Steve Markle is not your typical 23 year old man. A native Philadelphian, he attends college and is majoring in criminology. His three days a week class schedule allows plenty of time for his weekends as a professional pool trick shot artist. Yes, you read that correctly!
Presently he is ranked eighth in the world, but that will most certainly change based on a recent third place tournament win in Chicago, Illinois. Based on that finish, Steve expects a possible change to a fifth place world ranking, after missing a first place finish by only seven points, or a mere half shot. Moreover, he is the youngest player to ever have been ranked in the top 10 Professional Trick Shot Artists Ranking, and the youngest ever to appear on ESPN as well! Not at all typical for 23 years of age.
As a young man of 13 years, on a pool table in a friend’s basement, Steve began practicing trick shots. While his friend gave up, Steve continued practicing. Although Steve had offers for lessons from seasoned players, he declined, and is, reportedly, a self-taught player.
With much support from his parents his brother and his sister, he practiced by himself, and learned the basics. Over the years, and with much practice, his artistry developed and fell into place. He has continued support from his family and his girlfriend—he got very lucky with her staunch support of him.
Though unsure of where he would like his criminology degree to take him, Steve intends to continue in the world of trick shot competition. Likely he will continue on with his sponsors, who help him with equipment and other financial responsibilities associated with travel to competitions.
Steve has travelled to China and Jamaica, as well as 35 of the 50 United States. He has been to every area of the country, and was even able to do some sightseeing. It is just that much better if Steve is able to spend time outdoors, whether while travelling or at home, as he is an “avid outdoorsman [who] tries to be outdoors as much as possible.” He “loves the traveling” and feels he “has the best of both worlds” in his life at present. Not typical.
Steve plays with a 19.5 oz Poison cue stick with a Predator 314 shaft. He practices on his own pool table, now in his own basement. His table is an eight foot Imperial, covered in Simonis Cloth. It differs from most of the tournament tables—which could be Gold Crown, Diamond nine foot, Valley seven foot—whatever the venue supplies. If Steve goes out, it usually is to a local pool hall where he is often recognized. He doesn’t mind.
He enjoys doing exhibitions at bars the most because “It is always draws a good crowd, and they always show appreciation to have [him] there.” Steve’s “all-time favorite show was in a $21.5 million mansion on top of a mountain in Utah for the Hewlett Packard Company”.
On his Facebook Page, he has a photo of students wearing grey sweaters, seated in bleachers. The photo of this audience of 2,500 is from a show at his high school, “Archbishop Ryan” in Philadelphia. His travels have offered opportunities to meet famous people, including some of the athletes on the “Philadelphia 76ers as well as big company owners and CEOs.” Again, not your typical 23 year old!
Steve knows thousands of trick shots. He said “It’s funny because when people try to explain one of my trick shots that I have done in the past, hundreds come to mind. It did take a while to master the professional shot book that we use for tournaments. There are 140 shots total, and last week I came seven points short—remember, a mere half shot?—of breaking the all-time high points record.” Definitely a showing off [his] hard work. What was that about atypical?
Steve Markle, trick shot artist from the City of Brotherly Love, certainly has lived a varied and exciting life in his 23 years. Ranked 8th in the world, actually the youngest ever to be ranked, youngest to be featured on ESPN, traveler here and abroad, self-taught professional with sponsors, and continues to be unconditionally supported by his family. He is a very down to earth nice guy, who has worked hard and honestly to gain his notable success. When I hear his name, it surely will bring a smile to my face as I hope it does to yours, too. Steve welcomes friend requests on FaceBook.
In her 35+ years of pool playing, Missy has been deeply involved with many aspects of the sport. She and her husband ran a BCA 8-Ball League for 15 years, as well as three person 9-Ball, Singles 8 & 9, and Scotch Doubles part of that time. She ran a Junior BCA/BEF Junior League—the largest and longest running in her area—for 13 years, with year end banquets and tournaments for all of the leagues. She has run tournaments for all ages and levels of play groups, and is a Certified BCA Instructor with concentration on children and females.Missy has played at local, regional and national venues. She even has a $6400 fundraiser tournament for Domestic Violence and Wheelchair Players under her belt. Many, many hours have been donated to the sport with 300+ in free lessons and clinics for juniors. She is happy to be writing articles for Sneaky Pete Mafia Magazine, presently. Missy has been, and will continue to be, a true ambassador of the sport.
Photos: Pulled from Steve Markle’s FaceBook page
Editor: Hannah Blue