonen, 37, was named on all 21 ballots turned in by members of the media group. Jasmin Ouschan, of Austria, who won half of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association’s six Classic Tour events, was the USBMA’s choice for woman Player of the Year.

Immonen, who resides in New York City, enjoyed his best year ever as a pro, adding the Galveston World Classic 10-ball title and Qatar Open title to his 2009 haul. Overall, Immonen won five of the seven events that featured a top prize of more than $20,000. His 2009 winnings topped $230,000.

Meanwhile, Ouschan made her mark by winning the WPBA Great Lakes Classic, the WPBA Pacific Coast Classic and the WPBA Tour Championship. She also placed third in the women’s world 10-ball event and second to Allison Fisher at the World Games. Despite finishing second to Korea’s Ga Young Kim in the WPBA year-end points standings for 2009 (26,500 to 26,000), Ouschan picked up 12 votes for player of the year. Kim received four votes, while Karen Corr received two votes.

Player of the Decade

Efren “The Magician” Reyes, who amassed nearly $1.7 million in prize money, and Allison Fisher, who won 27 Women’s Professional Billiard Association Classic Tour titles, were named Player of the Decade by the United States Billiard Media Association, the USBMA announced today.

Reyes, the 55-year-old Filipino sensation, won more than 20 major men’s professional pool titles during the decade, starting with his $30,000 Camel Pro 8-Ball Championship win in 2000. Of his 22 major victories, the versatile Reyes won four one-pocket crowns, four 8-ball titles and 14 9-ball titles. He also won the Derby City All- Around title three times.

But it was during the short-lived International Pool Tour that Reyes scored his biggest wins. In three multi-million dollar events, Reyes won two titles (2005 IPT King of the Hill and 2006 IPT North American Open) and pocketed $765,000.

Fisher, meanwhile, continued her dominance over women’s pool for a second straight decade. After winning 26 Classic Tour titles during the ’90s, the former snooker champion added 27 more from 2000-2010. In addition to her WPBA Classic Tour titles, Fisher, 41, earned the gold medal at the 2009 World Games, was the 2000 BCA U.S. Open 14.1 champion and won the Tournament of Champions five times. She earned $637,000 over the 10-year span.

Additionally, both Reyes and Fisher were elected into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame during the decade, with Reyes being inducted in 2003 and Fisher in 2009.

In Player of the Decade voting, Reyes out-pointed Johnny Archer, Mika Immonen and Ralf Souquet. Fisher was named woman player of the decade on all but two ballots, with Karen Corr and Jasmin Ouschan each receiving one vote.