Efren Bata Reyes was born on 1954 at Pampanga till their family moved to Manila when he was at age 5. He worked then as a billiards assistant at his uncle’s billiards hall, where he learned the different cue sports. When he was young, he played just for money, and in the sixties and seventies, he played three-cushion billiards. At the age of 20, he claimed to be the best player in the Philippines, which is a success in the United States and in Europe over some of the best 9-ball players in the world. Presently he resides in his hometown at Angeles City, Philippines.
He was nicknamed Bata means youth or kid in Tagalog. It was given to Reyes by friends at his regular billiards hangout to differentiate him from an elder player with his same name.
Bata Reyes played in the United States, typically as a money player in the eighties. In 90’s, he has won main tournaments in opposition to top players in the U.S. He also won 6 major events, and was considered the best 9-ball player in the Philippines in 1995. He constantly wins major events all throughout and has established himself to be one of the best players to ever pick up a cue particularly in nine ball.
He recorded tournament winnings of just over $200,000 in 2001. Reyes was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America’s Hall of Fame in 2003. He also won the International Pool Tour’s King of the Hill 8-Ball Shootout in December 2005. He also first place by beating fellow Hall of Fame member Mike the Mouth Sigel in straight sets in an unprecedented $200,000 prize.
Last 2006, Reyes defeated Rodney Morris by winning the International Pool Tour World Open 8-Ball Championship. This was the largest prize money tournament in the history of pocket billiards where he takes home $500,000.
His ability to kick safe and to kick balls into intentional pockets is renowned. With his skill, together with his terrific expertise at other aspects of the game, lead U.S. professionals to give him the title The Magician.