View Full Version : Heard About A Russian World Beater @Vegas

05-24-2002, 09:26 AM
Who all saw the player on the money games up at the speed pool tables section this last trip? I've heard he was unbelievable, supposedly ran Mr Pickle through the meat grinder as I hear it....sid

05-24-2002, 09:32 AM
Probably Evgeny Stalev. I saw him there. He is not a secret anymore. He finished 7th in US open last year, did well at the Derby City classic the last TWO years and will and does play anyone for the cash.

05-24-2002, 09:40 AM
He's no secret. He tied for 7th @ the U.S. Open last year. My buddy also took 7th so if they play at the same speed, Stalev is a world class player. B Pickle was too naive, he had no clue. But that's how it usually goes...


05-24-2002, 12:14 PM
He's the hottest back room action at all tournaments. He was up in the Northeast for a couple of weeks for the Joss tour finals. Watched him play full rack banks. He was amazing and very smart.

If you don't know who he is, you will. He'll be around for a long time!!

05-24-2002, 12:45 PM
The story I read was that Stalev took a chunk of change from Pickle and then Stalev's 'backer' Ryan McCreesh took some more from him.

Looks like Pickle must not be a regular visitor to AzB as I have had pics of both Stalev and McCreesh on the front page of the site in the last few weeks.


Fred Agnir
05-24-2002, 01:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Sid_Vicious:</font><hr>Who all saw the player on the money games up at the speed pool tables section this last trip? I've heard he was unbelievable, supposedly ran Mr Pickle through the meat grinder as I hear it....sid <hr></blockquote>
A first-hand account is copied with the author's permission at http://www.playpool.com./article.php?sid=145&amp;mode=thread&amp;order=0

Fred &lt;~~~ the author

05-24-2002, 01:22 PM
Fred, that's an awesome account.


05-24-2002, 01:27 PM
Fred --- That was well written, easy to read, not to mention insightful. It speaks volumes about what you know of matching up. Also, a friend of mine who was there had just told me about the same thing when he came back. I wouldn't be surprised if you had been standing side-by-side watching this. Thanks for the scoop. ***Lester***

05-24-2002, 01:30 PM
Hi Mike,

Stalev has been hanging around the Northeast alot, which is probably why us locals hear/see a little more of him. I think Fran mentioned that she watched him run out 3 straight racks of one pocket. I also know of a local roadplayer who has won on the Joss tour a few times, who hasn't approached Stalev to play. This guy will try to make a game with almost anyone, so it makes me wonder. Actually, I don't wonder. I have a very good idea how strong Stalev is.


05-24-2002, 02:45 PM
Great story, Fred. Makes me real sorry I missed it.

05-24-2002, 03:17 PM
Ditto on everything Lester had to say, well done with "real pool" foundation. Thanks!!!sid

05-24-2002, 04:03 PM
Quoted from a post on the Rec.Sport.billiard Newgroup. By Poster Edward Kagan

There have been quite a few postings on this NG lately regarding this young player, so I thought I'd attempt to translate the article I found on one of the Russian websites. Here it goes:

Yevgeniy got a start in billiards when he was 10 years old, and in 2001 he enjoyed tremendous success, considering his career is only 12 years long. He attributes his success not only to long grueling hours he spends practicing every day, but also to knowing certain secrets that he won't devulge. Yevgeniy pays a lot of attention to psychological training, claiming it's a big part of the overall
performance. "You can practice religiously, but it won't help you to stand up to your opponent psychologically" he says.

Stalev was born in 1979 in the town of Lytarkino, Lyubertsi region. There he picked up a cue for the first time when his father opened a pool hall. A little later Zhenya (short for Evgeniy - Ed.) and his brother Maxim started commuting to Moscow to hone their skills.

His studies of billiards resulted in achieving the rank of Master of Sports of International Class in Billiards (second highest rank in Russia's sports classification - Ed.) in 1995-1996. At that time many top Russian billiards players were in the early stages of getting involved in American pool. Now Yevgeniy is one World title short of
achieving the rank of Honorary Master of Sports (I'm not sure of the translation, but it's the highest rank in Russia's sports classification -Ed.).

In addition, Evgeniy holds multiple World titles in Russian billiards, plays decent pool (according to him), won European Pool Championship and became one of the top ten pool players in the world (I'm not sure if it's true, but that's what the article says - Ed.).

