By NYC Grind Contributor, Alison M. Fischer
While his name may not be very well-known for most American pool players or fans, rest assured, Ramon Mistica stands among the elite in the world of Filipino billiards. Born on December 17, 1959 and raised in Quezon City, Philippines, Ramon Mistica began his career as a professional pool player at the mere age of fifteen, after only playing for two years.
Mistica was known to frequently play at the famous Puyat Billiards Hall in Farmers Plaza in Quezon City, Philippines, and played against many of the most widely-known names of his generation… including Efren “Bata” Reyes, Santos Sambajon, and “The Leader of the Filipino Invasion” Jose Parica.
As a professional player, Ramon Mistica’s career spans over three decades, however, his focus became broader than just playing the game. After appearing as a commentator and analyst for a major tournament in the Philippines, Mistica went on to make more TV appearances as a commentator and instructor, giving lessons on key shots and how to shoot the ball perfectly.
Since the year 2000, Ramon Mistica’s main focus has been on pool instruction in the Philippines, together with instructors Ramon Ancaja and George Totoy Dacer, and became a mentor to the current #1 ranked player in the world, Dennis Orcollo. In a phrase, Efren Reyes has named Mistica “The best pool teacher in the Philippines”.
From 2003-2005, Mistica traveled all over Asia (including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and China) to give lessons and compete in tournaments. Then in 2005, he got a visa to go to Canada and the U.S. to teach pool, and has continued to do so until the present time. Ramon Mistica is currently residing in New York City, where he is offering lessons for players of all levels, along with competing in the regional pro tours.
Daniel Dagotdot, one of NYC’s up-and-coming young amateurs, is Mistica’s first student in NYC. The two both competed in last weekend’s Mezz Tour stop on July 10 at Raxx Pool Room, where Dagotdot and Mistica finished in 3rd and 4th place, respectively, and were also seen at the recent George “Ginky” SanSouci Memorial at Amsterdam Billiards, NYC.
Ramon Mistica is also mentoring several other up and coming players who are part of the NYC pool landscape. The Maestro or as Efren Reyes calls him… the greatest pool teacher in the Philippines is teaching aspiring pro Mhet Vergara and his 15 year old prodigy son Darwin. NYC Grind’s Jerry T recently spoke with Noel Bensurto, who mentioned that Ramon has been mentoring him which has had an immediate impact on his game. Noel also played in the Mezz 9-ball event, and grinded back to take 6th place after a first-round loss.
For players in the New York area looking to improve their game, this is a chance to work with one of the world’s best instructors. Check out the flier below for info on how to set up a lesson.