He now directs most of his efforts towards American pool.
Unfortunately, Russian Billiards are not popular throughout the world. The only countries where this sport enjoys popularity are Russia, Finland and Greece. Russian Billiards is a very unique game, the prize funds are not big and it's not foreseeable for this sport to achieve worldwide recognition of American pool.

Evgeniy Stalev regularly participates in tournaments in America and Asia. At the time of the article, Evgeniy was preparing for a big Asian tournament with an extremely large purse. A tournament of such magnitude is being held in this region for the first time. (I think they meant the tourney in Japan which was won by Reyes - Ed.) Evgeniy
does not play much in European tournaments as prize money is not enough to pay for the trips.

In September of 2001 Evgeniy participated in the US Open Championship, annual tournament held in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach (??? - Ed.). There he finished seventh. Twice he had to play one of the best players, five time world champion (Strickland? - Ed.)I saw this match and Strickland was flawless, Stalev wasn't too far behind -Tom In Cincy. As Stalev puts it, he could have won it but he needed to play flawlessly as his opponent did. But Yevgeniy made a mistake, as he had 20 less years of experience. "Two more years and I would have won" he says. In general, he has no fear of opponents of this level. This is the game that gathers all your strengths and skills, he says, as you are
expecting top notch performance from your opponent and you try to play at his level.

As Yevgeniy often participates in international competitions, he is already well known among foreign players. He even has a nickname that reflects his style of play, The Assassin.

"Being a professional player is my job", Yevgeniy says. Practicing 5-8 hours a day he directs all his energy towards billiards. He frequents such clubs as "Kino" ("Cinema" - Ed.) and "Favorit".

Billiard is both job and school for him. "If you graduate from this school, there's nothing else to learn" he says. Of course, there are other subjects that interest him, such as English, Geography - he considers them to be necessary for his career as a player. On the other hand, he thinks that abundance of unnecessary information will only hurt him.

Nonetheless, Evgeniy finds time for teaching others. But keeping in mind his tight schedule and his strive for excellence, he cannot afford to have more than a few students. Teaching takes a lot of energy and maximum concentration, but he loves doing it. He does not
care what level of skill his students have. He enjoys teaching the very basics of billiards, while possibly lifting the veil off of the "Stalev phenomenon". (Hey, I didn't write this - Ed.)

Now Yevgeniy has two students and a long waiting list. A two hour
lesson costs $100.00 (A whole crapload of money in Russia, it's an
average monthly salary - Ed.). If interested, you can try contacting
him at maxpool@mail.ru to find out about his schedule.


05-24-2002, 05:03 PM
Few days ago a road player by name Donnie Brown told me that he played the Russian guy( even game and no handicap)in Las Vegas during BCA tournament and broke even.Did any one see this? I was also in Vegas but did not see this.

05-24-2002, 06:04 PM
Great article Fred. Thanks.


Scott Lee
05-24-2002, 08:19 PM
Fred and Tom...Great articles! Excellent work Fred! Very well written! Tom, thanks for reprinting the RSB article!
This guy sounds really phenomenal.

Scott Lee

05-24-2002, 08:20 PM
Too cool Fred. Thanks a bunch.

Chris Cass
05-24-2002, 11:54 PM
Hi Vegabond,

I know Donnie Brown personally and can tell you for sure he isn't the Russians speed. Donnie playes at Ride The Nine in Bloomington, Il. I will also tell ya, the guy buying Pickle the drinks and telling him to keep playing the Russian waisted, had half the opponents action. He was set up like a big fish.



05-25-2002, 12:35 AM
This rookie is making a splash,
And he'll talk you some Russianly trash.
Just ask him to bet
And he never says 'nyet',
But he's sure to go home with your cash.

05-25-2002, 12:38 AM
One night I watched him hold the $50 challenge table until I got tired of sitting. He was playing 9-ball like a champ, and I don't think I ever heard him speak. Locked his opponents up with some of the meanest safeties I've seen (carom off the object ball, cue goes one rail and stops frozen between two blockers!). I did get a couple of really good candid pictures with my digicam to bring back and ask around, but it sounds like that's not necessary as he is apparently quite well known.


05-25-2002, 07:14 AM
The way you described his precision ability of sticking the guy in safeties was what impressed me as much as anything. That's damn hard to beat, by ANYBODY! SID